A long bicycle trip can be very tasking with or without preparation, but the latter is definitely more difficult than the former. Most people focus on the things they need to carry when they think of preparing for a bike trip, but there are several other things that need to be taken into consideration when doing this preparation. These focus more on preparing your body. Here are some of a few.
For some time before the trip you should do interval training. This is training interspersed with high and low intensity workouts and rest periods. This type of technique exercises the heart muscles resulting in an improved aerobic capacity. This will increase your ability to work out for longer periods. Hence, if you go for an unusually longer ride, your body will be prepared for it.
Working with your lactate threshold
The lactate threshold is the level above which lactate produced in your blood is too much for your body to handle. In the instances where this is achieved the body reacts by you vomiting or feeling the urge to do so. Overexerting yourself is the main cause of this and the only way to prevent reaching or exceeding this limit is by knowing it. Once you have some sense of your threshold, in preparation for the trip you should train just below it. Doing this will gradually increase your endurance and adequately prepare your body for the probable overexertion.
This is a type of training that uses resistance to achieve anaerobic endurance. It is achieved through the muscular contractions the resistance training causes which in turn builds your muscles. It is important to note that this type of training is associated with buildup of lactate which isn’t a good thing. However, regular strength training will help control the amount produced during your work-outs. So if you chose to do this type of work out to improve your anaerobic endurance, make sure to make it a regular part of your workout routine.
Extending your route
If you’re going to be going for a longer ride than you’re used to, of course riding for longer periods than that is the most obvious form of preparation. If you usually ride round the park once, going once or twice more is a great start. In a week or two you should probably be able to further increase your rounds. The distance you should aim to achieve is one close to if not equivalent to the one you’ll be covering on the trip.
After working out it is important to get adequate recovery time as your muscles and your body need this time to do exactly that; recover. Without getting this your body will feel overwhelmed and this could increase the chances of injury. Also, adequate rest period protects your mind from a mental burnout. Rest could range from being completely physically inactive to talking a walk, anything that won’t be too taxing to your body.
This is the most basic form of preparation and of course unlike the others is conducted right before the ride. Stretching is known to reduce the chance of stiffness or muscle cramps as it warms up the muscles for physical activity. It also makes your muscles more flexible enabling your joints to achieve a wide range of motions, plus several other benefits.