Sportive events offer incredible scenery, a challenging course and the support of thousands of like-minded cyclists. But as you move up event distances, pacing yourself becomes ever more important if you want to enjoy the day, avoid hitting the wall and finish strong.
The longer the distances you ride, the more you’ll discover just how amazing your body is at adapting. But even the most experienced cyclists can be caught out by the temptation to go too hard, too early. With that in mind, here are 10 tips for pacing your sportive to help you get the most out of your ride.
1. Start slow, finish strong
Sensible pacing should begin the moment the tape is lifted
There’s always a sense of urgency as your event gets underway. Hundreds or even thousands of riders get out onto the roads in large groups and unless you keep your wits about you, it’ll be too late before you realise you’re working well above your intended pace or heart rate – digging a hole before the going really gets tough.
When there’s a long day ahead, warming up properly is really important. Focus on keeping the intensity low for the first few miles and avoid competitive instincts on the day’s first climbs. Once you’ve settled into your rhythm, you can decide whether or not you feel like pushing on a little harder.
2. Check your data
3. Know the route
4. Listen to your body
5. Pacing by heart rate
6. Avoid surging
7. Pacing technique and equipment
8. Pace your nutrition
9. Ride in a group
10. Mental pacing
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