Why not use the three-week long Tour de France race as an inspiration to kick-start your own cycling regime? 

How to go from couch potato to cycling pro during Tour de France - Women's Health & Fitness

“Starting with flat stretches and continuing onto challenging terrain and mountain tops, the way The Tour de France is designed is a great way for newbies to approach cycling,” said Jordan Miller, GM of online sports retailer TheActive.com.au and cycling enthusiast.
 
Together with a team of leading experts in the cycling industry, TheActive has developed a three-week programme to help you go from couch potato to the wheel deal during the duration of The Tour De France.
 
Week 1: Easy rider on flat course
 
During the first week of Tour de France, the course usually offers long, flat stretches with very few climbs – so you should take a similar approach during your first week of cycling.
 
“30km is a good starting goal distance, and make sure to choose a flat course. If you still have some energy left at the end of the course, you can sprint the final stretch of the road, just like the champions do in Tour De France!” Miller said.
 
Depending on your fitness level, you can adjust the pace and distance, and Miller recommends doing the 30km course twice during your first week.
 
“If you are feeling flat, ride slower but do the same distance. If you’re feeling good on the day, ride either further or harder – not both!”

Week 2: Challenging terrain
 
This year’s Tour de France commemorates the First World War, and at the end of the first week, stage five will begin in Belgium for a day containing over 15 km of cobbled roads. In other words, it’s time to get tough.
 
“By now, you should’ve gotten a feel for cycling and hade some nice, smooth riding during your first week, so it’s time to turn things up a notch. Stick to the same goal distance of 30km, but incorporate stretches of difficult terrain to your route, such as a dirt road,” Miller said.

“By adding more elements to your course, you will challenge your body and as a bonus, it will make your ride more interesting. However, make sure that the terrain is not too unruly as you don’t want to damage your bike.”
 
Miller recommends riding the 30km route with some tough terrain three times this week.
 
Week 3: Mountain climbing
 
We’ve all seen the breathtaking scenery of the stages of the Tour taking place in the peaks of the Alps and Pyrenees – so now, you’ll get to climb too.
 
“To be a good climber, you need to be strong, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you struggle this week. Climbing a hill is intense, so your heart rate will go up. But remember, you will only get better at climbing if you practice climbing!” Miller said.
 
He recommends picking a 30km route that has both long and short climbs for this challenge, and ride the route three times this week.
 
At the end of the three weeks, you should have ridden at least 240km on your bike (while the Tour de France cyclists will have done over 3,400 km) – so congrats, you are on the right track.
 
In terms to excel at pedalling, Miller recommends cycling three to five times a week at 50km for the next few months, aiming to be able to do100km after six months.


For premium-branded cycling wear and gear at highly reduced prices, head to TheActive.com.au

 

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