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  1. #1
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    training for touring

    What is the rule of thumb for training for touring. If I wanted to ride 50-75 miles/day for several days how much should I be riding daily for my training rides?

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    How many miles a day are you riding now? A good start from zero miles a day is 15-25 miles per day with hills and add on from there.
    I love to commute and ride. Keeping a positive focus.

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  3. #3
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    You can get by easily with 15-20 mile rides in the evenings during the week and longer rides on the weekend. You should ramp up your long rides to the distance you want to ride on tour. If you are self supported touring, remember you will be carrying more weight and should do some rides at that weight.

    You should be doing back to back 60+ miles rides by the time you tour.

  4. #4
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    I am doing the 15-20 mile rides/day now. I just wanted to know how many big rides I should do and how close to the tour I should do them. Thanks for the info.

  5. #5
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    My suggestion would be to start increasing your mileages on 1-2 days per week now by about 10% per week, while maintaining your 15-20 mile rides on the remaining 4-5 days a week ... with about 1-2 days a week off.

    So, if your current long ride is 20 miles, this coming weekend plan to do 22 miles. Next weekend do about 24-25 miles, and so on. Build up so that you have done a several 50-75 mile rides before your tour.

    As your tour date gets closer start doing weekends of 50-75 each day (back-to-back). You can do these sorts of rides right up till you leave for the tour. I would rest for a couple days before the tour just so you start fresh, but there's no reason why you can't do a back-to-back on the weekend before the tour.

    In addition to increasing your mileage on 1-2 days per week, I would strongly suggest riding in a wide variety of terrain, in a wide variety of weather conditions, and with your loaded panniers. In fact, I would suggest going on a weekend tour about a month before your big tour to test out all the equipment etc. ... cycle out to a campground somewhere 50-75 miles away on Saturday and back again on Sunday. That way you will have a better idea of what you need to bring with you, and how well your setup works.

    All the best!

  6. #6
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    Thanks guys

  7. #7
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    In addition to increasing your mileage on 1-2 days per week, I would strongly suggest riding in a wide variety of terrain, in a wide variety of weather conditions, and with your loaded panniers. In fact, I would suggest going on a weekend tour about a month before your big tour to test out all the equipment etc. ... cycle out to a campground somewhere 50-75 miles away on Saturday and back again on Sunday. That way you will have a better idea of what you need to bring with you, and how well your setup works.

    All the best!
    I start with lightly loaded panniers about 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Add weight to them as you get closer to your departure date. Since loading panniers with all of your touring stuff is kind of a pain, I'd suggest using rice. You can find it in any grocery store and it comes in 1, 2 or 5 lb bags for around a $1 per pound (or less). It's nice and heavy without being too bulky and it is far less abrasive than carrying sand bags. I double bag each rice bag with a plastic grocery bag to keep them dry and intact. At the end of the training, you can either eat the rice (and trust me 40 lbs of rice lasts a very long time) or donate it to a food pantry.

    I've ridden many miles back and forth to work carrying lots of rice. People give you some odd looks when you tell them what you are carrying but when I'm out on the road the training really helps.
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  8. #8
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babysaph
    Thanks guys
    I train for my tours, which almost always invole alot of climbing, by running stair laps. At my peak efficiency I run up 4 floors, and scoot (not really 'run') back down, for 40 minutes a day. I havefound it gives ya incredible leg strength, and boosts lung efficiency. My lungs are rated at 40% over capacity, so maybe that helps..not sure if one causes the other.

    roughstuff
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  9. #9
    Bike touring webrarian
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    I am training for a tour that starts in about a month (Carmel to Phoenix via San Diego). I plan to do between 50 and 75 miles a day on tour. My usual training ride is 35 miles. I can easily extend it to 45 or 50 miles by simply going straight instead of making a certain right turn.

    I have been adding weight to the bike, a bit every week (I use bottles of water instead of rice) and have now added my tent and sleeping bag. I am probably close to 70%-80% of tour weight. It is amazing to me that adding as little as 5 pounds to the bike makes a difference in how my legs feel.

    As a side note, a lot more bicyclists talk to you when you are riding around with a full set of panniers. I always feel a bit sheepish when I have no great story to tell them.

    I want to second the recommendations of taking your load out on an overnight shakedown ride. I've removed alot of things that were too heavy or unnecessary weight as a result. Note that your bike will handle very different under load than unloaded. It is important to get accustomed to riding a loaded bike before you head out on day 1.

    I have a training question, as well

    If you have to make a choice, is it better to do longer distance with less weight versus shorter distance with more weight?

    Ray
    Last edited by raybo; 03-14-06 at 01:35 PM.

  10. #10
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    Let me paraphrase this by saying I don't know what I'm doing. But before my tours I did as much riding as I ever do. I would do 10 miles after work, and on weekends I would ride up into the high 30's. Because before the tour there are other things to do.

    I remember my first tour after doing this training program, my first day was 70 miles. It wasn't too bad as that was my only job, to ride from point A to Point B. There is nothing else, no golf later on, nothing, my job is to ride. That day was followed by a 90 mile day, and the tour was on. The only times I have ridden over 100 miles has been on tours. Even now the most I ever seem to ride is 39 miles.

    When I was training I did carry panniers full of cloths and filled two water bottles, and when I train I would always do rides with hills, as many as possible. And like roughstuff mentioned, I also climbed a local 1260 foot hill once a week, just to use different muscles in my legs and to break the riding once a week.

    The key thing I learned on that first tour, is that I was capable of much more than I imagined.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Rogerinchrist's Avatar
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    I follow a schedule for training for a centry, and use my commuting milage in it. It works on the 10% principle mostly, plus speed changes. I can send copies to those that request through PM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member thomson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raybo
    <snip>

    If you have to make a choice, is it better to do longer distance with less weight versus shorter distance with more weight?

    Ray
    The things one needs to train for touring is time on the saddle and handling additional weight. If one were to choose between your two options (assuming you would spend the same amount of time on the saddle in each), i would say training with the weight will help your handling.

  13. #13
    Cyclin' twosome
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    I'd agree with Thomson. My wife & I used to take trips where we would do 90-125 miles daily (with loaded bikes that weighed in the 65-70 pound range).... now we average 75-85 a day (we're in our mid-fifties). Most of our trips have been in mountianous or hilly terrain. We've found that (given reasonable physical condition) time in the saddle is the single most important preparation (& that doesn't necessarily mean lots of miles). If you can, the more miles the better, but do spend lots of time in the saddle, even if it's just around town. If you're in decent shape, the biggest single adjustment will be that of your butt to the saddle, so make that as trouble-free as possible. Riding hills is great for pre-conditioning.
    We try to prepare for a trip by averaging at least 20 miles per day (longer on weekends) for the three or four weeks leading into the trip. Last fall we didn't even average that, 'cause I'd been really sick & hadn't fully recovered. The first three days of the trip were really tiring, but by the end of day three I was doin' fine.
    If you're in fairly decent shape now, you'll probably find it easier than you expected.

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