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Dragon training advice - based on reality!

mustgettallermustgettaller Posts: 120
I've got in to the Dragon this year, to do the Grand Fondo.

I ride on the south coast around the South Downs - so have plenty of short/steep and longish hills (yeah, I know - nothing like the Dales etc.!) to work on.

I did several 80 - 100 mile sportives last year, achieving Gold times in most... However I found myself bonking at around 80 miles on several of them.

Has anyone got a recommended/outlined training program from experience, for preparing for the event? I know that this depends on the amount of time I can put in (without involving a divorce :wink: )!

Thanks,

James

Posts

  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    Do you mean "bonking" or just running out of legs because you have got the pacing wrong?

    Bonking (hypoglycemia, which is the medical term for abnormally low levels of blood glucose) is solved by paying better attention to eating (as in "what" and "when"). Lots of online help there.

    If you mean you have got the pacing wrong then the fact you mention Gold probably means you are going at too fast a pace and/or not taking the odd break when possible. Why not try to back down a bit and aim for a silver next time round (you can work out the target times for each secteur) but then ramp the pace up in the final 1/4 if you still have the legs for it. Finishing strong is a great boost (struggling over the line is the exact opposite) so make that your overall target and you will get a much better/longer lasting buzz. You may find that you gain enough time in the last bit to get a gold afterall and, if you don't, finishing strongly will make you feel as epic as the welsh countryside in any case :)
  • Thanks for the reply - this gives me food for thought.

    I'm pretty up to speed on eating/nutrition, so I think I need to look at my pacing. I'm probably going out too fast initially and then not easing off enough a times to recover.

    I think you're right that I need to consider a better plan an event, with a more structured approach to pace.
    With these events, it's a balance of what makes them enjoyable:
    • The location
    • Riding in company
    • Achieving a good time - depending on how competitive one is. Problem is, I'm competitive (I think)!
  • PseudonymPseudonym Posts: 1,032
    if you are already getting gold times on 100 mile sportives, despite bonking at 80 miles, then you will pi55 the Dragon ride - no further training needed.

    If you are competitive, you should try racing...
  • twotyredtwotyred Posts: 822
    If you're getting gold times there's nothing wrong with your training. You are probably starting too quickly. Look on the first 45-60 minutes as a warm up then ramp the pace up from there.
  • Just read this & was glad to find i'm not the only person who does this. Seems like i need to pay more attention to refuelling, which i kind of suspected. I am also doing the Fred Whitton in may which i guess will be good training for the Dragon. I have 4 long rides booked up before the Fred which are between 75 & 100 miles each, so hopefully they will help! I mostly got silvers & a couple of golds on the sportives i entered last year, but the Dragon & the Fred are certainly a big step up for me!

    Was thinking about going up to do some of the passes for the Fred so i know what i'm in for, but not sure if this might spoil the ride itself come the day?
  • nferrarnferrar Posts: 2,511
    I've not deliberately scouted a sportive route beforehand but I've done sportives that include familiar climbs and find it's nice to know at least some parts of the course, especially if you're suffering ;)
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,357
    I think some people are overestimating the difficulty of the Dragon here. I'm not sure it's any harder than the Fred Whitton at all.
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