I am leaving July 11th to do the Idaho Hot Springs route. I have a week to do 500 miles much of which is climbing at high elevations. It is all off road and I will be carrying all of my gear with me. I'm riding my Salsa Fargo with a frame pack and seat bag. Anyways, I am up to riding 50 miles a day broken up as follows:
20 mile loop in the morning to work
10 miles home
20 mile loop after dinner
All of this is with my full kit loaded on my bike.
I have been pretty sore and beat after this but I'm going to keep it up til a week before departure and back off to rest for the trip.
Is this enough training to do 80+ miles a day for a week straight on my off road tour? I can't really fit in much more unless I back off my sleep to 5 hours a night. Trying to juggle a family and work and fit in training is a real challenge! I'm looking for input from others who have trained for something like this...thanks!
To start with, don't back off your sleep. That is not going to help. You don't actually get stronger while training, you get stronger while recovering from training - i.e, sleeping.
You said you've been pretty beaten up after this, but are you taking rest days? Take a day off periodically. Again, make sure you're getting enough recovery time.
But yeah, I think you can do it. If you can survive 50 mi/day plus a full work day, you can probably survive 80 mi/day without going to work in between. When you get to your tour, just keep in mind that you don't have to go fast, and you don't even have to go as fast as you've been going during training necessarily - you have all day. Figure out a good approximate schedule and speed that will let you get the distance done with some room to spare, and don't push harder than you need to early in the week. For example, if you average 8mph while rolling and take a 30-min break every two hours, 80 mi will take you 12 hours. That leaves 4 hours to hang around camp and 8 hours of sleep. You can adjust as necessary, obviously - I have no idea how fast you'll go or what the terrain is really like where you're going. But you get the idea.
I'm not saying your tour will be a walk in the park - I think it'll be a very challenging trip and you'll probably have some low points along the way because that's how it goes. But I think you can make it.
It's not clear, are you doing this 7 days a week? I haven't tried anything this harsh, but, just from first principles, you need at least 2 days/week off the bike completely, and you definitely don't want to cut back on sleep. As the commenter above says, you get stronger when recovering, and it does not sound like you do any recovering.
I think your training is okay. Even if you end up sore on day 1, though, it will get easier throughout the week. By day 3 or 4, you'll be used it. I've seen this happen time and again with large supported tours. All kinds of people do these without adequate preparation. They suffer for a day or two, but their bodies adjust quickly. With your preparation, you should do fine. Enjoy your trip!
Im doing this 5 days a week with weekends off to recover. I should add that I have been commuting to work by bicycle for three years straight now year round at least 15-20 miles a day so im not starting from scratch. I slowly upped the miles over the past few months from 20 a day to 30, 40, and the past few weeks to 50 or more a week day. You are right I shouldn't cut back on sleep I know I really need it. As it is I am sleep deprived having to wake up so early to get my 20 in the morning.
If it's a choice between miles or sleep, do your morning miles maybe once or twice a week and get your sleep the rest of the time. Regular daily bike commuting at a pace you're used to and have been doing for awhile shouldn't interfere with recovering, and I don't think you need to stop doing it for the recovery days. You can make a point of doing it slowly if you feel you need to. I think it's good to be used to getting on the bike every day. But beating yourself up at the expense of sleep is not a good long term plan. It's one thing to do it sometimes, or to do events that involve sleep deprivation, but going without a good night's sleep on a daily basis is not healthy, not good for training, not good for productivity, mood, concentration, memory, etc, etc, etc.
The other thing is, your trip is a month away. There is only so much more ready you're going to get in a month. I'm not saying quit training and sit on the couch, but if you're feeling generally beaten down, now is the time to rest up and recover.
I'm of a bit different mind that the others. No one has asked about what elevations you live and train at in comparison to your high alltitude mountain passes. I live at 5400 ft and ride 5000 miles a year. I have also done some high mouintain tours with a ton of elevation gains at very high elevations. I don't want to be negative and rain on your parade but I would guess if your doing much high elevation training your going to suffer as you get deeper into your event. Riding a few 50's back to back to back on the flats in town is no where near climbing over high moutain passes day after day with all your gear..
If your not getting much altitude training during the week I would cut down on the days you do ride and on the ones you do ride, If you can I would get up in higher elevations. Also as beat up as your already are I would start backing down maybe 10 days out so you can be as rested as can be when you start your event. Your not really going to build any more fitness in a few weeks prior to your event, even if you killed it all the time.
So like the others have said sleep all you can and get rested before your event. And I would add ride less and do it at higher elevations if you can.
So the trip went amazing! Finished in under 6 days. Lots of elevation changes and long days in the saddle but my training paid off! Had some saddle discomfort the first couple of days but that wore off and I ended up feeling fine. Thanks for the input guys! And would highly recommend the Idaho Hot Springs Route!