Week 11: Event Day

August 30, 2016/ Maria Parker

This is week eleven of a twelve week series to help you train for and successfully complete a century ride. Check out the free 12 Week Couch to Century training plan here.

First and foremost, thank you for joining us on this journey. Hopefully you are fitter and more comfortable on your Cruzbike than you have ever been. Whether you were able to get in all of the workouts or just a few, I would encourage you to go ahead and give the century a try.

The most important thing about Event Day is to enjoy it. I have often gotten myself so worked up before an event that the whole day before I’m caught up in nerves and I’m cranky. I’ve been trying to do better in the last couple of years, but it is a struggle for me. One thing that helps is to remind myself that I enter events voluntarily and that I usually pay to participate – so I better enjoy it! Regardless of how I feel before the event starts, I almost always start having fun as soon as things get started.

If you are driving to your event, create a list of things you need to bring with you. Since I do a lot of events, I keep my list on a bulletin board near my desk. Here it is:

My Race Packing List:

  1. Bike
  2. Garmin (small bicycle computer that keeps track of mileage and speed)
  3. Helmet
  4. Sunglasses
  5. Money: credit card, a check and cash
  6. Bike shoes
  7. Bike gloves
  8. Clothes to change into after the event
  9. Bike pump (I like to pump up my tires before starting an event)
  10. Calories
  11. Water bottles
  12. Electrolytes
  13. Lights for bike (if necessary)
  14. Other reflective gear
  15. Jersey and bike shorts.

You’ll have your own list, but do make a list. If you like, revisit the Equipment post in this series for more detail. Cycling is an equipment heavy sports and if you forget something it can make it difficult or impossible to finish.

Once you start the event, try to start slower than it feels like you can. There is often a lot of adrenaline around an event start and you can find yourself racing for the first few miles. Resist that impulse and discipline yourself to go steady and easy. If you have energy left at the end, you can always go harder. This advice is commonly given and just as commonly ignored. It’s really hard to begin easy, but if you can do it, you’ll thank me when you are passing cyclists who burned up all their energy early in the event.

Be sure to drink and eat frequently. It’s easy to forget this in the excitement of the event, but if you don’t drink early, you can get behind and it can be difficult to recover. Also take breaks as you need them. The rest stops are great places to chat with people and nosh on foods that you might feel guilty about eating at home.

If you’re doing an event with a lot of people, be polite and courteous to other cyclists. Let them go in front of you when traffic is behind. Get other cyclist’s attention and signal when you are changing lanes or turning. Stop and offer to help other cyclists who need it. I’ve met some wonderful people in cycling events and that remains my favorite part of the sport.

Remember, when you are on a Cruzbike, people will remember you, so being kind and friendly reaps extra rewards. Also, you are representing the whole Cruzbike family, so thanks for making us all look good!

Next up in this series: The End (the beginning!)

Congratulations on taking on your first Century ride! Maria Parker, world record-holding cyclist and Cruzbike CEO, put together this 12 week training guide and blog series to help you successfully complete your first century ride. Share your progress with the Cruzbike Community @CRUZBIKE on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We’ll cheer you on through your first 100 mile ride.

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