Bikepacking is superb training!

Am on day 6 of a trip. Having a night in a hotel to get clean and enjoy a comfy bed.
It’s been interesting seeing how I react to 8-12hrs day in the saddle. I was steadily getting more tired and slower then today it turned around and I was riding really strongly. Will probably pay for it tomorrow but it feels like my body is adapting to the workload on the fly.
Have been piling in the calories, have eaten so much rubbish, but again today I realised I was happily going longer between food stops. Maybe I’m becoming more fat adapted.
Whatever is going on it feels wonderful to be able to turn those peddles relentlessly and hit long, hard climbs over and over without doubting my ability to get over them.


Just relabel it “high volume traditional base” and you’ll have a hot product to sell to all of us forum readers. :slight_smile:

Have fun and enjoy the shower / sleep tonight! What part of the world / country you rolling through?


UK. I cycled off road from Kent to Wales then did a 3 day tour of the Black Mountains/Brecon Beacons. It was seriously hilly! Sublime trip with hours in the saddle interspersed with meeting interesting people.
Got to get home over the next few days. Will pop in a train journey to knock a day off the total.
(Edit: I never took that train ride. Ended up choosing to cyclie the whole way home)



Hours of Z1 interspersed with getting up things like this with a 30lbs bike. Polarized training!


Looks amazing, been a few years since I did my own mini tour through the Brecon beacons, some MTB back packing and myself spent a nice night in a hotel in Builth Wells ad-hoc, felt the need for a good wash and rest. Enjoy the rest of your journey and all the best.

That looks brilliant with stunning views. Well done and always wanted to go bike packing myself.

Bikepacking was terrible for my fitness, but then again I drank about 87 beers a night and got mono.



Bikepacking is very versatile, it can provide all kinds of different training and stimulus for both mind and body.

Exhibit 1: 3 hour Z2 ride to a local nature preserve, making some food over a campfire and making camp. Next morning checking out the scenery under a warm summer drizzle and doing another 3 hour Z2 ride back home.

This is great training for the body, it builds endurance. It’s also great Type I fun.

Exhibit 2: Stubbornly trying to bikepack with a mountain bike through difficult terrain during the winter and ending up dragging the bike up and down rocky, steep and snow-covered hills for hours.

This is great training for the mind, it builds character and resilience. It’s also great Type II fun.


I did a long tour (1300 km) last summer when I was still very new to cycling and the fitness benefits stayed with me for ages. I did about 110 km every day and basically fuelled with fries and mayo (Belgium) and cake, beer and wine (Germany). It’s really good base building.

I promise this is true; I rode for 11hrs yesterday, peddling virtually continuously except for the odd pauses for gates etc. The terrain was pan flat as I was riding on a canal towpath so it was like doing an 11hr steady turbo ride.
Isn’t it amazing what the body can adapt to? I ride a consistent 10-15hrs/week outdoors all year round but to feel this strong after a roughly 60hr week is eye opening.
Last day today. Approx 12 hilly hours to go. It’s 6am and I’m eating cliff bars in bed. Thanks to Amber especially for banging home the message ‘don’t diet on the bike!’ My goodness I’m craving a salad though. Have fuelled mainly with chocolate bars, biscuits and freeze dried meals.


Just finished a 6 day trip and noticed a similar progression. I started SSB low volume in February and bumped it to High Volume (consistency suffered) for a few weeks in April/Early May.

The first day out I bonked hard at mile 90. I laid down in some grass for a bit and we kept going. I had no idea how to fuel properly on the bike and had done most of my training fasted. It was tough consuming all the sugar.

Second day, introduced nuts and forced myself to eat a huge breakfast. All the difference. Carried that forward. By day 6, we were rolling over hills that would have crushed us at the beginning of the ride. Felt great to finish the ride.

Amazing trip (great photos). I had the same experience, getting used to riding for 8-12 hours/day. I did the NC500 (avoiding the East coast main road) in June 2019. I travelled light and decided to take a bivvy bag ,not a tent. HUGE mistake, got eaten alive by midges, had to suffocate, as zipped up bivvy, which caused condensation, then cold. But the rest of the time was amazing. Certainly good training for an endurance race, as I’ve entered 24/12 at Newnham Park. (sorry everyone not in UK ,theOP is from the UK, so he will know about this event)

I do indeed Lydia. It’s funny, I can ride for 16hrs perfectly happily if I’m going somewhere. When I try 12hr racing on a lap, I hate it and quit. We’ve probably raced together at Torq in your Sleep. Tried the 12hrs of Exposure in 2012 too. Quit that after 5 hrs.

I’m missing the Scott Marathon series. Especially Builth Wells.

Went out and did 1min max efforts this morning. Felt brilliant. Fitness is fitness.

I rode Banff to Whitefish on the Divide trail on Fatbikes with some friends. It was so relaxing to be able to disconnect and just pedal. It helped that we had amazing scenery and the weather mostly behaved.