Saturday, May 6, 2017

Preparing For My First BikeMS

In anticipation of our first year participating in BikeMS, here are some things I did to get ready.

To get ready for the ride, I still have quite a bit of training and conditioning to do. Not being a seasoned athlete, I realize that I need to be careful in how I approach getting ready. Here are some of the tips and strategies I’ve learned along the way.
  • Get the right fit. For comfort, safety, and efficiency, your bike needs to fit your body and be adjusted to reduce physical stress and maximize the strength of your efforts. Go to a local bike shop for expert advice.
  • Set realistic goals. Since I can’t already ride 30+ miles, I need to build up to that distance. I’m keeping track of my rides with a free phone app (e.g., Strava, MapMyRide) and attempt to increase my average ride by one to three miles each week.
  • Schedule rest. Although it is tempting to think that riding every day will be the best way to prepare, it’s the wrong way to build strength and endurance. Rest days are necessary to allow your body to repair muscle and begin to compensate for the increased physical demand. TrainingPeaks, a free resource for Bike MS participants, emphasizes recovery days and the need for varied levels of workout intensities.
  • Enjoy variety. It’s important not to do the same things every time you go out on the bike. Some training days should feature greater physical demands — increased elevation gain or sprints, for example — or easier, low-intensity spins that keep you moving but don’t wear you out. I like to alternate trails that present different challenges or easier sections.
  • Focus on hydration and nutrition. It’s vital to stay hydrated before, during, and after workouts. The amount of water and enhanced sports drinks you may need depend upon your body, the environment, and your workout demands. The National MS Society offers basic information on hydration and nutrition to get you started.

Read this post in its entirety:
BikeMS: Setting Goals and Going the Distance

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