PEDAL YOUR PACE: The biggest newbie mistake is letting yourself be seduced into speeding along with faster riders early in the day, only to crack 60 miles in. Fall in with riders who pedal your pace and avoid going into the red (feeling breathless) for the first 50 miles. You'll finish fresh and strong.
MOVE AROUND: Avoid aches and pains in your neck and back by changing your hand position often and standing out of the saddle to stretch periodically.
KEEP IT SHORT: Take advantage of rest stops to use the bathroom, refill bottles, stretch and grab some food. But don't linger. A stop that lasts more than 10 to 15 minutes will cause your legs to stiffen up and make it harder to get going again.
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Selene Yeager is a USA Cycling certified coach. Read her blog at bicycling.com/fitchick.
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