How to Prepare for Multi-day Cycling Tour?
Multi-day cycling events are enormously popular among cyclists. Some of such events are highly competitive, but most feature great mileage, lots of climbing and amazing camaraderie. If you are planning on riding one of the multi-day cycling events like Haute Route Rockies, 2017, you can learn a lot from the way pro cyclists prepare and manage their efforts during the stage races such as Tour de France.
The wear and tear on your body after long riding forces you to think differently about the training. You should shift your focus towards strength training to prepare your leg for multi-day riding and aerobic training to prepare your body as well. Special attention needs to be paid to nutrition and recovery. Riding day after day can be both challenging and rewarding and just by focusing some key areas, you can prepare your mind and body to tackle any length ride with confidence and ease.
Typical training may involve a few rides with different intensity followed by rest days or cross training. However, when you train for longer events, it is important to slowly add more riding into your schedule. By adding more time to the individual rides, as well as consecutive days of riding will help your body for the strain of long rides. If you want to add a self supported bike tour to your training program, meaning you will be carrying all of your necessary equipment, and then you should add weight to your bike in order to increase volume. The extra weight will build the necessary leg strength to pedal the heavier bike, and also familiarize you with how to handle bike when it is loaded.
When you prepare for a multi-day cycling event, it is important to reconfigure your training schedule to add blocks of back-to-back training. For starting, you should go for a two-and three-day blocks of endurance rides to train your ability to recover and perform at an equal level the second and third day. It is advisable to take two days of recovery following these blocks to get ready for more high-quality work.
Endurance is undoubtedly important for multi-day rides, but it should develop in conjunction with strength. Not only must your cardiac system be strong enough to handle day-after-day riding, you muscular system must also be as resilient. If the ride is going to be flat, your training should include some long, flat days to practice cadence and endurance. However, if you are going to ride on hilly or mountainous terrain, incorporate climbing during your training as well. Each terrain requires different types of training and will prepare your body differently.
One day of strength training can help you with muscle strength and injury prevention during hard block of training. You can try below workouts:
Squats – 4×10 each side with light weight
Burpees – 4×10 in rapid succession
Plank – 4×1 minute. Try to increase time during training
Lunges – 4×15 each side with light weight
Box Jumps – 3×15 in rapid succession
Nutrition and Recovery
Long rides demands more calories and therefore, special attention should be paid t nutrition and recovery. Keep in mind that your goal is not to finish the day depleted but rather fueled and get ready for the next day of riding. So, focus more on whole foods and use gels and chews as supplemental fuels to keep you full, and repair your body for the next days’ ride.
At the events like Haute Route Rockies, some athletes are there to compete while others just to have fun. Either case, you should take your multi-day riding training seriously to have better performance and more fun on the bike.