Wow, the MN Ironman Bike Ride is less than three weeks away! Time moves quickly and the ride is rapidly approaching. Spring (and outdoor riding season) is arriving at just the right time! We want to make sure we’re completely ready when April 30 arrives, so with that in mind I’ve put together a checklist of items to be sure to get done, sooner rather than later.
1. Training: The most important issue is to get on your bike. Get outdoors as much as possible. I continue to stress the importance of incorporating 3 key rides into each week of training. And with only 3 weeks to, this is more important than ever.
- Increase the length (ride time) of your weekly long ride for each of the next 3 weeks. Depending on the distance you plan to ride in the MIBR, your weekly long ride should get up to either your expected ride time in the event or 4 hours, whichever is shorter. Getting time in the saddle is crucial, so plan your week around your long ride.
- Your second key ride should include hill repeats, or at least riding a route that includes a good deal of climbing. The new route in Washington County includes more hills, so train on hills prior to the event in order to be prepared.
- The other weekly key ride should be a steady and hard tempo. Depending on your effort and terrain, this can be anywhere between 10 minute intervals and up to 1 hour. This long, hard effort is great for both physical and mental preparation. Challenge yourself!
- The final important aspect to keep in mind on your rides, especially your long ride, is nutrition. Practice taking in approx 250 calories per hour, then adjust from there. These calories should be either liquid calories or easily digested, high carbohydrate foods. Each persons needs are unique, so practicing will help you know exactly what you can handle and what your body likes in order to stay fueled.
2. Your Bicycle: Make sure your bike is road-ready. Period.
- Get your bike into your local Erik’s or other favorite bike shop for an overhaul, or at least for a tune up. Your bike takes care of you out on the road, so take care of your bike. Bike shops get busier and busier as the date gets closer, so get this taken care of NOW!
- Make sure your chain and all moving parts are lubed prior to each ride, even after the bike shop has tuned it up. Road salt and grime are tough on bikes this time of year.
- I always suggest buying new tires prior to the start of each season. So when you take your bike in, have them change your tires. Then always keep them pumped up to recommended pressure. Check the pressure before each ride as tires can lose several pounds of pressure each day.
- Seat bag. Make sure your seat bag is filled with basic items in case of a flat or mechanical issue; spare tubes, CO2 cartidges, tire levers, a multi-tool kit and some extra money are all essentials.
3. Gear: Weather is fickle and unpredictable, so be sure you are prepared for any possibilities. Check over your clothing and fill in any gaps quickly, as many key items sell out at your local bike shop as we get close to the event. Here are some of the key items to have ready to wear. Make sure you own each of these items and that they’re in good working order:
- Knee warmers
- Base layer top. 1 sleeveless and ultra lightweight, and 1 long sleeve light weight. Be prepared to layer your clothing.
- Jerseys, both short and long sleeved
- Arm warmers
- Rain jacket
- Booties for over your shoes
- Skull cap to wear under your helmet if it’s cold
- Hand/toe warmers to put under your gloves and booties if it’s cold.
This promises to be a great year for the Minnesota Ironman Bike Ride. The route will be both beautiful and challenging, so come into the event prepared. I look forward to seeing you on the road. Contact me with questions, then GET OUT AND RIDE!