Friday, 22 June 2012

Time to get yo’ asses into gear… Tips and ideas for B2B training

(Editor’s note: Warren’s training list is a guide for those of you without much consistent cycling practice. It is a guide only. Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions)
With under three months to go until the big push off from central London, it’s probably about high time we thought of warming those saddles and making sure that cometh the day, cometh the hour, cometh the, er, bike ride, we’re all in good shape to hit the road with confidence…

Crucially, and as we’ve said all along, the two-day trip is a testing one – but very much do-able. I know that quite a few who have signed up (we’re pushing the 30 mark as I type this, by the way – looking good!) are seasoned riders. Those of you among that happy bunch will probably be well aware of what it takes to stick it out for 45 miles (twice!) – but for those of you who don’t, a few words of advice and some practical tips for making sure you’re up to speed come the 4 September. I’ll try not to witter on too much.

Your training regime for the ride has two main goals. The first, clearly, is to make sure that you’re physically in good shape and accustomed to going the kind of distance we’ll be taking on. The second aim is to gradually pick up the speed at which you cover the miles. B2B is definitely not a race, but it is important that we’re covering ground at a reasonable rate. By the time we get to September, the idea is that we should all be able to manage 10 miles per hour, or thereabouts. 

Again, if you’re a bit of a biking novice, don’t let this worry you – it’s definitely achievable with a bit of practice.

Which brings us to the first, most obvious, yet most important tip: from this point on, Get Out On Your Bike As Often As You Can. See, I’ve even used capitals. How Annoying Of Me. Even if this means 3 or 4 miles to work, or to your mate’s, or to the pub: a little goes a long way in terms of conditioning yourself for the saddle – and it’ll also mean that you’ll start to pick up your average speed without even realising it.

For those of you doing this kind of ride for the first time, perhaps we should get a little more specific about this. It’s not gospel, of course, but below I’ve laid out a fortnight-by-fortnight outline of the kind of bike-time that will definitely put you in good stead for B2B:

Monday 25 June to Monday 9 July
At least three five-mile rides per week, plus one ten-mile ride over the fortnight.

Monday 9 July to Monday 23 July
At least three five-mile rides per week, plus one 20-mile ride over the fortnight.

Monday 23 July to Monday 6 August
At least two ten-mile rides per week, plus two 30-mile rides over the fortnight.

Monday 6 August to Monday 20 August
At least two 15-mile rides per week, plus one 40-mile ride over the fortnight.

Monday 20 August to Monday 3 September
At least three 15-mile rides per week, plus one (or more) 45-mile rides over the fortnight.

It’s all a little arbitrary, of course – if you’re already in good physical shape (and younger than me and Dom... which is quite likely) you may be able to cope with less training. But for those of you looking at the schedule and thinking, ‘when am I going to fit it in?’, again, don’t worry: remember that a 10-mile ride should take you little longer than an hour (depending on hills ‘n things); the longer rides just take a little bit of forward planning. Set aside four hours or so at the weekend – and hit the road! 

And don’t forget to remember amidst all of this: being out on your bike is actually effing good fun. I definitely wouldn’t do it otherwise.

A really good site for biking routes, covering the whole of the country, is here:

It has routes of all different lengths and all levels of difficulty – so just pick one and get cracking!
A couple of other quick, but important things…

Take plenty of water. Probably a couple of bike bottles’ worth will do you.(we'll cover nutrition and hydration in another post)

Take a puncture repair kit and a spare inner tube. Make sure you’re confident with changing an inner tube – easy enough when you know how, but do gen up before you head out…

Enough for now – but as ever, do get in touch with any other questions. And if you fancy hooking up with other B2Bers for a training ride, why not head over to the Facebook page and post a message? In fact, that’s a grand idea – be good to catch up with some of you for a limber up!

Toodle pip for now


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