How to face your first 100 kilometers by bicycle
If you are new to cycling and you are considering assaulting the number of 100 kilometers by bicycle pay close attention to what comes next. 100 kilometers will almost certainly be more than 3 hours of pedaling and physical effort. Believe me, 180 minutes of cycling can be more of a scare and a good nightmare especially if the terrain is steep.
It goes without saying that the 100 kilometer barrier it should not be overcome until the body is prepared. This implies that you can already forget about crazy adventures on your first outings. Memorable feats and sporting challenges are all well and good, but your first challenge should be to learn how to put your shoes on, fix a puncture, adjust the height of the saddle or respect the highway code. Starting the house on the roof does not usually work.
Your first 100 kilometers by bicycle
Eat breakfast correctly
To avoid starting off on the wrong foot, a good breakfast is essential. The breakfast for cyclists should be generally consistent, healthy and bring together a good part of carbohydrates and fats.
Obviously the magnitude of breakfast will depend largely on the training you have to face. With a 100 kilometer route you can hit a good festival especially if you did not have a very large dinner the night before. I recommend that you have breakfast at least two hours before of the exit in order to make sure that you leave with the energy tanks full.
Fasting cycling training is in fashion and as a result people are getting used to going out on an empty stomach. If you have an hour of active recovery you can do it but to complete 100 kilometers by bicycle it is recommended that you have a proper breakfast. Remember that food is your fuel source and without fuel the engine cannot perform.
Plan the route
If you are going to face your first long-distance bike ride, I recommend that you plan it in advance. You do not need to print a map with the difference in altitude in a bicycle touring format, but it can be interesting preview the route. Strava, Komoot or ride with GPS are some applications that allow you to plan bicycle routes through the computer.
This point should not be reserved only for newcomers and it is that in my opinion all cyclists should plan a little more outings by bicycle. Informing the family of the route or visualizing the unevenness that we will have to face can save us more than a scare.
Check the bike
If you are going to travel 100 kilometers by bicycle, it is very likely that the route will go far from your home. Unless you want to have to resort to the taxi of your mother, friend or partner I recommend that you check the mechanical part of the bicycle a little. A quick check on wheels, gear, cables, brakes and steering is more than enough.
Also, whenever you go cycling you should do it accompanied by the basic tool kit. Don't even think of leaving home without a spare camera, detachable ones or a multi-tool with Allen keys. Many are the cyclists who go on an adventure without any type of material. Believe me that if you stay lying in the middle of a strong blizzard you will seriously value the option of carrying tools on you.
It is very important that you constantly hydrate yourself during your route. Regardless of whether or not you are thirsty, you should force yourself to take small sips of liquid. You can take water, isotonic drink or a mixture of both. Ideally, after the first hour of training, drink about 0.5 liters of fluid for every hour of physical activity.
Obviously if we are in the middle of summer this amount will increase. Body sweating is greater and fluid loss is greater. One of the big mistakes of winter training in cycling lies in poor hydration. In this link I leave some hydration guidelines to follow before, during and after exercise. Remember the importance of the metabolic window and do not forget that the recovery process begins as soon as you get off the bike.
Hydration is important but so is the solid food. Some cyclists find it difficult to eat on top of the bicycle. It is common for the stomach to close when we exercise at medium or high intensity, but you should force yourself to eat something solid periodically.
Fortunately the sport Nutrition continues to advance and today we can choose from a wide range of products. Energy bars, jelly beans, fruit, nuts, jams with sliced bread etc…. Try among the different options and I am convinced that you will end up finding some food that feels better to you.
Eating breakfast is important but it is also important to replenish energy during the route. If you do not eat food, it is likely that in addition to feeling low in energy, you will end up in a catabolization process. In this process the body itself will "eat" part of the muscle tissue.
If you still have doubts take the opportunity to take a look at our post "What to eat before, during and after riding a bicycle ”
Regulate your forces
Cycling everyone knows that in many of its modalities it is a endurance sport. To face 100 kilometers by bicycle, a certain physical background is required. You can not consider such a route overnight if you have been lying on the sofa for half your life.
It is very important that you know your limitations and that you put aside the heroics that one finds on YouTube.
When you feel ready to make the jump to the three figures it will be time to regulate your strength. There's no use going out like a rocket if you end up coming home like a turtle. Average speed is often the obsession of many cyclists and this leads them to run out of energy to face the final part of the route.