The RBC GranFondo Whistler is just around the corner now and all I keep hearing is, “Wow, I rode to Squamish and back yesterday!” or, “I finally rode all the way to Whistler! That is going to be a tough ride on September 10th!” or worse yet, “I rode to Whistler and BACK on Monday in the blazing heat!” Please, please please, stop training already!!!
I hate to tell you this, but if you haven’t put in your long rides already – it is too late to start now. The worst thing you can do for yourself (and your ride) is to cram in as much training now to make up for lost time. The purpose of training is to push the body slightly beyond it’s limits so it adapts, slowly over time and gets stronger. The key words in that last sentence is SLOW and TIME. If you don’t have the time (1-2 weeks) to recover, you shouldn’t be pushing your body beyond what you have already done (recently).
Before you have a panic attack there are a few things that you CAN do which will help improve your time and your enjoyment on the day of the ride. Here are a few tips.
The number one thing you can do from now until the race is to make sure you are rested. It is better to arrive at the starting line undertrained and well rested than overtrained and exhausted.
While you are resting your body, continue to ride casually (1-2 hours max), keeping your heart rate low. Since you now have all this extra time (that you would have been using to ride to Squamish and back…) wash your bike, cleaning the chain and cog set so it runs smoothly. If you haven’t had a tune up this year, this would be a good time to book it. Buying new tires, learning how to change a tire and making sure you have all the tools and nutrition you are going to need for the day are good ways to make yourself productive.
The last thing you can do to help your performance is to watch what you eat. Now that you have decreased your miles on the bike, your body isn’t burning as many calories so weight gain can creep up quickly. Lower your calorie intake by eating mainly fruits and vegetables, staying away from processed foods and beers on the patio. Remember, you have to carry yourself – no matter how much you weigh- for 120kms…… so eating an apple instead of a cookie is going to make those hills that much easier on race day.