Fit to tour?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by rickangus, 11 Mar 2008.

  1. rickangus

    rickangus Über Member

    west sussex
    Just been inspired by a similar thread by fuzzymum to ask a question.

    Ok, I'm not as fit as I'd like to be. I've hardly been out over the winter due to pressure of work and horrible weather. I'm on warfarin, and thinned blood and cold weather aren't a great mix. If I was to go on a tour averaging, say, 50 miles a day, how much training would I need to do and more importantly how would I know when I was fit enough - short of going out and cycling 50 miles every day for a week?

    After all, isn't 50mpd just 2 1/2 hours in the morning and 2 1/2 hours in the afternoon interspersed by coffee/lunch breaks?

    Is that overly simplifying it - or I am worrying about nothing?

    Just wondering...
  2. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    Well...being 88 sleeps away from a month long tour across the Alps and being stuck on a turbo with a slowly mending broken leg, I can identify with this question. Wondering if I'll be fit enough as well.

    I think you're probably worrying more than you need to - but getting decent fitness levels up is never going to hurt. You don't say how generally fit you are which I think makes a difference. We've done '50 mile a day' weeks without busting a gut as we have fairly decent fitness levels. But we notice the lack of form on hills...and that worries me a bit.

    I've pulled together a training plan to try and notch up as many miles on turbo/road as I can realistically before we leave...and then I'm just going to be philosophical about speed and stuff. I wonder if I'd ever feel fit's more important to get out there!

    Yep...we have lots of coffee/lunch/photo stops as well...they're part of the fun.

    What are your plans???
  3. HJ

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Auld Reekie
    Take it slowly at the start, don't try to ride every day to start with, don't push too hard and enjoy. Try to build a bit of every day type cycling into your weekly routine, i.e. commute by bike once or twice a week, take the bike to the local shops. Then take a longer ride at the weekends if the weather is good, you will soon find your fitness improving.
  4. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    I am going to ride the length of Germany in th summer north to south...I dont consider myself anywhere near matchfit fact these last few weeks I have had a lull in my excuse...just had a lot of guitars to set up and i got into that during the bad weather instead.

    Last summers 'tour' around east anglia saw me increasing the distances each day fairly comfortably...although the shite weather did knock it out of me a few times I still enjoyed it a lot and achieved more than I ever thought I could.

    As soon as the weather clears (weekend hopefully) I'll be back out there and hopefully back to 25 miles a day and 60 on a weekend. I reckon idf mI can keep that up, and then do it with a heavy load I should be fine for Germany, where we plan on 100km a day approx.
    Personnaly I fear bad weather more than being unfit for purpose...I have no fear of pushing the bike up a hill or two or just crashing out in a field for a rest....but the driving wind and rain can get very demoralising after a week of it!
  5. Dayvo

    Dayvo Just passin' through

    If you're off on a long trip then you will, literally, cycle yourself to fitness.
    Obviously make as good a preparation as possible, so that it's not a complete shock to your body, but also for your sit bones to become more familiar with your saddle.
    Make sure you have enough pairs of shorts (one on, one in the wash, and one spare) if you're able to do any laundry on the way.
    Otherwise make sure you can wash thoroughly to minimise the risk of saddle sores or boils.
    Take it easy to start with, and don't worry; your form WILL come.
    Good luck!
  6. snorri

    snorri Legendary Member

    Dayvo has it just right.
    It's a tour, a holiday, so no need to pressurise yourself. The number of miles you cover will not necessarily be proportional to the pleasure you derive from the tour. Just get out on the road and cover as many miles as you wish each day.:rolleyes::smile:
  7. OP

    rickangus Über Member

    west sussex
    Thanks for the responses - lots of sensible observations there. I'm doing a short tour, London to Paris, in a couple of months time, partly to try out my new bike and partly to see how much touring I can do. I've got ambitions to do a channel to the med but had bit of a heart problem a few years ago so this is a little test to see how I get on in terms of daily mileage.

    In the meantime I'm getting out three or four times a week as commitments allow, only about 15 miles at a time but going up the steepest hills I can find although where I live they tend to be long rather than steep.

    So sorry to hear of your broken leg Cathryn; I had read with great interest about your plans for the summer tour (were you excited or what!) but not your accident. What a pain and I can really understand your concerns (btw, I much prefer your previous avatar - was that you?).

    I think BTFB's comments re weather are particularly pertinent. Having done a c2c straight into the teeth of a howling north easterly with rain, hail and snow I know I'd rather walk up a hill in the sunshine than go through that again.

    Re the saddle. I've got a B17 but have recently had a slot cut in it by these people (being bit of a gadget/equipment nut!) shop new.htm

    which is supposed to make Brooks uber comfortable - and so it would seem although have only done about 100 miles since getting it back; seems very good so far.
  8. As others have said:
    a) you will get fit as you go, although the fitter you can get before you start, the more fun it will be, and:
    ;) the miles per day, average speed, heartrate and all the things you might be concerned about on a training ride, are irrelevant when touring. I had to teach a friend of mine this when we went touring together. He was always wanting to push on and crack a 20mph average, whereas I was always wanting to stop and look at things, have a beer and a long lunch and occasionally stop after a fifteen mile day because we were somewhere nice. If you reach a point where you don't feel like cycling any more, just stop and find a campsite. The first thing to abandon on a tour is a strict schedule.
  9. snorri

    snorri Legendary Member

    ;) That's my kind of touring RT! ;)
  10. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    That modification to the brookes looks interesting...I assume it is to reduce numb nutz syndrome? Keep us posted on how it works over a long ride.
  11. OP

    rickangus Über Member

    west sussex

    BTFB - did you find/view the video on the site? If you watch this which is a view of under the saddle during cycling, it shows an amazing hip movement through the pedalling cycle (no pun intended!) and you can appreciate even more why you can get a sore butt!

    I'll keep you posted as to how it pans out but to date it's been good - and the $ is cheap!
  12. HJ

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Auld Reekie
    Sorry BTFB, could you point out which hills you are worried about? I have just had a look at the route profile it starts at 200m and drops to sea level over the course of 520km. I would be daunted by the lack of down hill to take a rest on. :biggrin: I hope the weather is kind to you as that would be a total nightmare against the wind....
  13. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    Thanks for the sympathy - 9 weeks on and the sympathy is drying up :smile:

    The trip is actually still on. I'm slightly nervous about it but have decided it's better to try and risk failure than not try at all. If I need to take the odd train then I'll do so...I'll just have to be more realistic about everything!! I'm very very excited still (in fact, even more than before!!) It's only 86 sleeps to go now!!

    The Avatar isn't me (unfortunately) but the character Liesl from the Sound of Music who I named my bike after!!! Sadly, I'm not 16 going on 17 either :ohmy:
  14. Milo

    Milo Veteran

    Melksham, Wilts
    Well when i did some solo touring in late june and july (rain, rain rain) i did it with no training at all or planning perhaps not the best approach but it wasn't to horrendous other than the weather.
    Started of slow first 3 days between 30 to 40 miles then a rest day in the new forest after the rest day i managed 70 miles without to much agro and i think i could have kept going.
    granted i am somewhat of a spring chickin at 18 but i had not rode bikes for a good 2 or 3 years before then got the gist of it quite quickly to be honest.
    Complete washout though but i made the best of a bad situaition and kept going you will be fine.
  15. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    Thanks for the encouragement, you young whippersnapper!! I keep reminding myself of previous trips without much training and trying not to worry. I have 86 days to mend and train anyway!!
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