When I talk to people about my long distance bicycle tours such as cycling from England to Cape Town, I will occasionally get asked how I go about training to cycle around the world. My honest answer, is that I don't really do anything specific at all. There is no possible way to tailor a workout that simulates riding a bicycle with 30kgs plus of gear on it up and down mountains for between 8 and 10 hours a day. You just have to get out there and do it.
Training to Cycle Around the World
Now that said, just because I am doing no specific training, does not mean I am just sitting around on my arse. (OK, admittedly, I sit around on my arse when I cycle, but I think you know what I am getting at here!). I take the bike out for a ride when I can, and I also have other workout routines that exercise the core muscles of my body. This all helps to keep me in shape, and also aids in keeping me motivated towards my goals. Winter is the real problem though, because as the nights get darker sooner, it means that taking the bike out for a ride after work is more dangerous than fun. So, a couple of nights ago, I had a brainwave and worked out a way that I could maintain my casual way of training to cycle around the world, keep focused and also avoid the traffic – I would do a virtual bike ride to India!
So what's involved in this exactly you might ask. Well, put simply, I will keep track of every kilometre I cycle, whether it be indoors on the turbo trainer or outdoors cycling on roads and tracks. I will then put this towards a virtual cycle ride to Delhi in India, which is 8300 kms away. If i was cycling this route for real, I could probably cover the ground in something like 100 days, or 3 and a bit months. As I am not riding full time though, this is probably going to take me something like 13 months to complete! It's all a bit of fun, and I will keep track each week of how many kilometres I have covered as I am training to cycle around the world, as well as keeping a Google map where I will track my theoretical progress on my virtual cycle ride to India.
View Virtual Bike Ride to India in a larger map
(Please move the map around, as for some reason I can't get it to show the virtual route I will be using as I am training to cycle around the world.)