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Thread: Training Advice: planning to ride Cinglés du Ventoux in September '18

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    Default Training Advice: planning to ride Cinglés du Ventoux in September '18

    It's my 40th in September and we've just booked our flights to France for our celebratory trip - the plan is to ride Ventoux and the surrounding area as much as possible whilst we're there, with the ultimate goal being to do the Cinglés du Ventoux on or near my birthday.

    This last year of riding - and particularly the latter half - has probably been my worst for some time, but I'm motivated to change that (and have the support of my wife) such that I can be fit enough to do this trip justice; and then hopefully carry that fitness into trips I'd like to do in 2019 (like the Tour Down Under and possibly D2R2).

    Being honest, I currently (usually) do:

    1x short ride of 45mins-1hr: circa 15-30km & 250-500m vert
    1x mid-length ride of 2hrs: circa 50km & 550-750m vert
    1x longer ride of 3/4hrs: circa 60-90km & 900-1500m vert

    That's on a good week; but I know that is (really) slack and I know I can easily step that up.

    I intend to make time for at least:

    2x longer short rides of circa 90mins
    1x mid-length ride of circa 2.5hrs
    1x longer ride of up to 5hrs / 120km / 2000m vert; and longer as we get into June/July/early Aug.

    I'd like to commit to more and should be able to as I get into it, but I'm also aware I need to be realistic and that I won't be able to add much more than I currently do straight away.

    Talking rough figures, the Cinglés will be circa 160km and 5000m vertical gain from our basecamp in Bedoin (which we don't yet have booked, so any tips - preferably with a pool for the wife to entertain little'un in whilst I'm riding - would be appreciated!). Neither figure bothers me as I have done a number of bigger rides in the past but, with this being a bucket list ride and with me being fairly low down on the fitness scale Vs where I was on those bigger rides, it is a much bigger challenge.

    The question is, how do I make the best use of my ride time over the next 8 months such that I can be 'match fit' on arrival?

    Would I be better to make those short rides focused trainer sessions?
    Would I be better to drive to some hills and do long hill repeats for the mid or longer rides?
    Am I on the right tracks with what I'm already doing but I just need to get more committed to help me get fitter?
    Am I way off track and need to wake up to ruining myself for the next few months to have a chance in hell of doing this thing?!

    For reference, climbs here are often 3km+ long, but nothing like the Alps - unless I go to the Victorian Alps between Sydney & Melbourne; and I may well plan a long weekend 'training camp' at some stage to do exactly that.

    Ultimately I want to arrive at a training plan, but I need to do some research on the best way to get to that - be it via an online solution like Zwift / Sufferfest / A. N. Other, or via a local or distance coach. Again, any advice here would be welcome.

    Thanks in advance...

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    Default Re: Training Advice: planning to ride Cinglés du Ventoux in September '18

    Rich, I know that winter is a great time to overthink this and you may very well be doing this right now :)

    I have one advice which is to do the Cingles in the Bedoin-Malaucene- Sault order. The Sault climb is a ton easier except the last 3k to the top so do this one last. You probably already know this.

    If you have never climbed Ventoux what makes it very tough are the prolonged section at over 10%, the Bedoin one is very tough but the Malaucene one as well.

    Pick a day that is not too hot and not too windy. A hot and windy day would make it 2x tougher.

    Great challenge.

    Oh and bring a light bike and a light self too !

    Finally....carbon tubulars.... of course.
     

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    Default Re: Training Advice: planning to ride Cinglés du Ventoux in September '18

    It’s summer here, but I’m still over-thinking it!

    All sound and useful advice, Lionel - thank you.

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    Default Re: Training Advice: planning to ride Cinglés du Ventoux in September '18

    The shorter rides don't have to be trainer sessions, but it would be a good idea to use those to build up the amount of time that you are training at 80-90% of FTP, or ~65-75% of VO2 max, for a few reasons: 1) you'll probably be riding in that power zone a lot on the climbs this summer; 2) although you'll want to polarize later (starting about 8 weeks before the event), doing a good volume of "sweet spot" training with your limited time will help develop lactate clearance (through the MCT1 pathway), glycogen storage, and developing the calcium-calmodulin pathway (the aerobic way of making ATP in your cells); all those are best developed with 5 hour LSD rides, but you don't have that time.

