Training for Ultra Endurance Cycling race

Hello Sufferlandrians,

I am training for an Ultra Endurance race in may 2021.
Now I am building my training plan and started out with the Full Century plan. Than I found the 200 mile Gravel Grinder plan and distance wise (Race is over 1180 miles) it is more suiting. But the race is a road race and not a gravel race. Nevertheless I think it is just fine to do the Gravel grinder plan as it is all about endurance and it seems to me the closest plan for the race I am about to do.

Is my assumption correct? Is this the plan to go?

2 Likes

As far as the standard training plans go, yes, I think you are already spot on with your choice.
It seems like a pretty natural progression for your goal (after the full century plan), and will be 12-weeks of training time well spend.

An alternative would be to go with a customized training plan, tailored to your specific needs. The coaches here do a fantastic job.

2 Likes

For now I have this as my planning

  • next week Full Frontal Prep plan
  • sept. 21: 200 mile Gravel Grinder
  • dec 12 and 13th: 200 mile night ride
  • dec 14th: recovery with 3wk Base Blocks
  • jan 4th: Knight of Sufferlandria Training Plan
  • jan 31th: Storming the castle
  • Febr 1th: Full Frontal Prep plan.
  • febr 8th: 200 mile Gravel Grinder

In this last training plan there wil be some customizations to train sleep deprivation, a 300 mile ride, etc.

I think this should be a nice plan to make sure I will do well at the race.

1 Like

Looks like you already have a handle on things. And throwing in a quick knighthood attempt - I love it. :slight_smile: It’s a great idea.

Keep us updated on your progress. Have fun.

1 Like

Thanks Pierre!
Fun already starts with the preparation and training for the event.
I am so stoked and excited to commit to the training and the race!

1 Like

Auke, glad I logged in now! I’m doing the hilly/gran fondo at the moment and will finish that in a few weeks (was supposed to be doing Mallorca 312) my goal is to do North Cape-Tariffa next year so a plan that hits more endurance is just what i was after and really happy to know the gravel plan hits some spots!

2 Likes

Hey Chris, that is some awesome adventure race. The RatN is quite a flat race in the Netherlands you will encounter some nice climbs on yours!

It seems that the Gravel plans are just the ones to do for training endurance. An Ultra Endurance adventure race has quite more aspects to train than just a one day ride so it is really fun to create a plan that incorporate all the aspects.

Do you have experience in multi day races Chris?

2 Likes

More headwinds on the RaTN, though! I entered this year’s but it all went sideways because of Events, but hoping to be on the startline for May 2021!

1 Like

In other platforms you can upload a GPS file of the ride and it creates a slope based workout for you. I think Sufferfest should do that. I’m pretty sure you can do it with some cycle computers too. I like proving to myself I can do hard stages.

1 Like

Given the amount of time you have til May 21 I would consider breaking it into two cycles, with a significant break in the middle (and from your schedule I can’t quite tell if that’s what you are planning).
The big gap in planning tools in SF is that it doesn’t allow you to see your PMC like TrainingPeaks and make sure you’re not going overboard.
The biggest risk with ultra endurance training is, well, overtraining and ultimately injury: that’s what can throw a literal wrench in your spokes and set you back, wasting many hours of hard work. Having a tool (and a coach - sometimes they are also “tools” ;-p) to help you how far you are from that break point is critical.

The Gravel plan is definitely a good one and probably the closest match to the demands of your target event. May I ask which event is it?

Best of luck and have fun building monster endurance!

1 Like

Hello Marco,
Thank you for your respons.
I have a Trainingpeaks account but it is not the paid version anymore. To keep an eye out on my Fitness I use resting heart rate and the Fitness & Freshness chart from Strava. And I connected the Elevate app to Strava to give a similar chart.

I was second guessing the blocks between the two 12 weeks Gravel grinder plans. I do not want to lose to much fitness in those zeven weeks (3 weeks base blocks, 4 weeks ToS Training plan). But for now I stick to it and see where I stand after the 200 mile ride in december.

It is the Race Around The Netherlands. It is a nice distance and a flat ride (5000hm total) what makes this a great race to do as my first ultra distance.

Did you ride Ultra endurance cycling races Marco?

2 Likes

Hey Durandal, yes RaTN was set to a different starting date in August because of COVID.
Do you use Sufferfest as training tool for the Ultra endurance cycling events?

1 Like

Followed Jasmijn Muller around (via FaceBook etc.) on this years, that wind is something else apparently! Good luck, it’s an awesome event by the looks of it.

1 Like

Hi Auke, I went through the same path this year. I had 1000km+ non stop road race in August.
It worked quite well. However I did many strength workouts (medium) , yoga and strength for swimming…and now I think that they were more important than bike workouts.

2 Likes

Hello Marek,

Thank you for writing.
Yes, i do have strength and yoga added to the training plan. Cycling is actually a very repetitive motion that can lead all kinds of injuries and that is certainly the case for these long distances. So I incorporated strength, core and yoga. Good to hear that I am on the right track. That makes me more confident on the choices i made.

What race did you do? Are there other lessons learned by you you could share?

1 Like

Hi Auke.
I am not an expert and actually I had the same doubts what plan to follow. I did ToS then a part of full distance triathlon plan and the one for longest road and gravel. Till the beginning of March I used to do 3 workouts in swimming pool to balance a little bit workload from legs to core and upper body.

Since May I tried to do or a long ride (400+) outside or two 200km day after day (sat+ sunday) every 4 weeks. It was very important for me. I learned how to cope with lack of sleep, how reacts my body and fatigue in different patterns of drinking and eating. I tested different set of clothes as tried to train in all weather conditions (with focus on rain and very hot sunny days) and all parts of the day and night. I had also to correct my feet position on left pedal as had a knee pain after 300km in hilly terrain.
Last month before the race I focused more on speed.
p.s. I did 1008km BBT https://1008.pl/ non stop tour with 60hours cut off limit in Poland (every 2 years) .

2 Likes

Hey Marek,

I know when I trained for a triathlon that training multiple disciplines worked like a charm in preventing injuries. Swimming is a great recovery training also.

Great idea about the long rides every 4 weeks. There is a lot more to train than just riding the bike so I have also thought about training sleep deprivation and riding in all weather conditions. Food is also a very important part if you get it right you can ride for very long.

I will certainly look in to my training plan and see that I will incorporate some very long rides in the last 3 months.

Great info Marek!

2 Likes

Hi Auke, I have found anothe thread in the bottom of this forum about this.
Interesting…there is an advice from a coach to use reverse periodization when preparing for ultra distance tours.
:thinking:

2 Likes

For reference, I think you are talking about this post:
https://forum.thesufferfest.com/t/whats-the-best-plan-for-long-distance-ride-training/2994/3?u=p.weikamp

2 Likes

Yes, interesting Marek (Thanks for the link Pierre!)
In the case of the topic, he has 11 months to go.

Blockquote
Then in the 5-6 months leading into the event is when the millage starts to increase, and the frequency of high-intensity sessions decreases substantially (but does not go away completely!).
This ensures that you have a nice high aerobic ceiling to build under. The muscular endurance work will enable you to increase your mileage a bit more rapidly once you switch over to that phase

Coach Mac Cassin does a nice suggestion about the muscular endurance sessions replacing the high-intensity sessions helps in increasing the mileages. I find that very logical so will look into that and see if the Gravel plan incorporates that. (I think it already does).

If I would follow a plan like that it would mean I would do the next two months a plan with lower volume. I will have to think about it.

1 Like