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Cycling equivalents to running 10km, half, and full marathon.

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Cycling equivalents to running 10km, half, and full marathon.

Old 04-06-22, 09:36 AM
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Ugh - something simple and everyone needs to complicate it.

As far as basic achievements go - 20 miles (like a 5k - anyone can do it right off a couch but some can keep doing it to see how fast they can get - others do it every time they ride as a minimum), 40 miles (like a 10k - daunting for a new rider but actually simple once you've been doing it), 100k, 100 miles. Once past that you're in to the "no one other than you cares" category of self promotion.

As far as timed achievements go - as mentioned: 40K in an hour or under (I don't think I will ever break this one). 100miles in sub 5 (I have done twice back when I still did distance riding)
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Old 04-06-22, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
Once past that you're in to the "no one other than you cares" category of self promotion.
This is the best answer yet. People really don't want to hear about it, either.

Since someone started the thread however, here's a couple of stories people can think about. 2 years ago on the marathon training team I run with a big guy showed up. In conversation, he told me he'd lost 100 pounds coming into the start of training, but still weighed 300+. That team runs 600 miles training for a fall marathon. Training starts in June in the heat and humidity of Virginia. That guy made and finished every run during the training including the 20 miler. He would go out early in front of the group so he could finish with the team. When race day came, he finished and came in under the 7 hour time cut. He also signed up and did the same last year.

There was another big guy 3 or 4 years ago from India on the team. He lost 50 lbs during the training. He couldn't find any running shoes that worked for him, so he did all of the training runs and the marathon in leather sandals. Running Hardman there! Those 2 feats are way more impressive than the stuff being currently talked about on the thread.

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Old 04-06-22, 12:16 PM
  #28  
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My personal views - they may be different to yours - are these:

It is all about the effort you put into it.

Cycling can be a lot easier than running because you can go slow, save energy, save your joints etc. Running doesn't allow you to escape the pounding and it doesn't afford you the ability to rest between efforts so even slow it is taking a toll that coasting on a bike saves us from entirely. I'd say it is easier to attain a cycling Century or more than run a Marathon in terms of general fitness requirements.

But make no mistake, cycling can be every bit the equal of running in terms of what it demands from your body....

I have known many runners who do the annual Comrades Ultra Marathon in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa - 90km. At school it was something many aspired to do when they were in their 20's and beyond. A good friend of my family has done 12 of them. Many of my friends from school, University etc have crossed it off their bucket list. It's a real feat of endurance. Many have done long cycle rides and got their participation medals. Fewer have survived a cycling endurance race.

The same friend of mine who has done 12 of them also did Ironman and raced with me in cycling events on a number of occasions - the same Ultra Marathon route is also an annual Gran Fondo. It is a lot easier in terms of completing it. However, we did a 225km race with a good deal of elevation together and he struggled to finish. I got a 4th place overall but would suffer in a Marathon given I only did track sprinting at athletics. Reason for him suffering? Training to finish something is quite different to training to win something. That 225km race taxed him more than the Ultra Marathons he did every year because he joined in the racing rather than go at his own pace and 'died'. Cycling can be hard if you tax yourself to your limits.

Anyone who has raced at World Tour Pro level and completed any or all of the major Tours will tell you that cycling is extremely hard. The Paris-Roubaix, one day race, with many harsh cobbled sections, is hell. The impact on the riders bodies is immense. Top Marathon runners have completed races and walked on celebrating their efforts. Paris-Roubaix generally leaves the victors - and losers - collapsed in heaps.

Ultimately, it comes down to effort. How hard you attack something. Are you wanting to get a participation medal, complete something? Cycling is easier. Are you wanting to achieve a personal best, win something by going flat out? Cycling and Running are equally hard. I can get myself to puking doing repeated 400m sprints on an athletics track. I can do the same on a bike over the same distance doing interval training. Fatigue, utter and total collapse? I can do that running or cycling, all I have to do is give my all in an endurance race. In terms of ultra events though, the Tour de France tops what Ultra Marathon runners go through - even the multi day events. It is generally regarded as the single hardest sporting event in the World; 3 weeks of actual racing, not just competing and going for PR's vs distance.

