Cycling enthusiasts in Singapore can’t ask for more when they get to lay their hands on some exclusive long distance training tips from the legend Shirley Teo herself!
Shirley Teo won the overall female title for Gran Fondo New York (GFNY) Indonesia race where she managed to cover the 165 km route around Lombok in 5hr 53min 18sec.
Though she had started cycling seriously with her mountain bike from 2010, she quickly took up a road bike and now competes on both. Now, as they say, the rest is history!
Shirley Teo is a great inspiration for every cyclist enthusiasts in Singapore because she won the GFNY title by battling against excruciating pain and cramps.
What’s the secret of her endurance? Is she the super-cyclist we all aspire to become one day? What should you do to turn your professional cycling dreams into reality?
Well, Shirley Teo has a lot of tips to offer to her fellow women cyclists in Singapore. Without much ado let’s give you the lowdown on Shirley’s training regimen.
Shirley Teo’s long distance training tips for women:
#1 Choosing a comfortable bike
Especially for women cyclist, choosing a comfortable bike is immensely important. Thus, the right saddle and correct bike size are critical while training for the big event.
Shirley adds great importance to this because she says that if you’re not comfortable on your bike, you won’t even be able to ride 10km!
Even the smaller sized commercial bikes turn out to be bigger for petite women during long distance training. Shirley trains on a custom-made Titanium bike “Seven” on the road, and for off-road biking, she uses a full suspension “Pivot.”
#2 Focus on time rather than distance
Shirley wants every cyclist to focus on the number of hours they spend training. Often people make the mistake of focusing too much on the distance and not the time, which eventually turns out to be a disaster.
Shirley’s long distance training comprises of 1 hours of hill training, 30 minutes of a warm-up ride and 1-hour interval training.
Recovery plays a crucial role – Professional cyclists should include adequate rest and also appropriate food/drinks in their long distance training. It’s important that your body gets a good amount of rest so that your muscles can recover after a hard session of 3-4 hours.
In addition to rest, you must drink a protein shake or recovery drinks that include amino acids, turmeric, Vitamin c, and magnesium. You must find out what your body needs and develop a recovery routine accordingly.
It’s important that your body gets a good amount of rest so that your muscles can recover after a hard session of 3-4 hours.
Stretching exercises go a long way in keeping your muscles healthy and fit – Our muscles tend to get tense during long distance training, and you need to release the muscle tension by stretching.
You will have to include stretching exercises in your training program to relax you’re the muscles in your legs, shoulder, and arms. Sports massages and Yoga Pilates are great for stretching the muscles and releasing tension.
#5 Steadily building up endurance
To up your game, you must enroll for the Singapore Audax rides as they will help you to build up your endurance steadily over a period. Since it’s a non-competitive sport, so you get the opportunity to build pace over a period of time.
You’ll be able to complete long distance rides by taking part in the Singapore Audax and build your endurance. Endurance training should always be an integral part of your long distance training program.
#6 Eat and drink adequately even when you don’t feel hungry or thirsty
Your muscles need all the energy during long distance training.
You will have to eat an adequate amount of carbohydrate, protein and other vitamin-rich food and drinks. You should also drink enough fluids so that your body remains hydrated to avoid unnecessary muscle cramps.
#7 Find a group of riders with similar goals and pacing
It’s all about pacing. When training with the men in the team – you have to know your limits and let them go on when their pace gets too challenging and way above your threshold.
Women have to understand that men can hold their speed for a long time since their bodies work differently than us. However, it’s not a bad thing to train with men as getting used to it helps to build strength and endurance in the long-run.
Riding with like-minded riders is a more feasible technique. However once you get more advanced and find that your group of riders isn’t challenging you enough, ride with a different one.
#8 Ensure a good night’s sleep 2 days before a long ride
You have to condition your body not to feel tired. If you’re tired you can’t do much. Minimum 7 hours of sleep. Sometimes for a good rest, we’ve got to sacrifice our social time.
For ladies, sometimes you have to sacrifice your skin – long distance races and the training that comes with it tend to damage the skin. You have to learn how your body adapts to rest in order to prep for a ride or race.
#9 Be prepared for a fast start when racing
There will be a point during the race where you’ll get exhausted and slow down, so the key is to make sure to have that lead start. Some riders might prefer to have the fast pace and different periods of the race, but Shirley often goes for the fast start.
Shirley Teo trains hard for her events. If you too wish to emulate her successful cycling records, you too have to train hard.
You’ve to be prepared to endure pain and hardships along the way. Stick to her long distance training tips and you too could one-day taste success like Shirley!
Best of luck! 🙂
Author: Mizah Salik
Writer | Editor | Storyteller | Data geek | Aspiring Photographer
When she’s not writing, Mizah is constantly wired 24/7. She loves cats, cycling at night, and can’t survive without her weekly dose of chicken rice.