Thursday, February 11, 2010

Touring – Not very sensible training tips

My “training” for my trip from Greymouth to Wanaka is going very well, and I’ve come up with some extremely helpful, but not actually sensible, training strategies. Being the extremely generous blogger that I am, I will share these great* tips with you all.

Tip 1 – 3 steps to making time for training and eliminating the need for motivation
The first step is resign from your well paying, but soul destroying job. This will take a bit of forward planning as most employers require 4 weeks notice, so you’ll need to resign about 8 weeks before your trip, if you’re not very fit, like me. Secondly ensure you take on a new career that you are passionate about, but crucially, doesn’t actually pay any money. For example, become a writer. Thirdly, injure yourself. You’ll need to be careful with this one. Ensure you injure yourself badly enough that you’ll require twice weekly physio, but not so badly that you can’t ride your bike. Find a good physio that is based far away from your home. Madness I hear you say, none of that sounds helpful at all! Well, I’m sorry to disagree with you, but you’re wrong. Let me explain the logic here. Resigning from your job frees up your time greatly. You no longer have to plan carefully to fit in that 2 or 3 hour ride. Taking on a non-paying job, such as a writer, will mean you can no longer afford to use your car to go places. Now if you have to go anywhere you’ll have to ride your bike. No more training rides, just doing your day to day errands will mean you’re out on your bike for at least an hour a day (unless you are a house bound hermit, but then you’re unlikely to be training for a bike tour). However even if you are still not getting out and about my third tip will provide all the motivation you need. Being conveniently injured and having a physio, say 22kms away will provide you with a 2 hour round trip that you have to take. Note: it is important that any physio you see is good at what they do, you don’t want to be wasting money you don’t have much of, and they must also be okay with treating you when you arrive sweaty after your ride there. You don’t need to be motivated, you have to go to your appointment and since you’ve got two appointments a week you’ll be seeing results in no time!

Tip 2 – Follow rivers
If you’re following the instructions in Tip 1 then this tip will enhance its effectiveness. When planning a route somewhere you have to go, on your bike because you can’t afford to use the car, try and follow any rivers where possible. Not only with this provide you with a picturesque ride, but rivers are head strong buggers and tend to meander where they feel. This will extend your journey without you really noticing as you cruise along beside your lovely river.

Tip 3 – Lose weight
Those of you who train for racing will be well aware that when you’re training for speed you have to fuel probably. I’ve discovered that I don’t have to worry about this so much when going out for sifty long rides. I recommend for a two hour ride taking a bottle of water. For a three hour ride throw a muesli bar in your back pocket, take a full bottle of water and half a bottle of something with electrolytes like Replace. If you’re lucky you may even find that when you finish riding you’ll have worked hard enough that you actually don’t feel like eating. Any weight you lose now will make life much easier on the road (where you should eat as much as you can).

Tip 4 – Take a yoga class
But not just any yoga class, make the venue is up a big, steep hill. You’ll have “fun” riding there for the class and the class itself will be even more challenging with some climbing in your legs.

Tip 5 – Get sadistic friends
Your training has been going well so far and all the above tips have been helping a lot. This final tip with give you that extra strength that you need at the end of a long day in the saddle and there’s a hill in front of you. Try heading out for a roadie ride with a friend. Ideally this friend will be slightly faster than you and will be training for a race, rather than just pootling along. For added benefit it would help if this friend lives at least 10km away from you, so you have extra to ride. Ride to your friend’s house and then head out for a 30km loop. You’ll be nicely warmed up from your 10km ride so you’ll feel like things aren’t so bad at the start. However once your friend warms up she’ll (or he’ll) smash you good and proper. Of course once they’ve finished smashing you they’ll be at home, but you’ll still have that extra 10kms to ride. It’ll help.

With these helpful tips at your disposal you’ll be ready for your 450km ride in no time! If you have any equally helpful tips feel free to share them.

1 comment:

Zane said...

Tip # 6. Do all of the above on a single speed. You will learn how to spin at a million miles an hour and how to stomp up hills in a really big gear :)