So yeah, cycling can be every bit the equal to running, you will just find that, generally, the cycling distances will be greater in terms of achieving similar fatigue and you have to put the effort in - which is why TT's or racing is where the equivalence will be earned best, not just taking part and going for a relatively easy spin with plenty of time available.


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Old 04-06-22, 12:37 PM
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Honestly, it CAN be equally as tough for "equivalent" events if you actually put in the all out efforts. You can't compare hobbyist folks as "finishers" of run or bike events be compared with folks actually in the competitive divisions. It just ain't the same. You know, the difference between the folks chowing the donuts 30 seconds after the finish line versus those dry heaving behind a tree for a couple minutes afterwards.

Most "finishers" of marathons, 1/2's, even 10k and 5k's simply aren't running at sweetspot or threshold the entire time. A pro runner is running a 1/2 at their run ftp the entire time. A joe finisher is going to be lucky to hold tempo that long.

Same for the 40k and 10mi TT analogy, or even a century. A pro can ride sweetspot for a century, a joe cannot. I've done 2hr 15min at 90% of ftp as a "joe". That, well that was a ridiculously bad feeling afterwards. I typically do a 40k for a TT bike ftp test. And that's another world of hurt also if you actually give it the beans.

Honestly, I do both right now. I'd personally rather run a 10k than do a 40k ITT. It's a tie with a 5k run or a 10mi TT. No preference, both suck. I'm trying to break 21min in both a 5k run and a 10mi ITT this year.
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Old 04-06-22, 12:39 PM
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Is the Tour de France considered more difficult than RAAM?

Only one TdF Pro has done RAAM and finished in 9 days and 2 hours. Current record is 7 days 15 hours by Strasser who I seem to recall has the outdoor 24 hour record of around 640 miles (26.6 mph AVERAGE).

My bones must suck at running but anyone that I know who does both says running beats the snot out of you. Not an easy comparison.
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Old 04-06-22, 12:43 PM
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Then there's the Barkley:

https://barkleymovie.com/
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Old 04-06-22, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Honestly, it CAN be equally as tough for "equivalent" events if you actually put in the all out efforts. You can't compare hobbyist folks as "finishers" of run or bike events be compared with folks actually in the competitive divisions. It just ain't the same. You know, the difference between the folks chowing the donuts 30 seconds after the finish line versus those dry heaving behind a tree for a couple minutes afterwards.

Most "finishers" of marathons, 1/2's, even 10k and 5k's simply aren't running at sweetspot or threshold the entire time. A pro runner is running a 1/2 at their run ftp the entire time. A joe finisher is going to be lucky to hold tempo that long.

Same for the 40k and 10mi TT analogy, or even a century. A pro can ride sweetspot for a century, a joe cannot. I've done 2hr 15min at 90% of ftp as a "joe". That, well that was a ridiculously bad feeling afterwards. I typically do a 40k for a TT bike ftp test. And that's another world of hurt also if you actually give it the beans.

Honestly, I do both right now. I'd personally rather run a 10k than do a 40k ITT. It's a tie with a 5k run or a 10mi TT. No preference, both suck. I'm trying to break 21min in both a 5k run and a 10mi ITT this year.
Would you consider yourself a pro runner/cyclist? How would you rate your efforts? There's only 15-20 at each race that have a chance to win. The rest of them are just finishers as you put it, no matter the effort. Same for bike racing. So unless you, or I, or anyone else is one of those with a chance to win the event, we're just participants like those people at the back chewing donuts, as you say. We actually had a pro runner who is a serious cyclist on BF. Sadly, he got the boot a couple of years ago. Maybe I should ask him the question and get back to the thread. I know what his answer would be, though. Now, he hates running.

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Old 04-06-22, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Honestly, it CAN be equally as tough for "equivalent" events if you actually put in the all out efforts. You can't compare hobbyist folks as "finishers" of run or bike events be compared with folks actually in the competitive divisions. It just ain't the same. You know, the difference between the folks chowing the donuts 30 seconds after the finish line versus those dry heaving behind a tree for a couple minutes afterwards.

