General Discussion Triathlon Talk » 3-4 hr long ride overkill for 1 hour races???? Rss Feed  
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2013-09-30 4:47 PM

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Subject: 3-4 hr long ride overkill for 1 hour races????
I am looking ahead to next year trying to plan when I will peak, what volume I want to reach etc. I realized that the two cycling events I raced in this year were both around 27 miles and took just over an hour. Do I need to do 3-4 hour long rides once a week to build endurance in base (and to maintain it during the season) for these type of races?
Okay, now...maybe I don't NEED to, but will it help me at all in 1-2 hour races? I don't mind doing them but in the winter I think they are hard to do (especially on the trainer!!). I realize that most people will probably want way more information than this (ht, wt, eye color, etc...) but IN GENERAL...does one benefit from 3-4 hour long rides when they are only racing for 1-2 hours? Thanks

2013-09-30 7:24 PM
in reply to: Kermat89

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Subject: RE: 3-4 hr long ride overkill for 1 hour races????

Increasing your training load will help to increase your fitness across all race distances.

For a 3-4 hour ride, you don't have to ride at the same effort/power the entire time.  You can break it up into 10-30 minute intervals where you're slightly below, at, or above your goal race effort/power.

2013-10-01 12:40 PM
in reply to: Kermat89

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Tacoma, Washington
Subject: RE: 3-4 hr long ride overkill for 1 hour races????

What does the rest of the week look like for you?

Yes, there is benefit. But I think it would behoove you to take those long rides as group rides with some race simulation thrown in. 4 hour trainer ride? No.

2013-10-01 10:30 PM
in reply to: Kermat89

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Sedona, AZ
Subject: RE: 3-4 hr long ride overkill for 1 hour races????
I'm a fan of the long ride. Not in isolation of course, but combined with a steady mix of rides during the week. I typically do a 99.9-mile ride on Saturdays and ramp up the intensity the closer it gets to race season. IOW, start long and steady then increase the intensity up hills or on long stretches (like a TT simulation). Move from Z2 for the whole ride -> Z3 up hills -> Z4 up shorter hills -> Z5 up shorter hills -> Z4/Z5 or Z5/Z6 over/unders. At some point I start throwing in sprints at different spots (cresting a hill is a great place to practice). If you have someone to ride with, it's great but I mostly do mine solo.

A power meter, Strava, and music in one ear helps a lot with motivation and targets.
2013-10-03 5:12 AM
in reply to: MonkeyClaw

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Subject: RE: 3-4 hr long ride overkill for 1 hour races????
Thanks for the replies everyone! This year has been my first for just cycling as I transitioned from triathlon (too much going on right now). I tend to train about 7-10 hours per week. I try to ride almost every day if I can. I have a very hilly commute to work (about 14 miles on way) so my goal for this off-season is to ride to work and back mon-fri if I can manage. Then I'll just do a long ride every weekend, that's why I was curious about how long is long enough.
So yeah, by next spring I hope to be putting in about 10-13 hours per week of riding. I always take a recovery week every 3-4 weeks where I only ride about half of average hours and that has really worked well for me. I have always done my long rides in a strict warmup - zone 2-cooldown pattern thinking that the whole purpose of a long ride is to build endurance. But maybe I am wrong. I also do (in moderation) lactate threshold rides, hills, and harder intervals, but I usually do those during shorter rides (30-90 minutes) so I recover faster.
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