With a hill fondly dubbed Nasty Grade Hill, it's a sure bet that the Wildflower long course race has a challenging bike course laid out for you! But don't let that intimidate--we're here to help with a few tips and tricks to make your 56-mile tour of the hills more comfortable.
Any time you ar prepping for a challening bike course, one thing you want to do is take a drive of it the day or two before hand so that you can put to memory what's in store. The above named hill, for instance, comes late in the race. Better to know when to expect it than go in blindly.
Another thing to keep in mind is the rear cassette you'll be using. The cassette you use for flatter races is not the cassette you want for this one. For a strong cyclist, having at least a 25-tooth cog on the rear should do. If the bike is your weaker event, consider even dropping to a 27-tooth cog.
As you train for the event, also keep these tips in mind from Coach Troy Jacobson, who in his days as a pro was know for his cycling prowess:
- Race strategically
- Conserve your "matches" as you climb the hills
- Regulate your pace and output, ideally with a power meter
- Commit to never cresting a hill at the top limit of a pre-determined power range
As Scott Tinley said in our earlier interview with him, the Wildflower course is a strength course. Prepare for this in advance with hill repeats, lots of strength work, and a plan to race strong but within yourself.
Add all of this advice together and you've got the ingredients for a smooth transition off the bike and onto the run. Speaking of which, we'll tackle the run course in our next post--stay tuned!
What's your best advice for prepping for a hilly bike course?