Most "finishers" of marathons, 1/2's, even 10k and 5k's simply aren't running at sweetspot or threshold the entire time. A pro runner is running a 1/2 at their run ftp the entire time. A joe finisher is going to be lucky to hold tempo that long.

Same for the 40k and 10mi TT analogy, or even a century. A pro can ride sweetspot for a century, a joe cannot. I've done 2hr 15min at 90% of ftp as a "joe". That, well that was a ridiculously bad feeling afterwards. I typically do a 40k for a TT bike ftp test. And that's another world of hurt also if you actually give it the beans.

Honestly, I do both right now. I'd personally rather run a 10k than do a 40k ITT. It's a tie with a 5k run or a 10mi TT. No preference, both suck. I'm trying to break 21min in both a 5k run and a 10mi ITT this year.
That is an equivalent cardiovascularly to an elite marathoners' effort as a percentage of VO2 max. Of course, your time would not be the same. I've done around 90% of FTP for 2:40 or actually a little more because it was a Zwift bike race and that did not include my threshold level warmup. I was totally destroyed even though I won. But......I was fine in a day. If that was a marathon that I ran at 75-78% of VO2 max, how would I feel the next week??
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Old 04-06-22, 01:35 PM
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Speaking of TTs, has anyone done this one before and could give a review?

https://www.cyclingva.com/events/con...al-time-trial/
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Old 04-06-22, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
Would you consider yourself a pro runner/cyclist? How would you rate your efforts? There's only 15-20 at each race that have a chance to win. The rest of them are just finishers as you put it, no matter the effort. Same for bike racing. So unless you, or I, or anyone else is one of those with a chance to win the event, we're just participants like those people at the back chewing donuts, as you say. We actually had a pro runner who is a serious cyclist on BF. Sadly, he got the boot a couple of years ago. Maybe I should ask him the question and get back to the thread. I know what his answer would be, though. Now, he hates running.
I disagree just a little bit, you can probably prove it out through the physiology to include more folks. Not the podium. But not a huge tent either. A finisher isn’t doing threshold for a 10k run. They simply can’t. They won’t finish. So they likely run north of z2 and probably tempo and south of ftp. Just to get a run ftp you have to be able to finish a 5k or 10k.

I feel it worthwhile discussion once the participant can demonstrate they can output at the event in the same “zone” as the winners over the event duration.

So, if you can ride at z4 for a 40k. Run at threshold for a 10k. Ride low z4 for a 50mi TT.

A finisher likely can’t even get a good threshold pace run in the books if you include warmup miles for a run!

Maybe we should move on to talk beer miles. That’s a weird one I want to try. Not sure stomach can do it.
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Old 04-06-22, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
I disagree just a little bit, you can probably prove it out through the physiology to include more folks. Not the podium. But not a huge tent either. A finisher isn’t doing threshold for a 10k run. They simply can’t. They won’t finish. So they likely run north of z2 and probably tempo and south of ftp. Just to get a run ftp you have to be able to finish a 5k or 10k.

I feel it worthwhile discussion once the participant can demonstrate they can output at the event in the same “zone” as the winners over the event duration.

So, if you can ride at z4 for a 40k. Run at threshold for a 10k. Ride low z4 for a 50mi TT.

A finisher likely can’t even get a good threshold pace run in the books if you include warmup miles for a run!

Maybe we should move on to talk beer miles. That’s a weird one I want to try. Not sure stomach can do it.
That doesn't mean their effort isn't there. It just means they're not at the level of the pro. You seem to be confusing talent level/efficiency with effort. You didn't answer my question. How would you rate your efforts to meet your 10k/TT challenge? Doing the best you can or donut chewer?
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Old 04-06-22, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Honestly, it CAN be equally as tough for "equivalent" events if you actually put in the all out efforts.
I concur, it *can.* More than that, the correlations we see between swim-bike-run legs of a triathlon and run-bike-run legs of duathlons show that athletes participating in those events appear to pace similarly across the disciplines in order to finish with the times they do, whether those times are FOP, MOP, or BOP. You don't really see people leisurely pacing on the bike leg and then killing it at much higher relative pace on the run. The correlation isn't perfect, but it's clear and relatively high (notice in particular, the duathlon comparison above where the bike-run correlation was 0.77 but the correlation between the two run legs was 0.88, so the correlation across the disciplines is pretty damn high).

