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Training for Etape Caledonia

crescentcrescent Posts: 1,087
First attempt at the Etape this year and really looking forward to it. I've never done 81 miles before but did a few 50 - 60 milers last year quite comfortably. I managed the Glasgow - Edinburgh Pedal for Scotland in a fairly easy 3hrs so felt confident in putting my name down for the third tier of entries for the Etape with a personal goal of less than 5hrs. I've managed to keep in reasonable shape over the winter using a mixture of spin classes, toning exercises and the occasional MTB outing and with the better weather in recent weeks I have been out almost every day. What I am concerned about is that I cannot seem to get my average speed above 15mph :oops: . I have a mixture of routes that I follow and I feel as if I'm coping with them as well as, if not better, than ever, yet my computer refuses to register my average as greater than 15mph. Any advice? (I have checked the calibration of my computer and it is spot on :cry: )
Also, as I'm sure there are many on here who are planning to do the Etape this year, what is your current training schedule?

Cheers
Ribble Gran Fondo
Bianchi Impulso
BMC Teammachine

“When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. “ ~H.G. Wells
Edit - "Unless it's a BMX"

Posts

  • beinbhanbeinbhan Posts: 52
    if you can average 15mph on your own you will have no problem on the etape the numbers going round are worth an extra couple of mph the route is reasonably flat with only a couple of climbs that aren't really that hard. Just get the miles in, if you have done 60 miles before you won't have a problem getting round
  • crescentcrescent Posts: 1,087
    Cheers for the encouragement, I'll keep putting in the miles and see what happens. The last thing I want is to become one of these people who obsesses about speed / time and stops enjoying just riding my bike. I fully expect to finish the course, 5hrs would just be a nice personal goal though.
    My wife and I will be going through to Pitlochry next week for a couple of days, although I probably won't have my bike I should get a look at the lie of the land at least.
    Sounds like you know the course well. Have you done it before or is it just because you are fairly local to it?

    Cheers
    Ribble Gran Fondo
    Bianchi Impulso
    BMC Teammachine

    “When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. “ ~H.G. Wells
    Edit - "Unless it's a BMX"
  • beinbhanbeinbhan Posts: 52
    I have done the etape twice and also cycled parts of the route at other times one thing that helps is if you can get out in a group just to get used to having people around. There are a lot of novices around although im no expert so you have to keep your wits about you if you are passing slower riders or being passed and be aware of whats going on around you. I believe the road is closed at the moment between tummel bridge and kinloch rannoch for pipe replacement
  • nweststeynnweststeyn Posts: 1,574
    If you are confident of finishing, then you will without a problem. The Etape route is not too bad at all! As Beinbhan says, the big challenge will be your awareness of those around you and remember to keep on top of your feeding and watering!
  • PigtailPigtail Posts: 424
    I did it last year for the first time - it was also my first cycling event of any kind. It went much better than I expected, I think I got round on adrenaline alone!

    This year I hoped to improve on my time, but some changes in my life have limited my ability to train.

    I would say try to mix it up - get a couple of long runs in several weeks in advance. Two 70's would do it.

    Then try some interval sessions to up your speed. I'm not very disciplined with mine, but I do some on an exercise bike in the gym. I have/had a bit of a speed obsession, and actually getting that average speed up is hard work. It takes time, miles and really pushing yourself.

    You are likely to do better than you expect, with other people giving a boost.

    Anyway - above all else enjoy yourself- it was one of my most enjoyable days ever.
  • crescentcrescent Posts: 1,087
    Thanks again for the encouraging comments and sound advice folks. Looking forward to a couple of long runs this week with my normal 20 and 30 mile routes thrown in. I'll look into the interval training although I'm not 100% sure how to go about that.
    Cheers
    Ribble Gran Fondo
    Bianchi Impulso
    BMC Teammachine

    “When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. “ ~H.G. Wells
    Edit - "Unless it's a BMX"
  • Robert72Robert72 Posts: 84
    1st time for me as well, looking forward to it but the training is not going well. Longest run so far was yesterday at 36 miles. Trying to get 3 runs in during the week and build up the long rides at the weekend. I'm looking to complete it in 6 hrs.
  • PigtailPigtail Posts: 424
    crescent wrote:
    Thanks again for the encouraging comments and sound advice folks. Looking forward to a couple of long runs this week with my normal 20 and 30 mile routes thrown in. I'll look into the interval training although I'm not 100% sure how to go about that.
    Cheers

