Advice for training the L'Etape

  • Thread starter Vaughan McPhers
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Vaughan McPhers

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I have applied for the 2004 L'Etape, (239 km !!) I had my application in the day after opening so
I'm optimistic about getting a place. This will be my first time for riding anything like this
distance and I'm new to cycling but have always lead a active lifestyle, so my general fitness is
reasonable. Can anyone recommend a training schedule from now until the event in July ? What sort of
distances should I be riding in the weekends ? Any pointers to resources would be appreciated.
 
T

Tony Raven

Guest
Vaughan McPherson wrote:
> I have applied for the 2004 L'Etape, (239 km !!) I had my application in the day after opening so
> I'm optimistic about getting a place. This will be my first time for riding anything like this
> distance and I'm new to cycling but have always lead a active lifestyle, so my general fitness is
> reasonable. Can anyone recommend a training schedule from now until the event in July ? What sort
> of distances should I be riding in the weekends ? Any pointers to resources would be appreciated.

The technique that seemed to work for Tim Moore in his book French Revolutions was don't do any
training, blag some ephedrine from the chemist and load your bike up with panniers. On that basis
you should be able to manage about 30kph average if the story as he tells it is anything to go by.

Tony
 
P

Peter B

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"Vaughan McPherson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:igdVb.1030$Y%[email protected]...
> What sort of distances should I be riding in the weekends ? Any pointers to resources would be
> appreciated.

Well, no personal experience but a chap I teamed up with on last years "Phil and Friends " ride
had just completed L'Tape. He was in his fifties and a latecomer to cycling, his training had
consisted of driving from Nottingham into Derbyshire (for the hills) and increase his mileage each
week until it was close to that of L'Tape. He did little other riding but did attend spinning
sessions during the week. And it certainly worked for him, on the hills he left me for dead, not
that I'm a particularly good benchmark, mind :) Bearing in mind his training commenced during the
winter, i.e. now!

Good luck!
--
Regards, Pete
 
P

Peter B

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"Peter B" <[email protected]> wrote in message
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> He was in his fifties and a latecomer to cycling, his training had consisted of driving from
> Nottingham into Derbyshire (for the hills) and increase his mileage each week

Increase his mileage each week on his bike, which he took with him, not in his car ;-)

--
Regards, Pete
 
S

Simonb

Guest
Vaughan McPherson wrote:
> I have applied for the 2004 L'Etape, (239 km !!) I had my application in the day after opening so
> I'm optimistic about getting a place. This will be my first time for riding anything like this
> distance and I'm new to cycling but have always lead a active lifestyle, so my general fitness is
> reasonable. Can anyone recommend a training schedule from now until the event in July ? What sort
> of distances should I be riding in the weekends ? Any pointers to resources would be appreciated.

I did an Audax ride yesterday. The chap I was cycling with was using Audax rides to train for
L'Etape as they tend to increase in distance through the year and include a good few hills. They are
also more of a challenge as the course is decided by someone other than yourself!

Simon
 
Z

Zog The Undenia

Guest
Tony Raven wrote:

> The technique that seemed to work for Tim Moore in his book French Revolutions was don't do any
> training, blag some ephedrine from the chemist and load your bike up with panniers. On that basis
> you should be able to manage about 30kph average if the story as he tells it is anything to go by.

Re-read it. He started hallucinating halfway up the Ventoux, bottled out and was rescued by his
wife and kids!
 
A

Arthur Clune

Guest
Vaughan McPherson <[email protected]> wrote:
: I have applied for the 2004 L'Etape, (239 km !!) I had my application in the day after opening so
: I'm optimistic about getting a place. This will be my first time for riding anything like this
: distance and I'm new to cycling but have always lead a active lifestyle, so my general fitness is
: reasonable. Can anyone recommend a training schedule from now until the event in July ? What sort
: of distances should I be riding in the weekends ? Any pointers to resources would be appreciated.

1) Start now

2) Build up the time/distance each week but by no more than 10% total in any week (maybe a little
more for the first few weeks)

3) Ride hills. Ride more hills. Ride more hills.

4) Get out in the week as well.

