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Fred Whitton Challenge - advice needed.

king_jeffersking_jeffers Posts: 694
Came across the Fred Whitton Challenge sportive recently and it sounds great I'm just worried it might be out of my league. Typically I alternate my cycling one weekend doing 60 miles and another maybe a 40-50, climbing wise the shorter routes are around 2500ft, longer routes double that. Now I know the Fred Whitton Challenge will be hell, but want to give it a shot. This year I took part in the Virgin Cyclone 100 - completed but struggled towards the end. Also completed Ride London 100 which was awesome but much easier, I tend to find my limit is around 40 miles then need to refuel.

I've got around two stone to loose, lost a stone so far - am I being to ambitious? Also can anyone recommend easy to understand training websites/resources? I find mentally I can stay tuned in, usually my legs/lungs give up first :-)

Posts

  • gr1gr1 Posts: 25
    I did the FWC this year. Don't underestimate the amount of climbing and the steepness of them! If you want to give it a crack then it's a fantastic ride, but do some serious training.

    If you are member of BC then use the insight zone as there is a training plan on there for a 100 mile sportive. I spent the majority of the winter doing long 4-6 hour hilly rides in Surrey. Put in as many hills as you can find, and on your route if you go up a hill, turn round cycle down and do it again. You will need to be doing an 60-90 mile rides on the weekend if you want to complete the ride in comfort. I don't work in feet but the total climbing on the FWC is about 4000m. Try and get 2.5-3km of climbing on your routes near to the ride.

    You should be refuelling earlier. Start about 45 minutes after you set off if you know it will be a long ride. Otherwise you leave it too long and you won't absorb the energy quick enough.

    Don't let it put you off. I bought my first bike in September last year and completed the ride in May without walking any of the hills. Just put your mind into it and train over the winter.


    Also, don't underestimate the weather. It was shocking in May. 6 hours of torrential rain!!

    That was the worst part of the whole ride.
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    gr1 wrote:
    Don't let it put you off. I bought my first bike in September last year and completed the ride in May without walking any of the hills. Just put your mind into it and train over the winter.

    That's a bit impressive. I'd been riding about 3 years before I did the Fred, I live in hilly W Yorks and consider myself a reasonably decent climber - but I had to get off and walk for a bit on Hardknott despite 50/34 and 13/29.

    Much depends on your gearing and physique. There were blokes pedalling up on standard chainsets but I was still quicker than them when I was able to get back on the bike. I could have pedalled up if I'd had MTB gears but I would have been slower overall on such a bike.

    The Fred is a great ride but the lottery system means you are much more likely to get an entry at first attempt than if you've already ridden it. So I'd be tempted to wait until I'd proved to myself that I could enjoy that number of hard climbs in a day. Could do worse than to do the Keswick Sportive first - it does Honister, Newlands and Wrynose twice each in only 65 miles; it's a good taster.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • GuanajuatoGuanajuato Posts: 399
    Or the Jennings Rivers Ride in a couple of weeks - ride some of the Tour of Britain stage the day before the pros.

    You can also do the Four Seasons Fred Whitton any time during the year and get an official time.
  • nammynakenammynake Posts: 196
    If you put in sufficient training over winter you'll be fine. Of course it will be tough - it is for everyone - but it's perfectly doable if you prepare sufficiently. I've done it the last 2 years and do a long ride every weekend in the few months leading up to the event. I think my longest training ride was around 80 miles. No need to do silly miles in training but do ensure your rides are hilly. I aim for roughly 1000ft per 10 miles, which is roughly the ascent per mile on the Fred.

    I'd also recommend including some very steep climbs just to practice for the likes of Hardknott and Honister. They really are very very tough if you don't want to resort to walking.

    Add in a 2 or 3 turbo sessions/rides per week and you'll be fine.

    And I would echo the comment about weather - the rain was horrendous this year. Managed to ride it 2.5 hours faster than the previous year though!
  • gr1gr1 Posts: 25
    Rolf F wrote:
    but I had to get off and walk for a bit on Hardknott despite 50/34 and 13/29.

    That's the difference, I put a 30 on the back, the extra cog makes all the difference.

    I think nammynake summed it up. Do a long ride every weekend and turbo/interval sessions in the week. Not only will this set you up well for the FWC but also the whole of the next summer. If you put the hours in over the winter because you have something to train for it will mean come spring you will be at a good fitness level already and make the summer rides more enjoyable.
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