Cycling Fitness Plan
• Try and identify your charity ride at least six to eight weeks in advance of the event to give you time to rise to meet the challenge. This amount of lead-in gives your body time to get used to cycling and to respond and adapt so that you’ll be fitter and perform better on the day of the event.
• Establish your challenge. How do you feel about the distance and terrain? Have you cycled this far before? How long do you think the event will take you? Be realistic!
• Assess your fitness status. How fit do you think you are? How fit do you think you need to be to get to the finish line? What steps do you need to take to get there? Be honest!
• Plan your strategy. Consider the time you have available to exercise in your week and create a realistic schedule for yourself. For example, this might include one ride to and from work each week, one ride in the evening and one ride at the weekend.
• Get your bike fit and set-up checked. Comfort is critical.
• Build a progressive plan! Write it down and follow it each week.
• Be flexible - your plan should be a guide to helping you reach your charity ride goal. Sometimes other priorities get in the way. Don’t be afraid to change things.
• Keep a record. Writing down the cycling you do helps you see your achievements, measure and monitor your progress and see those vital improvements as you get fitter.
• The longer your charity ride distance, the more important it is that you prepare adequately.
• Think about the important principles of regular exercise - don’t try and do too much too soon. Be progressive.
• Don’t overstretch yourself so you arrive tired on event day.
• Do at least one ride that is 75 percent or more of the distance you have elected to complete two weeks before your event.
• Practise your cycling technique - select the correct gears, pedal at an appropriate cadence.
• Practise eating and drinking whilst you ride to make sure your body is hydrated and fuelled effectively. This is important for the summer, when it could be hot on event day.
• Don’t cram! Avoid leaving your preparation until the week before your event. It doesn’t work and only serves to leave you feeling tired when you need to be refreshed and ready!
• Most importantly, enjoy the riding that you do and recognise the wonderful way in which you are positively contributing to your health, fitness and overall well being.