The Annual Rose Hill Rally, a 50K and 100K bike ride, is coming up Sunday, May 5th, and that doesn't give those of us who haven't cycled since last Fall much time to get back in gear. How does one in poor "coming-out-of-winter" shape get conditioned to do a 100K by our deadline?

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According to tri-athelete Kurt Simonsen, one effective way to get in cycling shape is to ride for time, not distance. Simonsen states you cannot control some variables such as headwinds or weather conditions, so in the beginning, set our on your ride with the time of your ride, not the distance, being the primary focus.

Simonsen also adds you should not concern yourself with speed. The first few weeks will get you comfortable with the bike. While you shouldn't poke along, you shouldn't concern yourself with setting any world records, either.

Simonsen contributes a day by day agenda to help get us all ready for the Rose Hill Rally:

  • First Day: 30-minute aerobic ride with steady pace, working at roughly 75% of your max.
  • Second Day: 30-minute interval ride. Do a five minute warm up of easy riding, go hard for two minutes, and then recover for two. Repeat this five times.
  • Third Day: Repeat of Day One.
  • Fourth Day: Cross Train: swim, jog, hike, whatever floats your boat.
  • Fifth Day: Find a course with significant hills and ride for time, 30-minutes, not the number of hills.
  • Sixth Day: One-hour endurance ride.
  • Seventh Day: Rest.
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Of course, not everyone who rides the Rose Hill Rally is a road cyclist. For the mountain bikers out there, Bike 198's Rob Sutton suggests a very direct approach to getting prepped for cycling. He states "The fastest way to get back into shape on your mountain bike is to start putting in the miles.

When you combine miles with an area that has pretty significant elevation change, you are forcing yourself into pain that drastically increases your fitness in a short period of time."

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