Test your fitness
Don’t decide if you are fit or not just by how your jeans fit! Two exercises can show you your true fitness and strength. If you want accurate scientific results, you should have a professional performance diagnosis done. If it’s ‘only’ to assess your fitness level for the next cycle tour, a small but very effective test will help.
1. Test your leg muscles
What you need above all when cycling extensively, is a great deal of muscle power. Especially in the thighs, calves and buttocks the muscles should be trained. With the one-legged hip lift you can test your strength.
With your back against the long side of a weight bench or leaning against a chair, the legs are angled and placed hip-width apart. Now lift the pelvis alternately with your right and left foot. You should lift the pelvis until the body forms a straight line from the knees to the shoulders.
2. Test your endurance
You feel really fit, but when you climb the stairs you quickly get out of breath? Then do a simple step-up test. Climb stairs nonstop for three minutes then check your pulse afterwards. This can tell you if you need to work on your stamina. (Approximate value: between 130-150 depending on training!)
Also read our tips on how to get fit through the winter and how to improve your cycling performance.
Milestones are half the battle
Especially when cycling with children you should take a look at the route guidance. How many kilometres are there in total, where can you stop for a rest, where can the kids let off steam, how can you motivate the little pedal pushers? You can then plan a pit stop every few kilometres and sweeten your little one’s break with a delicious snack or particularly idyllic stop. Perhaps there will be an opportunity to dip tired feed into cool water, or to watch animals. Every little attraction can be motivation to complete a few more kilometres.
Tip: If checkpoints are drawn along the cycle route this is particularly helpful. Cyclists can use them not only for orientation and to take a break, but also to check route timing.
Small tools for better time management
A speedometer on your handlebars can help you stick to your schedule. Why, you ask yourself? The speedometer shows you the kilometres and altitude already covered and the exact cycling time. If you have already familiarised yourself with the route, you can plan to take a short break every 20 kilometres, for example.
If you don’t want to invest in a speedometer and you have a sports watch or sports app on your phone. Use these two gadgets. So you can set a timer for individual sections and keep track so you know exactly when it’s time to take a break.