5) When things get nearer, chuck in two hard days in a row

Without more details it's hard to be more specific. As a rough guide I'd say you need to be aiming
to doing one 250k ride before the Etape to get used to the distance (little over distance to allow
for the fact that it's likely to be easier terrain)

Arthur

--
Arthur Clune http://www.clune.org "Technolibertarians make a philosophy out of a personality defect"
- Paulina Borsook
 
M

Martinm

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"Simonb" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> Vaughan McPherson wrote:
> > I have applied for the 2004 L'Etape, (239 km !!) I had my application in the day after opening
> > so I'm optimistic about getting a place. This will be my first time for riding anything like
> > this distance and I'm new to cycling but have always lead a active lifestyle, so my general
> > fitness is reasonable. Can anyone recommend a training schedule from now until the event in July
> > ? What sort of distances should I be riding in the weekends ? Any pointers to resources would be
> > appreciated.
>
> I did an Audax ride yesterday. The chap I was cycling with was using Audax rides to train for
> L'Etape as they tend to increase in distance through the year and include a good few hills. They
> are also more of a challenge as the course is decided by someone other than yourself!

I heard from another rider doing the Etape on another Audax ride that you need to do 30kph+ for the
first however many k's. Audax rides will not prepare you for that type of pace;I would get in a few
25's as well ;-)
 
A

Arthur Clune

Guest
MartinM <[email protected]cms.org.uk> wrote:

: I heard from another rider doing the Etape on another Audax ride that you need to do 30kph+ for
: the first however many k's. Audax rides will not prepare you for that type of pace;I would get in
: a few 25's as well ;-)

It's not strictly necessary (and indeed I'd say is a bad idea unless you find that pace easy-ish) to
go fast at the start of something like L'Etape. If you blow in the mountains it's mucho bad news and
it's very easy to get caught up in the buzz at the start and go way to fast (I do).

Doing some fast rides to get used to working hard is good as well. And if you do want to average
30kph, then there's plenty of Audax rides where the front group averages that to the first
control at least.

Arthur

--
Arthur Clune http://www.clune.org "Technolibertarians make a philosophy out of a personality defect"
- Paulina Borsook
 
M

Michael Macclan

Guest
On Sat, 7 Feb 2004 22:00:19 -0000, Vaughan McPherson wrote:

> I have applied for the 2004 L'Etape, (239 km !!) I had my application in the day after opening so
> I'm optimistic about getting a place. This will be my first time for riding anything like this
> distance and I'm new to cycling but have always lead a active lifestyle, so my general fitness is
> reasonable. Can anyone recommend a training schedule from now until the event in July ? What sort
> of distances should I be riding in the weekends ? Any pointers to resources would be appreciated.

If I was doing this I would seriously consider some weight training as part of my preparation. See
books such as 'The Lance Armstrong Performance Program' or Joe Friel's 'Cyclist's Training Bible'
for detailed advice.
--
Michael MacClancy Random putdown - "He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in
others." -Samuel Johnson www.macclancy.demon.co.uk www.macclancy.co.uk
 
D

Dave Kahn

Guest
"Arthur Clune" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> MartinM <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> : I heard from another rider doing the Etape on another Audax ride that you need to do 30kph+ for
> : the first however many k's. Audax rides will not prepare you for that type of pace;I would get
> : in a few 25's as well ;-)
>
> It's not strictly necessary (and indeed I'd say is a bad idea unless you find that pace easy-ish)
> to go fast at the start of something like L'Etape. If you blow in the mountains it's mucho bad
> news and it's very easy to get caught up in the buzz at the start and go way to fast (I do).

I think they've introduced a new rule this year that you must cover the first 30k in an hour. After
that the elimination speed reverts to 19 kph. I think the idea is to stretch the field out early on.
Riders who are basically fit but not used to riding fast in a bunch could find it interesting.

--
Dave...
 
M

Martinm

Guest
"Arthur Clune" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> MartinM <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> : I heard from another rider doing the Etape on another Audax ride that you need to do 30kph+ for
> : the first however many k's. Audax rides will not prepare you for that type of pace;I would get
> : in a few 25's as well ;-)
>
> It's not strictly necessary (and indeed I'd say is a bad idea unless you find that pace easy-ish)

snip

Yes, don't treat it like a road race, just be aware that you need to maintain that minimum speed
initially, which should not be too hard in a bunch. It would be really bad to go all that way and
end up in the broom wagon at the first control which is apparently what will happen this year if you
don't maintain that average (perhaps they have introduced this this year to counter accusations of
the Etape being _dumbed down_). Only going on what I've heard, not personal experience.
 
W

W K

Guest
"Dave Kahn" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...

> I think they've introduced a new rule this year that you must cover the first 30k in an hour.
> After that the elimination speed reverts to 19 kph. I think the idea is to stretch the field out
> early on. Riders who are basically fit but not used to riding fast in a bunch could find it
> interesting.

