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Training for Climate Ride Events

The sooner you start, the better your event will go!

Ever imagined yourself cycling 100 miles in a day? Or hiking 3,000 feet of gain in one day? Or running 20 miles through wilderness along an iconic river? People who thought they never could do those things have done it all with us! From new enthusiasts to those who log thousands of miles on Strava, you’ll find your place on a Climate Ride.

Why are we different from other cycling and adventure travel events? Our goal is to get more people on bikes and treking the miles, regardless of skill level. That’s why we offer so many options for our events. On our events, athletes of all abilities can accomplish their goals and then share their experiences around a campfire each night. Our support staff will be there to back you up along the way.

If you have any questions about training for the event, we’re here to help. You can contact your Participant Manager or email us at [email protected].

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Yes, you got this! In three months, we’ve had people go from never having ridden a bicycle to riding over 70 miles a day on our events. We’ve had participants from ages 12-80 + years old hiking, cycling, and running with us for the cause, so whether you’re regularly active or looking for a challenge, we got your back.

We get a variety of cyclists at our events and will provide the best support for both the sightseers and the speedsters. Our riders always find others who ride at their pace and regardless of your speed, we’ll all share our experiences as a group at each camp. Rarely do we have a rider who doesn’t have someone to ride with at a similar pace.

Starting a training routine can be as dedicated as setting a training schedule, or a decision to simply get out there as much as possible. Wherever you are in terms of fitness, the best place to start is where you currently are comfortable. The best advice we can give, regardless of where you currently are or which event you’re interested in, is to ride or hike as much as you can before the event. This will allow you to have more fun on the event, and training for a Climate Ride can be half the fun. It also provides an excuse to update donors and supporters regularly. While out training, take photos and let the people who support you know all the work you are doing to get ready for the ride! Having a reason to get out on rides with friends or even solo can be just the excuse you need to spend more time on the bike.

Training can range from high-intensity intervals on hills to slow-paced long weekend rides, to bike commuting to work or just walking the dog. Climate Ride is not a race, so your training can be fun and casual!

No matter what intensity you’re after, your training should include a combination of cardiovascular conditioning, proper stretching, and strength training. With a proper training regimen, you will gain confidence and see positive results for your personal health and fitness.

Upon registering, your support staff will provide training tips and answer any questions you may have about preparing for your specific event. Though Climate Ride events are meant to be challenging, our professional support team will be by your side to help you ride or hike further than you thought possible.

Need to borrow a bike to train and do the ride on? Check out Bicycle Angels and their road bicycle loaning program if you live within 100 miles of one of these cities: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Denver, Oklahoma City, or Omaha. Alternatively, you can reach out to your local bicycle coalitions to check out their programs for earning bikes, or look into renting one from your local bike shop.

Wherever you are on your fitness journey, you’re ready. Get excited!

Review training timelines and schedule time in your calendar.

Challenge yourself to workouts to increase your heart rate.

Start extending your mileage and test your comfort in the saddle or on the trail.

Leverage group motivation and inspire your friends to get active with you.

Have some fun and use your training as a chance to integrate fitness into your routine or weekend adventures.

Most of us need a little motivation to get in shape for a big physical challenge. The good news about training for Climate Ride is that, in a very short time, you will see positive results for your personal health and fitness, and of course, the health of the planet.

Start Where You Are: Get on your bike or break out your new hiking boots, feel the breeze, and start building your stamina at your pace. Every outing counts. Your experience on Climate Ride will be greatly enhanced if you put in the time and effort to be prepared.

Need to borrow or rent a bike? Check out local programs like Bicycle Angels.

Weeks 1-6

In order to get your heart and lung capacity up to speed, you need to begin cardiovascular workouts. Using a stationary bike indoors or a normal bike outdoors, begin by cycling for 20-40 minutes, 1-3 times per week. Do other cardiovascular exercises such as running, walking, using an elliptical trainer, or rowing. Any cardiovascular exercise will help you prepare. The duration or intensity matter less than the consistency. To best prepare for your event, just be sure you’re consistently getting active in the weeks leading up to the event.

