24hr+ Adventure Race Training - regular long rides or not?


I’m wondering about training for long adventure races like 24hr or multiday events. The cycling portition is done on mountain bikes but you never know quite what you’re going to get. Long road ride, single track, 4wd track, hike a bike.

I saw this forum post about Solo 24hr MTB race where Bryce recommends century specialty. The century plan as a longest ride of 1.5 to 2hr depending on the volume you select. I also thought the cross country marathon plan would be pretty applicable it also has a max ride length of 1.5 to 2h.

The full distance triathlon specialty has a long ride of 4hr+ every week.

Any thoughts on the reason for the longer rides in the full distance triathlon plan?


Long distance MTB rides are my “thing”. Generally once you know that you can do back to back long days, long being 200km+, then there’s no real need to do such long rides on a regular basis as they take a good while to recover from. Completing/competing in them is more to do with keeping yourself and your bike/kit in good order and simple good old “grit and determination”.

My training consists of low volume plans to get the higher intensity workouts combined with whatever outdoor rides I can manage to fit in at the weekend - don’t bother with structure for these rides, just head out and have fun.

Remember that not every workout should leave you smashed.


My training sounds a LOT like @bobw . I use LV for intensity, usually only do two of the workouts on the weekdays. Then I fill in a TON of low intensity stuff for endurance, including a lot of fun long rides on weekends.

cheers. Low volume + long ride some weekends does sound like a good plan. It would be cool if the plan builder actually took the distance of the event into account and scheduled some long rides like it does with the ironman plan. Even putting in 24hr total for the offroad triathlon plan just suggests the olympic triathlon program …


Based on my experiences doing many adventure races, I agree with the suggestions you received above. I would also ensure that you build into your training plan some weight training (whole body - not just legs). Muscular endurance is critically important for such races along with your aerobic fitness, and while lifting may not make you faster during a shorter, higher intensity ride, it will definitely build your muscular endurance to deal with not only the very long ride but also long runs/paddles you will be up against.

Have you done any such races before? If not they are definitely a shock to the system the first time but then your body (and mind) seems to be able to perform better in future races even without a huge training base going into them.

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Yeah I’ve done a few 24hr races and 2 expedition races. I haven’t ever done structured training though so I’m keen to see what benefits that brings. Might be a little while before another big event though. 4 month old baby is my current event :slightly_smiling_face: fitting in some good trainer road workouts now though

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