RFAC 2018 Training Guide

 

Welcome to the 15th Anniversary Ride for AIDS Chicago! We have a lot of work to do if we’re going to conquer 200+ miles. This training plan has been constructed by the Training Committee to support every participant, returning or new, with having the proper information to train smart.

 

While your physical fitness is quite important, your bicycle also needs to be in shape! If you are not well-versed in bike mechanics, bring your bicycle to your local shop to be sure it is also in the right condition to go 200+ miles! Don't spend months getting your body in shape only to have your bike stop you from finishing. The Ride for AIDS Chicago has three Preferred Bike Partners: Kozy’s Cyclery, Roscoe Village Bikes, and Velosmith Bicycle Studio.


There's no need to ride as hard as you can on every training ride. This is the most common rookie mistake! Ride steady and aim to add more miles each week to ride longer and longer. Start with rides that you can finish feeling like you could have done a little bit more, then gradually build your endurance until you can complete 75% of the mileage prescribed on the longest day of this year’s training plan.

 

The most important part of any cycling training plan is the number of hours or miles you will ride on a daily and weekly basis in the months leading up to a big ride like the RFAC. These training rides are the building blocks that will prepare your body and mind to ride long and hard on the day of the event. There are many other factors that will influence your enjoyment on the big day, such as how your bike fits you, nutrition, hydration, clothing, equipment, mental preparation, skill level and general comfort with riding long distances with lots of other people.

 

Every person is different and no single training program will work for everyone, the important thing to remember is that “this is fun!” Take your time and work at a level your body will allow. Depending on your conditioning and riding experience, you may need more or less miles than this program presents.

 

Before We Begin Training

Start your training with easy miles and add an occasional hard day once every week or consider adding  two harder days and find local hills where you can push your climbing skills. On your normal days, you don’t have to push too hard. Remember, you want a solid foundation of miles and time in the saddle. At the point when you start breathing hard and can't say a 10-word sentence at a normal tone, that’s your cue to slow down. Your target ride level may be the same or completely different from those around you, but a great rule of thumb is to try to ride with someone that rides faster than you. While the Ride for AIDS Chicago isn’t a race, it’s still smart to plan ahead and think about how you want to approach this challenge. Plan to take good care of yourself between rides. Eat right, stay hydrated and get consistent sleep. Test out the energy foods, equipment and clothing you will use on the RFAC. After your last big ride two weeks before the event, focus on recovery. During these final two weeks you will rest more because the mileage is much less, but keep your cadence high and your work effort at or above the pace you plan to ride during the event in order to increase your speed.

 

One way to help make your efforts more manageable is by learning to ride in a paceline. When executed properly, pacelining or “drafting” can increase a rider’s efficiency by up to 30%! That’s huge! That 30% could mean 30% faster or farther on a given distance, further stretching your endurance and speed. Not only is pacelining efficient, it can be a lot of fun! You can learn more about this by reaching out to the Training Committee at RideforAIDSChicago@tpan.com.

 

Let's get the training started!!

With the right equipment and the right preparation, 100/200/230 miles is a worthy, rewarding and attainable goal. So, how do you get ready?

First off, take care of the essentials. The right equipment and supplies will make or break your day. Not just for the day of the big ride, but for all the rides you will do to prepare, remember the HIPP essentials:

 

Hydration

Inflation

Protection

Performance

 

Hydration

You’ll need a way to carry water and/or sports drink on your rides. This is crucial to your health, performance and safety. The most common methods are water bottles or a hydration backpack. Both work very well. Ride for AIDS Chicago requires that participants have two bottle cages secured to their bicycle and that participants use two water bottles when training. It is also very important to experiment with different hydration options during your training. Training rides aren’t training rides if you aren’t working towards fine tuning your hydration strategy. Start early and experiment with different hydration options until you find one that works with your taste buds, agrees with your body and keeps you feeling hydrated. Pro tip: don’t wait until the week before to experiment!

Inflation

Before each ride, you’ll need a way to check and add air pressure to your tires. Tires with low air pressure are more difficult to ride and steer and are more susceptible to punctures. Even if you keep your tires inflated to the recommended pressures, punctures can happen out on the road. You’ll need the tools and the knowledge to be able to change a flat tire by yourself, just in case. Reminder that your friends PSI isn’t always the appropriate PSI for your tires and body weight!

