The Charity Challenge top training tips for cycling:
1. Get up an hour earlier and go out for a quick cycle in the morning before work.
2. If you can cycle to work, do so. If you get to work by public transport, get off a stop or two earlier than usual, so that you can cycle some distance each day. If you drive, park further away than usual, get the cycle out of the car and cycle the rest of the distance to work.
3. Cross training such as swimming, squash, badminton, running, walking and any other sport will also help get you prepared.
4. Joining a leisure centre is a good idea as the local fitness instructors may well be able to design a programme specifically for you using the many different cycle trainers in gyms. Most good gyms have exercise bikes and leg resistance trainers.
5. Book onto a regular spinning class and / or circuit training class to improve your leg strength and stamina.
6. Book weekends away with the family or friends to some mountainous region in the UK to experience cycling on different road surfaces with different gradients and in a mountain environment to test out all your equipment.
7. Book onto the Pre-Expedition Training Weekends in Snowdonia run by Expedition Wise.
8. Turbo trainers are very good, although quite expensive to buy – try out e-bay. They come in to their own in the long winter months as they enable you to train indoors on a “real” bike. It will keep you fit and get you used to the shape of your bike. Fluid turbo trainers are quieter if noise is a problem in your household and changing the tyres to road tyres will help if you are using a mountain bike.
9. Use your lunchtimes to take regular brisk walks or cycle around your work area.
10. You should make the time to cycle on some consecutive long days as on the training schedule. It is the accumulation of cycling day after day that really tests you on expedition.
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These notes were compiled by Brian Jackson, BA (Hons) in Sport, Health and Physical Education, who operates a series of Pre-Expedition Training Weekends for both trekking and cycling charity challenges. See www.charitychallenge.com for more information.