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Another 400 mile weekend

vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
Following the Bryan Chapman Memorial 600km event in Wales last weekend, this weekend I've been riding a bit nearer to home.

The Kernow and Southwest 600 starts about 15 miles away from where I live, the weather was predicted to be fabulous at the weekend ( and it was, on the whole ) so it was a no brainer to enter this

As you can see from the photos there were a lot of happy people and blue skies

Oddly enough my legs don't ache this monday morning as much as they did after the 600km in Wales. Maybe I am getting used to it?

Posts

  • essjaydeeessjaydee Posts: 917
    Big respect 8)

    Don't think my marriage would last too long though if I did this every weekend :(
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    essjaydee wrote:

    Don't think my marriage would last too long though if I did this every weekend :(

    No more 400 mile weekends for me for the forseeable future, and this reason is a big factor!

    Next longish outing will be the Avalon Sunrise 400km on 22nd of June
  • rodgers73rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
    I'm intrigued by such events - are the routes relatively hill-free? Or are they the same as a lot of sportives??
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    rodgers73 wrote:
    I'm intrigued by such events - are the routes relatively hill-free? Or are they the same as a lot of sportives??

    Wales and Devon/Cornwall are not "relatively hill-free", so it shouldn't come as any surprise that riding about there involves quite a lot of ascent

    The K&SW 600 has over 8000m of ascent

    I don't really do sportives but the BCM 600 event in Wales crossed paths with a "kilo to go" event about 100 miles in on the second day. Here's a blog that mentions it
  • BoleynboyBoleynboy Posts: 83
    Hi, I'm doing the Vatterundun in Sweden in a few weeks, it is 300k which is the longest I have ridden in a day by 50 miles, any advice for riding this kind of mileage would be appreciated. I have put the training in, just want to know of you have any nuggets of advice about the ride itself?
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    Boleynboy wrote:
    Hi, I'm doing the Vatterundun in Sweden in a few weeks.. any nuggets of advice about the ride itself?

    I've not done the Vatterundun myself but as I understand it you can ride it quite fast in a group if you wish to.
    As 15,000 people do it there is always a group doing a suitable speed going by

    I have noticed that experienced cyclists who switch to longer distances sometimes go too fast in the early stages and then pay for it later. Some riders like to plan to ride long distance events with a "negative split"- which means they go slow for the first half and quicker for the second half. You might like to bear that in mind...
  • rodgers73rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
    This may be a stupid question but what "sort" of fitness do you have?

    I'm quite happy with the idea of steady riding over very long distances but could never belt it up Hardknott Pass like some of the guys I saw on the Fred Whitton.

    Is there a different training routine or are you the same as the guys who fly past me on most sportives?

    If there's a site/blog you can refer me to for any tips that would be great as right now I see this sort of thing as my future cycling "outlet"
  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    Big chapeau to Vorsprung for back-to-back 600 weekends - even bigger Chapeau to a chap, Steve, who (if he makes it) will be doing a third 600 in the north this weekend (with 9000plus metres of climbing through the lakes etc.).

    It was a superb ride, though very difficult in the heat of Saturday causing me to suffer badly - I ended up finishing only 15 minutes within the limit.

    A superb event!

    As for rodgers73 question on fitness - clearly, fitness is important, but it's not the most important thing in distance cycling. Very few riders will be able to work at a high level for 600km and one of the key factor is to never overexert yourself (attacking a climb and getting into high heartrate zones is not the best plan - take everything steady).

    More important in distance cycling is comfort and mental fortitude.

    Comfort is clearly going to be very important if you're going to spend huge hours in the saddle - so the fit of the bike etc. is very important, along with some good core strength to help. Moving about on the bike (particularly hands/arms) is important and stretching when you reach a rest stop etc. can help keep you going. Comfort also includes ensuring you learn to eat and drink properly - the body is very good at shutting down and refusing to eat on long rides.

