My training for the JOGLE
Getting ready for my cycle ride did not go exactly to plan!
I guess I should write this in a way of 'what you should do' and 'what you shouldn't do'. The weeks leading up to my End to End were fairly nicely planned with my days off suitably diaried for longer cycle rides and generally getting used to 'a bit more than usual' on the muscles, bones and physiology.
Stop and take in what's around you, Training the mind is just as important
What happened was that a few domestic situations arose, I had more work than originally planned, the end result being me going to John O'Groats with a longest training ride being 33 miles and only getting out on my bike about 4 / 5 times a week.
I found the best way to get more mileage in was to partly cycle to work. Now, cycling from Ashford to Canterbury on the A28 at around 7.30am isn't the ideal. The best option is to use National Cycle Route 18, but this involves pretty hefty climbs and from my house to work, although only 15 miles or so would take two hours. This when you're doing a 14 hour day quite often isn't really on.
However, on lesser hour days, I would cycle to the Station, get off at Chartham, cycle the very good new route rom there to Canterbury and return via Route 18 at the end of the day. This gave a 21 mile ride accross varied terrain and was very useful.
In the month leading up to the cycle ride I only did 400 miles and this I have to say, made me a bit worried when on the Caledonian Sleeper going through the night.
What probably saved me from failure through lack of training was 1. I was cycling north to south and found it true in what they say about the Scottish Hills being easier then the Cornwall hills and 2. the fact I purposely planned the first seven days at an easier rate, the first seven days therefore became more training.
So, if you can get a weekend in before you go, I'd say that would be beneficial, but all in all, if you're a reasonablyfit and regular cyclist, the challenge, unless you want to do it in a short time, is not too difficult.
One final thing you may notice is that should you find training difficult, you are always cycling from A to B, then back to A again. This can not only make you a tad bored, but can often result in shorter runs. On tour you're cycling A to B to C and so on, new scenery, new days etc. It is very surprising what a difference that makes.
A masterly piece of kit I used during training was my Garmin Forerunner. Although seen by the geeky types as being a bit of an antique now, it will show you distance, average speed, descents, ascents and calories used - all these are really useful and you can see how much you are improving on a regular basis. I strongly recommend the Forerunner or something close to it. See the Forerunner and newer Garmin Cycle products HERE
Cycle to work, cycle to the Shops, cycle to see a friend and never become a fair weathercyclist because you're probably going to come up against almost every weather variation there is - got the T-Shirt! !