Kansas was hot. The course starts easy, gets rolling and technical, then becomes a mental game of talking yourself through every passing mile. The reward is worth pushing through the growing physical and mental fatigue. Below my list of some of the strategies that worked well for me!
- Stay moving through the first 30 miles at a comfortable push with peloton after peloton. You don’t want to burn yourself out, but these are effort-wise the easiest miles of the course during the coolest temperatures of the day.
- Drink hydration mix. Eating can be a challenge as you get hot...drinking your calories helps get them in. And use what you KNOW. Don’t try something new on race day. Then get ready to take that mix out of your rotation after the event—because you’ll be sick of that flavor by the end.
- Take the course in chunks. If you can ride mindfully then you’ll notice how nature changes as you go. You can allow each hill to be a section, get to the top, and move on. Next section. Next section.
- Know your limits. Stop if you want to stop to refuel. Cool down in a patch of shade and relish the feeling of stretching your muscles. It’s no use working yourself into a hole if you’ve still got miles and miles to ride.
- Ramp up your training slowly. By gradually increasing your hours on the bike for an endurance ride you’ll gain mastery and won’t burn yourself out. You also decrease the likelihood of injury.
- Ride technical trails/gravel. Good bike handling will make you more efficient and confident on race day. When others walk you can continue pedaling through the obstacle which saves time and energy.