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Tour De Cure – One Week Before Tips

May 20, 2009

One Week Before – Training

In the week before the big ride, the most important training thing is to begin tapering for the ride. This means reducing the time spent training, leaving you fresh for the big ride. 100_6635Tapering doesn’t mean you have to reduce intensity; it means reducing the volume and time spent training. You still want to ride, but for shorter times.  Thursday & Friday should be rest days, maybe light short spinning, but nothing else.

Tapering is one of the most helpful things you can do. In the week before the big ride, it is not possible to increase your fitness – that has to be done in previous weeks.

A Note About Equipment

Equipment should be tested properly in the week before the ride. It is not advisable to make last minute changes the week before the big ride. From bitter experience, we know this can create problems.

The Day before The Big Ride – Training

100_6627 smallIn the day before the big ride it is helpful to ride for half an hour or so. Think short and light.  This helps prepare the body for riding the next day. A complete rest in the days leading up to the big ride should take place 2 days before, on Thursday.

On day of  The Big Ride – Training

Make sure you know where you are going and arrive in plenty of time.  If you get lost and arrive late, it will add to your nerves and stress.  Break the ride down into easy to complete mini-rides.  Instead of an overwhelming 50-mile ride, plan on five 10-mile rides.  Don’t fret over an excruciating 80-mile ride, instead look at it as eight 10-mile rides or four 20-mile rides.

Big rides are a lot of fun.  Enjoy each aspect of it.  The camaraderie with your teammates, and with all the other riders makes it fun.  Use the excitement from the day and other riders to100_6645 cr fuel your energy and keep you positive.  Have confidence in the training you did.  You will do great!!

Mental Attitude – Training

A good mental attitude is very important to completing a big ride; its importance can not be understated. The best mental attitude is a combination of relaxed determination. Don’t waste time worrying about whether you can finish or how you will compare. Focus on maintaining a positive and optimistic attitude. It will help to visualize bringing out your best performance. Mentally prepare yourself to ride at your comfortable pace and enjoy yourself. If you can remain cheerful it will also help. Worrying about the ride, or fearing failure can be a big drain. You should try to enjoy the ride. Consider the satisfaction of bringing out your best performance.

One Week Before – Nutrition

TdC 04 aTaper your training and maintain your usual diet during the week before a big ride. This allows your body to become saturated with glycogen. Don’t worry that you will “get fat” by tapering, the extra food that you eat (or rather that you do not expend) will be stored as glycogen in your liver and muscles. Yes, you will gain weight, up to three to four pounds by the end of your taper. This is water: for every ounce of carbohydrate stored in your body, you store about three ounces of water.

Be sure not to fat-load. Cheesy pastas and French-fried potatoes fill the stomach with fat and leave you eating fewer quality carbohydrates. The result is poorly fueled muscles (and bigger fat cells!). Trade extra fat calories for added protein.  Also start taking potassium supplements the week before.  Take them every day; it will help your liver & kidneys function better during the ride.

Try to stay away from sugary carbohydrates the week before the big ride.  The best food we have ever used that was super effective was lima beans!!!  Remember that pasta, white bread and potatoes turn into sugar.  Sugar in your muscles turns into cramping and that is not fun.  Stick to quality carbs; oatmeal, grainy breads, beans and nuts of all kinds.  And lots of protein, fuel your muscles.

Plan your event-day menu and think about the foods you’ll have access to.  Typically a rest stop has oranges, bananas, fig newtons, cookies, gatorade and water.  Try & stay away from 100_6639sugary cookies and gatorade to avoid cramping.  Opt instead for the fruit, newtons and water.  If you’re lucky enough to find pickles or pickle juice, don’t turn your nose up at this.  It’s an excellent way to restore electrolytes.  You can also carry salt packets with you if you don’t like pickles – it really refreshes your muscles.

The Day Before – Nutrition
Today is the day to maintain glycogen stores by enjoying your usual ride-meals. Try nothing new. Drink extra fluids to ensure you are fully hydrated. Your urine should be pale and of significant quantity. Abstain from excess wine or beer as they can be dehydrating (and do not contribute significant carbohydrates).

The Morning of Your Ride – Nutrition

100_6636Novice riders tend to either eat too little before a big ride, fearing an upset stomach, or else eat too much, fearing that they will bonk. Today is not the day to figure out what to eat before riding! You should experiment in training, and on event day have a tried-and-true plan of familiar foods and fluids. Some cyclists prefer a light breakfast the hour before the start; some prefer food at the starting line; others have learned to wake up at 4 a.m., eat a bowl of oatmeal, and then go back to bed.

Drink plenty of familiar fluids up to two hours before the ride so you have time to absorb the water and urinate the excess. Drink one more glass 5 to 15 minutes before you start riding. If you usually drink coffee or tea in the morning, do so today as well.

As we move through the next week, post any questions or concerns you have here.  We want to help you make this year’s Tour De Cure experience successful.  For all of you that have ridden the Big Rides before, share  your tips, experience and advice here…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Letty permalink
    May 28, 2009 1:00 pm

    IMPORTANT ! There is a Medical Emergency Phone # on the back of your bib for the Tour de Cure. That # is WRONG ! The correct # is 903-746-0976.

  2. Letty permalink
    May 29, 2009 9:14 am

    Planning on walking down to the river Saturday afternoon. Just want to dip my feet and cool off. Hope some folks will join me. – Letty

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