Hi Duggy, Having done a 12hr TT last year, I thought I could add something here, but I am not sure. I’ll let you decide.
I based my training on developing a basic strength and speed and a good FTP in shorter faster events, (and a solid winter of TR sessions) then built the ability to take some speed into distance (whatever that turned out to be).
Also I repeated multiple races of 50m, and 100m, and training rides over 100m and the like to find out what combination of
- Power I could sustain
- Heart rate that corresponded to (A useful indicator longer term)
- Food and drink I needed to consume,
to complete them comfortably and (out of curiousity) what speed that gave me.
(I tended NOT to train in race gear, then add in nice TT wheels, shinsuit, pointy helmet etc. for the races.)
I guess the take away for me, is possibly to use your long commutes in a more structured way. I guess there are two pieces
- 180km over 3 days = 60km/day = 30km each way, so they are not really endurance rides, but sound like good sessions to develop speed, intervals, build strength etc. (Or course the catch is can you you use them for training and work and recover cycling home? Only you will know./find out)
- You still need some longer endurance training rides that simulate the terrain that you will be over.
- perhaps do some specific sessions, that match the terrain (for instance long grag hills - doing multiple ones and repeating them) or short sharp jobbies, look for intervals (TR outdooors or hill intervals) that will replicate recovery after those parts of the ride.
Look to the TR plans and sessions to build structure into that… (I did SS base 1 and 2, Sustained power build (I think) and 40k TT, but put shed loads of miles in over summer.
In my experience, for longer rides, there is no substitute for doing them, from finding a fueling, pacing and mental perspective. However, you obviously don’t need 100m (sorry 160km) each weekend. (There is always the Century plan, but I found it a bit flat for what I wanted)
I hope this helps. If not, feel free to ignore.