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First Sportive. Which distance?

gmanbakergmanbaker Posts: 21
edited March 2011 in Road beginners
Hi, I am thinking of entering my first sportive on the 1st of May (the Wiggle one in Dorking). It has 3 distances, Fun 39 miles, standard 70 miles and epic 101 miles (all distances are approximate). I only started cycling in January on my Boardman comp hybrid and can do 40 miles without dieing at an average of 13 mph. Have also been up Box Hill (olympic route) and survived on said hybrid. I hope to have a 'Proper' road bike by May.

Should I go easy and do the 39 or challenge myself and go for the 70 miler?

P.S. I cycle 30 to 40 miles every Sunday.


  • Ber NardBer Nard Posts: 827
    The idea behind a sportive is that it's something of a challenge. If you're already doing 40 miles on a hybrid you should at least aim for the 70 miler.

    The road bike will help as well, but make sure you get it sufficiently in advance to get comfortable with it. You don't want to be doing a 70 mile sportive as your first outing on a bike.

    Best of luck. Sounds like you'll be fine.

  • jimwinjimwin Posts: 208
    gmanbaker wrote:
    Should I go easy and do the 39 or challenge myself and go for the 70 miler?.

    You're already doing 30~40 mile rides, so set yourself a challenge and go for the 70 miler. Since spring is around the corner, it will get easier to increase the distance of your weekend rides with something to aim for beyond your usual realm.


    - JimW
  • gmanbakergmanbaker Posts: 21
    Thanks Guys! Think I will challenge myself and go for the 70!!
  • Yup go for the 70. You will get a much greater sense of satisfaction when you finish on the longer distance.
    "That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college! " - Homer
  • furragfurrag Posts: 481
    Nice one - once you start pushing yourself, it's amazing how quickly fitness builds. Being in the heart of the North Downs, I'd encourage you to just go out into the hills with no particular route and ride for 3-4 hours. It's very hard to get lost, and you're never far from the A24 or A25. You'll want to be increasing rides to about 5 hours so you're prepared for your 70 mile ride.

    Having 'survived' Box Hill, I'd love to see your face when you see Winterfold, Whitedown and Crocknorth! :D I imagine Wiggle's sportive will have at least one, if not two of these hills.
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    Get your rides up to 50-55 miles and the 70 will be easy to do(you always have a bit left in the tank on the day)
  • Keith47Keith47 Posts: 158
    About 7 months after I bought my first road bike (Boardman Comp) and having never done more than 60 miles at a time, I entered the Blenheim Sportive and did the 100 mile route. To be honest it was one of the most exhausting things I have ever done!! Yes I got a tremendous sense of achievement from completing it, but it really was too much for my level of experience at the time. I would recommend the 70 miler this time and maybe try 100 for your next sportive, hope this helps :?
    All the best.
    The problem is we are not eating food anymore, we are eating food-like products.
  • I also started cycling in January and have my 1st sportive in 2 weeks time (45 miles), I try to do couple of 25 - 30 mile rides in the week and a 50 mile ride at weekend, average speed is now at 16.5mph for the 50.

    May have overtrained though as I'm now on antibiotics for chest infection - DOH

    If it has any bearing I'm 54 years young
  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    I would break it in gradually by completing a 50 miler, then 100km, then progress upwards in these stages.
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