Riding 20,000 miles in a year

I’ve recently lost my Mom to Cancer and want to do a few different things out of my comfort zone all in order to raise money for charity. One of them will be a 300 mile ride unassisted which I plan to do this year but my bigger goal is to ride 20,000 miles next year.

It seems crazy but I’m going to use Zwift for the “miles” too which I’m sure will raise some eyebrows…! Anyway, presuming I don’t go full ham all the time and use the majority of the time on the saddle in my Z1/Z2/Z3 zones. I’m currently riding on average 135 miles a week (7000 a year) so it’d be a big jump. I know recovery and days off the bike are important but there will be some days where I need to at least get in 20 miles done on the turbo in z1 state to get the miles in the bank… I don’t think it will be THAT much of a challenge physically speaking I think it will be more of a challenge mentally and fitting it in time wise.

Will doing this many miles have any hindrance on my fitness? Thoughts?

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Managing intensity and fuelling will be key, very easy to dig a hole that could take weeks of rest to get out of.

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When I moved down to the flatlands with a relatively mild and dry climate I set myself the target of riding every day for a year but with no specific mileage in mind, just to ride as much as possible. I ended up with 16,000 miles but I could quite easily go out for a hard 66mile group ride and tag on another flat 40 at a recovery pace. Also at the time I was working for the council and at the time I felt relaxed to go out for a decent ride in the morning and although I was mostly in for 9am I had the comfort of flexi till 10am. If you have the time, terrain and climate go for it and good luck :+1:

I’d just be prepared to possibly trade off some high-end fitness as it would be extremely difficult to manage that kind of volume with much intensity at all. And be careful of digging yourself in a hole - pay attention to sleep, mood, energy levels and take a break when you need it!

Sending you positive vibes.

I would like to think that your mum will join you for a few of those miles.

Good luck and I hope you can get it done :+1:

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Like most big goals, it’s about breaking it into bite sized pieces. It’s only 55 miles per day. 75miles/day if you only ride 5 days a week. The nice thing about cycling is that you can find a pace/effort that is manageable for those miles and minimize the risk of over-use injury. For me, a goal like this would be more about finding the time to fit all that riding in and staying motivated to ride, not a physical issue. Doing a portion on Zwift makes it easier depending on where you live and what the climate is. I think it’s totally reasonable to count you zwift miles, the “rules” are up to you.

I’d try to find a regular schedule that gets you to your goal without getting burned out. That could be 3 hours every single day or a couple long rides each week mixed with shorter rides. Multiple rides a day can also help. For me, I’d want to combine it with training for a big event with a training plan mixed in and then fill in the other miles with Z2 work. There is nothing wrong with noodling around on the bike for a year if that’s what you need mentally right now, but with a little structure you could really take your fitness to another level with this kind of volume.

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I also recently lost my dad to cancer. Now I just want to find him in everything I do, including my rides. Your mom will be there with you.

I’d say focus on keeping the intensity low and eating and sleeping enough. Recovery will be key. Take care of keeping your bottom clean. I ride about the same yearly mileage, 8000 a year, and I feel I could do double that without time constraints.

Set yourself up for success with good routes that are enjoyable and also relatively safe. Excited to hear about your progress. You got this :+1:.

Used to commute 2-3 days a week, 75 miles round trip each time. It wasn’t really hard, but it let to 14 hours away from home, so I think it’s a lot about how you can fit it in. If you can do it as a commute with work, like two hours in the morning, two hours home, you can likely cover the majority of the riding with that (say about 5x60 miles/week) Then a few long weekend rides to top it off.

Don’t worry about your fitness, after the initial shock to the system, it’ll go through the roof and you won’t have issues with long rides.

Good luck!

My best bud has done 20K+ a year for last 5. He zwifts 70% of the time as the weather in Seattle sucks a lot.

On avg he is on the bike 22 hours a week to get those numbers and rides with Coco a lot. He will do 2 hours at 5am and then 1:30-2 hours after work during the week.

Best wishes to both you and @cwiggum …losing a parent is always hard. Lost my mom 16 years ago and it is still there.

As to the goal, take advantage of the Pace partners…easy way to rack up extra miles because of Zwift “physics”.

Also try and do double days frequently instead of doing single longer rides.

I have a buddy who has racked up 20k+ miles for the last 3 years, including 25k last year. Steady, consistent efforts are the key.

But based on your current mileage, make sure you ramp up appropriately.


@lolage I urge you to check out Keith Roy’s Strava.
He’s logged 40,000+ miles per year for the past three years :exploding_head:. All his training is published on Strava, and the vast majority of the mileage is on Zwift. I can’t say what something similar will do to your fitness, but reviewing some of his data may help you gauge what to expect when it comes to time, fueling, and logistics. Hope this helps, and good luck! :slight_smile: