Your best Women’s 100

Ten tips for getting the most out of your Women’s 100, by the riders and coaches of CANYON//SRAM

For seasoned riders, 100km might not be a taxing proposition. But, no matter your cycling experience or your ability on the bike, everyone has room for improvement. From varying your training to fine-tuning your focus and ensuring your bike is running like a dream, there are plenty of ways to get the most out of your 2017 Women’s 100.

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1. Have a game plan

Planning your 100km and breaking it into smaller, manageable, chunks will give you the confidence to ride that bit harder, at the right time.

“Divide the distance into intermediate goals. It’ll give you confidence and motivation!”
Lisa Brennauer, rider

“Smaller segments means you can push yourself harder whilst staying focused for shorter periods of time. It will make the ride feel shorter mentally and before you know it you’ll have ridden 100km.”
Tiff Cromwell, rider

“Don’t go all out for 100km, take the ride step by step. Don’t forget to eat and drink during the whole effort.”
Elena Cecchini, rider

2. Choose your riding partners wisely

A disorganised group can make for a frustrating ride. Organise your group well ahead of time and work together.

“Ride with people who will push you. Before you know it you’ll have ridden your best 100km ever.”
Tiff Cromwell, rider

“Find a group of friends and ride towards a common goal – maybe aim for a time or an average speed. Together you can share the work and the ride will be easier. If you don’t have a riding buddy, look around for safe set of wheels at pace you want to ride and ask to join them. People are usually happy to have another member of their group in if they are willing to share the work.”
Leah Thorvillson, rider

3. Train wisely and do more than just ride

Knowing your route and the challenges along the way will help you train. The event itself might be a challenge, but knowing just how to prepare will make a big difference to your enjoyment of the ride itself.

“Spend as much time on the bike as you can, but focus on quality, not distance. Make sure your training matches the ride you’re going to do. For example, if it’s a hilly event then find a hill and do repeats. Working on your core is also important part of training which helps you perform better on the bike.”
Andreas Lang, coach

“Your training leading into the Women’s 100 should be very diverse. Go the distance, go longer, go shorter – just make sure you’re building your endurance and also allowing your body to recover from the training stress. Strength training will help benefit muscular endurance and keep your body from completely falling apart by the end of your rides. Yoga will keep your muscles relaxed, limber, and less prone to injury.”
Alexis Ryan, rider

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4. Perfect your group riding skills

Ride in a group and the kilometres will tick by, but if holding the wheel in front worries you, or riding shoulder to shoulder makes you nervous, find ways to practice.

“Join weekly group rides and make an effort to ride slightly closer to others around you. Ask friends to throw you curve balls throughout the ride, such as passing you a bottle or staying on a wheel around a corner. It will be scary at first but it’s important to become comfortable with the uncomfortable. In the long run it will help you to become a more efficient rider, which is the precursor to riding faster.”
Alexis Ryan, rider

“If you hide in a pack you’ll use around 30% less energy than if you’re sat on the front of a group. Use the energy of a group for free speed.”
Barry Austin, sports coach

“Practice, practice, practice. Train in a group and take tips from experienced riders. Riding in a bunch saves you energy, you go faster and it will make you more efficient as a bike rider.”
Beth Duryea, sports director

5. Stay motivated

With the Women’s 100 still a few weeks away, it can be hard to stay focussed and keep training, so how do the pros stay motivated?

“The thought of performing at my best keeps me motivated, but to stay focussed ahead of an event it’s important to find the right balance in your training. Sometimes it’s better to do five one-hour rides than one five-hour ride.”
Mieke Kröger, rider

“I keep my eye on the prize, but I let go of all expectation. It keeps the stress off my shoulders and lets me enjoy the excitement of the event.”
Alexis Ryan, rider

“Know which 100km route you’re going to do on 23rd July. Ride it now and record your time, then train to beat that time.”
Beth Duryea, sports director

6. Watch what you eat

To perform at your best you need to nail your nutrition in the weeks leading up to the Women’s 100, as well as on the day. Eating right will not only fuel your ride but help make you a better cyclist too.

“Nutrition is the basis for training. Think of it like fuel for a car. If you don’t give your body the necessary fuel it needs it just won’t work. Both the quantity and quality of the food you eat will affect how you perform.”
Andreas Lang, coach

“The adage you are what you eat rings true. If you’re eating well and timing your nutrients correctly, your performance won’t be limited by the food you eat.”
Alexis Ryan, rider

For recipes and advice on fuelling your Women’s 100, read our guide.

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7. Don’t get hung up on the bike

A light bike doesn’t always make you a better cyclist. Focus on your fitness and form as well.

“Better, more expensive kit will certainly make you feel faster but it won’t make you fitter. First you need to have the legs.”
Mieke Kröger, rider

“Being comfortable and enjoying riding is just as important.”
Beth Duryea, sports director

“Your equipment doesn’t need to be new, but it’s important that it’s reliable. I do recommend a cycling computer and a power meter – they are the key to scientific training. If you can get your hands on both and you use them properly, you’ll notice an improvement in your training and performance.”
Alexis Ryan, rider

8. Sleep as much as you can

To get the most out of your Women’s 100 you’ll need to invest heavily in rest. Early nights and lots of downtime are essential components of any athlete’s life.

“Sleep and recover like a pro and you’ll be ready for anything. When you’re healthy and rested your mind and body are ready for you to be your best.”
Barbara Guarischi, rider

“Recovery is just as important as training, and sleep is the greatest recovery tool of all. Your body needs rest to repair itself after you’ve pushed it in training, so make sure you’re getting 8-10 hours of sleep coming into your big ride!”
Alexis Ryan, rider

9. Plan with precision on 23rd July

Make like a pro and don’t leave anything to chance on morning of your Women’s 100. Prep your bike, your kit and your nutrition the night before and leave the morning of the event to relax and eat well.

“Your morning routine on the day of the Women’s 100 should be no different than usual. Humans are creatures of habit, and our bodies are especially so. Eat a big breakfast, make sure your pockets are full of food and bottles are full of water or hydration mix, check that your equipment is in working order, and get on your way.”
Alexis Ryan, rider

“Check your equipment several days before. Check the weather forecast the morning of the event and dress appropriately, then get out and have fun.”
Beth Duryea, sports director

“It’s easy to overeat at breakfast before an event. Rather than eating too much, take a few extra energy bars more with you (that’s what the pockets in your jersey are made for) and start eating as soon as you ride. It’s better than starting with a full stomach.”
Mieke Kröger, rider

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10. Enjoy the ride

The Women’s 100 is a collective act of solidarity. A 100km ride for women the world over to enjoy and take at their own pace.

“I let my mind wander where it wants while I’m out on the road. If it wants to think a million thoughts, then I let it run it’s course. If it wants to be silent and calm, then I let it do that, too. If you’re riding with power or heart rate, occasionally glance down and check if you’re in the right zone, but try to go on feeling as much as the numbers. The numbers aren’t going anywhere. Just enjoy the ride.”
Alexis Ryan, rider

“Knowing that there are thousands of other women, all across the globe, doing exactly the same thing on that very same day is really encouraging. It’s a common achievement that you can share no matter the location, weather, speed, or time zone.”
Beth Duryea, sports director

Join thousands of women worldwide on Sunday, 23rd July as we ride 100km together. It's not too late to sign up to join us on the road – we ride together.