Last year we decided to put together a training program specific to preparing for riding the short distance course. My wife and I planned to ride the course a week or two in advance of race weekend to scout any last minute issues and we thought that sharing our training plan would be a good way to let others know how doable training for an event like this can be. Due to the pandemic last year’s race never happened, but as we look ahead to holding an event in 2022 we thought it might be worth updating the plan below and leaving it up here.
But first, a few caveats:
The training plan is focused on cycling the course. Obviously if I planned on running it some of the training would look different. What’s more, we’ve actually already ridden the route a few times. As we looked at modifying the race route this year we wanted to ride it in one stretch ourselves to get a feel for things so we’ve actually done that a few times already. My point is that we’re not newbies. With that said, I’ve never really considered myself an endurance athlete. My greatest competitive successes have come from things like a middle sprint distance collegiate track and field career, racquet sports, and soccer, and I’m decades removed from those glory days. These days I enjoy cycling almost daily just for the fitness of it (but often not more than an hour or so at a time), paddling the river behind our place as much as I can, and regular strength training. What I want to demonstrate here is that it’s not tough for someone with a general fitness base to train for the specific goal of a 70km winter ride/race.
The training plan below is what I’m following. I’m a certified fitness instructor and I’ve put this plan together for me and my wife. I’m not prescribing it to anyone else. If you’re new to this kind of physical activity and/or have any health concerns it’s recommended you go through the Par-Q Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire linked here and follow its guidelines before starting your own training plan. I’d further recommend that if you’re unfamiliar with proper strength exercise form and/or proper use of strength equipment you find a certified professional who can help guide you.
My plan is 10 weeks long but assumes I have a general fitness base and am already a reasonably proficient cyclist. You may of course be starting from a different place and need a different plan.
Happy riding and running! – Scott