Protection

In order of importance, protection is the most crucial of the HIPP essentials. A bike helmet is required and should be the one accessory you never leave home without. After protecting your head, the next most important area to protect should be covered by a pair of good cycling shorts. Cycling shorts, with a padded chamois insert are designed to be worn next to the skin, (read-no underwear!) to prevent chafing and sore spots. This is also the reason they are tight. Moving fabric is abrasive fabric over 100 miles. If you are uncomfortable with the tight fitting look, there are skirts and baggy shorts that go over the skin tight fabrics for a functional, yet more casual appearance. After a helmet and shorts, sports eyewear and gloves are probably the next two items in line. These protective items can be found by visiting one of the RFAC’s Preferred Partners.

Performance

Once you have taken care of Hydration, Inflation and Protection, you can look to additional performance items. Cycling shoes have stiffer soles and can attach directly to your pedals. This can be a very welcome performance addition if you suffer from sore feet. Beyond that, a cycling jersey features pockets on the back to carry food and essentials.


Time for a Bike Tune

When searching for the right accessories, you’ll make at least one trip to the local bike shop (Check out our Preferred Partners). This is the perfect opportunity to have your bike inspected and tuned for the big ride, and all the training rides that will precede the RFAC. Do this now, before the summer rush at the shop. Let the shop professionals know that you’ll be riding 100 miles and you want to be sure your bike is ready. It’s the perfect time to inspect tires, bar tape, saddle condition and shifting performance. Saddle height, saddle angle, bar position, and brake lever position are all easily changed and very important to making any rider comfortable. These will be addressed when we have our fit clinic with Velosmith (Dates will soon be available).

 

Now it’s your Turn

Once your clothing and equipment are in order, it’s time to work on building an aerobic and muscle base that can get you all the way to your goal. The key here is to start slow, with attainable goals that make it obvious for you, mentally and physically, that you can do the whole thing.

 

The idea is to start with easily completed rides and varied paces. By varying your pace, some days you’ll push your body, other day’s you’ll be out to rest. An important part of training is recovery and your easy rides are a way to loosen, but not tax your muscles.

Thinking ahead, and thinking about what you’ll need, before you’ll need it, will get you to the finish sooner and happier. You’ll be more awake and attentive the morning of the ride. Remember your essentials: Hydration, Inflation, and Protection. You’ll need them all on the day of the ride. Don’t use ride day to try something new.

 

Training

The core of your training should be endurance training. We are beginning our training sessions 21 weeks before the ride, so you will have ample time to prepare for the RFAC. While most of your rides will be at about 65% of your maximum heart rate (MHR), add two days of interval training, where you push hard for several minutes – up to 85% MHR (max heart rate). Hills are a great way to add interval training to your ride. And don’t forget to allow one day per week for recovery. Here are more training tips to make the most out of your century training:

 

A 100-Mile Training Ride? Why Not?

Steve Matson, a Category 3 road racer who runs Matson Cycle Coaching, has helped many cyclists train for century rides. Many coaches feel that topping out your training rides at 70 or 75 miles will have you prepared for a century. Matson doesn't dispute that, but why stop there?

"If you can do 70 miles in training, you can do 100 miles on event day," Matson said. "On the other hand, why not go into the event knowing you can do the 100 miles by doing it three weeks out? You don't want to do 100 miles one week out, but do it three weeks out, then you can taper your training down."

The reason for considering a full-length training ride is simple: confidence.

"One hundred miles done three weeks out just gives you the knowledge that 'Hey, I can do this,'" Matson said. "It makes it that much easier on event day. You won't be focusing on 'Can I do it?' You will be focusing on how you do it."

 

Nutrition

You will need 30-60 grams of carbs per hour while riding. Eat energy bars, carbo gels or pocket fuels along the ride. Use ALL of the RFAC rest stops. That’s why they are there. You’ll find all the food and drink you’ll need. And eat before you are hungry! Once you are hungry, it may be too late to easily recover mid-ride.

 

For reference, that is more than 3 regular sized bike water bottles. Drink before you start, and before you are thirsty during the ride! Sports drinks are a good choice – they help replenish sodium, potassium and electrolytes.

 

As the ride day approaches, nutrition becomes the critical component for completing a successful century. Event day hydration and nutrition begins well before event day. You should know what types of food work well the night before and which foods guarantee you with an upset stomach the following morning. Riders should also test and find the perfect time to eat before the ride to ensure that they don’t digest important calories too early or too late. Beginning a few days before, cut back or eliminate caffeine and alcohol and drink water frequently. Also begin increasing the percentage of carbohydrates in your diet.

