Gazeley Tour Training Guide
This is known as the ‘marathon of cycling’ so set your expectations to ‘hard.’ Only consider this ride if you’re already a confident cyclist, and this training program is written for those already cycling frequently. If you look at this program and think ‘gulp’ we’d suggest you look at the 60 miler! If you’re super determined but still daunted by the start of the program add the 60 mile program weeks 5-8 in before making this a 20 week program.
A 16 week programme for cyclists already experienced and riding regularly.
Base miles in this initial period. Looking for 2-3 rides per week totalling 55-60 miles. One of the rides should be 35-40 miles. Learn how to pace yourself in this period so you finish the ride at the same speed as you started. Try to maintain this through the program except where we suggest some harder efforts. In week 4 make the longer ride 45-50 miles.
TOP TIP: As we start to ramp the distances up make sure your training rides reflect the profile of the Gazeley Tour 100m route i.e. don’t do all your training on flat routes and therefore not take into account the hills on the day.
We’re going to target 70 miles a week, but now in two rides, with one being about 55 miles. In week 8 keep the distance the same but ride the last 10 miles of the longer ride super hard. Make sure your effort level goes up for these last two miles. The fitness gains will be significant of stressing an already fatigued system like this.
In this period the distance and time in the saddle count for everything. As a minimum you should be doing 90 miles per week. Your longer ride now should be 65-70 miles. This is often tough to fit in with real life so some early starts are needed and perhaps some warm clothes if the weather isn’t good. You cannot afford to skip rides unless you’re super confident!
Week 13 is your last hard week. Push the distance to 80 miles on your long ride and make sure you cover 100-110 miles in the week overall. Weeks 14 and 15 reduce the distances by 20 miles per week, so in week 14 80-90 miles total, and 15 60-70 miles total. In your final week pre ride only do one ride. Up to 20 miles and no hills, make sure it’s a very gentle ride just to keep you loose.
TOP TIP: Rides of this distance are best attempted on a road bike. A hybrid will work but if you only have a mountain bike swap your knobbly tyres for road tyres as a bare minimum! Trust us, this may be the difference between finishing and not!
If you’re signing up for the 60 mile ride as an inexperienced or new cyclist well done you. This will be some challenge and follow the training plan below as closely as possible. If you’re already an experienced cyclist, perhaps riding with friends or in a club you may only pick various sections of the program to fit in with your existing cycling habits!
This is a four month program, suitable for those less experienced. We’d suggest following it fairly closely to give you the best chance of finishing within the allotted times.
In the first couple of weeks it’s just about being comfortable riding your bike, making sure it’s in good order and getting you used to cycling it for perhaps slightly longer than you’re used to. We’d suggest at this time you should be riding twice per week, and totalling about 30 miles across the two rides. If you spot anything wrong with your bike, saddle sores, brakes not quite right etc get them sorted straight away.
In these weeks make one of the two rides significantly longer than the other. The rides should perhaps be a 25 miler and a 10-15 miler. 40 miles between the two is sensible. In week 8 push the longer ride to 30 miles keeping the other the same. If you’re really struggling at this point you can keep pushing yourself or consider the 30 mile option as the next stage of training is tougher.
TOP TIP: As the distance increases on the individual rides make sure you are eating and drinking while riding. Your body will be burning about 500 calories an hour, you need to replace these on longer rides to be able to finish.
Week 9 should be the same as week 8, two rides, totalling about 45 miles. You’re progressing well this is to consolidate the improvement already made. Weeks 10 -12 keep the longer ride the same but try to add a third ride. In these weeks get your total distance up to about 50 miles.
Week 13 let’s see where you are. Only two rides this week. One a 10-15 mile ride (mid-week hopefully) and on the weekend see how you get on with a 45 mile ride. This is your longest yet so make sure you take enough to eat and drink. In week 14 let your legs recover a little, just a couple of shorter rides of 15 miles each. Week 15 back to three rides a week if possible. Two shorter and one 40 miles long. In week 16, the last week before the Gazeley Tour relax and ride once, a couple of days before the big ride. Keep this ride slow and easy. Just “spin the legs.’
Now relax and get ready for the ride.
This plan is for riders completing the Gazeley Tour, targeting the 30 miles distance and are new to cycling or less experienced. This plan is for 8 weeks, enough to get you used to cycling the distance you’ll need to complete the ride. If you’re already regularly cycling more than 10 miles a ride jump in at week 4 on this plan.
It may seem a long way a way but if you’re not used to riding more than 10 miles on a bike you need to get some groundwork in now! At this stage the plan is very simple. Use your bike for short journeys, 5-10 miles ideally once or twice a week. This may be a ride to a friends or a pub for example but make sure you are doing at least 10 miles per week.
At this early stage now is also the time to be thinking about comfort. Get some padded shorts ideally, and if your saddle is uncomfortable on these short rides a visit to your local bike shop to see if there is a better option may be a good idea. Often a good idea to get the bike serviced as well if it hasn’t had any TLC for a while!
Keep doing the same as the first two weeks but now make sure you’re riding one ride at least per week that is 10-15 miles. If you’re new to cycling may be a good idea to find a training buddy for this longer ride.
Last chance for longer distance rides in this fortnight. Up your longer ride to about 20 miles. If you manage 25 miles in week 6 all the better. This is also the last opportunity to get things looked at on your bike by a bike mechanic. Remember parts often take time to come in so don’t leave repairs and squeaks any longer.
You’re almost ready. In week 7 a couple of short rides up to 10 miles each is perfect, and if you’re feeling good get a 25 miler in. In Week 8, the last seven days before the event itself relax, you’ve done the training, you’ll be fine. Spin on the bike a couple of days before the ride itself, no longer than 30 mins and no hard efforts. Relax and get ready for the satisfaction of finishing!