Back to back (almost) double centuries - Advise, Tips, Tricks

Dear TR community.

I am embarking on a journey into the unknown. Coast to coast group ride of 300-320km on the first day and solo ride the same route back on the following day. I plan on taking a light sleeping bag and no other sleeping gear with me. The course has around 3000m of elevation gain, is 99.5% tarmac thus no Dirty Kanza for sure.

On the first day, there are four designated pit stops, but I do not have to worry about carrying extra water of food with me. I have never slept outside like this in public, but I am sure I will be too tired to care.

Here are some of my stats:

  • I have ridden (many) rides between 200-280km several times, but never more than 300km.
  • They have ended in various ways. I have learned many lessons about hydration and nutrition.
  • I have ridden 2300km in 20 days including rest days, so I know the feeling of back to back to back to back days on the saddle.
  • My weekly mileage is around 200-500km depending on season and weather
  • 2-3 TR sessions per week (totaling around 60km only due to ERG-mode, so not everything can be measured in mileage
  • 6Wk average TSS has been hovering between 500-600, now at a high of 800+
  • Around 4.5W/kg with an FTP hovering around 360

I know I have the fitness and think the first day will be “easy” - As a relatively stronger rider, by concentrating on keeping myself hydrated and not forgetting to eat should do me well.

The thing is, what will happen the next day? What kind of pacing would you suggest (IF of 0.6? more?)I am sure I will be sore, tired, hangry and something will hurt (most likely knees) - I would like to ask for YOUR tips and tricks how to manage fatigue, niggles, and the mental aspect.


I have never done this kind of ultra-distance adventure on a bike, but I have done back-to-back-to-back 10,000meter swim training sessions (50km in a week). Waking up the 2nd day physically and mentally is hard! Hydration and nourishment is critical (as you know). But key to success was just getting started (in our case it was the 1-2km warmup). I wouldn’t worry about pace at the start. You mention your knees - the early start will get them warmed (as well as your entire body) to see how it feels.

As for pacing, you mention that you have plenty of long distance rides under your belt. I’d base the 1st day on results from prior experience and account for your current excellent condition. If 0.60 feels right, then target that. I use Best Bike Split, so I’d run a few “races” around it (e.g. 0.55 to 0.70) so that I knew roughly what timing and pacing would be like (I tape #s to handlebars) if I felt I needed to adjust during the ride. For the 2nd day, after the “warm up” you will probably get a good sense at where to pace and later adjust if needed.

In addition to TR, there are ultra-cycling marathon forums/discussion groups around the topics you mention. Transcontinental ones, such as RAAM in the U.S. and 1200km Brevet series training are good sources.

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The lesson I learned is my mind is much weaker than my body.

Ended up doing 315km on the first day with 2,500m elevation gain and 170km on the second with a similar amount of climbing.

IF was 0.63 and 0.67 or so, I think the pace was ok, but I had no power on the second day.

I think the biggest issue was heat. It got up to 32celcius and was it was my first hot rides this year. Need to work in my hydration strategy.

Thanks for providing your results here. Congratulations on a job well done!!! Very admirable results on distance and particularly being able to hold such a high IF in high temp.

Regarding mental tenacity, while there is always room for improvement, I feel I can go deep and for extended periods . . . except when there is heat involved. I personally view heat similar to nutrition in that they are separate elements of riding that need to be learned independent of muscle fatigue and riding through it. If you are planning on doing more high temp rides you may want to investigate that separately.

Again, congrats!

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