Wow. Harsh. Especially with the length and hillness of this year's.

I've wondered about it but unless I'm doing lots of fast 100 - 200k's I'll leave it out. I would be
very impressed if anyone could do a decent 200k with 6 month's training from scratch.

The OP could face real physical barriers like overtraining and running out of skin. I do have the
long distance cycling book, and I believe it recommends building up to something like this over a
period of years!
 
A

Arthur Clune

Guest
Dave Kahn <[email protected]> wrote:

: I think they've introduced a new rule this year that you must cover the first 30k in an hour.
: After that the elimination speed reverts to 19 kph.

Hm. I was going to disagree here. I thought that the original proposal was for a max speed for the
first hour or so, but yes, it seems you are right.

See http://www.etape.org.uk -> Etape 2004 -> Route.

That will be interesting for those doing the Etape.

So I think some practice in fast group riding would be an excellent thing to include. Find a local
club and ask what they do in the way of rides that would be suitable.

Arthur

--
Arthur Clune http://www.clune.org "Technolibertarians make a philosophy out of a personality defect"
- Paulina Borsook
 
M

Mseries

Guest
Dave Kahn wrote:
> ... I think the idea is to stretch the field out early on. Riders who are basically fit but not
> used to riding fast in a bunch could find it interesting.

Probably to eliminate the slower riders early so they are less of a problem towards the end of the
day. A bit harsh in my opinion, will cause some riders to make the first cut by over cooking
themselves then get into difficulties later instead of plodding for the whole day. Still its their
event they can do what they please.

--
The Reply & From email addresses are checked rarely. http://www.mseries.freeserve.co.uk
 
A

Arthur Clune

Guest
Vaughan McPherson <[email protected]> wrote:
: I have applied for the 2004 L'Etape, (239 km !!) I had my application in the day after opening so
: I'm optimistic about getting a place. This will be my first time for riding anything like this
: distance and I'm new to cycling but have always lead a active lifestyle, so my general fitness is
: reasonable.

Can you give more details on what you do so far? What do you consider a "reasonable" level of
fitness? Given that we could give more detailed advice.

Arthur

--
Arthur Clune http://www.clune.org "Technolibertarians make a philosophy out of a personality defect"
- Paulina Borsook
 
A

Arthur Clune

Guest
MSeries <[email protected]> wrote:

: Probably to eliminate the slower riders early so they are less of a problem towards the end of the
: day. A bit harsh in my opinion, will cause some riders to make the first cut by over cooking
: themselves then get into difficulties later instead of plodding for the whole day. Still its their
: event they can do what they please.

I've been thinking about this. I don't think it's that harsh. If you can't make 18mph on a flat road
in a big group then I very much doubt that you'd make the full distance within the timelimit.

The next elimination point seems to have a 12mph cutoff, which also seems fine.

Arthur

--
Arthur Clune http://www.clune.org "Technolibertarians make a philosophy out of a personality defect"
- Paulina Borsook
 
D

Dan Gregory

Guest
"Arthur Clune" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> MartinM <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> : I heard from another rider doing the Etape on another Audax ride that you need to do 30kph+ for
> : the first however many k's.
This year they are having a controlled section for the first 30(?)km of the stage. Nobody will be
able to do over 30kph. However even I can manage that in a large bunch whereas I struggle to
maintain an average of 25/26 on my own. Bonne route Dan Gregory
 
M

Martinm

Guest
"Dan Gregory" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> "Arthur Clune" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> > MartinM <[email protected]> wrote:
> >
> > : I heard from another rider doing the Etape on another Audax ride that you need to do 30kph+
> > : for the first however many k's.
> This year they are having a controlled section for the first 30(?)km of the stage. Nobody will be
> able to do over 30kph. However even I can manage that in a large bunch whereas I struggle to
> maintain an average of 25/26 on my own. Bonne route Dan Gregory

If you don't get in there is always L'Ardechoise; I would go for that in preference to l'Etape if I
had the choice/annual leave.

http://www.lamastre.com/ardechoise.htm
 
A

Arthur Clune

Guest
Dan Gregory <[email protected]> wrote:

: This year they are having a controlled section for the first 30(?)km of the stage. Nobody will be
: able to do over 30kph. However even I can manage that in a large bunch whereas I struggle to
: maintain an average of 25/26 on my own.

I belive that this isn't true now. They were going to do this, but they have changed the plan. See
www.etape.org.uk

Arthur

--
Arthur Clune http://www.clune.org "Technolibertarians make a philosophy out of a personality defect"
- Paulina Borsook
 
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