Now five hours riding with a coffee shop stop sounds like my ideal kind of day! However 5 hours non-stop on a training ride where you are not supposed to stop at all is hard work both mentally and physically to do.
Last weekend I rode my first five hours since my knee started to give me pain. I sorted out my nutrition before I left making sure I had fuel for every hour and enough water to keep me going for a good few hours too. I have recently started using a water bladder in my run sac so I can carry 2 liters on my back as well as a water bottle. My new Specialized Era only has room for one waterbotttle as t has a very compact frame to increase the stand over height for women.
When I set out the weather was good as I rode towards buster hill and had a loop planned which would include all the good hills in the area.
The first two hours went by quickly and I felt good keeping my heart rate over 150bpm as much a is could, on long rides, especially on the road on your own it can get a bit dull I always look for spots in the distance or if I’m on a route I know only allow myself to think as far as the next hill or obstacle this keeps me focused on riding at a good even pace and means I don’t get phased by the distance still to go.
By hour 3 I had reached my next considerable climb, Harting hill this one was a killer and left me with not much left in the tank! I had my third snack, a banana and carried on towards my next goal.
The weather had started to close in and the wind had picked up as I rode past Funtington it took all my energy just to stay in a straight line against the wild wind.
Long rides are as much psychological as physical and as I got near the turning for home with just under an hour to go it was hard to turn back away from home but by this time I had a new goal! I had been doing around 20km per hour so my new plan was to hit 100km this was really motivating and helped me push on when my legs were so tired, I piled in the food eating a Torq energy bar, handfuls of salted nuts and a malt loaf slice for good measure in my last hour riding.
By the time I got home I was exhausted I had left it all out on the road. I was really proud with my achievement.
Overall I covered 100km climbed 1,261 meters and burnt 1,528 calories in 5 hours. My average heart rate was 141 and my max was 177 which is encouraging as I know I can push it higher than that and go faster.
My goal is to beat this 100km time before I go snowboarding in March.