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So, you’ve always wanted to ride the entire 239-mile length of one of the country’s longest rail-trails, the Katy Trail State Park in Missouri, and have now committed to it. You have the right bike and other necessary gear, reserved accommodations en route, researched the
Whether you are heading to the Katy Trail, another route, or participating in a long-distance biking event, proper training will be the deciding factor in how enjoyable the experience ultimately is for you. It’s always a good idea to discuss your plan with your doctor and, if this is new territory for you, consider consulting a fitness professional to put you on the right track. How much you train to work up to your goal
Obviously, the better shape you’re in to start with and the longer time you have to prepare, the easier it will be to reach your goal. If your trip is planned for early spring and you’re not typically a winter rider, you will need to either commit to indoor riding or prepare yourself for cold-weather riding. Consistent training is better for your body and will result in a much more pleasant experience than trying to cram it in
The idea of periodization is to break time down into different periods in which you focus on various aspects of training, building on each period to help you achieve your goal. Training for a long-distance ride requires gradually building up strength by increasing the length and intensity of your rides. Periodization can help you do this. When planning your own regime, begin by keeping track of your mileage and gradually increasing this amount each week to fit your timeframe. You are looking to increase your aerobic base, but keep the workouts pretty moderate at the onset. Eventually, you will need to incorporate strength training into your program. Finally, it is important to have a recovery phase where you continue training, but greatly reduce the intensity so that your body can recover. Typically, this is a week or so before the actual event.
This may seem obvious, but in
Training for a long-distance bike ride need not be an arduous undertaking. The more time you have to train, and the more gradually you ramp up, the more likely you will be to effectively and efficiently achieve your
While it’s not always easy to stick to a fitness routine, the next time you’re looking for a little exercise, consider heading to your local rail-trail for a walk...
Rail-trails are not just for people. Here are some tips to help you and your dog get the most out of your trail experience...
If you’re a rail trail rider who’s a bit intimidated or confused as to how or when to shift your bike to a different gear, we’ve got some news...