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  1. #1
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    Critique my double century training plans.

    My plan is to ride my first double century on September 9.

    My training has consisted of 3 rides per week. I ride twice a week to work and back for a total of 100 miles. Every Saturday I do a longer ride. This Saturday, I am riding 80 miles. Last Saturday, I rode 70 miles with ease.

    My plan to is to slowly increase Saturday's long ride to about 150 miles for a week or two before the event. In the next two weeks, I am going to commute one more day a week to get an additional 50 miles.

    My goal for the ride is to survive, finish within the allotted time of 14 hours.

    Does this plan sound reasonable?

  2. #2
    Castiron Perineum Bockman's Avatar
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    may I ask, what is your average speed?
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    Last Saturday, I averaged ~17 mph. On my commutes, I average ~16.5.

    For my first metric century, a month ago, I averaged 18.2.

  4. #4
    Senior Member The Octopus's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like you have good base miles and you have some good speed. I wouldn't do much riding beyond 100 miles, though, to train for a double. Do one ride of 120, otherwise ride centuries. Consider back-to-back centuries to give you some sense of what it feels like to ride when you're not feeling your best. In my experience, though, riding beyond about 200K just takes too much out of me. The biggest mistake I made in training for the 1200K I did last year was doing a hilly ride of 155 miles. It wiped me out for several days. Just getting the miles in and being very, very comfortable riding a century ought to be good enough for a successful double.

    For some more info, check out this: http://www.ultracycling.com/training...centuries.html.

    You'll find that you get a lot of different advice in training for long-distance rides. That's a good thing. Learn what works best for you through experiece. Listen to your body and don't be afraid to adjust and adapt the wisdom you collect from others.

    Good luck!

  5. #5
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    The three keys to riding a double century are to keep eating, keep your exertion level down to conserve glycogen, and keep eating.

  6. #6
    Senior Member adxm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Octopus
    Sounds to me like you have good base miles and you have some good speed. I wouldn't do much riding beyond 100 miles, though, to train for a double. Do one ride of 120, otherwise ride centuries. Consider back-to-back centuries to give you some sense of what it feels like to ride when you're not feeling your best. In my experience, though, riding beyond about 200K just takes too much out of me. The biggest mistake I made in training for the 1200K I did last year was doing a hilly ride of 155 miles. It wiped me out for several days. Just getting the miles in and being very, very comfortable riding a century ought to be good enough for a successful double.
    Good luck!
    I've found that I can perform well in doubles while basically never doing traning rides much more than 100 miles, but have always wondered whether I would benefit from longer training rides. My problems usually begin at crux climbs at about 130 or so miles in. It may be an issue of riding at just about threshold for 6+ hours, but it's frustrating. You really do 1200k's with not much prep over a 200K?

    In response to the OP - don't do 150 so close to the event, if you feel you must. Ride on the same type of terrain as the course will be. And make sure your bike fits. You're ramping up from your first metric to a double quickly. You're just about asking for an overuse injury.

  7. #7
    so whatcha' want? bigskymacadam's Avatar
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    Will you be able to ride with a group at the double? It'll make the whole thing a lot easier on yourself considering the pace you want to maintain. Since the ride isnt' 'til September, consider one day a week for core strength training with a rest day after (3x30 crunches, 3x20 superman's, 3x20 leg lifts, etc). Do this 'til the first or second week of August. You'll be hunched over in the saddle a very long time and your core will need to support your body for that time.

    Start your taper two weeks before the event (80-100 miles). A week before the event do a fair paced metric with maintenance miles thrown in on TU and TH Zone 1 Easy. Good luck.

  8. #8
    Senior Member The Octopus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adxm
    I've found that I can perform well in doubles while basically never doing traning rides much more than 100 miles, but have always wondered whether I would benefit from longer training rides. My problems usually begin at crux climbs at about 130 or so miles in. It may be an issue of riding at just about threshold for 6+ hours, but it's frustrating. You really do 1200k's with not much prep over a 200K?
    The only long rides I do that are more than 100 miles (ok, 110 -- sometimes a "century" runs a tad long!) are brevets, ultra races, or other rides (like RAIN) that are "the event" that's being trained for. The shorter "events" -- like the 200K and 300K -- turn out to be training for the longer events, but they're still "events" themselves. Maybe this is a distinction without a difference, but in my own little, confused world, I think of the cycling calendar as divided between "what are the big rides I want to do this year?" and "what riding am I going to do to get in the shape I want to be to do (i.e., finish, break a PR, win -- whatever the goal is) those big rides? If the ride is longer than a century, then for me it always falls into the first category (as well as the second, if it's not the longest ride on the schedule).

  9. #9
    Dagger Boy Extort's Avatar
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    14 hour time limit for the double? That is pretty restrictive. I know that I completed my first double this year (Solvang Spring) in 11.5 hours of riding, but the 3 flats and breaks for food made the day last a full 15 hours.

    As for training, I am with The Octopus in that I only do centuries to prepare for my longer events. However, my longest events are only doubles...
    Women think they're so clever because they can fake an orgasm for the sake of a relationship, but men can fake a whole relationship for the sake of an orgasm.

