Ultra-endurance training

OK. So I did Apidura Paralells24.
Distance - 607km.
No sleep.
Ride time 21h25min
Stopped time 2h35min

Ask me anything!

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One question. Why did you stop for so long :grinning:. Just kidding great job!


I’ve been using Garmin lap counter for measuring my nutrition. Pressing the lap button every time I eat, so I can easily see how much time since my last meal. In the past I tried setting a timer at some interval, say 30 minutes, but that proved too rigid for me. With lap counter I can easily vary the interval depending on how I feel like. Though I generally target eating a bit every 30…40 minutes.

The downside is that I need to remember pressing the button. But I’ve become much better at this over the last few years.

As an added bonus I get a log of my eating schedule :slight_smile:



to be honest it amazed myself. you know when you stop at the gas station and you are thinking that you are doing everything as fast as possible…and then 20-30min has passed.
Actually I had following stops.

  1. 3h38 min in - 21min stop - gas station - coffee and hotdog
  2. 7h20min in - 37min stop - gas station - coffee and wrap + chocolate + WC
  3. 11h41min in - 1h4min stop - stopped at a b&b :sweat_smile: Warm meal and some food prep for the night. Also a toilet stop!
  4. 19h52min in - 12min stop - gas station. refilled my bottles and had some food (honey sandwich) that
    I prepped during previous stop.

As all the gas stations were closed during the night then I didn’t had any stops for 8h during the night time. Luckly I was prepared for that. I mounted WolfTooth 2 bottle holder so I had 2 500ml and 1 950ml bottle filled with liquid.


I train for ultra bikepacking and have done a couple of multiday events (The Lost Elephant Jumbo). CUrrently I am training for a 2023 Tour Divide attempt.

I’ve been mostly using plan builder and HV options. But lately I have been doing what was suggested earlier in this thread, to do 2 high intensity interval sessions a week and then some easier longer rides. It’s clear that TR doesn’t have a focused ultra plan, but if you have the principles in your head you can make your own plan. Tapping into Train Now for the interval sessions is what I have been doing the past couple of months. I also travel a lot for work so I need to design each block around my travels which end up being recovery weeks/days of sorts.

I also think that core strength work is really important for bikepack racing. Especially for older riders whose backs etc can really take a pounding in these events.

The best coach youtuber I have come across for bikepack/ultra training is John Hampshire. He coached Jenny Graham to her Round the World record a few years ago. His style is pretty simple and bland, but he has good content, shares real ultra training plans, teaches you how to develop your own plans.

He also has some good advice on pacing. The advice Jonathon recently gave in the TR podcast was a bit off for ultras. Hampshire gets into pacing hills which is really helpful. Basically up your effort a little on long climbs. Coast on descents as the aerodynamics make pedaling a poor use of energy.

In terms of fueling these ultras, I tend to stick with real food as much as possible. Sandwiches, dried fruit etc. On multiday events I cold soak oatmeal in ziplock bags. I’ll also cold soak backpacking meals. This is mostly for events that are seriously deep into the mountains where there are no gas stations. I often take a bag of Skratch drink mix or simply a bag of sugar for additional calories in my water.

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Pace or effort?

effort. To me pacing is all about effort, not speed. for multi-day it is about z2. Being able to speak with relative ease and hold a conversation.
Hampshire uses speaking as the simplest way to watch your pace/effort. On a climb you push this a little and then on the descent just recover.

Thought so, a typo in your post I was replying to. Same here, I work to a steady effort not pace, with a little more effort on the hills.

Combine this with the Smart Eat. so when one gets an eat prompt, you hit the lap button. If the # of calories doesn’t jive with the number of laps, you know you’re behind…

Using the lap button or a timer sounds great in theory, especially for 1 day or single effort races. But have you been able to apply it successfully to multi=day bikepack or self supported races? Or have you heard of others successfully doing it?

It’s a hack for sure, but even the out of the box isn’t going to do much beyond report on the end of ride screen of what you reported as being consumed from a calorie / fluid standpoint.

The way I treat it is I don’t ignore eat prompts even if I’m within 10 minutes of ending a ride. It’s something Amber Pierce said “Eating during the end of today’s stage isn’t fueling today, it’s preventing you from falling behind for tomorrow’s stage.” If you’re confidant about being compliant with prompts, the Garmin head unit will record that information to Connect. I don’t know if that is something you can look at in ride history if you haven’t had a chance to sync with “the cloud”.

At the end of the ride my 530 prompts for water and calories consumed. That gets recorded in the FIT file, and any analytics platform can read and display that data.

I like just listening to my body on very long rides. I’ll always aim to regularly eat but also over time I think you learn to go a few hours between meals then eat a whole load when you hit a resupply point.
Main thing for me is that if I’m not having a good time then I’m low on calories. I’ll then focus on eating every 20mins or so until I’m cheerful again.