MARK VAN VEEN'S TOP SWISS EPIC TIPS & FACTS CONTINUED:
As SA was the second biggest nation the gees during and after the rides was lekka!. Further interesting fact- 50% of the participants were women which was great to see for cycling as a whole.
Stop converting beer prices into Rand- it will become a very dry and unsatisfactory event. There is however free beer at the race village after the stage if you are so inclined.
Go and do the ride for spectacular scenery; not to meet the Swiss nation as their sense of humour is like the holes in Emmenthaler cheese- empty.
The real supporters in the race were the Swiss cows- feeding on their evergreen pastures these magnificent specimens were ringing their cowbells in every nook and cranny as encouragement and had a certain Zen like influence on the mind- a bit like the gong vibrations in meditation techniques.
Though the Swiss humour was severely lacking, the accommodation we stayed in was top notch in every aspect- rooms/ beds and food were superb and hats off to the organisers!
Furthermore, a great bonus was that we only had two transfers in 5 days- meaning that you are not continuously on the move and can adjust comfortably.
Finally and most importantly, the various feeding stations were well stocked and with extremely friendly and supportive staff. One take home note was the delicious bouillon they served- perfect for salt and nutrient intake and to restart that engine!
Words and images by: Kate Slegrova
The holidays are coming and it's possible you are wondering how to keep strong over the break. Most of us tend to eat a bit more and exercise less during the Christmas holiday unless you are training for races like Tankwa Trek and Epic and are putting in 15-20 hours on bike a week.
Many of us have now have weights and gym equipment at home. Or you might have access to a gym, or maybe you're planning to take your bike away with you. I'm going to share a few tips and workouts with you that you can do anywhere to help keep you fit and strong duing the holidays.
MAIN benefits of strength training:
- Building more muscle burns more calories
- Helps to maintain muscle mass - after we turn 30 we start losing muscle mass so this is important
- Helps to prevent Osteoporosis
- Will make you stronger and therefore faster going up hills on your bike
- Creates a strong core which prevents neck and back pain on the bike
- Improves balance and coordination on the bike
Now that you are convinced you need to do strength training, what to do?
I recommend starting with mobility exercises like here. You can do those every day to increase your range of motion & prevent injuries. Do it also as a warm up before strength training but you can also do those before you ride!
One day you can spend on getting your core strong. This can be your leg rest day/ non cycling day. If you had a hard training weekend, Monday would be your core training workout day.
Now if you have weights or kettlebells try this awesome workout. Make sure your form and technique is correct, good to use a mirror or train with a friend to correct each other. Only use weights once you have mastered the technique. You can start with lighter weights and build it up to heavier. Do these workouts on your harder riding day. And take it easy the next day or two so that your muscles can recover and get stronger. You will feel stiff the first few sessions but it should get easier as you go.
If you don’t have any weights and want to get stronger you can do just bodyweight squats and lunges and if that’s easy you can take it up with this high intensity high impact workout. Don’t forget to stretch at the end of each ride and strength session. Stretching regularly will prevent tight muscles and overuse injuries, sore lower back.