Cycling for 10 miles might be not enough for someone who badly loves biking. Hence, a long distance cycling can be a breakthrough for cyclists to improve your cycling skills. You can try to travel by cycling, even take part in a serious cycling race.
Ultra distance riding is one popular cycling event which needs more endurance and training to finish. But what is ultra-distance? For road cycling, 200 miles can be considered an ultra. Depending on different terrain and types of bike and weather, ultra-distance can be also rather than 200 miles.
The reason for doing an all-day ride is not only for loving cycling, it is also a necessary part of training for big events. There are some fitness benefits from long distance riding. Ultra-distance cycling is a test of physical strength and endurance. It keeps requiring you to use the muscle of your body and regularly breathe. So it can improve your heart and lung function.
What’s more, you can never imagine what rewarding you can get when you push yourself to do something. Based on your passion for cycling, you will find that ultra-distance cycling makes other challenges in your life seem easier. Unlike other cycling events that you have to compete against other cyclists, an ultra is a competition against yourself to challenge to keep riding forward. The best part is that you don’t have to give the membership fee; you don’t have to be the certain age or any special skills. You just need to have the courage to start your ultra-distance cycling, whenever or wherever.
How to prepare for an ultra
Before you start your long distance cycling, you should make a preparation. First of all, you have to select your route that is suitable for you. For example, if you’re a fresh hand of cycling, you can choose a plain road to start ultra-distance touring. If you’re an experienced rider and you want to challenge some complex terrain, you have to know what difficult situation you will encounter during your touring, avoiding unnecessary dangers.
Secondly, you have to prepare enough food and drinks. Ultra-distance cycling consumes a lot of energy. So dehydrating the body might happen if you ride in hot summer without enough water. 2 bottles are enough for the usual route. Be sure that both bottles are full before you leave a gas station or convenience store. If you ride at night and there is no store open, you probably find a soda machine. So bringing some dollar bills and quarters is necessary. If you plan a longer route, you can always bring 3 bottles in the backpack. Importantly, you should drink mineral drinks constantly before getting thirsty. Once you slow your speed you’ll cramp.
For food, eat as much pasta as you can the night before, at least 6 hours before you start, to store carbohydrates. Eat as much pasta as you can the evening before (at least 6 hours before you start) to load up on carbohydrates. You can eat constantly during your ride when you need, like bananas, power bars, etc. Don’t eat a big meal. It will take a long time to digestion and take energy away from riding.
Thirdly, cycling needs not only physical strength but also mental quality. You need a right state of mind before you start your ultra-distance cycling. Try to anticipate how would feel like if you ride for 24 hours and how much you can do. As long as you get enough energy, you can always continue riding if your mind is up to it though keeps slow speed. Get used to sitting in the saddle for a long time and take short breaks during your long distance cycling. But it is unhealthy to sitting too long, so you should stand up sometimes
Fourthly, no matter what sports you do, you are usually required to do the warm-up. Here is also no exception. Warming up is an important step to prevent your body getting hurt and is an essential to prepare your body and mind to perform at its best, especially when you are facing a race or an interval session. You can do some simple and gentle exercise starting from the top of your body. The time length of warm-up depends on the type of your exercise. The shorter and more explosive needs the longer warm-up. For instance, before a track sprint, riders might spend more than an hour warming up to the race.
In addition, if you never try to do ultra-distance cycling before, you should take some proper training. There are many ways that you can go for training for an ultra but the most important thing is that you can enjoy it. If you want to challenge yourself, for example, you can only ride about 10 miles but you plan to break your record, you can do some interval training to improve your endurance.
Ultra-distance cycling is one kind of the most challenging and rewarding that a rider can do. Nothing can compare with the feeling of satisfaction of achieving your goal that seems difficult, especially something you think it is impossible to do. You may feel exhausted, tired, but full of pride.
The most important thing is to enjoy this exercise. Don’t do that with bad emotion and negative thoughts. People are pack animals and enjoy the friendship. But don’t let your goal get trashed by the thought which becomes the NO.1 in a group. Actually, you can also ride alone. Breathe the fresh air in the morning and enjoy the silence on the sunset and feel the nature. Listen to your heart and talk with your soul!