Forum home Road cycling forum Training, fitness and health

How to get ready for big, big hills at start of 240k event?

Brendan HBrendan H Posts: 4
I'm doing a long event (4000m climbing over 240km) in 2 weeks. Total ascent not a problem but 2 worries.

1. How can I prepare for an 11 hr event when I can only find the time to do 100-150k training rides.

2. The route goes over 2 of the UK's hardest climbs (Hardknott/Wrynose from the West - look them up if you don't know them, and you have a strong stomach!), beginning only 15km from the start. I won't be able to use a trainer/rollers before the start.

How do I train in this last week I've got available, and how do I wake up my muscles in time so that I can get over the 2 biggest hills in the whole ride so early on, and not be wrecked for the remainder?


In case you need my profile to answer, I would class myself as Good Intermediate sportive rider. 56 yrs old, very fit. Only on a road bike 2 years but I get out 2-3 times week, already doing 4-5000km/yr in terrain with loads of punchy climbs but few long grinds. Felt F75, compact with 12-30 cassette.



  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,256
    It's not a race, so don't worry about it. Everyone else will be in the same boat.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    There's nothing you can do in the week before the event apart from easy spinning and making sure you're well fed, rested, and your bike is in decent nick. Engage your lowest gear and just accept the fact that you're going to get up them slowly. No point in over doing it at the start and wrecking the rest of the ride.
  • pigeontoespigeontoes Posts: 73
    I agree with other posters that with one week to go there is little difference you can make with training other than making things worse by over training. With your current levels of fitness and gearing you should be able to get up Hardknott at a steady pace. If traffic permits take the outside line on the hairpins as the gradient is a bit less. Make sure that you take it steady down Hardknott, particularly if it's wet. Wrynose from the west is reasonably straight forward after that.

    I take it you are doing the C2C, let us know how you get on as I am thinking of doing it next year.
  • Brendan HBrendan H Posts: 4
    Nice to get some encouraging replies. I've got a week of training and then a rest week before the event.

    Someone (not on this post) suggested doing a few high intensity intervals very early on. The idea is that this generates lactate which then increases the blood supply to the muscles more quickly than just spinning your way towards the looming hill. I tried this before the Kirkstone Pass (about the same distance into another tough Lake District sportive - Ride of the High Peaks) and I did that OK. Never had to try it since so that technique is an n=1 experiment for me. I can see a downside to that technique in that I must have used some of my muscle glycogen very early in the ride.

    I guess keef66 is right: just get in my lowest gear and go steady

    It is indeed the C2C: I'll post after I've done it to let you know how it went.

  • homers_doublehomers_double Posts: 6,797
    On those two hills, honestly? Walk them. I did the fred a month ago and although those were at the end of the ride I seriously doubt I could have ridden them at the beginning.

    You won't be the only one walking them either so don't stress about it.
    Advocate of disc brakes.
  • Brendan HBrendan H Posts: 4
    What, and wear out my nearly-new cleats!

    I've done both Wrynose and Hardknott from the East on the Ride of the High Peaks (Seismic Events - check it out - a seriously good alternative to the Fred). But that was after 60 miles so I was well warmed up but not yet too tired. Nearly killed me but I didn't get off. I've also done Hardknott from the West, again tough+++ but stayed on the bike, but that was after about 15 miles and the total ride was only about 30 as it was a quick recce ride earlier this year.

    My specific worry here is to do 2 big ones so close to the start when I've still got another 130 miles to go after I'm over them. I will probably treat the 20 miles following the big hills as if I was on a recovery ride, just turning the legs over, before I hit the Pennines/Yorkshire Dales,

  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412

    ^ Just because

    How to monster Hardknott on a tandem. And Hardknott is reached at about the 500km point of the ride.

    Amazing stuff and chapeau to the Browns on that one.

    Great video overall actually - tells a good story of what is a tough weekend (I didn't ride it this year sadly).
Sign In or Register to comment.