Here at Cycling Holidays Italy we want all our riders to enjoy their tour to the fullest. We believe the best way to achieve this goal is to arrive ready to ride and not rely on 'muscle memory' or the belief that you can miraculously ride yourself back into 'trip fitness'.
How much training do you really need to do to prepare for a tour and what kind of training? Is it as simple as "get on your bike and ride"? What if you want to include other sports too?
Let's assume that you're aiming to do a fixed based tour that has a daily challenge of some 50 to 80 kms. Your main goal is the comfortable (a relative term) completion of the daily distance averaging some 20 to 23 kms per hour. If you're currently riding three days per week, with two rides in the 30 to 60 minute range and a third ride that is 60 to 90 minutes long, you can be ready to ride a tour in around 6 to 8 weeks. If you're getting in a fourth riding day right now, better yet.
If you are a multi sport athlete, you might be riding, running and swimming (two or three days per week, per sport). Your long ride and run days are each around 60 minutes long.
In both cases, single sport or multi sport, you may or may not be strength training. If you are strength training, plan to reduce time and intensity in the gym to a maintenance mode. That means cutting back on strength work to only one day per week and reducing the weights so that you are never sore or fatigued from a weight workout.
Key Weekly Workouts
As you might expect, a once a week long ride is vitally important to your training. I like to have a long ride as part of a two or three day block of riding. Riding two or three days in a row will help your endurance as well as conditioning your back side to tolerate sitting on a bike saddle for multiple days and kms.
Your remaining weekly workouts are either form work, aerobic or easy recovery days. I put these workouts in a single group and consider them key workouts. They are key because they help with recovery which allows you to become a stronger, faster cyclist. These workouts help with consistency and I consider consistency the most important element to athletic success. If you are unable to be consistent with workouts, you will never reach your potential. You can do it.
A Cycling Holidays Italy tour is much more attainable than many people think. You don't have to complete tour distances in a single week prior to doing an actual tour. Let me use an example outside of cycling to help you understand. People that train for a Marathon or Ironman triathlon, would not complete an entire Marathon / Ironman triathlon in a single day during their training preparation, prior to the actual event.
Not as simple as just "get on your bike and ride" but really not that complicated either!
As you can see it is unnecessary, and likely counterproductive, to "just ride your bike" to prepare for a tour. Most cyclists will be over-trained by riding as much as possible to prepare for a tour. You need three things to be ready for your tour: 1) consistency, 2) long rides, and 3) shorter, more intense rides.
The best part is you don't have to give up your life to train for a Cycling Holidays Italy tour. Just train smart.
If you want to discuss or ask for advice about your training regime please contact us and we'll be happy to help.