Want to go for long, epic bike rides, and thoroughly enjoy them?
Sure. It’s every cyclist’s dream. Exploring new roads, spending hours in the saddle, feeling strong and fresh the whole time.
But it’s not easy. It obviously requires a substantial amount of endurance training.
But it’s more than that. Going longer on your bike takes more than simply logging more miles and hours. To be a master endurance cyclist, you need to plan ahead for the needs of longer, harder rides and practice the necessary strategies to finish strong, with a smile.
You absolutely – without exception – need to have a solid base of aerobic fitness and core strength.
Strong muscles and a strong heart and lungs.
So you definitely need some miles in your legs.
It’s not just miles of riding.
And let me tell you something else, if you think long, endless miles are enough to have a good day at an epic/ultra event, you’re wrong. No matter how many miles you do, it all comes down to overcoming your weak links! If there is one, be it poor muscular endurance, lack of core strength or back durability – it’s gonna be a really bad day!
Back pain? Do some core work.
Not good with tough hill climbs? Practice!
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.
I highly recommend in your training planning on a few rides or “blocks of rides” on subsequent days 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.
On short rides, you have a lot of leeway in your nutrition. On long rides, not so much.
Get that dialed in, and practice it to make sure it works for your body.
Some cyclists, 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.
Be Ready for a Long Day
Just as you would put a lot of planning in place for a week-long vacation, you need to plan similarly for your epic rides.
Planning and goal setting
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.
Have the mindset that it will be a long day, but you’ll enjoy it and overcome any obstacles.