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How to train for ride 24

DRB-10DRB-10 Posts: 7
Hi all,

I am fairly new to the whole road cycling, so haven't really done a great deal of it.
I have set myself a challenge after signing up for the ride 24 next year from London to Newcastle. It's a scary thought, 300 miles in 24 hours seems ridiculous. I have about 10 months to train for it.
I am just looking for some help in regards to the kind of training I should be doing and also the nutrition part of it.basically any help with any aspect of the training wold be very helpful.

I am not very fit just now so will need to start ASAP with the training and trying to eat proper.

Thanks in advance

Posts

  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    Where are you at today? What distance are you riding each weeks and what is the furthest you have ridden to date?

    480km in 24hrs - it is a long way, but it is very achievable.

    Winter miles equals summer smiles and all that - get the miles in over winter. Do decent long runs at least twice a month (160-200km). Mix it up with hill repeats and other higher intesity work. Riding events like Audax and reliability rides (in spring) will help get the miles in with some company around you.

    Some people will recommend that you get a turbo for winter miles - go for it if you can. I don't get on with them at all sadly.

    If you are new to long distance cycling, there are a few things you need to work out, but the 2 really important ones are comfort and nutrition.

    Comfort - sitting on a bike for 24 hours means that you are going to have want to have dialled your position in so there are no niggles and aches as you ride. On each and every long ride you do, think whether anything hurts - be it your knee, your neck, whatever. Then take steps to make it not hurt next time (ask around here or whatever) by adjusting your setup. As you increase distances, you may find that bits that didn't hurt before, now start to ache.

    Nutrition - make or break - learn what you can tolerate to extended periods. Make sure you stay on top of hydration. A large proportion of DNFs on long events isn't down to lack of fitness, sore knees or similar - not eating and drinking correctly can leave you in a very bad place. It is not uncommon for the stomach to shut down on long events - and despite your body screaming for food, you will not be able to eat at all. This is largely, in my experiences, down to poor hydration or just eating the wrong things. I keep my food real on longer events, and tend not to use gels etc. (I do use NUUN hydration tablets in 1 out of every 2 bottles though). Flapjacks, dried fruit etc. work well - along with good solid food like baked potatoes, chilli and rice and so on. It has taken me several years to know what does, and doesn't work for me.

    You have plenty of time, I went from just about managing an imperial century to riding that sort of distance in less than 10 months. But you need to get on it as soon as possible.

    And finally, the most important thing in all long distance cycling is the mental fortitude side of it. You have to know that you are going to finish and you will not give up. If you really want it, you will do it. Let any doubt creep in and when that small setback happens at 2am in the hammering rain, and that's when it all comes tumbling down and you wave the little white flag.
  • DRB-10DRB-10 Posts: 7
    Thanks very much for the reply very helpful.
    As I said I am fairly new to the road cycling, I have been out a few times only achieving about 30 miles, although the most I have achieved was 50 miles and that was on a mountain bike. I have also done a few shorter distances on more hilly routes.
    I have got a turbo and have used it a good few times, I just feel I get a bit bored on it and am only on it for maybe 30/40 minutes at a time at present, I know I will need to up the training big time.
  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    A very good book on the build up to an endurance event is simon doughty's long distance cyclist's handbook.

    It gives examples of training plans for longer events, including a 24.

    You need to start your build up now and really be ready to ramp up distance in the spring. As I said, Audax and reliability trails will be very, very useful in helping to give you structure over the winter/early spring. Don't just ride long distances though - riding long distances at moderate pace doesn't do masses for fitness. So mix it up with shorter hilly rides, interval work etc.

    If I were in your shoes, I would want to have ridden a reasonably fast (16 hours or less) 300km event around a month before the main event. It will give you the confidence boost that you and your equipment is ready. It can also give you opportunity to test your lighting and night riding skills.
  • matt-hmatt-h Posts: 847
    Thats a great reply/write-up Marcus 8)

    Matt
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    If you're riding in a line then it makes it a lot easier to do the ride. You'll save so much energy.
    I'd look to join a club in the area. You'll get a lot of advice from them and be able to practice bunch riding.
  • DRB-10DRB-10 Posts: 7
    Thanks very much guys for all the advice, very helpful and I really appreciate it.
  • farrinafarrina Posts: 360
    DRB-10 wrote:
    300 miles in 24 hours seems ridiculous.

