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So you’ve decided to ride 290 miles in five days. Most of us aren’t going to be able to start riding 50 miles in one day unless we’ve been wintering in warmer climates and riding regularly. For the rest of us, start a bit smaller. Eight weeks is plenty of time to get you ready for this weeklong adventure!
As with any other exercise program, consult your doctor before beginning. Listen to your body; if you need a break, take a break; if you want to go farther, go for it. If you think you’re overdoing it, you’re right. Most of all have fun and enjoy your rides.
Here are some tips to make the most of your training:
Customize your training with Training Peaks
TrainingPeaks.com is the official training software of Bike MS. Through Training Peaks, access customized Bike MS training plans and map your rides, keep a food diary and workout log, and track your heart rate, power, speed and more. You can choose among six cycling plans with various route lengths and ability levels. Simply use the free Basic Personal Edition or for a monthly subscription, use the Premium Personal Edition.
*The listing of these clubs is provided as a courtesy and does not imply any connection or endorsement by the National MS Society or Bike MS. If you decide to ride with one of the above organizations, you do so at your own discretion.
Sample training schedule
Eight weeks prior to the event: Head out on two five-mile rides with one 10-mile ride. Ideally, a rest day before and after the 10-mile ride will allow the body to recover more easily and to help you decide if you need a different saddle.
Seven weeks to go: increase the frequency of the rides to two five-mile rides and two 10 mile rides. Congratulations, you’re riding 30 miles this week!
Six weeks: Two 10-mile rides and one 15-mile ride will improve your endurance and allow you ample time to recover during the off days.
Five weeks: One 10-mile ride, one 15-mile ride, and one 20-mile ride bring the total for the week to 45 miles.
Only four weeks to go: Now is when you want to focus on mileage, not frequency. The weekends are a great opportunity to get in one 20-mile ride and one 30-mile ride with a 15-mile ride during the week.
Three weeks until the event, and even more miles to come. One 10-mile ride during the week will maintain the fitness levels you’ve built along the way. One 30-mile ride and one 40-mile ride during the weekend will enhance your endurance levels and make that spandex fit perfectly.
Two weeks left and 90 miles later! One 10-mile ride doesn’t seem like much after last week’s ride, but it will help the muscles recover and prepare for this week’s 50-mile and 60-mile bike ride. That’s a total of 120 miles this week!
The week before the ride: You’ve made it. Although you’ll be riding about 40-60 miles each day, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t touch your bike the rest of the week. It does, however, allow you to play with your miles on two rides during the week. Make sure those rides don’t exceed 20 miles. Take Friday off. Gather your gear and pack it in the car. Smile and give yourself a pat on the back. You’re ready.