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Training Tip #4 Hydration Guidelines

The fluid you drink while riding is taken to replace water and electrolytes lost through perspiration. You also lose fluid when you breathe, but this is of lesser importance. The amount of fluid you consume will vary depending on how hot it is when you are riding and how much you perspire. The hotter the day and the more you perspire so the more fluids and electrolytes you’ll need to replace. Again, each individual has their own specific hydration needs, so it’s important to experiment while out riding until you find out what works for you.

Hydration can be complicated further because many people rely on the carbohydrate in the sports drinks to provide them with their fuel as well.

On cooler days, they may not be drinking enough of the sports drink to meet their 30-60 grams of carbohydrate per hour requirements. If this is the case then supplementing their sports drink with a snack will help. Drinking too much on a cooler day means you may need to go to the toilet more often to expel the extra water.

Also, on the hottest part of really hot days you may not be able to consume enough fluid that you lose. If you know that you are going to be riding through the middle part of a really hot day it’s important to ensure that to keep on top of your hydration earlier on in the ride.

By doing this, you’ll be less likely to run deeply into hydration deficit before the mid-day heat. Headaches are a sure sign that you are dehydrated. If this happens, let your ride leader know.

There are regular water stops along the C2K route so ensure that you tell your ride leader that you need to stop if you’re running low on water. Make sure you fill your water bottle before you leave the stop including the lunch stop. Also remember to stay hydrated throughout the day post ride.

Good luck with your preparation! The next article will discuss bunch riding techniques.

Written by David Heatley, Accredited Cycling Australia Cycling Coach and Director of Cycling-Inform.


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Training Tip #3 What Should I be Eating?

A seasoned cyclist will have enough carbohydrate stored in their bodies to provide them with around one to two hours of high intensity cycling. Once the carbohydrate stores are depleted the cyclist then “bonks” or hits the wall. If you are riding at a more leisurely pace, then you’ll find that your carbohydrate stores will last longer than if you are riding at race pace.

There are two standard protocols for endurance sports nutrition. The 30-60 grams of carbohydrate per hour and the 1 gram per kg of body weight per hour. I recommend that you adopt the 30-60 grams of carbohydrate per hour nutritional protocol if you plan to ride at a leisurely but steady pace. If you plan to ride at a race pace, then the 1 gram of carbohydrate per kg of body weight per hour is a more suitable nutritional protocol to follow.

These carbohydrate requirements can be met by consuming a variety of combinations of sports drinks, sports bars and gels and normal food like fruit, ANZAC biscuits, fruit cake and sandwiches. I also recommend that the faster you go the more you’ll want to rely on products that are able to be consumed and digested quickly like sports drinks, gels and sports bars.

If you are ride more leisurely then you will have more time so you can choose “real” food to fuel you. Most products now have their carbohydrate content listed on the outside of the packet. This makes it relatively easy to work out how many of them you’ll need to eat per hour. Most gels and sports bars contain around 20-30 grams of carbohydrate so consuming two to three of these products per hour will generally meet the majority of most people needs.

Remember that these are guidelines only! As everyone has their own preference to the type of food they prefer to consume, I strongly recommend that you experiment to work out your nutritional requirements during your training leading up to the C2K. Also, people with larger builds (heavier) consume more carbohydrate per hour than smaller (lighter) built people. Please take this into consideration when working out your nutrition plan.

Till next time,

Good luck with your preparation! The next article will discuss hydration.

Written by David Heatley, Accredited Cycling Australia Cycling Coach and Director of Cycling-Inform.


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Training Tip #2 Cadence

I hope your training is going well. In our last article we mentioned that we would cover off how to develop good pedalling technique to help your hill climbing. So here it is.

One of the most effective ways to get the most out of your training for endurance events like C2K is to keep your cadence high. That’s maintaining your cadence around 90-100rpm on the flat roads while keeping it above 75rpm on hilly roads (where your gearing permits). By doing so you’ll help build your cardiovascular fitness and reduce the amount of fatigue you’ll get during this ride. This is first thing I get all my clients to do when they start my coaching program.

The physiological reason for a high cadence is very simple – as you increase your cadence you rely more on your cardiovascular fitness and your endurance muscle fibres (that are designed to work all day) to drive the bike. As you lower your cadence below 80rpm you rely more on your muscular strength using your strength muscle fibres. While these strength fibres deliver more short term power than your endurance muscle fibres, they also fatigue more quickly. So on your next training ride try to ride at a higher cadence. Building a solid cardiovascular base will help you climb hills better! When doing this focus on good technique and

You’ll be amazed at the results you’ll get when you start training yourself to spin at a cadence of around 90-100rpm. In just a few weeks you’ll be riding more efficiently and fatiguing less on the longer rides whilst building great cardio fitness.  This technique will also reduce the chance of injuring yourself.

Good luck with your preparation! The next article will discuss nutrition.

Written by David Heatley, Accredited Cycling Australia Cycling Coach and Director of Cycling-Inform.


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Dirty Dirty Dirty

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Training Tip #1 What to focus on.

In your training leading up to the Cairns to Karumba Bike Ride I recommend that you focus on two things that are specific for this event. The first is to ensure that you incorporate climbing into your training and the second is to work on your ability to back up big rides day after day. Even though there is the option to obtain a lift up some of the longer and steeper hills there are some undulations and the potential for head winds along the way. Hill climbing will assist you on these days.

I would imagine that you are pretty busy so to fit this into your hectic schedule I recommend that you allocate the weekends start riding in a bunch and gradually increase the distance that you ride each week including a few hills. This will ensure that come the C2K that you are more comfortable riding around 100km. As you are training yourself for volume it’s important to keep the intensity of these rides low.  So, try and keep your heart rate below 75% of your max heart rate. When you are climbing focus on good form rather than smashing up the hills.

Back these weekend rides up with two-to-three short rides during the week of around one to two hours each. I usually recommend that my athletes do a high intensity one hour indoor training session on the Tuesday’s and Thursday’s as these rides but these can be supplemented for fast bunch rides. Indoor training is also a good substitute a few times a week if the weather is unfavourable to road riding. These indoor session might be a spin class at the gym you already belong too or just pushing yourself a bit harder repeatedly for several minutes during your ride.

By doing this you’ll be covering off you’re two basics; getting enough climbing in your riding and working on improving your ability to back up rides day after day.

In the next article we will be talking about how to develop good pedalling technique to help your hill climbing so look out for it.

Till next time,

Jodie Batchelor

Accredited Cycling Australia Cycling Coach under the Australian National Coach Accreditation Scheme (NCAS)


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Ron – from road to dirt….

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