    When you have cracked that one there is always Andy Wikinson's 24 hour record for next year ... 541.2 miles in 24 hours (although he did have it easy as it was on a time trial circuit) so just in case he decided to do LEJG

    More here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycling_records#Land.27s_End_to_John_O.27Groats

    I would very much reinforce the view expressed above that mind over matter counts for one heck of a lot (you still need the base miles in your legs mind)

    Regards

    Alan
    Regards
    Alan
  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    Going way OT, but talking of LEJOG records - Hoppo is out there right now attempting to break the LEJOGLE record (currently 5 days and 21 hours). Search for Hoppo on twitter and you'll find his teams updates.

    Wilko's 24 was a properly astonishing piece of riding. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tix9iF3reSE for the scenes of him being lifted from the bike at the end.

    I am planning to ride a 24 next year. Slightly different focus for me personally. I can ride a long way, but can I ride a long way very fast?

    Anyway - the OP is aiming to ride 300 miles in 24 hours - a very impressive number for sure, but, as I said, it is very achievable for someone bloody-minded who puts in the training to get themselves and their setup right.
  • bahzobbahzob Posts: 2,195
    As suggested above I'd suggest checking out Audax UK. http://www.aukweb.net/

    They run all sorts of events right through the year from 100km up to 600km, which are very cheap to enter especially compared to sportives.

    This year they also ran their LEL which is a 1440km ride from London to Edinburgh and back happening every 4 years. I was a volunteer on this and have ridden the event in the past and know that all manner of folks have taken part and finished this, even some with next to no experience a year before like yourself.

    If you ride some of their events not only will it be good training but you will also get a wealth of other knowledge about how to ride events like this. I'd endorse the views above, from personal experience actually turning the pedals for 24 hours or longer isn't actually that difficult, the really hard part is staying comfortable, avoiding bike failures and keeping motivated. Audaxers will be able to help with all of these.

    Good luck, it may not sound like it but it will be real fun.
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • farrinafarrina Posts: 360
    bahzob wrote:
    Good luck, it may not sound like it but it will be real fun.
    You have not mentioned the "fun" when riding at night in the darkened countryside of being attracted (like a moth) to the enticing village street light only to discover at the last moment its a house porch light some way from the road and you are hurtling towards a ditch ....

    Or (after many hours without sleep) the strange man at the side of the road at 3am that turns out on closer examination to be a street sign.

    All happy memories ...

    Regards

    Alan
    Regards
    Alan
  • bahzobbahzob Posts: 2,195
    farrina wrote:
    bahzob wrote:
    Good luck, it may not sound like it but it will be real fun.
    You have not mentioned the "fun" when riding at night in the darkened countryside of being attracted (like a moth) to the enticing village street light only to discover at the last moment its a house porch light some way from the road and you are hurtling towards a ditch ....

    Or (after many hours without sleep) the strange man at the side of the road at 3am that turns out on closer examination to be a street sign.

    All happy memories ...

    Regards

    Alan

    Lol true. But still riding right through a night on a bike is a very special experience and amongst my most treasured.

    There is something quite magical about watching night fall, switching on your beams and ploughing on. Even more special is the time just before dawn when you can feel/hear the surroundings coming to life and you have the satisfaction of being another xxx miles towards your destination.

    Something I'd recommend everyone to try at least once in their life.
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    bahzob wrote:
    Something I'd recommend everyone to try at least once in their life.

    I'd agree with that.

    Some of my greatest memories are from riding at night - hooning along with a group of mates chasing the dawn, descending mountains in the dark (where 70-80kph feels like 1000!), shooting stars, stars (for those of us that live in London and don't get to see them!), red rear lights as far as the eye can see (1st night of PBP in particular).

    Love it.
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