It is better to start a Fondo undertrained instead of overtrained

If you haven’t heard this saying before and you have a race coming up within the next two or three weeks, I want you tape this sentence on your bike and read it before every ride.

Most people are procrastinators. Whether you are studying for an exam or training for a big ride, most people will wait until the last few weeks before they start to get serious about studying or training. When it comes to an exam, your brain is very malleable and you can quickly cram it with all the information you need on exam day. But your body doesn’t work that way. It takes months to build a training base and many more months to build speed and power, on top of that base.

All this information shouldn’t be new to you but I’m reminding you again because with less than two weeks before any big ride, I am seeing some serious bike cramming going on. If you haven’t completed your long rides over the last few months and have been skipping your intensity workouts, I’m sorry but cramming in extra rides during the last few weeks, will do  you more harm than good.

The purpose of training is to break the body down gently, allow it to recover and grow stronger. Trying to speed up this process means that you are only breaking it down and you will miss the recovery and getting stronger part. On Fondo day, you will arrive feeling burnt out, tired and possibly injured.

Instead of throwing in the towel, you can still salvage the ride with less than optimal training if you follow these five tips:

1. Get lots of sleep and recovery time so you arrive on race day feeling refreshed and mentally ready for a hard ride day.

2. For the two weeks leading up to race or ride don’t add in any extra training sessions on top of what is on your training program. Talk to your coach about discuss how to skip the taper and continue training until the event.

3. During the ride, take it easy and don’t try to race the event. Keep your heart rate low and take as many breaks as you need at the rest stops. If your body isn’t accustomed to riding the distance you will fatigue simply from being on the bike for this extended amount of time.

4. Use the event as a training ride to prepare you for the next one.

5. Have fun and enjoy the day.

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