This challenge and reading what everyone is doing have really gotten me excited for my next 2-3 months of training. I decided to put together my own…
I am planning on riding from where I live in the Madison, WI area to Chicago. I am planning to route via the Milwaukee Area and into Chicago from the north to be around 200 miles to get my first official Double Century.
I have done longer rides but in recent years my overall volume and general fitness (for longer events) have gotten worse. Lately I have been doing more higher intensity group rides. Some weeks I would 3 hard rides and 2 semi-hard rides. I neglected the longer rides and the more frequent everyday rides that really added up so that I can save my legs for the group rides. In the past year as I have not done as many with lockdown I realized I am not getting as much “utility” out of the shorter intense rides and was getting pretty burned out after a few months – it kind of felt like an obligation to others rather than doing something for fun and/or fitness. While I was trying to be fresher for the harder shorter efforts, I started cutting back on things that I really enjoy about riding my bike - commuting, “grocery trips”, doing other things (good strength and cross training - I need to cross train) and just overall getting out and having fun. Committing to this challenge is a way for me to nudge me to focus back to what I like about training and cycling.
I am also looking forward to learning things about myself. In recent years I have really been able to recognize cycles in when my body is able to perform better than other times. I am hoping to keep good notes and see what I can learn about those times. I am sure things will ebb and flow over the next few months preparing and on my ride as well.
The route isn’t going to be as challenging as the Ride Across Wisconsin (RAW) in 2016 but it is longer. It will be a solo effort (for the most part) so it is more than just the ride – the process of training, prepping, and self-supporting.
My challenges in upcoming years are to do more rides in other parts of the world like doing a week that begins by doing a ride in Switzerland doing the Chasing Cancellara ride from Zurich to Zermatt, spend a few days of rest in Zermatt, and then ride from Zermatt to Chamonix France (Matterhorn to Mt. Blanc!). The N:1 Challenge would be a great springboard to start rebuilding that long haul fitness and mentality to achieve that challenge.
A few weeks ago I hit a peak with indoor training where I hit some pretty good 5 and 20 minute power numbers. I feel if I can focus on getting hours in the saddle and not lose too much, I should be good to go in a few months…I will look to be working more on HR training while trying to get more out a 60-70% LTHR effort by doing longer rides in that ranges and really looking to keep the HR in control when the road get steeper since I like riding on hillier routes.
I will continue to fit in workouts about once every week or two, depending on what block I am in, that will to maintain my 1, 5, and 20 minute efforts as much as possible. I plan to use different weeks in blocks to determine to do these efforts early (or stand-alone) in a workout or at the end to workout to do with some fatigue set in. Usually I plan my 4th (of 4) week of a block for less volume/sessions and will use that week to try to the intervals a little harder. A standard week will be 5-6 days of training:
• One day - weekend or day off work - of a 3+ hour ride at an intensity that I feel like doing that day. Probably somewhere around 70-85% of LTHR
• 2 days to fit in a 2 hour or 2x1.5 hours @ ~ 70-75% LTHR
• 2-3 other days with lighter volume and intensity with a run or a swim fitted in for some of the sessions. @ 60-70% LTHR
o Or 1 “easy” day @ ~ 60% LTHR with 1 interval day but work in an extra rest day
• 1-2 days of strength where one day will be work on rotary stability and movement form; and the other will be lightly weighted strength movement (slow tempo with some isometrics) for helping on bike – KB work, lunges, hinges, bench press/pushups, rows, etc.
Diet and Nutrition
I have been getting pretty dialed in with on the bike nutrition for the shorter and longer efforts I was doing. I know a 200 mile day in the saddle will be challenging on getting my “day of” nutrition right but also my on the bike and off the bike nutrition since it will be a lot of time getting ready. My only real plan right now is to make sure I am eating good food and getting enough and make sure I bring enough with me on my longer training rides. This is an area that I have not started to think about yet but I know I can make big improvements that will help me out immensely.