midwestrider
This will be my first gravel race, and I'm wondering how you all train and work up to a 100 mile event?  Its been a long winter and a dismal spring in the upper midwest, but I still have time to train.  My goal for the race is just to finish, and hopefully finish with a respectable time that I can admit to in public.  Not looking to kill it or anything.  

So far I've done a 50 mile ride and just finished a 55 mile ride today.  I ride a little bit every day, since I bike to work, but Sundays are really the only day I can set aside time for a 5+ hour long ride.  I can often get a couple hours of MTB or fat biking in during the evenings, but I'm not sure how helpful that is for an endurance event.  

The plan is to just keep adding 10 or so miles each weekend, so if the weather (and life) cooperates then I should be at or above 100 miles by the time the race comes.  

How do you all train for longer rides like this?  Any strategies you'd be willing to share?

As a side rant, I'm just dying for a warm and sunny day on my bike.  It seems like that's NEVER going to happen, but I just want it so bad!  Also, if I have to ride by any more turkey farms, I'm going to turn into a vegetarian.  Geezeee, those are disgusting!  And once you've inhaled the smell, then your food tastes like that for the rest of the day.  Love the stuff you get to see on gravel, but factory farms are awful! End of rant.  
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Slim
As far as I understand, most experts (and my experience) suggest that if you can do 3/4 of your target distance at race pace in training, you can hang in there for the whole thing during the race.

Doing intervals will be probably be more productive than doing a 80mi+ ride every weekend. Most importantly, can you find a bunch of climbs similar to the one in the Almanzo? Practice the gravel descending too, although if you fatbike and mtb too, you should have a leg up on the pavement only people.

Do a few longer rides to figure out food and comfort issues beforehand, preferably with a good steep climb near the end, to figure out what gearing you need.
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cjdaking
Add mileage every 3 weeks and then drop mileage down a week to allow for recovery then ratchet back up. This is what marathon training schedules to and it's good if you're new to longer distances. If you're comfortable doing 60 or 70, you'll probably be just fine over 100 and completing the route should be a snap! Intervals will make sure you get done before all the good beers are gone at the finish...
 
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midwestrider
Thanks for the advice and feedback.  I finished a really enjoyable 85 mile ride this weekend, and I'm definitely feeling stronger.  This particular route was hilly, but did not have much climbing, so I'll seek that out for future routes.  

I think I'm getting a good handle on food and hydration, too.  While I was not on a race pace on the weekend ride, I averaged a good 12mph and the recovery was not bad, either.  For now, short breaks off the bike every 25 or 30 miles, and smaller snacks at regular intervals work well.

Really enjoying all the places you get to see on gravel, and just having a great time! Hoping everybody else is, too.
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Zurichman
cjdaking wrote:
Add mileage every 3 weeks and then drop mileage down a week to allow for recovery then ratchet back up. This is what marathon training schedules to and it's good if you're new to longer distances. If you're comfortable doing 60 or 70, you'll probably be just fine over 100 and completing the route should be a snap! Intervals will make sure you get done before all the good beers are gone at the finish...
 


Reading thru some old reports/tips tonight to get some ideas of ride/races I want to do this next year and some training tips.

Being an ex marathon/runner/racer I understand the concept of recovery weeks every 3rd or 4th week. I also understand interval training. What I didn't see listed here was how long/mileage anybody is doing the interval training and at what speed.

1/4 mile or 1/2 mile sprints at race pace or faster speed is that close?

Thanks
Zman
If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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PoolBoyMatt
Based on what I saw helping with the Cherry Grove aid station this year, here are my findings of how to prep for Almanzo 100:

20 minute intervals - these should be at the to of your HR range of what is sustainable. These will build your aerobic base. The first 10 minutes should feel very doable, the last 3 minutes will probably have you cussing life.

30 second intervals - I do these in sets of 8. 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off. Total time is 7.5 minutes, with 8 sets of "on". These should be hard from the first. I usually do 3 total sets, with 10 minutes of easy pedaling in between. The important part of pedaling in between is working on the active recovery. So 7.5 minutes of 30 on/30 off, 10 minutes easy pedaling, 7.5 30 on/30 off, 10 minutes of easy pedaling, 7.5 30 on/30 off - limp home.

As far as mileage goes - work your up as possible. If you are able to do some hard intervals solo during the week and get in a long ride with your friends on the weekend it will be improving fitness and still riding with friends.

Find someone with a walk in cooler. Set up your trainer in the walk in. Put on wet bib shorts and ride the trainer until your lips turn blue. These work on mental fortitude and prep you for identifying hypothermia during exercise.


Ok, the last one might be a joke. Maybe.

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Zurichman
PoolBoyMatt wrote:
Based on what I saw helping with the Cherry Grove aid station this year, here are my findings of how to prep for Almanzo 100:

20 minute intervals - these should be at the to of your HR range of what is sustainable. These will build your aerobic base. The first 10 minutes should feel very doable, the last 3 minutes will probably have you cussing life.

30 second intervals - I do these in sets of 8. 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off. Total time is 7.5 minutes, with 8 sets of "on". These should be hard from the first. I usually do 3 total sets, with 10 minutes of easy pedaling in between. The important part of pedaling in between is working on the active recovery. So 7.5 minutes of 30 on/30 off, 10 minutes easy pedaling, 7.5 30 on/30 off, 10 minutes of easy pedaling, 7.5 30 on/30 off - limp home.

As far as mileage goes - work your up as possible. If you are able to do some hard intervals solo during the week and get in a long ride with your friends on the weekend it will be improving fitness and still riding with friends.

Find someone with a walk in cooler. Set up your trainer in the walk in. Put on wet bib shorts and ride the trainer until your lips turn blue. These work on mental fortitude and prep you for identifying hypothermia during exercise.


Ok, the last one might be a joke. Maybe.



PoolBoyMatt thanks so much for that interval info. The part that has me scratching my head kind of is the last one as many years it isn't a joke and not sure I want to fly out from Pa. to ride in that walk in cooler/wet bibs/shorts and lips turning blue kind of ride. In my younger days I could take that all in stride. Now with 3 cases of hypothermia and getting older that doesn't appeal to me as much.  [nono]


Zman
If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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