Distance Training

Hey guys,

I am in the process of training to ride from coast to coast (UK) in August.
The ride is 160 over 7 days (30 miles per day)
At present I am only cycling a 20" unicycle and my bicycle. But am getting a 29 Muni and 36er soon.

Anyway I need some kind of a training plan, so has anyone got any tips or training plans from their own rides?

ta :slight_smile:

Good luck with the ride. Am I right in thinking that there’s a fair amount of off road? Do you have to carry sleeping bags and stuff on your back? Sorry I can’t offer any advise but I’m sure you’ll have a great time.

Get some good shorts! Also I find a handlebar to be immensely important for long rides. Now I’m spoiled.

And advice for any major riding event: No new equipment at the last minute! If you end up with a choice between your shiny new shoes and the ones you’ve been using for all your training, stick with the old ones.

For training rides, mix it up. Don’t just ride the same route all the time; try some with lots of hills, some flat, some with different surfaces. If the ride will be all along road shoulders, make sure to do lots of that type of riding, not just neighborhoods or cycle paths.

Some will be off road, but I think a great deal will be on the road. We have a van going with us so don’t need to carry everything with us, but will have camel pack with some supplies in it!

Thanks very much, good advice. The thing I want to know is how much to ride, how often and how far.

Should I try and ride about 20 miles a day 5 days a week or should I mix it up doing some full length 30 miles rides and some shorter 15-20 miles rides. Just want to give myself the best chance and get fit enough to complete it easily!

I haven’t done any long uni rides yet, but I’m also planning one.

But from my bike trips I know that if you are able to ride 3 days in a row, more or less the distance you want to do on the trip everyday, then the rest of capability to achieve the target is in your head.

As for the training I think that such three-day sessions from time to time with a distance similar to your plan + occassional longer trip (eg 45 miles, if your plan is to do 30) should be enough. Between the trips, just ride a bit.

Sounds like a good plan, I’m planning on doing two long rides (sat and sun) eventually getting up to 30-40 miles then i will cycle to work and back each day doing two longer trips on the way back around 10 miles going up to 15/20 once I get better. Not sure how that will work, but coming to some kind of conclusion about it at least!

Any tips on clothing? At present I wear cyle shorts and 3/4 lengths with trainers and a lycra top with a thickish coat (cause its realll cold) with a hat and helmet. Any suggestions to make things a little easier. Really unsure what is good do wear on the bottom half other than cycle shorts??

Your longest day of training should be at least as long as the longest day you’re planning to do on the tour. It probably is better to mix up your training regimen, so you’re mixing shorter rides with longer ones, and hilly rides with flat ones (assuming you’ll be doing hills on the route). You might even want to spend some time doing speed training on short, intense rides on a timed circuit to gauge your progress. The faster you go, the less time you’ll have in the saddle.


Being nervous in a trafficked situation means you are going to be tense and constantly alert which will use up a lot of mental energy and leave you feeling tired sooner. Your sense of comfort on the road will go a long way to preventing exhaustion.

Not too fussed about speed as its a challenge not a race. There will be some ppl on 26" unicycles I believe so speed shoulnt be a problem, but will prob give that a go just to build muscle!
Im planning on doing 45 miles twice a week for the two or three weeks leading up to it. That should get me up to speed as I’ll be doing around 30 miles per day.
Just from riding my bike I’m getting a bit nervous, still a long way to go in both my fitness and my riding skill! Not even got a large enough unicycle for it yet!

I’m gonna have a weigh in today and get a sweep stake going for how much people think I will loose!

I wouldn’t give this advice, especially since you’re touring and not racing.

If you can do 20 or 25 miles comfortably, 30 miles won’t be a stretch by any means. As long as you’re riding regularly, with at least two “distance” days a week, there shouldn’t be any surprises.

I broke my personal record on my first tour, with back-to-back 100 km days. My longest training ride was maybe 70 km. It was no big deal.

You’ll know when you’re in shape when your training rides are relatively comfortable, with little soreness the next day.

I’m a big fan of layered clothing, as opposed to anything thick. It allows you to “dial in” your warmth… if you get too hot and start sweating, you’ll actually end up cold and miserable before you know it. If you buy the right gear, it will all pack down into a small roll you can easily stash in your pack or on your rack.

