4 Tips to help you prep for a cycling race
With summer around the corner, it’s time to hit the gym, sign up for a personal trainer or invest in a new sport – and cycling comes highly recommend! As well as being a great activity for outdoor enthusiasts, there are plenty of prestigious cycling races in SA, including the upcoming Tsogo Sun Amashova Race on 16 October. To help get you ready, we asked the race coordinators to share four tips every beginner cyclist should know.
1 Use cycling apps
There are loads of training apps out there that can help you set goals and track your progress, like Strava (free on iOS). Designed by athletes, for athletes, you can map your rides with GPS, join challenges and compare your fitness levels with friends. It’s also a good idea to download an app that will assist you in an emergency situation, especially if you are going on early-morning or evening rides alone. MySOS (free on iOS) will provide you with the correct emergency service contact details and send your GPS location to your emergency contacts.
2 Invest in a good bike
While you may be tempted by a “good deal”, you run the risk of buying a poor-quality bike that isn’t built for endurance riding, which could result in you breaking down or needing to frequently replace parts. Look for a lightweight road bike and make sure a professional helps you choose the right frame size. You also need to invest in long-lasting cycling gear, like padded cycling shorts and a cycling jersey that will protect you from the sun as well as the wind.
Related: 3 Easy tips for a better cycle
3 Eat right
Cycling is strenuous on your body, so healthy eating is very important to ensure you have enough energy during a race or training. Make sure that you eat a balanced meal and always keep some light snacks on you in case you need an energy boost. We recommend a few slices of watermelon, sweet potato or dates. And don’t forget your water bottle!
4 Come prepared
You’ve spent months preparing for race day and the last thing you need is for your bike to let you down. Prior to the race, take it in for a service and make sure that they check the tyres, chain, gear and brake cables, bracket bearings and brake pads for damage and wear. Also be sure to bring important spares with you on race day.