Training for Massive Distance and Climbing

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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Mr.Gib
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by Mr.Gib

What is the best way to prepare for 10 days of 200 km and 5000 meters elevation gain per day.

The challenge as I see is to find the perfect balance between being quick enough to limit ride time as much as possible to allow for maximum possible sleep and recovery, and getting over multiple passes every day without ever having to dig deep and risk damaging the following day's performance.

I am in effect training to be really good at riding slowly. Is this a simple matter of boosting FTP?

I will have the base miles, equipment, and body weight optimized. That leaves structured training and I guess that means intervals of some sort. And if it is intervals, what kind? Duration? Frequency? Anything else?

My training environment is devoid of major climbs. Lots of 1 or 2 km slopes to work on though.

TKS
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.

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Conza
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by Conza

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.
It's all about the adventure :o .

Marin
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by Marin

200k and 5000m is not so much that daily riding time will be an issue.

The most important things will be fueling strategy and comfort - if you get a sore butt or neck on day 3 you're done.

Details of the ride?

Shrike
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by Shrike

Depends how far out you are from the event and what your existing base and strength endurance is like. Also depends on how fast you are. Faster riders will spend more time riding in higher zones as they smash the course apart. Slower riders may be riding at endurance and tempo and occasionally going high when it's really steep.

If it was me, I'd do a ton of sweet spot work with increasingly longer blocks to build big strength endurance and even FTP a bit:
https://www.trainerroad.com/cycling/pla ... -volume-ii

Then do something like this to help prepare for the
https://www.trainerroad.com/cycling/pla ... igh-volume

So in terms of TrainerRoad, you'd be going from sweet spot 12 week to speciality 8 weeks. Skipping the build phase. That's 20 weeks of work. If you have 28 weeks or more, then you can do the sustained power build phase in between, which is the usual order:
https://www.trainerroad.com/cycling/pla ... igh-volume

If the event is really close, I'd just do as much sweet spot work as I can fit in during the week, (wouldn't do much at threshold as recovery is too long, unless you're severely time crunched and have too much recovery time), wreck your legs as much as possible, and then really long endurance ride, over 4 hours at the end of the week to finish things off. Preferably hilly terrain for work the climbing muscles. Not having any really long climbs isn't a deal breaker either, grinding a larger gear at a lower cadence works well too.

Give us your event date and training hours per week and I'm sure you'll get some better specific advice though.

mattr
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by mattr

Practicing effective fueling on the go.
Practicing not pushing on.
Practicing recovery.

Marin
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by Marin

Yeah, I hope you're not racing.

With 2000km and 50000m of vertical and your questions you're probably looking at survival, not at a podium?

You could ride the 2km slopes with a heavy load (20kg extra) to simulate fatigue.

Shrike
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by Shrike

Oh.

I just noticed it was 10 days of 200km! Read it as 200km when I posted that earlier.

Some good blogs around from guys who do the ultra endurance rides and how they prepare, but without knowing your time out there's no way to know if any of it's useful. From what I can see though, the hours in the plans I linked above are not useful to this kind of event so just discard all of that :lol:

Mr.Gib
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by Mr.Gib

Marin wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:44 am
200k and 5000m is not so much that daily riding time will be an issue.
Details of the ride?
I fear riding time will be an issue. It's like climbing the Stelvio 3 or 4 times plus another 100 km (granted lots of it descending). Or like doing the Etape du Tour every day for 10 days except longer and with more climbing. :shock: While I would aim for 10 hours or less, apparently up to 12 hours including the feed stops is not uncommon on certain days for some riders. That means start at 7:00 AM end at 7 PM. Shower and wash clothes, dinner (in a French hotel which is never quick), prep bikes for next day, pack travel bag, etc. Lucky to get to bed by 11:00 PM and then up at 5:30 AM. That is probably 2 hours less sleep then the body will require to survive the ten days. And this doesn't take into account a myriad of other little time stealers that are unforeseen. This is why getting faster (climbing faster) is my only option to survive.

Details? The location of the ride is yet to be determined. Candidates are Pyrenees, French Alps, maybe Dolomites (hope not - too damn steep). Typical town to town tour. Totally hardcore but purely recreational - not a race.
Shrike wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:52 pm
...without knowing your time out there's no way to know if any of it's useful.
I have 18 months. This summer I will spend a couple of weeks in the southern alps on a more normal trip (100 - 150 km and up to 3000 meters per day). My plan is to conduct a three day test with big distance and elevation gain while I am in Barcelonnette just to see what happens.

