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Hi

I'm thinking about doing this: https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/involved/fundraise-events/cycling-tour-of-th...

It's 200 miles over three days from Blackpool to Scarborough, including a 'Buttertubs Pass King of the Mountain categorized climb'. It's mid-September this year.

It looks like quite a challenge and I have no aversion to training hard for it, but I was after advice from you guys who have way more experience than me.

The most I've done on the road until now is 20 miles. I'm 40, not unfit and up for a challenge. As some of you know, I've just got my first road bike (Whyte Suffolk) after having been mainly an off-road man.

While I like a challenge I'm wondering whether this might be too ambitious a target for five months time? Pretty sure I could manage 70 odd miles in a day, just not sure about three days in a row with some hellish climbs thrown in!!

I expect you will say join a local club and get advice from them, though I have to say I quite enjoy the solitude of long(ish) rides on my own.

Anyway, what do you think?

As always, thanks.

8 comments

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jollygoodvelo [1402 posts] 2 years ago
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Five months? Plenty of time. You'll need two things - time in the saddle, and to learn to fuel during rides.

Ramp up the maximum ride gradually (maybe 5 miles each week) to 50/60 miles while doing a couple of other shorter (20-mile) rides during the week. Then when your 60-mile route feels reasonably straightforward and normal, do an 80-mile route, the next week a 100-mile one. If you can do 100 miles in a day... 200 in 3 days will be easy.

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arfa [734 posts] 2 years ago
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Lots of time to prepare amd lots of advice here:
https://www.bhf.org.uk/get-involved/events/training/cycling/training-sch...

+1 for time in the saddle but I would probably peak at 70-80% of the distance, especially if training solo. On the ride itself you will get some benefit from drafting & well worth a bit of time spent riding in groups beforehand.
Only other thing I'd chuck into the mix is some pilates (will help with comfort) and make sure you get two reasonable rides in on consecutive days - getting going after a reasonably tough day in the saddle needs a bit of preparation !
Good luck.

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jason.timothy.jones [294 posts] 2 years ago
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Absolutely, just get time in the saddle and start early with the consecutive rides, if your ok with 20 miles now, see if you can do 3 days in a row at 20 miles and you will find its not that difficult.....then just up your miles every few weeks, and dont worry about how fast you are going...If I were doing this I would do something like this, even spread over the week, but make sure you do a few back to back

20, 20, 20
30, 20, 20
30, 30, 20
40, 30, 30
40, 40, 30
50, 40, 40
etcetera

Its just about building up the miles at a achievable pace

and don't forget to give yourself plenty of rest days

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adamthekiwi [105 posts] 2 years ago
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I would add to this: worth getting a cheap heart rate monitor - it can really help with training. The two key rides to get into your schedule are long, slow, low intensity rides (you'll be surprised at how low "low intensity" is - less than 75% MHR - over 3 or 4 hours) and high intensity interval training (basically, 30-60 seconds of 'make yourself puke' intensity followed by 3-4 minutes of letting your heart-rate return to normal, repeated 5 or 6 times). There's a good article on HRM training at http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/article/heart-rate-monitor-training-for-cy....

There is loads of useful advice on training programmes at the British Cycling website - you have to be a member though (I actually joined a couple of years ago for this very information). Their plan is 25 weeks long, so your timing is not far off...

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Singletrack [17 posts] 2 years ago
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Thanks everyone, some great advice here.

@Adam: I have an HRM and have used one for general training for many years. I'm on my second now, which is a reasonably good Polar one, just wrist worn not specifically for bike training.

Not sure if anyone else has come across this, but both HRMs had a tendency to behave oddly when used on the bike; the readout would fluctuate wildly up and down. I wondered if maybe it was some form of electromagnetic interference from spinning wheels. Ruling out heart palpitations (I felt okay whenever this happened, despite the readout hitting 240 at times!! And yes, I was checked out by a doc just in case) it seemed like there was some specific issue around cycling that interfered with them.

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Jimbonic [136 posts] 2 years ago
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If you've been riding plenty off-road, I would have thought you'd be fine, if you take the advice here and build the distance. I actually use off-road to help my road fitness - the off-road hill intervals are quite intense! But, for the longer distances, I would suggest "getting lost" on your commute. I have a 5 mile commute. But, that can regularly stretch to over 20 miles by adding a loop here or there. I find it a great way to extend myself, without having to find specific "training" time - something I'm useless at. Also, it's easy to slip in back-to-back longer rides. OK, you're not going to hit a 60/70 miler doing that (unless you've got a helluva commute!). But, it all helps.

Oh, BTW, I'm 45 and used this technique, together with the odd longer weekend ride (I have a family that likes to see me at the weekend!), to train for a number of sportives last year.

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southseabythesea [148 posts] 2 years ago
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Fuel, fuel and fuel...at your own pace you'd be surprised just how far you can go, but you need to keep that fuel intake up. Also chamois cream  3

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Singletrack [17 posts] 2 years ago
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Jimbonic wrote:

If you've been riding plenty off-road, I would have thought you'd be fine, if you take the advice here and build the distance. I actually use off-road to help my road fitness - the off-road hill intervals are quite intense! But, for the longer distances, I would suggest "getting lost" on your commute. I have a 5 mile commute. But, that can regularly stretch to over 20 miles by adding a loop here or there. I find it a great way to extend myself, without having to find specific "training" time - something I'm useless at. Also, it's easy to slip in back-to-back longer rides. OK, you're not going to hit a 60/70 miler doing that (unless you've got a helluva commute!). But, it all helps.

Oh, BTW, I'm 45 and used this technique, together with the odd longer weekend ride (I have a family that likes to see me at the weekend!), to train for a number of sportives last year.

Thanks for the tip! Unfortunately a lot of that off-road experience was rather a long time ago now, but I'm not too unfit. Your latter point could be an issue for me too - looking at the training schedule does mean I may not see much of Mrs Singletrack and it doesn't help that the event is close to her birthday too!!

I'm unable to commute with the new bike at the moment due to appalling facilities at work, so I'm currently going out in the morning before going to the gym (much more fun than a cross trainer).

I will increase the length of my weekend rides and perhaps start using the old off road bike for commuting with a longer off road detour on the way home. Then I'll see how I feel in a few weeks before committing to do the event...