How can I ride 500+ miles?
Can you ride 500+ miles in 7 days? If you can ride 85 miles in one day, and are committed to the challenge, I think you can. It won’t be easy, but with the right mindset, smart, consistent training and good hydration/fueling habits, you’ll be surprised what you can do.
Let’s break it down.
Mindset – 500 miles!
We have all heard the saying, “Eat the elephant one bite at a time” when dealing with a large task, goal, or project.
It’s easier to wrap your mind around riding 500 miles if you think of the Empire State Ride as a series of 7 one day events. Breaking that down even further, the question becomes can I ride 30-45 miles to a lunch stop and 30-45 miles after lunch for 7 days? Take it a step further and break the ride into even smaller sections – from the start to the first hydration and feed station, then from there to lunch, then to the next station and finally to the finish.
With this approach, 500 miles seems much more doable. And remember, there’s no rush, you have all day. For a week you have the full support of an excellent crew and nothing to do but eat, sleep, ride and repeat. You can do it!
Training – Train Right!
Thinking about 500 miles one small bite at a time makes it less daunting, but you still have to prepare your body to withstand the demands of the event. The training plan blue print provided on the ESR website is a great guide to help you get to the start line at your peak fitness. Follow it as best you can and remember this, consistency is your #1 priority. As a famous cyclist likes to say, “Ride as much or as little or as long or as short as you feel, but ride!” – Eddy Merckx
One other thought I’d like to share that falls under training is bike fit or biomechanics. You’re going to spend a lot of yours on your bike. Get a bike fit from a certified fitter and maximize your comfort and performance. Body Geometry Fit from Specialized or RETÜL Bicycle Fit Technology are two reliable systems.
Hydration and Nutrition – This will make you or break you!
Your ability to repeat 50-85 mile rides over seven days depends on how well you hydrate and fuel your body every day.
If you can ride 80 miles one day, what stands in the way of doing it again the next? Not drinking and eating enough! Keeping your body hydrated and your fuel reserves loaded every day is the key to repeatability.
I can’t stress the importance of this enough. Start hydrating as soon as you wake up, and eat a solid breakfast with plenty of carbohydrates. Then while you’re riding, understand that you are drinking and eating for tomorrows ride. This is the primary difference between performing for one day vs. seven. If you make a fueling mistake in a one day event, you’ll suffer the consequences in the last hour. If you make that mistake in a multi-day event you’ll suffer all day tomorrow. Keeping your fluids levels and glycogen stores full is critical! Aim to drink all your liquids between each stop and enjoy the great snacks and lunch that the ESR support team provides every day.
The nutrition support the crew at ESR provides will make this easy. Everything is taken care of for you. Catered breakfasts and dinners designed for endurance athletes, great food, drinks and morale support at the rest and lunch stops makes it easy to stay fueled and ready to go.
I look forward to seeing you all there!
Coach Charlie Livermore
Charlie is a seasoned riding coach from CTS Training and will be along for the entire Empire State Ride this summer.