Pro Tips: National Sportive 2010

In the run-up to the Pendle Cycle Festival and National Road Race Championships that are taking place on the 26th and 27th June, we’ve asked a few professional riders to offer hints and tips on training and equipment to prepare you for the National Sportive ride.

First to contribute is local lad Ian Wilkinson. Since his career began many years ago on a plastic Womble bike, Ian has progressed to winning the Rutland Melton International Cycle Classic 09, the National U 23 MTB in 2000 and becoming the overall winner of the Girvan 07, not to mention representing GB at international competition, among many other achievements.

If you’re looking for advice on how to compete, and perhaps more importantly, have fun at the Pendle Cycle Festival and National Road Race Championships 2010 then Ian’s your man. So without further ado, here are 5 tips from the man himself.

1) Give your bike a good check over, make sure it is working well and that you have a spare tube or two, and a pump strapped to your bike. Also don’t forget to oil the chain and check the seat is a comfortable height – you don’t want to get to the day and find something is not running right or you get a puncture and cannot finish!!

2) Make sure you have got some decent cycling shorts with good pad in them, this will improve comfort and therefore enjoyment, no end. But make sure you don’t wear underwear underneath, good shorts are designed to be next to the skin!! Look out for a good brand like Endura; they make top notch kit at a reasonable price.

3) Try to do some riding that is similar to the event you are going to do, maybe even try and find where the route goes and take a pedal round it as training. Knowing where you are or what is coming up on the course will help you measure your effort.

4) As training try and build up to the full distance in stages, weeks before the event so if the event is 60miles and you are 4 weeks away try to get a good few rides in around 15 mile the first week, 30 the second week, between 15 and 45 in week three and one ride the week before at full distance. Then you know you can do it.

5) Try to eat a generally good diet as standard, maybe sub in a bit more pasta dishes if you are riding more. Try to avoid a takeaway the night before the event; the toilet two-step isn’t good for form on the day!!

Thanks to Ian for taking time out to share his secrets!

Do you have any tips you’d like to share? Feel free to leave them in the comments section below. And don’t forget to keep checking the cottages4you cycling blog for more training tips, cycling news and features.

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