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2 Weeks In France

fto-sifto-si Posts: 402
edited August 2007 in Training, fitness and health
Hello everyone this is my first post on here.
I am considering taking part in an organised 2 week trip to France next year taking in some climbs in the Alps. Cant say which ones as the details are yet to be finalised.
The daily rides average about 90 miles.
I can ride this distance and feel ok after it but I am not sure if I can handle it day after day and as I have only ever ridden locally I have never encountered any big climbs.
What I am looking for advice on is a; what kind of training should i be doing, i have about 12 months to prepare? b; how can i get myself prepared for the climbs? c; am i being to optomistic thinking i can do this?
Thanks in advance for any help


  • This is my opinion only! If you can afford it, I'd get a turbo trainer. I've got the Tacx i-Fortius. The advantage of using it is that I can ride any of the mountain stages on it! if you go to you can download a load of mountain courses and ride them at home on the trainer.

    I've ridden the 33% climbs in the Lakes on a double and it was hard, but I managed all but 1 climb. I've also ridden some Pyreneean mountains(not on the turbo) and they are totally different. Short sharp shocks vs long drawn out climbs.

    If you haven't got the money(try ebay for 2nd hand ones) then go on a couple of short holidays and ride the mountains for real.

    Base endurance will go a long way to helping you over the mountains. Training HR to 80% MHR will help any riding you are doing.
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    12 months is plenty of time providing you have a decent level of fitness, otherwise it could be hard.
    I would not bother buying such an expensive turbo trainer, just get second hand one from ebay to help you in winter.
    You just need to get base miles in and I would say at least 150 miles a week in prep but need to ramp it up a bit a couple of months before ride, then back to about 150 in weeks before ride.
    You have not said if it is just a ride for pleasure or touring.
    To prepare for clims one of the best way is to do repetitions of a clims that is not too steep, more like alpine climb.
    I was considerring doing one of these trips but now look as if I will do a week in Alps before doing Gran Pinarello in Italy again :-)
  • ut_och_cyklaut_och_cykla Posts: 1,594
    If you stay within your own limits and ride steadily , drink often and eat heartily you will be fine as long as you keep riding your bike until then and keep your goal as your motivation!

    Training to a heartrate/power output can be useful as it doesn't 'need' hills and can be done on a turbo (or even jogging, if you get tired of cycling :wink: ) but as others have said its long grinds that are required. Various webpages (eg Etape de tour)suggest 150W being a reasonable goal for most 'normal' people - less means longer, more means fitter & faster.

    During your preparation ensure your bike is comfortable enough - bars, saddle, shorts, shoes and that you can eat/drink on the move. Make sure you have suitable gears for your ability. I used 30/32 on the Alpe Dhuez which is considered wimpy but got up in less than 2 hours and cycled similar for 3 days more.

    As it draws closer do harder shorter back to back rides a few times (but not always!) e.g. friday pm, saturday a.m. saturday p.m, sunday a.m. & p.m. These are easier to fit in and the sunday pm is suitably grim... :twisted:

    You've lots of time - use it thoughtfully.
    And have fun...
  • hevipedalhevipedal Posts: 2,475
    Commute................... you get to ride every day and if you also do long rides at weekends you'll have a good base for the ride.
    If you then want to try and get more speed look at interval and targetted training
    It's not only people that are irrational; 1.4142135623730950488016887242096980785696718753769480731766797379907324784621
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