How To Train And Prepare For A Gravel Cycling Event

Clock00:00, Wednesday 9th May 2018

You might have already entered your first gravel event, or are thinking about one - but is it really any different to a road cycling event? Si and Katherine are here to talk you through how to train and prepare for this growing discipline.

Subscribe to GCN:
Register your interest in the GCN Club:
Get exclusive GCN gear in the GCN shop!

In association with 3T.

Riding your first gravel event is a bit different to what you might be used to, whether that’s road racing, sportives or your local club run. Endurance, Self-sufficiency and comfort are probably areas that are going to be more important. And Katherine here knows all about it as she’s getting ready for her first big event, the Dirty Kanza.

Yes, so while I work through my training, nutrition and equipment, we thought we’d create a guide for you guys too. Here’s how you get the most out of your first gravel grinder.
As with preparing for any event, the first thing that you need to do is actually choose and enter your event.

How ambitious you’re feeling will depend on what level you’re at already, whether you’ve been riding a few years or relatively new to cycling, or whether it’s a new discipline to you altogether. The usual advice is to start with something manageable and work your way up. If you’re new to road riding you’re unlikely to choose a 5 day stage race for your first participation event and being on gravel is no different.

Training is not just about getting your body in the right shape, but also your head. Giving you the confidence to be able to tackle and enjoy the ride. It is also a great opportunity to run through other really important aspects of the event, like big, kit and nutrition.

Yes, making use of long training rides is the perfect opportunity to test out your kit - remember it’s OK to make all the mistakes here so that you can avoid them on the actual event! You’re likely to have less support on a gravel event than a conventional road race or sportive, especially as they can be quite remote, so being self sufficient is key.

If you'd like to contribute captions and video info in your language, here's the link 👍

Watch more on GCN...
650B Wheels Off Road with Dan & Si 📹

Photos: © Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images & © Bettiniphoto /

About GCN:

The Global Cycling Network puts you in the centre of the action: from the iconic climbs of Alpe D’Huez and Mont Ventoux to the cobbles of Flanders, everywhere there is road or pavé, world-class racing and pro riders, we will be there bringing you action, analysis and unparalleled access every week, every month, and every year. We show you how to be a better cyclist with our bike maintenance videos, tips for improving your cycling, cycling top tens, and not forgetting the weekly GCN Show. Join us on YouTube’s biggest and best cycling channel to get closer to the action and improve your riding!

Welcome to the Global Cycling Network | Inside cycling

Thanks to our sponsors:

Alta Badia: // Maratona Dles Dolomites:
Assos of Switzerland:
KASK helmets:
fi’zi:k shoes and saddles: and
Topeak tools:
Canyon bikes:
DT Swiss:
Science in Sport:
Orbea bikes:
Trek Bicycles:
Vision wheels:
Zipp wheels:
Wahoo Fitness:
Park Tool:
Continental tyres:

The GCN Club -
YouTube Channel -
Facebook -
Instagram -
Google+ -
Twitter -
GMBN Tech -
GCN Tech -

Leave us a comment below!

More GCN videos

Link to Pro In Six Weeks? | Cillian & Feather Vs Zwift Academy
YouTube video Xhq8ixrRcwI

Pro In Six Weeks? | Cillian & Feather Vs Zwift Academy

The Zwift Academy is back! We’ve signed up British National Hill Climb Champion and GCN’s resident “Twig” Andrew Feather, as well as our stats nerd and average man Cillian Kelly for this year’s competition. Cillian is experienced at riding on Zwift, but Feather has never even done a workout on Zwift. Can either of them win the prestigious pro contract with Alpecin-Deceuninck?

Link to Is Comfortable Actually FASTER?! | The Science Of Pain
YouTube video zv8TgTbfUqs

Is Comfortable Actually FASTER?! | The Science Of Pain

Do you want to ride faster? You don't need to compromise on comfort to maximise your speed on the bike. Is aero actually the secret to cycling speed or could pain from an uncomfortable bike position be slowing you down? Ollie speaks to the "Professor of Pain", Lex Mauger, to take a deep dive into the psychology and science behind pain and suffering in sport, and learn how you could get faster on the bike.

Link to Attention Weak Cyclists - 7 Essential Body Weight Exercises!
YouTube video jYUoiS6Tp8A

Attention Weak Cyclists - 7 Essential Body Weight Exercises!

Looking for some free gains over the winter training months? In this video, we’re going to cover 7 essential off-bike strength exercises to make you stronger and faster on the bike, and no, you won’t need a gym membership!

Link to Luxury Vs Everyday: How To Improve Your Indoor Cycling Setup
YouTube video Eh4IbNY1CjM

Luxury Vs Everyday: How To Improve Your Indoor Cycling Setup

Cycling indoors is a great way to stay fit during the winter. There are so many options for turbo trainers, static bikes and more, but what indoor setup is right for your home? Manon compares a moveable setup with a more permanent pain cave, explaining the pros and cons of each.

Subscribe to the GCN Newsletter

Get the latest, most entertaining and best informed news, reviews, challenges, insights, analysis, competitions and offers - straight to your inbox