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Benefits of cycling

4 Key Strategy Points for Sportives & Gran Fondos


– In riding a sportive or a Gran Fondo like the Maratona dles
Dolomites for example, you’re gonna be pushing your
body to its very limits. So, riding blindly into it
without so much as a plan isn’t a very good idea. – Conversely, just having some
simple strategies in place is going to help ensure you
get the most out of yourself and make the whole day
a lot more memorable for all the right reasons. – Definitely. – Getting your pacing
right is absolutely crucial if you don’t want to run out of energy, hit the wall or bonk towards the end or even worse still not make
it to the finish line at all. So, don’t get drawn into racing, particularly early on in the event or even making sure that
you stick with a group that’s actually going slightly too fast for your own comfort. And actually that’s quite easy to do when you’re riding around
with loads of other people. – It certainly is and
it will actually require a fair degree of
self-discipline to do this because it may actually
feel that you’re backing off just a little bit too much but stick with it, and for the first half or
two thirds of the event ride well within yourself, and then when you’re feeling good pick up the pace towards the end. – By all means though go in with a group that is of a similar ability to you. Sharing the workload on the front will help you to save energy when you’re sitting behind the wheels. Just make sure you’re not too enthusiastic by doing too much on the front. – Most sportives will have
some degree of climbing, and if you’re attempting
the Maratona for example, there’ll be 4,230 metres
of vertical ascent in the long events. – So, as you can see
measuring your efforts on the climbs is going to be crucial, so you should start each
and every one steadily and well within your own capabilities. Also, make sure that you use your gears until you’re at the point where you’re at a reasonably
comfortable cadence, and at a tempo that is
sustainable in the long term. And finally, as we said before, make sure that you’re not tempted to try and follow faster riders. All this is going to do is lead you to going into the red and into oxygen debt which is really hard to recover from. You might want to drop back a bit there. – Sorry, mate. Now, a good tip to help
break the climb down mentally is to focus on a point up the road about three or 400 metres, say a landmark, a tree
or a sign or something, and work within yourself to that point before refocusing on another point further up the climb. It really does work. You’re not going to be able to
execute your other strategies if you don’t get your fueling right. So, first up, especially if
you’re using energy products never use something new on
the day of your sportive. Make sure that your digestive
system is comfortable well before your event. – Yeah, so onto the strategy itself. It is quite a good idea to increase your intake of carbohydrates
in the last couple of days leading up to your event. That way you’ll ensure that you maximise your glycogen stores
which are gonna give you a bit of extra endurance on the day. And in terms of the breakfast
on the morning of the event you want to keep it
fairly light if possible. No fat and a good example
of this is cereals, porridge, toast and fruit. – The aim of the day is try and keep hold of as much fuel as possible, a tough call as we burn
fuel when riding, quicker than we can take it in and process it. So, little and often is the key. A carbohydrate electrolyte
mix in your bottle is a good idea as you’ll be hydrating at the same time as taking in fuel. A rough guide, temperature
dependent of course, is to consume one 750ml
bottle of carbohydrate mix and one piece of food per hour. This will give you around
90g of carbohydrates which is about as much as your
digestive system can process. – It can be very easy to get overawed at the rather challenging task at hand, especially if it’s one of
your first-ever events, and even more so if
it’s particularly hilly or mountainous, so rather than
think of the entire event, which can be very daunting, try and break it down in your mind into bite-sized chunks. – Yeah, great way to do this is to study in detail the entire route before you actually start the event, and you can even make a handy little map with small parts at set distances that you can tick off
in your mind as you go, so they could be feed zones, or maybe the tops of climbs etc. That way each one of those points is going to feel like a mini achievement as you gradually wind
your way to the finish. – Well, good luck putting
those strategies into action, and let us know how you
got on in your event in the comments section down below. And if you haven’t already, you can click on the globe and that way you won’t miss another video. – Now, as well as getting
your strategy right on the day of the event
and two days previous, you also want to make sure that you’re preparing
yourself well on the lead up, so in the bottom corner in that direction are five killer training
sessions for sportives, or if you want a step-by-step plan for the Maratona dles Dolomites you can find that video just down here. – And don’t forget to give
this video a thumbs up too.

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