I have been getting requests lately to go into a bit more detail on how to prepare for the Ring of Kerry so seeing as it is approximately six months away I will outline what I would deem to be a sufficient plan in terms of getting you ready for the 2nd of July. I plan to post monthly review of training advice so the following is what I would advise as being important for the month of January. For training plans to be effective the need to be specific to the person involved and specific to where they want to get to, but in terms of general tips and guidelines I will do my best with the following assumptions, that you may or may not have cycled the Ring of Kerry before, that you have a reasonable base of fitness and that you want to finish the day tired but relatively comfortable.
The priority for January should be about building a good base of fitness and starting to get used to a bit of regular cycling. The dark evenings and wet weather are not exactly that enticing to get out, in my case if the weather is really too bad I will hit the gym, but really the encouragement is that any exercise will help you build a base fitness from which you can build from next month onwards. In the gym (or at home) there are various activities I would advise based on where your fitness is at but if you are trying to loose weight, the focus would be on steady cardio workouts to burn calories but as your fitness grows, strength and core exercises should be introduced.
From a cycling perspective it is important however to try and get out at least once over each weekend, for at least a 10-20 mile cycle. The goal during those cycles should be about consistent and freeflowing pedalling in a relatively easy gear and keeping a moderate and steady pace. It can be an effort to get out so get a friend involved to help each other with motivation. Be sure to wrap up when cycling in the outdoors in January as it can be extremely cold.