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London to Paris Advice

graemevetgraemevet Posts: 61
edited March 2015 in Road beginners
I'm undertaking the L2P in July this year.

33yo, 164cm / 60kg. Riding history - started on a bike from the sofa April last year. Up to 5-6 hrs riding a week, 40k rides at 20-23km/h. Had a bike fit, feeling ok other than sore sit bones after 3 hrs.

Any training advice? Nutrition on the ride? What problems do you expect to show up when I get to 70/80/90 km?

Any useful tips for a newbie greatly appreciated.

Graeme

Posts

  • izzaizza Posts: 1,561
    1, 3 or 4 days?

    Closed roads or not?
  • graemevetgraemevet Posts: 61
    4 days (100km/day) and open roads as far as I'm aware.

    I'm waiting to get the route (from the BHF) but am expecting day 1 to be hilly, days 2-4 no so much.

    Graeme
  • lancewlancew Posts: 680
    1) Ensure you have some gels for the ride so you don't run out of energy. I also like to stop for a fish and chips/bacon sandwich at a half way point when I do a longer ride, but that's because I'm pretty casual with all this. Basically you need to ensure your salts levels are OK.

    2) Are you able to commute to work? I'm getting in 150 miles a week currently in training for my trip to Paris in July, but that's because I am leading a group that I know will contain some very strong riders. I've found that in the last 4 weeks I've gone from constant exhaustion to feeling pretty good about myself.

    3) If you're getting sore sit bones go to Rapha/Castelli and get some shorts from them, its worth it. My el cheapo shorts are now relogated to Spin/MTB duty as my Castelli shorts are so much more comfortable, and I don't get any soreness on the bike with them.*

    4) Take enough water, dehydration sucks. Two bottles is great, one water, one salts. Means you can keep going, and just fill the empty one up at a service station.

    *I don't own any Rapha shorts yet; cash flow, but the point remains valid.
    Specialized Allez Sport 2013
  • graemevetgraemevet Posts: 61
    Thanks, good points. I'm struggling with feeding at the moment but I think thats due to me trying to eat while pushing hard! When I ease up I can manage to keep food down. Trying to stick to natural stuff - banana and flapjacks etc as really can't stand gels.

    I'm lucky to be able to get 3 long rides in a week (3-6 hrs each as required) plus trying to commute 2 days a week (10km each way).

    Just about to push the button on some Rapha bibs, I figured I can try them for the 30 days and see if they are worth the huge price they command! :oops:
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 52,749 Lives Here
    graemevet wrote:
    I'm undertaking the L2P in July this year.

    33yo, 164cm / 60kg. Riding history - started on a bike from the sofa April last year. Up to 5-6 hrs riding a week, 40k rides at 20-23km/h. Had a bike fit, feeling ok other than sore sit bones after 3 hrs.

    Any training advice? Nutrition on the ride? What problems do you expect to show up when I get to 70/80/90 km?

    Any useful tips for a newbie greatly appreciated.

    Graeme

    Main tip for all training is do the kinds of rides you're training for. So the main thing you need to practice is just long long consistent rides.

    Mistakes beginners make when doing long rides? There are a few.

    1) starting out too fast. - if you're blowing at all or burning in any way, far too fast.

    2) not eating & drinking. Trick is little and often. I aim to eat a half bar or a bar every 20-30 mins - people vary a lot in that regard so you'll have to practice this when you're training to find out what works. This includes eating on the fly etc. If you get hungry or thirsty it's too late.

    3) Mashing - beginners often use big gears (where it's tough to turn and they pedal slowly). Wears your legs out fairly quickly. A gear that feels easy to turn without feeling like you're spinning out is ideal.

    4) Not doing the kind of rides they're training for. See above.
  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 10,052
    The rule I always apply is that you are eating for the next hour (or two) not for now. You will not be hungry at the start, nor would you expect to be for at least an hour or two, but you will then. So you eat to stave off THAT hunger, and so on.

    This is why I can complete a 30-40 mile ride and not need to eat but would HAVE to, to complete a 50 miler.
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • davidb67davidb67 Posts: 39
    Graemevet, I'm booked-up to do the event at the end of July also, with my son - sounds very similar format i.e. 4 days' cycling. This would be my 3rd time doing the event, my son's 2nd. It's all a bit up in the air at present as I dislocated my knee on 31st Jan and don't know yet whether I'll be fully recovered in time - only time and progress during physic will tell.

    I bought a road-bike in March '13 specificically to train-for and participate in, L2P. I found I started to enjoy road-cycling so much, that when my son (who didn't cycle) asked me 2 weeks PRIOR to me doing my first L2P early Sept '13, I didn't need much persuading. Thoroughly enjoyed the event, met loads of people and we all raised a ton of money for worthy causes. 2nd time around (2014) was even better, as my son was taking part although we didn't spend the full four days riding together, instead both he and I cycled much of it with others and made new friends.

    I imagine the format of your event (it may even be the same we're booked-on) will be similar to my own experience: the day starts early and you hand-over your luggage to the crew and it's trucked ahead and waiting for you at the hotel for that evening. After breakfast everyone sets-off and approx 20 miles-in there's a water/snack stop for a breather. After another 20-ish miles, lunch-stop - food is usually very good - both in terms of selection and availability - bear in mind soon after setting off, riders are all spread-out due to differing abilities etc, so late-arrivals to lunch might be arriving 2 hours or so after the first. Not once did any of those arrive to find nothing left...
    After lunch, again approx 20 miles or so gone, there's an afternoon water/snack stop, then the final stint to the evenings' hotel. Thus, your cycling day will be broken into 4 segments (assuming similar format to that i've experienced). Day 1 will be tougher than the rest - both due to the terrain - crossing the North and South Downs, but also there's a time-constraint - ferry at Dover. However, all very manageable. Both years, riders of all ages and all abilities participated, and no-one didn't make it to Paris.
    I'm lucky to live in Northumberland, so decent hills to train at weekends, and the occasional 23 mile each way commute to work to do once a week, although I'm very-much a fair-weather cyclist! so my training started March last year.
    Oh, I'm 47 and about 77kg,5'10" and had racked-up 1,700 miles in 2014 before departing on the ride, my son is only 21 and amassed 600 miles of training - youngsters!!
    I set-up a blog to record my training and the event - initially for 2013 but as i said, i enjoyed it so much I booked us on the 2014 event once I knew my son was committed to buying a bike, kit (helps!) and training. Feel free to take a look around, it may give you some ideas and feel free to ask me any questions. website is all the w's, davidbf1 and then dot.com
    I've got everything crossed that my recovery will enable me to ride the event this year - going with a different company - nothing wrong with the company i've used the twice before, but this year's company is running an end of July event - arrives into Paris the day before last stage of le Tour!

    cheers
    David
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