What this suggests is that *for those people who do both activities* they appear to find "similar" paces for both run and bike, and that one can predict (imperfectly, but reasonably well) pace of one from the other. That addresses the OP's original question, and let's us give a ballpark way to translate or convert from a benchmark achievement in one activity to a similar benchmark achievement in the other.
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Old 04-06-22, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
That doesn't mean their effort isn't there. It just means they're not at the level of the pro. You seem to be confusing talent level/efficiency with effort. You didn't answer my question. How would you rate your efforts to meet your 10k/TT challenge? Doing the best you can or donut chewer?
Effort can be measured physiologically. You can set thresholds and measure pace/power over a duration. If you can't even finish the duration or distance, you don't even have a threshold measurement. That's kind of what I was going for really. I mean, you could even get specific enough to break out a lactate meter and take drops of blood to see who's actually putting rubber to the road. "Who is getting to 4mmol/L".

To answer the question for myself, if it's an "A" race and you don't vomit/heave after the finish line or really would relish a world tour level soigneur tearing at your legs after, I ain't doin it right. Doesn't mean I could race higher class than I do at all, but it's on the line for sure (there is no 'class' at a 28mph 10mi TT or a 47min 10k, that's still really slow). I'm using up what I've got. 40k's are usually more a muscle and get off the bike issue. The effort is longer in terms of negative splitting it and not going out too hard. 10mi is the heave in the ditch or behind a tree kind of thing.

I never believed the "stories" of folks going after it and "feeling the lactate in their teeth" kind of BS. I chalked it up to tales or yore of famous pros doing things famous. Nah. You can get there if you want to and you've trained threshold or VO2 at least 'some' amount. Sure on a TT bike your shoulders/neck may ache from an effort, but damn man, a few times I swear in the last 5min or so you could feel it in your teeth and taste blood. Training a few times indoors I've swallowed my lunch back preferring that to cleaning it off the floor.

Lots of joes can experience that, but you only do if you get into that zone of effort. If you've not trained in those zones at some point, you won't be able to experience that. Same thing for pros. Pros have done it so much in training they can get deeper into it than some random hobbyist like myself.

I think some good "stories" on the matter are in Obree's autobio about training for and executing his records in hour and 4km IP and time trail efforts. There's a photo of him on his old knob based rotary resistance stationary bike trainer just getting at it in his basement or shed. He had "calibrated" the resistance to be consistent over time to improve efforts. It's what I visualize with this topic of "who is getting after it" and "who's in it to survive finishing".

I'll credit that the effort to finish an event can be monumental. Some of the most inspiring images are of Ironman finishers half crawling to the line in the last minutes of the night before the cutoff time. That sucks. That hurts. But that's a totally different race/event than the other folks are doing. Fundamentally a marathon for Eliud isn't the same "event" as a marathon if someone forced me to try one, and me likely 95% fail at it. Ironman finishers are closer in effort style to the Barklays Marathons than they are to a 5k or mile run. Same for cycling. Finishing a 50mi ride is more like a rando rider doing 300mi than doing the 4km IP. Different energy systems and pains.

Obree:


Lambie at 15:07 in this video of the 4km pursuit record.......yeah, just "4min" of effort:

Just a fun link of a rabbit hole to explore: Nick Willis, sub 4min mile every year for 20 years straight
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Old 04-06-22, 06:06 PM
  #39  
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I'm trying to break 21min in both a 5k run and a 10mi ITT this year.
Are you going to answer the question or not? How would you rate your efforts in your 5K/10mi TT challenges so far this year? Giving it everything you have or chewing donuts?
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Old 04-06-22, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
To answer the question for myself, if it's an "A" race and you don't vomit/heave after the finish line or really would relish a world tour level soigneur tearing at your legs after, I ain't doin it right.
A guy I know once said if you don't see a drop or two of blood on your chamois after the race, you weren't going full out.

