Training for the Other Kind of Tour
How to train for multiday events.
ability to stay hydrated over the course of several days of exercise, so it?s important to start early in your training. You can?t decide one week before your event to start drinking more fluids and expect to stay hydrated for the entire trip. Set up a schedule to drink at least one water bottle of water or sports drink per hour off the bike (when you?re awake), and at least two an hour while you?re on the bike (try to stay awake for that too).
Bike Tour Survival Tips
Truth be told, there?s much more to a successful multi-day tour than fitness, nutrition, and hydration. Obviously, you want to be able to perform well on the bike, and you can?t underestimate the impact of comfort and equipment on performance. Here are just some of the things we learned from the Tour of Hope:
1. Invest in a spare helmet and shoes: If either one of these items gets damaged or lost, your ride is over. Plus, when one pair of shoes gets soaked in the rain, it?s great to have a dry pair to use on the next ride (assuming the weather improved).
2. Always wear a clean pair of shorts: I don?t care if you have to wash them in a gas station bathroom, clean shorts are absolutely essential for an enjoyable tour.
3. Bring clothing you never thought you?d need: Winter gloves for a summer ride? More than a few Tour of Hope riders were surprised by how cold it was to ride through the desert at night or the Midwest in the rain.
4. Record your bike measurements on a laminated card: Strange things happen. Seats break, bikes have to be switched out, and you don?t want to struggle remembering your bike position at the side of the road in West Texas . In the 2004 Tour of Hope, one of the coaches and a rider rode into wet cement at about 25 mph, crashed, and tore their bikes up. They were able to get them back on the road because we had their bike fit measurements readily available.
Multi-day bike tours are a great way to enjoy cycling and often to raise money for important causes. As with racing, however, it?s important to be properly prepared for the challenge. Take a cue from the 20 men and women who pedaled across the United States in the Tour of Hope; with just four months of focused training, they accomplished their goal and arrived in Washington right on schedule.
Jason Koop is a Pro Coach for Carmichael Training Systems, Inc.(CTS) and the Coaching Manager for the 2005 Tour of Hope. To find out what CTS can do for you, visit TrainRight.