By – ALICIA EVANS
Your ‘machine’ is in good hands with the guys from Outside Bike & Ski/The Bike Shop but what about your Body Mechanic?
Huge quads, amazing power output and yet you have the flexibility of a pretzel stick and probably cramp up when you see a hill. If you’re still working on your “Namaste” here’s a few things to consider working on that will help in the lead up to race day.
• Core stability and strength: It enables you to maintain that great riding position that your bike fitter has put you in to. Look into it, there is a wealth of information online and you can do it in the comfort of your own home. You will notice the difference and be volunteering to ride extra laps while your teammates crumble around you.
• Posture: Cyclists are known for hunched ‘closed’ shoulders and tight chest muscles due to their position on the bike. It also causes the hip flexors to tighten and shorten. Make foam rollers and masseurs your friend and it’s also worth heading down to The Yoga Lounge for a good yoga class. We cyclists are known for our lack of self-discipline when it comes to stretching!
• Saddle Comfort: One word. Chamois. Pay the money and get a good pair of shorts to train and race in. When you see your buddies walking gingerly you’ll be glad you invested the money!
• Training: The ‘Off The Couch’ approach hasn’t proven to be successful for the majority of people, so start planning your program or get someone else to. To reduce the chance of injury after your first week of riding or having to miss 3 days of work because you are so sore, start slowly. For most of us, the weather isn’t yet conducive to outdoor riding so get pedaling inside. How long will it take you to ride a lap? Build up to that distance, if you haven’t already. What is the course profile, how long are the hills? It’s never flat at the Nordic Centre, so the next step is introducing some efforts in there. Specificity is the key to training. Keep it simple and relevant to the terrain you will be on.
In summary, the more self sufficient you are the better you will look to your friends. Bragging rights are essential at events like this. You may have ridden the slowest lap, but your ability to change a tire could land you a pit stop position in Schumacher’s Formula One Team!