Back to back double centuries

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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by YoKaiser

A new sportive/event has appeared on the UK calender, cycling from London to Edinburgh. There are a few options but the one that interests me is the two day ride which involves 200miles per day. At the moment its speculative whether I'll do it but I was wondering about training. What would you all suggest? I'm used to century rides and have a scattered participation in Ironman for the last 6 years. I was thinking of a miles and miles and miles of LSD but I'm sure there must be a way to train smarter. So with just under 9 months to go (albeit over winter) How would you tackle something like this?

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by CerveloBert

I'd go with that miles, miles, and more miles of LSD you were talking about.

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by prendrefeu

YoKaiser wrote:How would you tackle something like this?

I've done it a few times, but then again I do 180mi for training rides and doubles are my favourite events.

I suggest doing one double and seeing how you fare. Then, when you're going to do back-to-back, make sure your recovery between the two is phenomenal.
Your second day will be mostly LSD style riding. The first day, not so much, depending on how good you are at ultra events. :wink:
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by YoKaiser

Cheers guys, I guess I was after some magic bullet or something. Family life curtails big training days to an extent, I'll need to work out of what I do get is enough. I could probably manage 2 or 3 full days out a month with the rest of my training being cumulative mileage.

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by oysters

There used to be a rule of thumb that cycle tourists used, that said that your weekly commuting km was about what you could reasonably do per day on tour every day at the start of the tour. That excluded any additional training, just based on the to/from work ride, 5 days a week. I've found this to be pretty true myself, and over time on a big tour it improves again, and if you are putting in extra effort in the gym/on weekends/cross training you can definitely get a lot more out of yourself. I don't see why it would be too different on big rando's. So if you can squeeze out a 30km ride each way on your commute during the week (get up a bit earlier), you are probably definitely getting in the req' kms without having to devote big days on the weekends. (30x2x5=300km/day~200miles). Of course chucking in the odd big day is a good idea. Maybe set aside a few weeks out a weekend where you do a double on Saturday and Sunday. Will give you a lot of piece of mind that you can do it and will help sort out any technique/gear teething issues that will only come up by doing such rides. Book the weekend in with the family well in advance.

Good luck, I've had my eye on LEL2013 for a while, but family commitments (bub on the way just before then) and distance and $$$ (I'm in Australia) will make it too hard. I'm sure you can do it!

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by mrfish

The rule is about right - it does depend though how hard you ride and how much pain and suffering you want to go through. So on 40-50 miles per week I can do 150-200 miles in a week of holiday. On 180 miles per week I did 1000 on an end to end fast ride reasonably comfortably. Now if you were to ride slowly, touring style at 10mph I think much more would be easily possible, since people who have never cycled before can complete a 400 mile tour.

I would focus your training on building your sustainable power. This will enable you to ride longer at the current speed as it will place lower demands on your body. So on the weekend I would focus on 2-3 hours at steady sub-threshold pace, say 75% of MHR to build the aerobic engine, plus a 2x20 threshold session. As you get stronger you should be aim to be able to maintain 20mph+ on the flat for the 2-3 hour ride. Once you can do this, riding all day at 15-18mph in a group is dead easy. On other commuting days I'd just focus on riding as slowly as possible, so no traffic light grand prix, hill sprints etc.

Then I'd start adding a longer ride every 2 weeks, say starting at 100 miles then 125 etc. so you ride 200 twice before the event. No speed goal - ideally ride at a speed so that you finish fresh with good nutrition. Probably the 200 miles is not really necessary - doing it is more psychological than pysical, so if you're tired from a big week at work, then only do half of it, then pick up from the previous week's level the following week.

Then your mileage budget will look something like this, assuming it's flattish where you live:
Aerobic power ride 3h = 60 miles
2x20 = 25 miles
Commute = e.g. 20 miles
Total weeks with no long ride = 100 miles

Long ride = 100-200 miles
Total for weeks with long ride: 200-300 miles

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