"Cycle - The 400 km cycle is held around a 2.2 km loop on the circuit road at EPIC, off Flemington Rd in Mitchell. All bikes must be fitted with a strong headlamp and rear reflector, and competitors must wear reflective strips on the front and rear of their helmets, cycling top and shoes."
Originally Posted by mathmo
I'm a Randonneur, so I've done some very long distance rides ... and I've done one 24-hour Time Trial which involved riding laps of varying lengths ... but I've never done a ride of that length which involved such incredibly short laps!! I even found the 11 km laps during the night on that 24-hour TT to be mentally difficult.
You might train for this by getting on your trainer, pointing it at a wall, and cycling for a couple hours once a week. That might help increase your tolerance level for boredom.
Where in Australia are you? I was there for three months last year.
You might consider hooking up with Audax Australia, and doing some of their events. You would get some distance training, and also be able to talk with other long distance cyclists. Their new calendar is up, so you can check to see if there are any events in your area:
As for training, a pattern something like the following would help you build up some speed, strength, and endurance ... obviously it can be adjusted to fit your schedule:
Monday - short, light ride
Tuesday - intervals
Wednesday - medium distance, but intense ride
Thursday - off
Friday - medium distance, light ride
Saturday - long ride
Sunday - long ride
Keep the short distance rides, short (i.e. 15 kms) ... and increase your medium distances to a nice comfortable medium distance (i.e. 30-50 kms), and then stay at that level. But with the long rides on the weekends, keep increasing your distance over three weeks, then back off for a week, then increase again for three weeks, and so on.
While you are busy increasing your distances, don't forget to experiment with eating and drinking. You should be consuming 250-300 calories per hour while you are on your bicycle. Those calories can come from solid food or liquid. You might opt to eat energy bars, or you might prefer real food, or you might discover that substances like Sustained Energy and Ensure are the way to go.
You should also drink one 750 ml bottleof water and/or energy drinks every 1 to 1.5 hours while you ride. That will keep you hydrated without overdoing it.
And if you are riding when it is hot over the next few months (although I found Australia quite cool till December), you might want to look into electrolyte pills. You don't want to suffer from an electrolyte imbalance out there.
Also, have a look over this site: http://www.ultracycling.com/
It has some good articles on training, equipment, and nutrition for long distance rides.