Whether your client is one-and-done or if the plan is to do several centuries, there are things you can do to help their big day go more smoothly aside from helping them get in shape.
A 100-mile bicycle ride is an awesome accomplishment. It’s a long, tough day in the saddle, but it can still be enjoyable and provide a lot of great memories if one is prepared for the challenge.
Prepare Their Core for Drafting
To put it as simple as possible, if you’re unfamiliar, drafting means riding in the slipstream of the rider ahead and allowing them to break through the wind, therefore providing shelter from wind resistance.
It can be scary for riders who aren’t used to it, but drafting truly does save energy, and finding a slipstream for a few moments of shelter and rest makes all the difference. But it must be done properly to be effective and safe.
It requires riding extremely close to another rider and staying in just the right spot. A good strong core helps accomplish this. The power initiated in the legs and the arms must flow through the core to benefit the rider. When the core is weak, some of that energy gets lost, even if the legs and arms are strong. It’s more difficult to hold a line, and bike handling can become weak and clumsy and more tiring than necessary.
Tailor Workouts to Fit the Profile
A lot of people recommend taking on the flattest course possible for a first century. You won’t find, necessarily, advice to the contrary here. However, though flat may sound easier, and overall it might be, some riders excel on the climbs, and find flat routes, where gear changes don’t happen often enough, tedious and more difficult than conquering the climbs. Other riders can spin all day and like it!
Find out the event’s profile to better tailor workouts suited to the client’s goal. Consider the difference between riding a bike on flats vs. hills. Check out these 3 Interval Cycling Drills for Your Clients to see if they fit the plan.
Help Them Remember, It’s Not a Race…
It just isn’t. It’s a ride. Many century events don’t even offer the timing chip that running events have. That’s because no one cares about ride time. No one. And that’s good news!
Century rides aren’t about getting there first. They’re about comradery, feeling good, scenic views, and good food, music, and beer at the end. Riders draft each other, happily allow others to do the same, chat during the ride, enjoy the rest stops together, and pedal the day away.
That doesn’t mean clients shouldn’t strive to do well, but just the thought of riding all those miles is enough pressure! Help them focus on the bigger picture and celebrate each milestone of training.
…And to Take in the Scenery
It’s relaxing to look around when safe to do so. Any 100-mile course should offer some inspiring views and something to marvel at along the way. What good are strong muscles if you don’t enjoy the journey they take you on?
Besides, the beauty of the outdoors will help take their mind off the work…and the discomfort. They will get tired. That’s alright if they’ve practiced training-while-tired. It’s part of the whole wonderful 100-mile experience!
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