Congratulations on committing to joining hundreds of other Canadians in bringing awareness to mental health.  Many people ride for the enjoyment, competition, and physical challenge, but the real reward comes from knowing that every kilometer you ride and every dollar raised brings us that much closer to breaking the stigma that affects over 6 million Canadians each year.

We are thrilled to be able to contribute to this challenge in a small way. Our friends at Ride Don’t Hide approached us to help put together a training blog for their participants; here we are with a program we hope will help you achieve your goals this year.  We will share training, nutrition and apparel tips with you leading up to the ride on June 21st! This ride is an incredible opportunity to support the Canadian Mental Health Association focused on strengthening and supporting the mental health of those affected and their families and friends. Sugoi, the official apparel sponsor of Ride Don’t Hide, and Athletes Dylan Gleeson, Liz Lyles and Sunny Garcia look forward to providing some guidance on your journey.

Our first week’s training tips are provided by SUGOI Pro Tri Athlete Dylan Gleeson. This is Dylan’s second year as a SUGOI Athlete and Ride Don’t Hide blogger. We are proud of him for reaching the pro status after only 1 year of competing in the tri space.  Heading into 2015 his big goal is to continue to develop towards becoming a world class athlete.  Since this is his first year racing pro, this year will be about gaining experience racing against some of the best athletes in the sport! He will bring his experience as a professional athlete to help you get ready for the ride.

Meeting Dylan Gleeson, SUGOI Pro Athlete and 2nd year Ride Don’t Hide blogger.

I am Dylan Gleeson, a Sugoi Pro Athlete from North Vancouver, BC and am excited to co-host this blog where I will share training, nutrition and apparel tips with you leading up to the ride on June 21st! Being active has been an integral part of my life since being a young kid.  I grew up playing traditional sports such as soccer and hockey, and could often been found running around or riding my bike.  I was always happy when I was out playing sports or riding my bike and I can recall how difficult it was when couldn’t do it for various reasons.  It wasn’t until I was an adult that I started to realize why being active has been such an important part of my life.  My family actually has a history of depression and other mental health issues.  When I go through periods of time as an adult where I am unable to exercise I become much more negative, irritable and feel low on energy.  These feelings will subside once I begin exercising again.  It took me a while to piece together how my feelings correlate with activity levels but it is clear to me what a difference it makes.  Being active whether it’s riding my bike, going for a hike or playing a game of pickup soccer helps put me in a more positive mindset and gives me more energy.

Another positive aspect of being active is that it helps me feel more confident.  I think of the sense of accomplishment I felt doing my first triathlon, I completed it and thought to myself, “if I can do that, let’s see what else I can do.”  It is all relative to the individual.  Nobody takes up cycling and is immediately capable of riding 100km’s well.  It takes time and steps to get there, and I believe it’s this process that gives us more self-confidence.  This confidence isn’t only relevant to athletic endeavors, it can carry over into other areas of life such as school, work and social situations.  I believe being active has made me a better all-around person and my everyday life is more fulfilling because of it.  I encourage you to take this leap and sign up for this year’s Ride Don’t Hide. It’s a great stepping stone for those who have never participated in group rides or fundraisers before. Over the next 3 weeks we will try to help you in your training by sharing stories and posting useful tips.  Hope to see some of you out on the roads soon.  Happy training!

Getting started

I realize that for some of you this may be your first time riding a bike.  No need to panic, we’ve all been there!  We will work together to get you to the start and finish of the ride, one step at a time.

  1. The first thing to look at is your fit on your bike, you want to be comfortable otherwise you won’t want to get on your bike. If you’re having trouble reaching for your brakes or if you feel too high up on your seat you’ll want to adjust your position. Your local bike shop will be able to help you with this. Also, it’s very important that you have a bike safety certified helmet.  If your helmet has any cracks, has been in a crash or is more than 5 years old, it is time for a new one.
  2. Next we want to make sure your bike is safe to ride and in proper working order.  Make sure your brakes are functioning properly, wheels are secured and that you are riding with appropriate air pressure on tires that aren’t worn out.  Again, if you are not confident in checking this yourself, take your bicycle to your local bike shop for a tune up and learn what to inspect before every ride.
  3. Now you’re ready to ride your bike! If this is your first time riding a bike or using clipless pedals, head to a location with very little traffic to get used to the handling of the bike. Spend time learning how to shift properly, how to grab a water bottle while in motion and how to clip in and out safely. A good place to do most of this would be somewhere like a large empty parking lot.  You could even set up cones or obstacles to practice riding around.  I suggest riding on something softer than concrete like a grass soccer field, that way if you go down you’re less likely to hurt yourself.

Training Plans

Week 1

Beginners – 10K/20K Rides

Workout 1:  15 – 30 Minute Easy Ride

Things to think about in Week 1 for first ride:

Find an area to ride with less traffic.  Just focus on getting comfortable riding your bike and shifting gears.  When pedalling you shouldn’t feel like your legs are spinning out of control and you also shouldn’t feel like you’re grinding the gears to get that pedal around.  You want to find a comfortable medium between the two.  Enjoy!

Intermediate and advanced riders – 60K Ride

Workout 1:  40 Minute Easy Ride

Workout 2:  60 Minute Easy Long Ride

Things to think about in Week 1 rides:

We will start out easy this week before building into any strength and intensity work.  Focus for the rides this week should be keeping good cadence and posture.  Aim for your cadence to be between 80 – 90 RPMs and avoid grinding your gears on the climbs. Focus on your posture, you should have a relaxed flat back, slight bend in your elbows and a neutral head position.  Try to keep from squeezing the bars too tight: shoulders, arms and hands should be relaxed.  Lastly don’t forget to have FUN!