Seeking wisdom on LE2JOG training for time starved cyclist

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
rainbow462
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Seeking wisdom on LE2JOG training for time starved cyclist

Postby rainbow462 » 17 Dec 2013, 2:41pm

Hi Everyone

So I’m booked to do a 12 day LE2JOG in May with accommodation, route and flights all sorted. That’s the easy bit. The tricky bit is training. Now, with plentiful hours I would do lots of miles and build it up in the traditional way. However that is not my lot, so I need some collective wisdom on some shortcuts and best use of limited training time.

I’m 44, am reasonably fit and cycle nearly every Sunday morning with the CTC doing approx 70-80km’s at 22kmph. However with a family and job I have limited other opportunities to get out on my bike for anything other than the occasional 1 hour ride. On the plus side, as I travel a lot I can get to hotel gyms sometimes and also have some rollers in my garage for winter evenings.

So, if I have an hour at the gym and an hour on the rollers mid week to supplement my Sunday morning proper ride, what is the best way of using them? Is it blast the heart rate on the rollers and try and work on weights in the gym or something more subtle.

Thoughts welcome

Rainbow

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Mick F
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Re: Seeking wisdom on LE2JOG training for time starved cycli

Postby Mick F » 17 Dec 2013, 3:38pm

When I did my first JOGLE in May 1994 I was still in the RN.

I cooked up the idea of doing JOGLE whilst my ship was away across in USA and the Bahamas. We arrived back in March '94 and were in and out of Plymouth/Devonport for a few weeks before going up to West Scotland. I managed to get a couple of weeks leave up there and rode away from the ship to stay over with friends locally, then the next day down to Glasgow for the rail journey north.

However, how was I going to train for the long (unsupported) ride?
All I had at sea was a cycling machine. I'd get on the damned thing for a few hours every single blessed evening. Boring as hell. That's all I had, and had to like it and lump it.

As it happens, I set off from JOG SYHA and headed for JOG, then south for Helmsdale SYHA. First day only 50odd miles, but the second and third days I became rather frightened and rather despondent worrying whether I could make it to LE. The weather was damp and dreary, and I really was concerned and of low morale.

I need not have worried! :D
I became fitter and fitter as the days went through, and in the end I was whizzing along like a breeze! :D

Basically, what I'm saying, is not to worry (like I did). It isn't difficult to do, just long.
All you have to do is ride your bike. You get up in the morning, get a good breakfast, and get perhaps 40 or 50miles under your belt before lunch. Don't stop too long, and don't eat too much, then do as many miles as you need to in the afternoon. I averaged 80miles a day, but one or two legs were 100miles and some were 50 or 60miles. Providing you get a move on in the morning and get going, the miles will just get eaten up. By each lunchtime, you should have done more than half way for the day.

Get as much exercise as you can before you set off, but it needs to be steady exercise. You need strong legs and good cardiovascular fitness. You'll improve as you go. Cycle as much as you can. Rollers/trainers are ok, but cycling on a real bike on a real road is best.
Mick F. Cornwall

irc
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Re: Seeking wisdom on LE2JOG training for time starved cycli

Postby irc » 17 Dec 2013, 5:02pm

I did a 13 day LEJOG on training of around 120 - 150 miles per week. I got there but it wasn't really enough. The first few days were tough. My training was a 10-12 mile (each way) commute most work days and a longer ride at the weekend. I don't think I did more than 60 miles a day in training.

For a 12 day LEJOG you need to be able to ride 80 mile days. I'd suggest lengthening your CTC ride perhaps by riding to the start and home at the end to build up to near 80 miles. Combined with a few hours here and there. Try to ride at least 5 days a week for an hour or more. I think an hour or more on the bike is more useful ffor a LEJOG than the same time in the gym. Specific training. Fast 1 hour rides and a longer sllower ride at the weekend.

If your bike is comfortable for 80 mile days then getting an early start so you can have regular stops and not have to push it should get you there. A LEJOG is largely about spending a long time on the bike for 12 (or whatever) days in a row. Your average speed doesn't matter.