 

On ride day, eat a breakfast high in both simple and complex carbohydrates and drink lots of water. During the ride, drink before you’re thirsty. Aim to consume at least 20-ounces of water per hour while using a combination of sports drinks (for the added electrolytes) and water. Sports drinks such as Gatorade serve a dual purpose for the century cyclist: both the hydration and carbohydrate intake keep your body in motion. Eat easily digestible, carbohydrate rich-food such as energy bars, bagels, fruit or granola. Don’t try something new on the ride! You should eat things you know agree with you.

 

Key: eat and drink early and often. What you drink during hours 2 and 3 will dictate how you perform in hours 4, 5, 6 and beyond. It is much easier to keep the fire going by being attentive to your fuel intake than it is to try to recharge an extinguished flame.

 

Climbing Tips

Do what works best for you, keeping these three factors in mind:

1. Standing is less efficient. Your heart rate will raise to maintain a particular speed if you stand

2. But, standing is where you have your most explosive power.

3. A mix of sitting and standing enables you to “rest” some muscles while using others.

 

Attitude

Ease into the ride pace. This isn’t a race, and if it’s your first RFAC, the goal is to finish comfortably. Here are some more tips for an enjoyable ride:

Change your position often. Move your hand position, get up off the saddle, stretch your arms, shoulders and neck, arch your back and stretch out. Avoid staying in one position too long.

 

Take short rest breaks off the bike. The route offers regular water and food stops. Take advantage of this time to get off the bike and refill your water bottles, stretch, and use the restroom. Keep these stops to 10 minutes or less or you may risk getting stiff.

 

Find a companion or two. The ride will go faster and feel a lot easier with a friend or two. Also, skilled riders can take advantage of drafting and save some energy in the wind. Also, don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation while you’re on the road! A conversation can carry you a long way. While you may feel strong and invincible as you approach the halfway point of your ride, your conversation could be the saving distraction that helps another rider through their suffering.  

 

Attitude is everything! If you have prepared yourself well, there isn’t much more to be done on ride day than to sit back and enjoy how far you’ve come and the many ways you’ve made an impact.




Date

Week

Miles

Mon

Wed

Thurs

Sat

Sun

4/14

Week 1

56/66

10

10


26/36

10

4/21

Week 2

53

10

10


26/36


4/28

Week 3

86/96

20

15

15

36/46


5/5

Week 4

104/108

20

20

20

44/48


5/12

Week 5

80

20

15

15

30


5/19

Week 6

110/120

20

20

20

50/60


5/26

Week 7

120

20

25

25

50


6/2

Week 8

135/145

30

25

25

55/65


6/9

Week 9

90

20

10

10

50


6/16

Week 10

145/155

30

17.5

17.5

45/55

35

6/23

Week 11

140

20

30

30

60


6/30

Week 12

160

30

30

30

70


7/7

Week 13

110

30

25

25

30


7/14

Week 14

175

30

37.5

37.5

70


7/21

Week 15

180

20

40

40

80


7/28

Week 16

165

40

42.5

42.5

40


8/4

Week 17

160

40

30


100


8/11

Week 18

155


15

15

85

40

8/18

Week 19

150


15

15

100

20

8/25

Week 20

164


15

15

65

40

9/1

Week 21

100


10

10

50

30

9/8 - 9/9

Week 22

2018 Ride for AIDS Chicago

 

TRAINING ESSENTIALS*

The needs of each rider are different, but the Ride for AIDS Chicago requires, and recommends, a few essential pieces of equipment.

Mandatory Equipment – No Helmet, No Water, No Tube, No Ride! 

  • Bicycle (mechanically safe and in good working order)
  • Helmet (ASTM-, Snell-, ANSI- or CPSC-approved)
  • Patch kit/spare tube
  • Portable pump/Co2 inflator
  • Tire levers
  • Water bottles (two are highly recommended)
  • Any personal doctor-prescribed medications

Recommended Items:

  • Small bicycle tool kit
  • Sunglasses/eye protection
  • Saddle bag to carry extra items
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm with sunscreen
  • Band-Aids
  • Hand wipes or hand sanitizer 

Recommended Clothing:

  • Cycling jersey
  • Chamois-lined cycling shorts/pants/tights
  • Cycling shoes with corresponding cleat system
  • Padded cycling gloves, half- or full- fingered
  • Windproof or lined vest
  • Rain jacket
  • Headband or cycling cap
  • Leg or knee warmers or tights (not padded)
  • Arm warmers
  • Prepare for all weather conditions - use perspiration wicking layers (base layers)

*Registered participants of the Ride for AIDS Chicago recieve 20% off full-price merchandise purchased inside the Rapha Chicago Clubhouse

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