5 training tips for a 160km ride
Before you hit the start line of any event, prior commitment and training is essential. Especially if you’re tackling a distance of 160 km.
Training can be hard if you don’t have any direction - and no, direction to the pub doesn’t count. If you’re looking for motivation to get fitter then buy a ticket and commit to an event.
Around the Bay is an excellent event to start off with as there is a range of distances to suit a range of experience levels.
If 160 km is your idea of a weekend picnic, then you need a challenge. Step up to the 250 km and check out our sponsored rider Paul’s training tips.
Or if you didn’t know people actually cycle that far and you’ve just started riding, check out Shayna’s plan for tackling the 50 km ride.
Last year our sponsored rider Nick bought a ticket for the Around the Bay 160 km, raised money for the Smith Family and even showed up to the start line on the day. But Nick didn’t even start the ride. What was missing from his training program? Oh that’s right, the training! This year Nick is determined to not only start the ride, but complete the whole thing - instead of cycling off for a breakfast burger like last year. To achieve this he’s going to need to knuckle down and get his training done.
Here are some tips to help you find the motivation to train:
1. Find an awesome route
What makes for a good ride? Good weather, safe and flat roads or paths and awesome views. Good scenery can make all the difference to your mental state on a long ride. The great thing about Melbourne is we have some pretty awesome cycling routes. We've also got a great guide to the best rides in Brisbane. But there are great bike rides in every state, you just need to do a little research.
2. Download an app to track your progress
Seeing concrete evidence of your progress is a great way to stay motivated. Our riders are using Strava to track all their rides but there are plenty of awesome cycling apps out there. Feeling uninspired? GPS apps that track your rides can also show your friend’s rides. Old mate Brian down the street rode 60 km yesterday? Better get on your bike and show him who’s the better cyclist. A bit of friendly competition can be extremely motivating. Keep up to date Nick’s weekly rides and see how your training efforts stack up.
3. Take advantage of the weekends
If you lead a busy life like Nick, juggling work and uni, then the weekends are going to be prime cycling time. There’s a lot of kilometres to get in on the 160km Training Plan, so keep the weekends sacred and cycle! Plus, having dedicated “me-time” where you get out, explore and exercise is a great way to clear your mind. While you’re body might come off the back of a long ride exhausted, your mind will feel refreshed.
4. Get up earlier
Not a morning person? Become one. Studies have shown that morning people are actually happier people. Setting your alarm an hour earlier is a great way to get a ride in before work or school. If you’re riding in the early hours of the morning ensure you are doing so safely. This means attaching lights and reflectors to the front and back of your bike, and cycling in safe, well lit areas as much as you can. Wearing some super-fashionable high vis is also actually a necessary safety precaution.
5. Don’t make excuses!
Bad weather? Get on the spin bike, on the rollers or take a class at your local gym
Tired? Exercise actually makes you more energised.
Too busy? See tip 4 and set your alarm earlier.
Flat tyre? Learn how to fix it.
Bike not running like it used to? Give your local Reid bike shop a call and book it in to be checked over by one of our skilled mechanics.
If you can think of any other excuses let us know, and we bet we’ll have a solution.
Nick's Training Plan
Nick will be sticking to these training tips this year and plans to knuckle down and fit his training in around his busy schedule. Read on to find out how Nick will tackle training for his first 160 km.
When you undertake a new project or journey, I think there’s two ways you can start. You can be overcome with excitement and dive straight into it, or you can slowly awaken to the scale of it as you digest the gravity of your undertaking. I’m certainly the latter.
Looking at my training plan, I note that in the first week I should go for four 25km rides… 100km in a week. Wow! At first I was surprised, but then I realised this isn’t that much. I used to cycle about 40km a day, just for my commute to work! Everything is relative, and as someone who hasn’t cycled for a while, I think I’ve lost touch with what a decent cycle is!
As I’m balancing an Account Management role at an agency, studying part-time at Monash and sitting on the marketing subcommittee of two professional associations, I need to structure my time carefully to ensure I’m getting the kilometres needed into my legs.
Weekends will become prime cycling time. These will be great opportunity to do the longer rides - 50+ kilometres. I’m excited to cycle across the city and down the bay. We’re fortunate to have some beautiful cycling routes around Melbourne! I’ve recently downloaded Strava to track my rides, so this will be a great tool to keep myself accountable not just to my plan, but to whoever is tuning in to watch my progress.
During the week is when I’ll be most time poor, but this makes blocking out the time even more important. Exercise is important not just for physical health, but mental wellbeing. It can take our minds off daily stresses and commitments and reduce stress. I’ve had a look at the group class timetable at my local gym and fortunately there’s a 6am class each day of the week! This means I’ll have a regular and structured commitment to attend. I can cycle to work - but I have the wonderful misfortune of only being a 10 minute walk from home! However evening cycles to after work events will mean I’ll still have the opportunity to get some time in with my new and beloved Reid Endurance 2.
In the past week I’ve had a number of people compliment me on the bicycle, and rightly so - I’m in love with the matte black finish and blue highlights and above all the ride - it is really smooth. I have some fun times ahead!
Inspired? Want to get involved but don't know where to start? Check out our Around the Bay Challenge 2016.