I have only ridden one 12 hour, so there is still much to learn. But, these are some thoughts on training, racing and preparing.
- Most of my training for past few months has been training at just below threshold. Quite fast on a time trial bike. Perhaps 80% of FTP.
- Training on a time trial bike is really essential. It’s not just the legs but holding the position that is hard in a 12 hour. Remember in training, you move around much more than in race.
- I hoped to do quite a few 5 hour rides / 100miles – one per week. But, I rarely got time, so mostly did 2-3 hours, with the odd 4 hour ride. However, I am able to train during the week so was often averaging 200-300 miles a week, mostly at a pretty good intensity. I had quite a few breaks this year due to injury, illness, holiday. On average one week off during every month. I could have had a higher training load, but maybe forced rest helped too.
- Definitely worth avoiding becoming a complete mile-muncher, once a month, a lighter week will complement the heavier weeks when you push the mileage.
- This month June has been an increase in training intensity, with 1,200 miles in the 25 days of June before the race. During this time I did no intervals, but just worked on that time trial training intensity, with the 12 hour in mind.
- In June, I did my first 100 mile rides of the year. Two in training and one in a race. My longest ride was 103 miles. To ride over 100 miles was good for confidence. It is also good practise for spending time on the saddle, where you learn a few things (e.g. feet becoming tight in shoes. I don’t think it is necessary to do 6-7 hour rides of slow intensity, unless you have the time and inclination. It was the plan to do a couple of 6 hour rides, but time never allowed.
- When training, try to replicate the set up of the race, e.g. same water bottles, same feeding. I don’t use race wheels, or aero helmet, but apart from that it’s fairly similar. I try to plan routes which are flattish and minimal stopping.