Preparing for Your Bicycle Tour
Tips and ideas to make the riding more enjoyable
While following a structured training schedule is ideal for preparing for a guided bicycle tour, here are some activities you can engage in to improve your fitness without adhering to a strict training schedule:
✦ Cycling Commute: Use your bicycle as a means of transportation for shorter trips or commuting to work. This will help you build endurance and get accustomed to spending time on the bike.
✦ Weekend Group Rides: Join local cycling groups or clubs for weekend rides. Riding with others not only makes it more enjoyable but also pushes you to challenge yourself and improve your speed and endurance.
✦ Active Lifestyle: Make small changes to incorporate more physical activity into your daily life. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk or bike for short distances instead of driving, and be active during your leisure time by engaging in recreational activities like hiking, swimming, or playing sports.
✦ Interval Training: Incorporate short bursts of high-intensity efforts during your rides. For example, find a hill or a stretch of road and sprint up it, then recover with an easier pace. Repeat this process several times to improve your cardiovascular fitness and leg strength.
✦ Strength Training: Include strength training exercises in your routine to build overall strength and stability, which can benefit your cycling performance. Focus on exercises that target your lower body, such as squats, lunges, and deadlifts.
✦ Cross-training: Engage in other activities that complement cycling, such as swimming, running, hiking, or yoga. These activities help develop different muscle groups, enhance flexibility, and prevent overuse injuries.
✦ Hill Repeats: Seek out hilly routes and challenge yourself by incorporating hill repeats into your rides. Choose a hill, ride up it at a steady pace, then recover on the descent. Repeat this process a few times to improve your climbing abilities.
✦ Long Weekend Rides: Dedicate one day of the week to longer rides. Gradually increase the distance covered each week to improve your endurance and prepare for longer rides during the tour.
✦ Interval Training on Stationary Bikes: If you have access to a stationary bike, you can perform interval training indoors. Alternate between high-intensity efforts and recovery periods to improve your cardiovascular fitness and leg strength.
✦ Core Exercises: Strengthen your core muscles through exercises like planks, Russian twists, and bicycle crunches. A strong core improves stability and enhances your cycling efficiency.
✦ Rest and Recovery: While it's essential to stay active, don't forget to prioritize rest and recovery. Give your body time to heal and adapt to the training stress, which will ultimately lead to improved performance.
Remember, although a structured training program is recommended for optimal preparation, incorporating these activities into your routine will still help you enhance your fitness level and enjoy your guided bicycle tour.
Prefer something more structured? Check out this Training Schedule.