September is another exciting cycling month, similar to June except events are more clustered. Next Saturday is the highly anticipated GranFondo Niagara Falls, followed by Tour de Mississauga on Sunday.
With the need to taper off cycling for the week, I squeezed in one last long ride past Sunday to the infamous Café Domestique in Dundas ON. I figured the rollers and the climb up Syndenham Rd in this route would be beneficial for strengthening whatever climbing muscles I have and opening up the lungs. All to prepare for the climb up Effingham hill next weekend to redeem myself from August.
Unlike previous years where I frequently rode long rides, distance really affects me lately. I have a difficult time holding pace past 60km and post-rides are quite sore. With some lingering injuries, on-the-saddle massages are required on latter parts of long rides to release muscle tension. So next weekend will be quite interesting after 225km.
I am, nonetheless, excited for the challenge next weekend. The plan this week:
SLEEP early each night, aiming for 10 to 10:30pm. Arriving to Niagara Falls by 5:30am on Saturday means hardly any bed time on Friday night. Getting enough sleep during the week will be vital to compensate.
FOAM ROLL as much as possible to get rid of any muscle kinks. I also find rolling your feet on a tennis ball helps diminish foot cramping during a ride.
TAPERING does help me. I used to believe it was overrated. 3 weeks ago when I took a week long holiday, I basically rode every day. By Friday, I was completely sluggish. For the past 2 weekends, I felt refreshed and strong on the bike after being cycling-free on weekdays. Squeezing in a long ride before tapering also keeps my “cycling craving” at bay during the week, resisting the temptation to get on the saddle by accident.
That’s all, nothing more. Keep it simple and enjoy yourself on race day! Good luck!