Congratulations on doing your bit to raise money to help sick children through your participation in the Tour de Kids 30 day cycling challenge. Hopefully you’ve been able to get some reasonable fitness under your belt prior to Covid restrictions affecting much of Australia’s East Coast. Now’s a great time to outline your intended path to achieving your intended monthly distance goal.
Completing your 30-day Challenge target
Firstly, you shouldn’t need be intimated by your total distance target. Hopefully you have set a realistic target on the cycling you can commit to achieving in a month. Once you break down the monthly distance challenge into four separate weekly distance objectives your target can be achieved just by riding regularly. Each week’s riding doesn’t necessarily need to be equal in distance. It might be wise to consider getting some longer rides out of the way early just in case the weather turns sour or the Covid situation in your area changes. Even in areas of Australia battling through cycling in the midst of a lockdown and exercise within a 5km radius from your home, it’s possible to get out and ride up to 250km per week. In fact, the 30-day challenge can provide a fantastic tonic to keep some motivation and positivity flowing.
Secondly, it’s a great idea to mix up your rides by adding in some different circuits and levels of intensity to keep your cycling interesting. Riding some flat easy rides mixed with some longer hilly loops should keep the months challenge enjoyable and rewarding.
A week’s training could include:
Remembering the following points will keep you on track to achieving your goal:
- Ride consistently during each week to keep the kilometres accumulating.
- Planning in easy/recovery days is essential.
- One long ride per week is a great way to keep your distance target on track.
Some tips on gear you might find useful:
A GPS bike computer is the best tool to keep track of your performance. Pair it to an App like Strava to keep tabs on your progress. GPS computers will help keep track of your target but can also provide interesting stats like elevation gained, temperature, power and cadence.
Wear some layers of clothing if it’s cold or wet which you can peel off and put in a jersey pocket if you warm up. Layering with a few items of clothing to keep warm and dry is more efficient than using one thick garment. It provides you with the flexibility to maintain your temperature and remove an item or two as you warm up or if the sun comes out. If you’re new to riding consider a good pair of bike shorts and some gloves. If you have a road bike, bib shorts are best for providing support and comfort. For many females, a support short with a gel chamois that allows for riding comfort balanced with convenience at any toilet stops can be an important factor. In Melbourne, in September a thin long finger glove with a wind stopper would be my go-to item. In warmer climates, a glove with a padded palm is a great option. A good base layer is one of the most underrated garments for any cyclist. Consider getting an undershirt long before getting a raincoat.
As a supporter of Tour de Kids once you hit the $500 fundraising milestone you are eligible to receive your exclusive Tour de Kids jersey designed by Santini Australia. To further support the charity and complete your kit, Santini have designed matching bib shorts, vest and gloves, a portion of sales from these items will go to fundraising for Tour de Kids.
Keep your tires inflated to the correct pressure. On the side of every bike tire, it provides information on suggested pressure. Pump your tires up every week. Inflate to the lower end of the range if you’re a smaller rider and to the higher end of the range if you’re a bigger rider. Keep your chain lubricated. If your chain is noisy, your essentially wasting valuable energy by riding on an inefficient drivetrain. Only use a good quality bike-specific chain oil. Cleaning and degreasing your chain every couple of weeks and applying a small amount of lube will save you money in the long run and makes your bike more efficient.
Try to limit alcohol consumption. Alcohol affects your sleep and is usually high in sugar. If you want to have a drink or two, try and limit it to rewarding yourself only on the weekend. What you eat in the first fifteen minutes after exercise is the most important thing you will eat all day. After activity, your body craves nutrients to replace what you have burned. Oranges or a banana are a great option to help speed up recovery.
You need to drink while exercising. Consuming a bottle every hour or two of moderate riding will help keep you hydrated. If you sweat a lot, live in a warm climate, regularly use an indoor trainer or ride for longer than two hours you should consider using an electrolyte in your water bottle.
An indoor smart trainer can be a really effective way of making up your weekly riding goal. Smart trainers can connect to your GPS computer or to an App like Strava so you can record all your indoor sessions and count them towards your distance goal. Many people find it most effective to supplement outdoor rides with some indoor sessions. Consider using any indoor sessions as a great way to mix up you’re riding. Use them as intensity sessions or a way to stay warm and dry on bad weather days.
With a little forward planning to ensure you hit your target distance and the onset of some warmer Spring weather, we wish you all the best in raising money for a worthy cause. If you haven’t already, please head to Tour de Kids to register. Hope to see you out riding soon.