  10. #10
    Gitchur SUV Away From Me
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob
    My plan is to ride my first double century on September 9. My plan to is to slowly increase Saturday's long ride to about 150 miles for a week or two before the event. In the next two weeks, I am going to commute one more day a week to get an additional 50 miles. My goal for the ride is to survive, finish within the allotted time of 14 hours. Does this plan sound reasonable?
    I know not everyone will agree with me, but I think it's possible to eliminate 150 mile rides from your training. I'm a believer that fewer miles of higher quality can be substituted for super long rides. A structured workout that includes interval training and hill work will make you fitter and stronger with fewer hours in the saddle than an unstructured 8-hour 150-mile ramble.

    One technique i use is to pick a series of hills that are 30 or 40 miles away. Ride there, climb those hills at near max effort, ride back. During the work week, on the commute, I'll do intervals, such as simple 1x1's. That's one minute in a hard gear so your heart rate gets near max and with huffing and puffing, followed by 1 minute of easy slow cruise. 4 or 5 of those in a set will have you asking for mercy. After 4 weeks of this you'll notice a higher level of fitness.

  11. #11
    Zinophile tibikefor2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob
    My plan is to ride my first double century on September 9.

    My training has consisted of 3 rides per week. I ride twice a week to work and back for a total of 100 miles. Every Saturday I do a longer ride. This Saturday, I am riding 80 miles. Last Saturday, I rode 70 miles with ease.

    My plan to is to slowly increase Saturday's long ride to about 150 miles for a week or two before the event. In the next two weeks, I am going to commute one more day a week to get an additional 50 miles.

    My goal for the ride is to survive, finish within the allotted time of 14 hours.

    Does this plan sound reasonable?
    BillyBob:

    Some people might disagree with me but I would continue to ride centuries, but throw in some interval work. I like to do 2 mile intervals at about 90% effort. Combining these on long rides will build your endurance and should raise your cruising speed. I would start off with 5 x 2 mile intervals on your century rides and see how your body handles the extra stress.

    On long climbs I ride the 1st half at an easy tempo and then start to accelerate to the top. This should increase your power.
    Tibikefor2

  12. #12
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Have ridden half dozen doubles; up your mileage to about 200 miles a week, get in a few hard centuries and at least one double metric. Your butt will let you know if you can stand the saddle that long.
    Taper off the week before the event. For event, pack some of your favorite munchies in your jersey pockets as the food available on these rides may not be what you can usually tolerate.
    One bottle of 'double strength' tea (freeze it the night before event) for caffeine content will also help; it will give you a change of taste of what you are usually drinking and give you a slight boost. Sip it in between your other beverage of choice (mine was plain water). Some folks use de-fizzed Coke or Pepsi instead of tea.
    Take short breaks at the food stops, do not dawdle. Maximize time on the bike. Eat something every half hour and hydrate/hydrate. If you can't pee at the food stop, you are not drinking sufficiently.
    Dextrose tablets can also keep you energy level even, as can sour candies or whatever your body can tolerate/crave. Fruit like apples, grapes, have natural sugar; stay away from acidic stuff like o'jay.
    Ride a steady pace; if you find a group riding your speed, hop on their wheel. If they're a bit too fast for you, drop off . . .
    Break the ride down, mentally, into eight 25-mile sections; it's sort of self-defeating to think: gosh got 125more to go! Think: hey, got in three 25 milers already, only 5 more to go!
    Do some of your long rides solo . . . it toughens up your mind/body/resolve. It'll feel much better/easier when you do the group double!
    My goal was to do a double (this is in AZ) in 12 hours even. Finally achieved it when I was in my late 50s (am now 'only' 74).
    Practice with what food/drink you carry on the longer training rides and whatever works for you, do the same on your double.
    Do not buy new componentry/saddles just before the event. Ride with what has been working for you so far.
    Proper training and mental outlook will let you achieve your goal!
    Go for it!
    Rudy/zonatandem

  13. #13
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    Thanks for all of the advice.

    I decided that I may be overreaching by trying to do a double in September. The heat has been oppressive and it really isn't a good time to add a lot of base miles. Last Saturday, I had to cut short an 80 mile ride because heat in the high 90s.

    I think I may try to ride a relatively quick century on that day rather than torture myself. Then in the Spring, I will try riding one of the regional Brevet series. I figuire I am in this for the long haul so there is no reason to injure myself like I did when marathon training.

  14. #14
    Senior Member adxm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob
    Thanks for all of the advice.

    I decided that I may be overreaching by trying to do a double in September. The heat has been oppressive and it really isn't a good time to add a lot of base miles. Last Saturday, I had to cut short an 80 mile ride because heat in the high 90s.

    I think I may try to ride a relatively quick century on that day rather than torture myself. Then in the Spring, I will try riding one of the regional Brevet series. I figuire I am in this for the long haul so there is no reason to injure myself like I did when marathon training.
    Probably a wise decision. But keep riding as much as you can, without making too big a jump in miles, and reassess closer to the event.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    I guess it would help if you go ahead and tell the forums just what kind of double-century you intend to complete. There's quite a difference between going out with a big group with supported rest stops and just going out and riding 200 miles by yourself.

    No one seems to know how to predict performance for 200 miles. But I would agree that simply using the "hard/easy day" method of training and riding whatever mileage you can will get you where you want to go.

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