Question: I want to ride a double century in four weeks. I did a 6-hour century three months ago. Since then I have ridden 200 miles per month with some interval training, and run 15-20 miles per week. Can I complete the double? — Sean O.
Coach Fred Matheny Replies: Completing a 200-mile ride is possible given your training history, but you shouldn’t expect to do it fast or comfortably.
Ideally, you’d gradually increase the distance of one long training ride each week for at least eight weeks. When you could comfortably ride about 150 miles, you’d have the base to enjoy a double century.
It’s too late in the game to do big-mileage training rides on the weekend. The best you can do is about four hours the first weekend, five hours the second and six hours the third. Then spin easily during the last week before the event to be well rested. This isn’t optimum, but it will get you enough saddle time to protect your knees.
Also, it may be helpful to stop running during this month. Get as much cycling adaptation as possible.
During the event, pace yourself from the start. Pause at every aid station so you stay hydrated and well-fed. Keep stops to less than 10 minutes so you don’t stiffen. Ride hills at a steady pace that’s well below your maximum. Take advantage of all the draft you can get from other riders.
And be patient! It may take you longer to finish than you’d like, but it should be doable.