So, perhaps foolishly, I have signed up for my first audax (US rando) at the end of the month. It’s 215km.
I’m currently able to ride c.120km, over undulating terrain, without stopping (other than for a call of nature) in 4hrs 10 - 4hrs 30, depending on wind, exact nature of the route, etc. HR will be pretty steady in the mid 130s (70%) and climb to low 140s by the end (4-5% cardiac drift).
But I do find I start to struggle beyond the 4.5hr mark, both with a stiff back, and with (very generalised) fatigue; I suppose I get the feeling that ‘this is very hard work all of a sudden’, or ‘I can’t be bothered with this any more’.
I’m currently averaging about 550-650 TSS a week, with 1 long Z2 ride, 1 hard interval session, and three to five 90min to 110m rides (depending on time, all z2, 30 min sweetspot push in 1 of them). Currently sitting at 292w for 20 mins, at 73kg (could afford to lose 2-3kg).
I’ve got almost unlimited time to train from this week onwards.
I’d be interested in people’s recommendations for addressing these 2 issues, but I’m wondering if it’s as simple as doing some core strengthening work, pulling out the intervals for a month, and moving to 3x3hr and 1 progressively longer ride a week?
The other suggestion I’ve had is work on ‘chunking’; i.e. ride for 80k, rest for 20m, ride for 70km, rest for 20m, then ride the rest. I’d be intrigued to know if anyone has tried this.