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335 miles in 3 days Training Program?

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335 miles in 3 days Training Program?

Old 08-03-10, 09:00 AM
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335 miles in 3 days Training Program?

I have been riding for about 5 years now non-competitively. I am currently riding 6-8 hours a week mainly using interval training as my route to fitness. When I do join group rides I have no issues maintaining averages of +20mph for 40 to 60 miles. I do not own a power meter so I have no references as to wattage output.

I have recently signed up to do the Vuelta Puerto Rico in Jan. 2011. 335 miles around the island in three days. I would like to move into a serious training program now. I do enjoy riding hard so often my ego takes over and I kill myself riding with the hammerheads. Any suggestions on a training program that would allow me to ride hard and still enjoy puerto rico over those three days.

I should mention that my time is limited to a two hours of early A.M. riding time on the weekdays and 2-3 hours on one weekend day. Like many of you I have kids that I enjoy spending time with. Thank in advance for the comments and advice.
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Old 08-03-10, 10:28 AM
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first of all, I'd suggest you also ask this question in the randonneurs forum. Some of the people there have done epic distances and will be well equipped to advise you. But I have done distances such as you describe, and greater, on a few occasions; so for what it's worth...

It sounds as if you have no particular issues with regard to aerobic fitness, so just doing what you've been doing will take care of that. But it also sounds as if you never ride more than 60 miles at a stretch, given that your longest ride of the week is three hours. And that could be a problem, because part of the trick with riding bigger distances isn't power, but the ability to stay comfortable on the bike for extended periods, ride within yourself and recover. Back-to-back-to-back centuries can leave you feeling pretty tired, and if you blast it on day one, you're likely to suffer on day two or three. So I'd strongly recommend looking at your schedule and seeing if you can't squeeze in a few - it doesn't have to be many - five or six hour rides sometime around November. They will tell you not only whether you can maintain your usual level of intensity for about a hundred miles, but also - most importantly - whether after doing ninety+ miles at that pace you get up the next morning and feel you could do it again. You also might find out one or two things you didn't know about your riding position; some people, however experienced, find that what is comfortable for 60 miles produces discomfort at 100+, and that there are things about their position on the bike that they want to tweak.

The other thing that some long training rides are useful for is to practice your eating and drinking strategy. In a multi-day event, what you eat while riding on day one will have a major impact on your performance on day two, and so on. If you are used to hammering along at 20 mph for two hours, you probably don't worry too much about eating systematically. On your Puerto Rico event I'd strongly suggest that you drink something every 15 minutes and eat something every half-hour whether you think you need to or not. That sounds simple but isn't - one tends to forget.

the only other thing I'd suggest is that you get familiar with the sort of terrain you'll encounter on the route, and do your best to train on something similar. If, as I expect, theres a lot of climbing, make sure you incorporate plenty of hills in your training programme. Nothing prepares you for mountains like riding up them again and again.
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Old 08-03-10, 12:21 PM
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Great advice chasm54...I look forward to more replies....thank you!
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Old 08-10-10, 01:24 PM
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Keep doing what you do. Your biggest obstacle to a good ride is choosing a pace that is wrong for your talent level. Typically, many people become their own worst enemy by changing their training strategies when they are feeling under confident.

On the other hand, you need to throw in a couple of long rides. You need to "ride the distance" a couple of time, riding so slowly that you finish the ride strongly. Pay attention to how you feel the next day, and ask your self: "Am I ready for another day of this?"

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Old 08-11-10, 10:40 AM
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Sounds like you are doing enough training or at least can do enough. I would suggest long rides on the weekend. By "long", I mean at least one of 70 miles. The rest of the week, it sounds as if your aerobic base is good enough.

Riding centuries is a matter of being able to hold a pace without beating yourself up too much. There is a trick to riding multiple consecutive centuries. I have been on rides like that where people do the first one fine. But they start out "beaten up" on the second day and are hors de combat on the third day. The thing is to ride the first one at a moderate enough pace that you have recovered during the afternoon and evening to be reasonably "fresh" the next morning. You have to be able to get up the next day and do it all over again.

One thing that I found that helps recovering from a long ride is not sitting around. If I sit, things will be kind of cranky the next morning. If I spend a fair bit of time walking around, the moderate activity in the muscles seems to promote recovery. If I do that, I will feel pretty good the next day.

So the trick is restraint. You can always hammer the second half of the last day if you want to impress yourself.
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