Training for Massive Distance and Climbing

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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Marin
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by Marin

wingguy wrote:
Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:30 pm
But if it's an energy bar or large gel, on a multi day event with those distances and terrain, then one every hour is really not very much food. You don't need to have anything like a fast metabolism to be ending each riding day with a serious calory deficit if that's the case...
Agreed, when I do a "big day" I usually bring rice cakes and I basically feel like I'm eating the whole goddam time...

Mr.Gib
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by Mr.Gib

Typical big day 10 hours, lots of climbing, I try for as much real food as possible. Usually sandwiches of some sort - favourite is a combo of prosciutto, taleggio cheese, and hard boiled egg, jammed in a dinner roll. Probably 4 of those with a bigger "meal" mid day. I have also been known clean out the odd French bakery :D. The bars I use are real food - made mostly from dates and nuts, usually 4 of those. Some Honey Stinger waffles on occasion as well. I use Power Gels in only two situations - when I run out of everything else and to stay sharp. Nothing good about losing focus on the last descent of the day when you are super tired. I always go for the one's with 50 mg of caffeine. Usually two per day, but for CCC I could imagine using three on certain days.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

by Weenie


ultyguy
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by ultyguy

You will be riding nowhere near your FTP.

Get a bike fit check up and do it again 6 months before.

Do a ton of easier Z2 riding to build a huge engine. Try to do a good bit of it fasted for the first hour and then eat a bit throughout. Do specific muscle work, high gear/low cadence with low heart rate (Z2 or low Z3) 9-12 min with a minute of super high spinning straight after, 5 min very easy then repeat. Plenty of core/shoulders/neck work, they will get very sore with all the descending.

Get some training camps where you can ride sweet spot on climbs for 4-5 days in a row for 4-5 hours/day within 3 months of the event. Do a huge taper, like 3-4 weeks.

Things most likely to not let you finish are repetitive muscle injury or GI problems.


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Mr.Gib
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by Mr.Gib

ultyguy wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:26 pm
You will be riding nowhere near your FTP.
Hell no, just looking at that as a training target.
ultyguy wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:26 pm
Get a bike fit check up and do it again 6 months before.

Do a ton of easier Z2 riding to build a huge engine. Try to do a good bit of it fasted for the first hour and then eat a bit throughout. Do specific muscle work, high gear/low cadence with low heart rate (Z2 or low Z3) 9-12 min with a minute of super high spinning straight after, 5 min very easy then repeat. Plenty of core/shoulders/neck work, they will get very sore with all the descending.

Get some training camps where you can ride sweet spot on climbs for 4-5 days in a row for 4-5 hours/day within 3 months of the event. Do a huge taper, like 3-4 weeks.

Things most likely to not let you finish are repetitive muscle injury or GI problems.
Thanks, that all looks like great advice.
Confident in my bike fit, it has been tested on multiple similar though not as severe trips. Will monitor though.
Descending fitness - hands, arms, shoulders - so true and easily overlooked. Years ago was once in totally agony descending the Col de Madeleine toward Albertville. Had to take a break part way down. Working on it but will up the load.
As for "sweet spot" climbs, I have the gradient in my area but just not the length. 2 - 3 km at 7% average is about the best. It'll mean repeats. Terrain here is more of the lumpy sort. Might just have to pack up and go to a mountain for prep.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

ultyguy
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by ultyguy

Yup on the descending. I live in the mountains and descend a lot and when I did the tour de Mont Blanc in a day last year it was my shoulders that were in the most agony of everything.

Tenerife is great for that kind of training. I really like the west coast, lots of options. They’ve resurfaced the way up to top on that side and it’s a fantastic, long climb for training.


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indrek
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by indrek

I was lucky enough to do the CCC couple of years back (southern french version). I went totally unprepared. My only goal was to survive. The challenge was at the end of August and due to work and life issues I was able to start training/riding only half way June that year. I was previously definitely not an elite cyclist nor a especially "talented" one. My training had always been irregular and was more concentrated on having fun on the bike and not following any plans nor measuring tons of stuff. I also come from a country of zero hills:) Anyway, my point is that these challenges are definitely more mental than physical (assuming you are at least a recreational and healthy road cyclist, who has sat in a saddle more than 5 consecutive hours before). If you survive 2nd and 3rd day (3rd was my hardest) then it's all downhill from there. This was true to every single one of us. We had many guys in your age group, and they were all faster than me (I was 30 at the time). I was one of the slowest. Believe it or not, but your body will get used to the extreme "pain" fairly quickly. The second half of the challenge (last 5 day) is, when you start to really enjoy, because you are so used to the pain, that it will almost go unnoticed. Having read your posts, I feel you have plenty of climbing miles in your legs, and experience with long climbs, so don't get too stressed about finding the "right" training plan.

Reliable bike is a must! You will be VERY tired every day once you get to hotel. The less time you need to spend fiddling with your bike, the more time you have to lay down. I personally didn't have any issues (fairly good bike with carbon tubulars and full Sram RED, nothing too exotic). Had to change the rear tire once, due to wearing almost totally out in like 6 days (schwalbe ultremo), and set of brake pads. Besides that, only inflating tires in the morning, some lube every 2nd day and one full wash after 5th day. If I remember correctly, we had only one guy with tubulars besides me. Most of the clincher guys had at least on flat during 10 days, half had more than 2. Nobody had any big mechanicals. One big guy broke a spoke and thats about it.

