I’m coaching a client who is preparing for a 500-mile race March 20-21. Mike isn’t a rookie. He’s done multiple ultra races. For a variety of reasons last summer he was stressed out, wasn’t motivated and didn’t ride much. I suggested he take time off the bike to get his life organized and he agreed. In the fall I had him mountain biking, which he loves, instead of longer endurance rides.
January 1 he started training for the 500-miler. Here are the planned long rides to the race and his actual long rides. His Jan 31 ride was only 116 miles instead of 135 miles and his Feb 7 ride was only 85 miles instead of 150 miles. Starting next week he has five weeks to train.
Week Planned Actual
Ending Long Ride Long Ride
Jan 3, 2021 90 miles 90 miles
Jan 10 50 miles 52 miles (off bike during week visiting family)
Jan 17 90 miles Went hiking instead of riding (off bike during week)
Jan 24 95 miles 95 miles
Jan 31 135 miles 116 miles
Feb 7 150 miles 85 miles
Feb 14 4 – 5 hr. MTB ride
Feb 21 100 miles
Feb 28 200 miles
Mar 7 100 miles
Mar 14 50 miles
Mar 20 500-mile race
As a coach there are three issues:
- How to get him motivated to do the long miles.
- How to rework the plan so he ramps up to at least a 200-mile long ride.
- How to schedule the 200+ mile long ride so he can recover for the 500-mile race.
What would you do?
Coach John Hughes earned coaching certifications from USA Cycling and the National Strength and Conditioning Association. John’s cycling career includes course records in the Boston-Montreal-Boston 1200-km randonnée and the Furnace Creek 508, a Race Across AMerica (RAAM) qualifier. He has ridden solo RAAM twice and is a 5-time finisher of the 1200-km Paris-Brest-Paris. He has written over 40 eBooks and eArticles on cycling training and nutrition, available in RBR’s eBookstore at Coach John Hughes. Click to read John’s full bio.