    But really, mental strength is the most important thing - you must have the ability to work through everything and keep going. I had a very tough ride on the K&SW this weekend - it's probably the closest I have ever come to packing on a ride. We rode in the high 20s for all of Saturday, and the overnight section was then spent in torrential thunderstorms as a storm followed us up from Penzance to Newquay. I hadn't got enough layers and really suffered once I got wet. I arrived at the sleep stop (370km) with only an hour and a half 'in hand' (meaning I had to leave that control within an hour and a half - I would normally hope to arrive with 3-4 hours in hand). So, a good sleep was well out of the question and I really did come close to calling it a day - but the 45 minute sleep I had was enough to get my mind back in order and head out into the rain once more!

    Most people won't pack on a long ride because they aren't fit enough. It will be because part of their body has given up due to lack of comfort (ankles, knees, necks, hands are all common), or they will have had a mental meltdown (there were a couple of riders who did this at around the 300-350km mark - I nearly joined them). Obviously a major mechanical might also stop you - but comfort and mental strength will be the things that stop people.

    Anyway - well done to Vorsprung on his double 600 weekends. I might have to try it sometime - I honestly feel just about ready to ride another today - have had slightly heavy legs this week on the bike - but that seems to have passed.
  • rodgers73rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
    That really is a very very encouraging reply! I'm extremely unlikely to get a gold standard on a sportive but I'm excellent at forcing myself to finish stuff so I can start to look at trying out a longish ride now.

    Would a 300km be a good starter? I'm planning on 170 miles in a day in July so 300km doesnt seem too far out of my mental comfort zone.
  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    What's the furthest you've ridden to date?

    300km (around 175 miles) is a long way for a first audax-style ride - totally achievable, but maybe uncomfortable! You have 20 hours to finish a 300.

    There are many stories of people doing very long distances as their first ever audax - including a chap who rode London-Edinburgh-London (1400km) as his first one.

    If you've got reasonable fitness, a comfy bike (though remember what is comfy for 100km, might not be so comfy after 250km!) and a never say die attitude, there is no reason why you wouldn't manage it.

    It would be a very audacious achievement.

    I'd probably suggest starting with a 200 if you've got some decent distance experience already, in summer time, you'll be riding in the light (13 hrs 40 mins to complete a 200 - usually start between 6 and 8 am). Gives you a chance to tune your bike and learn how to eat and drink etc.

    It's very easy to become blase about distance - but 200km is still a very long way to ride a bike and shouldn't be undertaken lightly. 300km even less so!

    Have a look on the calendar - http://aukweb.net/events/ and see what's going on around you. Doncaster - not a billion miles away from the Peak District and there are some very good events around (often shorter 100km but very hilly events).
  • rodgers73rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
    I'm ok at 200km sort of distance. I've done probably half a dozen 100 mile sportives (including Fred Whitton and Etape du Dales), did 125 miles on Sunday and did Coast to Coast last year in a day (120 miles). Planning on doing the Way of the Roses in July, which is 170 miles, all in one go so thats pretty close to 300km.

    Suppose I'll see about a 400km after that?
  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    essjaydee wrote:
    Big respect 8)

    Don't think my marriage would last too long though if I did this every weekend :(

    +1 to this, both jealous and accurate. :D
  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    vorsprung wrote:
    Boleynboy wrote:
    Hi, I'm doing the Vatterundun in Sweden in a few weeks.. any nuggets of advice about the ride itself?

    I've not done the Vatterundun myself but as I understand it you can ride it quite fast in a group if you wish to.
    As 15,000 people do it there is always a group doing a suitable speed going by

    I have noticed that experienced cyclists who switch to longer distances sometimes go too fast in the early stages and then pay for it later. Some riders like to plan to ride long distance events with a "negative split"- which means they go slow for the first half and quicker for the second half. You might like to bear that in mind...

    Interesting but sound. Long events are a different ball game to your standard sportives.
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