from newbie to London-Paris in 5 months?

snickerdoodle

Member
Location
Shropshire
Hi all. To be honest, I don't know where to start, I have been reading this forum for the past few days and I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed trying to absorb all the information...
My story isn't particularly fascinating. Self-taught at the age of 11 (straight onto two wheels and loved it from the first minute), cycled occasionally through teenage years, then hardly ever through my 20s. Last year I decided to get into it again, this time for real. I bought a road bike and signed myself up for a London to Paris (!) charity ride which is taking place in July. I have started training about 2 weeks ago and absolutely loving it- but I'm not sure if I'm doing enough or if I'm going to be able to get myself fit enough for the ride in just over 4 months. Any advice, guidance, dos/don'ts would be much appreciated, thank you :smile:
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Ride as much as you can on mixed terrain, although make sure you have rest days. Ride at the pace you will be going and go further rather than trying to hammer out short distances.

How long do you have to do the ride, if multiple days (rather than 24 hours) start riding decent distances on back to back days as soon as you can.if you'll be carrying luggage train with it in the bike, if not train with it on the bike and then the ride on an unladen bike will be a joy!

There are probably training plans for similar charity rides if you Google too

Are you fairly fit already? If you could do with losing a few pounds, make that part of your plan too

It could be pretty hot in July so get into the habit of drinking and having regular snacks while riding

Good luck
 
OP
snickerdoodle

snickerdoodle

Member
Location
Shropshire
Hi, thanks for your reply. I am currently doing approx 15-25 mile rides on 3-4 times a week, hoping to increase both the distance and frequency as it gets warmer and days get longer.

The ride itself is 230 miles spread across 3 days so each day it is on average 70-80 miles. Thankfully we won't need to carry any luggage, and the food& accommodation is also sorted which is great.
In terms of my fitness, I am quite skinny so no need for weight loss, but I am not particularly fit, so definitely need to up my game on this front. Any advice in terms of what best to focus on getting started at the gym? thanks
 
It’ll be fine. Fitness enough for that will come. Hardest part will be getting used to riding fir several hours a day. Mentally tiring and saddle sores will be what you need to overcome. The actual cycling will be achievable. If you can ride 25m 4 times a week try 50 and a few days off. Just slow your pace a little. Then in a couple of weeks try 60 then 70. Just stop every hour and make sure you eat and drink enough. Cycling all day at a comfortable pace is surprisingly easy fitness wise.
 
Hi all. To be honest, I don't know where to start, I have been reading this forum for the past few days and I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed trying to absorb all the information...
My story isn't particularly fascinating. Self-taught at the age of 11 (straight onto two wheels and loved it from the first minute), cycled occasionally through teenage years, then hardly ever through my 20s. Last year I decided to get into it again, this time for real. I bought a road bike and signed myself up for a London to Paris (!) charity ride which is taking place in July. I have started training about 2 weeks ago and absolutely loving it- but I'm not sure if I'm doing enough or if I'm going to be able to get myself fit enough for the ride in just over 4 months. Any advice, guidance, dos/don'ts would be much appreciated, thank you :smile:
Good for you. As others have said, that isn't as arduous as it may seem at first glance and you shouldn't have too much trouble, especially as you've got someone else carrying heavy stuff. I expect they've told you this, but after March you'll need a more comprehensive insurance, check this.

Enjoy, and take pictures to post here. We like pictures of bicycle related adventures.
 

steveindenmark

Legendary Member
Just so you know you are not alone. I am 61 this year and come firmly in the category of commuter cyclist. I ride my 40km commute most days.

Not too long ago an ex collegue challenged me to ride 22km every day for 22 days. Up until then 20km was like riding forever. After riding for 22 days 20km was a doddle. I then just extended my rides to challenge my ability.

You need to remember your ride is a ride and not a race. I will repeat it. Its ride not a race. As a commuter cyclist I took part in Tuscany Road last year. 550km, 9500m ascent in 2 days. Things I learned. A day is 24 hours and not 8 hours. If you ride at slow speed of 10kph you will cover 240km. If you ride 15 hours at a steady 15kph you will still cover 225km and still have 9 hours to sleep, eat and rest. Its not a race.

