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Mad 380km epic ride training. Am I crazy or not?

MozBikerMozBiker Posts: 77
Hi everyone

Ever since I started cycling there is one ride I have always wanted to do. It is a 380km ride from sea level to 2000m above sea level. Total elevation gain is somewhere around 5900m.

So what I wanted to know from you lot. Am I completely insane? Is it feasible? What kind of training would I need to do?

I have done my homework on this kind of riding but would like some opinions. If there is anyone who has done any very long rides their comments would be welcome.

Some info about me:

I have been riding for about a year and a half. I can comfortably ride 100km with 1000m elevation gain in 3:45hours. I am comfortable at altitude(since every now and then I go a town at 2000m to train in the mountains). The place where I usually train at altitude is my intended destination so I am familiar with the route I want to do.

I am aiming to do the ride around early July. I am estimating it would take me between 16-18 hours to complete the ride with stops and so forth. Is that a realistic guesstimate?

I have at least 4 planned rehydration and resting stops planned along the route, but I am still planning my exact route so I can make it 5 stops preferably.

Any criticism is appreciated and comments. I know it is quite an ambitious goal but I am willing to put in the kilometers and do the needed training. I just want to make sure I do my homework properly and plan it well.

Thanks!
Crazy Cyclist!

Posts

  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    Sounds like a great ride, and certainly do-able, given the popularity of Paris-Brest-Paris and this year's London-Edinburgh-London - considerably longer events, but spread over several days.

    I suggest looking into the Audax scene, where this sort of extreme distance is the norm, and depending on where in the world you are you shouldn't have too much difficulty finding 200k+ rides to practice on.

    As you'd imagine, this sort of event is as much about mental fortitude and nutrition as it is fitness - if you do have any excess weight then it's a good idea to shed it, but the key thing is you need to be prepared to get on your bike at dawn and ride a very very long way.

    You should also practice eating on the bike - not just snacks, but full meals. Avoiding extended food stops can save a hell of a lot of time and so gain you distance.

    I'd also look into finding a riding buddy or two who also wants to do the ride, and is willing and able to ride a similar pace to you. I get very bored of my own company after fifty miles or so!
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Where are you based ?
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    What country are you in ? It's a long long way but possible.

    Personally I'd prefer to do it over 2 days. 225km is my longest ride I did as a teen. That was enough :-)
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    I don't think your timing is realistic. It's 4x longer than your 100km ride with 6x the elevation and yet you're only giving yourself 4-5 times the time.

    If you do this, pacing yourself will be critical. Getting enough food into you is tough too.

    It sounds like a great challenge but being realistic is important so that, come the day, you are properly prepared and know that you can do it.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • MozBikerMozBiker Posts: 77
    fenix wrote:
    What country are you in ? It's a long long way but possible.

    Personally I'd prefer to do it over 2 days. 225km is my longest ride I did as a teen. That was enough :-)

    In Mozambique. I am riding from Mozambique to South Africa.

    There are 3 places where I can bail out and spend the night if needed.
  • MozBikerMozBiker Posts: 77
    I don't think your timing is realistic. It's 4x longer than your 100km ride with 6x the elevation and yet you're only giving yourself 4-5 times the time.

    If you do this, pacing yourself will be critical. Getting enough food into you is tough too.

    It sounds like a great challenge but being realistic is important so that, come the day, you are properly prepared and know that you can do it.

    That is the kind of advice I was looking for. Thanks for your reply meanredspider

    Ok so I might need to allow more time or select a shorter route. I might also use another route that avoids a mountain pass of around 700m climbing.

    I am optimist but with serious stuff like this I try to be more realistic. The objective opinions here will help me a lot.

    The project is still in early stages but I wanted to get some opinions to see if it is feasible. Thanks for the replies so far.
  • MozBikerMozBiker Posts: 77
    I like to get advice from more experienced riders so please be as firm as you like. If it seems too hard then I can try doing it starting at the top and riding down to sea level instead of climbing up.
  • MozBikerMozBiker Posts: 77
    timothyw wrote:
    Sounds like a great ride, and certainly do-able, given the popularity of Paris-Brest-Paris and this year's London-Edinburgh-London - considerably longer events, but spread over several days.

    I suggest looking into the Audax scene, where this sort of extreme distance is the norm, and depending on where in the world you are you shouldn't have too much difficulty finding 200k+ rides to practice on.

