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019 Argus Cycle Tour - Training Tips for Beginners

Argus Cycle Tour - Training Tips for Beginners

The millennium cycle tour over 109 km during 2002 will commemorate 25 years of the existence of this important event in Cape Town. Sponsored by The Cape Argus and Pick 'n Pay, a record number of entries can be expected. Competition will be tough as most recreational novices will try for a sub 5-hour Argus.

Follow these tips

Service your bike early i.e. a few weeks before the Argus Cycle Tour. Do it in late January or early February. You need time to run in the bike just after the service and last minute fine-tuning may be needed. For the best possible service, at affordable prices go to Francois du Toit in Rosendal, Bellville. You will get personal service and a no nonsense approach. From beginners to pros receive top class attention. Phone Francois on Tel: 021- 910 0441 or cell 0832731986. Francois physical address is 17 Melina Road; Rosendal. This is just off Old Oak Road, near Tygervalley centre. This is the location of his well-equipped showroom. A full range of bikes is available on display. You will not be disappointed.

The dollar has knocked the rand for a loop as well as your pocket and finances. A new frame could set you back R10000. Upgrading to a new bike can be costly but will need careful budgeting. Revamp your old bike rather before the Argus. But you need an expert to do this. The only person that can do it in Cape Town is Francois du Toit. He is the recognized expert for refitting and revamping older model bikes. He can service and revamp any bike from MTB to roadbikes and tandems. Francois will make your old bike feel like new, because he has the required expertise many dealers do not have. It is only a phone call away. Tell him what you want and he will do it, because he is the only qualified international framebuilder in South Africa. He is the expert behind Du Toit and Le Jeuene bikes, many of which are still on the road. This includes tandems. If you want the latest in tandem design and technology right now, there is only one expert in Cape Town that can help you, and that is Francois du Toit. The latest 2002 models and designs are on display at his showroom in Rosendal.

Redefine your lifestyle and available time for cycle training. Training on the road is better than indoor trainers.

Train 3 times a week and rest on the other days to enhance recovery of joints and muscles.

Train early in the morning or late evening. Drink one vitamin and magnesium pill daily. Do not exceed the dose because the dangers of side effects.

Use a HRM if you have one. Follow training zones. Read the Ride Life Cycle magazines for more details. Get an affordable HRM from Francois.

Get used to drinking fluids i.e. 2 liters of pure water per day.
Learn to supplement and use sportsdrinks correctly ie. Energade, Powerade, Game, Evox, Isostar etc.

There is a wide choice. They are all the same. Palatability determines the buy. Do not change diet or sportsdrink the week before the Argus.If you do, expect an upset stomach.
Eat properly. Stick to a high carbohydrate diet. Avoid fats at all cost.

Have a medical check up before the Argus if you are over 40 years. Check your cholesterol and have elevated levels treated. Consult you health care giver. Values above 5.5 will need treatment i.e. diet and or statins depending on your risk factors predisposing you to a stroke and heart attack. Statins have bad side effects that affect cyclist. Consult your doctor about these, especially muscle cramps.

Don't ignore these recommendations, especially if you are older than 40 years, and have a family history of premature heart attacks.

January: Ten weeks to go. Endurance rides 3-4 times a week. Get miles into the saddle. Include a few hills and intervals. For the beginner do not exceed 1 hour at a time. More training will result in overuse injuries and you can kiss your Argus good buy. Overtraining will result in a sore throat and bronchitis and you will be out of the Argus the week before the race. Over training leads to colds.

February: Six weeks to go. Endurance rides again. Include a few longer rides. Don't overtrain or strain up steep hills. Don't forget you are a beginner. Don't become a casualty because of the folly of youth. Make sure the bike is serviced. Last minute adjustments might be needed. Contact Francois for all cycle repair or service emergencies.

March: Ten days to go and count down. Cut down and wind down your cycle training program. The two weeks before the Argus you must cut down on mileage. It is too late to start training. Rest completely two days before the Argus. If you decide to train hard now, expect to collapse from fatigue at Simonstown. If you wish you can carboload the week before the Argus. If you overdo it you are going to end up with gastro and that will put an end to your Argus tour because of stomach cramps. You don't need to do thousands of kilometers in the saddle to complete the Argus.

Concluding tips for the novice

Avoid pain and straining. A beginner must train sensibly. Develop a degree of cycle fitness before the Argus. It will pay dividends. Service your bike early. Visit Francois for personalized cycle care and advice. Tandems need special attention. Francois du Toit will attend to all your cycle needs, be you a novice, veteran or pro. Social and racing tandems are his specialty. Francois always emphasizes bike fit. This will be valuable to you if you suffer from aches and pains. He is the expert and will measure you up correctly for a pleasant Argus. For professional advice call him on 021-9100441 or pop into his showroom in Rozendal, which is near to Tygervalley Centre. Enjoy your training and see you on the road. Join PPA if you want to become a serious cyclist.

Argus Cycle Training Resource:

RIDE YOUR BEST ARGUS EVER.EXPERT ADVICE FOR PEAK PERFORMANCE. By Don du Toit et al. 2nd edition. Tafelberg. 2001. Cost R99.00. Available at all bookshops and the CNA. This is the only comprehensive cycle guide available on the Argus Cycle Tour. It meets the requirements of all cyclists regardless of the level of cycling. It is the ABC and bible of the Argus Cycle Tour. Special coverage is provided for female cyclists, disabled persons and tandems.

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