Eat as much as you can get in. All the feed stops, they are heaven sent. I brought tons of gels, but managed to consume only something like 3 or 4. Their feed stations were so plentiful that I did not want or need any more. Lost about 3kg with these 10 days:)

Shoes. Must have shoes that are very comfortable. Same goes to bibs. At least 3 sets of your favorite bibs. And chamois cream. I usually don't use it but there it was a must. As we had some hot weather, then even more.

PS! We had one lady in our gorup and she did just fine:)

PPS! by far, the best 10 days I've ever spent in a saddle, hell, the best 10 days I'v ever had!

Mr.Gib
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by Mr.Gib

@indrek, that's quite an acheivement given your limited preparation. But you are blessed with youth and I assume better then average natural gifts. And if that avatar photo is you, then I imagine a very lean body type and a light upper body.

Your account of the CCC is interesting and encouraging. I am not at all intimidated by the scale of the event, I just want to begin the event knowing I have done all I can to prepare physically. I have already taken my mind very deep into pain on the bike. The psychological challenge will not be an obstacle. For me it will be getting my old and battered body to hold together for the duration. Excellent training is my only path to this end.

Carbon tubulars...nice. But I wouldn't dream of taking carbon wheels on any of these trips. I know it can be done, but at 80 kg I don't want to face a wet descent on carbon. And did you have time to properly glue a new rear tire? And if you get a puncture, what about descending on a spare tubular that is just holding on with old glue? No thanks.

Yes to the reliable bike, the best clothing, and shoes that are a perfect fit. It would be foolish not to optimize all those things that can be addressed simply by parting with some money.

Glad to hear the on-road support provided adequate nutrition.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

sawyer
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by sawyer

Mr.Gib wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:27 pm


Carbon tubulars...nice. But I wouldn't dream of taking carbon wheels on any of these trips. I know it can be done, but at 80 kg I don't want to face a wet descent on carbon. And did you have time to properly glue a new rear tire? And if you get a puncture, what about descending on a spare tubular that is just holding on with old glue? No thanks.

Hi, although I've not done CCC, I have done plenty of riding on carbon tubulars in the mountains and you should consider it, if you have em. If you're never going to be comfortable, fair enough, but really the descending in the wet thing isn't a problem. It's far more dangerous (IMO) to ride in the wet through a city on carbon rims, than down a quiet mountain. Unless you're racing, effectively you have unlimited time and no traffic around you.

I would certainly take the view that for someone who is a competent rider in the mountains, the safety benefit from being on tubs outweighs the slight additional risk from carbon rims when it's wet (if using rim braked bike)
----------------------------------------
Stiff, Light, Aero - Pick Three!! :thumbup:

basilic
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by basilic

ultyguy wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:09 pm
when I did the tour de Mont Blanc in a day last year
ultyguy walks the talk. That's 8000+ meters, no?
much respect

ultyguy
Posts: 2261
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Location: Geneva

by ultyguy

basilic wrote:
ultyguy wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:09 pm
when I did the tour de Mont Blanc in a day last year
ultyguy walks the talk. That's 8000+ meters, no?
much respect
It was a tough old day out!
8000m and 343km
https://www.strava.com/activities/1201319859
Doing it alone made tougher but also rewarding. I luckily had a friend take pity on me half-way around and provided car support.


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Mr.Gib
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by Mr.Gib

sawyer wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:22 pm
Mr.Gib wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:27 pm


Carbon tubulars...nice. But I wouldn't dream of taking carbon wheels on any of these trips. I know it can be done, but at 80 kg I don't want to face a wet descent on carbon. And did you have time to properly glue a new rear tire? And if you get a puncture, what about descending on a spare tubular that is just holding on with old glue? No thanks.

Hi, although I've not done CCC, I have done plenty of riding on carbon tubulars in the mountains and you should consider it, if you have em. If you're never going to be comfortable, fair enough, but really the descending in the wet thing isn't a problem. It's far more dangerous (IMO) to ride in the wet through a city on carbon rims, than down a quiet mountain. Unless you're racing, effectively you have unlimited time and no traffic around you.

I would certainly take the view that for someone who is a competent rider in the mountains, the safety benefit from being on tubs outweighs the slight additional risk from carbon rims when it's wet (if using rim braked bike)
The other thing I worry about is getting behind traffic, and indeed that does happen, and having to be on the brakes for an extended period, or ending up on a super steep technical descent where you simply cannot let the bike go. The major cols are childs play. It is the little roads that nobody has ever heard of that can be the real torture tests for brakes. If I were racing on a closed road I would have no hesitation to go carbon tubs, but the fact is that I have been in spots where even the extra hand effort that a carbon rim would demand is effort that I would rather not spend. Another argument for disc brakes I guess.

And ultyguy that is a big day out. 13 hours ride time - that's good. At least you got to take the next day off.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

yinya
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 9:06 pm

by yinya

Also did one, I think it’s more about pacing yourself, not going out too hard and trying to stay with the young guns in the first couple of days (you’ll be well trained and feeling like Fogel after all the extras) and being fast and relaxed on the descents.

Training the others have covered - do as much as you can to get your FTP up and practice 3-4 straight days of 200+ kms with 3000-4000 m of climbing to know your food, sustainable pacing, equipment, need to strengthen weak points in the gym. Also get your shit weather gear right. But seems based on your past events you know all this, so it’s just a mental game more than anything.


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addictR1
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Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:11 am

by addictR1

Conza wrote:Getting efficient at burning fat as your main fuel source.
Strength in the legs.

I'd be staying below your max aerobic HR, and doing long km's / hours when you can.
Is that like going Keto?


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