By Ahmed Hadi
If you have your sights set on London to Paris cycle ride or a similar multi-day ride the first thing you must do is make Niyah (intention) that you’re doing this for the sake of Allah and ask Allah to make your preparations easy for you.
Your training program should focus on these important aspects of fitness: cardio endurance, muscular strength/endurance and flexibility.
All three need to be challenged to make sure you’re ready, but your starting point depends on your current conditioning, your previous riding experience and your available time.
Please consult with your doctor before starting any new training routine.
Training Plan for Endurance Cycling
On a long hill, those never ending climbs can test the strongest of legs. Keeping a strong, positive mindset can make a big difference. Breathe, stay in the moment, relax and slow down if you need to. No matter how positive you are and how much Tawakkul (reliance on Allah) you have, being physically prepared is crucial to not just finishing the ride, but to feeling great and actually enjoying the event.
If you’re training for hilly ride in Mallorca, you are going to need to spend a significant amount of time outside climbing. If your goal is to ride a century, here are some training suggestions to help you prepare using indoor or outdoor training. As you’ll see, distance is built for the first three weeks of the month and decreased the last week of the month for recovery.
For indoor riding, you can use either a stationary bike or indoor cycling classes 2–3 times per week along with two longer weekend rides.
Cardio Training: Month 1
Follow this same scheme for the next two months with increases in mileage on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays
Month 2: In your second month of training, continue to increase the mileage of the indoor rides and increase your weekend distance to 35-40 miles, building to 50–50 miles by the third week of the second month.
Month 3: For your third month, start to build from 45–50 miles and up to 65–70 miles by the third week.
Before your event: The weekend before your event, cut your weekend ride mileage back to closer to 40–45 miles. Two days before your event, do an easy 45-minute recovery ride (conversational pace), and leave the day before the race as a rest day.
Strength Training for Endurance Cycling
Cycling is predominately a lower-body sport, so it’s easy to focus your strength work on those muscles. However, to help prevent back pain and fatigue you must also work on your upper body. Strong arms and shoulders can help you ride strong on long, flat roads, while strong core muscles fuel strength for steep climbs.
This strength program should be performed twice a week throughout your training. Mondays and Thursdays are ideal, but if this doesn’t fit your schedule, just train twice a week on non-consecutive days and you’ll be in good shape. Focus on lot’s of stretching followed by squats and planks.