I once described to a friend (a different friend, not the one above) what I considered "going full out": my temples exploded. That was my limit, and I wouldn't go past that. "Robert," scoffed he, "there are still two stages after that."
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Old 04-06-22, 06:33 PM
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I can relate to tasting blood on shorter efforts.

When I did my 19:30 10 mile TT casually, I basically collapsed at the 10 mile point and was hypoxic and totally out of control when a group of riders on a training ride that I passed came upon me. They were like, " Are you ok? You were hauling ass passing us" .....yes, I was having trouble getting oxygen and I could not talk to the guys I passed at 35+mph. I had zero muscle soreness or any joint soreness the next day. I never get that on a run. Running is much harder on the body.
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Old 04-07-22, 02:04 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Is the Tour de France considered more difficult than RAAM?

Only one TdF Pro has done RAAM and finished in 9 days and 2 hours. Current record is 7 days 15 hours by Strasser who I seem to recall has the outdoor 24 hour record of around 640 miles (26.6 mph AVERAGE).

My bones must suck at running but anyone that I know who does both says running beats the snot out of you. Not an easy comparison.

RAAM vs the Tours is actually an interesting debate I have been having recently because a member of one of the Club's I belong to is doing RAAM this year with the intention of winning and I really hope he achieves his goal. He already holds one endurance world record and is now aiming for this - he is sponsored by Red Bull and is seen as a serious contender.

I have questioned why he and some others - especially the organisers of RAAM - would consider it tougher than the Tour de France. Personally, I do not see it and think it more a RAAM organisation dream to have it favourably compared.

RAAM attracts a very small niche of cyclists. I absolutely believe that there are current Continental Pro's and World Tour Pro's who would comfortably beat the RAAM record if they put their minds to it - but the vast majority of elite cyclists don't see it as worth doing vs something else since they get paid to race more prestigious events. RAAM is a very personal time trial where the riders pace themselves according to their ability and minimum sleep needs. It is an interesting event and worthy of being called a very tough one to do - major kudos to all who do it, let alone win it. However, it literally pales compared to any of the Tours, let alone the Tour de France.

In the Tours they are racing every day. The average domestique goes through a lot each and every race day supporting their leader, sacrificing themselves and spending themselves to exhaustion. Every day. The Tours are also contended by the World's best cyclists. The proving grounds to qualify for RAAM are far, far easier to accomplish for you and I vs becoming an Elite Professional. The guy I know doing it this year would be hopelessly annihilated by any Continental Pro, let alone a World Tour one in any one day or stage race. He has never had a hope of being Pro level. But he can do what it takes to qualify for RAAM.

The guys and girls who do the Tour de France et al aren't just riding it as a feat of endurance in as short a time as possible. They are elite Pro's racing it. Racing at a pace that is so much faster than RAAM cyclists experience at greater, more demanding elevations - the mountain routes themselves take so much more out of you at racing pace than distance at steady but quick pace so the distance differences between them is a red herring as a guide to 'toughness'. Sure, they have greater support, a lot more rest each day etc but the demands of racing the way they do are higher. I remember watching Stephen Roche back in the 80's finish at the top of a mountain stage collapsing, needing oxygen, completely and utterly spent to keep Yellow. He was back on the bike racing the next day and the day's after that.

RAAM is tough. Mentally and physically. A great feat. But I can't help but think that if it was worth their time and effort and current, not past their prime, World Tour Pro's gave it a go they would take it to a whole new level - it simply doesn't attract the very, very best. It is a niche endurance event that many non-WT Pro's can realistically complete if they really want to, as tough as it is and it is certainly the toughest event of its kind; ie. ultra long time trial. The same athletes cannot get on to current top Pro Teams. Therefore, I cannot hold it in the same light as any of the big Tours.


