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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

Training regiments

Old 04-03-11, 02:30 PM
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Training regiments

I'm trying to get a better grasp of what different "exercises" randonneuring and endurance cyclists would recommend, based on my current time constraints.

Right now, my longest window of time allows me to do 1 century every other week, or I can skip club rides on Sundays and do them every week. Currently, my workouts look like this:

Saturday: 100/off
Sunday - off/50 with Group "A" Club ride
Monday - 20 (1:00:00)
Tuesday - 40 (2:15:00)
Wednesday - 20 (1:20:00)
Thursday - 40 (2:25:00)
Friday - 55 (3:30:00-3:45:00)

I'm tempted to turn the Monday, Wednesday rides into interval-style training. The question is, does that benefit me with a goal of working toward long distance events (24-hour, Tejas 500) in the future? I have the base mileage down, now I'm just really trying to figure out how to fine-tune the motor.

Problem I am finding is a limited amount of time. Outside of the Friday evening ride, I have only Saturday-Sunday mornings where I can ride from 4 a.m. - noon. Then I have work from 1-10 p.m.

Is anybody else working around a university/work schedule that limits quality long mileage into the 200 mile and beyond range?
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Old 04-03-11, 05:09 PM
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IMO, intervals are critical, and can make up for a fair amount of volume. An hour long interval ride is worth quite a few hours at endurance pace. Riding lots of slow steady distance trains you to ride slow for a long time. If you want to make your long distance cruising speed higher, you have to do speedwork.

I've heard the sentiment that riding for longer than 3 or 4 hours has no fitness benefit. (It has other benefits, but not ones that directly relate to fitness).
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Old 04-03-11, 10:34 PM
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It really depends on what your goals are. Training for randonneuring can be very different than training for ultra distance racing. You're probably already riding way more than necessary to be a successful randonneur. And even if you're training for ultra-distance racing, the first thing that jumps out at me from your schedule is that you're not giving yourself enough rest days. You get stronger when you're resting, not when you're riding. Counter intuitive, I know.
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Old 04-04-11, 04:54 AM
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From the OP, the stated goal was ultra races: "(24-hour, Tejas 500)"
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Old 04-04-11, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by lonesomesteve
It really depends on what your goals are. Training for randonneuring can be very different than training for ultra distance racing. You're probably already riding way more than necessary to be a successful randonneur. And even if you're training for ultra-distance racing, the first thing that jumps out at me from your schedule is that you're not giving yourself enough rest days. You get stronger when you're resting, not when you're riding. Counter intuitive, I know.
Goal is to get involved in ultra races: 24-hour, Tejas 500. These are specific to Texas. I picked them because of their location, distance involved and the fact that the Tejas 500 is a qualifier for RAAM. While I don't foresee myself doing RAAM yet, it would be something I would like to work toward in the next 4-5 years. Really, the finances are the biggest hangup for me on that. But I digress.

Rest days. Yep, I saw that too. The problem is that my work/school schedule doesn't afford me the luxury at this point to go out for 8 hours of riding. This is point one in my confusion about what I can do to build up to bigger distances.

I was looking at other options, but none of them make a lot of sense to me. Hence my asking for guidance.

I could do something like

Saturday 100
Sunday 50
Monday off
Tuesday 30
Wednesday off
Thursday 30
Friday off

That would give me a weekly base of 210 miles. But that would be without interval training or other speed work. My current problem is that I need to get my century time below 6 hours without it being an all-out 90% effort or beyond. Right now, my century is taking about 71/2-8 hours.
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Old 04-04-11, 10:43 AM
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Do intervals.

Ride hills.

Ride LOTS of hills.

Run a couple of times a week; you work harder and for less time.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say to do the really long rides as frequently as possible, perhaps loading up on centuries and double events.

You may also just need to accept the fact that you won't have time to do, say, a 400 mile ride before the Tejas, and be ready for DOMS and/or a mild overuse injury after the event.
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Old 04-04-11, 10:59 AM
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Two articles that helped me:
https://www.adventurecorps.com/way/fivemistakes.html
https://www.adventurecorps.com/way/endurancepathP2.html

Consider that, even as an ultramarathon racer, you still can go a long way towards optimizing your power output for those long time scales by working out increasing your power output over shorter time scales. If you raise your FTP, you can raise the entire power curve, even the part way out on the end at 24hrs. The only way to raise your FTP is to do intervals, hard. And then rest hard - active recovery or days off the time altogether. I am not saying to not do some endurance work (longer than 3 hrs), but just don't do it as a solitary training method, and don't pile on extra endurance work at the expense of the hard interval work.
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Old 04-04-11, 11:24 AM
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True that. We all have time constraints and thus we can only do what we can. Having said that, there is lots of counter intuitive stuff when it comes to ultras etc. I have only been at this for a year so I am still in the steep part of the learning curve.

Intervals are essential. I do them on a computrainer at a club Tuesday and Thursday. Most Sundays and occ. Saturday I ride aerobically for a few hours.

Ok .. now for "my opinion" part so get the grain of salt out. Doing super long rides have little fitness value BUT they benefit in two important / essential ways. One, figuring out your nutrition needs etc. (we can all ride 100 km on gels and eLoad but I quickly switch over to "real" food beyond that) Two, seeing how the head and body does after several hours in the saddle.....how the butt feels etc.

Take it for what it's worth.......

Good luck! Ultra events are addicting as hell.
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