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  • denniscarver

Training for an event is like a bank balance - you need deposits now to allow drawdown later on.

On a briefly sunny day in April you could kid yourself that spring is on the way - the sun comes out but the temperature is only 10C.

You're still riding your heavy winter bike because there's puddles everywhere and the ruts and potholes in the roads are terrible after the winter but you know you've got to do it - there's only just over five months to go to the Transplant Tour.

This is Dennis and Andrew putting another 35 in the training 'piggybank' in April - pausing briefly outside the lych gate of 13thC. St Mary's church on top of a hill in Hartley Wintney, Hampshire.

We've been riding together for nearly 20 years and have accumulated a cracked pelvis each along the way after coming off so we're either riding together or getting treatment for the other in A&E.

Here's what we've learnt about training along the way:

  1. It's good to have a riding buddy whose level of fitness is similar to your own - they make you stick to your schedule and allow both of you to develop without one always watching the other disappear up a hill which can be demoralising

  2. If you have a ride you regularly do together you can raise intensity by increasing the frequency of rides or by pushing harder - ours is 35 miles around Hampshire with one steep climb and a couple of shorter ones.

  3. We aren't 40 any more so we don't try to pretend to be - we can only be a fit 69 and 74 year old.

  4. A familiar route can help you kid yourself that your fitness is OK - every now and then you have to test yourself over greater distances and steeper gradients. We do this around Henley and up into the Chilterns.

In the end it's about getting to the destination in one piece and not blown - it's not a race but an endurance event we're preparing for and we need resilience.

Dennis has published a rider's 15 Weeks to Fitness guide which gives way points along the route to be fully prepared for September 17th 2023 in Edinburgh. You can see it on the website Countdown page

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