For this kind of endurance riding, there is little that structured training, based around interval sprinting and high intensity anaerobic workouts, can achieve. Even on the hills, we will ultimately have to stay seated (so as not to unbalance the bike) drop to the easiest gear and 'spin' our way up, trying to stay the right side of our oxygen debt.
Unfortunately this means there is little substitute
for prolonged riding, so long distance training rides to towns like Brighton
and Oxford are our most useful tools. In terms of our 'working
fitness', all of us are keen sportsmen: Dan being a Championship winning sailor, and Dexter a tennis and football player, while I stick to cycling, riding from East to North London and back each day to get to school.
In the end it will probably be psychology which constitutes
our greatest ally, so a ruthless determination must be -and certainly is-
present form the very start. Though it may surprise, the calories burnt
each day on this kind of ride equate to those used in running a Marathon,
so expect us to plough our way through infinite pasta meals and energy bars!
We often ride Highgate to Hatfield and back which is around 40 miles.
Dex and Dan have sped out to the Chilterns, stayed in Bradenham Youth Hostel and limped back, having covered a total of 115 miles.
We recently borrowed a training heart rate monitor. You attach a band around your chest to which a small flat cuboid attaches. This picks up the beat of the heart and sends it to a small computer mounted on the handle bar. Dan finds using this particularly amusing. He can now concentrate on two small numerical displays (the other being the trip computer) and kill himself both by trying to improve the statics he's reading and not looking at all where he is going.The monitor is particularly useful because you can see how hard your body is working so you can find the right heart rate which you can maintain without 'hitting the wall.'