HELP- Need help knowing how to train for a bike tour
I'm new to the forum and I joined for a particular purpose. Next summer (summer of 2010) im doing a program that involves biking lake michigan in 3 weeks and I was wondering how to best train for this. I know that the miles per day range from 30-65 and during all this we'll be carrying about 30 pounds on our bike. I realize that it's very far ahead but I figure there's no harm in starting early. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
2009 Chris Boedeker custom, 1988 Tommasini Prestige, 2007 Bill Davidson custom; 1988 Specialized Stumpjumper
I would focus on 3 things:
1. Get into a steady practice of riding 4 to 5 times a week until your fall/winter weather gets too bad to cycle.
2. Figure out what you are going to do to stay fit in the winter.
3. Get out as early as you can in the spring, and work your way back up to riding 4 to 5 times a week with some longer rides on weekends.
Prior to your tour, you should make sure you find some weekends when you can do two or three days in a row at the expected tour distance (say, 50 miles a day). Better yet if you can do a "mini tour" on your own, with a full load, in the month before your tour. That will give you practice riding with a load, and get you accustomed to being able to ride longer distances several days in a row.
Just ride ... build up to the maximum distance per day you think you'll do ... and maybe a bit more. If you build up so that 75 miles is comfortable, and 100 miles is doable, 30-65 miles will be fine. Also get so you can do 65 miles two or three days in a row, with your bicycle loaded with all your gear.
As for strength, just make sure you can lift your bicycle and all your gear. If that requires a little bit of strength training, go for it.
Definitely do at least a couple of days that are longer than your longest day. If your longest day is 70miles, do a couple training days of 120 miles. That way when you are on the tour, its raining, and you have a headwind all day, knowing you've done much more in training is a huge mental help.
Hills kills, my advice would be to ride hills at least once aweek. A long slow climb would be ideal. Also if there is a Brevet series near you next spring, join them for the 200k, lots of useful info to be had from the riders and really good training for your tour.
Once a week, couple months before, start adding weight to the bike, about 5 pounds a week, then do a hilly ride.
Doing long training rides is a good idea, but you don't need to double the distance. If you want to do that, fine.
Btw, you could always use a periodised training program. These can be complicated to set up. I'd use a coach or coaching service. But you can find rough
descriptions of how to do it in some of Friel's books.
Well 30-60 miles is not a hard distance. But riding with 30 lbs of extra weight makes it quite a bit harder.
You will need really low gears. The extra weight makes hills much harder and you will probably need to gear down quite a bit. Touring bikes tend to have longer wheel bases than conventional bikes and of course triple chain rings. They have the long wheel base for stability. You might think of getting a touring bike. I would suggest that you at least set up whatever bike you are thinking of taking and loading it down with the gear you are thinking of taking and go out for a 60 mile ride with it to see how it works. Another thing, it is nice to have panniers that keep your stuff dry. In 3 weeks, you are almost certainly going to have some serious rain.
The other thing is put in miles of training.
By the way, much of this is in pacing. If you have to ride fast, you will need to get into tremendous shape. If you are happy to average around 15 mph or less, well you will not need as much training.
One correction to the above it's actually a 50-70 mile per day trip. I'm not sure if this effects any of the other advice, which has all been wonderful by the way and I'm enormously appreciative. Also, when I said strength training I was more talking about leg strengthening or will biking alone strengthen my legs enough. Also just one other thing, is there anywhere in the New York metropolitan area that you all know of where I can do any of these bike tour practices?
is there anywhere in the New York metropolitan area that you all know of where I can do any of these bike tour practices?
Sure. Maine ...
I know a guy that lives in NYC and tours. He swears by the gym. Works for him.
Please be aware there is a real art and science to working out. Just like cycling, I have a few books about weight training. My fave is New Rules of Lifting.
I just got the 'Insider's Tell-All Handbook on Weight-Training Technique'. Yeah, the title makes it sound like a piece of crap. A guy here said it was good, I got it, and it's real good.
Best thing is to have somebody teach you, but finding somebody good isn't easy.
i can now write...it's adam
i did this tour and the most we biked was 72 miles but the tour changes every time
be able to bike 80 miles
we dont bike on saturdays and sleep in
there will be pleanty of hills that range anywhere from 2 inches to 5 miles.
be able to do 4, 2 mile long hills and bike 60 miles. we would normally bike through rain but if we find a place to stop, we would. you do a little training before the trip at camp and it helps a lot. but if u start training now, you will have no problem on the tour