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What should I do, preparing for a fleche in three weeks?

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What should I do, preparing for a fleche in three weeks?

Old 03-21-16, 09:17 AM
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What should I do, preparing for a fleche in three weeks?

I'm part of a team riding a fleche with the Eastern PA Randonneurs, April 9-10. This ride will be more miles than I've ever done in a 24 hour period, and my first all-night brevet. We have a flat route planned out, and I'm not too worried; but still, I'd welcome the advice of those who know more about training than I.

I rode their Lackwanna 200k a couple days ago, which was hilly, and a comparatively flat century the weekend before.

So, between now and the fleche I have two weekends and another fourteen days of commuting 13 miles round trip each day. I can also leave work an hour or two early and do a 20-30 mile ride a few times between now and the fleche.

Anyone have suggestions for me? How much should I ride the next two weekends?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-21-16, 11:58 AM
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Fleche Training

Originally Posted by rhm View Post
I'm part of a team riding a fleche with the Eastern PA Randonneurs, April 9-10. This ride will be more miles than I've ever done in a 24 hour period, and my first all-night brevet. We have a flat route planned out, and I'm not too worried; but still, I'd welcome the advice of those who know more about training than I.

I rode their Lackwanna 200k a couple days ago, which was hilly, and a comparatively flat century the weekend before.

So, between now and the fleche I have two weekends and another fourteen days of commuting 13 miles round trip each day. I can also leave work an hour or two early and do a 20-30 mile ride a few times between now and the fleche.

Anyone have suggestions for me? How much should I ride the next two weekends?

Thanks in advance!
I too am riding the PA fleche. Did it last year with the Sins of the Fleche team which I am captaining this year. You should be fine with your current fitness unless the team you are riding on has picked a really hilly route. Our route had about 7,500 ft of climbing last year with a good 1,500 ft of that from the 22 hour controle at Muellers Too Diner. I would try to do some evenly paced rolling rides of 30 miles and at least one if not two more long rides of at least 6 hours. Doing some hilly rides of 25-30 miles would not hurt. You only have to average slightly over 9.3 miles per hour overall time. You might try a ride starting Saturday evening around 8 or 9 and riding into early Sunday morning, taking a break at controles/24 hour stores to simulate night riding and getting your lights and clothing selections down and coming up with an eating/drinking strategy for staying awake/alert . Also figuring out how you are going to carry extra clothes that you will need when the sun goes down. Last year it was 65 degrees on Saturday afternoon when we were near the shore but went down to 26 when we were in Easton at 3:00 in the morning. I had to loan an extra wool jersey to a fellow team member who was in danger of going hypothermic.
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Old 03-21-16, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
I'm part of a team riding a fleche with the Eastern PA Randonneurs, April 9-10. This ride will be more miles than I've ever done in a 24 hour period, and my first all-night brevet. We have a flat route planned out, and I'm not too worried; but still, I'd welcome the advice of those who know more about training than I.

I rode their Lackwanna 200k a couple days ago, which was hilly, and a comparatively flat century the weekend before.

So, between now and the fleche I have two weekends and another fourteen days of commuting 13 miles round trip each day. I can also leave work an hour or two early and do a 20-30 mile ride a few times between now and the fleche.

Anyone have suggestions for me? How much should I ride the next two weekends?

Thanks in advance!
The DCR fleche is in two weeks so I am pretty-much in the same boat as you. Planning to ride a hilly populaire this coming weekend as hard as I can. Just finished an easy/moderate 200 last Saturday. Will try to do some interval training on my commute tomorrow, Thursday, and maybe next Tuesday. Will ride very easy the two days before the fleche so as to hopefully start with fresh legs.

Meanwhile, I have now entirely cut out coffee so as to de-addict myself to caffeine. The idea is that by de-addicting myself, if I do need a pick-me-up during the fleche then a cup of coffee at midnight, or a caffeine pill will actually be effective at keeping me awake. It seems to take about three weeks to really de-addict myself, so if your fleche is three weeks away then there is still time. I phase down to half caff at first to help avoid getting withdrawal headaches.

Nick
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Old 03-21-16, 04:15 PM
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I wish I had some good advice for you. I am in the same boat, and I have spend most of the last month thinking how I will word my 'extraction email' to Unterhausen (el capitan of the NYGTF team).

If I don't wimp out, I'll see you guys at brunch!
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Old 03-21-16, 04:20 PM
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the fleche is the most unpleasant ride of the year for me, just not an all-night cold weather person. Last year I started drinking coffee at midnight. No hope of de-addicting myself beforehand -- that ship has sailed. Other than the fact that it just about rotted my stomach, that actually isn't a bad way to get calories and body warmth. Definitely best not to drink any cold liquids. I have never really had any trouble riding all night, hopefully that pattern keeps up.

