If you have completed a few sportives already this year, you might be thinking about how to step up your game and challenge yourself even further. That’s where multi day rides come in.
Multi-day events, like the Haute Route, are tough and often involve significant climbs and other challenges you may not have faced before. If you are looking into multi day rides, or have signed up for a challenge this year, follow our six top tips to ensure you get to the start line feeling prepared.
1. Follow a structured training plan
When used properly a training plan brings many benefits when preparing for a multi day ride. The structure of the plan offers easy to follow sessions which slot seamlessly into your everyday life, ensuring you are consistent with your training.
Training plans also take the stress out of your training. Having to think about what you’re doing each time you train and how it fits into your goal can be stressful and time consuming. Following a plan takes the stress away and saves precious time.
If you are unsure where to start, download the Haute Route Climbers Plan, which is designed for experienced cyclists who are looking to tackle the multi-day events of the Haute Route.
2. Develop aerobic fitness and sustained power output
One of the most important physiological adaptations that will help you complete a multi-day event is your aerobic base fitness and your ability to sustain your power output across multiple days.
To do this, mix up your sessions and training zones to include some longer endurance sessions alongside moderate to high intensity sessions. The Haute Route Climbers Plan contains a mix of base building endurance sessions and threshold development sessions to improve your sustainable power.
3. Think about power to weight
If you are tackling a hilly or mountainous multi day ride, it’s worth giving some thought to your power to weight ratio as improving this metric can make climbing easier.
On the surface, it can be tempting to lose weight to try and improve your ratio, however, this can be counterproductive if you lose muscle mass during your weight loss, which in turn reduces your ability to produce power.
Instead, focus on optimising your power through structured power sessions, alongside a balanced and healthy diet.
4. Don’t forget about nutrition
It’s easy to forget the importance of nutrition when preparing for a multi day ride even though it can be one of the most important aspects of your training and the ride itself.
You’ll want to start your ride full of fuel so eat a breakfast high in carbohydrates, for example porridge, a couple of hours before your start time. During your ride, keep your energy stores topped up by consuming carbohydrates. A good rule of thumb is around 60g of carbohydrates per hour of riding.
To optimise your recovery during a multi day ride, use the 30 minutes after your ride to refuel and make sure you’re ready for the following day. You’ll need a mix of carbohydrates to replenish your stores and protein to aid recovery and muscle damage.
5. Find the perfect pace
Pacing is an important strategy to get right on a multi day ride, you don’t want to push too hard too early and burn out half way through.
To guide your pacing strategy, you can use cadence, heart rate or power zones to find a sustainable pace. Then, practice during longer rides and across varying terrain to find out what works for you.
6. Get your equipment right
During a multi day ride your performance and comfort can be impacted by your choice of equipment. Choose lightweight, but reliable equipment, so you don’t have extra weight to lug around. Make sure your bike fit and position is comfortable, as any small niggles can become big problems when you spend all day in the saddle.