Tom's Training Tips

Bicycle Training Plan and Tips

So you have never ridden a bicycle from Philadelphia to Atlantic City…

Why would you?

For the Annual Irish Pub Tour de Shore benefiting the Irish Pub Children’s Foundation whose proceeds are given to charities such as, The Daniel Faulkner Educational Grant Fund, FOP Survivors Fund, and the Police Athletic League of Philadelphia!

You may have ridden your bike from pub to pub in Philly, but when the next pub is across the Delaware River and on the Jersey Shore, you should put in some training miles to prepare.

Whether you are brand new to cycling or are dusting off your bike from the winter,  here is a 10 week training plan to make your Irish Pub Tour de Shore ride more enjoyable.


For new riders

You may feel intimidated by riding 65 miles in one day; however, it can be done with some simple training tips…

First of all, make sure you have a bicycle in good working condition. Take it to a local bike shop for a quick tune up. Ask your bike shop to make sure your bike fits you properly. They may be able to make some adjustments which will make your ride more comfortable. A must is to buy a pair of cycling shorts with the pad!


Training Schedule- Plan on riding 3 to 4 days a week- keep a journal.

The main principle of training for a long ride is to increase your mileage gradually over a number of weeks. By doing it that way, you help avoid injury, burnout and fatigue. Plus you will also be able to detect any issues with your body or your bike that you want to discover before the big day.

For the first week...

start out by riding for 30 minutes at a time. Don’t worry so much about the miles. If you are not comfortable on streets, try riding on one of the many local paved trails. The idea is to increase your mileage gradually until you can comfortably do 50 miles a day.

Midway through the training schedule...

start to increase the intensity and speed of your rides. Get your heart rate up. Ride hard for one minute, and then recover for the next. Do this several times during a ride. These are called intervals. Interval training will increase your endurance. If you have limited time to ride, interval training will build endurance without consuming a lot of time.

The final week...

you will taper down. Ride 2-3 times. Slow your pace. Stay loose and do about 15 miles each ride. You’re not going to gain any more endurance this last week, but you don’t want to lose what you’ve learned over the past nine weeks. The ride is on Sunday, so rest and relax on Friday and Saturday.



Training Plan



Ride 3 or 4 days each week

Length of each Ride

Total Miles/Week







































               Ride 2 to 3 times this week up to 15 miles each ride.  Rest and relax on Friday and Saturday before the Tour.





Safety First

Always wear a helmet while riding and make sure it fits. If you don’t know how to adjust the straps, go to your bike shop for assistance. If buying a new helmet, it should have the proper fit before you leave the store. Do not wear headphones while riding. You need to see as well as hear everything around you.

Nutrition for Training

Drink water or sports drink. Rule of thumb is to drink at least every 15 minutes. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty. On hot days, you will want to drink more. On short training rides you probably will not need to eat during the ride. Eat a light meal an hour or two prior to riding. During your weekly ride, bring a light snack and eat half way through the ride. Experiment with different drinks and snacks to find what works best for you. You don’t want to experiment the day of the Tour.

Bike Fit

As you train you may need to make adjustments to the bike. Consider going back to your bike shop and ask about refining your bike position. You should not be stretched out or too cramped. Your legs should be slightly bent at the bottom of the pedal stroke. Stay relaxed. Hold the handlebar lightly. Keep elbows bent. Locked elbows lead to fatigue in your arms, shoulders, and neck. Smile. This will help you relax.

What to put in your bike bag and on your bike


Nutrition for Race Week

During this week drink plenty of water. No need to Carb Load. You get enough carbohydrates in regular balanced diet. Stay away from fatty or highly processed foods. Eat foods high in fiber and slow to digest. Vegetables, fruits, chicken, fish, and lean meats are ideal.

Morning of the Ride

Eat a light meal consisting of foods such as oatmeal, cream of wheat, fruits, juices, eggs or whole grain breads or bagels. Eat at least 2 hours before the start.

During the Ride

Drink at least every 15 minutes. There are four break stops along the way. When you stop for a break, keep it short. 10 minutes at the most. The longer you wait, the more your muscles will begin to tighten. Refill water bottles, get a snack, stretch and get back on the road.


A great cyclist once said about training, "Ride Lots."

Enjoy the ride. See you at the Pub!

Questions about training e-mail Thomas Zapalac of NSM Insurance Group at 




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