A huge challenge ahead
At 662km the Giro Delle Dolomiti will be one of the longest events I’ve undertaken. This event will bring some challenges I have come across before, and some that will be completely new to me. Personally I think the biggest obstacle will be the sheer length of the climbs, the longest of all being the Stelvio Pass.
It would be fair to say that at 80kg I’m not exactly built for well over an hour of climbing so I will need to get my preparation spot on.
The first part of my preparation will be some slight changes to my training in order to improve my endurance. I have mainly done this by adding some long, high paced rides into my normal racing schedule. This should ensure that I still have the power to get over climbs at the end of some longer days, whilst still maintaining top end speed for the flatter sections. This isn’t something I wouldn’t normally do in the summer, but I feel like the total length of this event is enough to warrant making a few changes.
Other sessions that should be useful for this effort will be some local hill reps. These will eliminate the recovery you would normally get on a hilly road ride in order to replicate a longer climb as best possible.
Generally I will find a hill around 2-3 minutes in duration and repeat this between 5 and 10 times. I also find it useful to vary the intensity of the efforts to try and replicate the changes in pace you will experience over a longer climb.
Staying hydrated with Wiggle Nutrition
Another of the complications of this event will be the weather conditions. In order to cope with the heat I will be using Wiggle Nutrition Hydration (20 Tabs). The electrolytes in these should prevent any muscle cramps as well as ensure that I’m alert enough for the technical descents.
Whilst the Dolomites in July should be warm sunny weather - It is always possible for the weather to turn at any time, especially at altitude. I won’t be going without a range of dhb Regulate arm and leg warmers in case of poor weather conditions –. I have also found that a gilet is always useful when riding in the mountains as this takes up barely any rear pocket space whilst providing a great amount of warmth.
In addition to the Hydration Tabs, I will also be using the Wiggle Nutrition Energy Bars as a source of slow release carbohydrates, before recovering with the Wiggle Nutrition Energy Drink (2.2kg) to ensure that I can get through the consecutive stages.
Training, nutrition and clothing will just be a few of the factors I need to consider in order to get round this event in one piece. Over the next week I will be making the final checks to my bike before tackling the Giro Delle Dolomiti.
Images courtesy of Hugh McManus and Ben Briffett