How to prepare for a long-distance riding challenge

If you’re new to cycling and about to tackle your first long-distance riding challenge (like a 500km challenge in Pedal QLD!), here are a few tips to make it easier. 

Don’t be intimated by a big number – long-distance riding can be enjoyable and easy to accomplish with a bit of planning and perseverance. Being realistic with your riding expectations is key. Riding regularly rather than trying to hit 200km in a single day is one of many ways to stay on top of your kilometres without burning out.

So what would a week riding look like to get to 500km in a month?

man holding handlebars for long-distance riding

About 100km to 125km in total which is around 4-6hrs ride time. Try thinking of your rides in a few categories:

  • A longer weekend ride
  • A commute to and from work
  • A social ride with your mates (maybe with coffee or breakfast after)
  • A fun ride with the kids, maybe off-road on a rail trail or in the bush
  • Recovery rides

A recovery ride is a really useful way to get your kilometres up at a leisurely pace. Get a lazy 15km or even 25km in a short ride lasting less than an hour – your local bike path is a great place for this one! The simple recovery ride keeps you consistent with your kilometres after a strenuous ride the day before.

A typical week could look like this:

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday: Commute to/from work (say 20-30km total / 1hr)

Wednesday: Recovery ride (20km very easy pace: 1hr)

Thursday: Rest Day

Friday: Fun ride with your family or mates (15km after work / 45min)

Saturday: Long ride (30-50km /2-3hr) – bring more to eat on this one!

Sunday: Fun ride: rail-trail, mountain bike, or simply go somewhere new (20km / 1hr)

Make sure you’re fueling yourself for each ride you do. This means eating before, during and after your ride. Wear some layers of clothing if it’s cold which you can peel off and put in a jersey pocket if you warm-up.

Related: How to wear cycling gear in cold weather
man in cycling kit in carpark for a long-distance riding

Challenging yourself to ride a set distance is a great way to push your limits whilst having a bit of fun on your bike.

Keen to get on your bike and challenge yourself? Sign up to our distance-based challenge event, Pedal QLD! Every kilometre you ride gets your closer to a bunch of rewards and prizes to be won. Get involved and start pedalling!

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