Training for a 380 mile bike ride is a complicated matter! And as the images show, the 4Challenge team have been putting themselves through their paces.
If you are taking on your own challenge, here are 6 tips to ensure you get the most of your training programme.
1. Stay Hydrated
Failing to hydrate properly can lead to muscle cramps, muscle fatigue, headaches and a generally miserable time! A good rule of thumb is to drink 1 - 1 ½ pints water before you work out and be sure to take plenty with you.
2. Warming Up
You need more than a light jog or leisurely 5 minute cycle to prepare yourself for a tough ride. Various dynamic stretches, body weight drills such as squats, press ups and star jumps, will thoroughly prepare your body for the upcoming effort.
3. Interval Training
Yes, interval training is painful, weary work - but these short, intense efforts produce far better results for your endurance than slow, even-paced riding. Just two weeks of interval training can make a measurable difference to your endurance.
4. Hill Charges
They hurt more than speed intervals, but the reward is even greater! On a moderate incline, stand out of the saddle and charge up the hill as fast as possible for 30 seconds. Coast back to your starting point. Repeat, this time seated. Alternate between standing and sitting for six climbs. Recover 10 minutes. Do another set.
5. Cross Training
If you only ever train on your bike, you’re missing a trick! Swimming and running will improve your cardiovascular endurance, and the variety will shock the body into the next level. Be sure to include strength training (such as weightlifting) and flexibility (such as yoga/pilates) so that your fitness level is well-rounded.
6. Allow Recovery
Pushing yourself is important, but listen to your body – training with tired legs is pointless, and you will ultimately cause more damage than good. You need rest for your body to repair itself and become stronger!
If you would like to support 4Challenge as we take on the ride of a lifetime, here is how you can help.