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5 tips for Canadians doing the Rapha Festive 500

It’s a great way to get in some clicks during the holidays

If you haven’t done the Rapha Festive 500, it’s pretty straightforward. You have from Dec. 24 to Dec. 31 to log in 500 km outside. Now, in many parts of Canada it’s pretty cold, but that shouldn’t stop you from giving it a go. Given that the holidays can be hectic, it may take some planning, but it’s a great way to keep your fitness going.

1. Mix up the distances

Although you could just blast out some big rides at the start to get it done, it’s way more practical to mix up the distances. 80km, 30km, 80km, and so on, will make it so you don’t burn out early. Riding outside when it’s cold can be way more draining in the winter, so you don’t want to empty your tank too quickly.

You can plan ahead too, looking at the weather and trying to put your bigger rides on the better days, and easier on the lousier ones. Forecasts aren’t always reliable, but it’s a starting point.

2. Watch your hooch intake

If you drink alcohol, the holidays can be a gluttonous time. Everyone loves to be a little festive, but beware of the feeling of the next morning. It may hinder your motivation to get layered up and ride outside.

How holiday hooch can affect your training

3. Dress well

It goes without saying that you need to wear the right amount of clothes. Layers and wind-proofing head to toe will help you crank out those kilometers. It’s a good idea to bring a vest or extra jacket in your back pocket in case the weather changes. Or if you have a flat or mechanical. Sitting at the side of the road fixing something can get pretty nippy.

Are you wearing enough winter clothes?

4. Avoid the hills

Hills are great for training, but if you’re trying to get miles in during a cold day, it can be a drag on your efficiency. Find flat roads that are as protected from the wind as possible so you can keep a steady pace.

5. Keep your bike and gear clean

As soon as you finish your ride, give your bike a  quick clean. Salt and slush can make a bike pretty gross overnight and it’s the last thing you want to be working on if you’re trying to squeeze in a ride during a busy time of year.

When salt attacks! Winter riders, protect your bike against this vicious substance

Same goes for your kit, both under and over. Make sure you wash it and it’s ready and dry for you to slip on the next morning. Discovering that your booties are in a wet soggy pile at 9 a.m. the next morning is no fun.

You can learn more about the Rapha Festive 500 at Rapha.com