Fitness Tip: Your First Bike Race

How to prep for your first endurance cycling race
Staff Writer

“Picking out your first endurance cycling race can be intimidating, so keep these pointers in mind before you sign up:

First, you can assume you’ll be able to complete a ride between 25 percent and 50 percent longer than your longest ride in the past 2-3 months—twice as far is too much.

Then take an honest assessment of your preparation time. To reduce your risk of injury, it’s best to increase your weekly 'long ride' by only 10 percent each week.

The next step is to consider the terrain and weather conditions. If you live in a flat area, you could prepare for a hilly event by riding repeats in the wind; however, a sustained event in the mountains probably isn’t for you. Similarly, racing in hot conditions will be tough if you don’t have time to acclimate.

Lastly, ask yourself what logistical elements of the race you’re willing to deal with—think about how you’ll get you and your bike to the race (and back home again).”

Coach John Hughes ( is a certified personal trainer and sports coach and has completed many ultra-marathon races. He specializes in writing for and coaching endurance cyclists.

As reported by Bethany Marzewski.


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