Top Training Tips for the Best Buddies Challenge
It’s crunch time for Best Buddies Challenge training!
Whether you’re running the 5k or taking on the 100 mile bike ride of a lifetime, there’s just a few weeks left to prepare yourself the best you can.
Below, we’ll share a few of our best tips:
1.) KNOW YOUR EQUIPMENT. You should have enough experience using your gear before the big day to have confidence that everything is well-fitted and comfortable: your bike, sneakers, any protective gear and the clothing you’ll wear for the ride or run. Try our sponsors Apex Velo for advice on gear and a professional bike fitting.
2.) RIDE, RIDE, RIDE / RUN, RUN, RUN. There’s no substitute for putting your feet to the pedals or sidewalk and practicing as much as possible. Make sure you’re using these last three weeks to push yourself to your goal so you know you’ll achieve the cycling mileage or full 5k on the day. Get out there as much as possible. No excuses! If you live close enough to work, make your commute to and/or from the office (depending on facilities available) part of your training routine.
3.) SET ATTAINABLE GOALS. If you’ve rarely cycled more than 10 miles and haven’t had the time to train as much as you know you would have needed, don’t try to tackle 100 miles. Set yourself smaller goals that you know are just beyond what you’d normally run or cycle, but within reach so you don’t become frustrated or disheartened. When you meet new milestones in distance, speed or duration, you’ll be encouraged to set them slightly higher the next time.
4.) RUN OR RIDE WITH SOMEONE MORE EXPERIENCED. Pair up with another MTeamer, friend or coach to run or ride alongside you when you train. When you give someone more experienced the lead, you’ll gain competence and confidence. That person can also pass along their own insight and valuable advice. And there’s safety in numbers. (Our private MTeam Facebook group is a great place to connect with other runners and riders - have you joined?)
5.) USE A FITNESS APP OR ACCESSORY. Try Garmin, WahooWe or MapMyRide as motivation to keep going. And our favorite, STRAVA (Find the MTeam club here). There are many other options out there too, so do some research and decide what would work best for you.
6.) MIX UP YOUR ROUTE. If you run or ride the same route every day, it’s hard to stay focused and interested. We all have smart phones with maps these days, so it’s hard to get lost, and Strava and other apps can show you some of the popular routes in your local area.
7.) NOTE THE WEATHER AND TIME. Depending on the season, Mother Nature can throw some roadblocks into your training plans. If it’s a hot summer day, consider taking to the road as the sun is rising or just before it sets when the weather is cooler. In the winter, make sure the roads are safe and not slippery. Wear layers. Or simply take it to the gym to avoid taking unnecessary chances.
8.) BUILD IN REST DAYS. As important as it is to be on the move, make sure you’re also giving your body plenty of time to rest and recuperate in between intense training days. It will help you avoid injury and give yourself a much needed mental break as well so you don’t burn out.
9.) REMEMBER YOUR “WHY”. When you’re training or participating in the Best Buddies Challenge on the day and your energy is starting to flag, take a minute to remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. That physical exertion is often boosted by a mental bust of motivation. Have a cycling/running buddy to remind you and, if possible, friends or family waiting at the finish line or along the route to cheer you on.
10.) STAY HYDRATED AND NOURISHED ALONG THE WAY. Your muscles need fuel to work their best and nutrition and water are crucial, especially when you’re challenging yourself with one of the longer rides. It’s best to eat and drink before overwhelming hunger or thirst hits. If you’re cycling 100 miles, there will be five rest stops along the course.
And don’t forget to have fun! There’s a carnival like atmosphere on the day of the event and there’s power in numbers, so you’ll likely feel pretty pumped up to tackle whatever challenge you set for yourself. Meet the Buddies, relax with a message, enjoy the lobster and dance the night away celebrating everything our hard work will have achieved.