Ride within yourself and not at the pace of others. I find the easy way to do this is with a heart rate monitor. For me, I try and ride all the time under 160bpm. If I need to change down a few gears to do that then that is what I do. If I go over 170bpm. I am doing something wrong. The numbers may be different for you but the idea may help.

Know where you are going. This is a personal thing. I ride with a gps and follow a track. But I also use Ride with Gps. I plot the route and customise the route sheet and print them out. I can then see on the map where I am going and whats coming up. You cannot see that on a gps track.

The better weather is coming and that will make things easier for you. If you can fit in a weekend where you can ride 80km one day and 80km the next day that will really boost your confidence. Otherwise just stick to 50km and under rides. It will be enough.

But enjoy it. Thats the important thing.
 

CXRAndy

Guru
Location
Lincs
Youve got plenty of time. keep doing your weekly rides and once a week do a longer ride. After month 2 do your weekly rides and do one long ride followed by a mid week ride. Keep adding miles to your long ride . whilst doing back to back rides at the weekend. Month 3 you should be able to do a long ride followed by 75% of distance next day.

Ride with a cadence of 85 rpm upto 95rpm. This will train your cardio and not overstress your legs, so back to back days are doable.

Dont worry about speed, just ride so your breathing is comfortable and not puffing and blowing. That is around zone 2- perfect for sportive pace.

Learn to drink on the move water and eat a little every half hour.

I did the same with my kids last year, very enjoyable. easy to do if you pace it steadily

good luck- enjoy
 
Youve got plenty of time. keep doing your weekly rides and once a week do a longer ride. After month 2 do your weekly rides and do one long ride followed by a mid week ride. Keep adding miles to your long ride . whilst doing back to back rides at the weekend. Month 3 you should be able to do a long ride followed by 75% of distance next day.

Ride with a cadence of 85 rpm upto 95rpm. This will train your cardio and not overstress your legs, so back to back days are doable.

Dont worry about speed, just ride so your breathing is comfortable and not puffing and blowing. That is around zone 2- perfect for sportive pace.

Learn to drink on the move water and eat a little every half hour.

I did the same with my kids last year, very enjoyable. easy to do if you pace it steadily

good luck- enjoy
I'll be nicking that for my own training this year. One question. What does this sentence mean:

keep doing your weekly rides and once a week do a longer ride.
What's the difference between a "weekly ride" and "a longer ride "Once a week"?
 

johnblack

Über Member
A group of mainly middle aged men I know, mostly rugby players are doing a ride to Exeter from Northampton over three days, about 70 miles per day. Most of them haven't been on a bike for years and, as rugby players tend to be in middle age, a bit larger! Their training is doing a couple of shorter rides during the week followed by a 40-50 mile at weekends, which will have them fairly well prepared for the ride in May. A lot of getting bike fit is the repetition of the process.

They're also getting used to riding in groups and sussing out the others at their ability level so they can ride together in smaller groups. It's always good on these kind of things to get in a group of people with similar ability.
 

CycleCommute.CC

Active Member
Location
Livingston
If you can ride your commute that is one of the best ways to train. Daily rides morning and evening gets your body really used to being on the bike. You can also extend the ride if time allows. It's also pretty much free in terms of time taken as you'll be commuting by some form anyway
 

CXRAndy

Guru
Location
Lincs
I'll be nicking that for my own training this year. One question. What does this sentence mean:



What's the difference between a "weekly ride" and "a longer ride "Once a week"?
If riding say 3 times midweek and once on a weekend. Initially thats fine. Keep extending the weekend ride for time and distance. Then add a ride to make two days consecutive. Just keep adding time and miles to the longer ride.

I found once I could ride 40-50 miles then it was just a matter of extra time a bit more food and water to jump to 60. Once at 60 i knew i would be able to do a 100 miles.
If you learn to use a higher cadence, the following day you can ride again, the legs arent too fatigued. That is how I learnt to get to a 100 miles then onto 7 day tours.
 
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