I know that several of us are planning to do a "big ride" later in the year, and I am no exception. Entry came in friday for my Ride In June, so training starts in earnest now.
I have been keeping fit over the winter by weekly rides that take in a few hills and around 25 to 30 miles so at least I have a base to work from. Plus the fact I have done this ride before and know what to expect. I will be looking at 12 hours in the saddle and a lot of hills so I know that on the day, 90%fitness will not be good enough.
That one ride a week is not enough to get my fitness up so I will have to force myself down to the gym at least twice a week to build up stamina ansd strength. In fact Gym work started about a month ago but at very low levels and just enough effort to let me know that I have been working for the last couple of hours. I will follow the regime that has worked for me for the past couple of years, so I thought I would pass it onto you
The weekly rides will be kept up until the lighter evenings come in and I can get a further ride in midweek, sometime around the end of March.
At the gym, the machines have 20 levels of difficulty, and I am currently working at level 8 on 5 different machines- Recumbent, treadmill, cycle, Ski machine, and Rower, and on each machine for 12 minutes. Each week I will raise the level by one, until I reach level 16, so that should mean that by the end of February I will be up to what I consider my maximum. Some weeks I will not be able to go up a level so if it is too hard,back a level until I can take it. The programm I use is hill, so interval training is what I shall be doing. (No hill on the rower, but a change of rhythm every 2 minutes has the same effect)
There is also a weights room so I will be taking advantage of that on 1 evening, after my exercise. There is no way that I am a "Body" fitness fanatic, so I pull a weight that is comfortable on each of the machines(Not easy Weights but something than lets me know that I am working). Difference I do repetitions. That means plenty of instances of the exercise until I get to the stage that I can do no more. Then rest a minute, and do the repetitions again. I will gradually increase the weigh as my body gets stronger, but at no time will I be busting a gut to pull that extra 10lbs.
The other evening I will be participating in the "Spinning" class. This is pure Cardio- vascular for me, or masochism, but if you have never tried one of these classes, they are hard.
I will expect to lose about 7 lbs body weight in the next month, but as my muscles are built up, then that will go back on. I don't carry a great deal of excess weight, so will not expect my weight to change a great deal. What I should have though is a body that is in bettershape and condition and showing just a few ripples in the muscles, where there used to be nothing.
I'll keep you informed as to how the training goes, but bear it in mind that Your "Big Ride" is the target for you to aim for, so get out and start training now.