100 miles, how often?

cerv52 Posts: 81
edited March 2013 in Road general
I have been riding now for about a year and 3 weekends ago did my first 106 miler alone. Really struggled past the 93 mile makr and nearly threw in the towel for a lift home and downed a can of coke and a mars bar and made it home although extremely tired!

Following weekend went out with a buddy and we did a 107 miles but this time I was fine, not even leg ache the next day and didnt need the emergency sugar rush to get me home.

Yesterday I completed the 72 mile Burgess Hill Springtime classic sportive and at the end I still had some power in reserve.

My question is should I stick with doing the long distances? In June I have the Evans King of the Downs 115 mile sportive and want to make sure it can be completed in a good time. I have few routes planned but wonder whether I should keep upping the distance till I can comfortably complete 120 miles for example.

I also have an agenda in mind for next year where I would like to complete the London to Edinburgh 400 mile road rat race in 2 days meaning I need to be able to ride 200 miles a day!.

Whats your thoughts bearing in mind I dont want to burn out so early in the sportive season...


  • Grill
    Grill Posts: 5,610
    It's up to you. They're distances you can already ride, so as long as you keep your cycling fitness up and stay fueled you don't have to do any centuries if you don't want to. I ride a lot of distance events (12hr, 24hr, 400k, 600k, LEL) and do 3-4 centuries a month, but it's no because I need to, it's because I enjoy it.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • FatTed
    FatTed Posts: 1,205
    One of the things you might think about is doing back to back 100 mile distances.
  • marcusjb
    marcusjb Posts: 2,412

    As above - stick with distance if you enjoy it. Your bonking is not (entirely) linked to distance (as in if you don't look after yourself, you can bonk in a much shorter distance than that) - so don't let that stop you. Treat it as a learning exercise - remember what food works, and what doesn't. When I first started distance riding, I made all sorts of mistakes with food and drink - but I've learnt a lot and get it right most of the time these days (occasionally, I will screw up and get the knock - but it's not a regular occurrence).

    If you can ride 107 miles, you can ride 120. I'd wager that you could ride 200 already (it is a long way, but pace yourself and it is not an inconceivable goal - wait until the weather gets better for your first one though, minimises the night riding and hopefully a bit milder).

    200+ miles on back to back days is where things start to get quite a bit harder - but again, pace yourself and you'll be amazed by the restorative powers of a few hours sleep.
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    Now you know you can, there is no need to keep doing these sort of distances, unless you really want to. I would think if you were doing them all the time, you will get jaded and lose your edge and enthusiasm. I would suggest that you taper down and then up for your next event. When you are tapering you can do other stuff that you find enjoyable in order to keep your interest going
  • Brian B
    Brian B Posts: 2,071
    I do 100-170miles runs and sportives as often as I can and do not really feel that much difference when I up the miles as per previous post its all about pacing and a lot of it is in the mind.

    When doing long runs I don't go for counting miles but just clock up the hours - 2hrs to here, 1hr will take me here etc..

    200 miles is a long day and the next you'll be sore but if others can do it then so can you. I have done a lot of 100miles plus runs back to back and when you get to the fourth day its plain sailing.
    Brian B.
  • cerv52
    cerv52 Posts: 81
    Some different points of view here but all interesting. I defo bonked the first attempt at 100 as didnt set out in the morning to do that sort of distance, just got carried away and ate everything I had.

    I may mix up some long distance efforts with some hill training so that I can keep some power/strength up.

    Food wise is really tricky as I seem to do well on peanut butter and jam sandwiches but they get all squashed in my jersey pockets, Clif bars are good too and not so messy to munch whilst pedalling away.

    How often should I be eating something, I know you should eat before you get hungry so do you guys eat a mouthfull every hour or so or less time than that?
  • Brian B
    Brian B Posts: 2,071
    Small amount of food every 20mins is the general rule and sip often as well - although I tend not heed my own advice at times and eat when I feel like it but I have been doing the long runs for many years now and you get to know your own needs

    Clif bars are okay but so are most energy bars - gels are great for long distance but unless I am against the clock I only use solid food.

    I do hill reps and interval training and it really helps to hone that overall fitness.

    Don't worry about bonking as I sometimes even now can go through a bad patch - not really bonking as I can still cycle okay but can feel a bit low on energy for an hour or so but I know I will be okay soon.

    Top tip for me is to have a sandwich and a milkshake in the first 30mins post ride to curb the cravings and to help recovery. Not necessary a fancy protein milkshake either.

    The above works for me.
    Brian B.
  • peat
    peat Posts: 1,242
    Im going to try my first 100 tomorrow. Taken the day off especially.

    Building towards a mammoth 3 Peaks, 500 Miles event in May where i will have to do several 100 mile days between walking up the mountains. Eeeeek.