Written by Alex Simpson
Tour De Yorkshire
Hey up daft lads and lasses, has tha heard? The Tour de Yorkshire’s baht to mek an appearance on’t 28th April until 30th April. Ahem, for all our Yorkshire readers out there, apologies for that very questionable Yorkshire accent (you wouldn’t believe I myself am a Yorkshire lad, would you?), it won’t happen again. You can forget about the Tour de France, as the Tour de Yorkshire is where it’s at. The Tour de Yorkshire, which started only a few years back, in 2015, is one of the most popular cycling events not only in the UK, but in all of Europe, and soon to be the world. The event takes place over 3 days and runs through some of the most beautiful countryside, natural scenery, towns, villages, and cities, that the world has ever seen.
Yorkshire isn’t known as God’s own country just to sell t-shirts, it is genuinely one of the most stunning locations in the entire world, and if you’re taking part in the Tour de Yorkshire, you’ll get to see what this amazing county has to offer. If you want an idea of just how stunning Yorkshire is, just wait until you get a load of stage 1, as you will see North Yorkshire and its stunning coastline in all of its glory.
Stage 1 runs from Bridlington to Scarborough, passing through gems such as Whitby, Goathland, Pickering, and Robin Hood’s Bay, to name but a few. Anyways, enough on the scenery, as you’ll probably be looking to pick up a few tips on how to prepare for the event. As you’re only a few weeks out, you will almost certainly be looking to step up your training, so take a look at the following, as we look at a few tips to help you prepare for the biggest cycle race in all of the UK.
Work On Your Strength
A lot of people make the mistake of focussing purely on cardio and endurance training when preparing for a cycle race, and though beneficial, strength training should also be embraced. Strength training will not slow you down or make you feel heavy and bulky, it will actually provide the exact opposite.
Strength training will allow your muscles to work harder and to generate more explosive power, which in turn will help get you around the course quicker. Strength training is not bodybuilding, as the idea is to activate muscle fibres, not break them down and rebuild them. 5×5 training is very popular where you perform 5 sets of 5 reps, at a specific weight with a compound lift. 5×5 training will activate fast-twitch muscle fibres responsible for explosive speed, which will help put you ahead of your competitors.
When we say fuel up, we mean properly fuel up, we don’t mean just grab an apple and a cereal bar before waking up. Cycling is brutal, and the Tour de Yorkshire is not for the weak. You will be covering hundreds of kilometres each day, on very different surfaces. What’s more, Yorkshire is not renowned for its flat surfaces, so you will be doing a lot of incline work at very high elevations.
Carb up the night before, have a hearty breakfast and don’t forget your energy gels, protein bars, and cookies to snack on as you go. The more energy you have, the better, so don’t leave anything to chance.
Work On Your Endurance
When training beforehand, obviously endurance training should be a key part of your training, so make sure you begin working well in advance. Whilst you will, of course, do gym work, whenever possible, get out on your bike and cover long distances on your bike, out in the countryside. If it’s raining, unfortunately, you will need to tough it out, as it could very well be raining on the weekend of the event. The fitter you are, and the better your stamina and endurance is, the easier you will fare during the race.
Take Your Recovery Seriously
It isn’t just bodybuilders that benefit from post-workout protein, as you will soon find out. After cycling for miles upon miles, as well as training in the gym, your muscles will, of course, be tired, sore, and aching, which is your body’s way of telling you that they need help. To initiate the post-workout recovery process, make sure you consume your impact whey protein, along with added amino acids and perhaps dextrose for that much-needed insulin spike to help shuttle the nutrients into your muscle cells quicker. You also need to ensure you are eating enough wholesome and quality foods and meals before and after you train, as these will energise your body, and provide the materials required for adequate rates of recovery.
Prepare For The Weather
Though a day cycling around the seaside may sound nice in theory, as if often the case with British weather, especially on the weekend, you may very well find the skies dark and grey, and the weather cold and wet. You should always prepare for rain in the UK, and you should always pack and dress accordingly. Whilst hot sunshine is possible at that time of the year, rain, sleet, and even snow are also possible, so keep an eye on the weather forecast.