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More Training for Bicycle Touring

 

Training Plans -

 

By following a comprehensive training routine anyone who is reasonably healthy and without serious physical problems can cycle long distances. Whether you train for a century, a week-long 500-mile trip or a trek cross-country the preparation is the same. Bicycle touring is an endurance activity so you need to spend time on your bike to condition your muscles and get your body used to extended periods in the saddle.

If you've been away from cycling or exercising for a while, or have health problems it's best to check with your physician first before you start a training program. Here are three sample training plans from the book "Bicycling Magazine's Guide to Bike Touring" by Doug Donaldson. These can be modified to fit your training goals.

 

Beginner Training Plan -

This plan is for riders who: have minimal riding experience, who don't have much time to train and want a simple plan or who need to train for a supported relaxed-paced tour.

Make sure you drink plenty of water. After three weeks, cycle on terrain that is similar to what you expect to find on your tour. Do a ride that's two-thirds of your dailey tour mileage. Stretch about every thirty minutes while on the bike.

 

8-Week Beginner Training Plan

  Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun

Weekly

Mileage

Intensity

Pace Optional Pace Off Brisk Pace Pace  
Week 1 5 Optional 7 Off 9 20 15 56
Week 2 10 Optional 10 Off 10 25 18 73
Week 3 11 Optional 11 Off 11 30 20 83
Week 4 12 Optional 12 Off 12 35 22 93
Week 5 13 Optional 13 Off 13 40 24 103
Week 6 14 Optional 14 Off 14 45 29 116
Week 7 15 Optional 15 Off 15 50 34 129
Week 8 10 Easy Optional 10 Off 10 30 5 Easy 65

Optional - Rest or take an easy spin for not more than 10 miles.

Easy - You'll barely break a sweat, but keep your cadence high (70 - 90 rpm) while riding 10 to 12 mph.

Pace - The speed you want to maintain during your bike tour etc. A good goal is 12 to 14 mph.

Brisk - 2 to 5 mph faster than you plan to ride on your bike tour etc.

 

Intermediate Training Plan -

This plan is for riders who: plan to ride solo or longer hours, already ride 50 miles a week and want to increase their mileage, or can devote 6 to 10 hours a week to training. This plan will help prepare for a self-contained tour or a century.

To help build endurance spin at a cadence of 70 to 90 rpm. Eat within 30 minutes after every training ride. During this half-hour window (glycogen window), your body is primed to absorb and replace glycogen. Add more protein to your diet by eating a mix of 60% carbohydrates, 20 % fats and 20% protein.

 

10-Week Intermediate Training Plan

  Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun

Weekly

Mileage

Intensity

Easy Pace Brisk Rest Pace Pace Pace  
Week 1 6 10 12 Rest 10 30 9 77
Week 2 7 11 13 Rest 11 34 10 86
Week 3 8 13 15 Rest 13 38 11 98
Week 4 8 14 17 Rest 14 42 13 108
Week 5 9 15 19 Rest 15 47 14 119
Week 6 11 15 21 Rest 15 53 16 131
Week 7 12 15 24 Rest 15 59 18 143
Week 8 13 15 25 Rest 15 65 20 153
Week 9 15 15 25 Rest 15 65 20 155
Week 10 15 15 25 Rest 10 5 Easy 100 170

Easy - About 5 mph slower than your typical ride pace.

Pace - The speed you want to maintain during your bike tour etc. About 14 to 18 mph for an intermediate rider.

Brisk - 2 to 5 mph faster than your ususal pace.

 

Advanced Training Plan -

This plan is for riders who: already average more than 75 miles a week, have 12 to 18 hours a week to train, or can supplement riding with gym work. This plan will help you finish a century with strength to spare.

Add intervals once a week after a warm-up at 75% of your MHR, include short intervals at 90 to 95 % of your MHR. Pick one or two weeks during the training plan to work on hills. Eat meals with 60 to 70% carbohydrates, 20 to 25% fat and 15% high-quality protein. Hit the gym and strengthen your abdominal and back muscles.

 

10-Week Advanced Training Plan

  Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun

Weekly

Mileage

Intensity

Pace Optional Pace OFF Brisk Pace Pace  
Week 1 10 12 14 Rest 12 40 15 103
Week 2 10 13 13 Rest 13 44 17 110
Week 3 10 15 17 Rest 15 48 18 123
Week 4 11 16 19 Rest 16 53 20 135
Week 5 12 18 20 Rest 18 59 22 149
Week 6 13 19 23 Rest 19 64 24 162
Week 7 14 20 25 Rest 20 71 27 177
Week 8 16 20 27 Rest 20 75 29 187
Week 9 17 20 30 Rest 20 75 32 194
Week 10 19 20 30 Rest 10 5 Easy 100 184

Easy - About 5 mph slower than your typical ride pace.

Pace - The speed you want to maintain during your bike tour etc. About 18 to 25 mph.

Brisk - 2 to 5 mph faster than your ususal pace.

 

 

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