    I'm not an expert, and I've no doubt somebody will correct me, but effectively what you are doing for intervals is pushing yourself very hard for a relatively short period of time, with some recovery and the repeating. What that does is get your body used to a higher level of power output than you can sustain for a prolonged period. The classic one for some people seems to be 2 x 20. So what you do is go at an effort level that you can maintain for 20 minutes, then 5 minutes easier, then repeat. or you can do shorter intervals, 5 minutes or 2 minutes say.

    So you could do 2 minutes flat out, 1 minute recovery and repeat for 10 times. There are many variations, but finding a decent route, which isn't beset by hills and junctions can be an issue, hence why I do them on a gym bike.

    I've an allez as well by the way!
  • racingcondorracingcondor Posts: 1,434
    Get yourself riding 50-60 miles comfortably again and Etape Caledonia will be no problem (as long as you eat well).

    It's a great ride with a brilliant atmosphere, just not a hugely difficult one if you're fit (one significant climb about 1/2 way, the rest is rolling countryside).
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    If it's any consolation I can't get my average speed above 15mph either.
  • Robert72Robert72 Posts: 84
    my normal average speed is 12.5 mph, today in the sunshine 18 mls average speed 15.2 mph. YES
  • crescentcrescent Posts: 1,087
    Pigtail wrote:
    I'm not an expert, and I've no doubt somebody will correct me, but effectively what you are doing for intervals is pushing yourself very hard for a relatively short period of time, with some recovery and the repeating. What that does is get your body used to a higher level of power output than you can sustain for a prolonged period. The classic one for some people seems to be 2 x 20. So what you do is go at an effort level that you can maintain for 20 minutes, then 5 minutes easier, then repeat. or you can do shorter intervals, 5 minutes or 2 minutes say.

    So you could do 2 minutes flat out, 1 minute recovery and repeat for 10 times. There are many variations, but finding a decent route, which isn't beset by hills and junctions can be an issue, hence why I do them on a gym bike.

    I've an allez as well by the way!

    I had an idea it would be periods of higher than normal effort or speed interspersed with easier periods. I think I tend to do that naturally anyway but will try and structure it a bit more, I have a fairly flattish road in mind and will be on it tomorrow as it happens (planning a 60 miler down to the coast since the weather is nice).
    I am currently building a Ribble Gran Fondo which I will be using for the Etape but I love my Allez to bits. Originally planned to sell it but don't really want to part with it now - we've been through a lot together :roll:

    Cheers
    Ribble Gran Fondo
    Bianchi Impulso
    BMC Teammachine

    “When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. “ ~H.G. Wells
    Edit - "Unless it's a BMX"
  • crescentcrescent Posts: 1,087
    Big difference today. 66 miles in 4hrs 7mins and managed 15.9mph average over a very hilly route including the Haylie Brae in Largs which is tough.
    I think it was down to a combination of improving some basics:-
    1. Improving my pedalling technique (concentrated on 'ankling' more) - fundamental, I know, but a real revelation to me just how big a difference it made.
    2. Using the big ring more - combined this with the above to maintain momentum and, again, a real revelation just how big a difference it made.
    3. A bit of meditation on 'rule 5' i.e. MTFU

    Feeling the pain now but much happier with myself :D

    Cheers
    Ribble Gran Fondo
    Bianchi Impulso
    BMC Teammachine

    “When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. “ ~H.G. Wells
    Edit - "Unless it's a BMX"
  • nweststeynnweststeyn Posts: 1,574
    Well done! Feels good huh :)
  • crescentcrescent Posts: 1,087
    nweststeyn wrote:
    Well done! Feels good huh :)

    Psychologically? Yes.
    Physically? I'll let you know tomorrow :lol: I think my calves will be aching from the different pedalling motion.
    Definitely suffering a bit tonight but pleased that I have something to build on and practice over the next 6 weeks.

    Cheers
    Ribble Gran Fondo
    Bianchi Impulso
    BMC Teammachine

    “When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. “ ~H.G. Wells
    Edit - "Unless it's a BMX"
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