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South downs way 100 miler training program ?

troutytrouty Posts: 198
I have been so impressed by my mates completing this years 100 mile challenge that they have inspired me to take my riding to another level.
I want to start training for next years event (already have) and would like to hear from anyone who has done this event or who has advice/ideas/tips on training for such a gruelling endurance event.
i have had about a year not riding regularly but have kept in reasonable general shape just lost my cycling legs.
I rode 5 hrs last week and 8 hrs the week before with the longest ride being 3.5 hrs that felt ok but was tired for a day or 2 afterwards.
I have probably jumped in at the deep end a little as i am feeling it a bit now with my over enthusiasm. :roll:
I am aware that i need to gradually build my base up and already have this in progress.
The longest ride my mates did was 65 miles before the event but to me that does not seem long enough ?
I would want to go 80 miles to feel mentally confident that i could complete the challenge.
The longest road ride i have ever done is 65 miles but that was 10 yrs ago. longest mtb ride 4 hrs about a year ago.

I am cosidering some Gorrick series races as part of my training.

Any advice / tips appreciated




  • amt27amt27 Posts: 320
    i considered doing this event this year but it clashed with a few things, however most of my riding is on the SDW and i have done Brighton to Eastbourne,

    I say you need to be able to ride the 65 miler from Winchester to Brighton, comfortably, to have a good chance of finishing, so I would aim for a long ride of that length a few times before the event,

    i train on a 30 mile circuit on the downs, which i do in 3hr 20-30mins, i did the route from brighton to eastbourne fairly slowly with lots of water, 4.5 hrs, a couple of go bars and bananas and i was quite fresh at the end, its a lot to do with conserving and replenishing energy,

    few things you should know about the SDW, if you dont know already:
    1. it is almost always windy along the route and at this time of the year (event time) the wind pushes you along, west to east, it can be up to 25 mph on what appears to be a calm day,
    2. I just got a full suspension bike and this helps along the route no end, as it is rooty/stoney/rocky/hardpack, full suspension bikes also make you pedal efficiently saving energy,
    3. there are lots and lots of gates, it can drive you mad,
    4. most of the climbs are long, so practice climbing

    good luck
  • troutytrouty Posts: 198
    Thanks AMT27 i too have just aquired a new full susser :D (08 Stumpjumper Elite FSR).

    i will hopefully be dragged up there soon with a couple of my mates to try a section and start getting a feel for it.

    ill keep you posted on how i get on :wink:


  • I've done it recently, alone, on a XC hardtail, in 15 hours total, moving average of about 8mph which was fairly slow.

    It's not that hard - if you can do say, 60 mile trips of New Forest mixed road & trail on a regular basis, you should be able to push through to do this. Before I did this, the longest ride I'd done recently was 70 miles of road in the Dordogne.

    I would very strongly recommend having a GPS for navigation, a Camelbak, and a lot of special energy food like Clif cakes. You just can't do it without lots of water - I drank about eight litres by refilling from taps - and reliance on fingerposts and maps for navigation would have been such a pain in the censored I'd have given up.

    I did Winchester to Amberley in preparation which was also very useful for scouting out the route - even with the GPS (Garmin eTrex Vista) I made lots of mistakes the first time.

    You also need good weather - the bit out of Winchester is very muddy, lots of sections up on the hills suffer from crosswinds that'll make you crash, and most importantly chalk will be absolute hell in the wet.

    Starting at Amberley, there are lots of railway stations so it's easy to abort if you've had enough or something goes wrong. I'd also suggest you're more likely to succeed if you go it alone!
  • AmosAmos Posts: 438
    A couple of guys I know did it last year and 65 miles was the furthest they did before doing the 100.

    I agree with you though, I would prefer to get a couple of 80 miles rides under my belt before hand to give me the confidence.

    I would definetly agree with scouting out bits of the route if you are not doing it on one of the BHF rides, as it is easy to take the wrong trail at some points. If you do it on the BHF rides I think they mark out more of it, and you can see which way other riders are going.

    And then once you have done it once you can go about planning the double: ... cord-16207 :)
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