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Training For A Cycle Tour
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Training for A Cycle Tour

Cycle Tour Training

So you’ve decided to do a multi day cycle tour. If you’re not used to riding reasonably long distances several days in a row, then you’ll need to do some training to make the tour enjoyable. Being totally smashed at the end of each day will make for an arduous and rather unpleasant tour.

Assuming you have some riding already under your belt, training for a cycle tour shouldn’t be to tough.

First plan your tour carefully, if you’re fairly new to cycling then I would restrict each day to roughly 80 to 100 kilometres. This is easily achievable and wont take all day, leaving plenty of time for recovery and relaxation – a most important component of any tour.

The object of the training is to build up your endurance so you can handle riding day after day. Don’t forget your touring bike will be considerably heavier than your normal bike, so this needs to be factored in.

I think 8 weeks is ample time to get in shape, and also allows time for rest periods as well. What mileage you do is relative to how fit you are already, but suffice to say start off easy and build up slowly. Don’t forget, cycle tours are not about speed, they’re about enjoying the scenery and taking lots of photos and the pleasure of being on your bike.

Start off riding 4 days a week, a couple of shorter rides during the week, with longer ones on the weekend. Over the first 3 weeks build up the mileage, especially on the weekend rides. Aim to increase your mileage by roughly 10-15% each week.

By week four add another day of riding. If say you’re riding Tuesday and Thursday, then do a short but easy ride Friday, and continue longer rides on Saturday/Sunday.

At this stage also start to incorporate some hill work into your training.

Week five, ride six days but keep them short and very easy, this is your easy rest week.

Week six and seven is the time for real gains. Aim to ride as far as your longest tour day on at least 3 of the six days. Now is also a good time to be riding your touring bike, so you can get use to how it feels, and on at least one day ride with your bag or panniers on with some weight in them.

Finish off week eight with easy rides, with 2 days off before the start off your cycle tour.

If your tour route is very hilly, then obviously incorporate more hills into your training.

This schedule should enable you to ride everyday with the confidence that you can do it all again the next day.

Also you will build your fitness as the tour progress’s, so you might like to start your cycle tour with a couple of shorter days, to ease yourself into it.

One of the best things I like about touring, is the amount of food you can tuck away each night, because you will be hungry, and it’s important to re-fuel your body for the following days.

So with not too much effort you can easily get yourself in shape for your cycle tour, and from my experience the fitter you are, the more enjoyable your tour will be.


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