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How to prepare for a bike marathon

It’s not enough to give some half-hearted preparation for the event – you must prepare the right way. When you do this, you increase the likelihood of completing the marathon. With that said, we’re sharing our top tips on how to prepare for a cycling marathon below. Let’s begin.

Top tips to prepare for a cycling marathon

Start training in advance

To give yourself the best chance of success, you will need to train for at least a few months prior to the event. The worst thing you can do in preparation for your cycling marathon is not training until the last minute. Your body needs time to become accustomed to cycling such a long distance, especially if it is your first marathon. Practise as much as you can and the big day will be much easier for you.

Start by doing smaller rides & build up the distance

During your preparation, you should begin by doing shorter distances and building up the length of your rides over time. This way, you are training your muscles to gradually strengthen and get used to cycling longer periods. Just like with any sport, practice makes perfect and the best way to practise is to start from the bottom and work your way upwards.

Practise with a group

Unless you plan on doing the marathon yourself, there will likely be a number of people also taking part. Therefore, it is a good idea to get used to cycling with a group. Doing this will let you know the difference between cycling alone and in a group, and will also give you a feel for the big day.

Make sure your bike is in top condition

It’s essential that your bike is in good working condition for the marathon. The last thing you want is for it to cause any issues during the race. You should check the tyres, air pressure, brakes and all other aspects of your bike to make sure it is all working well. Pro tip: check your bike in advance to ensure any issues don’t impact your training. You should check your bike again before the race.

Plan your food in advance & rehearse your routine

It’s important to eat nutritious, high-carb food before the marathon to give you energy. Make sure you decide which food you will eat in advance, to save yourself from panicking the morning of the marathon. Once you have decided what to eat, you should rehearse eating the food before a practice ride. This way you can ‘test’ the food and see if it will be substantial for the event.

Ride half the distance during your training plan

If you are able to, you should practise riding half the distance of the marathon, during your training schedule. This will allow you to check your fitness levels, comfortability on the bike and generally whether you are prepared enough. During this practice ride, you should dress as you would for the actual marathon, allowing you to effectively check your comfort levels. Some key things to check during this ride are: are you comfortable? Did your bike fare well throughout the ride? And are you in extreme pain after the ride? Based on these answers, you can make any changes if you need to.

Rest a few days before the event

You want to be in prime shape for the marathon, so make sure to rest a few days before the big day. Don’t go on any strenuous rides, as you run the risk of injuring yourself and potentially damaging your ability to take part in the marathon. Take a few days to rest and relax so you are your best self for race day.


Taking part in a cycling marathon is a huge test of your abilities. Make sure to correctly train and prepare for the big day to give yourself the best chance of success. Following the above steps will have you well prepared for your cycling marathon – whether it’s your first big ride or you’re an experienced rider. Additionally, take care to eat well, sleep well and stay hydrated throughout your training regimen and you’ll be ready and raring to go.

This article has been written on behalf of Quella Bicycle, leading single-speed bike retailer.

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