Well, this morning I woke up to pouring rain which is not the way I want to start my century training. Slick roads, cold wind and lots of debris is just too risky for me. Plus, it just wouldn’t be fun. I looked at Weather.com and it is supposed to be sunny and 67 tomorrow. So, I am being flexible with my schedule and will get my 30 miles in tomorrow. Of course, if the rain stops and the roads miraculously dry up and the sun comes out this afternoon, I will head out. If not, I will most likely head to the gym.
In the meantime, I wanted to share some of my must-have gear for cycling. There are no brainer (I hope) items like a helmet, sunglases, etc. When I was training with Team in Training for my first century ride, I learned so much from my coaches and teammates. I learned things I never would have known. I apologize in advance for those who are not cyclists. I promise this will NOT turn into a cycling blog. Here are some of the things I discovered make cycling easier, safer, more enjoyable:
– A bike computer: Being able to know how far and how fast you are going is essential, especially when you are training to ride 100 miles.
– Hydration Pack: You need to drink at least one 24 oz. water bottle every hour while riding in order to stay hydrated. This varies depending on how hot it is and how much you sweat, etc. Having a CamelBak reduces the number of stops you need to make. I fill two water bottles with a mix of water and sports drink mix to carry in my cages, and then reserve the pack for plain water. You can also carry essential items listed below in the pack, too! Make sure to choose one that holds at least 70 oz. but is nice and sleek. The camping packs are way to big!
– Snacks and Sports Drink: I learned while training how important sodium is. When you sweat you lose salt along with a lot of important electrolytes. These need to be replaced or else your muscles will stop working! There are a lot of products you can buy that replace calories and electrolytes. I enjoy Clif Shot Mocha Flavor (it has caffine in it which really helps midway through a long ride), Clif Shot Blocks Black Cherry, and GU20 lemon lime electrolyte powder (this is less sugary than a lot of sports drinks. In addition to these “engineered” products, I experimented with “real” food that worked for me. Some of my favorites were Goldfish crackers, peanut butter pretzels, pretzel sticks. Also, having a recovery meal ready to right when you finish is SO important. A turkey and cheese sandwhich on whole wheat with chocolate milk is my go-to recovery meal.
– Sunscreen: apply it often!
– Electrolyte pills: These really work to prevent cramping. I used them on hot days for both running and cycling. I love Hammer Nutrition Eduralytes.
Look for more cycling tips in the future.