I’ve (perhaps foolishly! ) agreed to join a challenge to ride from Loughborough to Monaco in 8 days at the end of August, it’s basically LEJOG though with more reliable weather and a mountainous kick in the last 2 days. We’re calling it Pedal to the Principality!
I’ve completed a couple of 100mile Century sportives over the past couple of years though I’d still consider myself a Novice, and I’ve not followed a structured training plan for more than 3 weeks before.
When perusing the Training Plans everything is geared to one-off challenges, a single century or mountainous gran fondo for example and starts 12 weeks out from that.
How do I make the most of the 30 weeks I have before the event start to prepare for 8 Centuries (more or less!) on consecutive days?
In my naive mind I was looking at 10 3-week blocks. Week 1 would be 8 days of riding a given duration, to increase by half an hour each block (and I completed the first 8-day set of 1-hour durations this past weekend). Week 2 would be recovery and adaptation, Week 3 would be a build week with tougher sessions. In my head it feels like the biggest challenge will be riding 8 long days consecutively, hence thinking to build that into my training.
With little knowledge about proper training I am concerned that I might not be utilising the time available to the fullest extent to make me the best rider I can be by the start line, hence looking at structured plans. However, I’m equally concerned that the plans I’ve looked over may not build my endurance sufficiently.
Any thoughts/advice would be most welcome!!
I did lejog solo with no specific training. 100 miles a day sounds a lot, but how about 4* 25 miles with a break between each block. All you need to do then, is ride 25 miles without accumulating too much fatigue, then repeat. I found I lost more by getting something wrong, than I would gain by getting something right. For example if you do not feed and hydrate you can lose hours, if you have to mess about with cycling bags after breakfast, again you lose a lot of time. How much training would you need to gain that amount of time? In my case, the real training was off the bike stuff, breaking down things could manage and plan accordingly. The general road plan should be fine
Not a coach, but if you’re worried about the back to back endurance efforts, a way to practice this kind of stress might be do endurance-oriented workouts on back-to-back (and maybe later back-to-back-to-back) days.
If you’re new to structured training though, I’d definitely just start with one of the general purpose plans. At the end of that, I’d test yourself by doing back-to-back long rides and see how you feel.
That sounds like a great adventure! Splitting the training down into different blocks is definitely the best way to go about it so you can monitor your progress and have some short term goals over the 30 weeks.
If you want to discuss your training with one of our SUFCoaches, we would love to help put something together for you!
Thanks @alchurch, that’s great advice on making sure to pay attention to things that could lose you time! To be honest though time isn’t really a concern, I fully expect to potentially be in the saddle up to 8 hours a day. It’s more how best to prepare to be able to do that for 8 days in a row. To that end would an all round 12-week plan simply raise my level as a rider to better cope with that, or should I look to be building my durations on back-to-back 8-day sets to adapt to repeatedly riding so long?
Thanks for responding @Coach.Rupert.H
I guess what I’m trying to understand is whether I can use 2 of the 12-week plans that already exist to raise my general level as a rider sufficiently to meet the demands of the challenge, or whether this type of challenge is a whole different ball game which needs a different approach to anything currently available on The Sufferest plans.
Any advice in this regard would help immensely. Thanks!
I would say the all purpose or the Century plans are you are going to be doing a high volume of riding.
Time does need to be considered, because it directly influences recovery.If you think you may be riding for 8 hours, but you bonk, get dehydrated, fret about the route or equipment, and your 8 hours turn in to 9-10. Think post ride, getting yourself and clothes clean, cream on any chafing bits. Saddle hygiene. A saddle sore can stop you completing , or make your 8 hour day stretch to 10 hours, but feel more like 15. Once clean, dry and aired, you need to feed. This should not be too late in the evening, because a late meal may interfere with sleep, hence recovery, hence inability to keep going. For me, personally , fatigue and the ability to ride each day was linked more to intensity the day before, than it was on actual endurance. The thrill of the challenge and excitement of the adventure , the love of doing what you love will see you through many a mile.
Coach Rupert. I did email the minions with a question about the personalised plans, but never got a response. The question is this. I am planning a challenge similar to to BazAv.jones. I was considering purchasing a plan but… I have no start or finish date because of current pandemic, therefor will not be able to supply a recent FF ( I have just done one, in the tour prep plan) . So could I just purchase a plan that could be dropped into my training schedule when everything kicks off?
This would be exactly my advice, @alchurch . Do a general or hilly road plan, yes. Try two or three 80-90 mile rides in a row, yes. You want to be confident that your century ride is a half-day, not a full-day ride. But the most important thing to work on for multi-day events is knowing how to care for yourself and your bike and equipment so that you are always ready for the next day’s challenge. Practice your feeding and hydration and the mindset of eating and drinking for tommorow, not just today. Eating like that is actually work! Know what your plan will be for washing your kit and bike. Learn how to care for chafing (and dial in your bike fit and saddle choice). Beyond having enough training to be on the bike that many hours and finish 100 miles wanting to do it again tomorrow, the above issues are the ones that have mattered the most on my long tours, because getting them wrong can turn an 8-hour day into an excruciating 10 or more and leave you unfit to finish.
Yes, thank you. On my last 10 day ride I planned a 4pm cut off . I would get myself clean, cream bottom and air myself wash and dry clothes.Out to eat for 5pm, and back to bed for about 8pm. Some of the small errors I made in planning had big effects, no sun cream, midge repellant, the new chain complete with its wax did not last as long as I thought without oiling. The actual riding was the easiest bit.I was trying to raise the point that it is too easy to focus on the training , and be concerned or anxious about fitness, when, in my mind, it is the planning detail that needs the real attention.Our routines.
Having an up to date FF will help us make your plan customised to reflect your 4DP numbers as well as rider type and weakness (by recent we say in the last 4 weeks). But if you don’t want to retest we can use previous numbers so you can book and schedule your 30min call and discuss what you want to get out of the plan so your coach can build it to be applied at a later date.
If you have any more questions or need more details please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org