An appropriate mantra when it comes to preparing for the 220-mile Manchester to London Challenge ride is courtesy of Fausto Coppi. When asked by a journalist how he became such a great champion Coppi replied “Ride a bike, ride a bike, ride a bike”. Maybe knowing what we know about physiology now, we should also add: “and work on your core too”.
In essence, your training and preparation doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that – get out and ride when you can, as often as you can, for as long as you can, but don’t forget that we’re not machines.
Start in good health This event is an achievable challenge for regular riders who are looking for a step-up in distance. No matter how fit you are (or aren’t), before you start training or rapidly increasing your time spent on the bike it’s worth making an appointment with your GP for a basic check-up.
Make a plan Start by taking a close look at your weekly schedule of home, family and work commitments and work out, realistically, how many hours a week you can dedicate to training from now until September. Nothing is a bigger drain on morale than failing to achieve self-set targets so remaining pragmatic at this stage will give you achievable targets which, in turn, will help keep you motivated.