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Training for a tour?

Old 06-25-11, 07:13 AM
  #1  
Konasutra
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Training for a tour?

I am curious as to what others do to prepare for a multi-day tour? Do you work up to the number of miles you do or just get as much time in the saddle as possible. I am going on a 11 day ride in July and have a limited amount of time in the saddle due to work issues. I do commute 14 miles roundtrip to work and try to get a min. of 80 miles in on the weekend. The 7 miles home on my commute are uphill and i also commute with my bike packed to 30 pounds of weight in my panniers.

Just curious as to what others do?
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Old 06-25-11, 07:27 AM
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Never done any training for my tours. It is not a race.
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Old 06-25-11, 07:27 AM
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I've been riding regularly for 21 years and in addition to riding, I walk regularly ... and also ski, snowshoe, canoe, weightlift, do yoga, etc. etc., (but not as regularly as cycling or walking).

The daily distance I have ridden on tours is usually the same or less than what I might ride on a weekend day.

I don't change my cycling to train for a tour. However, most of my tours have surrounded 1200K randonnee events or other long distance events, and I do train for those by riding a lot, riding varying terrain, riding in various environmental conditions, and riding varying intensities.


In addition to making cycling part of daily life, I recommend doing upper body workouts. Most of my tours have involved heavy lifting at some point along the way, and sometimes quite frequenly. It is very handy to be able to lift and carry your bicycle, complete with your gear, at least a short distance whenever you need to.
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Old 06-25-11, 08:17 AM
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I just try to generally stay in shape and ride enough that I don't have saddle problems. I ride a lot less that you do. I really don't train much on the bike, but I do trail run 5 times a week (generally 30-40 miles a week, but sometimes a bit more depending on the time of year) and go to the gym to do circuits a few times a week.
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Old 06-25-11, 08:33 AM
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My usual ride is 35 miles. When the weather is good, I try to ride that 2 - 3 times a week on a mildly loaded touring bike (front bag full of tools, etc and 1 pannier holding clothes).

As a tour approaches, I slowly add full weight to the bike and increase my frequency to 3 - 4 times a week and my distance to 50 miles. I also do back to back days to accustom my legs to riding that often.

If possible I try to plan a short day on the first one or two tour days, but generally I'm ready to go at full pace and distance when I start.

If I am flying to my starting point, I am generally off the bike for a week before a tour due to maintaining, uncoupling (S&S), and packing the bike.

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Old 06-25-11, 09:02 AM
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Hello! I'm also in GJ! Welcome to BF!

I hadn't trained much for my tours. I commute around town a lot with panniers also. On the first couple of days of the tour I try to take it easy, 20-30 miles. Delta is a good first day. Montrose was a bit too far for a first day. I did Gateway for a first day once and it wasn't too bad, lots of downhill after the divide in Unaweep Canyon.

