Riding a 167km race might seem like a daunting task for most, purely because of the training commitment and hours you need to spend on the bike. The cut-off time for Race to the Sun is at 15km/h, which is a reachable goal for any first-timer. The maximum elevation at the 2018 event was 850m, which is considerably flat with a few climbs in-between.
We’ve compiled a 12-week training plan for Race to the Sun’s 167km journey. This training plan is only a suggestion. Plan your weeks according to what works best for you and your lifestyle.
Each week try and incorporate at least 2 of these exercises into your workout plan. Remember your body needs rest and recovery, but you need to keep moving on rest days to. Try and incorporate lightweight exercises like running, yoga, swimming etc. for about 30 minutes a day.
Tuesdays: Speed & Stamina Ride
The key to riding a successful 100-mile race is not only with the longer rides, but also the short fast paced rides that build stamina and endurance. Warm up with a 10 min easy spin. Aim to do intervals of four to six maximum effort from 30 seconds to 1minute; in between spin easy for twice the length of the interval. To increase fitness levels even more, try and do the intervals on hills or headwind. From week 6 – 12 try increasing the maximum effort to 2 mins per interval. Cool down with another easy spin.
Thursdays: Slow and Steady Ride
They say slow and steady wins the race. Aim for two or four intervals of 15 to 30 minutes in length, where you reach around 80 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate.
Weekends: Long Ride
You need to embrace the open road and get pedaling to get a feel of what the race would be like. This is also the perfect opportunity for you to experiment with your nutrition, speed and what works for you on the longer sections. Take it easy the first few weeks with a pace of about 15-20km/h or maximum heartrate of 70 – 75 percent.
Most cyclists prefer getting the longer rides in on Saturdays or Sundays, because of busy schedules during the week. At the end, it doesn’t matter which days you choose, as long as you do it.
Stretching is important after each ride and keep each stretch at a minimum of 60seconds each.
Here’s our suggestions:
Gluteus maximus stretch – view here
Calf stretch (gastrocnemius stretch) – view here
Hamstring stretch – view here
Lower back stretch – view here
Try and incorporate a slow releasing magnesium (Magnesium is best absorbed during night time) vitamin into your diet from week 8. This natural remedy does wonders for recovery after a long ride.
This program is perfect for you to follow as well. From week 9 – 11 you can ride for 4hours or 85km maximum.
Race to the Sun can be done as a solo rider, teams of two/four or as a relay team. Exercise is always easier when you have a buddy who endures the long road with you.