How do you train for touring? I am thinking about trying a tour and would appreciate any suggestions.
Last edited by edp773; 06-21-05 at 07:33 PM.
Start by building a base. Then start riding with weight on the bike so you get used to it.
Long Distance Cyclist
How many kilometers per day will you be doing on the tour?
How many kilometers per day are you currently doing?
If there isn't much of a difference, my only piece of advice would be to do a few rides with your bicycle loaded up with your panniers, and maybe a weekend tour to sort out what you need to carry and what you can leave behind.
If there is a big difference, start gradually increasing your daily kilometers and throw in days now and then where you ride with a load on the bicycle so you can gradually get used to the difference in handling.
Oh yes ... vary the terrian and weather conditions you train in. Not every day on a tour is going to be sunny, calm, and on flat roads. You'll likely hit days where the rain is coming down in sheets and you have to climb several mountain passes. Knowing how your bicycle handles in different weather conditions, knowing the right clothing to wear, and knowing that you've got the right gearing can go a long way to making your ride tolerable and safe.
[How many kilometers per day will you be doing on the tour?]
I would like to average 50 to 60 miles per day.
[How many kilometers per day are you currently doing?]
My miles per day are advancing to about 22 now. I am planning far in advance to get into shape. My biggest question is do I need to ride this far every day for the same time period of a planned trip ( about 500 miles)? Any suggestions on how to train or perspectives on how you train will be greatly appreciated.
Last edited by edp773; 06-23-05 at 06:40 PM.
edp, I'm not sure I quite understand your last post...if you're asking whether or not you need to ride 50-60 miles a day for 10 days straight to be in good enough shape before your tour, I'd say that your don't HAVE to, but you'd know for sure that you're in good enough shape to do it and that would be really nice.
If you can ride 50-60 miles a day for a few days on top of your daily life (work/school/whateveryoudo) and you aren't completely dead and drained, then it's my opinion that you'll be fine for your tour. This assumes that your life consists or activities that take energy other than biking.
Take a long ride on your day off. 3 weeks out of 4 make it longer.
If the tour has hills, find some to train on. If you are 22 now, do a 30 miler Saturday. Next Sat do 40 miles, or close to it.
[If you can ride 50-60 miles a day for a few days on top of your daily life ]
Making time to ride is definately a factor.
Thank you for the replies. Currently I am training with one hard riding day (3 hours), one easy day, and then one or two days off for my muscles to rest. This technique is great for me getting back into shape, but does not seem to be the proper one for touring. Should I build up to my mileage riding at a fast pace one day, and then a slow pace the next day? Or do you train at the pace you ride when on a tour?
You need a new bike
If you are at 22 miles at this time, I would concentrate on building endurance by increasing you distance a little at a time. Ride at a comfortable pace most of the time and push it just a little once a week. Don't worry about speed as much as distance.
Don't forget to ride hills. When you have a loaded bike you get pretty intimate with hills.
I have 3 goals
1) long rides
2) hard rides
3) multi-day riding
I start building up mileage. This is also called base training.
I mix that up with shorter rides on hilly terrain. At some point I
start adding days of riding. I will commute a day, next week two days, etc. WHen I start in daily, I cut the miles per ride way back
until I get used to it.
There is no magic here. You just ride, some days you do one kind of ride, other days you do something different. The biggest problem I have is to avoid overdoing it.
Before my first tour two years ago I just tried to ride my bike as much as possible, which isn't too much with a job and all. I put the panniers on and filled them with cloths and a 2 leter water bottle and just rode. During the week I did a 10 mile loop in the hills above my house. On weekends I would try to do at least 20 miles a day and the most I did was 34. On days I had no time to ride I'd try to get on the stationary bike for 30 minutes.
So the tour comes and the first day is 64 miles. The second day is 84 miles and on and on. The toatal milage for any given day was always way over my longest ride of 34 miles that I did at home. Once you are on your tour, that is your job, get from point A to point B, once you do that you're finished for the day. I found it completely different than my daily rides.
I've done three tour since the first and the training seems to be the same 10 miles after work and 20 on weekends, yet the tours are all 60+ days for 10 days or so. The hardest was a trip in February as it gets dark early so I can't ride here during the week so the first few days were really hard, but by day seven I managed to do 108 miles.
Long Distance Cyclist
Originally Posted by edp773
You will want to feel comfortable with 50-60 miles per day. This doesn't necessarily mean that you have to ride 50-60 miles a day for 10 days in a row before the tour, but you should have ridden a few 50-60 mile days over various terrain, and in various conditions before the tour so that you know how you feel doing that distance. It would be helpful too, if you rode 50-60 miles a day for 3 or 4 days in a row so you get some experience with getting up the next morning and riding again.
Also, when you do these long rides, don't forget to ride with full panniers etc. on a few occasions so you get used to the way the bicycle handles with them. You might want to do a weekend tour where you cycle 50-60 miles out to somewhere, camp overnight, and cycle back the next day ... to practice with what you carry on a tour and setting up camp and all that.
But since you are still back at 22 miles, keep gradually increasing the distance of your long ride, a little bit each week.