Long Trip Training?

I realize this is gonna sound super soft compared to what some of you all accomplish: but long distance isn’t going to be my “thing”.

I do want to prepare somewhat but since this will be a once a year type thing at most, I don’t want to drastically alter my training.

So I am planning to take a long trip (for me) of ~550km this winter and want to prep some. I figure this is gonna be about 20-24 hours of moving time.

I’m gonna have my wife drive and we’ll do this over 3 days and stop at air bnbs and whatever towns we find interesting.

I’m currently averaging ~12 hours training per week and my longest days are 4 hours. I’m thinking i’ll start mixing in some 5-6 hour rides.

Would 5-6 hours of decent endurance pace be the equivalent of 8 hours riding a little slower and stopping more? has anyone done something similar where time really doesn’t matter and you’re riding a bunch more than normal? I understand to keep RPE pretty low. Do you coast / pedal slow on downhills? or is that just being too soft?

Would it be better to so something like 3 hours first thing…stop somewhere for 1-2 hours…3 hours again…stop for lunch 1-2 hours…2 hours then sleep? or just get through with minimal stops?


It’s different. But mostly for non-fitness reasons. Sunburn, calories, storms, mechanicals, etc. the longer you go the more chance for unforeseen things to pop up. If your wife is running sag for you, then a lot of these things don’t really apply.

In terms of pure fitness, getting comfortable with 5-6 hours riding should be plenty. Actually, I’d focus on back to back 4-5 hour rides two or three days in a row. And maybe do one or two 7 hour rides.


yeah I hesitate to even call it a “bike trip”. like if something goes south she’s gonna be within an hour or two of me and pick me up…and she’ll food shop or whatever…help route me to a bike shop if needed.

it’s basically a trip we were gonna take and i’m gonna do some biking - more than normal.

so basically the only downside is embarrassment of getting a car ride.

yeah good idea on the back to back days. I can probably find time at least 2x a month for that.

Sounds like a good trip!

It’s tough to say if 5-6 hours of steady Z2 would be “equivalent” to slower riding with more stopping. That said, if you can do 5-6 hours in the first place, I don’t think doing some longer, slower riding at Z1/2 for a few days should be too much trouble.

The following article is about racing, but it still has some tips that might be helpful for you:

And don’t worry about what’s “too soft” either… It’s totally up to you how you want to ride! Keeping your RPE in check will ensure you can get through each day without too much fatigue, but, otherwise, coasting down hills and stopping as much as you need to will be totally up to you. The number of stops and the length of each stop you need will probably vary depending on how you feel each day.

Make sure to eat a lot and stay well-hydrated. Have fun!


I just did marmotte with the retour to the camping it was almost 10h in the saddle where previously my longest ride before was 5.5h (and I only ever did that once 3 months before). During marmotte I only ever did very short toilet/water refill stops and honestly it went fine


Some really solid advice in here but I just wanted to hop in and say that this is absolutely not soft! It sounds like A LOT of fun!! :raised_hands:

You’ll definitely be fit enough, but as others have touched upon, getting used to spending extended time in the saddle may increase how much you enjoy the experience. Likewise, you’ll get a good idea of what you like to eat on these longer rides as well as what makes you feel good.

Hope the training goes well! Enjoy the trip when it comes!

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