It is a good idea for everyone to get checked out by their doctor before embarking on a serious training program to address any current or potential physical problems.
You should start by riding distances within your comfort zone. Beginners, or those who haven’t biked in several years, should start by riding mostly flat terrain and very few miles. With each subsequent ride you should increase your mileage in small increments, and gradually introduce more challenging terrain. Mid-way through your training, you should be riding on the open road to get the feel of riding with traffic. We recommend two to three rides a week at the beginning of the season, including one long ride, at your pace speed. This is the speed that you can ride comfortably for long distances and this will build your base endurance. One to two rides per week should be shorter and ridden at a brisk paces. As the season progresses, try to build up to riding (and cross training) four to five days per week. Increase your mileage incrementally for three weeks (ideally by about 10%), then cut back your training by almost half during the fourth week (your rest week). On your fifth week increase your mileage using your third week as the base.
Your goal should be to ride between 50-70 miles per week by the end of October. Additionally, you should try to do several back to back rides in September and October to get your body accustomed to riding consecutive days. It is important to do most of your training on the bike that you will use on the event. However, you can exchange an hour of ride time for an hour of cross training.
And don’t forget to take some rest days. While it is important that you invest a good amount of time in training, it is equally important that you give your body a chance to recover between workouts. Take a minimum of one or two days off per week to avoid burnout, overtraining and injury. You will probably find that by taking one or two days off per week, you come back to your bike feeling refreshed and energized.
Your last big weekend of training should be a full week before SMART Ride begins. You should scale back the last week prior to the ride. Get plenty of rest, drink lots of water, and make sure that you are eating a well-balanced diet. Your body needs this down time to gear up for the big weekend ahead!
These recommendations are meant to be very general. Each person will do their best with a tailored individual plan. Please use your best judgment!
Here are a couple of other things to keep in mind while training that will help you:
- Check out the calendar on the home page for Training Rides in your area. Around end of August, beginning of September riders all over the state will contact us about training rides and we will list them on the calendar, so keep checking back.
- Reach out on Facebook to contact other riders in your area who might be interested in training. The link to SMART Ride has a Facebook page, why not befriend us?
- Keep in touch with your Rider Rep. He/she is more than happy to help you with tips or get you the information you need. (Your rider rep is listed on your personal page when you log in including their contact information)