Monthly Articles

Each month Gareth will post training articles to help give you direction and inspiration. His first post will see you through to January, after which they’ll be monthly right up to the event.

We’ve also put together some general training advice below.

 

Training Advice

  • Keep a training diary. Set your plan for January to May. Review at the end of every week to compare what you were supposed to have done and what you actually have done. Revise each week’s plan accordingly. Be realistic and focus more on doing the long rides than on your speed or power.
  • Ride lots. Nothing can replace the sheer volume of miles ridden for building up endurance. If you have a heavier winter bike, ride that as much as possible: when you get back onto your lighter bike, you will fly! Do interval sessions occasionally to vary your training. If riding the same roads regularly, vary gears used; either to build up leg ‘souplesse’ by spinning low gears, or to build up strength by pushing a larger gear. (Careful not to damage knees though, by pushing too hard.)

Everyone’s starting point is different and we love the fact that cyclists of all abilities come on the TDF so it’s really difficult to give specific advice. However, the single best thing you can do training-wise in order to enjoy your Tour Taster, is to build up the long rides and complete a few back to back rides in the spring.

Below you will find a list of monthly goals corresponding to the TT you have signed up for. Although they are a rough guideline, if you manage the rides below (at almost any speed), you can be confident that you’ll have no problems at all in France.

Lifers and 7-10 day Tour Tasters – at least one long ride in January, then one back-to-back ride each month:

Jan Feb March April May
100km 100  +100km 150+150km
with climbs (2000m over both rides)
200+150km with climbs (3000m over both rides) 200+200km with climbs (3500m over both rides

4-7 day/ medium difficulty Tour Tasters – at least one long ride in January, then one back-to-back ride each month:

Jan Feb March April May
100km 100+80km 150+100km
B2B with climbs of 1000m over both rides
180+100km B2B with climbs of 1500m over both rides 200+120km B2B with climbs of 3000m over both rides

Easier, flatter, 2/3 day Tour Tasters – from January until March, one long ride per month, then at least 2 or 3 back to back weekends:

Jan Feb March April May
50km 100km 150km 200km over 2 days 250km over 2 days

Yourself: Nutrition is of course important (and we’ll cover that in future months), but correct warming up before rides and stretching afterwards are also essential. Never stretch when muscles are cold. Take 5 minutes to stretch after every ride and seek advice on correct stretching technique if you’re getting aches or pains. Dress warmly for winter rides, especially covering knees well. Find a rain jacket that works for you – it must let body heat out as well as it stops the water getting in. Make sure you are comfortable, warm and dry (we don’t care what you look like). The first step to successful endurance riding is being comfy on your bike all day long.

Your bike. Winter training means getting out in bad conditions. Wipe the bike down after wet rides. Check your bike regularly for wear: tyres, brake pads, cables….Basic maintenance will help make your riding safer and more enjoyable. BUT, “if it works, don’t change it”. If you are comfortable, then be careful if you change anything – saddle, pedals, handlebars, cleats, shoes… Sometimes the tiniest changes can slowly lead to injury.

We have a strava group for cyclists who like that sort of thing (and no pressure at all if you don’t!). Here’s the link to join: https://www.strava.com/clubs/tdf-2017

If you’re not a strava person but are thinking of it, this is a great article from Cyclist magazine that might help you decide.

If you’re on holiday or working in a different area, have a look below and maybe you can meet up with one of our training groups while you’re away.

If you would like to start a training group or if you would like to get in touch with one of the groups listed below, please contact us.

LONDON/SURREY

We have riders old and new in abundance in this part of the world. We encourage riders in the area to organise training rides with fellow Tour de Forcers.

PLYMOUTH

We had several cyclists from the Yogi Club in Plymouth take part over the years and Sarah’s in Devon. If any of you are ever visiting the South West, get in touch and they’d be delighted to have you join one of their regular Saturday rides. You couldn’t hope for a warmer welcome!

www.yogicycling.com or email tracy@tourdeforce.org.uk to be put in touch.

SCOTLAND

Tracy is based in Edinburgh and we have a good number of riders from Scotland each year. We will organise at least one informal training ride in the Spring so let Tracy know if you’re interested.

MIDLANDS-ISH

We have several riders who fall into this rather loose geographical category (we’ve included Yorkshire in the past)! Contact tracy@tourdeforce.org.uk if you want to be put in touch.

ANY OTHER REGIONS

If you’re looking for training partners in an area not easily reached above, then let us know and we’ll join you up with other riders within pedalling distance if we can. Just contact tracy@tourdeforce.org.uk.

At all times, be careful to gauge your training so that it still remains fun. You have to want to get back on the bike for your targets to be achieved. If you are feeling drained for too long after rides, be careful to not over-tire yourself. Your natural enthusiasm will soon ebb away if exhaustion creeps in. Keep to your training plan and you will be able to relax, which is essential. A positive attitude, focused on the enjoyment factor, will do far more good for your riding than you might imagine!