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Touring when Out of Shape

Old 05-02-05, 09:47 AM
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Hello,

In two weeks, I begin the TransAmerica Tour, and I am excited beyond words--especially since I tried it two years ago but had to end it after only 3 1/2 weeks due to an accident.

This time around I will start the tour out-of-shape. It will be a full, self-contained tour (camping, motels). I'm healthy, about 10 lbs overweight, and haven't had time to do much cycling in preparation. My legs have always been strong, but the rest of me definitley needs some work. I am curious if any of you ever started a major cycling tour while not being in the best of shape. How did you fare? How long did it take you to reach your target level of fitness? Suggestions for the out of shape touing cyclist?

Thanks,
David in PA
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Old 05-02-05, 09:53 AM
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Eh. Just do it (as per Nike). My very first tour I did out of shape but never gave in. I kept trying and trying. Sometimes some of the hills were too much and I ended up walking but I never stopped moving.



Then again, I'm rather hard-headed and stubborn.
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Old 05-02-05, 10:29 AM
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Get as much gtime in the saddle as you can between now and then + do lunges (weights not necessary) for leg strength + situps + pushups.
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Old 05-02-05, 11:17 AM
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The beauty of touring is you can adapt the ride to your pace. Fitness is relative to how much effort you can put out for a given time. If you aren't in shape you will ride a slower pace and/or a shorter distance each day, as your fitness improves you can ride a bit faster and a bit farther each day.

Take your time and enjoy the experience , besides you quit your job and you have no place to live when you do get back to PA so why be in a hurry to get back and face reality ?

Bon Voyage!

BTW we will expect regular updates on your trip as you go!
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Old 05-02-05, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by velonomad
The beauty of touring is you can adapt the ride to your pace. Fitness is relative to how much effort you can put out for a given time. If you aren't in shape you will ride a slower pace and/or a shorter distance each day, as your fitness improves you can ride a bit faster and a bit farther each day.

Take your time and enjoy the experience , besides you quit your job and you have no place to live when you do get back to PA so why be in a hurry to get back and face reality ?

Bon Voyage!

BTW we will expect regular updates on your trip as you go!
What he said!
Greg
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Old 05-02-05, 01:08 PM
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Don't worry too much about this.After 6-7 days you will start to feel better and by day 10 you should feel strong with few aches and pains. Start the tour and be content not to push it for the first few days to give the body time to adapt to the new regime. Your body will tell you when you can up your mileage so listen to it. Take the herbal remedy of "arnica" in the form of pills and this will help those initial aches.
This is not a race and adopting the correct attitude can pay dividends in terms of less stress. The experience is to be enjoyed or what's the point. Don't get into the "ego trip" thing.
Good luck and enjoy!
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Old 05-02-05, 01:46 PM
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BE CAERFUL -- Do not overdo it the first 7-10 days. The risk of injury is in my opinion very high if you take off on a long trip without pretrip training.
Ofcourse you can slowly work your way into shape, but it can be very tempting to ride long days if all circumstances are perfect. Sometimes you won't feel the injury until the next morning and then it may be too late. Also watch your ass. You certainly don't want any "butt sores" which would make sitting on the saddel unbearable.
So take it easy even if you feel strong.
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Old 05-02-05, 02:51 PM
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Just take it easy during the first week or so, and work your way into it.

As long as you don't jump into it trying to do 100 miles a day up mountains, you'll be okay.
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Old 05-02-05, 03:40 PM
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Shorter distances, lower gears, plenty of rest and refuelling stops.............enjoy!
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Old 05-02-05, 03:49 PM
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Take days off!

I did a tour in my youth (19?) and I just went and went and went (around the Great Lakes thru southern Ontario). I eventually wore myself and my achilles heels down because I didn't rest.

I don't know what a good system is... take a day off after 2-3 days... then again after 4 or so... as they said, it is not a race. Get off the bike; take an easy hike; enjoy some scenic town; take a swim (I think swimming is a GREAT change of pace for the biker body... after a swim in the state parks I stayed at, I always felt better the next day)

I am right now tuning up for a 'brief' week long credit card type tour in June... I think any thing I get in will only make it better, but either way, it will be a blast
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