• Dale's Training Tips

We recently caught up with Performance Coach Dale Heaps (right), to get his top training tips for tackling Smiddy’s multi-day events—and he’s speaking from experience, having completed five Smiddy events since 2013!

“The great thing about Smiddy is that it’s not an intimidating group, they’re all very supportive which is one of the things I’ve loved and has kept me coming back. In that way, Smiddy is great for beginners,” Dale said.

“These multi-day events may seem intimidating, but anyone can get there with the right preparation.”

Start early.

“Nothing can beat early preparation, especially for a multi-day event like Smiddy where you’re riding 200 km a day and backing it up for 3, 4, 5 days plus.

Progress slowly.

“Don’t rush your training, especially if you’re a beginner. If you’re looking to get started with a multi-day Smiddy event, I’d recommend training 2-3 times a week on your bike, from six months out, while gradually increasing the kilometres, time and days you’re riding each week as your fitness improves.”

Build kilometres then climb.

“Once you’ve slowly built up your kilometres and time on the road, gradually work at increasing your climbing elevation to suit the event you’re going to do. Build up your kilometres then build your elevation.”

Get the right gear.

“From the right bike to the right kit, and the fitting and gearing of your bike, having the right gear can help prevent injuries and make your training more enjoyable.”

Look after your body.

“These multi-day events are challenges for a reason—they take a toll on your body. So when it comes to training, build in strength work as well as stretching, yoga and massage to help maintain your body. People think they just have to cycle more and more, but that’s when injuries happen.”

Train hard, not long.

“Quality is important when it comes to training—but juggling training with your work and home life can be a challenge. Structured indoor or high intensity sessions are a great way to build fitness for endurance without doing long, slow kilometres. These sessions can be beneficial and save you a lot of time.”

Seek medical help.

“When it comes to injuries, my broad advice is for people not to try and ride through niggles and pain; get checked out by a physiotherapist so you know what you’re dealing with and it doesn’t play on your mind. That way, if you need to rest or do specific exercises to correct it, you can. I haven’t come across anyone who can push through pain and have it magically go away!”

Get your friends and family involved.

“This isn’t really a training tip, but getting your friends and family involved can help keep you motivated. It’s a lot more enjoyable being out there training if your friends and family are riding with you. If you can’t rope them in, join the Wednesday morning Smiddy ride* or get involved with other riders from within the Smiddy community.”

And Dale’s last piece of advice for those toying with the idea of signing up for a Smiddy event?

Just do it. Smiddy is more than just a ride; you get the complete an amazing challenge with amazing people, and support a great cause.

We couldn’t agree more! So, are you in?


*If you want any info about Smiddy training rides or anything else about how you can get ready for a Smiddy event, please give us a call on 07 3163 8000 or email info@smiddy.org.au.

The Mater Foundation is registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission ABN 96723184640.