By John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com
The 51st Minnesota Ironman is now only two months away. If you have been reading and following our Ironman preparation articles, then congratulations, you are well on your way to earning those well deserved bragging rights. However, If you are just now starting to get ready, don’t fret, you have plenty of time to get prepared for a great ride through Waconia’s beautiful landscape. Wherever you feel comfortable on the preparedness spectrum, read on for helpful tips to get you ready.
You Need to Believe that You can Complete the Minnesota Ironman
Thousands of riders test their meddle every spring in the Minnesota Ironman. The first (and, for some, the greatest) challenge is committing your mind to complete an Ironman. The easiest way to get your mind on board is to register. Countless peripheral excuses to not complete go away once you register. Even if the weather is poor or you feel less than 100% that morning, as a registered rider, the chances of you going out are a lot higher. Once registered, Make a plan to get ready. The plan should include getting your body, your equipment, and the details of the event day ready.
Get Your Body Ready
As the weather here in the Twin Cities is breaking, we are beginning to see signs of a spring thaw. Periodic warmer days give you the opportunity to check out the local trails or riding routes in your immediate area. If they are clear, take advantage of every nice day and get out to ride. In addition to sporadic rides as the weather permits, sign up for a spin class once a week, or go to a trainer class.
The Minnesota Ironman team realizes that undertaking an event of this difficulty can require help. For that help, they have partnered with Coach Bob McEnaney at Total Cycling Performance. Bob is available for individual coaching services and also runs bi-weekly indoor trainer rides (Monday & Thursday) at Penn Cycle’s Woodbury location. He publishes weekly workouts on Wednesdays that are a great way to stay motivated.
If riding is not in the forecast for you right now, try to focus some time on fitness. Getting your heartbeat up for an hour or two a week will pay deep dividends once the spring weather rolls in for good.
Get Your Equipment Ready
If you haven’t done it yet, pull your bike out of mothballs. Lube the chain , put air in the tires, and take a ride. Taking a ride will give you a good idea of how far out of adjustment your bike may be. If the weather is poor, going for a ride will also give you the chance to test if your riding gear is comfortable in poor weather.
Cold weather gear like jackets, shoes, and tights are in ample supply at your local shop now, but if you wait until just before the Ironman, pickings may be slim. Also, waiting until the last minute to have your bike serviced might not be possible based on your shop’s schedule.
If your bike needs to be serviced, that’s a great time to think about making sure your bike fits you properly. A good bike fit will lower the chance of repetitive motion injuries, and make you more comfortable and efficient. You can have a friend help you check the basics or have your shop take a professional look. Both Eric’s and Penn Cycle are Ironman sponsors and certified bike fitters.
Start Planning for the Day of The Minnesota Ironman
At 60 days out you should feel comfortable encouraging family and friends to do the ride with you. Counter potential poor weather with good vibes by riding with a group who all ride at a similar speed. If your friends and family don’t want to ride, encourage them to come out and cheer you on at a set destination on the course. Your own personal cheer squad can be all the motivation you need to conquer those last 5 miles. After the ride you can all meet for dinner (giving you a chance to test out those newly earned bragging rights).
Speaking of food, 60 days out is the perfect time to see how your body handles different foods while exercising. Start testing foods like sports gels, power bars, and sports drinks to see how your body reacts as you ride. Knowing what your body prefers ahead of time will ensure you can maintain your energy the day of the event by eating foods your body is used to.
60 days is all that currently stands between you and your bragging rights. Be proactive and start to prepare for the 2017 Minnesota Ironman now.