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

Shrike wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:27 pm
Will you be keeping pace with your wife or will you be riding all of it at your own paces?
The way you have written the above almost seems to indicate that my wife is faster :P .

We work as a team - she is completely incapable of managing any mechanical issue and cannot be left alone. That said our watts per kg are very close (she is tiny) so our rates of vertical ascent are close enough that staying together is a non-issue. I do have to wait for her on the descents which will mean some time here and there.

@Calnago - yes I need a muffin plus much more. I have a screaming fast metabolism and have to eat every hour on the bike. If I get behind it is a challenge to catch up.
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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Calnago
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by Calnago

Mr. Gib, I thought your wife was indeed faster, and the only reason she lets you tag along is because as you say, she needs you in case of a mechanical. I understand because that’s the only reason my fast friends wait for me. :)
I wish I had your fast metabolism however. I need a muffin just to wake mine up.
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Mr.Gib
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by Mr.Gib

Calnago wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:58 pm
Mr. Gib, I thought your wife was indeed faster, and the only reason she lets you tag along is because as you say, she needs you in case of a mechanical. I understand because that’s the only reason my fast friends wait for me. :)
I wish I had your fast metabolism however. I need a muffin just to wake mine up.
Haha, she is indeed very strong and loves to suffer. She also has what I assume are relatively superior physiological parameters - she would be in the top 5% of women. At best I have middle of the pack natural gifts. However, at the end of the day she is just a very fit lady in her mid 50's, and I am a very fit man in my mid 50's. That is a tough race for a lady to win. Still I am very lucky - how many of us could think of doing anything like this with a spouse.

The metabolism is a mixed blessing - I am always lean, but damn I can get into trouble quick if I don't stay ahead of my hunger. Once ran out of food and had a nighmarish food bonk in the French alps. Descended into a town that was shut down mid-day. Waited an hour for the bakery to open before continuing. :)
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.

basilic
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Location: Geneva, Switzerland

by basilic

Are you doing one of those "100 cols in 10 days" rides?
Keep us posted!

Mr.Gib
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by Mr.Gib

Yes basilic, that is the plan. I've read some accounts of the trip and some people manage fairly well, but many of these tend to be younger males who have at some point been elite cyclists. The rest seem to have experiences that range from mere survival to various forms of hell. They say at some point on day three or four, the people who will falter experience some very dark moments. Hence our need to conduct a 3 or 4 day test this summer. I guess until you do 200km and 5000 feet three or four days in a row with a bit of pace, you will have no idea what will happen to your body and mind.
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.

wobbly
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Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 3:50 pm

by wobbly

just did a quick google and found this...

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... o-defiance

Almost the same opening shot is sat as the wallpaper on my phone from a 2016 trip 8) 8)
A quick check and the average daily dénivelé for the fittest in our group was 2500 metres but they were doing 'only' 125kms to reach that.
And they chalk up about 10k kms per year.

I managed just one day at +3000 mtrs covering Tourmalet/Aspin/Tourmalet and I was quite proud of myself - and tired.
The pics of Hautacam, Peyregoudes bring back great memories :D

200km days with 5000 metres déniv is a real challenge :thumbup: :thumbup:

dim
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Location: Cambridge UK

by dim

Marin wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:44 am
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?
thats a tough course .... I always have my own quick formula to judge a route as regards difficulty

divide the elevation by the distance .... 200km with 5000 elevation works out to my 'toughness score' of 25

I find a 12+ tough .... so this route is not an 'easy ride'
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Mr.Gib
Posts: 3121
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Location: eh?

by Mr.Gib

wobbly wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:06 pm
just did a quick google and found this...

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... o-defiance

Almost the same opening shot is sat as the wallpaper on my phone from a 2016 trip 8) 8)
A quick check and the average daily dénivelé for the fittest in our group was 2500 metres but they were doing 'only' 125kms to reach that.
And they chalk up about 10k kms per year.

I managed just one day at +3000 mtrs covering Tourmalet/Aspin/Tourmalet and I was quite proud of myself - and tired.
The pics of Hautacam, Peyregoudes bring back great memories :D

200km days with 5000 metres déniv is a real challenge :thumbup: :thumbup:
Do I understand you? You were on a trip but not the Cent Col Challenge? Those numbers are similar what my wife and I typically do (100 - 160 km, 3000 meters) each day on our trips. Our good fitness last summer made even our biggest days seem easy hence the interest in something more. Fact remains we rode slowly and savoured every inch because we had the luxury of time - Cent Cols challenge will demand greater urgency if one ever hopes to get off the bike.
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.

Mr.Gib
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by Mr.Gib

dim wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:37 pm
thats a tough course .... I always have my own quick formula to judge a route as regards difficulty
divide the elevation by the distance .... 200km with 5000 elevation works out to my 'toughness score' of 25
I find a 12+ tough .... so this route is not an 'easy ride'
I like your calculation but what it overlooks is the impact of steepness. And for some body types the impact can be magnified. I can ride for hours and fairly quickly at 6 -7%, but get closer to 10% and the heavy lifting begins (at least for me it does). And doing several kms at 15% or more forces guys like me to get pretty close to threshold to keep a decent pace. You're going to pay for something like that at some point. Too many steep climbs would likely be my undoing. Anybody been up the Zoncolan?
Last edited by Mr.Gib on Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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.

Mr.Gib
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Location: eh?

by Mr.Gib

Marin wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:44 am
The most important things will be fueling strategy and comfort - if you get a sore butt or neck on day 3 you're done.
Marin, I overlooked this point and you are 100% right, comfort has to be the first priority. And in this regard I have found the perfect bike: A Trek Cronus - the road version, used to be the Gary Fisher Cronus. 950 gram frame, very stiff bb area, with a tall head tube and miles of 27.2 seatpost showing. I use a flexy Deda stem and Thompson carbon bar and it's a magic carpet ride that is still a good climber. The Cronus also has massive tire clearance for a road bike. It was way ahead of its time. Stable as well, been over 90 km/h a few times (once with fenders :shock: ) and no issues. Wife will ride a tiny Litespeed.

