Training Tips to Tackle Your First Iceman Slush Cup

November might seem like it’s a long way out, but the Bell’s Iceman Cometh Challenge is approaching faster than you think. If you’re not quite up for the full 30-mile race but want to get involved, the Meijer Slush Cup – at a challenging but approachable eight miles – might be your event.

Whether you’ve been training or are just getting started, here are some tips to help you prepare.

  • Get a buddy. Find someone you can ride with on a regular basis. It can be Tuesday night rides at your favorite trail or weekend adventures, but the key is to find someone to keep you motivated and on track. Fun and fitness with a friend is an added bonus!
  • Schedule it. Aim to ride three to four times per week between now and the Meijer Slush Cup. Put these rides on your calendar just as you would an important appointment and keep them.
  • Mix it up. You should also consider mixing in other recreational activities to your weekly schedule to keep your cycling fresh and invigorating. Also, if you can vary the intensity of your rides during the week, you’ll soon find your speed on the trails has increased.
  • Try an organized ride before race day. Many cities and towns in Michigan have cycling clubs that offer organized rides (both on and off road). They are a great way to gauge your fitness and get used to riding in groups of cyclists.

Training hard is great preparation, but be sure to give your body a chance to recover and rest at least once a week while you are riding. Active rest is just as important as speed workouts.

If you live near Traverse City, Norte!, a youth-focused cycling advocacy group in the Grand Traverse Region offers “Vasa Domingos” rides on the Vasa Trail and Slush Cup course every Sunday at noon in the fall. As race time approaches, their rides become more spirited, but they ensure that every rider is accounted for at different points along the course. Join in the weekly rides and you’ll be that much more comfortable once the starting pistol goes off.

On race day, remember to take it a little easy at the start as the second half of the Meijer Slush Cup course becomes more difficult when the hills start turning up. The key is to relax, have fun and only start to push yourself once you feel comfortable.

Are you gearing up for any rides this fall? Share your training tips in the comments. 

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Photo credit: Katie Sayer

Editor’s Note: Blue Care Network is a proud sponsor of the Meijer Slush Cup. 


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