One of our new year’s resolution suggestion for 2017 is the prospect of riding a double century--200 miles! So, if riding centuries are your thing, this could be right up your street. It definitely could, but, at the same time we do have to actually admit that few of us have ever ridden a double century. So, to find out how to train for one, we have consulted a few ultra endurance experts and also gone back to our own training knowledge too. So, how to prepare for Ultra endurance event? Here are some useful tips for you. If you have any different suggestions, let us a message.
Try to do at least half the distance several times before the event.
If you are really intent in doing an ultra endurance event, there is no real shortcut to simply putting the miles in. You can’t just afford to ride 50 miles if your target is a double century. Your preparation is vital. In the simple words of one of the ultra endurance experts, “if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.” getting the longer rides in is going to condition your body, not just from a physical fitness point of view, but also getting your body used to sitting on a bike for that sort of duration and at the same time, training your mind. You don’t need to have done the distance of your event in training, but you should have done at least half the distance on a few occasions. Also, doing a couple of long back to back days will teach your body and mind to keep riding when you are already fatigued.
2.Gradually build up to your goal.
Similar to other goals is the gradual buildup. Increase the length of your longest ride each week and do so gradually because going in too long, too early could do more harm than good. Once you know your end goal is, work out a plan about how you can get there between now and then.
Rest and recuperation becomes even more important when you are doing the big hours. Going to this extreme in exercise duration is really going to deplete your body of it’s reserves. So it is vital that you give it enough rest to recover. Otherwise, you risk digging a very big hole.
Nutrition becomes doubly important, both on and off the bike. The correct nutrition off the bike will help you to replace everything you use while cycling. And what you eat on your rides becomes vital. As an experienced rider, you can probably now muddle through a century even if you don’t get your nutrition spot on. Double that distance and you’re going to go through some dark period unless your nutrition is planned and executed perfectly. Find out what works for you. It might be that at the lower intensity you will have to ride at for these longer distance, a different type of food or drink works better for you. It’s a case of you experimenting and then putting it into practice in your training before the day of the event.
Making sure your body is in perfect working order is the first step, but the same should really apply to your bike as well. Spending ten hours in the saddle is hard enough. The last thing you want is a mechanical or to feel uncomfortable. So make sure it’s serviced, in good working order and fits you very, very well. Pay particular attention to the contact points with your body. So think saddles, bars, shoes, insoles, cleat position, that sort of things. Also, anything that can improve your comfort, so think things like bigger tyres or better clothing is going to make a massive difference.
Don’t start out too hard. There is not too much time to recover during an ultra endurance event, so it’s absolutely vital that you get your pacing strategy spot on. As a matter of fact, it’s a good idea to use either a heart rate monitor and/or power meter to make sure you stay within the right zones. Endurance events are hard enough and if you get your pacing strategy wrong, you can make the latter stages particularly tough and brutal.
7.It’s mental as much as physical.
Once we get into ultra endurance distance, it becomes a mental game as much as a physical one. Many people are physically capable of riding for ten hours, but it’s their head that holds them back. So training your mind becomes just as important. You can’t let a small inconvenience such as a headwind affect your concentration, motivation and determination. You need to teach your mind to cope with the diversity to stay positive at all times. As one of the experienced endurance riding experts says, your mind is your biggest asset. You will go through ups and downs, but keep focused on the goal you have and find ways to break it down. Everyone will find their own way to do this.
8.Avoid thinking about the final figure, try to break it down into small chunks.
The expert suggests trying not to think of the big distance number, as this can seem almost too large at times and a lot way off. So think of the time that you are riding for rather than the miles or the kilometers. That is a much smaller number and therefore much easier on your mind. Ultra distance are probably 75% mind focus on the determination and 25% physical. In conclusion, your body can do whatever you want it to. It’s your mind that you need to convince. So, never ever give in.
We do hope these tip may help you prepare for the ultra endurance event and we wish you good luck in the event. Ultra endurance riding adventures are wonderful, come and join us!