Training For Randonneur Cycling

BC Randonneurs Cycling Club

A Word About Training For The Big Ones
by Eric Fergusson

The timing of Paris-Brest-Paris in particular makes training for it a little tricky. In qualifying for PBP here in British Columbia, your training will have peaked in early June (to meet a July 1 entry deadline), but PBP is not until late August. Should you try to maintain your conditioning through the summer, or take a time out and rebuild again later? For PBP 1995 I made the mistake of trying to maintain my early-June conditioning through the summer. The results... training fatigue and injury! In the PBPs since then I've taken a break and then jumped back into training in July. If you've been in good shape, your conditioning snaps back pretty quickly.

Riding summer brevets will help in your preparations for PBP, but think twice before committing to an August 600 or 1000: you may not have enough recovery time, and there's always the risk of injury to consider - this injury would be ill timed. Well-spaced 100 to 200 km rides will sharpen your conditioning and leave you feeling strong for PBP.

For mid and late July ultras, like London-Edinburgh-London or the Rocky Mountain 1200, your early June 600 km qulifier is better placed - you can keep your training level in high gear after recovering from the spring 600. (Think twice before signing up for a June 1000.)

See the Back to Back Ultras discussion elsewhere in this section for an exploration of related concerns.

© Eric Fergusson 1999, revised as needed