Training for your Cycling Holiday

We take our time and choose our routes carefully to help create enjoyable itineraries so that anyone who is reasonably healthy can complete them.

Before you tackle a long-distance ride, however, there are a number of steps we recommend you take to make your efforts worthwhile.

Basic Training

To get the maximum enjoyment out of your cycling holiday, you should be in good shape and accustomed to cycling the distances described in the route details on the holiday you have chosen. The best and most pleasurable way to ensure this is to go for a few rides in the weeks leading up to your holiday.

You have to set up a training plan and be ready to commit to it. Design a plan around your lifestyle and goals. Your main objective is to work up to riding several, long consecutive days. Start slowly and go at your own pace.

Start your training at a comfortable distance and try not to push yourself too hard. Whether it is two miles or 20 miles, start gently and work your way up. It is important to spend about 10 minutes warming up before any exercise. Try to ride at least four days a week, and add one day as an easy riding day. Increase the weekly distance as slowly as possible and be careful not to increase it too fast or you may strain your body or injure yourself. Remember to always stretch and hydrate before, during and after your rides to maintain flexibility and to avoid injuries.

If you are new to cycling, use this basic guide to get yourself fit, in shape and ready for an unforgettable journey.

Week 1 - 2

Monday Rest day
Tuesday 20 minutes cycling
Wednesday Rest day / easy riding
Thursday 20 minutes cycling
Friday Rest day
Saturday 1 hour cycling
Sunday 1 hour cycling

Week 3 - 4

Monday Rest day
Tuesday 40 minutes (8-10 miles) cycling
Wednesday Rest day / easy riding
Thursday 40 minutes (8-10 miles) cycling
Friday Rest day
Saturday 2 hours (20-25 miles) cycling
Sunday 2 hours (20-25 miles) cycling

Week 5 - 6

Monday Rest day
Tuesday 1 hour (10-13 miles) cycling
Wednesday Rest day / easy riding
Thursday 1 hour (10-13 miles) cycling
Friday Rest day
Saturday 3 hours (25-30 miles) cycling
Sunday 3 hours (25-30 miles) cycling

Rest Day

You should avoid over training. If your muscles are aching, you experience a lack of appetite, you have trouble sleeping, or your usual training rides feel more difficult than normal, you are over training. It's time to take some time off for rest and relaxation. Remember, there has to be a balance between training and resting. Otherwise, all that work will go to waste and it can slow down your progress.

If you are feeling ill and miss a training day, do not try to make up for it on the next day. Rest and recovery are just as important parts of the training. Make sure you add an easy riding day into your training plan. Once every week, schedule an easy riding day to give your body and mind a break.

Benefits of cycling

There are many health benefits that are associated with cycling. It is good to know, so let's look at a few of the major benefits:

  • Builds stamina
  • Improves coordination
  • Improves heart health
  • Increases muscle tone
  • Builds strength
  • Reduces stress

Visit NHS Health & Fitness for more detail on the health benefits of cycling.

Originally published 05/04/17

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