Top Tips & Tricks To Prepare For Your Cycling & Yoga Retreat
Deposit paid, place confirmed. Now the count down is on for that much anticipated holiday. Or, maybe you are contemplating booking that much looked forward to adventure. But wait, it’s not the relaxing, sipping cocktails and reading your book for endless days kind of holiday. You’ve chosen a cycling and yoga retreat that might challenge you, and you can’t help but wonder if you’re fit enough, if you have enough time to prepare…you start to feel dread, overcome. Stop!
We are confident after booking on one of our escapes, you will not regret your decision. A Soulfit Adventures cycling and yoga holiday will more than fulfil your expectations; you will cycle your way through some of the most incredible scenery you’ve ever seen, we guarantee at least one, more than likely two OMG moments 😉, you will share an unforgettable journey with fellow adventurers, (who will become friends for life) eat delicious food to fuel you for the ride, and stretch and relax on the mat to close the day and send you blissfully in to a good night’s sleep.
“These are true local experiences – carefully selected for their local knowledge and vibrant personalities, our very own local ride guides will chaperone you along untouched roads, to hidden gems and the most idyllic post ride coffee stops only locals and those who have spent hours upon hours, and year after year cycling in the areas know about.”
There’s no denying preparation is important, we want you to get as much out of your holiday as you can. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is what’s all about, but of utmost concern to us is doing it safely and injury free. Preparation is the difference between hanging at the back of the pack, sore and frustrated, and keeping your cool WITH the pack, taking time to savour the beautiful countryside while enjoying the company of new friends. We are here to prepare you for what will be one of the most rewarding adventures you will ever embark on.
There are several things to consider well in advance and that’s why we have put together a short list of tips and tricks to help you on your way.
Cycling Ability and Fitness Level
Being comfortable riding a road bike AND having a level of fitness that allows you to ride in comfort are essential. The good news is, the best way to get fit is to spend as much time as you can on a bike. Double win!
If you are used to riding on a stationary bike, no problem. Our advice would be beg, borrow or steal a road bike from a friend. Plan to ride at least twice a week, finding time for an extra ride as you feel your fitness level improve. Start with a manageable distance that is relatively flat and begin to increase the length of time on the bike, again as you feel your fitness improve. After some weeks you will be ready to turn up the pace and mix up your routes to include hills.
If you’ve built up a few miles in your legs you’ll enjoy the time in the saddle more. Our schedules include back to back days of cycling. Give yourself the month before your trip to work on longer back to back practice rides. Consistency is the key! Some longer 60-80km rides at a consistent pace and with fewer stops, will ensure your biking experience is about enjoying the social conversations, taking in the incredible views and waking each morning with a sense eagerness to the days adventures that lay ahead. These will be invaluable in preparing you both physically and mentally for what’s ahead.
TOP TIP - To increase your level of fitness, you need to work out at least 4 days a week — 3 sessions will keep you fit, that extra fourth ride will take you to a higher level of fitness and JOY on and off the saddle!
Your equipment can make a big difference to your comfort. Carbon fibre road bikes are included, so we’ve got your ride covered. It helps to bring your bike set up measurements with you, if you know them. If you don’t know, we can help, just give us a shout.
If you’re buying new shoes, buy them today so you have time to break them in slowly. This will reduce and could eliminate the risk of blisters on the holiday. If you’re not using clipless shoes, ensure the shoes you plan to wear have a hard base that are difficult to bend.
The weather in Lucca and Girona is warm to hot in the summer months, but conditions can vary day to day and during rides when your core temperature will fluctuate on climbs versus descents.
Recommended check list
Breathable cycling specific clothing - to purchase a Soulfit Adventures kit contact us
Padded shorts or knicks - for obvious reasons of comfort!
A packable jacket
A base layer - useful to wipe away perspiration to prevent cooling the body too much
Gloves - useful for reducing discomfort in the arms, elbows and shoulders from impact on the ride.
A saddle you know and trust – they don’t weigh much and will become your best friend after longer rides! If you don’t have one you already use regularly, test a few out and pick what works for you.
We are a big believer in cross-training here at Soulfit Adventures which is why yoga is included on all of our retreats. As much as it is important to get lots of time out on the bike, yoga (or stretching if you prefer to call it that), is the perfect way to keep your muscles loose and relaxed, while strengthening core and other supporting muscles.
If you are new to yoga, we suggest signing up for a beginner’s course prior to the start of the holiday. Flexibility is not a pre-requisite but familiarising yourself with the basics and identifying the top of your mat from the bottom will help you feel a little more comfortable with your new friends 😉 Don’t have access to a studio? Classes are available online. Happy to recommend a website on request.
Comfortable, loose fitting clothing will greatly enhance your overall yoga experience. If you own your own mat and you can fit it in your luggage, please feel free to bring it along.
Boring we know and we sure hope you don’t need it but purchasing travel insurance that covers flights, accommodation and medical fees is a requirement before joining any Soulfit adventure.
Last but not least a sense of adventure, tolerance, patience and an open-mind will go a long way in making your Soulfit Adventure a trip of a lifetime 😊
“Exceptionally well organised. Amazing support and encouragement and constant activity with revitalising yoga and rest (a little rest!!). Virginia a big big thank you. Your encouragement and support started long before the trip began. You were my mentor that kept me going post marathon into the transition of preparing for this epic trip. You are an inspiration! The yoga was amazing and paired perfectly - the combination of early morning wake up and strength work to prepare our bodies (+ minds with the 'word of the day') for the day; combined with amazing yin (+ restorative when really needed) classes in the evening. The villa was/is amazing - like a picture postcard everywhere you looked - gardens and property immaculately maintained. Food, shinning and you pushed me past my comfort zones as I am to used to a very simple vegetarian diet - even this you tried constantly to make sure I was ok - thank you!! A wonderfully supportive cycling guide who managed to plan (with you) wonderful itineraries and adapt to the range of weaker riders to incredibly strong riders. All in all an amazing experience - one which I will recommend to all of my friends and will repeat next year!” Annabel Roberts, June 2018