Is this the year you’ve decided to tackle your first sportive? Perhaps you signed up in the depths of winter and now the sun is out and your sportive is on the horizon, you’re feeling daunted and overwhelmed. But don’t fear, simply follow our top 10 tips to ensure you get to the start line ready and raring to go.
1. Study your event information
The first step in your preparations should be finding out all you can about the event. Most sportive organisers provide maps and route profiles, be sure to study these for any areas which might pose a challenge.
2. Identify your challenges
Did you find anything in the route profile which might pose a challenge - maybe a long climb or tough terrain. Once you’ve identified your challenges, be clear on what you need to improve to ensure you can tackle them head on. For example, if there is a long or steep climb in your sportive, you might need to improve your power to weight ratio to give the best performance.
3. Assess your performance
The next thing you’ll want to do when preparing for your sportive is assess your current performance and identify any gaps between where you are now and where you want to be.
Top Tip: A cycling test is a great way to measure your performance and track improvements. Take a look at our full range of cycling tests here.
4. Implement specific training plans
After identifying your challenges and assessing your performance, you’ll want to start adding structured training to your schedule. We have two sportive specific training plans to help you achieve your goals, why not try one out today:
The beginners sportive training plan
The amateur cyclist’s sportive training plan
5. Remember the warm up
A warm up can increase your muscle and core temperature and more importantly, it can help you focus and get mentally ready for the challenge ahead. It’s as important to warm up for a training session as it is to warm up on race day. All you need is 5-10 minutes of slow pedalling (80-90rpm) to get ready for the session ahead. Learn the basics about warming up here.
6. The importance of rest and recovery
If you’re following one of our training plans, you’ll notice that there are at least two rest days each week. It’s important to incorporate these rest days into your week as they will ensure your body has time to rest and recover, meaning you’ll wake up refreshed and ready for your next session and ultimately get more from your training time.
7. Remember to tapering your training
When you reach two weeks to go until the big event, it’s the perfect time to start tapering your training. Tapering helps you peak at the right time and will help you feel fresh and ready to take on the challenge.
8. When packing your kit, think about your power to weight ratio
You’ll have spent the last few months increasing your power to improve your power to weight ratio, when it comes to packing the essentials for your sportive don’t ruin it all by packing everything but the kitchen sink. This added weight could make you climbs harder and your sportive less enjoyable overall. To find out more about your power to weight ratio, click here.
9. Always be prepared
Whilst we do recommend you pack light, we also can’t say enough about being prepared for all eventualities. The team at Wattbike have been caught out too many times by less than kind weather, so make sure you consider each item you pack and how it can be used to keep you warm and dry in every condition.
10. Enjoy the ride
The most important tip we could give is to enjoy the ride. It might be hard in parts, but once you’ve completed your first sportive, it’s likely that your sense of achievement will be immense!
We hope these tips will leave you well prepared for your upcoming sportive, if you’ve still not signed up for your sportive yet, read our top 10 cycling challenges of 2016 for a little inspiration.