1. Share your plan and goal with your family.
This will help you get support, also when you (have to) sacrifice some social time with you friends and family. And there might be some family members or friends that’ll become your partner in crime.
2. Get used to your bike and get confident while riding.
Make sure it is setup correctly (height) and that it works well. Do some exercises in a safe spot: it will improve your handling and confidence. For example: clipping in and out, braking, steering tight corners, drinking while driving.
3. Short and frequent rides: train two or more times a week
Going on multiple short trips works better than cycling a long distance at once. The long distance training can be done incidentally to get used to it. To lay a strong base, try to cycle for 2 or more times per week. With one or less times per week, there is hardly any ‘build-up’ and the effort you put in won’t get you to a much higher level. Start slowly and work to a set goal of a couple of times a week.
4. Start training in time!
Time flies, and you’ll actually need 4 months to get a good preparation in place. Don’t forget that you’re probably going on a holiday that will set you back a bit… or a lot, if you really enjoy your holiday ;-).
5. Gather your friends and family
Go with the group, especially on longer trips. It will make cycling easier. You will save up to 30% energy when riding in a group. It will also help to get used to cycling in a group in a stable and comfortable setting, before you get on your bike in Wiesbaden!
6. Get used to eating and drinking during the ride.
Don’t eat what you are not used to. Make sure that you take some food with you on every ride. As an indication, you would need about 1 energy bar and 1 drinking bottle per hour (depending on how much you sweat and how much energy you consume).
7. Ride safe and don’t force it.
Accidents or injuries will definitely slow down your progress or will even force you to retire from your plans. Take your time, build it up with small steps each time. You can also use Core Stability training to keep your body in shape and stay flexible.
8. Set goals in between!
This will make the steps smaller and gives you something to work towards. Having a goal helps to go out there when you otherwise might be tempted to stay at home behind the TV.
9. Speed is not a goal.
When you train, 2 out of 3 rides can just be relaxed and focused on ‘getting the distance in’. Try to do a session once in a while that is focused on speed or interval (hard-fast-hard-fast, etc). This will learn your body to adjust and be flexible.
10. Enjoy the ride!
Don’t forget to enjoy while you’re at it ;-). Cycling is exhilarating, liberating and healthy, so what’s not to love about it?