How can I prepare for the Paris Brest Paris 2023? Is there a Training Plan specifically designed for the same?
I have put it into my calendar as a stage race, with the brevets as well (estimate dates). Then I did the Plan Builder starting on Dec 1st 2022 up until PBP.
But that’s a long way from now
There are quite a few threads on here discussing ‘ultra’ distance events. Have a search for ‘ultra’ and you’ll find lots of different approaches and different ideas from a range of riders.
Given all TR plans are really designed for riding indoors primarily, you will find also ideas about how to combine them with longer distance outdoor rides to best effect.
I asked something similar here. Like you, I wish there was a plan for ultra-endurance events but TR focuses a lot on shorter races.
I should definetely reply to my thread to show how it went tho. I’m back on SSB training for the same race this year (2600km in less than 10 days - aiming for 7 - in June) for the winter, and then I’ll probably keep 2 VO2max sessions per week with very long rides every week-ends.
Interested to follow this and thanks for the link @Shanx - lots of good stuff in there…
Found out on Friday I have a place on London-Edinburgh-London this August, 1500km in 125 hours… so just thinking about how I’ll do that. Previous longest rides are a few 260-300km one day rides and a few fully loaded tours where I did back to back 150k days, so it’s a little different…
My previous low volume Plan Builder plan was based around 2 XC Marathon events, one in May and one in August (handily the same weekend as LEL starts). I’ve always used LV plans and then top up with other riding, 10hr/week average in 2021.
For now I have changed my Plan Builder as follows, bearing in mind I am a n00b at this too:
- Downgraded the May MTB event to B. Also possibly will ride to get there if I have the spare annual leave
- Added the LEL as a stage race over 5 days, put the event type as Gran Fondo
- Planning to “load up” with endurance in each final block week prior to the recovery weeks (as far as I can around work etc.)
- Adding two-a-days during the working week as I have seen on here/FastTalk podcast etc it is a good way of getting some of the benefits of longer rides in a more time-crunched fashion
The way I am looking at the two-a-days at the moment is using Alternates to downgrade the TR workout to a 45 min workout (which I can do at lunchtime) then adding a 60-90 minute evening ride (say, one of the Baxters).
It’s putting me back into Base and Build rather than what it had before which was Specialty in the run up to the May event, which makes sense. But generally I am planning to keep the TR plan to develop power and use outside riding to develop the endurance.
Thanks Bigpikle. I have done a number of Brevets; including one of 600 kms - mostly on flat roads. Just one of 300 Kms with 25 Kms of climbing (ascend of nearly 2000 m) was the only one which was tough. I am wondering is there will be a plan to follow to set me up for climbs in an ultra event.
There is no plan specific to riding PBP on TR. That being said, you can still use TR to increase fitness. However, you will need to do things other than just a TR plan.
I see from your other comment you have some experience with 600k rides. Honestly, I wouldn’t worry about the hills in PBP that much - it’s not completely flat, but there are no real steep sections.
This winter I did the 8 wk polarized build high volume, and now SPB HV and that’s going well. Come snow melt, will start riding mostly outside with 1-2 100-200k rides a week, plus 1-2 vo2 rides a week.
Your best preparation for a 1200k ride is going to be just lots of riding over a year or more, and ample practice refining your bike fit and nutrition on long rides.
I did part of the century plan in the winter before PBP '19. It wasn’t a bad choice but I missed a bunch of workouts and then just started riding outdoors so it was just a small part of my training. I rode a full series in 2018, and a flèche. If you plan on doing the 90h start, I highly recommend doing an evening start flèche, it’s a good way to get a full night riding in without the chance to stop for sleep, and the group aspect of it is a lot of fun too. If you can get a 1000 or 1200 in this year it’ll allow you first pre-registration access (assuming it works the same as it did in 2019).
I’d say you could train however you want indoors… start with a low volume plan, and supplement them with as much endurance riding as you can fit in, preferably some/all of it outdoors.
PBP is kinda hilly, it’s about 1% over the ride. The hills are rolling and only occasionally were they really steep. I guess the hilliness is relative, if you’re from a flat region it might be more than you’re used to.
The weather in 2019 got pretty cool at night, and very damp. I was soaked with dew and it was ~4C IIRC, so not much you can do but get used to being wet and cold.
I think the Century Plan plus the compulsory qualifying SR-series and an occasional 100 mi/200km will do just fine.
Disclaimer - I’ve never done the PBP but completed both 1000 km breveta couple of times and local 1200 km.
I’d be careful about making statements like this regarding a ride with 11,000m of climbing in it! I did a lot of hilly qualifiers, and am glad I did as ‘rolling’ hills when tired and carrying the extra stuff I thought sensible were pretty tough. A lot of the people from Asia/India seemed to be very surprised we were doing up and downs on relatively small roads, it seems that a lot of the rides they’d done in qualifying were out and back blasts along the hard shoulder of a motorway (that being the only place relatively safe to cycle apparently) and therefore they’d had very little applicable training for the ride. The finishing stats backed up the fact they struggled and I think they’re trying to put in place measures to give riders a better chance next time.
As for ‘training for PBP’, my best advice would be to practise being semi-functional after being awake for three days!
That’s 11k of climbing… over >1200k! So less than 1% average gradient.
I agree that’s not pancake flat but also not profoundly hilly. So sure, if you’re used to riding completely flat then you probably want some experience riding in rolling terrain when tired.
Yeah it’s the old ‘knowing the audience’ problem. We both likely know the score, but there may be people reading this that don’t. If they’ve never done a ride with more than 1000k climbing, PBP will be a hell of a shock and possibly lead to some of the statistics for finishing numbers from 2019 like… checks notes… 82% DNF from India, 81% from Thailand, 63% from China etc etc* **
*a lot of people including myself were surprised by the temperature as well - 0.5 degrees Celsius at night was no joke for August!
**by contrast, US were 23% and UK were 13% DNF.
Interesting. Id assumed the high DNF from some of those places was more weather related.