FEELING HOT HOT HOT
We will without doubt experience some warm days out at La Vuelta. If you’re in the middle of winter, we understand this may be a little difficult to wrap your head around! Try to include an indoor spin class or wind training session into your weekly schedule to get your body working in warmer conditions. Short-sharp sessions are also incredibly beneficial throughout the winter periods to maintain fitness and get in a solid workout in a timely manner. Easier said than done, when it’s dark by 6pm – yes, but you’ll certainly reap the benefits come September!
HYDRATION IS KING!
With the expected warm conditions, hydration becomes all the more important and vital to sufficiency and lasting the days on Tour. Practice making a conscience effort between now and La Vuelta to drink more fluids throughout the day, especially when exercising. Whether you’re in the Northern or Southern hemisphere – the same applies! Each day will be action packed on our trips and at times you’ll be jumping off the bike and straight into spectator mode. To make the most of each day – hydrate!
MASTER THE CLIMBS
Target a few longer climbs in your area (if you have access to). Aim to stay seated where possible to reserve energy and ensure you’re in a comfortable position for the climb. Many riders prefer to put their hands on the tops to put themselves in a slightly more up-right position when climbing. Give this a go and if not, stay in the hoods or mix it up throughout the climb.
During our La Vuelta experiences we will be tackling some tough, yet manageable climbs with varying gradients. Be ready for the odd steep pitch by selecting the right gear and being prepared to get out of the saddle where necessary. You should only need to get out of the saddle for a short period, to get through the ‘steeper’ section without loosing too much momentum. Sit back down as soon as allows, to ensure you reserve energy for the rest of the climb.
Don’t let the distance or average gradient of a climb daunt you. Some of these climbs may be a lot lengthier than what you’re used to, but trust us when we say, ‘you’ll be right’! You’re here for the experience, so take it km by km, at a pace within your comfort zone so you can soak up the incredible atmosphere and surroundings.
DESCEND WITH CONFIDENCE
- There’s no such thing as a race downhill. Take your time on the descents and don’t worry about losing the rider in front – we will always regroup at the bottom. Try to relax, look ahead and enjoy the view where possible.
- To prepare for some longer, sometimes twisty, hairpin descents – work on your technique. Mastering technique is crucial to gaining confidence and eventually a bit of speed. Ultimately, descending should be fun when done correctly!
- Practice relaxing your upper body a little and only touching lightly on the brakes where needed. Brake (lightly) before entering the corner and not during the corner.
- Choose your lines wisely. When descending with corners, the way your enter and exit each turn can dramatically make a difference to your descent and confidence. Aim to enter wide and exit wide.
- When cornering, use your bike and weight to assist. Practice leaning your bike by putting your weight onto your inside hand and outside foot, while keeping the body upright. Your outside leg should be extended while your inside leg should be bent. The best way to really learn this skill is to kick back and watch the pro’s to see how it’s done from the best. You’d be amazed at how many pointers you can pick up! The other option is to get out into the hills with a more skilled descender and ‘follow their line’ as well as paying attention to technique and body positioning.
- When you start to feel comfortable, practice getting into the drops when descending. It may take some practice and getting used to, but once comfortable, it really is a much better position for descending more confidently and safely as you are lower and more stable.
Lastly – don’t stress if you haven’t been able to get in the training time you’d hoped or expected. Our trips are more about the experience and although the challenge is there, if you want it – our rides are manageable distances and we are more focussed on you having a great time. So relax, and do what you can – stress less!