By: Gianna Rosati
Life is busy — especially as we start a new year. Taking time to stay active and make the most of your workouts, whatever length they may be, is vital to maintaining your “calm” during the stresses of new years resolution season!
Here are 5 ways to prepare for your next ride so you can get the most out of your workout:
1. Hydrate prior to your ride. Whether you workout in the morning, during the day, or in the evening, it is important to drink water before you ride. Experts recommend drinking around 2 cups of water (~16 ounces) during the two hours leading up to your workout. This is easy for our daytime and evening riders, as they can sip on water throughout the day. For morning riders, we recommend drinking 1 cup of water as soon as you wake up. Continue to sip on your second cup en route to your workout or throughout your workout itself.
Starting your ride well-hydrated will help to keep your body from overheating and will improve the functionality of your muscles and joints.
2. Fuel your body. Eating prior to your ride can boost your in- ride performance. It can also help your body recover faster post-workout.
For our morning riders, we recommend having an easily digestible carb + protein around 30 minutes to 1 hour before your ride. Examples of potential snacks include: a rice cake and nut butter, banana and nut butter, toast and hard-boiled egg, etc. These are all easy to grab on the go!.
For our daytime riders, we recommend having a meal around two hours before your ride. Your meal should contain a protein, carb, and fat. We add in the fat because your body will have more time to digest it before working out. An example of a well-balanced meal would be a turkey sandwich on rye with avocado, tomato, and cheese. A vegetarian option could be a grain bowl with lentils, quinoa, spinach, and avocado. Both of these options can be prepared in advance and taken on-the- go to accommodate your busy lifestyle.
Finally, evening riders should have a snack similar to that of morning riders. You will likely have eaten lunch 3-5 hours prior to your ride, so having a snack will be essential to power you through your workout. Again, optimal snack options would include an easily digestible carb (i.e. rice cake, toast, banana, etc.) and a protein (i.e. hard-boiled egg, nut butter, sliced turkey, hummus, etc.).
3. Have the right equipment. Start your ride with all the necessary equipment on hand so you do not have to get off the bike mid-ride. Our check-list of necessary equipment includes: a full water bottle, a sweat towel, an adequately charged phone, and functioning headphones. Having these items on hand will allow you to focus on your ride, therefore, optimizing the time you have.
4. Warm-up. Winter is coming...wait, it’s already here! The cool temps make warming up especially important. Our muscles are just like a car; they cannot go from zero to one hundred. Instead, they need time to warm up and loosen up! Before pressing play on your ride, spin those legs for a few minutes on low resistance. This will allow you to push hard when the workout starts without fear of a muscle strain or pull.
5. Get your sweat on! Now you are hydrated, fueled, warmed up, and ready to optimize your workout time! Push hard and make the most of your ride!
Check out our “Recovery 101” post to see how to bounce back after your tough ride.