How to prepare for a summer sportive
Posted on April 13 2020
Nothing beats the motivation of having a big ride to aim for. With the summer in full swing, it’s time to take advantage of the longer days and warmer weather to prepare for those summer sportives.
Whether it’s a ride up The Alps on the Etape du Tour or the challenge of the Prudential Ride London, preparation lays the foundation for a strong performance in the saddle. Getting the right training in place, both on and off the bike, and choosing the correct equipment is essential for a strong performance. With this in mind, here are some top tips for preparing for a summer sportive.
Get on the saddle
With so many different strategies for training for sportives, a rider can often lose track of the essentials. Go back to basics and follow the advice of Italian cycling legend Fausto Coppi. He famously offered three tips to youngsters looking to get into the sport: “Number one is ride a bike, number two is ride a bike and number three is ride a bike!” By all means, come up with a training plan, but use it as a framework and don’t get hung up on it. As a rough guide, the faster riders ride at least three times per week, with two short but intense rides and one longer ride factored in. Use this as a benchmark and go from there.
With those three rides in place, riders should make sure they have the right training plan in place to ensure they achieve their sportive goals. Shorter rides (preferably a 2-hour ride) should be at a tempo pace, where one's heart rate stays between 130bpm and 160bpm. This type of training keeps the athlete in their anaerobic threshold and helps to improve how efficiently the body uses fat and carbohydrates to keep those legs turning.
For the longer rides, it’s important to practice riding over 100 miles, in order to prepare for the longevity of the upcoming sportive. Riders should use these rides to get comfortable with being in the saddle for a long time, but shouldn’t push it too hard and burn out. At the end of the day, consistency is king when it comes to cycling. The best riders are flexible with their plan but stick to a minimum number of rides per week.
Get in the gym
The most commonly reported injuries in long-distance cyclists are located in the lower back. If the plan is to cycle over 100 miles it is essential that the rider’s core is rigid and properly developed to alleviate any potential lower back pain. To cover this, aspiring athletes should work an off bike session in the gym focused on building their core into their training plan.
Get the right clothing for the job
Comfort is the name of the game when it comes to sportives. To prepare properly, it is important to get the essentials right. The most comfortable riders have a well-fitted set of bib shorts, a good jersey and most importantly a baselayer. Baselayers are proven to keep long distance athletes cooler in the heat. Instinct may suggest that the warmer the temperature the less layers one needs, but science suggests that a summer baselayer can be more effective in moving sweat and taking away body heat during those summer miles.
The DRYNAMO technology of Megmeister baselayers leads the way in moisture management and thermo-regulation, the two essentials of a great summer baselayer. This Megmeister fabric “breathes”, moving heat and sweat from the skin to the surface, stopping absorption and keeping the skin cool during those warmer rides. Even better, Megmeister baselayers are lightweight, seamfree and hypoallergenic. The definition of a summer sportive essential.
Our suggestions this summer for a cycle baselayer are as follows:
Go for the DRYNAMO Cycle Sleeveless baselayers. Available in sizes for both men and women, this layer has been requested by our pros due to its perfect combination of excellent moisture wicking, light insulation and a comfortable, seam-free fit. It’s the essential base for function and comfort. Perfect for those sweatier warm rides.
Available at £49.95 - shop the Women's DRYNAMO Cycle Sleeveless Baselayer
Available at £49.95 - shop the Men's DRYNAMO Cycle Sleeveless Baselayer