Your Last Week of Training
Time flies fast – maybe even faster than a pack of cyclists storming across the state in less than a day. We hope you’ve been keeping up with your training regimen the past few months, or this ride is going to sneak up and bite you.
While repetitive training is important for the long haul, the training you do over the last week before the ride might be even more crucial. Here’s a rough guide to train for the last week before RAID.
This is an exciting time! The main goal of race-week workouts is to strike a balance between resting and keeping the ball rolling and to arrive at the starting line feeling calm and confident that you’re ready to ride your best on race day.
Go for an easy ride
This week, your main goal is to keep your body in motion and not freak out when you get to the start line. You can accomplish this.
Wake up today and go for a short ride, maybe 30 miles, and adjust your body to getting up at an early time by starting your ride around 4 a.m. Eat your race-day breakfast and stay hydrated throughout your day.
Rest or crosstrain
This one is up to you. If you feel comfortable, take a load off and hit the couch, but make sure to eat modestly and stay hydrated. Or, if you’d prefer to keep your body in motion, do a little crosstraining with some low-impact weightlifting or a short run.
You might be feeling jittery and anxious today, but remember to rest your mind as well as your body. Don’t put too much mental energy into thinking about the race. Instead, focus on housework, a movie or a good book. Let yourself chill out — the heavy lifting starts tomorrow.
Final dress rehearsal
Dim the lights, put on your costume — it’s time for a dress rehearsal. If your work schedule allows (real life tends to get in the way of things, doesn’t it?), wake up at the time you would plan to on RAID day, eat the same breakfast, and get on your bike by the starting time.
Make this ride more intensive than other ones — maybe 80 to 90 miles — and put yourself into “race mode” mentally by focusing exclusively on your goal.
As a side note, many riders have a tendency to overindulge at this time of the week. Curb your appetite, eat modestly and think about how great that cheeseburger will be on the day after the race.
Go for a run
We hope you got the memo by now: RAID is not a footrace. Still, running will help your stamina on the bike. Take your cleats off and put your running shoes on today, and head out for a 8-10 mile run.
To build up extra stamina, vary the tempo throughout your workout. Sprint for a short distance, then turn the pace down for a bit, and repeat. This improves your focus, strength and mind-body awareness.
You’re approaching the foothills of Mt. RAID, and it can seem like a big hill to climb, but you’ve been training for months. You’ll do fine. Take today to pack for your trip, watch an inspiring movie or spend some time resting with your family. You’re going to need all the energy you can get.
How do you train in the last week before a big race? Let us know!
Photo courtesy viralbus