This coming weekend, I am going to try riding a really horrible populaire that I designed but haven't gotten approved yet. Working title is "DNF"

Hey Steamer, are you available for that?
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Old 03-21-16, 04:24 PM
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Yo Unter. We really can't be dilly dallying with 100K's now, can we? I think a 200K will either buoy my optimism, or will sink it. Either way, I'll have my answer.
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Old 03-21-16, 04:31 PM
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I wanted to do some climbing, and I think SI would make me cry. Don't want to do "you could have had Fox Gap" either. Or maybe we should do one of those. SI is reversible, right?
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Old 03-21-16, 08:13 PM
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Go ride your normal riding and don't worry about it. A fleche is a lot of miles, but it's a lot of time, too, so not that hard to make it through. Make sure you've got enough layers with you to stay warm all night, maybe take some No-Doz along in case you need it. Check out the rules in detail one more time.
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Old 03-22-16, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
Go ride your normal riding and don't worry about it. A fleche is a lot of miles, but it's a lot of time, too.... Check out the rules in detail one more time.
Yeah, the rules. The one that bothers me the most is that no single rest may be over two hours. Seems to me there would be time for a slightly longer nap, were it permissible.
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Old 03-22-16, 08:44 AM
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You will not gain any fitness in the next two weeks. Do not over train, training time is over for your fleche. Commuting and maintaining your endurance as your have planned sounds great to me. Be careful pushing too hard into the wind and up hills for extended periods of time before you ride. Go out and spin at 50% your hardest effort and throw in quite a few sprints and 20 pedal efforts. Sleep sleep sleep
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Old 03-22-16, 10:09 AM
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training is never over. Just make sure you have enough recovery time. Three days of no hard efforts is enough for me
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Old 03-22-16, 12:51 PM
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My plan was to do intervals once or twice during the week, and a 50-mi ride or so on the weekends. I only had 94 miles in my legs for 2016 before the Lackawanna brevet (all in the week prior), and rode totally fine considering. Just need to get my fitness up *a bit more* and I think I will be fine.

See you all at Mueller's?
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Old 03-22-16, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by thrllskr View Post
You will not gain any fitness in the next two weeks. Do not over train, training time is over for your fleche. ...
Can't possibly be true. If it were, we could backwards-extrapolate. If it is true that you can't gain fitness by training for the next two weeks, then it has to be true that you couldn't have gained fitness by training for the prior two weeks. Nor the two weeks before that, etc. In fact, if you are correct, then training will never gain you fitness.

What is true, is that you're not going to be able to make up in the next two weeks for lack of training in the prior N weeks/months. If consistent training builds, e.g. a watt per week, then between now and the fleche you can gain a couple of watts. Nothing you do will make it so you can suddenly gain ten watts. But not doing anything more than recovery-effort riding will mean you don't gain the two watts. All keeping in mind that you don't gain any power if you're not allowing sufficient recovery time between muscle-building efforts, plus unterhausen's admonition to avoid hard efforts in the few days before the event.

Nick
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Old 03-22-16, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by thebulls View Post
Can't possibly be true. If it were, we could backwards-extrapolate. If it is true that you can't gain fitness by training for the next two weeks, then it has to be true that you couldn't have gained fitness by training for the prior two weeks. Nor the two weeks before that, etc. In fact, if you are correct, then training will never gain you fitness.

What is true, is that you're not going to be able to make up in the next two weeks for lack of training in the prior N weeks/months. If consistent training builds, e.g. a watt per week, then between now and the fleche you can gain a couple of watts. Nothing you do will make it so you can suddenly gain ten watts. But not doing anything more than recovery-effort riding will mean you don't gain the two watts. All keeping in mind that you don't gain any power if you're not allowing sufficient recovery time between muscle-building efforts, plus unterhausen's admonition to avoid hard efforts in the few days before the event.

Nick
Why would I possible think I could comment on here without a TROLL lurking.
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Old 03-22-16, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by thrllskr View Post
Why would I possible think I could comment on here without a TROLL lurking.
Hmm, let's see: Nick Bull, RUSA #2931 , RUSA km 57982 + PBP twice.

Your extensive rando experience, Mr Anonymous who first posted about doing a 200 at the end of 2014?
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Old 03-22-16, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by thebulls View Post
Hmm, let's see: Nick Bull, RUSA #2931 , RUSA km 57982 + PBP twice.

Your extensive rando experience, Mr Anonymous who first posted about doing a 200 at the end of 2014?
Sorry he ruined you thread.
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Old 03-22-16, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by thrllskr View Post
Sorry he ruined you thread.
You posted stupid stuff saying that continued training for the next two weeks has no effect: "You will not gain any fitness in the next two weeks. "

I posted accurate stuff that points out that continued training for the next two weeks will indeed likely have a positive effect. unterhausen basically said the same thing in a different way.

How is it "ruining a thread" or "trolling" to correct a stupid statement?
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Old 03-22-16, 07:41 PM
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I plan on doing training with hard efforts up to about 3 days before the Fleche. You see, I am not overtrained. My problem is the totally opposite, and I have nothing resembling accumulated fatigue. So therefore it doesn't take much time for me to recover fully from even a very hard ride given my nice reservoir of 'rest and relaxation' I currently have built up. Two days is adequate. Three gives me some margin of safety.
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Old 03-22-16, 08:22 PM
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Disagreement is not trolling.

