If I’m honest I haven’t really considered the training aspect of this challenge yet, not properly. I’ve been concentrating mostly on the logistics – route planning, potential kit requirements, navigation etc. The question of how to get enough training done, without it leading to a divorce, has been thus far untouched.
With a wife, two young kids and a full time job, day long training rides are not likely to happen. I currently cycle around 100km a week to and from work and bump that up with a ride once or twice a week, either a longer route to or from work or in my lunch break, leaving my weekends mostly free. This is enough training for me to blag a 100 mile day without completely falling apart. But 247 miles is different to 100 miles, very different.
My first port of call for training advice was the BCTTT forum (http://forum.bcttt.com/index.php). This is a Triathlon forum that I go on and has a wide array of athletes from sprint/standard distance triathlon racers, to double ironman, 100 mile ultra-marathon runners and long distance time trialers. So if anyone is going to know how to train to go long it should be these guys. Most of these super endurance err… enthusiasts, I’ll go with enthusiast, suggested a technique of accumulated fatigue, where rather than going for one long training session, of say 150 miles, you do two shorter higher intensity work outs to simulate the feeling of a longer effort. For example, one eventing spending a couple of hours doing intervals on the turbo, then going out for a ride the next morning when your legs don’t really feel up to it, I think the term used was ‘character building’. This way I could use the turbo on say a Friday night and on Saturday if we are going out as a family I could cycle to where we are going (this method of cycling to family jaunts has served me well in the past when training for triathlons). So it seems that ‘accumulated fatigue’ may be the way to go. I also hope to mix up the training burden between the road and the trail. For some reason getting soaking wet and filthy on a mountain bike seems far more appealing.
I also think a few training events may help with motivation for those cold, wet miles. If I have some shorter, more manageable events to be training for it might take the pressure off a little. As it stands every time I throw my leg over my bike I see a huge ‘247’ flash up in front of me. Below is a list of races that I could use to break up my training and take the pressure off ‘bont ride’. The chances are, given my level of organisation and the probable ‘Wife Added Tax’, that I won’t do all of them – it’s pretty much nailed on that I won’t to be honest. If, however, I can do 3 or 4 of them it would definitely help with the build-up.
Potential races to build up with:
6 October, Hell of the West, off road sportive (100 km) *edit – cancelled*
18 October, Mr Pickwicks Autumnal outing (206km Audax)
26 October, Dartmoor Devil, Audax (100 km)
8 November, Mr Pickwick’s Cymraeg Cyrch, (209km Audax)
15 Novemver, Wiggle Purbeck Hill-a-suraus (42 km)
16 November, The Stinger, off road duathlon (5km, 20km, 3km)
6 December, Kings, Castles, Priests and churches, Audax (205km) *unlikely*
11 January, Oh my obelisk, Trail run race (17km)
8 February, Soggy Bottom, XC MTB race