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Re: Seeking wisdom on LE2JOG training for time starved cycli

Postby barneybear69 » 19 Dec 2013, 2:13pm

I was training for a 10 day (ended up 9) in 2011 I would just suggest hills and long rides!!
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Henry741
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Re: Seeking wisdom on LE2JOG training for time starved cycli

Postby Henry741 » 19 Dec 2013, 5:29pm

I did a 14 day LEJOG in July this year. My training was a 15 mile each way commute which I did 3 maybe 4 times a week. I did not have much time on weekends but did do a couple of 34 mile Sunday rides and a one off 49 mile Sunday ride.

That was the furthest I had cycled in one day before I set off.

Was it enough? well you could always be fitter but I did not suffer too much. What I had to keep telling myself was NO RUSH. I had all day to cover the miles, my longest day was 85 miles, and at an average of 10 mph that is only 8.5 hours, 5 in the morning and 3.5 in the afternoon. You have got all day, take your time.

As has been said, you will get fitter as the days roll along. Eat plenty, just keep turning the pedals, and enjoy.

I loved it.

bearonabike
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Re: Seeking wisdom on LE2JOG training for time starved cycli

Postby bearonabike » 13 Jan 2014, 1:57pm

Sounds like you're looking at 80 / 90 miles per day. As far as your time allows:

1. Promise your wife a decent holiday when it's all over, but in the meantime explain that you've got some serious training to do....

2. Ride on consecutive days. Riding with fatigue in your legs, as you will be, is very different to riding a sportive with a week to recover before your next ride. This is probably the single most important thing and the more of that you can do the better, especially in the month or so before you leave. It may also get you divorced, but you'll be in for a miserable trip if you can't string back to back days together.

If you are really struggling with road time you can extend this principle to the rollers. But remember you'll be riding 7/8 hours per day on the trip, not just blasting for an hour.

3. Find the biggest hills in your area and make a point of tackling them, particularly when tired. You can cram a lot of hill work in to an hour.

4. Do a couple of rides a fair bit longer than your intended daily mileage. If you'll be doing 80/90 miles a day, it'll give you great confidence to know that you can actually ride 20 miles further than that if needs be. I know this doesn't exactly fit in with time starved, but it's just lengthening your Sundays a smidge. See 1. :D

5. Ride in the wet and the wind. It's hard, but benefical. You'll encounter some bad weather somewhere along the way - be ready for it.

6. All fitness is good, and mixing it up will stop you getting bored. However there's no substitute for hours on your bike and miles in your legs. Find any excuse you can to get out there.

Good luck!

Milfred Cubicle
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Re: Seeking wisdom on LE2JOG training for time starved cycli

Postby Milfred Cubicle » 14 Jan 2014, 7:46pm

I've ridden quite a bit of Audax, LEJOG, tours and London Edinburgh London. Like you, I always panic a little about lack of training, yet it always seems to work out. I'd recommend;
Keep up your Sunday rides, but increase your distance to at least 2/3 of your expected daily mileage.
Try riding flat out for an hour a week, to sort out the lungs.
Find a hilly route, load up the bike and muscle up some climbs for an hour. If your legs feel like jelly the following day, see if you can fit in a gentle 'loosening up' spin.

Don't overlook 'sneaky' training too. This is easier than you might think. Straight leg raises if you work at a desk, power walking up steps etc.
I think the thing everyone underestimates is conditioning the mind. I use some daft tricks in case of 'wobbles' during big rides. The daftest one is to compile a list of all the people who have forced me to ride. When I can't think of anyone, it makes me remember I'm doing it by choice, and for FUN.

Vorpal
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Re: Seeking wisdom on LE2JOG training for time starved cycli

Postby Vorpal » 14 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

How far from work do you live? Can you commute some days? If it's too far, can you drive part way & ride part way? I know if you travel alot, it can't always be done.

I've done commutes as far as 28 miles.

The big advantage of commuting by bicycle is that it can actually *save* time (in a way that it can be explained to family members). It's like this....

