Whether you’re planning to join Len on the Carten100 or you’re taking up physical activity in a bid to improve your own fitness, training is important as it helps to build stamina and avoid injuries.
Training for Endurance
A solid training base is vital for comfort and success on a long distance cycling challenge. Your training should focus on establishing your baseline, then increasing your mileage systematically. You should also start to train with the same gear you intend to use on the actual day.
To reduce your risk of training injuries, start to increase your total mileage every week but do so by no more than 10% per week until you reach the approximate distance of your longest distance ride.
You will need to start soon as you will likely spend a few months training. However, by being methodical, you give your body ample time to build new muscle, improve blood supply, and increase your stamina and endurance.
Do you need a Medical Check-Up Before Starting?
You may want to think about having a consultation with your GP if:
- You have been sedentary for a year or more
- You don’t currently exercise and are over age 65
- You have been diagnosed with heart trouble
- You are pregnant
- You have high blood pressure
- You have diabetes
- You have chest pain, especially when exerting yourself
- You often feel faint or have severe dizzy spells
- You suffer from any other long-term medical conditions
Other Things to Remember:
- Train for endurance, not speed: You will need to walk at a steady speed for hours. The average person can cover around 3 miles per hour – don’t try and exceed that.
- Gear Up! All your clothing, shoes, suncream, cycling gear, etc. need to be tested on your longer training days well in advance of the event. You don’t want anything that is new or untried at the event itself.
- Nutrition and Hydration: Train with the water, sports drinks, food, and snacks you will be using at the event and do not deviate from it during the event. Water is all that is needed for events of about 12 miles and under, but for longer events an electrolyte replacing drink is a good idea. Have your snacks pre-packaged and perhaps labeled by time to be eaten
- Set Realistic Expectations and don’t give up! Don’t worry if, in the beginning, you’re not able to cycle a long distance. If you follow a steady training program, you’ll get there! The key is to walk distances that you can manage in order to avoid harm or injury and build up gradually until you reach your target.
- Don’t go it alone! Wherever you’re walking, make sure that someone else knows where you are at all times. Better yet, get a training partner and go together. However, it’s still important to let someone who’s not going on the walk know about where you’re planning to walk and what time you expect to finish.
Discounts for NHS Staff
If the weather is making you think twice about getting out to take on more physical excercise, bear in mind that NHS staff are entitled to discounts at the following facilities:
- Greenwich Leisure LTD. facilities in Cardiff (facilitated by Cardiff Council)
- Better Gym (multiple locations)
- Cardiff International Pool
- The Sports and Social Club at UHW
- Bannatyne Health Club and Spa
- Rhondda Cynon Taf Leisure for Life Scheme