If you are contemplating embarking on a cycling trip if it is a long distance, take your time sort of trip then I wouldn’t worry too much about training for this trip. The reason is because after about two-three weeks pottering around on a bike your fitness levels will have caught up enough to match your riding requirements.
For those of us who do not have the luxury of time and as a result will be taking on a much shorter more intense trip, sadly we will need to train and up our miles on the bike.
Upping your miles sounds simple, surely each week you just cycle a little further than the week before? Well yes and no. Essentially you want to be increasing your mileage gradually but sometimes you get to that point where you hit a wall and can’t will yourself to go further. When this happens we thought that you mike like to take a look at our little hints and tips below to help you increase those miles on your bike:
Snacks & nutrition
Anyone could ride a few miles or so without so much of a problem. The issue is when you are riding for longer distances you will need to start thinking about how to adequately fuel your rides.
If you have found yourself getting to the same distance in your ride with nothing left in the tank then this will suggest that you are ”bonking” or to put it simply running out of energy.
When heading out for longer rides your nutrition planning really does start the day before. So in the evening before a long ride try (not the work TRY here) to avoid alcohol with dinner as this will dehydrate you.
Ideally you also want to be having a meal which is heavy in carbohydrates (such as whole wheat pasta) so that your glycogen stores are full.
The morning of your big ride you should always have breakfast. This should be a mix of fast and slow releasing energy foods – so for example a big bowl or porridge with peanut butter (for protein) and banana (for energy) would hit the spot.
During the ride you want to have water and also some high energy food to keep you going. This could be flapjacks, fruit, jelly babies or energy gels.
Another problem faced by many people trying to increase their mileage is lack of time. Our schedules are so busy these days that finding extra time to squeeze in another ride is actually not easy.
Try to think of ways to incorporate cycling into your everyday life – so you could ban the use of the car for all journeys below 5 miles or start cycling to work.
If you get really desperate we recommend going for an early morning ride before work. This way you have the roads to yourself, can enjoy the early morning chirping birds and get your rides done.
Now I know getting up super early when it’s dark can be hard but it’s so nice when you get home from work in the evening to be able to chill out on the sofa with a beer totally guilt free.
Make it fun
If you ride the same route each weekend it obviously gets boring and when it gets boring you lose that motivation to go further for longer.
You could choose to simply cycle and see where your legs take you – discovering new amazing hills and awesome rides is one of the best rewards for travelling in two wheels.
Another way to make it more fun is to plan a nice pub lunch in the countryside part way through your ride or a nice coffee stop. Travelling those extra 10 miles or so becomes a little easier when you know at the end of it there is a giant latte and a giant slab of cake!
Finally, what about going further afield? You could drive out into the countryside for an hour or so, park your car and head out to explore. This way you really will be experiencing unchartered territory!
Make a weekend of it
This is the best and most fun way to get in some serious extra mileage! We suggest that you start planning in cycle touring weekends where you cycle away from your home, camp overnight (or stay in a hotel) and then cycle back the next day. Not only have you experienced a mini cycle tour but you have also had a super healthy and fun weekend away