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  1. #1
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    Training benefit of 8 hour death marches?

    I just bit off more than I could chew in the hills yesterday. It was fun in the beginning, but I soon realized my route had too many miles and vertical feet. Nothing like being 30 miles from your car with a mountain in the way. End result -- I didn't bonk, but I blew an entire day and I'm still pretty wiped out.

    Assuming I recover to a stronger state, is there any training benefit to these 8 hour slogs versus a 2 hour fast group ride or intervals?

  2. #2
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    You can only build endurance by enduring. That's why it's called that. When I started serious riding, I'd ride away from home until I was exhausted, then ride back. It is said that distance equals strength. It is also said that by riding slowly, one learns to ride slowly. The converse is also true. It is also said that whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. That is not always true.

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    According to Hunter Allen (http://www.hunterallenpowerblog.com/...1_archive.html), to get to the Next Level you should do 2-3 long rides/month.
    You have to get in (2) big rides each month and preferably (3) big rides. Rides that are at least 5-6 hours long that force you to dig deep near the end, so that when you reach home, you are tired and your muscles are quivering(not cramping though) from the fatigue. This is the #1 thing you can do and you cannot skip this step if you want to go to the next level, no matter if you are a pro or a recreational cyclist, you have to increase the miles, hours, and overall volume of training stress in order to challenge your cardiovascular and muscular system enough to create positive adaptations for the future.

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    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Do both. Some long - very long - steady rides, some shorter tempo rides, some intervals. You get good at what you practice.

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    Excellent! Glad to find out it wasn't a waste, but now I have to keep it up.

    Gregf83, thanks for the Hunter Allen link -- great articles their, particularly about Carl Grove, the 83 year old who is still getting faster.

  6. #6
    Senior Member IBOHUNT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    Do both. Some long - very long - steady rides, some shorter tempo rides, some intervals. You get good at what you practice.
    And not really a need to practice what you are already good at. Time better spent practicing what you're not so good at.

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    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Training tends to be sport specific...

    So if you're training using 8 hour slogs, you get good at that.

    If you're training for a crit, you get good at that.

    The only question here is what you want to do. If you want both,
    schedule a long ride, a group ride, and some intervals into your week.
    We are as gods, we might as well get good at it.
    Stewart Brand

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    how do you not bonk on an 8 hour ride? how did you get your calories, and how many? I like long rides, they're beneficial for endurance for sure, but i'm trying to figure out how to do 5-8 hours by myself with 2 water bottles and limited space.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UMassAm View Post
    how do you not bonk on an 8 hour ride? how did you get your calories, and how many? I like long rides, they're beneficial for endurance for sure, but i'm trying to figure out how to do 5-8 hours by myself with 2 water bottles and limited space.
    On a long ride much of your energy will come from fat stores. Eat or drink 250 Cals/hr of carbs and you should be fine on a long ride.

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    I stop at stores on long rides to replenish fuel supplies.
    Best thing about cycling is when I'm at work I'm thinking of cycling, when I'm cycling I'm thinking about cycling.

  11. #11
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    So, take the following with a grain of salt, because I personally don't really believe it myself.

    I'm currently in a physiology of exercise class for a bachelors degree in exercise science and my professor recently stated that you're only gaining a training effect for the first 2 hours of exercise. Anything after that is a wasted amount of time. Again, this is what he said and I don't personally believe it myself. He pointed out that Intensity, and Frequency was what mattered, and that the duration, and Mode did not matter as much. Interesting to say the least!

  12. #12
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    Not sure of the training value. but in terms of general fitness its pulled me from the verge of being a large blob to being on the verge of 'athletic' according to all the online sources. I usually ride 100 miles plus every weekend as well as 100-200 miles during the week. Riding 130 miles leaves my body close to exhuastion, but I find that every time I do this I recover faster and have the strength and endurance to finish that 130 miles faster and easier. I personally beileive that you need to train to the point of pain, ignore the pain, get your second wind and get as close to your bonk point as possible at least once a week to really gain anything. Also its fun to see where those limits lie. My longest ride was 137 miles with a 2 large hill climbs in the middle. It took 12 hours and I was in pain for days afterwards.... but it sure was fun.

  13. #13
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADSW View Post
    So, take the following with a grain of salt, because I personally don't really believe it myself.

    I'm currently in a physiology of exercise class for a bachelors degree in exercise science and my professor recently stated that you're only gaining a training effect for the first 2 hours of exercise. Anything after that is a wasted amount of time. Again, this is what he said and I don't personally believe it myself. He pointed out that Intensity, and Frequency was what mattered, and that the duration, and Mode did not matter as much. Interesting to say the least!
    He's following the fashion. In the old days there was too much emphasis on volume and too little on intensity, so with the realisation of the imprtance of HIIT some have concluded that intensity is the only thing that matters. However, volume counts. If he doubts that, suggest to him that he trains two hours per day at any intensity he likes, and then race 200km per day for three weeks as one would in a Grand Tour.

  14. #14
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADSW View Post
    So, take the following with a grain of salt, because I personally don't really believe it myself.

    I'm currently in a physiology of exercise class for a bachelors degree in exercise science and my professor recently stated that you're only gaining a training effect for the first 2 hours of exercise. Anything after that is a wasted amount of time. Again, this is what he said and I don't personally believe it myself. He pointed out that Intensity, and Frequency was what mattered, and that the duration, and Mode did not matter as much. Interesting to say the least!
    Yeah, he's wrong. Doesn't matter much to whom? It is true that one can train for a two hour ride by doing two hour rides and some HIIT. OTOH, who wins the TdF prologues? And those are only about 7 minutes long. Those guys have 20,000 miles/year in their legs. More training definitely makes you faster. Distance = strength. I'd invite your professor to go out on a 400k-600k mountainous brevet. I don't think his training would be sufficient.

  15. #15
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UMassAm View Post
    how do you not bonk on an 8 hour ride? how did you get your calories, and how many? I like long rides, they're beneficial for endurance for sure, but i'm trying to figure out how to do 5-8 hours by myself with 2 water bottles and limited space.
    As others have said to you, you have to eat. Practically speaking, this is what I do: One bottle is plain water. The other bottle contains a 7:1 mixture of plain maltodextrin and flavored whey protein. Soy protein works better for some people, but not most. I use 2 cups of that mix in the water bottle. That's about 750 calories or 3 hours. In my bag, I carry one or more Ziplocks with 2 c. of the mix in each. I stop about every 2-3 hours to pee and top off or refill the bottles. Every 100 miles or so, I'll usually eat some mini-mart thing, like a fruit pie or sandwich. As the rides get longer, say over 200k, intensity decreases. Then I can depend more on what I can find to eat, and less on my malto mix, though it's still my staple. Riding for time, I've never ridden far enough so that intensity was reduced to where it didn't matter what I ate. My guess is that never happens. Touring is of course another story.

    Many people do well on Ensure, buying another few bottles every time they come to a major grocery store. That's liquid, so it's more weight and volume. OTOH you don't have to spend as much time mixing it. OTOH you have to spend time buying it. I think it's better to put a couple bottles of Ensure in the food bottle and fill with water, rather than downing a whole bottle all at once.

    You should consider Zefal liter water bottles.
    http://www.amazon.com/Zefal-Water-Bo...dp/B0044Q9NOU/

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