    As you'd imagine, this sort of event is as much about mental fortitude and nutrition as it is fitness - if you do have any excess weight then it's a good idea to shed it, but the key thing is you need to be prepared to get on your bike at dawn and ride a very very long way.

    You should also practice eating on the bike - not just snacks, but full meals. Avoiding extended food stops can save a hell of a lot of time and so gain you distance.

    I'd also look into finding a riding buddy or two who also wants to do the ride, and is willing and able to ride a similar pace to you. I get very bored of my own company after fifty miles or so!

    Very good reply. Greatly appreciated.

    I have quite a convenient 200-215km route to train on. I will definitely try to that a few times before tackling the ride. I am quite lean. I weigh in at 77kg at 6 foot tall. But will be sure to keep weight off.

    I am looking in making my bike more comfortable now, my reach is quite stretched out as I often do fast but rides shorter than 2 hours. So want a less stretched out position.

    Thanks for the excellent reply. Solid advice
  • letap73letap73 Posts: 1,608
    I am hoping that you have cycled more than 100km in a ride. You can feel great at 100km and feel that you can do so much more, however, you could easily go to pieces at 110km - where riding another 15km can be torture. 100 km with 1000m of climbing is not a very difficult ride in comparison with the ride you are suggesting. I would suggest you try a 160 km ride with 3000m of climbing to see how you feel
  • MozBikerMozBiker Posts: 77
    Thanks letap73.

    Yes I am definitely planning to do much longer rides than currently. At least 210kms. I will by all means train thoroughly. Will try to do as you suggested.
  • MozBikerMozBiker Posts: 77
    Let me just clarify a bit more what I would like from you guys.

    I am not sure what training I should do and how much. If you could give some training suggestions I would greatly appreciate it.

    The idea I have is two long rides per week. One hill training day(2 hours climbing at least) and one shorter higher intensity ride. As soon as I have a few 100km's in I want to move it up to 120km. Do that for a while then up the distance. Then do a single 210km ride, then do another long 100km ride later in the week.

    Any suggestions?
  • benjamessbenjamess Posts: 159
    edited April 2017
    Hi Moz,

    longest ride I have done is 217 miles and managed it with very little training (mainly 10-20 mile commutes and one 70 mile ride in the 3 months prior to the ride), the main thing I found was eating correctly early on in the ride, I seemed to get it perfect and had good energy stores for the whole ride.

    It was far tougher for me mentally than physically, from about 130 miles i was suffering and by 190 I had lost all brain power.....i felt basically drunk - to the point I convinced myself my seat was way too low and hired it about 4 inches and ended up pulling a muscle in the last few miles. ended up in a kind of trance at points of it!
  • Man Of LardMan Of Lard Posts: 903
    Here - https://www.strava.com/activities/931007919 - is a chap who has done a 5000m ascent over 350km, just yesterday... look back over his feed and you'll see the level of training he's put in.
  • MozBikerMozBiker Posts: 77
    Hi benjames. I agree the longer the distance the more mental toughness is involved as well. Nonetheless I am gonna put in the miles as well. But it is good to see I am not the first crazy dude to do such a ride.
  • MozBikerMozBiker Posts: 77
    Man of lard. Thanks for the reply

    That guy is insane. 25 - 50 hours a week is mental. I ain't nearly close to his level.

    One of my training partners has done a 340km ride so I should also have some expertise from him.

    Very interesting profile on Strava that guy
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    I'd think its more for the future really. Its a huge ride and a massive leap from where you are now ?
  • MozBikerMozBiker Posts: 77
    It is a big step up distance and time wise. It is like my big cycling goal. I realize I might need months or even more than a year to get there but I am going to shoot for my goal and give it my best try to get there.

    What would be the best way to work up towards my goal?
  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    Judging by your other posts about racing, you have the fitness. Now you need to practice riding for longer - there isn't really any substitute.

    So go for a 200k ride, then another, then when you are ready try 300k.

    Personally i think you will be ok, but you need to get some big rides in sooner rather than later.
  • MozBikerMozBiker Posts: 77
    Thanks TimothyW. You definitely got a point. No substitute for long rides. That is my plan.

    Thanks for all the sound advice and good pointers and constructive criticism.
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