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Old 04-07-22, 04:41 AM
  #43  
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The nosebleeds/tasting blood is fairly common. It happens when the nasal passages get irritated from air movement during exercise.
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Old 04-07-22, 05:33 AM
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You will get as many answers as the amount of members on this forum.

Distance isn't everything - time is also very important. Running 42kms in 3 hours is very different from running it in 4 hours. Doing a century ride in 3 hours is very different from doing it in 4 hours.
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Old 04-07-22, 07:47 AM
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Good info for the thread.

https://wellnessed.com/long-slow-distance-running/
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Old 04-07-22, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by AlgarveCycling View Post
RAAM vs the Tours is actually an interesting debate I have been having recently because a member of one of the Club's I belong to is doing RAAM this year with the intention of winning and I really hope he achieves his goal. He already holds one endurance world record and is now aiming for this - he is sponsored by Red Bull and is seen as a serious contender.

I have questioned why he and some others - especially the organisers of RAAM - would consider it tougher than the Tour de France. Personally, I do not see it and think it more a RAAM organisation dream to have it favourably compared.

RAAM attracts a very small niche of cyclists. I absolutely believe that there are current Continental Pro's and World Tour Pro's who would comfortably beat the RAAM record if they put their minds to it - but the vast majority of elite cyclists don't see it as worth doing vs something else since they get paid to race more prestigious events. RAAM is a very personal time trial where the riders pace themselves according to their ability and minimum sleep needs. It is an interesting event and worthy of being called a very tough one to do - major kudos to all who do it, let alone win it. However, it literally pales compared to any of the Tours, let alone the Tour de France.

In the Tours they are racing every day. The average domestique goes through a lot each and every race day supporting their leader, sacrificing themselves and spending themselves to exhaustion. Every day. The Tours are also contended by the World's best cyclists. The proving grounds to qualify for RAAM are far, far easier to accomplish for you and I vs becoming an Elite Professional. The guy I know doing it this year would be hopelessly annihilated by any Continental Pro, let alone a World Tour one in any one day or stage race. He has never had a hope of being Pro level. But he can do what it takes to qualify for RAAM.

The guys and girls who do the Tour de France et al aren't just riding it as a feat of endurance in as short a time as possible. They are elite Pro's racing it. Racing at a pace that is so much faster than RAAM cyclists experience at greater, more demanding elevations - the mountain routes themselves take so much more out of you at racing pace than distance at steady but quick pace so the distance differences between them is a red herring as a guide to 'toughness'. Sure, they have greater support, a lot more rest each day etc but the demands of racing the way they do are higher. I remember watching Stephen Roche back in the 80's finish at the top of a mountain stage collapsing, needing oxygen, completely and utterly spent to keep Yellow. He was back on the bike racing the next day and the day's after that.

RAAM is tough. Mentally and physically. A great feat. But I can't help but think that if it was worth their time and effort and current, not past their prime, World Tour Pro's gave it a go they would take it to a whole new level - it simply doesn't attract the very, very best. It is a niche endurance event that many non-WT Pro's can realistically complete if they really want to, as tough as it is and it is certainly the toughest event of its kind; ie. ultra long time trial. The same athletes cannot get on to current top Pro Teams. Therefore, I cannot hold it in the same light as any of the big Tours.


Many publications including VeloNews have ranked RAAM as harder.

TdF is only 2000 miles over 23 days and many days have hours in zone 1/2, just take some time to look at many years worth of power files. Compare the kilojoules per day of a RAAM rider vs a TdF rider. RAAM has 50% more climbing over 1/3rd the days. There is no contest in my mind.

I would be willing to bet an Elite TdF rider could not do RAAM in under 7 days 15 hours, unless they took some years of training. Or my more simple example, do 640 miles in 24 hours to see how easy it is for an elite tdf rider.

