Creating a Training Program for a Multi-Day Event -- Request for Advice
Hello Everyone -
I want to apologize in advance for a newbie question.
I've recently signed up to go on a bike trip in May 2006 of 9 days. We'll ride every day in varying distances with varying amounts of climbing. There are two days of 100+ miles and several other days of 70+ miles. These are not races, but merely touring. That said, I enjoy riding fast. I want to create a training program that allows me to do all the miles comfortably, enjoy myself and have energy to get back in the saddle the next day.
I've been road riding for several years, and have done several long 1-day events, including centuries or metric centuries. I've been able to find plenty of resources on the web that help create a training plan for a 1-day event, but none for the type of thing I'm planning.
I'm reasonably fit overall, so I'm not starting from zero. I just want to have an idea how I ought to be structuring the saddle time I have between now and the trip.
Does anyone have recommendations of (a) web resources for creating this sort of plan; (b) books; or (c) advice? I'd really appreciate anything you could provide.
Being a cyclist that has completed a transcontinental ride, I can lend a little advice.
If you are trained to the point that you can ride a century (at virtually any kind of pace) then you really don't have far to go before you can do it on a daily basis. I was really worried when I took off for Portland, OR having never ridden more than a century at one time ever in my life. Could I complete the distances at any pace? What if I practically got to the point that I couldn't go any more period? What should I eat? What should I drink? etc. etc. etc.
It really wasn't as difficult as I had imagined. When you get up in the morning and know that all you have to do for that day is to ride 100 miles and make it to the next rest stop, it just sort of becomes your "job" for that day. Hopefully with a lot of interesting sights along the way.
Just get to the point where you can ride 80-90 miles comfortably and get in about 1500-2000 miles for the year before the big event (either on the road or on the trainer). When you have all day to complete the distance, with lots of rest stops along the way, the time goes by fast and before you know it you are at the rest stop for the evening. Grab a shower and go to dinner and feel comfortable that you can eat anything you want. (Be sure to watch the alcohol consumption however) Get plenty of rest and you will be ready to go at it again the next morning.
There is a big difference between touring and racing.
There is a good book out there: The Complete Book of Long Distance Cycling by Edmund Burke and Ed Pavelka that provides a lot of info on trainining strategies, health, and equipment for long distance riding. If your local bookstore doesn't have it, Amazon.com does.
One other tip: Don't concentrate on the odometer, watch the sights as they go by. Remember the old saying - A watched pot never boils.