How do you train for a Bike Odyssey cycling tour?
The simplest answer is time on your bike.
We will support you to ride any speed you like and with our days being broken up with relaxed coffees and picnic lunches there are no expectations to ride at a certain speed, nor ride as a group. However, what is usually most taxing for riders is spending extended time sitting on the bicycle. Therefore, the more you can prepare your body for that the better. So the key thing is to ride consistently to prepare for your Odyssey.
The more extended answer is that there are many ways to make sure you get the most out of your bike tour and really enjoy every day. It makes a huge difference if you are physically prepared and you will get so much more out of your trip if you put some time in beforehand.
We can break this preparation up into a few elements.
Understand what your bike tour involves
- Our banana system of grading gives a good indication of what to expect each day.
- Look at the full itinerary in detail as it has every day's distance and elevation listed.
- Note how many days in a row you will ride. By standard, we ride 4 out of 5 days but this varies a little depending on the region.
- What is the environment like you are going to - are you used to the temperatures / whether.
- Talk to the Bike Odyssey team if you have any questions - [email protected]
Plan your preparation
We all like drawing on a calendar and planning our exercise! It is also an excellent way to tie you in to do the work. There are so many training programs online or personal trainers who will help you do this but essentially all you need to do is make a plan and stick to it! Reach out to the Bike Odyssey Strava group as there may be riders near you or other riders preparing for the same bike tour. There is nothing better than sharing the training and preparations!
This is what it comes down to. Further,ore, mix it up. Your strength and stamina will improve most if you vary your cycling.
High intensity is excellent but it needs to be mixed with longer distance volume to ensure you improve and your body gets prepared for sitting on a bike for multiple days in a row. Remember, to know what to expect from your itinerary - it could be 2-3 hours a day or anywhere up to 6 or 7 hours a day (depending on the Odyssey!). To start with, whether on a trainer or outside, our suggestion would be 2-3 sessions a week mixed riding - group, online, intervals, city riding, hills all with reasonable effort but mix it up - anything from 1 - 1.5 hours long. Then one longer ride each week for 2+ hours riding at a comfortable speed.
Then build on this, increase the time and effort and ensure that as you get to around a month our from your bike tour you are riding at least once or twice a week for an extended time (2-3 hours or more). As the tour gets closer (2 weeks) keep the shorter training sessions but lessen the longer rides to reduce potential fatigue.
Know that there are communities of riders online - Strava, Zwift, Sufferfest and in your local communities keen to ride with you. Make use of these and make friends while you get fit and prepare!
This is hugely important. Whether training or on tour, you must eat regularly, even if only in small amounts to ensure your body has the fuel to keep on going. Furthermore, post ride, within 30 minutes of riding, eat or drink something that has roughly one part protein to four parts carbohydrate to refuel for next time!