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Big, long scary run in the Spring

Wallace1492Wallace1492 Posts: 3,707
Right, here is the deal. I like cyclying, did a lot in my younger days, but just usually afetr work or at weekends, tops about 50 miles on road. Didn't do much for a number of years then got a good MTB. Started commuting to work (7.5 miles each way) and fell in love with cycling again, put slicks on MTB and upped the milage. Then last wek got a Tricross, now have set myself challenge of cycling Glasgow to Durness in 6 days next spring, about 450 miles in total, having never done touring before. Got panniers and a rack. Going to do a test weekend in September round Mull (about 200 miles in 3 days)

Now, I am a bit overweight, but cycle about 100 miles a week.

What do I need to do to get myself in shape over the winter? OK, cycle more, but what other exercises do you suggest? Going to do circuit training, body pump and badminton, after commuting every day, does that sound like a decent start?
"Encyclopaedia is a fetish for very small bicycles"


  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    For that sort of distance touring, just riding your bike as much as possible is the best preparation. It''s not like there's a time limit or anything for your ride, just plod along and enjoy the scenery.

    Badminton etc may help keep you fit if you can't get on the bike, but riding the bike is still the best training.

    The one bit of advice I would give is to take care of your knees. Touring with weight on the bike can be a bit of a shock to the body compared to unladen riding.

    - Keep the weight of your panniers as low as practically possible
    - Make sure you use really low gears on the climbs rather than trying to muscle your way up

    The first tour I did (about similar distance and time) I ended up with very sore knees (patella tendonitis I think) from carrying way too much junk and still thinking I was on my normal road bike.
  • CrapaudCrapaud Posts: 2,483
    ... Glasgow to Durness in 6 days ...
    I did this a couple of years ago. I went across to the Mull of Kintyre and cycled up from there. There was only one problem hill, 14%, that I can think of. The bike handles differently when fully loaded, so don't be surprised if the first couple of days are harder than you expect. The good news is that you get stronger quite quickly as the days go by. I was aiming for 60 miles/day and only managed 45 on the first day and was up to 75 at the end.

    I'd suggest building up distance and work on the hills. There are quite a few long, but not too difficult, hills up the west coast. If you can get up the likes of the East Kilbride Rd (Burnside to Nerston) the Crow Rd from Lennoxtown or the Dukes Pass (Aberfoyle) you should be fine with the Tricross (it's a triple, right?). As Bronzie says, keep the weight on the bike down to a minimum. Don't take too much food - there are plenty of places to re-stock daily.

    FWIW, it's a great route and the scenery, and sense of remoteness, gets better the further north you get, esp. after Ullapool.

    Don't forget your camera.
    A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject - Churchill
  • mikeqmikeq Posts: 141
    I have a charity cycle in a weeks time (Zebrugge to Paris) only 250 miles over 4 days.

    So back in April myself and my mate did Inverness to Glasgow over 3 days as it is a similar distance, 60 miles/day. When you've plodded up Glencoe and Rannoch Moor anything else is a doddle.

    First day was hardest (inverness to Fort William) about 67 miles.

    Keep it light, only take what you will need and nothing more.

    A good training run is an Aberfoyle loop, head north-westish out of Aberfoyle towards loch Katrine, clockwise around the loch and then up and over Dukes Pass back to Aberfoyle. It is about 31 miles but some good hills in there, we did this one a couple of Saturdays ago for the second time.

    On your long cycle make sure you have energy drinks with you, not fizzy, you'll need it, and maybe some cake/breakfast bar type things.

    We found just having soup when stopping for lunch ideal, doesn't bag you up and is a slow release of energy.
    Cycling from Glasgow to Paris to raise funds for Asthma UK
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