Bicycle Network: RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride
Preparing your Body
Get your body in the best shape possible with these tips from David Heatley.
David is the Director of Cycling-Inform and is an Accredited Cycling Australia Cycling Coach under the Australian National Coach Accreditation Scheme (NCAS).
His company, Cycling-Inform, provides cycle coaching services, runs training camps and has a website full of excellent advice to help you get the best out of your cycling.
Please read the following tips from David on how to get your body in the best possible shape for the this year's ride. For more information, please visit Cycling-Inform's website.
During the RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride you’ll be riding several days in a row and many of them are over 80km in length. For this reason it’s important to spend the eight weeks prior to the event building your fitness. Fitness is something that takes time to develop and there are unfortunately no shortcuts around this. While the seasoned rider can “ride themselves into some fitness” during the event it’s still important that everyone riding the RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride prepares their body for the physical demands that they will experience during it. By correctly preparing your body for the event you’ll ensure that you get the most enjoyment while participating in it. I have put together more information about training on this page and have a 12 week training program that you can download for free. Both will provide you with helpful training information leading up to the event.
Before embarking on any training program it’s important to ensure that you are correctly fitted to your bike. Incorrect bike set up can cause discomfort, inefficient biomechanics and increases the risk of injury when you start ramping up your training. I recommend that you bike fit be done at the start of your training. That way you ensure that you reduce the risk of injury from a poorly set up bike fit right from the start. It also means that you can get stuck into your training hassle free. While you are at the bike shop, get them to service your bike at the same time. When you have these two things sorted at the beginning you’ll then be able to focus on your training without any interruptions. Drop into your local bike shop or you can contact Bicycle Superstore for further advice or assessment.
It’s also important to look after your body off the bike. Regular stretching, massage and cross training like swimming, Pilates or Yoga help rebalance your body after riding your bike. All these will help improve your posture and circulation as well as aiding the reduction of joint and muscles stiffness.
Rest And Recovery
While exercise acts as the catalyst to stimulate your body to improve the fitness you develop from exercise actually only occurs when you are resting. That is why it is so important to ensure that you get proper rest when you are training hard, for without it you won’t get strong and fit. So remember, getting a good night’s sleep and having recovery and rest days are just as important as the days that you are exercising to prepare you for the RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride.
While we cover off in-ride nutrition in detail here in our 12 week training program remember that when you are not riding you’ll want to supply your body with good quality foods to help you build yourself up to get strong and fit. Try to stay away from fried food, eat low GI carbohydrates, reduce your salt intake and ensure that you eat plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and lean meats. If you have special dietary requirements consider seeking advice from a professional sports nutritionists.
I wish you all the best in your preparation towards participating in the RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride and I look forward to seeing you there.