GL to your friend.
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Old 04-07-22, 10:24 AM
  #47  
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How big of a peloton do the RAAM riders get? The GC contenders and the sprinters as well have a whole team working for them. Heck, the peloton as a whole is a huge advantage over the individual rider. Not just on the road either. They have the best of everything support/resources wise. They are rock stars traveling the country in a tour bus playing sold out arena shows.The typical RAAM rider though,(compared to the TDF) he/she's traveling the country in an old van staying at KOAs or in a parking lot somewhere, eating ramen/spaghetti Os and taking showers in truck stops. Selling music out of their cars. That makes a huge difference.
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Old 04-07-22, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Lots of joes can experience that, but you only do if you get into that zone of effort. If you've not trained in those zones at some point, you won't be able to experience that. Same thing for pros. Pros have done it so much in training they can get deeper into it than some random hobbyist like myself.
This is a thing that I don't believe many people in this discipline really understand. Vast majority of cyclists are just doing the ride. Those that "push" will cross efforts that felt like they were "going to die" from time to time. "I went really hard". Then there's the other level. It's not just the pain. It's almost like your body starts to actively shut down functions in an effort to save you and you start finding ways to short circuit your body's wiring and bypass the safety switches. Then all of a sudden secret dark rooms start opening up. It's an over-used phrase now but when we started using it I felt like it had more meaning and aptly described it. A pro I know used to also use it. Pain Cave. as in a literal dark empty space you go inside of you. It's a feeling of being disembodied - consciousness actively separating from the body. The darker it is in there the deeper you're going. "Pain cave without a flashlight" was referring to going deeper into it than ever before.

Now that phrase is used by Peloton instructors telling rec cyclists to "try hard". It's not the same.

Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
I'll credit that the effort to finish an event can be monumental. Some of the most inspiring images are of Ironman finishers half crawling to the line in the last minutes of the night before the cutoff time. That sucks. That hurts. But that's a totally different race/event than the other folks are doing. .
Yup. Endurance is a different endeavor. It's like a long con with your mental being. It's a slow suffocation of consciousness. It's completely different.

The intensity and overwhelming all consumingness of intense efforts is nothing like the mental battle of endurance. this is why gravel and road will never be the same but cross and road are. It's also why gravel will eventually lose its popularity again because the only way for it to continue is by making it "more". Longer. More epic, etc.
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Old 04-07-22, 11:28 AM
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Good point on the gravel. Even years ago our local gravel race we had before the state park say "since we can't close the park to others walking/running, no more race"........the point was the cruelty of making the route longer/harder. The short distance was 50mi and like 4800ft with 3x through the creek, in winter. The long distance was 100mi and like 9600ft with 6x through the creek. Seriously? I can get the point after 3 hours of something, and without getting soaked shoes and legs in cold weather.

I've wanted soooo bad to apply some roadie fitness to gravel, but they make the things too long. So cyclocross it is. If I could finish a gravel race in 2 hours.....I'd do some of it. Then all the folks typically of your roadie level of fitness only signup for the longer distances. Typically. I do train gravel rides of about 3 hours nonstop sometimes and zone out mentally doing my loops and eating/drinking my food to get some Z2 work in. But, not sure that captivates me for a race.

I feel like gravel events are going the way of trail running marathons. Long, elevation, tough weather. While simultaneously integrating the road race gang-up factor of teams working together now. Thus ruining it for the typical solo rider who thought they had a chance.

A local fundraiser a few times did a very small Strava based gravel time trial thing. I like that idea. Have a 1 hour or less lap you go hammer out, kind of like the mountain bike trials are. That also opens up more folks who aren't willing to ride a bike for 6 hours for an event.

Oddly enough mentioning the trail running, after my A+ TT race this year is over I signed up to run a 1/2 off-road as a "mule" for one of those 24hr enduro crazy folks. They had trouble getting help. Just trot along at 12min/mi for your half and hand them food. Bless those folks, 24 hours on foot. Geeesh.
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Old 04-07-22, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
I would be willing to bet an Elite TdF rider could not do RAAM in under 7 days 15 hours, unless they took some years of training.
Why would anyone expect that a pro tour rider could break the record for an ultra-endurance event?
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