Sarah Travers, 44, from Basingstoke, took up cycling just over six years ago. In 2017, she was one of the first women to ride the Dulux London Revolution ULTRA, an incredible 300km looping around the capital in just one day. Read below for her advice on the best way to prepare and take on this impressive challenge.
Sarah’s Top 5 tips for riding The ULTRA:
I would really advise tackling some long distance sportives (up to 125 miles) beforehand. Mixing these in with some shorter ones, where you are making sure you are riding as hard as you can, as well as some good hill training will stand you in good stead for the ride itself. In the few weeks leading up to the event, I would make sure you don’t do too much to allow yourself a rest before the big day.
Eating clean (minimal processed food, lots of fish, chicken, rice, pasta, veg and fruit) for 2 weeks prior to the event is really good way to make sure you are feeling in tip top condition throughout the ride. Fuelling your body in advance and carb loading (I made a huge pasta dish the night before) is key to prepping your body for the challenge ahead. I also find that making sure you have a good breakfast (I had porridge and granary toast with peanut butter and honey, and 2 bananas) before the ride really helps to set you off feeling strong and positive.
Plan what you will do at rest stops and stop at all of them even if you don’t feel like you need to. Don’t over or under eat, but instead just eat what your body tells you it needs. If you can try to get in and out in 10 minutes, it will really help you to keep your momentum. I would always carry gels or other energy products in case you need a boost along the route in between pit stops.
4. Night before/on the morning
Get everything ready the evening before is essential so you aren’t stressing when it comes to the day of the ride, it will also help make sure you get a good night’s sleep before the big day. On the day, leave yourself plenty of time for the morning to get there and absorb the atmosphere.
5. The Ride
The Dulux London Revolution ULTRA was brilliantly organised and everyone was very helpful which definitely helped me push on all the way to the finish! The key to success is to ride hard but within your capabilities. Most of all, just make sure you enjoy it.