Cycle & Mountain Bike Getting Fit

Preparing for your cycling holiday

We have some great resources for you to use on this page, as follows:

FREE Training Plans:

Leisurely Cycling Holiday - click here

Moderate Cycling Holiday - click here

Challenging Cycling Holiday - click here

Demanding Cycling Holiday - click here

Useful tips on getting fit

by Hannah Reynolds, leading cycling and fitness expert

Looking after your body with good nutrition, balanced training and careful equipment choice will enable you to get the most out of your cycling experience.

Some useful tips:

  • Use weekends and bank holidays to practice riding several days back to back. On your trip you will be riding nearly every day.
  • Get your bike set up properly by a respected bike shop. Poorly fitted equipment is the leading cause of injury or cycling discomfort.
  • Build up slowly. As soon as your holiday is booked start gradually increasing the volume of cycling you undertake.
  • Cycling fitness isn’t just about cycling. Basic weight training, stretching and core stability exercises develop all round fitness making you a better, more resilient, bike rider.
  • Use any new equipment - including clothing, shorts and shoes- frequently in advance of your trip to make sure they are comfortable and there are no problems.
  • Watch your diet. Cycling requires a lot of fuel both to exercise and recover from your exertions. Make sure that you are providing yourself with the best fuel possible.
  • If you are riding for more than an hour use a carbohydrate sports drink to help maintain hydration and provide energy. Take a supply with you on your trip.
  • The “glycogen window” refers to the first fifteen minutes after finishing exercise when your body is most able to absorb food and start the recovery process. Make best use of this opportunity by eating a small snack of carbohydrate and protein.
  • Recovery drinks contain both carbohydrate and protein for rapid refuelling after exercise. They are very useful if you are short on time or don’t feel particularly hungry after exercise.
  • Occasionally cyclists may develop an overuse injury such as knee injury, most likely from increasing mileage too quickly or a poor bike riding position or technique. If this happens to you in the build up to your trip get it investigated by a physiotherapist as soon as possible.