Question about long slow training

Here’s the question: several of my work friends who cycle are wanting to do a bike packing trip this summer that would be 2-3 days long, 120ish miles per day. Would such a long effort complicate my training? It would come about 3 weeks before my A race, I plan to be in the middle of Rolling Road Race HV at that point.

I’m not as worried about the 120 miles as I am the time in the saddle, as the group I would be going with is on the slow side, I’d be surprised if the days were any shorter than 8 hours. That kind of time freaks me out a little. I did a century last summer, but was going with a faster group, and finished in under 5 hours. That’s the longest I’ve ever ridden, and since I’m cat 5 currently, none of my target races are longer than 60 miles.

What are the downsides (and perhaps upsides) to spending looong, slow days in the saddle in the middle of a plan?

Typing this out, my butt is starting to ache already :slight_smile:.

Mitochondria density for fat adaptation. Thats most of the benefit and for doing it a few weeks out from an a race. Mathieu van der Poel did a training camp mid CX season doing 7 hour rides in Spain for few day keeping his heart rate under 120 bpm.

As for the downside you miss intensity and you have to work around the tss a bit to fit it in.

Just take a few days off after and then drop back in to the plan.

You’ll be fine and that far out is probably ideal, truth be told. If the intensity is truly low and you’re able to stay disciplined, take a rest day or two, then an easy day and then jump back into things to sharpen up. You’re probably looking at 800-900 TSS for those three days and your A race will likely benefit from the extra endurance provided you’re not burying yourself, and if you do, that’s fine, just listen to your body and take the time off you really need. Don’t take more than 2 days completely off though, even if you feel ragged, on day 3 ride some, even if it’s just an hour easy. This will prevent your body from getting to physiologically depressed and getting into a recovery slump.