SolRx Sunscreen Blog
If you want to make the grade when it comes to cycling like a pro, follow these tips from experts in the know:
Train Properly, and Pace Yourself
When you’re riding a big event, you can get caught up in the excitement and start too fast. Be careful not to expend your energy at the beginning of the ride. And remember it’s not all physical – there’s mental training to do as well. Know that you’ll experience emotional highs and lows during your ride, and the expectation will help you get through them.
Prepare for the Weather
If it rains, you’ll need a waterproof jacket. Use overshoes and waterproof socks, and consider gloves to keep your hands warm. Waterproof bib tights can also help during rain and cold. If you are riding in wintry conditions, boots and overtrousers may help. A hat or cap under your helmet can keep rain out and warm your noggin. And don’t forget that heat and sun can also provide less-than-optimal conditions. Wear a broad-spectrum water-resistant sunscreen and sunglasses for glare, such as SolRx with WATERBLOCK Technology.
Keep Your Bike Maintained and Adjusted
Make sure your bike is in tip-top shape. Use mudguards and lights if you’re riding in wet or dark conditions. Adjust your saddle to make sure it’s at the right height – if it is, your heel should just graze the pedal at the bottom of the pedal stroke. Make sure your wheels spin straight and don’t rub the brakes; use lube (but not too much) on the chain. Know how to change a flat.
Eat Well, Drink Water
If you’re in a race, don’t eat anything unusual on the day before the race. You don’t want to experiment just before an important event. Do make sure you have enough of the right nutrients and proteins to give you healthy energy for the race. Also, stay hydrated. If you’re using a water bottle during an event, keep your eyes on the road, and don’t drink as you go through potentially tricky areas.
Develop Your Technique
The idea is to look and feel at one with your bike. It’s best to keep yourself in good physical condition, which helps your steadiness during climbs, and to be confident in your bike-handling, which is important during descents. Make sure you can use your gears efficiently, so as not to lose momentum and energy. Anticipate. Stay loose, since this can help you lower your center of gravity during descents, and can keep your muscles from seizing up. If you practice regularly, your muscle memory will help make the process easier.
And, most of all, enjoy the ride! Cycling is a healthy physical activity that’s great for your legs while staying easy on your joints and feet. It’s a good way of experiencing the outdoors and getting to know a place, and the sense of freedom you experience is like no other.
If you’re getting ready for a Tough Mudder, you might have a reputation for recklessness. But that doesn’t mean you’re careless. You’ve trained for the 10-12 miles, and you’ve worked on both improving your upper body strength and increasing your overall fitness levels.
But what about the other stuff? Prepare to get down and dirty with these gear tips to help you endure long distances, impossible obstacles, and mental and physical challenges.
1. Choose your shoes carefully. The best shoes for this type of race are minimalist running shoes. These provide good grip and less padding and won’t absorb as much water. If you can’t get minimalist shoes, wear an old pair of running kicks that can be tightly laced so they don’t get sucked off into the mud. It happens! Don’t be surprised to see people duct taping their shoes to their legs to prevent this.
2. Wear lightweight clothes of synthetic material – if you’re not wearing a costume, that is! Be minimalist with your wardrobe, too. Your clothes are just going to slow you down. They’ll get wet and muddy and heavy, so choose items that dry quickly and are breathable. Avoid cotton. Sturdy compression running shorts, shirts, and socks are recommended to keep your body dry and cool, and they may help you recover. However, you may also wish to minimize tight clothing, because mud will get stuck…everywhere. Avoid open pockets. And have a change of clothes ready for you at the finish line.
3. Don’t forget the sunblock. Yes, even covered with water and mud you can get sunburned. Remember, you’ll be outside for three hours or more. You need a broad-spectrum option that can provide long-lasting protection from both types of damaging ultraviolet rays. You’ll want a tried and tested brand like SolRx, which offers water resistance to such a degree that your grip isn’t affected and your sunscreen won’t sweat or run off into your eyes and irritate them. That’s a huge advantage.
4. Consider a headband and gloves, and leave the jewelry at home. Even if you manage to keep your jewelry on, subjecting it to mud and cold and water isn’t going to make it look more attractive. Gloves can help you with grip, but can also get wet and muddy and heavy, so you’ll have to decide if you wish to use them. Headbands are important for keeping long hair out of your face.
5. Hydration and energy levels are key. This is more like a marathon, not a sprint, and you’re going to need energy. Make sure your snack choices are easy to carry and access, such as small packets of energy gels. Don’t get dehydrated; most veterans recommend bringing wearable hydration packs, even if they’re bulky, and not counting on course water stations. Carrying fuel belts or handheld bottles can be problematic as you work your way through obstacles.
Now you’re ready. And don’t forget – Tough Mudders aren’t just about winning or whining. They’re about helping others and fostering camaraderie. So don’t forget to help others along the way, and have fun!