As for the butt, we all have our solutions. For me it's Assos, SQ Lab, and Splax.
As for the neck, and in particular for me the lumbar spine, I keep up with my physio, core stabilization, etc. and I have a special coctail that I call crisis crank :wink: You didn't think I would be doing a trip like this on "bread and water" did you?
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.

wobbly
Posts: 217
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 3:50 pm

by wobbly

Mr.Gib wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:55 pm


Do I understand you? You were on a trip but not the Cent Col Challenge? Those numbers are similar what my wife and I typically do (100 - 160 km, 3000 meters) each day on our trips. Our good fitness last summer made even our biggest days seem easy hence the interest in something more. Fact remains we rode slowly and savoured every inch because we had the luxury of time - Cent Cols challenge will demand greater urgency if one ever hopes to get off the bike.
Yes, we did an independent tour of the Pyrenees - not with the CCC group. Argeles was a great base and we were able to cover most of the climbs in the area. And like you, we did not have time pressure, so enjoyed extended lunches at Troumouse, Hautacam and at the top of the Aubisque.
Plus we got lucky with the weather end Aug/early Sept.

All the CCC rides look awesome - which one will you go for ?
Good luck :thumbup:

VamP
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 9:01 am

by VamP

I have not seen anyone offering training suggestiojn, and it's not clerar what your time capacity is. Obviously the more saddle time you can spare the better. Ultimately, having as good FTP as you can muster in combination with improving your endurance and reducing your weight is the obviosu goal, but how to get there?

Personally, I would look to ride a lot of sweetspot as I tend to climb long climbs at that power, and do two long z2 rides per week as well. You may be happier doing long climbs in z2/3, in which case maybe shift the emphasis. Don't worry about absence of hills where you are, watts are watts, just don't freewheel.

For a different approach; I was out riding with a top level ultra cyclist last weekend, and his approach is to train polarised - a lot of z2 saddle time, but with about 20% of his riding time all at VO2max - real monster sessions. His weekly portions are high - 20 to 30 hours. He does a lot of fasted rides, and generally eats low carb, except on VO2 max days, with he idea being that in the long term his metabolism gets better at using fat for fuel. But then his events are 4k miles without any meaningful stops.

18 months is a long time and you could turn yourself into an endurance monster with sufficient saddle time, but I think it's important to spend some time analysing your weak areas, so that you can focus on those.

Mr.Gib
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by Mr.Gib

VamP - that good info. The part about 20% of training at the limit (monster sessions) is what I was afraid to hear. I don't think I can avoid some of this if I am going to get the best out of myself. I do get some of that now - there are some fast groups here. I have enough time to train - that will not be the limiting factor. I will be limited by my againing and battered body which is why I think I should favour intensity over pure volume. Still, I know I can handle up to 600 km per week spread over 4 or 5 rides.
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.

Mr.Gib
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Location: eh?

by Mr.Gib

wobbly wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:27 am
Mr.Gib wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:55 pm


Do I understand you? You were on a trip but not the Cent Col Challenge? Those numbers are similar what my wife and I typically do (100 - 160 km, 3000 meters) each day on our trips. Our good fitness last summer made even our biggest days seem easy hence the interest in something more. Fact remains we rode slowly and savoured every inch because we had the luxury of time - Cent Cols challenge will demand greater urgency if one ever hopes to get off the bike.
Yes, we did an independent tour of the Pyrenees - not with the CCC group. Argeles was a great base and we were able to cover most of the climbs in the area. And like you, we did not have time pressure, so enjoyed extended lunches at Troumouse, Hautacam and at the top of the Aubisque.
Plus we got lucky with the weather end Aug/early Sept.

All the CCC rides look awesome - which one will you go for ?
Good luck :thumbup:
Nice, I have stayed in Argeles, ridden the area. Loved it.
The plan is to do CCC summer 2019 (already committed to Provence and French Alps this summer) so we don't know yet what routes are offered. Pyrenees is offered this year so it may not be available next year which is a shame. The lack of traffic in the Pyrenees gives it an edge over all other locations IMO. You can ride for hours and not see a car or bike. The weather there however can destroy you. Dolomites is a likely candidate based on my communications with the organization. Road surface is good, beautiful place, but steeper climbs and insane traffic. I have been on climbs and been passed by a constant stream of superbikes. Hundreds of 'em. Once had 75 Ferrari's go by me while I was on the Giau. It can be quite insane.
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.

wingguy
Posts: 3830
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:43 pm

by wingguy

Mr.Gib wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:40 pm
Dolomites is a likely candidate based on my communications with the organization. Road surface is good, beautiful place, but steeper climbs and insane traffic. I have been on climbs and been passed by a constant stream of superbikes. Hundreds of 'em. Once had 75 Ferrari's go by me while I was on the Giau. It can be quite insane.
Dolomites is funny like that. People and traffic is soooo concentrated on the tourist towns and most famous climbs. Then you go 10km down the road away from the guidebook locations and it's practically deserted, especially if you're there just outside major school-holiday high season.
@Calnago - yes I need a muffin plus much more. I have a screaming fast metabolism and have to eat every hour on the bike. If I get behind it is a challenge to catch up.
When you say "eat" do you mean sports nutrition or real food? If it's a decent sandwich or pastry, or if your day includes a proper lunch stop, then ok once an hour is a decent amount. 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...

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