It is that time of year again – time to dust off the bike and remove her from the trainer and get ready to put in some serious miles on the road! This is a great time of year to spend a few moments to prep as we begin to add some miles on the road and in training in general.
Like many athletes, I feel like I live out of my car in the spring and summer months. I live in a city, so I often have to drive to the start of a bike ride. Therefore I have a bin in the back of my car that is ready for anything and everything. There is nothing worse than getting to the start of a long workout and not having the gear that you need.
Here is your spring check-list.
1. Take your bike in for a tune-up – you should get this done ASAP as your bike store will only get busier and busier as the weather warms.
2. If you have been riding on the trainer all winter and you do not have a Kickr or a trainer tire, change out your back tire before you hit the road – and change out the trainer skewer as well.
3. If you cannot get your bike to a shop for a checkup, give it a quick once over. Brakes are a good thing to have in working order and they can get sticky over the winter months with all the sweat. Look through your bike bag and make sure you have what you need.
4. Check your bike shoe cleats. These do fall apart over time and you can be in for a surprise mid-ride if you suddenly come un-clipped.
5. Order your fuel for training – you should be using the fuel that you will race with and have a fueling plan that you can practice on your workouts.
6. Dial in your eating outside of training. It is amazing how shedding some of your winter weight will make a difference on your speed and more importantly on your joints, plus garbage in garbage out – if you want to feel your best for each workout, what you eat plays a HUGE role in that.
7. If you are someone who suffers from GI distress – start to log your eating (this is also a good idea if you are trying to get to race weight). This way you can have a record to troubleshoot when you feel terrible on a workout. You would be amazed how what you eat the night before a big workout can really make or break it.
8. Gather the supplies! I have been at this sport for long enough that I happen to have a few of most things. Here is what I keep in my car.
a. A clean bin and a dirty bin. When I finish a long workout, I pop all of the nasty things in the dirty bin and bring it in the house. This cuts down the post workout time.
b. An extra pair of running sneakers – these are in case of a transition run emergency or even as a working mom, there are times when I can sneak in a workout that I did not expect. I also have a change of clothes for running.
c. An extra helmet and bike shoes. I know that not everyone will have these, but if you do, put them in the car so you never get caught without these.
d. Extra fuel including extra recovery drink.
e. Wet wipes to deal with the post workout grease.
f. SUN BLOCK! This is a must.
g. Extra socks.
h. Extra C02, an extra tube and an extra tire.
i. Bike pump.
9. It is not a bad idea to have a yoga mat and even a foam roller handy. I find that once I get into the car to drive home I am done for the day. If you can incorporate your stretching and rolling right away, you are far more likely to do it.
10. And finally, if you do not already use it, check out the Road ID app with ecrumb tracking. This is a fabulous way to keep those you love abreast of where you are riding. You can never be too safe out there.