Ride your bike, ride your bike, ride your bike. That's the advice we got for this "Workout of the Week."
Dave Mable is the man handing it out. I've known him for years because he teaches bike classes at the Y and now he's the editor of Momentum Magazine. Dave's only half joking when he says that's the best way to get ready. "Maybe you've to a charity ride, or RAGBRAI or a century ride for the first time, it's a really good idea to get 500 miles under your belt between January and your ride.
That may sound like a lot, but Dave says classes count as time on the bike. He suggests an eight to twelve week training program that consists of two or three shorter rides and one long ride each week.
Strengthening your legs with moves like squats and lunges will help you climb those big hills and working your heart and lungs will help you go the distance at a faster pace. But Dave says don't forget about the other elements of being fit. "Your core supports a lot of your upper body weight. Some people think it's on their hands, but really it's their core supporting the upper body."
The other thing you should do before getting in the saddle, is make sure your bike is in good working order. Local shops are happy to tune things up for around fifty bucks. "They're going to make sure the wheels are true, tires are in good shape, the chain is clean and lubricated, make sure all the gears work. They're going to make sure everything is tight and ready to go and that way when you hop on your bike the first time, you can feel confident it's going to get you through your first ride, trouble free."
A helmet is a must-have, and if you're spending a lot of time on your bike, you might want gloves and good sunglasses too. Serious riders will also want to invest in clip less pedals and bike shoes. It's all an investment but it's for your health, and it's fun!!!