8 Steps To Completing A Gran Fondo

By Alex Wohler ? @alwohler Have you got a Gran Fondo coming up? Let me help you with?8 simple steps to get you through! **Disclaimer: I?m not a dietitian?& have no study behind what I am writing. I am merely writing this based on personal experience & knowledge.? Follow these basic steps as a guideline to finishing a Gran Fondo. 1. Know how far your riding & train for it! The easiest step of the 8! It?s simple, train specifically for the ride. If the ride is 120km, this will take you anywhere from 4-5hours. So build up your distances & work your way up to a 120km once a week prior to the event. 2. Train your body to consume food throughout a ride This step is important! If this ride is going to be the longest for you, it?s most likely you have never tried to eat on the bike before. This can take sometime getting use to & requires you to train your stomach to become use to feeding. Try eating on your training rides to get use to the fact of eating whilst training. When I train, I try to consume 1/2 a protein bar every hour & drink when I can. This will vary for each rider, so find the best combination for you in training. 3. Try different types of food IE. Fruit cake, protein bars, bananas etc Mix your food up with items you haven?t tried before. Fruit cake, bananas & protein bars all contain carbohydrates which is need to refuel the body. These items are slow releasing carbs, which for an endurance ride is perfect meaning the energy will be more sustained. Examples of fast releasing foods are lollies, chocolates & energy gels. These sources of energy are not ideal for long rides. I would recommend sticking to the first group of foods for an endurance ride & use the fast releasing foods for shorter intense rides. 4. Hydrate well in advance, ideally 2 days before Many cyclist don?t realize, hydrating a few days out from a big ride is important. When I first started riding I would drink as much water as I can before a ride & drink very little during. This sometimes didn?t work in my favor, causing me to cramp & bonk. Muscles need water to work & maintaining a high hydration level will keep them in good working order for your ride ahead. 5. Night before eat high carbohydrate meal IE. Pasta & rice In the endurance ride you will be burning a lot of carbohydrates, so for your body to burn these you need to have them in your body. The night before the big ride, cook up a nice spaghetti Bolognese, stir fry with rice. These dishes are high in carbohydrates & will fuel the body. Look up other carbohydrate meals & experiment what works best for you. 6. At least 3 hours before the ride, consume a big meal IE. Leftover pasta or rice The pre race meal! This is important to top up the fuel in the body one last time. I would usually have scrambled eggs with 2 pieces toast or left over spaghetti or rice at least 3 hours before an endurance ride/race. Eat as much as you can, because in a few hours it will all be used as energy to get you through the ride. 7. 30mins prior eat a light snack Have a banana, oatmeal muesli bar or piece of fruit cake before the ride so you don?t starve. Something light and keeping sipping on a water bottle. 8. Go into the ride with a plan, set out to eat every 30mins & hydrate when you can Planning is important to a successful ride. The intensity of the ride will determine how often you need to eat & drink. A fondo is generally done at your own pace so plan try to consume an item every 30mins & hydrate on both water & electrolytes throughout the ride. A good electrolyte drink will replace lost salts & amino acids through your sweat on a hot day. Plan for the weather, if it is extremely hot make sure you have big enough bottles for the ride, drink more often on a hot day as you will sweat more. On a cold rainy day you may not feel like drinking or eating but trust me you need to keep your hydration & energy levels up. I hope this was of some help. Good Luck! AW www.alexwohler.com

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