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I have 4-5 weeks to prepare myself for a one day, 220km ride on a road bike, flat terrain (Germany, Ruhr Valley). This year my max is 70km (I could ride 100km, I'm doing bike rides since 2 weeks ago, have done only 3). I'm training since 5 weeks.

Weekly:
- gym strength training 3x a week
- 2x a week interval trainings (spinning, swimming, etc)
- 1x a week long bike ride

The plan is to increase that long bike ride each week by some serious amount, hoping that the gym and interval trainings will help me achieve the goal.

Is this achievable?

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    Is this for an organised event, or have you just planned a route for yourself? Will you be riding it by yourself or with other people? – ilikeprogramming Mar 30 '16 at 10:44
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    You also leave out some other basic info - your age, how many years you've been riding, what weather is expected, is the ride supported and how, are there time limits, ... – andy256 Mar 30 '16 at 11:35
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    On the info given, I wouldn't recommend it. See bicycles.stackexchange.com/a/34381/8273 and bicycles.stackexchange.com/a/30554/8273 – andy256 Mar 30 '16 at 11:41
  • Sounds to me like you need to do more miles. – Daniel R Hicks Mar 30 '16 at 12:11
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    You only have 3 weeks of training - you will need taper down and recover in the week before the ride - the more training you do, the more important to recover in the last week. (You don't get fit from exercising, you get fit recovering from the exercise.) – mattnz Mar 30 '16 at 23:04
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I would say that you should definitely work more on long bike rides and less on strength training. You can always wimp out on the hills and put it in an easy gear. If the max you have done is 70km, then you really need to work on the distance part of it.

Another important thing to train for is how to fuel yourself during the ride. Most moderately fit people could probably do 70 km without worrying about how to properly hydrate and eat during the ride. But when you get up around 200 km, you really have to think about how to eat and drink in the correct amounts so that you don't "bonk" when you are out on the road.

  • Yes, great point about eating and drinking. – andy256 Mar 30 '16 at 21:04
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    Stop all other workouts and just focus on the bike. – ynnekkram Mar 30 '16 at 21:10
  • Thanks for all the answers! I've done 130km ride and 90km two days later lately. Now taking a week break to recover, some gym/cardio, and then a longer ride yet again. – khernik Apr 5 '16 at 17:33
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Success to complete the event will be determined by

  1. Fitness
  2. Strategy
  3. Execution

Given the time constraints you will not be able to add greatly to your fitness base (1). This leaves you with Strategy (2) and execution (3) as factors you can optimize to give you the best chance at success.

Strategy looks at things such as pacing during the event, knowing how/when you will eat and during during the event. Strategy can also include things such as getting sufficient rest prior to the event so you can be at your best.

You can have the best strategy in the world, but fail miserably at executing it. For example, you can plan to eat every 45 minutes, but when actually riding endorphins can kick in making you think you are more on top of things than you actually are. This could make you feel like you skip eating when you planned which can have consequences later in the event.

What you can do in the time left.

Go on at least one very long ride (e.g., 4-6 hours) at least 1-2 weeks before the event. This will give you a feel for what you will be up against when you do your 220 km. Practice eating, drinking. If you sufficiently stay on top of these you shouldn't feel thirsty or experience bonking. That said if you experience either you will need to improve your execution of these. The 1-2 week buffer will give you time to recover before your big day.

Good luck.

  • Good answer, but it should be noted that eating alone is no guarantee of not bonking. With an underdeveloped endurance base, and a body unused to processing food while exercising over a long period, its quite likely carb supplies will still be burned faster than they are replaced. Taking a proper break for a meal can help in this regard. – Andy P Apr 1 '16 at 12:16
  • @AndyP - Good point about taking a break to eat. It has been so many years now that I have trained my body to process food while exercising I forgot this can be quite difficult for many. – Rider_X Apr 1 '16 at 16:32
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Some training is always better than no training. It depends how fast you would like to ride the distance. Given you say there are only four weeks before you attempt the distance - and traditional training for an event would also allow 1 week prior to the event for tapering - and one weekend to attempt a distance close to the target distance ~200km.

I imagine - that leaves little time for the building of endurance. Typically endurance takes longer to build and on a bike this is often done as base mileage over the winter period. Otherwise known as long, steady miles.

As for whether your target is achievable - if you are fit, healthy & motivated - for sure it is. It also depends how hard you want to ride it and how challenging the terrain is.

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