With only two weeks to go until your sportive - including your taper week - now is your last chance to get some extra training miles in the bank while also ensuring all your kit and equipment is road-ready. Here's what you should be thinking about this week...
1. Last Long Ride
This is your last chance to maximise the miles before starting your taper. However, a ride that's too far and too hard may take your body too long to recover from. Plan a 60-70 mile route and hit a few hills latter in the ride that simulates event day.
It's also the last chance to nail your sportive fuelling. TOP TIP: Don’t under-fuel - and certainly don’t bonk during your final training weeks! This will suppress your immune system, causing you to become susceptible to cold and illness.
Fuel right to ensure you finish your final long ride feeling strong and confident. Ending your last long ride on a low will also knock your confidence for event day.
2. Break in New Kit
With warmer weather prevalent during sportive season you’ll find yourself reaching for your long-lost shorts and jersey, only to find the summer kit looking a little warn.
If you’re in the market for new threads make sure you hit your local bike shop now, giving you plenty of time to break in a new chamois, soften up new shoes and generally get your layering combo right for long, all-day riding.
3. Book your Digs
Struggle Dales attracts riders from across the country as far as Ireland, Jersey, Cornwall and the Scottish Highlands; all looking to book a bed on Saturday night.
Harrogate has a wealth of hotels and BnBs to suit all budgets, but with hundreds of riders arriving en masse, now is the time to nab a good night's sleep.
4. Stay Healthy
With all that training banked, don't let illness or injury scupper your ride. Optimise your sleep, recovery and nutrition in the final weeks of training.
Endurance riding requires all the calories you can get. But ditch quick-food fixes in favour of preparing healthy wholefoods.
Don't neglect your gut. Give it the attention it needs to help get the most out of your fuel on the day and in the lead up to the event. Consume a daily dose of probiotics in yoghurt drink form and eat colourful, healthy fruit and veg for good gut health.
If you’re serious about getting around Struggle Dales in the best possible shape then quit booze until you roll over the finish line and sink a Cold Bath Beer.
5. Service Your Steed
Every year we see riders suffer from easily avoided mechanical failures. Although our mechanics are on hand to assist, instead of wasting time on event day, have your bike checked over now at your local bike shop.
Top Tip: Ensure you take your newly fettled bike for a shakedown ride. Cables stretch, gears jump, brake pads rub; allow some time for tweaks, so you are fully confident in your steed on event day.
6. Kick-Start your Confidence
You’ve trained hard and put in the miles, yet still the doubt creeps in. Head out onto some old routes and favourite local climbs to see how you fare against your previous times.
You should be hitting gold by racking up PRs, which will help boost your confidence leading up to the event.
Feeling fit? Why not line up your next epic goal? Sign up to Struggle Moors and continue your training ready for July. Sign up to Struggle Moors here>>