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19 Feb 2019

Dig Deep Coaching Training Tips

The Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive is a unique cycling event held on the North Coast of Ireland every year, taking in spectacular views on the Causeway Coast and Glens of Antrim. This cycling event IS for both beginners and experienced cyclists, with 4 different routes to choose from: 35 | 60 | 85 | 115 miles. This year, we’ve teamed up with Dig Deep Coaching to help you get the most out of your training in preparation for the 2019 Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive on Saturday 22nd June.

Week 1: Introduction

Become A Giant in 2019 and challenge yourself at the 2019 Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive!

The New Year usually involves resolutions, and this year our resolution is to inspire you to Become A Giant and take on a challenge in 2019, which the Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive 2019 is perfect for!

The Sportive offers 4 different route choices, which make it a real, feasible challenge for everyone, whatever level of cyclist you are. The shortest route, 35-miles, is an excellent way for beginners to complete their first sportive, whereas the new 60-mile route is for cyclists who want to challenge themselves and step up from the 35-mile option. The 85-mile and 115-mile routes are ideal for those cyclists looking for a major challenge, with testing hills of up to 20% gradients. The variety of route choices ensures that the Sportive offers an exciting challenge for everyone.

As promised, we’ll be bringing you a month of inspirational content this January to help you kickstart your New Year out on the bike and help you on your way to Become A Giant in 2019. To do this, we’ve teamed up with Dig Deep Coaching to help bring you the best advice on training and motivation, so you can prepare for the Sportive in June. Each week in January, we’ll be supporting your journey to the Sportive, focusing on topics from inspiration to what equipment to use.


Week 2: Kicking Off the New Year Right

For week 1 of our training and motivation series with Dig Deep Coaching, we’ve brought you three tips to kick off your New Year in the best way possible so you can Become A Giant in 2019 💪

  1. Find a Training Buddy

Nothing will motivate you more than knowing a friend is waiting for you in the gym or a friend is still willing to train in the bad weather even on days when you’re not so motivated. Having a training partner will not only keep you focused on getting fit, it also keeps the social element of the sport which is the reason may of us are cyclists.

  1. Get the Consistency Back ☑️

Sometimes making your training over-complicated can not only confuse things but it can also take away from prioritizing your needs. What you need to get right in January 2019 is the consistency of your weekly routine back.

Perhaps you’re not training for as long or as far as you want to be but just getting into a training session will help get your body into a sync of regular exercise. If you aim for 3 workouts a week then put your energy into completing those 3 sessions a week, even if they are shorter or less intensive than what you had planned – the key is to get consistent.

  1. Think Long Term ⏰

Like anything you strive for, we will come up against road blocks that may derail our progress at times. To help you get through those times it’s important to look at our longer-term goals and put the current impasse into perspective.

For example, if you get a cold or an injury which takes you away from your planned routine, it is easy to get hard on yourself for losing some precious time to train. Take a step back and realize that you have lots of time in hand to get back to fitness and relax, so you can allow your body to be ready before starting back again.

And there you have it! Keep your eyes peeled for more training and motivation tips in the coming weeks.


Week 3: Inspiration

We’re continuing our month of training and motivation advice with Dig Deep Coaching and today we’re looking at inspiration, by focusing on one of cycling’s most inspirational figures.

“Ride as much or as little, as long or as short as you feel. But ride.” Eddy Merckx – x5 Time Tour de France winner and cycling’s most successful ever cyclist.

Many people may ask why the world’s most famous cyclist and renowned 5 times Tour de France champion Eddy Merckx would be an inspiration for anyone participating in a sportive event, but the simple fact is that cyclists of all abilities share the same goal – to ride their bikes!

What we can learn from Eddy Merckx is that the details and questions we ask ourselves prior to training – “How far will I go today?” “Will I train hard or take it easy?” “Should I do more hills or ride fast on the flat” – become irrelevant if it takes away from the fact that riding your bike, no matter how fast or slow or how long or short, is the most important thing.

Sometimes we can lose focus on this and become overwhelmed by all the small details which make up our training routines. It’s also easy to forget the reason we started cycling in the first place, which is the enjoyment of pedaling a bike, meeting new people and making journeys to new places.

If we are to learn anything from Eddy and to apply this to our own inspiration, it’s that riding a bike is simply the most important thing we can do, regardless of speed or distance. Become inspired and get out on the bike this January!

Safe cycling to all in 2019 and hopefully see you in June!


Week 4: Cycling Equipment

We’re getting into the final stretch of January and we’ve got our next piece of training tips from Dig Deep Coaching to get you through these cold Winter months! ❄️

This week’s advice focuses on cycling equipment!

Nothing in your arsenal of cycling equipment is more important than your clothing. In the famous words of Billy Connolly: “There’s no such thing as bad weather – only the wrong clothes.”

Clothing is never more important than in Winter as numb hands and cold feet can ruin the most enjoyable of cycles – we need to prioritize what we wear if we are to maximize the time we have on the bike. One priority when purchasing new products is to make sure our extremities have the best equipment and kit which will leave you warm, dry and able to manoeuvre easily on the bike. Quality overshoes and gloves are a must, and these need to be both water resistant and wind-proof. After this you need to have a good base layer (vest) which will help absorb sweat and keep the heat in – if you have a poor base layer then you will not be able to maximize the other clothing you have. The other priority everyone should do, year-round, is never leave for training without a rain cape (especially when cycling in this country!). Have the rain cape in reserve and in your back pocket as the final backup if the weather takes a real turn for the worst. NEVER leave home without this essential piece of kit.

The other investment which has massive value is a turbo trainer. Having the potential of indoor training is essential and cyclists, especially in Ireland, do a lot of their weekly training indoors (sometimes as much as 50%!). A turbo trainer will allow you to use your own bike in your own house – this helps maintain quality training in bad weather, while being accessible and easy to use. The accessibility of a turbo trainer means the motivation to complete your training is greater, letting you get those miles up even in the dark Winter months!

So that’s our tips for prioritizing your cycling equipment as you gain momentum towards the Spring: quality clothing and the potential to train indoors. If you have this covered then you are on your way to maximizing your training and the time available to you.

Safe cycling! Keep an eye out for more training advice and motivation coming your way soon.


Keep an eye out for more training tips – we’ll update this webpage as the Dig Deep team add more.

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Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland Cycle NI McConvey Cycles

This event is an initiative of Outdoor Recreation NI, a not for profit organisation