How To Train For Ultra Endurance Cycling

How To Train For Ultra Endurance Cycling


– One of our GCN new years
resolution suggestions for 2017 was the prospect
of riding a double century. So, 200 miles. So, if riding centuries are your thing, this could be right up your street. – It definitely could
but, at the same time you’re saying that Matt, we
did have to actually admit that none of us here
at GCN have ever ridden a double century. So, to find out how to train
for one, we’ve consulted a few ultra endurance
experts like our friend, Bruce Berkeley, and also
gone back to our own training knowledge too. Another coffee? – Tom, you already had four espressos. – I’m nervous. (upbeat music) – If you’re really intent in
doing an ultra endurance event, there’s 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. – How far do we have to go, Matt? – About 199 miles, mate. – Oh, one mile in? – Yeah, sorry. Your preparation is vital. In the simple words of Bruce,
“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 already fatigued. – Similar to other goals
though, 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 what your end
goal is, work out a plan about how you can get there
between now and then. – [Man] Rest and recuperation
becomes even more important when you’re doing the big hours. Going to this extreme in exercise duration is really going to deplete
your body of it’s reserves. So it’s 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 that
you use while cycling. Is that nice? 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 periods unless
your nutrition is planned and executed perfectly. Find out what works for you. It might be that at the lower
intensity you’ll have to ride at for these longer
distances, a different type of food or drink works better for you. It’s a case of you experimenting
and then putting it into practise 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 10 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 saddle, bars, shoes, insoles, cleat position, that sort of thing. 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’s not too much time to recover during an ultra endurance
event, so it’s absolutely vital that you get your pacing strategy spot on. In fact, it’s a good idea to use either a heart rate monitor and/or powermeter 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. – Once we get into ultra
endurance distances, it becomes a mental game
as much as a physical one. Many people are physically
capable of riding for 10 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 endurance riding expert,
Bruce Berkeley 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. Bruce suggests trying not
to think of the big distance number, as this can seem
almost too large at times and a long way off. So, think of the time
that you’re riding for, rather than the miles or the kilometres. That’s a much smaller number
and therefore much easier on your mind. Ultra distance events
are probably 75% mind, focus and 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, ever give in. – Inspirational stuff Matt
and we know that a lot of you absolutely love your epic
endurance riding adventure, so do let us know your do’s and dont’s for preparing for this
down in the comments. If you haven’t done so
already, subscribe to GCN. All you need to do is click
on our logo, which should be onscreen now and a
hugely important subject when you’re doing an
endurance ride is comfort. So, to get more comfortable on your bike, click right there. – Yeah and for how to
prepare for your first ever 100-mile ride, how ’bout
clicking just down here. We need to lie down now, don’t we? – I do.