Well no hail yet thank goodness!!! Sometimes the weather isn’t as good as we’d like, but then again there’s no guarantee it will be perfect ‘on the day’ or through a trip either! So training in less than perfect weather helps your mental toughness as well as bike handling skills.
Our training program is 12 months long, building from a few rides totaling maybe 150km a week up to 600km a week at the peak. The program created by Dan Ryan at Bodytrack Exercise Physiology follows a fairly typical periodisation approach with cycles of building distance followed by recovery, then building again, with each peak a little higher than the previous one. In amongst the cycling we have series of exercises to do to build strength, mobility and counter the impact of increasing cycling on our bodies.
Both Caroline and I would consider ourselves more recreational cyclists before we started this training program, though we have both practiced increased cycle training in the past – myself for adventure racing and Caroline for triathlon. As we started building kilometers in our weekly schedule, it was time to add some longer rides into the mix. So we started venturing out of Brisbane on weekends to tackle the BVRT (Brisbane Valley Rail Trail), some country roads and trails around Rosewood, Beerwah and Woodford. Sometimes it was per ‘the plan’, sometimes we had to make it up on the fly and then there were days it just took longer than we intended as we ploughed through thick mud and slush.
As the weekly load increased, the daily distances evened out to get a better simulation of back to back days with the all important rest day once a week! One of the biggest challenges then became boredom … I mean riding the same tracks during the week over and over can just become tedious, especially in the cooler months – sleeping is a far more attractive option! Our regular check-ins with Dan gave us a chance to talk about these things as well as the exercise component. Being accountable to each other has helped heaps too. All the months of work will be worth it when we finally get to hit the road.