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Training

Whether this is your first JDRF Ride or your twentieth, the JDRF team of coaches is equipped to enhance your ride experience. From developing training plans to assist in meeting your personal Ride day goal, to hosting training rides with your local community of JDRF riders, your local chapter and team of coaches has the resources to enable you to obtain your Ride goals safe, sound, smiling, and under your own power.

Coaches

The most powerful part of the JDRF Ride program is getting to be a member of a community that is focused on raising the funds to defeat Type 1 Diabetes. For every rider at every ride, there is a "moment" that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Getting to be a part of the team of JDRF coaches and being able to help in making those "moments happen is one of the most rewarding parts of my life!
-Ross Armstrong, JDRF Ride Coach

All JDRF Coaches maintain a Level 3 or higher coaching certification through USA Cycling, the governing authority for cycling events. JDRF's team of coaches are here to enhance your ride experience by maintaining a culture of safety and creating an inclusive environment for you as you train together in preparation for Ride Day.

Our coaches will help you set realistic goals, organize group rides, monitor your progress and provide clinics on everything from buying your first bike to how to change a flat tire.

Every year, hundreds of riders go distances they never thought possible. Register for a JDRF Ride and discover what you can accomplish.

To learn more about our coaches, email ride@jdrf.org.

Training tips

It is inspiring helping teammates develop into accomplished riders who surpass their individual goals and thrilling to celebrate everyone's shared success in raising funds to find a cure for T1D.
-Barbara Feinstein, JDRF Ride Coach

JDRF has a series of tools and resources that will help you reach your cycling goals. Once you register, you'll have access to:

  • Training Rides
  • A JDRF Coach (either local or virtual)
  • Ride newsletters with fundraising tips and best practices
  • Customizable training plans for your distance goal

These are just a few of the tools we offer. If you'd like to learn more about our training resources, email ride@jdrf.org.

Training FAQ

What type of bike do I need to do a JDRF Ride?

The simple answer is any bike that is comfortable and that is in good operating condition. When doing a JDRF ride, these are not races. These are fundraising events where you Ride the distance you are comfortable with.

Most Riders use a road bike, which is a lightweight bike with narrow tires and anywhere from 18 to 27 gears; some use hybrid bikes, which tend to be more upright and have upright handlebars. The best advice is to get a bike that fits you well and on which you feel comfortable sitting on and riding for several hours at a time.

100 miles is a long way to ride a bike. How can I possibly get myself in shape to ride that far?

The JDRF Ride to Cure is about the mission, not the miles, so there is no minimum length for any of our Rides. While many complete the entire 100 mile course at each ride, it is not mandatory. Each rider will have the support of a coach who will help them train to reach and exceed whatever their mileage goal is.

What are some tips to help me be able to ride the distance and be comfortable doing so?

  1. Don't ride too fast! The objective is to complete the distance and typically if you can ride at least 10-11 miles per hour steadily, you will be able to complete the 100 mile distance.
  2. Be sure to stay hydrated during your ride. You should take a sip from your water bottle often while riding, every 10-15 minutes at least, even if you don't feel thirsty. By the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated and it may become difficult to make up for lost water at that point.
  3. Stay fueled for the ride. Cycling requires a lot of energy, and you will need to keep eating during the ride to have enough energy to keep going strongly. Sports drinks, such as Gatorade, energy bars and gels, fruit and other easy-to-digest foods that are easy to eat and keep you fueled. JDRF Rides are famous for well-stocked aid stations along the way.
  4. Train and ride with a friend. There are two very good reasons to ride with a friend: It's safer and it's more fun! If anything should happen such as a flat tire, it's always better to have someone along to help. Many participants find great connections within the local JDRF Ride community, building lifelong friendships while working towards a common goal.

How often should I be riding?

The number one way to get better at riding a bike is by riding a bike. Your coach will help you set your mileage goal and will create a plan that will help you reach it.

How many miles should I ride in training for the Ride to Cure?

  1. Your longest training ride should be 75-80% of the distance of your ride goal. Why not 100%? That's because if you can ride 80%, or 80 miles if you are aiming for a century ride at a JDRF Ride, then you should be able to make it the last 20. In training, Riders typically get the ride over much quicker than at the JDRF Ride, because we all have other things to do at home on weekends. Remember; at the Ride to Cure you have all day (almost) to ride the distance.
  2. Your weekly mileage should equal or exceed the number of miles you plan to ride at the JDRF Ride. So if you are planning to ride 100 miles at your JDRF Ride, then your weekly mileage should average 100 or more miles. All miles count and accumulate as far as your body is concerned. If you can consistently put in 100 miles a week in the final few weeks approaching your Ride to Cure, you will be fine. So 5 days of 20 miles will work if that's all you can manage. However, you should still be working your way up to a progressively longer ride each week, as described in #1 above.

What's the best piece of advice you can give me as a first time rider?

The JDRF Ride is not just about riding a bike; it's about raising the money to impact those living with Type 1 Diabetes through JDRF's mission. What many participants find is that through signing up for the Ride they end up changing their lives by becoming part of a community. The "bike" becomes more than a fundraising tool, it becomes a diabetes fighting machine. Enjoy every mile by getting to know new friends and recognizing the difference you are making in lives of many people, including your own.


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