160km ride strategy advice wanted

I am after some advice please.

I have completed a few 100km plus rides and whilst I always stuggle with the last 15km or so I think this is more to do with my lack of fueling during the ride than my overall level of fitness. I believe I have learnt enough from the podcasts etc and know what I need to do here, 200 to 300 calories per hour etc. previously I only drank water during my 100km rides.

My goal is to complete a 160km/100mile ride and whilst I feel I have enough training under my belt to complete this I was after some advice on pacing. Appreciate there isn’t a hard and fast rule here but is there a percentage of ftp, average power number or power zone I should be aiming for to ensure I can complete this ride?

There is close to 2km of elevation on this ride, a major hill climb near the end so I want to make sure I have enough in the tank to push through.

Thanks for the advice in advance :slight_smile: and HNY everyone.

Maybe shoot for around 65% of your FTP, or Zone 2/Endurance.

(Based on the general intensity level of the TR Traditional Base plan workouts.)

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Thinking back on my own riding I usually average 65-70% if FTP on my fairly regular 100 milers. Yiu could also put the route and your info (power, weight, etc…) into BestBikrSplit.com and see what it suggests.


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I did the Festive500 last year at 60% FTP (500km in 8 days).

I used only the odometer display and checked power after it was all said and done.
Not the same as a single 160km ride, but after a few days of winter riding fatigue, 100km feels like 160!

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Will you be doing this ride solo, or is it a group sportive? If it’s a sportive, don’t fly off at the start and try to ride with a group. Sharing the work will help the time and distance fly by. I’d aim to be completing the majority of the ride in your endurance zone. 60-65 tops.

Personally, I always start of slow. Sip my fluids every 15 minutes and eat something every hour. I try to stick to real food for longer rides but a packet of Jelly Babies can come in handy when you need a pick-me-up. For my fluids I take one 750ml bottle of SIS Energy and one 750ml bottle of watered down pineapple juice. If your doing the ride solo, I’d plan to stop at least once to top your fluids back up.

Good luck.

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Thanks for the advice, will be doing this one solo :slight_smile:

If you have a garmin or similar, I usually set an alarm to beep every 20 mins to remind me to have a swig of drink and bite to eat. 100 miles can be tough but surprisingly doable for most regular riders - just take it steady and keep regularly eating and drinking small amounts.

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That’s a great idea, I do struggle to remember to eat and drink. The Elemnt Bolt doesn’t have this feature but will look into options for my phone. Cheers.

Firstly, if you can ride 100k you can absolutely ride 160k. Especially if you did the previous ride unfuelled.

You don’t need to overthink these things, just fuel and hydrate regularly. Do this from the beginning of the ride, not after you’ve been cycling for 60-90 mins.

You may wish to consider an average pace to aim for based on your previous rides and use that as a marker. Don’t worry about your pace on the flat, that usually takes care of itself, just concentrate on your gearing and pace on the climbs, pick an easy gear and spin up without overstressing yourself.

Best of luck

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If you are planning a new event this tool will help you pace it and fuel for it. https://goo.gl/zRGui8.

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Start easier than you think too, better to be say 10 minutes slower over the first 1/3 of the ride than be dying a thousand deaths on that final climb.

Depending on where you are too you might want something like the 3x salt Margarita shotblocks to keep up electrolytes, especially if you are using water only. Also not a bad idea to mix up your nutrition flavours to avoid palate fatigue. If its not a race, stop for a coffee and a cake too :wink:

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I have the same sort of issue, I think I do eat enough, but I tend to struggle near the end. I find it harder when I stop at the aid station. I’m hoping moving to TR will help. I will find out in March :slight_smile:

I’m relatively new mid-50s road cyclist with 3 seasons of riding, and 2 seasons with power data. I’ve done 26 metric-to-double centuries and majority are in 80th percentile (80% - 88%) of ftp with a handful in mid 70s and double century (323km) at 67%.

The first imperial century (+/- 160km) had 1600m climbing and taught me that hydration and fueling strategy is key. Once figuring that out I’ve been able to finish every century strong. Hope that helps and have fun!

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Thanks for the advice guys, made it. Ride was evenly split between zone 2 and zone 3. Only 22 minutes in zone 4 which surprised me with the climbing.


Awesome!! Cool that you managed to control your power like that.

Also love your bottle choice. :wink:

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Sorry my bad, was looking at my HR zones by mistake. Power was split 33% for zone 1 and 2. The rest spread across the other zones which makes more sense as some of those climbs were a killer.

Yes feel very lucky with the TR water bottles. Badge of honour almost :slight_smile:

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Nicely done!

Also that power break-down with most of it in Z1 & Z2 makes more sense.

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Good advice here. As said, BestBikeSplit does the work for you.

The coarse formula I use is
0,95^duration x FTP

In hindsight given 6,5 hours and FTP of around 223 (as your screenshot suggests) that would have been around 71,6% of FTP or 160 Watts average as orientation point.

Of course adjust depending on the circumstances (climbing/descending, solo/group, terrain…).

excellent work! you’re so right about climbs, some just have to be ridden at a high power due to the gradient.

So that’s 160k nailed, what’s next? :wink: