At the Sport's Medicine Australia conference, I attended a few cycling lectures and workshops. I was rather annoyed to find that some of the "experts" working with cyclists spoke with considerable scorn concerning middle aged people who want to cycle the Pyrenees in 6 months, and come to them for help. Personally, I think that middle aged people with athletic goals deserve, and need, a lot more help than people who have sport as their paying job.
On the 20th of October, the 2010 route for the Tour de France was announced. YJ and I will be cycling as part of a group following the last 10 days of the tour, so I think I will be an" expert" in what it takes for a not very fit middle aged person to achieve such a goal by the end of July next year.
Step 1. Assess your fitness - Can I skip this bit? No.
Weight: BMI 26, not terribly good
Fitness: Runs 2x a week, 7-10km, resting HR 60, middling
Sport specific fitness: Has not ridden a bicycle regularly for the past 10 years - not very good.
Step 2: Long term goal:
Most challenging ride on tour - 120 km over mountains.
Riding at least 50km per day x 10 days
Aim to achieve this without requiring the sag wagon
Step 3: Short term goals, one month
1. Ride 3x week, at least 30 minutes per time x 1 month
Ride 1. Saturday : We stayed at Noosa on Friday night, YJ and I rode up the range 4 times on Saturday morning, great ride, but got a flat on the third uphill. YJ fixed it for me, and we rode the hill again to make it worth our while. Ride 90 minutes.
Ride 2. Sunday: Harvey siding, a nice easy ride, YJ and I started late, but met up with a bunch 1/2 way through (they had turned back by then, I am very, very slow). Another flat, 1km from home. I walked barefoot and was attacked by bindi's, but fortunately my sag wagon (thanks again YJ) picked me up 200m from home and we went out for coffee. Ride 60 minutes, coffee, 60 minutes. Jaw muscles not as tired as leg muscles - better trained maybe?
Ride3: Windtrainer 35 minutes.
Other: Run x2 x 7km
Purchase : 2 new inner tubes and a tyre repair kit.