Kerry Bircher’s Training Tips

15th September 2015

Kerry Bircher is an enthusiastic and inspiring Personal Trainer and British Cycling coach. Kerry’s coaching career led to the development of and evolved from her passion for all things fitness, giving up a marketing profession to provide women with the opportunity to get fitter, healthier and more confident as cyclists.

Kerry has compiled some top training tips for the lead up to a cycling event:

3 months

  • The better prepared you are, the more you will get out of your cycling. Start out with a correctly set up bike, kit, a fuelled stomach and full bottle, and your training will be more enjoyable.
  • If you haven’t used your bike for a while, have it serviced at a specialist bike shop to ensure it’s roadworthy.
  • Write your weekly training sessions into your diary. If you write something down, you’re more likely to commit to it and do it.
  • Find a training partner. It certainly makes it a lot easier and far more social than training on your own.
  • Invest in good cycling shorts: Seamless, chafe-free, and do not wear underwear underneath.
  • Pump up your tyres before every ride. Buy a pump with a gauge; inflate to approx. 110 psi for road bikes.

6 weeks

  • Nutrition: stay hydrated, have enough fuel on board to do your session, and replace what you’ve used during that session afterwards.
  • Get your position right on the bike. You will perform better, be more comfortable and as a result enjoy your riding more.
  • Rest and recover. You don’t get fitter when you’re riding, you get fitter when you recover afterwards, have at least one day without exercise every week.
  • Learn how to change a flat tyre: Whether it’s while you’re out on the road or back at home, it is a mandatory piece of bike knowledge.
  • Recce the route: Study and take a note of the route ahead of your event.
  • Be sun safe: Remember to apply sun protection, not forgetting to coat your neck, nose and ears as well as exposed limbs. Don’t forget your sunglasses.

Night before/on the day

  • Give your bike a ‘once over’. Check the tyres, brakes and gears, also give it a quick clean to get rid of surface dirt or any caked mud.
  • Avoid a wardrobe crisis: The last thing you want is a frantic search for your sports bra on the morning of an event, so get your running gear and kit bag ready the night before.
  • Check the forecast: During a UK summer you can expect anything from a heat wave to wind and rain, so do a weather check, and then pack and dress accordingly.
  • Eat a carbohydrate rich breakfast: A good breakfast gives you the energy you need for performance and helps prevent you from feeling tired halfway through the ride. Allow your body time to digest; eat your breakfast two hours before your event.