On top, I usually wear a short-sleeved cycle jersey and arm warmers. I’ll add a “dry-weave” long sleeve shirt, or even a light fleece jersey if it’s cold, topped off with a compact windbreaker when needed.

On bottom, I always wear my cycling shorts, and add fleece cycling pants if it’s cold. I can’t say enough about these pants… they’re like wearing a warm blanket over your legs, but you’ve got all the flexibility and comfort you need for riding.

Ever since I got cycling-specific socks, I’ll never go back. My feet are always warm and, more importantly, dry.

No matter what you wear, avoid cotton! It will get wet and lose it’s insulating ability before long, and you’ll just end up with a soggy, cold, heavy mess hanging off you.

Shop well, and choose quality gear over the cheap stuff… it will last you a lot longer and you’ll be more comfortable. That doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money, though!

Good luck with the tour, post up pics if you get a chance!

Wired, is this the one being organised by Jerry Stokes? I’m doing it too! At the moment all I have is my 26" muni… I’m going to get some road tyres for it and possibly shorter cranks too (incidentally, if anyone has any experience with running really short cranks on a 26", please do let me know!) unless I can afford a 36" by August.

Thats the one mate!! Think you’ll prob be ok with a 26" as a few others will be using the same but is possible try and get a 29 at least, thats what I am planning on doing it on.
Hows your training going? Join the facebook group in my signature and make yourself known!! Be good to show a few of us doing it!!

Great advice mate, Im going to do a couple that are over the daily distance, more for peace of mind than for fitness really!

Clothing is the one thing i have no idea about, all I’ve done before is distance running, trials and hockey so not sure I should get. I have cycle shorts and I have a good top and coat, just need to double up on things and get some decent bottom half stuff. My main issue is footwear, what would you recommend, at the moment I’m just using my running shoes, any recommendations?
Those links are great but I’m based in the UK, do you know of any multi-national sites that sell similar?

Awesome! joins

I completed a 30 mile ride on my 26" a few weeks ago… it took me just under 4 hours, with a lunch stop, and running 125mm cranks. I’m pretty confident I can complete 30 miles in a day, the difficulty would be with keeping up with the big wheelers. We could possibly split the riders in a fast group and slow group I guess…

With regards to training, I’m currently preparing for an 8 hour endurance race in April… that should do my legs some good :slight_smile: I’m doing interval training with the local MTB club- riding up and down a hill repeatedly. I can usually manage about 6-7 ascents to their 10.

Closer to the time, I imagine I’ll be concentrating more on long, hilly rides and long, offroad rides.

I really need to get myself some handlebars though :smiley:

I’d say just use whatever shoes work best with your pedals… whatever you’re comfortable with. There really is no magic shoe that makes distance riding any easier. Running shoes are just fine.

Sorry, no idea. To be honest, I got most of my stuff out of the clearance / “last chance” bin at the local sporting goods outlet. I just gave those links for illustration.

Wired: I would have to agree with everything that Maestro has to say but wherever he says “fleece” you should read “merino wool” It is great stuff, especially for multi-day use.

r7ll: I used a 26 for getting around while I was living in the city last year. I used a Hookworm tire and 114mm cranks. I tried 102s but never really felt comfortable with them. 125s were OK but 114mm seemed to be the sweet-spot for on-road 26ering.

And yes handles are the key to comfort on longer rides.

Great stuff everyone, starting to understand what I need to do! First things first, I need a bigger unicycle, 20" is great for learning and messing about, but shocking for anything further than 100m!!

There is a local decathlon near me (sporting goods) will ride down there and see what the suggest around your suggestions and see what I can get really. Shoes - I think I’ll go for similar to my running shoes, but not 8 years old ones that pinch my toes!!

Climb practice will be key also! lucky i live near a lot of them, there is a contstant climb near where I am thats about 20 miles long and will take me a while to do!! interval is good also, but its not a race so not too fussed atm!

Any other suggestions?


Hey there seems to be a few dudes getting involved in this judging from the posts. I just need to keep in the loop and not get left behind :slight_smile: