Training for a 7-Day Ride


New Member
May 23, 2002
I'm an avid runner and occasional cycler. I'm doing a 7-day ride in late August, averaging 55-75 miles per day. Can anyone recommend a training program?

Also, I am thinking of renting a bike when I arrive in the start city. Is it unwise to do the ride with a different bike than the one I train with?
Your main problems with riding a bike that you are not use to is comfort and the risk of injury. Comfort means that factors such as seat height and tilt, stem length and height, handlebar pitch etc. will be different to the bike you are use to. Obviously these are variables that are adjustable, but few cyclists have all these sizes readily available. I suggest you measure your current bike setup and adjust the rented bike accordingly. Failing this, you could land up with a bike thats mal-adjusted (is there such a word?) which can lead to knee, back and shoulder pain. If transporting your whole bike to the venue is a problem, why not take your saddle along? Riding a bad saddle is probably the worst punishment you can give your butt, and you don't want to ride for 7 days on a saddle thats too soft. At least your butt will feel at home.

Regarding training I suggest you do moderate distant rides to condition your legs and lungs for cycling. Seeing that you are an avid runner, I take you have a fairly good fitness base to work off? Over weekends you can do a ride that surpasses the average distance you will ride per day during the tour.
I'm sure 2LAP will give you some good training advice aswell.
As you are a runner and do have some fitness, all you really need to do is adapt to riding a bike.

So, I'm with VO2 on this one, you need to complete some rides that are greater in distance than are completed in the tour itself. Perhaps once or twice a week.

You may also wish to get used to riding a bike day after day so start by riding every other day and then try to string 2, 3, 4 and then 5 days of riding together. There is no need to make these sessions long at all, perhaps just over an hour each.

I guess that when you tour you will be riding quite slowly with only spells of harder riding (no sprinting or maximal effort). Therefore, most of your riding should be done at a fairly easy pace, similar or just above the pace that you are going to want to complete the tour at.

You may also want to put in a 'tempo' session once or twice a week to help prepare yourself for those efforts over hills or efforts to get out of the rain/to the next stop/pushing a friend. During the tempo session aim to go out for just over an hour, start of easily and build up to a level where your breathing is heavy, heart rate is rapid and you have to concentrate to maintain your pace. Hold this level until the hour is almost up, gradually warm down for 10 minutes. Don't do two of these sessions back to back.

If your tour will be hilly, choose hilly routes for 3 rides out of five and if the tour isn't hilly choose a hilly route for 1 out of five rides.

You'll need to be fresh for the tour itself, so reduce your hours in the saddle in the week before the tour so that you recover fully. Build gradualy during the training and make sure that you don't get two fatigued (it would be a shame to miss the tour due to illness).

When training and during the tour think about correct gear selection and pedal cadence as this will save you energy and help keep your legs in good shape for the whole week!

This is only guidence, if you want to get more serious check out some of the other strings that chat about endurance training and lifting lactate/anaerobic threshold.

You will need to think about your nutrition during the ride and between rides as well, you might get some help through the nutrition forum.

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