YMCA of Greater Erie

Summer is finally here, the snow and colder temps are a thing of the past.  Hopefully you all have been busy training and logging miles/hours of running and biking for the summer races.

The longest of all the quad events is coming up quickly, less than two weeks, the quad bike.  The 12 mile bike race is one that will need training and one that allows you to experience a variety of terrain.  It has sections of flats, rollers, and hills.  You will also be challenged with the expectation to complete a sharp turnaround so you can begin the journey towards the finish line.  The course is a very unique and excellent opportunity for riders of all abilities to take part in the event.

Here are 5 tips to try and help improve your overall experience.

  1. Get on the Bike! There is no substitute for hard work. Those that put the time in will see results.  The time on the bike will put you in the right direction to be able to perform.  Those that log the miles and train will get positive results.  Proper training is important.  Try to remember this is a 12 mile bike ride for a recorded time.  Speed matters!!  Having a variety of workouts will benefit your cardio improvement.  You should have a few longer rides worked into your schedule.  Along with that don’t forget to have a few days where you work speed as well.  Trying to finds a ride that has hills is also a great alternate to your schedule.  Most importantly you should have an easier day of training built into your schedule.  Allowing your body to recover is as important as pushing for results.  Time is the end result in a bike race.  Time is precious and always hard to manage.  However, if you want improvements or an enjoyable experience, you have to put the time in.  Get on the saddle and pedal.
  2. Equipment The proper equipment will help tremendously. A bike that has been properly adjusted and serviced will help improve your time and experience.  Entering a race you want the peace of mind knowing that your bike is safe and ready to perform.  Many athletes forget to add the correct amount of air pressure to their tires.  This costs them valuable time and also runs them the risk of getting a flat.  Please check your PSI levels on your tires and add the correct amount.  I recommend you have your bike serviced so breaks and gearing are also working properly.  The quad games allows people with a  variety of levels of abilities to compete  The overall message we all have in common is living a healthy and safe life.  Proper equipment will make your experience that much more enjoyable and safe. www.competitivegear.com www.johnadamscyling.com
  3. Nutrition Proper nutrition is extremely important when competing. So many times this is overlooked by many participants.  The bike portion usually takes place on a hot sunny day.  The weather added to you best effort can cause your body not to respond its very best.  Proper nutrition hours before the race and during the race can help with results.  Everyone’s body responds differently to foods and supplements.  I recommend you experiment on practice rides before the actual race.  The variety of gels, tablets, and mixes can be overwhelming.  However, it is quite simple. The added electrolyte mix in your water during a race can make a huge difference in the outcome.  You want to find what works for you!!!!
  4. Proper technique I can’t tell you how many times weekly I observe a cyclist riding their bike all wrong. Poor form and technique can lead to injury and also poor results.  I discussed earlier about getting properly adjusted on your bike.  This prevents injury but also allows you to operate the bike with proper technique.  Three simple but important aspects to riding that will benefit your ride are: head up, push/pull, and knees in.  Keeping your head up seems obvious for safety reasons. It allows you to see the road.  However, it also allows your body to become more aerodynamic and will in turn cut time from your ride.  Pushing and pulling when completing a revolution of your pedal stroke is crucial for top performance.  Mentally you must be aware of a hard push and then a pull within your stroke.  The pull should be almost as if you are scraping gum off the bottom of your cleat.  The pull motion can cause you knees to buckle out.  One must avoid this when completing your stroke.  Keep your knees as close to the frame as possible without bumping the frame.  With proper bike adjustment and proper technique you will improve time but more importantly you will avoid injuries.  PUSH/PULL/ KNEES IN/ HEAD UP!!!!!
  5. Speedometer I mentioned above that the quad bike is the longest of all four events. The 12 miles it takes to complete the event will be much easier if you have a speedometer.  A speedometer will make your training rides more meaningful as well.  It can help with personal goals, gauge miles and speed, and motivate you in the direction for improvement.  A speedometer can bring out the self drive within you to push forward.  Our bodies can do amazing things and can be pushed much farther than we think.  A speedometer helps with that mental aspect.  It is powerful to know just how fast you are going and what mile you are at when giving it all you got!

The great thing about the QUAD events is that people of all abilities are competing.  We all have individual goals.  We all want to find success. I hope these 5 tips contribute to your goal in finding success.  Best of luck and be safe!

Aaron Garrity

Record Holder for the Quad Bike Course
2X Overall QUAD Games Champion
2015 QUAD Bike Champion

Register for this year’s Quad Bike at http://www.highmarkquad.org/