The first year I cycled in the STIHL Tour des Trees, we rode nearly 600 miles through Oregon. I had very little experience with road biking and no idea what to expect. I'd never ridden more than 40 miles on my bike, and where I live, the only climbs are bridges over water.
Before the Tour, I worked out religiously but not exercise specific. I read about various cycling training techniques: interval training, ways to increase my lactate threshold, and single leg pedaling to name a few. I spent more time on the stationary bike and in spin classes than I did on the bike.