So, you wanna go long? Really long and really challenging huh? Awesome, but there are some specific things we need to address first, if you wanna go ULTRA with that bike!
There has been a HUGE increase in demand lately for everyday cyclists coming to me looking for training ideas, tips, and info about Ultra Endurance Mountain Bike and Road Cycling events. Today, I want to offer an EXAMPLE on using SPECIFIC BUILD/PEAK Training for my upcoming NUE event, the Hampshire 100.
Yes, you can also use the following as an example for ROAD ULTRA ENDURANCE events, like Death Ride, Triple Bypass, Everest Challenge, and thousands of others. Just use the Road Specific Version.
HERE’S SOME SIMPLE TIPS:
STEP 1: You absolutely, without exception need to have a SOLID BASE of fitness, core strength, and aerobic function prior to beginning your BUILD/PEAK training for an Ultra event. No base, no Ultra–It’s that simple. And let me tell you something else, if you think long endless miles is enough to have a good day at an ULTRA, you’re wrong. No matter how many miles you do, it all comes down to overcoming your WEAK LINKS! If there is one, like poor muscular endurance, lacking core srtrength or back durability–it’s gonna be a really bad day!
STEP 2: Once your base strength and fitness are created, map out an 8-10 week time-line of “specific training” for your lead up to either the MAIN GOAL or if you have the time a B level goal that is similar but not as demanding as the main goal to PRACTICE and solidify your training.
EXAMPLE: I completed the CYCLO90 Base, then the CYCLO90 XC and the 70.3 TRI-PLAN 4P already for my early season goals. My base is done. Now, for the final 7 weeks until Hampshire 100 I will use the CYCLO90 Road/MTB Climbing and Endurance/Enduro specific training plans.
Here’s what it looks like, week by week. (remember, each week has a balance of HIT, endurance, technique, climbing, etc–the difference is HOW MUCH based on the plan parameters.)
2 WEEKS ENDURANCE + 1 WEEK CLIMBING + 2 WEEKS ENDURANCE + 1 WEEK CLIMBING + ENDURANCE TAPER = HAMPSHIRE 100 PEAK
STEP 3: It’s so important that you prepare yourself physically as well and mentally and nutritionally for something like an Ultra event. I meet too many cyclists that do endless miles, but not hard enough or similar enough to the terrain given for the event they are training for. Or, even worse they show up at the event without having PRACTICED their nutrition plan, or energy plan. What a disaster and a waste of months of hard work.
I highly recommend in your training planning on a few rides or “blocks of rides” on subsequent days (like my Endurance Plans) that OVER-CHALLENGE you beyond what you normally do in your training. This will TEACH your body to deal with the upcoming suffering and obstacles that are inevitable, but hopefully avoidable.