Training

When was the last time you looked at your bicycle?  Sure it’s been cold outside, but that’s no excuse.  It’s time, or is it past time(?), to saddle up and begin training for spring and summer riding, including that week-long adventure known as FreeWheel!

Training Rides in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and Bartlesville

If you live near Tulsa, Oklahoma City or Bartlesville, then you’ll have an opportunity to participate in a full range of training rides, generally starting at 5 miles and gradually increasing to 60 miles or more.  Check these clubs’ websites for full details starting in early March: Tulsa Bicycle Club , Oklahoma Bicycle Society, and the Bartlesville Pedalers.  There are many FreeWheel veterans in each of these clubs to assist you with any questions you may have and get you on the right track to complete Freewheel comfortably.

FreeWheel Expectations

You’ll need to be able to ride 50-70 miles a day for seven days in a row.  Don’t panic!  Yes, it sounds like a lot if you haven’t done it before.  But every year, men, women, and children of all ages, shapes, sizes, and fitness levels make it into camp each night and on to the finish line at week’s end.  You can do it if you prepare.  But you MUST prepare!

There is full support on the ride, which means that injured or ill cyclists and those with mechanical problems that can’t be resolved on the road, can signal one of many volunteer “SAG” vehicles to get a ride.

However, we expect all participants to be sufficiently prepared to complete each full day on their bicycle baring injury, illness, or mechanical difficulty.

YOU MAY BE ASKED TO LEAVE THE RIDE OR MAKE YOUR OWN ARRANGEMENTS FOR TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN HOST COMMUNITIES IF YOU FIND YOURSELF UNABLE TO RIDE THE FULL DISTANCE ON A RECURRING BASIS.

So, get on your bike and train.  For training opportunities and suggestions, see the sections below.

Before You Begin

So, it’s been a while since you were on a bike … heck, maybe it’s been a while since you’ve been off the couch for any length of time?  Before you begin any exercise or training program, you should assess your present physical state.  A tool to help you is the “Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire” or PARQ.  This questionnaire, used widely by exercise professionals, will help you assess your fitness level and encourage you to visit with your physician before entering into an exercise program if you identify certain risk factors, including not having exercised regularly in a long while.  Be honest in your assessment of yourself and err on the side of caution.  Refer to the previous paragraph on “Expectations.”  You owe it to yourself to adequately prepare and not put yourself at risk while you’re preparing for FreeWheel’s week-long effort.

Need training help or advice?

Local Bike Clubs – Check your local bicycle club’s calendar for rides and join them for fun, fitness, social interaction, and for training.

Group Rides – For group rides around the state, check the ride calendars on the Oklahoma Bicycle Society’s, Bartlesville Pedalers’Tulsa Wheelmen’s, or Tulsa Bicycle Club’s websites.  The Oklahoma City, Stillwater, and Tulsa clubs all sponsor spring training rides with gradually increasing mileage, and these are great training opportunities for Freewheel hopefuls.

Training guides – There are many training “plans” and suggestions available in print and on the internet.  Following are a few internet resources we think are good, but there are a host of others.  Take a few minutes to search the internet for training plans that will fit your fitness level, lifestyle, time available, etc.

Tour de Cure Cyclist Guide – This is a great resource from the American Diabetes Association, with lots of info.  Preparation and training info on pages 5 and 6 will be helpful for any event you’re thinking about riding, whether that’s FreeWheel or some other one-day or multi-day event.

Boulder Performance Network – This site is referenced by the Ride The Rockies website and has downloadable spreadsheets with training plans for rides of different distances and the time you have available to train.  You can take these guides and adapt them easily to your own training goals and lifestyle.

Optimize Endurance Services – This site is also referenced by the Ride The Rockies website and has downloadable training plans.  You can adapt these easily to your own training goals.  No, Oklahoma is not the Rockies, but Oklahoma is NOT flat, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.  These training plans will work just as well for you as for those headed to altitude!

Strada – Cycle Oregon references this website that has training programs you can purchase for $35 and download on line.  The programs are similar to those from the Boulder Performance Network.