Are you touring out your door? We have done a few 1-2 week tours right out or door and there are some great rides nearby.
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Old 06-25-11, 09:47 AM
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I don't cycle most of the year, so preparing for a tour, (usually approx 1000 mi. or so) I am most concerned about sore butt, Achilles tendons, and knees. I try to ride most everyday for 3 weeks a couple of hours a day to toughen up the "sit-a-pon", and I use a "stair master" daily for 3-4 weeks to condition my knees and heels. Other than that, as "eofelis" said, I take it easy for the first couple of days. A Workmate rode with me down the Pacific Coast from Vancouver Canada, to San Francisco California, and, despite my warning, didn't train very much beforehand thinking, as a long distance runner, he was in great shape. The reason we stopped at San Francisco, rather than continue to our planned destination, the Mexican Border, was his knees and achilles tendons. Both were so badly swollen he couldn't continue, and he missed a couple of weeks of work recuperating. On our next tour together, 2 years later, he trained beforehand, following my regiment, and had no trouble cycling from Fairbanks, Alaska down the Alcan hwy, going over mountain ranges etc. for well over 1000 mi.
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Old 06-25-11, 09:53 AM
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Actually I am going to do Ragbrai this year. I will leave from a family members house and ride 60 miles to the start, do Ragbrai self-supported (454 miles) then ride back to my families house after Ragbrai.
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Old 06-25-11, 10:02 AM
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You ride plenty to be in shape for you tour. Rather than focus on fitness, focus on the comfort of your bike. Change the riding position such as the height of the saddle and/or bars. Get a new saddle, bars, and/or stem if needed. Wrap that bar with new tape, get new tires, etc.
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Old 06-25-11, 01:48 PM
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Rid regularly (almost every day ) so no specific training for a tour is done.
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Old 06-25-11, 02:00 PM
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When we lived in the cold, snowy North East, we would gradually increase our mileage in the Spring until we could comfortably do a couple of 40 miles days back to back. Touring, we aim for 60 - 80 mile days with 5-7 pounds per bike and three credit cards.
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Old 06-25-11, 02:47 PM
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I don't train for anything. Like other posters here, I stay physically active all year long, so I'm always ready for activities that require fitness. Training, of course, can't hurt, but if you are one of the active folks out there, you should be good to go.
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Old 06-25-11, 04:59 PM
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Do some dry runs. Get all your stuff packed into your panniers and/or trailer, and ride for a couple of days doing your intended daily distance, or try to set a slightly easier goal like between 30 and 45 miles. You should know where you are at after the first day, and by the second day of riding that same distance you will become more confident about your riding abilities. Try to pick a route or two that includes varied terrain and road conditions--maybe a rail trail, a service road, small town roads, downtown roads, a rolling back country road, etc... Good luck!

I just did a 50 mile loop yesterday and a 40 mile loop today on different roads with different grades, and I'm feeling a bit more confident than I did yesterday (since I've been off my bike for a month now due to injury), but I'm back in training mode for my tour! I'm planning on doing at least 30 miles a day for the next two weeks prior to my tour.

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Old 06-26-11, 03:28 AM
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" I Train on Race Day " that's my partners motto and to my amazement has never let her down, but for me I ride to work everyday and that's enough training for me before any tour.
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Old 06-26-11, 05:30 AM
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I average riding about 50 miles per week year round. I ramp that up to about 150 as a tour date approaches, done with minimal resting during the rides.

During the tour, as daily mileage rarely exceeds 50, the 10 hours of daylight I've got to do that in makes it doable, day after day.

Loaded touring is not a race, more of a relaxed slog. Least for me.
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Old 06-26-11, 06:17 AM
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I have trained a LOT for my upcoming tour, but I don't necessarily think of it as "training" per se because I would be riding my bike anyway. But, I have been using my upcoming tour as a way to direct and focus my riding. I like being in good physical shape and I enjoy hard bike rides, whether that means fast, long, or some combination. So, for me, my upcoming tour is about combining a love of cycling with a love of travel. I don't expect to ride hard everyday - far from it - but I do expect some or many of the days to be challenging and I will enjoy that as much as I will enjoy getting cleaned up after the day's ride and enjoying wherever I am that day. Can't wait!
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Old 06-26-11, 11:03 AM
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Unlike most people here, I believe in training for a tour. Especially if you have limited time available or specific daily mileage goals.

For me, training means fast 45-60 minute rides during lunch 3-4 times during the work week and longer rides on the weekends. As I get closer to the start of the tour, I switch from my road bike to my touring bike and start adding gear to my luggage. On the weekends, I work toward doing long (4+ hour) rides on back-to-back days over terrain that mimics my intended route (ex: if the tour involves hills, I make sure to do some climbing). Again, as I get closer to the start of the tour I switch to my touring bike and start adding gear. For the last 2-4 weeks before the tour, I ride the touring bike pretty exclusively and have it packed with 70-100% of the gear I plan to take. On most training rides, I push myself to ride a bit faster than I normally would during the tour itself and I take fewer/shorter breaks. I also don't hesitate to take a few days, or a week, off so that I don't end up over-training.

By the time the tour rolls around, I've got everything sorted out with the bike, have a very good idea what my average pace will be, and can simply relax and enjoy the riding...
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Old 06-26-11, 05:38 PM
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You already do more than I ever have. I don't plan to cover more than 80 miles a day,sometimes I do sometimes I don't. I once told somebody I was going on an 800 mile tour, he said I didn't look looked I was in shape for it. I told him I would be long before I finished.

Marc
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