Training tips: be prepared and get motivated
While a training programme has been put together as a rough guide, we are aware that other commitments such as work, family and fundraising may not allow you to stick rigidly to a schedule.
However, where possible the programmes have been designed to enable you to fit training around work.
Some participants may wish to remove or reduce the sessions, others may wish to add time and increase the number of sessions.
Don't just cycle to get fit: cross train with other sports, for example, swimming, running and going to the gym, as this will make you enjoy training by breaking it up and increase your overall body fitness, cycling uses many muscles other than leg muscles.
Any other work outs will be a benefit. Ask a fitness instructor at a local gym to put together a weight and stretching programme.
Spinning is another excellent way to build endurance and anaerobic fitness. Spinning is a high energy, in door stationary cycling based group fitness program, where the instructor takes participants on a virtual outdoor road race complete with hills, fast flats and downhills, valleys, and finish lines. The class would make a noticeable difference to your cycling fitness.
The secret to preventing injuries and preparing yourself to get the most out of your training is to develop a good, personal mileage base.
The best strategy is to let the terrain and how you feel tell you when to make more or less effort.
Remember the purpose of your training is to help you achieve a personal goal.
The more you put in before you go, the more you will enjoy the challenge whilst you are there.
Keep this goal in mind at all times.
Beating the weather
It's all too easy during the winter months to make excuses not to train, but there are lots of fun ways to get fit and avoid the weather.Spinning is an excellent way to build up cycling fitness on a cold wet day:
Gym work on the bike will help improve your fitness;
Aerobic classes and swimming are great for overall fitness;
When the sun is shinning get your bike out and make the most of it;
Train with a friend. They don't have to be someone on the challenge, so ask around - one of your friends will want to get fit. Make arrangements to meet up and train together.