A friend of a friend recently contacted me. She knew about my bike trip and is planning one of her own, and wanted some help with training. In February, she will ride 120km in one day between two villages in China (where her family grew up).
Of course! Just because I did a terrible job of training myself, doesn’t mean that I don’t know what I’m talking about.
This girl, Yi, doesn’t own a bicycle right now, so nice as it would be to ride outside, I decided to start us off with a spinning class and my YMCA (downtown Toronto). Yi and I met and did the spinning class, which was a blast. I had forgotten how much fun it was to ride bikes, even if this was inside.
This was also my first time on a bicycle since coming back from my trip (I know, it’s shameful), and I was happy to note that I hadn’t completely lost my bike riding muscles. I found the class much easier than it was back in the spring.
Yi and I also went over some squats, lunges, push-ups and sit ups. I want her to strengthen her legs both with cycling and supplementary exercises, as well as strengthen her back and core, to prepare for the long hours in the saddle. I recommended cycling (hard) for about 1 hour and also doing a set of squats, lunges, push-ups and sit ups, 3 times per week (with a day of rest in between each training day) for the first 2 weeks. After that, I suggested adding a long ride (about 2+ hours of hard riding) one weekend day to her routine. I also recommended that she gently/lightly stretch on her rest days.
We will stay in contact as she trains, and hopefully I will be able to provide her with more feedback and tips as she gets closer to the date. Ideally, her rides will become longer and faster right up until the last week before she leaves for China, when I will suggest gentler (shorter) rides to rest her legs before the big day.
This sounds good. Right? If you’ve got any suggestions, please do let me know. Preparing for things was never my forte.