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Peak Performance On A Multi-Day Cycling Holiday

Cycling Blog

Peak Performance On A Multi-Day Cycling Holiday

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February 8th, 2016

Ness KinghtWritten by Ness Knight, Endurance Adventurer

You’ve tackled your first 10k run, tried out a one day sportive, or decided that your routine training and fitness rides are just not quite stacking up to the type of challenge you feel you are capable of. Your next step up from a half or one-day event? A multi-day adventure that nudges you out of that all too familiar comfort zone and sets a new bar for what you thought you were capable of achieving.

Cycle holidays are all about forging new friendships with like-minded people, travelling through breath-taking terrain, and experiencing a country from an entirely new perspective.  But with new challenges comes the need for new tactics to perform at your best. Nestled in to my home here at Ride25 HQ, I’ll be breaking down the most important elements of a day on a cycle tour, bringing you a step-by-step guide to what you should expect, and how to get the most out of your body and mind.




Mental fortitude, otherwise known to us endurance athletes as an ‘iron mind’, is hands down the most important tool in the box. The single greatest difference between a single day or a multi-day event is the strength of mind you will need to call on. Whether you are a novice or a pro taking on an endurance event, you will hit a psychological and physical wall at some point during the day’s riding. What separates the finishers from the drop-outs when faced with this challenge is their ability to focus, keep positive, leverage comradery and work with their strengths to get back out there and pedal on.

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Leave everything on the road


Your body is astonishingly resilient, adapting remarkably quickly to its circumstances, and so with a sound level of fitness (read omy blog on how to train for a 100 mile cycle) backed up by strong mental preparedness you can, in fact, achieve something extraordinary. Find your reason and motivation for finishing, expect to dig deep, have fun, and revel in the challenge! After all it is when we challenge ourselves that we grow. This is all about having the adventure of a lifetime and coming away knowing you nailed your potential. Leave everything on the road; your sweat, your commitment, your passion. Cross the finish line fist pumping the air, with incredible memories and no regrets.

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Team spirit


Team comradery. The greatest part of any adventure. People that were strangers at the start will become great friends in a matter of days. As an endurance adventurer I’ve found that people and team spirit have made my expeditions truly memorable. Without them even knowing it people have inspired me to continue when I’ve felt like quitting, called me up when I’ve pushed too far, they’ve celebrated the wins and got me back in the saddle after the fails; in short they have been at the core of all the good things I’ve experienced through my adventures. You’ll live through all the highs and lows together, pull each other up when someone is struggling, challenge one another, eat, drink, and laugh together, and most of all, come away with an epic shared experience none of you will forget.


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Dealing with the elements


Onto the practical aspects of taking part in a cycle tour, and to one of the most common issues – how to deal with being exposed to the elements. Getting this right comes with a two-fold solution; firstly, physiologically knowing how to tune out of the voice inside your head telling you its not to chuffed with the wet, cold, wind or heat you are facing, and secondly (most importantly), getting your gear right. Reducing or eliminating any discomfort by kitting out yourself and your bike correctly will free you up to enjoy the open road, the feeling of freedom, and the mountains, lakes, oceans, wildlife and cities you are riding through.


Route management


Finding a route with quiet country/mountain roads, the best vistas and amazing locals stops all in one can be a challenge, and is something that Ride25 pride themselves on. This is then exported to a file that can be uploaded to your Garmin/iPhone/cycle computer – something well recommended for any long training rides you want to explore at home – which takes the pressure off thinking about directions and leaves you free to enjoy the ride. One of the mistakes people often make is to purchase a cycle computer just before an event and not familiarise themselves with how to manage it beforehand. Avoid having to deal with this headache mid cycle tour by testing your tech out on training rides. The second bit of advice I would recommend for cycle touring is to still keep an eye on signposts when approaching important forks in your route as I’ve seen many a cyclist miss an obscure turning and ride for half a day in the wrong direction before even realising! It can make for an interesting and spontaneous detour, but not so much fun when you’re missing out on stunning vistas and incredible coffee stops with the group.



Enjoy the ride!


Perhaps the most important piece of advice of all is to remember to have fun. It’s easy to get wrapped up in intense training regimes, serious kit packing and repacking sessions, hard-core daily goal setting and deep diving into the world of mental fitness, but through all of this remember that this is also about the exhilaration of embarking on an adventure, about drinking in the wealth of culture as you pedal your way through countries and continents, revelling in the challenge and at the heart of it all, having fun.


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