Get on track for a solid winter of training

Emily has already talked in her first training blog about thinking now about your kit and your preparation for your Le Loop adventure: Emily’s Training Blog

Start thinking about your bike and kit. You don’t want to start Le Loop with an unfamiliar saddle, a brand-new bike, or a pair of shoes you haven’t broken in yet. On your next few rides, think about which elements of your set-up aren’t quite there yet. Are any of your clothes uncomfortable? Do you have any twinges in your knees, or hands, or back, that could flare up and jeopardise your ride? Now’s the time to experiment – book a bike fit or a physio appointment, try a few different saddle/chamois combinations, figure out where your weaknesses lie, and start putting things in place to make sure neither your body nor your bike lets you down when it really matters”.

So here are a few tips to help you get on track:

New Kit

First up – the frankly gorgeous Le Loop Morvélo kit is still enjoying a 20% discount until the end of November (reducing to 10% until end Jan). It’s now in stock and the first batch of orders are getting posted out today. We’ve got jerseys, bib shorts, gilets and caps. This might be the perfect Christmas present from your loved ones – so drop a few hints and give them the link: Le Loop Morvélo kit . Remember, we have a limited stock with the 2019 map printed on the back of the jerseys – so first come, first serve.

Is this the year to invest in your dream bike? (it’s the Tour de France folks – it doesn’t get any bigger!!). Maybe you’ve also got a pre-loved bike you need to sell? Head over to BikeExchange, the world’s largest online marketplace for everything bike. Whilst you’re there, check out bike stores from around the UK and see what’s selling where. www.bikeexchange.co.uk

Winter Kit

If you haven’t done a solid winter of training on your bike before, then it’s really worth thinking about investing in some decent winter kit. Being comfortable, dry and warm (and safe!) makes all the different through the colder months and is a game changer on a longer day out on the bike. Warm knees, hands and feet are particularly key areas to look after. And this is all kit that you should take on tour with you too – particularly if you’re riding any mountain stages. It could be 30+ degrees … or it could be 1 degree (and has been both … even on the same tour!). Mud guards for a few months through the winter will also help keep you comfortable on wet days and a decent set of lights will help make you visible on gloomy days as well as being a life-saver if you get caught out at dusk.

There are plenty of kit reviews out there – but the key message here is that being comfortable on your bike through the winter is going to make a whole heap of difference!

Get a bike fit

Several of our bike hubs (who we use as part of our bike transport logistics) offer bike fits. A good one can make a fantastic difference and even completely cure annoying niggles. A bike fit is an investment that you will be glad you made once on tour. Mention that you are riding Le Loop and all our bike hub partners will be sure to take good care of you.

Body

We all know we should be stretching – so stop procrastinating and start making it part of your training routine. GCN have produced loads of videos on this subject, so check them out.

GCN Stretch videos

We have a team of physios and sports massage therapists on tour with us (10 Euros per session) who will look after you on tour but if you’ve got an existing niggle, get some advice now to solve the problem and avoid making things worse. We can even put you in touch with one of our physio team if you’d like to see them pre-tour. Just drop Sarah or Kate a line and we’ll make the introduction.

A common theme for our riders is weight loss. It’ll happen! But it’s perhaps worth not going for the usual pig-out over Christmas and just thinking you’ll tackle it in the New Year. Try to rein-in any excessive eating and drinking over the festive period and you’ll have given yourself a head start on your journey to being leaner and meaner on those climbs!

Training blog

Emily’s Training Blog will start in earnest from January. She’ll be offering plenty of tips and advice to help get you through both physically, and mentally. Her wealth of experience as an endurance athlete and as a lead rider is invaluable, so make sure you keep your eye out for each post (don’t worry – we’ll send you links when they’re live).

And if you’re planning to blog about your Tour de France experience, let us know. We love to showcase our riders’ blogs on our website for everyone to enjoy, so send us a link! And if you haven’t read any of these blogs yourself yet, pop the kettle on and settle down. Several are highly entertaining and they all provide an invaluable insight into what to expect on Tour.

Vive Le Tour!