Training for the Ring of Kerry

Posted: February 2, 2010 · By: Donnacha Clifford · Comments: 2
Under: Blog, Training

Having cycled the Annual Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle for the last 12 years, I am feeling like I am starting from scratch again this year as this is the first time I will be cycling it on a mountain bike. Cycling on a mountain bike compared to a lightweight racer will mean that I will have to rethink how I am going to train for this event in order to have as enjoyable a day as what I’m used to. Cycling on a mountain bike means that I will be moving much slower than if I was on my racer because of the excess weight of the bike and the rolling resistance it has on the road.

Why a mountain bike?

I have decided to use a mountain bike this year to make it more of a challenge. Don’t get me wrong after each year’s event I am tired and sore, but having done it so often I want to experience a new dimension to what this event is all about. I am gone past the days of racing around the ring, only stopping on a couple of occassions and being back in Killarney come 4 in the afternoon. This year I want to make the most of the day at a very leisurely pace, stop as often as my body will need to and enjoy the craic. Also when I finish the day, I hope to feel more of a sense of achievement and remind myself again what it was like to do this for the first time which I did in 1997, when I was fat and very unprepared.

How will I train differently?

Cycling a mountain bike is alot about patience and less about speed. Pushing a heavier bike will inevitably mean less speed and possible more hardship but with a good training plan I hope to eliminate the hardship element as much as I can. Having not really looked at my mountain bike in a while my priority has to be getting out on it as often as I can even if it is only for a couple of miles at a time. As the spring progresses I will have to integrate my mountain bike into my normal training schedule and use it for longer spins gradually getting used to cycling more slowly on a heavier machine. Ideally I would like to have a number of long spins done on the bike before the event, when I say long I mean sixty miles or over on the bike. I have this under my belt, then will be fine.

What will it mean on the day?

On the day I will have to tame my competitve nature. When I see people I am used to chasing and racing with on the road, I will have to let them go ahead of me. I will have to be focused on conserving as much energy as I need to get me home to Killarney. I will also probably have to put up with the slagging, but I am looking forward to the challenge.

Don’t forget to check back regularly for regular Ring of Kerry and Training updates.

Training for the Ring of Kerry: 2 Comments
  • nm
    12 years ago

    Hi there

    I cycled rok last year on a mountain bike – my first time. I had a great day, we left killarney at7.30am & arrived in to gleneagle at 7.10pm – had loads of stops, but didnt eat too well so suffered in kenmare but made it up molls gap and it felt like we were floating once we got to torc cos we were home and we did the whole route and we didnt suffer the following day – which totally amazed me because I did expect some pain & soreness. I am hoping to get a lighter bike this year but I have just been out saturday and it felt great to be back on the saddle again. I have gone from “I have not cycled in years” person to a kind of “semi addict” kind a person which is strange! but good I guess. Good luck this year, I am looking forward to your views because, as a novice, we were overtaken so many times but pros that it will be interesting to see how you fare.

    keep in touch!

  • The Kerry Cyclist
    12 years ago

    Hi NM! Did you cycle on Saturday?

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