Monday: 45 km X 2 = 4 hours
Tuesday: driving 45 minutes X 2 = 1.5
Wednesday: driving 45 minutes X 2 = 1.5 hours
Thursday: drive 20 or 25 minutes, cycle 1 hour X 2 = 3 hours
Friday: driving 45 minutes X 2 = 1.5
Sunday 4 hours
Total time = 15.5 hours
total training = 10 hours

Monday: driving 45 minutes X 2 = 1.5 + 1 hour rollers
Tuesday: driving 45 minutes X 2 = 1.5
Wednesday: driving 45 minutes X 2 = 1.5 hours + 1 hour rollers
Thursday: driving 45 minutes X 2 = 1.5
Friday: driving 45 minutes X 2 = 1.5 hours + 2 hours rollers
Saturday 2 hours rollers
Sunday 4 hours
Total time = 17.5 hours
total training = 10 hours

So, in this case, by substituting a commute by bicycle, or part of one, two hours are saved to obtain the same amount of training. You can also train by doing the weekly shopping by bike, running errands, or just about anything else that you would normally do by other methods of transport. You might even find that you like it. :wink: And the more of that you can do, the better your time investment. Obviously, you need to decide for yourself how much training is necessary. You can either think of it as saving time, or getting more training in.

It is possible to ride yourself fit, but it may not be a pleasant experience. And doing so, you may risk saddle sores or other problems that get worse during a LEJOG.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

BearOnWheels
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Re: Seeking wisdom on LE2JOG training for time starved cycli

Postby BearOnWheels » 17 Jan 2014, 2:57pm

Hi Rainbow,
I too am in a similar position but I think I have worked away around the issues!
I am hitting my mid-century this year and wanted to do something challenging and memorable. I last did any serious cycling 18 months ago when I cycled from London to Paris and then lost a lot of motivation to ride due to work and family pressures. Having got these back under control LEJOG beckoned.
Domestically:-
1) I found a cause that appealed to my wife - in the case the MS Society - a good friend of ours was diagnosed with this disease 15 months ago;
2) I agreed to limit my training to 3 times a week;
3) We both agreed that as I was hitting Hawaii (work it out) this was the time
4) There were two possible sets of dates and I chose the set that best suited family commitments

Work
I am also getting support from work - only moral support really!
1) Tell everyone what you are doing and why;
2) My Facethiong link appears on the bottom of my work emails;
3) So when I'm not around or answering email/phone calls everyone knows I am training
4) And I'm using Facething to keep everyone informed

On the training front the question was then how.
I was very comfortable on London to Paris - even the longest day (110 miles in 30c), despite my longest training ride being around 50 miles. I had also done a five day charity ride a good few years ago and handled that fine too so the day after day eat-ride-eat-sleep-repeat routine was fine. But 12 days of circa 100 miles day? So:-
1) I found a book :- http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Time-Starve ... B00BBADT1A ,read it and planned accordingly;
2) Current plans are for two short weekly rides and one long ride;
3) This last ride will get longer and longer;
4) The other two will become more intense - faster, pushing hills more etc…
5) I am running a 4 week training cycle: base-build-peak-drop back;
6) I have then a higher level plan that sets out the maximum distance ride I hit in a month;
7) Currently looking at hitting 100 miles in June and then doing 3x100 mile back to back days in July -
8) Keep it there and the event is the end of August

In summary:-
Communication is key
Have a plan, share it and stick to it as best you can
Get everyone to buy in to supporting you!
Good luck!

oldtimer99
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Re: Seeking wisdom on LE2JOG training for time starved cycli

Postby oldtimer99 » 20 Jan 2014, 8:55pm

I took the OH with me! evening rides where possible, longer runs at weekends, but never did more than 55 in training. Did up to 75 on JOGLE without serious issues. We could have done longer JOGLE days but were fortunate in having time.

I was worrried about the OH keeping up. The OH was worried about keeping up.

Had fun and are still married!!!!

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Re: Seeking wisdom on LE2JOG training for time starved cycli

Postby Vorpal » 21 Jan 2014, 9:06am

oldtimer99 wrote:I took the OH with me! evening rides where possible, longer runs at weekends, but never did more than 55 in training. Did up to 75 on JOGLE without serious issues. We could have done longer JOGLE days but were fortunate in having time.

I was worrried about the OH keeping up. The OH was worried about keeping up.

Had fun and are still married!!!!


That's not so easy when the kids have to come, too! Especially winter training.

That said, family bike rides are another way to get saddle time. I used to haul the kids to the zoo; 26 miles round trip with the extra weight of two children, trailer, and associated accessories, plus the better part of a day walking around with kids bouncy & fresh from napping in the trailer. when Mr. V was working and I wasn't, we bought annual passes and went frequently. :)
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom