Training for Ultra Endurance Cycling race

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.

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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!

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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?

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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) .

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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!

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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:

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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

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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.

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Have a look at Final Surge. They have a different funding model to Training Peaks whereby they charge coaches, not athletes. So, if you don’t have a coach it’s free. It’s not as good as the paid version of training peaks but better than the free.

Also, the PC/Windows/Linux software “Golden Cheetah” fills any gaps left. It’s open source and ugly, but very powerful. There is no phone app (as it has no funding at all). You can synchronise it to Strava (including free) so it’ll automatically download all your activities. It also has an indoor training mode so if you want to do workouts that exceed the Sufferfest maximum you can. Beware though, it isn’t intuitive. I’ve been using it for years and there are still things I don’t know what they are.

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Hello Eerke,

Thank you for responding. I do have Final surge and Training peaks. I have tried Golden Cheetah but did not get it to work on my Macbook.

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Hey Auke,

Have you picked a plan yet, how is it going? It looks like you are set with a good few midway goals along the way. If at any point you want a few extra pointers or advice, @Pierre.Weikamp mentioned our customised plans already, here is a recap of our SUFCoaching service:

We offer basic or advanced plans for both Cycling and Multisport. The main difference is that on a basic plan you only talk to your coach once before your plan is put together and on an advanced plan you get a follow-up call (we recommend having this in week 6) to check-in on how your plan is going and make any necessary adjustments to the remainder of your plan. If you are working towards a long term goal, we recommend the advanced option so you have more regular interactions with your coach. It also helps when coming to renewal as you also complete a bi-weekly form with your training notes so your coach will have up to date information.

If you would like to go with a customised plan, here is what you can expect:

  1. Purchase your chosen plan from our webpage
  2. Look out for a confirmation email from suf.coaching@wahoofitness.com. This contains a link to your initial questionnaire so the coaching team can find out more about you and your goals.
  3. Once you have submitted your form, our coaching coordinator will allocate you a coach and send you a link to book your call directly with them.
  4. Have your 30 minute interview call with your coach to discuss your goal and agree on a plan and start date.
  5. Your coach will then go and write up your plan on the TrainingPeaks platform and have it set to go on your agreed start date.
  6. Start your plan and achieve your goal!
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That is odd. When I first ran Golden Cheetah it was on a MacBook Pro. I think running OS X Lion and ended on El Capitan. Switched to PC now. There’s a google group for the software where atleast 2 of the developers post.

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Thanks for the heads-up.
The customized plans with SUFCoaching are certainly a great way to reach my goals. I do love the road to the goals as much as finishing the event itself like creating a training plan, training, and adjusting the plan on the way with what my body and mind need.

I will keep in mind that there is professional help when I get stuck.

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Hey Eerke, i got Golden Cheetah running on my Mac. A shit load of data and I have to dive in deep to understand how to get the most out of the data in a practical way.

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Good. There’s so little evidence for what works and what doesn’t their approach seems to have been putting it all there in a confusing mess. I’ve forgotten how but I’m 99% sure you can even add your very own analysis using R. For example, I think there are 5 different PMC charts built in.

The one useful feature I didn’t find but now know about is the combine activities function. I swim with a GPS watch but a separate HRM with its own memory. Both workouts go up Strava, return to Golden Cheetah and there I join them (it’s under “activity” and then “combine activities”. Start with the first activity selected normally and then select the second when it asks you to pick an activity). Generally quite useful if you have different devices recording different things.

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I have very mixed feelings about GC. Runs fine on my Mac, but their approach is to give you a development tool, rather than a straight analysis tool.
Doing the trial in WKO5, trying to decide if upgrade from WKO4, and still on the fence.

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