A long day in the saddle

Last saturday (17th July 2021) saw the last Open Cycling’s sportive, Wales in a Day.  The sportive starts at Caernarfon Castle and ends, 185 miles later and after 4500 m of ascent, in Chepstow.  Participants cycle through the Snowdonia National Park, then head for mid Wales, via Lake Vyrnwy and through the town of Newport.  Then, the route heads directly south before veering east for Hay-on-Wye and over Gospel Pass, the highest paved road in Wales, to Abergavenny and then the finish in Chepstow.

Gospel Pass

Riders take anything between 12 to 20 hours and there are 5 food stops along the route, located after 26,23,27,38,37 and 23 miles.  With significant climbs, not only is this a huge endurance event, but it has to be undertaken with some serious training, both mentally and physically to succeed.  

So, how do you train for such an event?  Firstly, having a tailored training plan is crucial to develop your muscular endurance, in a safe, injury-free way.  A tailored training plan not only builds up the distance, but it also provides training sets to ensure you can not only cope but enjoy the undulating terrain of Wales in a Day. In addition, having a bespoke tailored training plan means that you develop aspects of your cycling that are specific to you.  All in all, having a tailored coaching plan will result in your progression and develop your confidence in undertaking such a long endurance event. 

Lynda and Ben finding some shade to take lunch

Our Coach Lynda and one of our coached athletes Ben both took part in the event. Here’s what Ben had to say about it:

“It was the hottest day of the year so the conditions were tough, but not as tough as some of the hills! However, I felt mentally and physically strong through most of the event, and that’s in no small part thanks to the help from Vicky. Over the past few months we’ve focused on my cycling endurance and hill climbing, along getting better at managing my nutrition which is something I’ve been bad at historically (no matter how far I go, I always come back with full water bottles).

Last Saturday was the best day I’ve ever had on the bike. I was able to enjoy watching the sun rise over Pen-y Pass and then set over Gospel Pass with a group of friends and I couldn’t have done it without Tri & Run.”

Sunrise in Snowdonia

By using a coach for your training plan, you have the advantage of working together on the journey from the start of your training to that finish line. Training for such a long event also includes managing your nutrition and hydration and being able to cope with whatever the environmental conditions are, on the day.  You also need your bike, which is going to have to keep you moving for 12-200 hours, to be in top shape.  At Tri&Run we have coaches that can support and guide you in all aspects of training for such a long endurance event, so that all aspects of the journey from your first training ride to the finish line, are covered.  Open Cycling, like many other companies, offer a range of cycle sportives, so once you have identified your cycle sportive challenge, get in touch to find out more from Tri&Run.

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