Weeks 7-18

You want to continue your cardiovascular exercises, but add in some longer bike rides. Start easy – 3 times per week for 40 minutes to 1 hour. Then add in a long weekend ride. Start out on a 3-hour ride and then extend it by 30 minutes each weekend. Spending time in the saddle or on the trails will also help you discover where you are uncomfortable so that you can make adjustments.

Safety and Comfort First: Consider a professional bike fit to ensure an injury-free and comfortable ride. Also, breaking in your hiking boots or trail runners well in advance isn’t just a pro move – it can save you having to sit out days on you hike because of serious blisters.

Mix it up! From high-intensity hill challenges to casual weekend rides or evening hiking, make your training versatile and fun. Every workout counts, even that stroll with your dog. And hey, it’s not a race, so have fun with it!

Consider incorporate training into your lifestyle to make it easier to accomplish. Use your training as a way to update your network on your progress towards reaching your fundraising goal.

  • Can you substitute a bike ride or a walk instead of a car ride to the grocery store? Can you challenge yourself to commute to work and take the long way home by bike or by foot? Or maybe take a few lunchtime loops around the park?
  • How about a weekend bikepacking trip?
  • Can you deliver your fundraising incentives to your donors without using your car?
  • Send a follow-up fundraising email with a pic of you on a training ride or hike! Your sweat is inspirational!
I’ve never done this before, can I do this?

Yes, you can do this! Our guides and your fellow Climate Riders will be there for both technical and moral support each day of the ride. We take care of all the logistics so you can focus on pedaling the miles. We also have support vehicles to help out if the day becomes too long or the hill too steep.

Is there a training chart I can use as a guide?

This chart is a good general outline for week by week training to prepare for most of our road rides! Looking for a mountain biking chart? Or a hiking/running chart? Check below.

WeekTotal miles/weekDo 2 Long Rides
Max Distance
Days/weekTotal hours training/week
Week 12010, 101 to 21 to 2
Week 220-3015, 151 to 21 to 3
Week 325-3515, 202 to 32 to 3
Week 430-4020, 202 to 32 to 3
Week 525-5025, 252 to 32 to 4
Week 645-5530, 252 to 33 to 4
Week 750-6030, 202 to 33 to 5
Week 855-6525, 253 to 44 to 6
Week 950-7530, 203 to 44 to 7
Week 1070-8030, 30 3 to 45 to 7
Week 1170-9040, 304 to 56 to 8
Week 1275-10050, 404 to 57 to 9
Week 1375-10060, 404 to 58 to 10
Week 1480-13060, 40 5 to 68 to 10
Week 1590-14060, 504 to 610 to 12
Week 16100-16060, 604 to 610 to 12
Week 1790-14070, 604 to 610 to 13
Week 1880-13060, 604 to 68 to 10

This chart is a weekly outline for training for one of our mountain biking rides. Be sure to spend a chunk of time on trails and be climbing at least 1,000 feet a week and building up to climbing 5,000+ a week by the end.

WeekTotal miles/weekDo 2 Long Rides
Max Distance
Days/weekTotal hours training/week
Week 1157.5, 7.51 to 21 to 2
Week 22010, 101 to 21 to 3
Week 325-3510, 152 to 32 to 3
Week 425-4015, 152 to 32 to 3
Week 525-4515, 17.53 to 42 to 4
Week 630-5017.5, 202 to 33 to 4
Week 735-5520, 202 to 33 to 5
Week 840-5520, 22.53 to 44 to 6
Week 945-6022.5, 22.53 to 44 to 7
Week 1050-7022.5, 25 3 to 45 to 7
Week 1160-8025, 254 to 56 to 8
Week 1265-8025, 254 to 57 to 9
Week 1370-8025, 27.54 to 58 to 10
Week 1470-9025, 25 5 to 68 to 10
Week 1575-10025, 27.54 to 510 to 12
Week 1680-10022.5, 254 to 510 to 12
Week 1790-11027.5, 304 to 610 to 13
Week 1880-10025, 254 to 58 to 10

This chart details a weekly outline to prepare for one of our runs or hikes. For each of these, make sure you are incorporating elevation gain into the mix. Many of our hikes and runs gain over 2,000 feet in a day, so by the end, you’ll want to be doing some long hikes that include climbs. We’ve provided an estimated weekly time for each activity in this chart in the last column.

