Training and Advice

Training / Event Advice

General advise

Other

Sportive.

What is a sportive?

Let's start with a phrase you'll become very familiar with if you get into riding sportives. "It's not a race". You'll probably hear this said during the riders' briefing at the start, followed by a smattering of derisive laughter because, as with any sporting event, some people always treat them as a race and everyone knows that. On a more serious note though, they're not races, because using the word "race" for cycling on the road triggers all sorts of health and safety, and insurance issues making organizing such events prohibitively difficult. If you're interested in racing on your bike, then sportives are not for you.

Get comfortable

Other than yourself, the bike is your most important tool, so before you do anything, and obvious though it sounds, take the time to check that it fits you. Adjustments can be made to fine-tune the saddle and bar position, but make sure you’re starting with the correct-sized frame. Take advice from a qualified coach or a good bike shop – many now offer professional and modern bike-fitting services.

Injury free

You’ll be spending a lot of time attached to your pedals so take care when fitting cleats to your shoes. Position them so that the ball of your foot is over the pedal spindle and your leg moves without twisting – especially at the ankle and knee. Get a mate to watch you ride and keep adjusting until you’re pedaling smoothly. Tighten the fixing bolts securely once they’re correctly positioned and check for looseness from time to time – a loose cleat will not release from the pedal in an emergency. Also check your cleats and pedals regularly for wear.

Warning signs

Most people realize that it is necessary to look where you’re going when riding a bike, but it is just as important to clearly signal to others where you intend to go. This makes a lot of difference to the safety of the people you are riding with, as well as other road users, so make sure you know your hand signals. Communication is key. Don’t be frightened to call out your intended movements, particularly when riding in a group.

Dress to impress.

Learn to dress for the weather. Look at the thermometer rather than the calendar. Allow for changes in the weather during the course of the day and always carry at least a lightweight rain jacket, especially when riding in the mountains.(No such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing)

SpareS AND Repairs

Always carry at least one spare inner tube or puncture repair kit together with tyre levers, and make sure that you’ve got a working pump with you on every ride, together with a small multi-tool. Even if you have difficulty handling repairs it’s a good idea to have the gear with you so that a tech-savvy Good Samaritan can help if you encounter any problems.

Water and energy

Always carry a bottle of drink and some food on rides and discard unused liquid, especially if using sports drinks. Choose bottles made from soft plastic, as these are much easier to squeeze when riding. Practice drinking while on the move without wobbling or slowing down during training rides, your food can be bananas, small nut bars or equivalent just something to keep your energy levels up.

Example training plan

You do not need to spend hours and hours riding your bike, but you do need to build up your muscles and your bodies ability to spend time in the saddle, just increase your riding time each week up to your sportive date.
Below is an example few weeks of riding to prepare for your chosen sportive, you should just continue adding time and distance each week.

Week 1:

Day 1: Rest
Day 2: 1 hr
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: 1 hr
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: 1 hr
Day 7: 2 hrs

Weekly total: 5 hrs

Week 2:

Day 1: Rest
Day 2: 1 hr
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: 1.5 hr
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: 1 hr
Day 7: 2 hrs

Weekly total: 5.5 hrs

Week 3:

Day 1: Rest
Day 2: 1 hr
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: 1 hr
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: 1.5 hr
Day 7: 2 hrs

Weekly total: 5.5 hrs

Week 4:

Day 1: Rest
Day 2: 1 hr
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: 1 hr
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: 1 hr
Day 7: 2.5 hrs

Weekly total: 5.5 hrs

Week 5:

Day 1: Rest
Day 2: 1.5 hr
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: 1.5 hr
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: 1 hr
Day 7: 3 hrs

Weekly total: 7 hrs

Week 6:

Day 1: Rest
Day 2: 1 hr
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: 1.5 hr
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: 1.5 hr
Day 7: 3 hrs

Weekly total: 7 hrs

Week 7:

Day 1: Rest
Day 2: 1.5 hr
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: 1.5 hr
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: 1 hr
Day 7: 4 hrs

Weekly total: 8 hrs

Week 8:

Day 1: Rest
Day 2: 1.5 hr
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: 1.5 hr
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: 1 hr
Day 7: 3 hrs

Weekly total: 7 hrs

Week 9:

Day 1: Rest
Day 2: 1 hr
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: 1.5 hr
Day 5: Rest
Day 6: 1.5 hr
Day 7: 4 hrs

Weekly total: 7.5 hrs