Happy New Year! In this episode Elspeth, your host will be joined by Rachel one of our online cycle coaches who has had years of experience with helping women be fully prepared for all types of events. With it being the new year, it’s a great time to plan for great things over the year ahead. In this episode we will be discussing different types of events we can enter and how we can explore and enjoy many disciplines on the bike.
We all know that having an event to work towards gives us a huge amount of motivation and more enjoyment in our sport. So in this episode we will be discussing a range of different types of events out there from non-competitive sportives, Time Trials and a range of off road events as well as some more competitive events in all levels.
Firstly we talk about sportives or grand fondos that are non competitive events that initially the goal maybe to reach the cut of time, but also to enjoy travel and having something to share with friends, and perhaps going back next year to beat your time. For the bigger events you often need to sign up a year in advance as they sell out, but you can also find smaller local events.
We then discuss Audax or ultra distance events where the goal really is to just keep going for often days and weeks of cycling and nutrition is just a key part of it. An audax can range from 50km to several thousand km! Many people enjoy the mental challenge of just keep on pushing through when you are falling apart.
Time Trails are great way to get into competitive cycling as it really is just you against the clock. Everyone is set off at different times and the winner is revealed only at the end when everyone has completed their own race.
Road Racing goes into more competitive sport, where it's not always the strongest that wins, so much is about tactics, working within a team. I would suggest you would need a good level of fitness before starting racing and some confidence with group riding. But women's racing is growing and becoming more accessible for those without a team and just starting out through a category system.
There are also so many options in terms of off-road events, from Mountain Biking (MTB), Cyclocross and gravel.
With MTB there is also much more skill, 100km off road is much more challenging that 100km on smooth tarmac. There are some really famous events such as cape epic in South Africa and Titan Dessert, but these have high prices to enter. The most accessible would be the Olympic distance would be around an hour, but theres also lots of stage races out there.
Gravel has grown with popularity of the past few years. It's accessible from amateur to pro level, where a lot of pro's seem to like having the freedom to pick their own races rather than relying on a team. Events tend to be on the longer side. But you can find some events ranging from about 50km to several days.
We will talk about Cyclocross later in the year as the season is during the winter months.
Triathlon involves 3 disciplines, swim, bike and run. Varying distances from super sprint to the ironman. It’s very much about balancing all 3 sports training your endurance on how far you can go and as faster as you can go! We will be talking about triathlons in a future podcast.