This year, I'm excited to be taking on my first ever Sportive. I get to jump on my bike and ride in my first mass event in September at L'Etape London by le Tour de France. The route takes in parts of Stage Three of the 2014 Tour de France route and ends with a lap of honour around the Lee Valley VeloPark at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. I missed out in 2015 (I was supposed to be running a half marathon on the same day) but I'm ready to take on the challenge for 2016!
To launch the opening of entries for the 2016 Sportive Series with Human Race earlier this month, I went along to Nuffield Health City for a indoor cycling session and chance to meet cyclist, Dani King for some tips and advice.
The session was short and sweet; it was the first time I got to "see" the infamous Box Hill with my own eyes and kinda experience what it might be like to cycle it. I think I used the opportunity to take some photos and take in the Box Hill scenery! ...I had to save some energy to teach that lunch time after all!
After our ride (or during for most of the other attendees) we got a quick opportunity to get some tips from Dani on how to train for a Sportive. I explained my situation, in that I don't want to just cycle when it comes to training. Dani assured me that I could get fit enough to finish on just 3 x 30 minute sessions per week which could even just amount to one long ride on the weekend! I shared this with a cycling pro buddy of mine and she laughed... but, I reminded her that I had no time goals here, I just wanted to complete the distance of 42 miles / 74km.
Before race day, I'd love to try training with an indoor turbo trainer (anyone ever tried one?!), get a bike fit / ensure my bike is as comfortable as can be on race day and sign up for a shorter / smaller race to get the experience of riding in an event with other people (I can imagine it's much like learning to swim with other people around you too?!).
So it's time to think about taking my spin classes to the next level to get ready for my first sportive! Apparently, there is research out there which shows that sportive riders take part in over five events per year! ...maybe that will be me in 2017?!
If you'd live to take on L'Etape with me this September you can get yourself 20% off your entry with the code 'ELLE'. There are three distances to choose from so if you're a more accomplished cyclist than me you can take on a distance up to 117 miles / 185km (a good substitute if you didn't get a place in Ride London?!) ...sign up at www.humanrace.co.uk/cycling and then let me know you're in!!
Anyone taken part in a sportive for me?! Have any need to know tips?!