Preparing for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100

RideLondon training tips by Gerda Mathews

I hope you’ve all applied for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 for 2018….?

I entered the ballot last year for the first time and got accepted for this year’s ride and it was an awesome experience. Not only because of the closed roads and great support along the route (especially in Esher – thanks DV!), but also because I had trained hard for it. The training made it an enjoyable rather than a painful experience. Considering that I only joined the club in August two years earlier, with a hybrid bike and needed to be rescued by one of the social ride leaders a few times; plus I only starting riding my first road bike in Dec 2015. So all in all, I was very pleased with being able to ride 100miles in a pretty decent time.  I would not have achieved this without the support of the club!

This blog is about how I approached my training and how I managed to achieve my target (well almost; I’m still annoyed about missing my target by just 1 min 57 secs!).

When I got the email to tell me I was successful for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 2017, I thought: ‘I have plenty of time for training’ so I didn’t really start with the training plan provided by the organisers (which I should have!). So, February and March came and went and I continued to do the regular Saturday rides with the club. At the start of May I rode in the May Flyer with a group from the club and got a pretty good result but was in real pain: I suffered cramp in my legs and was left feeling quite exhausted after only half the distance. This was my wake up call; if I wanted to achieve my 5hr target in the RideLondon I had to up my game!

However, half of May went by and I still had not done additional training, but then I started to do a few extra sessions: a Wednesday evening training loop with Dittons Velo (thanks guys for dragging me round!) and some spinning classes. In early June, I asked David one of the stronger DV riders if he would ride with me once a week for some speed sessions. I did get better but by mid June I still felt I was lagging. I panicked and did the thing I thought was not possible: I over-trained and actually found myself getting slower!!

After talking to David, my training buddy, he advised to have at least one day a week without exercise. I cut one session out and started to see the benefit from this.

I stuck with my schedule for the rest of June and July. I also did a few sportives, even did one on my own to make sure I had done a 100mile ride before the end of July . I also made sure I did some great rides with the club.

The night before the RideLondon, when I eventually arrived at my hotel (after getting totally lost from Waterloo to Stratford in the pouring rain!), I drank a lot of water to ensure I was properly hydrated, I ate a Nutella sandwich and eventually went to bed.

The morning of the ride I drank more to ensure I was well hydrated, plus I ate granola with yoghurt and one banana. I took a Nutella sandwich with me which I ate while queuing at the start, had another half banana and drank another bottle of water.

For the ride itself I carried with me

  • 6 gels (I used 4)
  • some small flapjacks
  • some cashew nuts (for the salt)
  • some peanut butter sandwiches (cut in mouth size chunks)
  • half a banana (which I didn’t eat!)
  • some Trek Protein Energy Chunks
  • two large bottles of water (with electrolyte tablets)

On reflection, I took too much food and would take less next time. The drink was just about enough but only because I was well hydrated the day before and before the start.

[Note from DV: as a rule, we would normally recommend drinking more water on a hard ride; typically, one bottle per hour]

Sleep is also important but that part went wrong: I couldn’t sleep on the two days before the race and two days after the race. I think excitement and nerves played a big part.

Thank you to everyone in the club for their support and help with my training – I couldn’t have done it without you all.

Dittons Velo en Champagne: June 2015

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The DV Champagne Tour 2015 was even better than the wine itself. The trip was full of flavour and fun. Never a dull moment, whether it was chatting in the bar after a ride or over breakfast the next day. The banter was good humoured and I never felt pressured to do anything I didn’t want to. The routes Nigel planned were varied and interesting through some wonderful countryside and even when we did go ‘Off piste’ it all seemed to be planned anyway. Great riding with some good long hills to get the legs working without killing ourselves as we can do on some of Surrey’s 20%+ gradients. Can’t wait for the next one!
8 is a good number, so if anyone else wants to arrange one, go ahead – it makes it all very cost effective and great fun.

In numbers:

A long weekend trip to Champagne, for eight Dittons Velo riders:

  • 11391328_10154386567928521_8637951243252311803_nTotal distance 300km (exactly!)
  • Total ascent 2295m
  • Total time 14:57hrs
  • Average speed 20kph

 

In the words of some of the DV huit:

MW
The trip epitomised the friendliness & camaraderie of our club. Bowling along as a group of like-minded ‘veloistes’ on smooth, traffic-free roads through beautiful French countryside (vineyards) with a shout of ‘Social’ if anyone made a break for freedom to bring the mini-peloton back together again.
At times through challenging (hilly!), but otherwise gently rolling terrain, followed by well-earned & leisurely lunch stops, the miles rolled by almost effortlessly culminating in a refreshing glass (or two) of fizz back at ‘the garage’, all of us with grins as wide as La Manche ..!

LY

A million laughs, thousands of calories (more eaten, than burnt), hundreds of cycling miles, tens of bottles of champagne but only one magnifique catastrophe (c/o Le Clewn)

SH

One of the best weekends I’ve had in years. Great riding, great bunch of people, great weather, great wine, great food, no mishaps to speak of. Tears of laughter rolling down my cheeks at least once every day.
 

NS

Fun long weekend with 7 others – based in Epernay – 3 x circa 60 mile rides – scenic routes – little traffic on mainly good road surfaces !!

 

In pictures:

 

In video

 

 

80mile Hindhead Loxwood ride

This long route includes 4 climbs. Tilford Road, Hindhead (600ft) then Barhatch Lane (450ft), Coombe lane (300ft) and finally Crocknorth Road (230ft). Ample refuelling stops along the route including Devils Punchbowl and Cranleigh.

Download

Littlehampton 50mile ride (one way….)

Down to the coast – 50miles there

Note: the map/route only shows the way there

Download

Petworth 75miles

The classic Petworth route. 75 miles with some climbing over the North Downs but fairly flat and quiet roads beyond. There are a number of cafes in Petworth. We have found Tiffin Cafe not at all cycle friendly!Try Bay Tree bakery or The Hungry Guest.

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Leith Hill Octopus: it’s a Monster

8 ways to climb Leith Hill, all in one 90mile ride.

If you like hills, you might still hate this one.

And if you do it and it hurts, blame Ralph….

Don’t believe the gradient graph below – there’s so much climbing it’s got tired of counting.

Download

If you want to view the details of the route, here it is in a printable PDF form:

octopusroute

115miles Brighton and back

London to Brighton route (starts at Clapham Common)
but riding back to Esher (Beware: Mostly busy A roads on this route)

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Note: these routes have been submitted by Dittons Velo riders as routes they have enjoyed or would like to do, they’re not tested for safety or suitability

77mile Godalming-Petworth-Pulborough route

Godalming-Petworth-Pulborough

Back via A29-Five Oaks-Coldharbour Lane-Dorking-Leatherhead.

77 miles 4600ft climbing. A lot of busy “A” roads. Note: the start and end points are not at HQ.

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Note: these routes have been submitted by Dittons Velo riders as routes they have enjoyed or would like to do, they’re not tested for safety or suitability

70 mile Haslemere route

Taking Trodds Lane to Newlands Corner (avoiding A25)

Albury-Shalford-Bramley-Hydestile-Hambledon-Haslemere

Back via Plaistow-Dunsfold-Farley Green-E.Clandon-Hungry Hill Lane

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Note: these routes have been submitted by Dittons Velo riders as routes they have enjoyed or would like to do, they’re not tested for safety or suitability