Cycling is the best way to feel mentally and physically well – not only while you’re training for the TAC People’s Ride, but for the long term.

Once you’ve been for a few rides – especially if good friends, scenic vistas and great coffee are involved – you’ll never look back.

Taking on the TAC People’s Ride doesn’t need to be a daunting task. This Training Guide is designed to slowly build up your endurance and strength, improve your skill levels, as well as build motivation, ambition and confidence.

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned cyclist, it’s important to cover off the basics before you commence your training for the 2024 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race TAC People’s Ride. Whether that’s the 59km or 113km race, below are a few tips to ensure you have the most pleasant and rewarding experience come January!

The basics:

Health & Safety:

It is highly advisable that you get a proper medical check-up by your GP before embarking on any training plan: better be safe than sorry.

To enjoy comfortable rides, make sure to get your bike and bike position checked (most bike shops offer this service) and use fitted cycling clothes and kit (helmets, gloves, glasses). Plan for all scenarios and carry a small tool kit with spare tubes, a pump / CO2 cartridge as well as a couple of bidons, small amount of cash, phone and ID card.

Plan your ride, be realistic and make it enjoyable. Skills are important and developed on the road. Alternatively, ergo/indoor training can save time and is good for developing fitness rapidly.

For tips on cycling safely on our roads, visit the TAC website.

Warm ups & warm downs:

Implement a warm-up and warm-down routine. For example, to warm-up spend the first 10 minutes of your ride at a moderate pace, progressively going harder for the next five minutes, then take it easy for a couple of minutes before finishing your warm-up with a couple of short sprints. To cool down, spend 10-15 minutes riding a moderate pace to assist with recovery and stretching for your hamstrings, quads, ITB, back and neck.


Plan your nutrition for pre, during and post-ride. For any ride lasting more than one hour, it is important to fuel yourself with complex carbohydrates before and during the ride – they are the most common form of carbohydrates found in unprocessed food (pasta, starch, some fruits and nuts) as well as sports drinks and bars. Immediately after the ride, any form of carbohydrates and protein intake (meals or supplements) will be useful. This is also an ideal time to consume a multi-vitamin.

Carbohydrate intake needs to be supported with adequate hydration during any ride. You should aim to drink between one to two bidons (500-1000ml) of electrolyte mix for every hour spent on the bike. After you finish your ride, drink additional fluids so that you return to your pre-ride weight.

Training Zones:

The best training is one that is contrasted, meaning you vary the intensity of your training to optimise it. To do this it is important to have an understanding of training zones – here is a basic summary of ways to assess your training intensity:

Click to enlarge Training Zones Guide

List of acronyms: Recovery (RE), Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE), Function Threshold Power (FTP), Heart Rate (HR)


Training Program:

Cadel’s Hometown (59km)

This is a pleasant ride on the mostly flat roads heading in and out of Barwon Heads. Those taking part will be focused on spending just over a couple of hours on the bike and having the strength to manage the strong winds on Barwon Heads Road and Thirteenth Beach Road.

Click for printable version of Cadel’s Hometown (59km) Training Program


The Cadel Classic (113km)

This ride follows the course of the original Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and is a challenging course.

You will first ride through the flat roads and strong winds that will bring them to the coast until they reach Torquay where the emphasis switches to managing 10 major climbs (including the famed Challambra hill) bringing you back to the waterfront in Geelong.

Participants in the Cadel Classic will be focused on maintaining good stamina for over four hours, in order to show their climbing legs over the second half of the course.

Click for printable version of The Cadel Classic (113km) Training Program

Weekday rides can be done on the road (ideal) or the ergo. Weekend rides can be swapped around to fit with any club/ group schedule. Climbing should be done alternating standing and seated position (one repetition standing and the next one seated).


Good Luck!

Whether you have already signed up, or are waiting to see where your fitness level is, we wish you all the best on the road to the 2024 TAC People’s Ride. A group ride like no other alongside Australian cycling royalty, we can’t wait to welcome you to our event!

Click here for more information on the TAC People’s Ride.

With thanks to Martin Barras.