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Bike Training Guide

There is no doubt about it, training for events is tough! You’ll be well rewarded however when you’ve completed the challenge. Stick to our training advice and you shouldn’t go wrong!

Do I really have to train?
Yes! Cycling challenges are designed for people of average fitness as long as you are prepared to train. You should start training several months before the event.

Before starting your training plan
From the outset you should attempt to develop your cadence, which is the speed at which your legs rotate (RPM), this will improve your aerobic capacity meaning your heart and lungs will grow stronger and be less stressed when cycling or exercising.

To develop your cadence you should select the gear that feels most comfortable when you are cycling on whatever gradient. If you can keep a steady RPM of around 60 - 70 most of the time this would greatly aid the speed at which you become cycling fit, and will increase your strength and stamina which you can then build on.

Find the right training plan for your level of fitness
How you start training for a long distance bike ride depends largely on your present fitness level, age and the amount of cycling you have done in the past. There are various ways to train for your challenges that can be adapted to fit into your personal lifestyle. Whatever your level of fitness. It is important to warm up for at least 10 minutes before undertaking any exercise. (see stretching exercises)

  • Beginners/Social Cyclists (a comprehensive plan day by day if you need a bit of discipline to get your training going)
  • Non Cyclists/ Moderately Fit (If you can't remember the last time you got on a bike then you probably fall into this category. You should start your training regime at least 4 months in advance of your trip. Mileage should be built up gradually to avoid injury and over-exercise, and to establish a good base fitness on which to build the stamina levels you will need on a 7-day cycle ride. Link to Non cyclists/moderately fit plan
  • Cyclists/ Moderately fit (This category might include anyone who has been cycling intermittently over the years, perhaps by cycling to work in the summer or regular Sunday rides with the family. As you will have a degree of basic fitness and confidence built up from previous cycling, 3 months or so of training should prepare you for the ride.)
  • Cyclists/ Fit (This category would include people who cycle regularly throughout the year whether it be commuting 20 miles or more to work a day or training seriously with weekend races and time trials. People within this category should already have a good training schedule and be amply fit to tackle the 8-day ride.



People included within the commuting bracket may find it a good idea to step their weekly mileage up by cycling a longer route to work, or doing a brief morning or evening ride and by also doing regular weekend rides of around 50 miles or more.

What to eat

Fitting training into your life

Cycling Top Tips

Bike Events
If you fancy a bit of company during your training, find out about national cycling events at www.timeoutdoors.com or find out if there are members from your challenge in your area to train (link to contact sheet on website?)

Where to cycle
For the best cycle routes in your area go to the interactive cycle mapping at www.sustrans.org.uk.

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