It is January! The start of the year! Let training commence!

The weather in January is often an obstacle. Recently fine spells have alternated with rainy spells Ė if you catch the fine spells it is great, especially as it is quite warm for the time of year

Are you doing 10 mile rides? Maybe 20 mile rides, or 30 or 40 miles in a day?

A good plan is to progress month by month towards the 92 miles of the Etape. For example, if you are starting from scratch, during January you could set yourself a target of increasing the length of your rides week by week, with a target of 30 or maybe 45mile rides by the end of January.

Things such as weather, colds and flu may intervene, but there should be enough good days to achieve a target in this region.

If you need to shed body fat, it is useful to know that lower intensity rides are fuelled mainly by fat and more intense one are fuelled by carbohydrates. Longer low intensity rides are therefore better for fat burning. In assessing your weight, bear in mind that muscle is heavier than fat. Leading racing cyclists tend to have a higher body weight than the average person Ė a BMI of maybe 22.5 is fairly common, due to extra muscle.†

If you have enough time available, training on approximately alternate days is effective. It is on the recovery days that your body adapts to the increasing demands. Training only once a week will maintain your fitness, and training twice or more in one week should improve it.

During bad weather, the exercise bike in the gym or a turbo trainer is an effective alternative. A good initial target is to ride at say 150W for half an hour or more, increasing the level and duration as the weeks go by, will prepare you for climbing those mountains.

Why not plan a holiday in the mountains? Iím hoping to head for Mallorca. Iíve got some good routes Ė contact me on Ron@etape.org.uk if you would like some route details!

Life may get in the way of your cycling, but donít let cycling get in the way of your life!

Donít forget to find some scenic routes with good coffee and cake stops!

Enjoy your training!