Did you know we only have 4 more training weekends to get ready for this years El Tour de Tucson. Today I'm going to talk about getting ready for "The BIG Ride". This workout will be one of the more important workouts to your success in El Tour de Tucson.
What is "The BIG Ride"?
"The BIG Ride" is a long ride you do approximately 2-4 weeks out from El Tour de Tucson. You do everything you can to recreate as much of the El Tour experience as possible. It is a day to mentally and logistically prepare for the race, test nutrition strategies, and check out large portions of the course.
How Long Should It Be?
The BIG Ride should be planned to take the same amount of time to complete as your goal time in El Tour. It doesn't have to be a full 112 miles. If you are going to do The BIG Ride by yourself or just 1-2 friends, shoot for about 80 miles. Doing it with a small group, aim for 95 miles. Riding with a huge group, getting a century ride in may be the best way to go. Riding 112 miles by yourself may take well over 8 or 9 hours, but thanks to drafting, you will only be on course for 5-7 hours. There is no reason to spend a whole day on the bike.
Where Should I Ride?
Since this is a dress rehearsal, plan to cover a large portion of the El Tour course. Doing that can be a great way to "recon" whats going to happen on race day, check the conditions of the washes, and reacquaint yourself with the conditions of some of the roads.
When Should I Ride?
Start at the same time as you would for El Tour. That way you can get a feel for your clothing strategy for the day. El Tour is notorious for being quite cold the first 60-120 minutes but often finishing in warm or even hot conditions. Test out your layering technique on your BIG Ride.
What Should I Eat?
Eat the same things you would eat on race day at the same times. The BIG Ride is a good day to heck your nutrition strategy. If you end the ride bonked or dehydrated, you still have a couple weeks to figure out how to fix the problem, rather than get knocked down on El Tour day. Carry only as much water as you plan to carry at El Tour. You can stop at aid stations during the race, so stop at gas stations for water during The BIG Ride. There is no reason to carry 5 bottles of water when the next gas station is never more than 10 miles away.
Tonight, look at your calendar and pick a Saturday or Sunday (or any other day if you have the time) and figure out when you are going to do The BIG Ride. Plan your route ahead of time. Plan how much water you will carry. How many calories do you need? What are you going to eat to get those calories? Now go out and execute that ride.
If you are looking for a good group ride for you BIG Ride, check out Silverbell Century at bikegaba.org coming up on Sunday, November 3rd.
Retul Certified Bike Fitter
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