Guide to Training for a Cycling Tour

The best way to prepare for a cycling tour is to consider a structured training plan. This provides struture to your training, helps boost motivation to get out on the bike and, will make you a stronger, fitter and better cyclist. By following a plan you will know you are ready for your tour.

The training plan guide put together below has been devised by Tour Leader and Triathlon Coach Alan Little. We focus on the types of training we need for cycling tours as our tours are not cycing races. Training should be specific to the tour being undertaken. All our tours focus on three types of training types. Alan can produce a training plan for you for just £50 if you are booked onto one our tours or you can join him for a pre-tour ride day with coaching, training plan heathly lunch for £250. This can also include training on how to change punctures and make emergency repairs as well as first aid and emergency prodedures. We also hire out ebikes for those looking to try a new way of riding. To book call 01925 564281.

Understanding What Training Is and Work Level

A great way of assigning objective measures of work is to use a scale of one to ten. One is resting and ten is sprinting. We can rest all day but certainly cannot sprint for much more than 10 seconds. Our tours on Acoustic or Ebike should mostly be in the work level region of 5 to 7 and can be described as moderate to slightly hard.

Spinning sessions are amazing for developing some fitness but we must remember that a tour day is many hours in different conditons so we should aim for moderate training levels of longer duration using the bike you will be using or one similar. If you cant do longer session then something is better than nothing.

Training Type 1 – Low-intensity endurance training

Don’t be fooled by the word ‘low’. You won’t be going flat out, but this endurance session that can last anywhere from 20 minutes to three hours for tour preperation. You should be able to hold a conversation and not feel your legs being heavy and tired.

You can break longer sessions into blocks, for example two 40-minute sessions separated by a few hours. This may be required if you train by cycling to work. 

Either way, bear in mind that cadence for each ride should be 70-100rpm on the flat and 70+rpm on any hills, and every ride should finish with a five-minute cooldown. Remember that we will be cycling everyday so riding regulary even if it short duration helps our legs get used to riding consecutively. See the example below.

Cycle Britain

Training Type 2 – Long rides and steady rides with a few hills

Nothing beats time on the bike, and you should aim to do one every week if you have the time. This should be 10% longer than our longest tour day.‘They’re generally between three and five hours. ‘They should take place over rolling terrain, but some hills are fine.

‘They should take place over rolling terrain, but some hills are fine. These rides are great for weight management, building endurance, having fun and learning new skills such as eating and drinking on the bikes. You can throw in a few hills too.’


You will only improve if you have sufficient rest for your body to repair and build. Rest days should be planned into your training plan.

Putting it all together

We’ll look into producing a training plan in more detail if you book a coaching session for an with our expert Alan but for now you’re armed with enough information to start doing at lest some training of the right type.

Do a long ride every seven and complement that with one moderate session of at least an hour session. Some steady rides incorporating hills, endurance training and in varied weather conditions

Just remember not to overdo it and go from zero to hero or be a hero and do eight rides in a week and then none for two months. Top Tip: Be consistent but don’t train if you are not well or dehydrated. Drink water before you start too but not too much. This provides a positive start.

Balance is key. Diet and hydration are also other aspects we cover in the coaching plans if you need help with this.