It really depends on your goals and how long it takes you to recover. It's not like any of us are recommending a 1200k, where recovery may take two weeks to a month. Also, it depends on your state of training. I doubt anyone in New Jersey/Pennsylvania is over-trained right now. This time of year, I almost always feel faster a couple of days after a 200k

the fleche is on April 9, 300k is the 3rd weekend after that, 400k is the 5th weekend and 600k is the 8th weekend. For me, I may not be in top form until the 600k. Since the fleche is mostly an effort in staying awake, I'm not going to let it interrupt my training. The rule of thumb that I have heard is that taking 2 weeks off from training doesn't affect your fitness, this doesn't mean it's a good idea. A week's rest is overkill for almost anyone. I'm not sure how much fitness I hope to gain in these remaining weeks, but I certainly am not going to take time off.
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Old 03-22-16, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
Disagreement is not trolling.

It really depends on your goals and how long it takes you to recover. It's not like any of us are recommending a 1200k, where recovery may take two weeks to a month. Also, it depends on your state of training. I doubt anyone in New Jersey/Pennsylvania is over-trained right now. This time of year, I almost always feel faster a couple of days after a 200k

the fleche is on April 9, 300k is the 3rd weekend after that, 400k is the 5th weekend and 600k is the 8th weekend. For me, I may not be in top form until the 600k. Since the fleche is mostly an effort in staying awake, I'm not going to let it interrupt my training. The rule of thumb that I have heard is that taking 2 weeks off from training doesn't affect your fitness, this doesn't mean it's a good idea. A week's rest is overkill for almost anyone. I'm not sure how much fitness I hope to gain in these remaining weeks, but I certainly am not going to take time off.
John Hughes posted some excellent PBP training timelines on the Google:Randon list last year.
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/randon/john$20hughes$20pbp$20training/randon/0JUtbq_BMmY/iFZqMpPtNrAJ

He has a two or three week "taper" before riding something like PBP, but it's not at all "2 weeks off from training." Here's what he says about the taper:

"Taper
“If I don’t ride before the event I’ll lose my fitness, ” clients often tell me. “You’re going to ride hard, just not a lot,” I respond. You build your endurance over months of training and won’t lose it during just a few weeks. Power is more ephemeral so the taper includes hard riding each week, although the volume decreases.

The three-week taper includes two weeks plus the event week; the two-week taper includes one week plus the event week. During the taper reduce the duration of each of your rides from the last peaking week so that in the seven days before your event you do a long ride of up to 100 km, a short brisk ride and a couple of recovery rides."

That's still a lot of training rides in in the taper!

At this stage of the season I'm so far from peak fitness it is pathetic. But I hope to get there (again) by mid-summer and maybe ride an SR600.

Nick
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Old 04-17-16, 08:31 AM
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Well... to finish the thread...

Thanks for all the advice, guys!
The ride was postponed a week, effectively changing it from the nastiest last day of winter weather to the loveliest spring day you could ask for.
Our team, unfortunately reduced to four, left Perkasie PA at 11AM Friday. We did a gentle loop that included a lot of varied scenery: Delaware River, farmland, the Pine Barrens, the Jersey Shore, &c.
Almost no wind. Just beautiful!
My conditioning was adequate. Now, 24 hours after the finish, I feel fine. Face a little puffy, limbs a little heavy, a good feeling all round. Just before getting into the shower after I got home, I weighed 4 oz less than I had before the ride. Dehydration was not a problem.
Oh, and the ride was a lot of fun, too.
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Old 04-17-16, 11:08 AM
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nice, congrats on the finish. We finished this morning at 8, and I just made it back home. The drive home was the worst part
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Old 04-17-16, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Well... to finish the thread...

Thanks for all the advice, guys!
The ride was postponed a week, effectively changing it from the nastiest last day of winter weather to the loveliest spring day you could ask for.
Our team, unfortunately reduced to four, left Perkasie PA at 11AM Friday. We did a gentle loop that included a lot of varied scenery: Delaware River, farmland, the Pine Barrens, the Jersey Shore, &c.
Almost no wind. Just beautiful!
My conditioning was adequate. Now, 24 hours after the finish, I feel fine. Face a little puffy, limbs a little heavy, a good feeling all round. Just before getting into the shower after I got home, I weighed 4 oz less than I had before the ride. Dehydration was not a problem.
Oh, and the ride was a lot of fun, too.
Good job! This weekend's riding weather sure beat last weekend's!
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Old 04-17-16, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
nice, congrats on the finish. We finished this morning at 8, and I just made it back home. The drive home was the worst part
Thanks, congrats to you too!

I am not a car guy, but rented a car for this occasion. My drive home was only an hour, but I hated it. And I forgot my bike's front wheel at the parking lot! lucky for me my team captain grabbed it and I'll get it back eventually. Apparently riding a flèche has a negative effect on cognitive function, who'd have known!
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Old 04-18-16, 02:24 PM
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yes, I'm an industrial accident waiting to happen today, so only desk work.

This thread really helped me prepare. I'm still far too overweight, and not quite up to a lot of climbing. Which is bad, because my fleche route has a lot of climbing. I'm going to be doing more 100k's this year. I have 3 100k perm routes approved, I'll have to think of some more.
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