Training

10 Top Sportive Tips

Whether you’re planning to tackle the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 this summer or another significant sportive, these 10 essential tips – put together by the team at Wattbike – will help you to make the most of the ride…

1. Plan your weekend

Remove as much of the last-minute stress as possible by organising your travel and accommodation well in advance. If possible get accommodation as close to the start as possible. If you need to get back to your hotel after you’ve finished, the ride makes a great warm-down if cycled using a light gear.

2. Get to bed

For those with an early start time it's essential that you go to bed early the night before the sportive as you don’t want to start the ride feeling fatigued. Have a good meal and, most importantly, ensure you stay well hydrated throughout the day before the event.

3. Taper in the final week

Wattbike has provided a fantastic training plan that includes a taper week in the seven days before the ride. The final week is not the time to be cramming high volume/intensity training into your schedule.

4. Master your nutrition

The perfect time to experiment with different types of food, bars or gels is during training. On event day, whatever your goal, take time to stop at the feed-zones on the route to pick up extra food and fill your bottles.

5. Understand the importance of hydration

As with your nutrition, you’ll want to get familiar with some of the many great hydration products available. This is equally important for your indoor training, where the cooling effect of the wind is removed.

6. Pace yourself

There are no prizes for covering the first 20 miles of a sportive quickly only to find that struggle for the rest of the day. A sportive should be a great day out with friends and fellow cyclists so if you decide to ride as a group then only ride as fast as the slowest person. Use your personal heart rate zones on your cycle computer to ensure you are not riding at too high an intensity, which will cause you to fatigue quickly.

7. Maintain a good cadence

Using a Wattbike is the perfect way to analyse your pedalling technique to eliminate any dead spots. Over the course of a sportive a perfect pedalling technique will bring rewards such as reduced fatigue and increased speed.

8. Climb with confidence

Conquering hills during a sportive can be challenging. The key to climbing well is to stay in the saddle and maintain a reasonably high cadence (aim for 70+rpm). If you find you are spending a lot of time out of the saddle during training then visit your local bike shop to discuss more appropriate gearing.

9. Invite your family along

Investing time in training means sacrificing some time away from the family, particularly at weekends, so include them in your success on the day of the ride by inviting them to meet you near to the finish line. There are some fantastic viewing points in the last kilometer of the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 along Whitehall to the finish line on The Mall. (Give them a call when you reach the last feed zone to let them know you’re on your way.)

10. Enjoy the ride

The team at Wattbike thoroughly enjoyed the 2013 edition of the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100, with many saying it was the best one-day sportive they had ever done. Keep up your training up and you’re sure to enjoy the challenge that lies ahead.