Best Endurance Road Bike 2020
A Comprehensive Guide for Endurance Cycling
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. 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. 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.