What's the best plan for Long distance ride training?

What training plan would people recommend for Long distance riding training?

My goal is to ride the AUX London-Edinburgh-London next year. I attempted this in 2013 and dropped out after 48 hours, in part due to not doing enough training. I was right on the time limits when I dropped out due to eating issues, so even if I would have been able to carry on I’d likely have failed to complete anyway due to being out of time.

I’m taking it a lot more seriously now. If the ride takes place (thanks Covid) it will be in August next year.

I’ve already started a full century training plan, then realised that I wasn’t fit enough, so done a full frontal prep, then the fitness kick starter. All my FF numbers actually got worse after the fitness prep, but I did poorly in the FF test. I know I’m much fitter than I was before I started, as I’m so much quicker on the road.

Improving my speed so much has actually lit a fire inside me know. Previously I’ve always been a plodder. I’ve got around routes always bumping up against the time limits, and thought that was just the way I was. Sufferfest has shown me the joy and potential of suffering, and now I’m thinking that I would not just be able to finish the 1500km ride, but do it in a good time.

My goal in mind now is to finish in under 100 hours. That’s 100 hours total (time limit is 125 hours total). If I do a 16 hour day, that’s about 22kmh riding pace. I’ve been out for a few short rides and been able to easily maintain that pace without feeling like I was running into the red, so I think that’s doable.

So, my question. Which training plan would be best? Prior to my poor FF performance, my rider type has always been rouleur, so a good all rounder.

I was thinking about doing the full century plan, but my daily aim would be to do twice that per day (at least 350km a day)

So instead I’m thinking about concentrating on speed. Would the Time trial training plan be a good fit?

Thoughts? What do you think would be a good training plan for Ultra distance riding?

2 Likes

Low and slow HR. Check out the Maffetone Method by Dr. Phillip Maffetone.

1 Like

11 months is plenty of time to get yourself trained for that!
However, you do have to be careful not to hit the training super hard for the next 8 months only to fizzle out in the final lead up.
Generally, for someone in your position, I would recommend going with a reverse periodization scheme. Meaning, spend the next 3-5 months (depending on how bad your winters are) focusing more on the shorter efforts and muscular endurance work (GOAT, POWER STATION) but keeping the volume low to moderate. 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. And on that note, I would strongly suggest adding strength to your training program for the next 24 weeks. The added muscular endurance, stability, and core strength gained from strength are going to be vital to get you through that long of a day.
For plans to start now, something like the Metric Century or Time Trial Prep plan w/ strength would be a good starting point. Don’t start going crazy with adding volume right out of the gate.
I would also suggest looking into a SUF Coaching customized plan, especially if you are going to be putting in all the hours needed to reach your goal.

6 Likes

Interesting thread - this is broadly what my events are like as well so ‘watching’.
And the train at sub 130 HR (in my case) idea above … that would be cool :slight_smile:

2 Likes

I have just reevaluated my definition of long

3 Likes

You’re not alone there!

2 Likes