4 Tips for Long-Distance Cycling Help You Make It and Recovery
Schedule your energyIt is very important to schedule your energy when cycling a long way for a very long time. When you are immersed in the passion for speed, it's tempting to get too hard, however, this isn't ideal. If your body transmits signals like you can't talk due to heavy breathing, or your leg temperature raises continuously, then you're riding too hard.
Another fact that you can't avoid and can also cause your leg a huge load is hills. You can’t replicate hills and wind in your training, so when faced with one or both, don’t panic. Just drop as many gears as needed and focus more on maintaining your RPMs than your speed.
Lastly, we like to think of correct endurance pacing as a slow burn of suffering that comes on gradually. An electric-assist bike can help you keep speed and climbing without overloading your muscle.
Bulletproof your bellyA short ride is easy to get through without having to eat. The longer the ride the more energy you will consume and need to replace whilst on the bike.
A rough guide is that the body can absorb around 60-90g of carbohydrate per hour to use as fuel, and obviously plenty of water, depending on the temperature. It doesn’t matter that you eat sports nutrition or ordinary foods, just keep piling it in to prevent the dreaded bonk. But I recommend you get used to eating whatever energy-rich food you can find, in case of the food you prepared runs out in a whole day riding. And always remember, never try out a new type of energy gel on the day of a big ride. Trust us from bitter experience, your stomach will thank you.
Develop a pack mentalityWe highly recommend you riding in a group for your first long cycling. That means you will get help if you have issues with navigation or your bike.
Boredom can become your enemy on very long rides. It seems silly, but suffering in a group is often less unpleasant than suffering alone. The mental side of long-distance riding is as important as the physical, and having a good friend there to cheer you up during a bad patch cannot be underestimated. This is a godsend when fatigue has really kicked in and your mind has started to wander.
The main aspect of recoveryOn long rides little niggles can become big niggles. So, get your post-ride recovery done and start the next ride fresh and healthy. The main aspects of recovery are eaten, drink, sleep and stretch any muscle groups that tend to become tight from riding.
Usually, we’d recommend stretching quads, hip flexors, glutes, and hamstrings as they tend to become tighter in cyclists. A good massage can also help loosen up these muscles. Post-ride protein and healthy fats are great for recovery.