Relevant to the training tips anyone has to offer, the challenge I face is my age and body type. 55 years old, 6 feet (183 cm), and 180 pounds (81 kg). Even though I am one of those "old fast guys", I am a relatively poor climber. I am just heavy and dense. Here is a recent photo at 180 pounds. Image.
Not sure how much weight I can loose. Will try for ten pounds. Performance gains will have to come from improving my training.
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.

mattr
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by mattr

If you've got 18 months, it's doable.
Just a matter of slotting as many long lumpy rides in as possible. And doing as many back to back as you can. Three days weekends used to be really good for early season training, 3 big days then 4 or 5 recovery days at work. Then do it all over again. Only issue is going to be simulating the long climbs. If you've not got anything local, one of the virtual training systems might help. (or might put you off completely)

Marin
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by Marin

Mr.Gib wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:02 pm
I fear riding time will be an issue.[...]While I would aim for 10 hours or less, apparently up to 12 hours including the feed stops is not uncommon on certain days for some riders.
It sounds like you need to get your priorities straight! If this is about having dinners & wine with the other gentlemen, 10-12hrs of riding time may be too much.

Im my mind, 10-12hrs of riding time will leave you *at least* 12-10 hours of time to sleep, especially since you shouldn't come off the bike hungry.
Shower - carbs - bed...

You don't look fat, don't try to lose too much weight, it might hurt more than it could help.

Oh, and get a better bike, it should take 10 strokes of the pump to prep it, and maybe 15secs of oiling the chain every 3rd day :D

mattr
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by mattr

That's about what i do on training camps. Bike gets a quick once over (20-30 seconds) after the ride and about a minute of tyre pressure checking the following morning. Unless it starts making a funny noise. Reliable gear will be more useful than light gear.
And if it's 12 hours including food stops, you'll at least be well fueled for the following day, so evening meals *shouldn't* be the hardcore eating events of a 10 day race.
Also, looking at those locations, i'm wondering how you will manage to guarantee the distance and height gain every day. Or are those just worst case, or targets, or an average?

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Conza
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by Conza

What crankset, and cassette? :o
It's all about the adventure :o .

Mr.Gib
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by Mr.Gib

Marin wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:17 am
Mr.Gib wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:02 pm
I fear riding time will be an issue.[...]While I would aim for 10 hours or less, apparently up to 12 hours including the feed stops is not uncommon on certain days for some riders.
It sounds like you need to get your priorities straight! If this is about having dinners & wine with the other gentlemen, 10-12hrs of riding time may be too much.

Im my mind, 10-12hrs of riding time will leave you *at least* 12-10 hours of time to sleep, especially since you shouldn't come off the bike hungry.
Shower - carbs - bed...

Oh, and get a better bike, it should take 10 strokes of the pump to prep it, and maybe 15secs of oiling the chain every 3rd day :D
Even with feed stations and vitamin and mineral supplementation, I figure I will need 3000 - 4000 calories post ride. We stay in hotels and they feed us - typical French 3 course meal. There is no changing the way these hotels do business - when service is fast its sit down at 8 PM and done at 9:30. 10 PM finish is more likley. There is no buffet where you can race in grab a pile of food and go to your room. And its not just gentlemen. My beast of a wife will be doing this as well.

The bike. On a dry sunny day almost zero maintenance. But roads are typically wet in the early AM in the mountains, thunderstorms in the PM are routine. The bikes often require a complete wheels off clean and drive train clean and lube. And this doesn't take into account the effect of the occasional dirt section that can be found at the top of smaller cols. There is no way in 2000 km under these conditions that at some point I won't be messing with a headset or BB. On one trip I had to take apart a Chris King rear hub and grease all surfaces to get rid of a clicking sound. I also do two bikes (the wife is hopeless), it might cost a half hour, and your not just cleaning - you have to get your lube, tools etc., clean, put the stuff away, put bikes away. It all adds up.


mattr wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:46 am
Also, looking at those locations, i'm wondering how you will manage to guarantee the distance and height gain every day. Or are those just worst case, or targets, or an average?
I looked at previous trips and the distances and elevation gain were amazingly consistent. Its acheived by adding in those medium climbing loops that go up the sides of the valleys in between the big passes. They are typically roads built to access some remote town. These smaller cols provide some of the best riding. Some are tiny, narrow things, and this is where you may encounter the odd dirt section.


Conza wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:09 am
What crankset, and cassette? :o
I have learned from experience that when I travel I prefer 10 speed over 11 for its superior ability to tolerate a less then perfect state of tune. Gearing is compact with 12-32.

I really appreciate everyone's input, but I've done many of these trips so I know what to expect off the bike (and on the bike up to about 160 km and 3000 meters per day). My inquiry is for experience or training knowledge about how to make 200 km and 5000 meters every day for ten days as comfortable as possible. I accept it ain't going to be easy.
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.

Shrike
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by Shrike

Will you be keeping pace with your wife or will you be riding all of it at your own paces?

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Calnago
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by Calnago

Mr. Gib... you sir, need a muffin.
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