WeekTotal miles/weekDo 2 Long Hikes/Runs
Max Distance
Days/weekTotal hours training/week
Week 152.5, 2.51 to 2Run: 1 to 2
Hike: 2 to 4
Week 27.52.5, 51 to 2Run:1 to 3
Hike: 2 to 5
Week 38-103, 72 to 3Run: 2 to 3
Hike: 3 to 6
Week 410-123.5, 7.52 to 3Run: 3 to 4
Hike: 3 to 6
Week 512-157.5, 7.53 to 4Run: 2 to 4
Hike: 4 to 8
Week 615-17.55, 102 to 3Run: 3 to 4
Hike: 6 to 10
Week 715-207.5, 102 to 3Run: 3 to 5
Hike: 6 to 12
Week 817.5-2010, 12.53 to 4Run: 4 to 6
Hike: 8 to 12
Week 920-2510, 153 to 4Run: 4 to 7
Hike: 8 to 14
Week 1022-2512.5, 15 3 to 4Run: 5 to 7
Hike: 10 to 14
Week 1125-3015, 154 to 5Run: 6 to 8
Hike: 12 to 16
Week 1227.5-3010, 17.54 to 5Run: 7 to 9
Hike: 14 to 18
Week 1330-3512, 17.54 to 5Run: 8 to 10
Hike: 10 to 20
Week 1432.5-37.515, 17.55 to 6Run: 8 to 10
Hike: 10 to 20
Week 1535-4015, 17.54 to 5Run: 10 to 12
Hike: 10 to 20
Week 1635-4015, 204 to 5Run: 10 to 12
Hike: 12 to 22
Week 1735-4017.5, 204 to 6Run: 10 to 13
Hike: 12 to 22
Week 1820-3010, 154 to 5Run: 5 to 8
Hike: 12 to 16
What if I’m the slowest person?

There are always similarly paced riders to ride with and our guides won’t leave you behind. If you require a little more time to complete the daily mileages, our team will work with you to ride as far as you want, as long as there is daylight to do so safely.

I’m not a mountain biker, can I come on a mountain bike Climate Ride?

Yes! Many of our mountain bike trips are designed for all ranges of cyclists. We won’t take you on trails that are too technical. We recommend developing a base level of fitness regardless of your mountain bike capabilities but have led several Climate Riders on their first adventures on dirt.

What kind of support can I expect on the trip?

Climate Ride’s expert leader staff are some of the most experienced and friendliest professional guides around! We’ll have rest stops each day with snacks and water, a mobile mechanic, and a medic along with us. You can also expect an unlimited supply of camaraderie and encouragement from the Climate Ride staff, and your fellow riders!

I’m a hardcore cyclist, but my partner isn’t. Can we do this ride together?

Yes, many couples of differing speeds have come on our rides and ridden the same routes and shared experiences in camp together at the end of the day.

Do you have a Strava Club?

Yes! And you should join! Strava is a great place to get to know other participants and leverage group motivation.

I’m so fast, will the support vehicles ever catch me?

If you leave early and ride super fast, you may outpace some of our support vehicles. So if this describes you, we appreciate you leaving a little later! Or being sure to bring an extra water bottle, snacks, and a credit card just in case.

Can I ride an e-bike?

We accommodate E-bikes on most of our events, but there are exceptions depending on availability of charging opportunities along each particular rides routes. Please contact us if you have a question about whether you’ll be able to charge and use an e-bike on a particular event.

More Questions?

More Questions? Email us at [email protected]!