Give your fitness goals a kick-start or improve your cycling skills with our coach-led fitness holidays. David Compston leads our Pyrenees Fitness weeks with his wife Toni, we caught up with him (but only just, as he is pretty fast) to find out a bit more about what goes on.
Cycling is more fun when you’re fit, there are no two ways about it. When you are taking the hills in your stride, or pounding along on the flat, you feel fantastic. Improving your fitness can be as simple as riding a little bit more and taking a bit more care over what you eat, but with a bit of expert guidance you can get results in a much shorter time.
Skedaddle’s Pyrenees Fitness weeks are run from a beautiful 16th Century house in the picturesque medieval village of Chalabre, conveniently situated in the foothills of the Pyrenees, offering a wide variety of fantastic cycling roads. A lot of the people who come out here are short on time and don’t get to cycle much. They often have demanding jobs working 40-50 hours a week and commuting on top of that. I want them to leave feeling inspired to train more and learn ways to fit it into their lifestyle.
The Port de Pailhères (Col de Pailhères) (2,001 m (6,565 ft)
They should leave with the tools to improve their fitness when they get home. These holidays on their own aren’t going to radically improve your fitness. One week of riding isn’t going to change your season, but it can inspire you to make the changes that over time will make a difference. You will go away ready to train, rather than this week being your training. Over the course of the week we will do lots of different types of training sessions, so that when you leave you know how to put together your own training plan. We get people on the turbo trainer and show them the types of short but sharp intervals that you can do even when you have very little time.
The short sharp stuff is powerful medicine, you don’t need a lot of it, and we explain how it can improve your endurance, which inspires people to go away and do it at home too. You can fit much more into your daily life than you realise. We have some mats we use for stretching exercises and we show people how to do some basic exercises. It is nothing startling but remember, even just walking up the stairs is exercise.
Celebration time at the top of a climb!
If you climb the steps in a slow controlled manner, it can contribute to your strength work. We look at group riding skills, getting everyone together so the strong riders learn how to look after the weaker riders, and the weaker riders learn how to find shelter in the wind. We teach a lot about communication so riders get tuned into looking after each other. Everyone seems to enjoy and learn a lot from our group rides.
The Fitness Weeks are not just about training and fitness we look at everything, even bike maintenance, and can answer all your questions, even the most basic or complicated. Everything is covered, so you return home a better, more rounded rider.
Food Glorious Food
Dave and his wife Toni have a little competition. If you go home lighter, Dave has won, if you go home heavier, Toni has won! As Dave puts it, “I make them hungry and she feeds them beautiful food.” As Toni trained as a chef, Dave doesn’t stand much chance of winning the competition! If you are training hard you don’t need to diet, so enjoy the luxury of being able to eat as much as you want.
Dave’s Fitness Tips
Have a bike set up on your turbo trainer, so all you have to do is put your shoes on. Even 20 minutes two or three times a week will make a big difference to your fitness. If you can ride to work, do it. There are loads of little things you can do on your commute that will improve your fitness without eating into your valuable free time.
“Tour guide was great! – Dave was a great leader with lots of knowledge and experience! His enjoyment and enthusiasm rubbed off on everyone! He was a pleasure to ride with!” – Suzanne, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, UK
“This was the best food I have ever had whilst on holiday, I felt thoroughly spoilt. Dave was brilliant at providing structured training for us.” – Jo, Cumbria, UK
“Dave as the cycle coach and Toni back at base doing all the cooking looked after us very well! The food was excellent with local produce used too! The cycling was interesting and instructive and pushed me which is what I wanted!” – Paul, Norfolk, UK
Check out the photos from a recent holiday Pyrenees Fitness Week here
As well as our Pyrenees Fitness Weeks, we also run a similar road cycling trips on the Spanish island of Tenerife.