Author Topic: Training for a tour - mindset  (Read 1194 times)

Training for a tour - mindset
« on: December 15, 2016, 11:39:05 am »
I know I can read a thousand reports on the web that tell me we will get fit whilst on tour but I'm thinking this is more of a mindset issue than it is an actual fitness issue.

Mrs trekker turns a significant birthday age next year so has decided we are doing something substantial on our bikes. Exactly where we don't know but current thinking is a lap of the Iceland ring road or the Munich - Venice cycle path. I think Munich-Venice is currently winning as it's a bit easier to fit in with time off work, being shorter and easier to get to. It's also got more traffic free sections than Iceland in peak tourist season. Might not be as far as some of you plan but it's a big challenge for her as she only tends to ride locally and her longest day is 60 miles.

We have toured but only locally and living in Suffolk there isn't anything like the Alps to go and have a practice, which is where the mindset issue comes in. We can do hill repeats but here you need a lot of repeats to replicate anything close to a proper climb.

I have the belief I can ride pretty much anywhere, given enough time, patience and bloody mindedness but I've ridden road bikes since I was a teenager and am reasonably capable of stretching my limits.

Mrs Trekker thinks differently and has never ridden up a big hill in the UK (Yorkshire, The Lakes, Wales etc). So first thought is a long weekend in one of those places to show what can be done. She is not unfit but I need to find a way to gently prepare her for a challenge without putting her off. If I'm not careful I'll send her up a bloody great mountain in Wales, we'll fall out and she'll never get back on her bike all because I find it easier than she does.

Anyway, bit of a rambling post but if any of you have any suggestions I can help build some confidence for her in the first half of 2017 so she isn't over-awed by the site of the Brenner pass stretching uphill ahead of her I'm all up for ideas.
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Re: Training for a tour - mindset
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2016, 12:01:45 pm »
my understanding is that the big pass in the Alps on Munich Venice is often undertaken by rail.

A rail journey for Mrs Trekker and a ride for you gives a good rest day as well.

Re: Training for a tour - mindset
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2016, 02:18:11 pm »
riding up the hills or mountains is not much different than riding on flat, if you have low gears. it only takes longer. fit some low gears and take your time over the alps, take the scenery in - it's a rewarding experience.

mattc

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Re: Training for a tour - mindset
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2016, 06:42:36 pm »
The key issue here seems to be this bit:
She is not unfit but I need to find a way to gently prepare her for a challenge without putting her off. If I'm not careful I'll send her up a bloody great mountain in Wales, we'll fall out and she'll never get back on her bike all because I find it easier than she does.

People have very different mental approaches to these situations, and most conflict comes from A making incorrect (but well-intended) assumptions about B.

So I'd recommend having a proper chat about this; does she prefer gentle progression? Being left to plod up a hill at her own pace, or have you by her side offering "encouragement"? Is she the type more likely to overtrain, or to underestimate a challenge?
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Re: Training for a tour - mindset
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2016, 09:40:25 am »
Thanks for the replies.

I'm not the sort who rushes off up hills and leaves her behind whilst I wait at the top. All of our riding I do by her side. She often tells me to go on ahead but I don't go very far in front in that case. I genuinely prefer riding at a casual pace having a conversation or providing general encouragement than pretending I'm in a club chain gang and dragging her along in my wake. I'll leave my own ambitions for a year, next year is about her confidence.

I've put together a general idea of what I believe to be some realistic targets up to July next year - three short tours; each one heading towards a more hilly area and a local 100 mile Sportive in the middle to prove to her she's more capable than she thinks she is. There's a 60 mile option if she prefers.

In between this I've put in a general idea of progress, not a detailed training plan just a mile building target for each month based around our daily commutes to work and a weekend ride each week or a tour.

Hopefully that will build some confidence
Duct tape is magic and should be worshipped