    Do as many long climbs as you can right now -- get used to sustained efforts on the gradients you can ride, to train that rhythm.

    Do one, maybe two days a week where you do some 2 x 20min efforts sub-threshold (if your threshold HR is, say, 155, do these at 139-143, for example). Gradually raise FTP without having to go cross-eyed.

    A weeks might be:

    M -- rest
    Tues -- 2 x 20
    Wed -- sustained aerobic ride (about half of it at 80-90% FTP)
    Thurs -- same as Wed
    Fri -- rest
    Sat+Sun -- do you longer rides on the climbs

    You won't be doing anything to help you in the local crit or the Tuesday Night Worlds, but if all your eggs are in that long climb basket, then start training like a TT specialist and find as many long climbs as you can.
    Robert Kendrick


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    Default Re: Training Advice: planning to ride Cinglés du Ventoux in September '18

    put low gears on the bike/
    ventoux is a long climb.

    dont try to be a hero... stop a few times to get a grip. i remember those km ( to top ) signs came very slowly.

    we stayed at a great hotel on the malacene side for a week awhile ago.
    le beffroi in vaison le romaine.

    in the old town.. really nice spot.
    right next to gigondas in cote de rhone wine territory.

    the one time i tried to climb ventoux was on bastille day... there was 6" of snow and they sent us back down from chalet reynaud ( was doing etape )
    so, be prepared.
     

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    Default Re: Training Advice: planning to ride Cinglés du Ventoux in September '18

    Lose weight - Particularly given the time constraints on training this will be far more important than minor variations on training plans.

    Good luck!

    Maybe we should make this a group Vsalon Cingles attempt!
     

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    Default Re: Training Advice: planning to ride Cinglés du Ventoux in September '18

    I'm 23 years older than you, OP. And I think I could do the Cingles, after riding the Bedoin climb twice now. The B-M-S order is what I would do, too. I don't ever want to ride down the Bedoin side - way too hairy for me.

    Stop for some lunch in Malaucene. Start early - that is one key. Take a break at the Chalet Reynaud if it is really hot. Consider having a 1:1 low gear. I used mine. You may not, but something close to that is good to have. And alloy clinchers would work fine.

    Another good place to stay is Veloventoux in Faucon, maybe 10km northeast of Malaucene. And be sure to take time to check out the bike shops in Malaucene - some amazing kit there. Other great rides in the area is a ride around Ventoux (about 70 miles) and a ride to Sault from the west through the Gorge de la Nesque.

    I love the riding around there. And the food and wine is fantastic. The lavender fields in July are beautiful, too.
     

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    Default Re: Training Advice: planning to ride Cinglés du Ventoux in September '18

    good point
    don't miss it

    nd a ride to Sault from the west through the Gorge de la Nesque.
     

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    Default Re: Training Advice: planning to ride Cinglés du Ventoux in September '18

    I would say do as much climbing reps as you can have fun with.
    Also practice out of the saddle climbing.
    Add some core / low back strengthening exercises every day ( a few minutes will do).
    If you can handle the climbs, the flats are no problem.

    ps I found that pointing the seat down (bringing it level), when climbing a long time, it decreases the strain on my low back. ( a weakness that can kill the fun of long mountain rides).
     

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    Default Re: Training Advice: planning to ride Cinglés du Ventoux in September '18

    Quote Originally Posted by rabo View Post
    Add some core / low back strengthening exercises every day ( a few minutes will do).
    This is a really good point - thanks for the reminder.

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    Default Re: Training Advice: planning to ride Cinglés du Ventoux in September '18

    i did ventoux as part of gfny ventoux. i thought i was in shape, but i had a really tough time on ventoux. took the race slow or so i thought, having a blast the first 60 miles which included some cat-2 climbs and then bonked on the ventoux part at the end. got off my bike and rested multiple times. it was a miracle i got to the top and before the race was over. i did far better climbing tourmalet and alpe de huez. my suggestion is to get used to riding 8% and above grades for as long a distance as practical. i'm sure you know this but you have two enemies at ventoux, gradient and distance. i was doing four time repeat up a local climb here called bear mountain which averages 5.5% with steeper sections and doing it comfortably and still wasn't fully prepared. -Mike G
     

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    Default Re: Training Advice: planning to ride Cinglés du Ventoux in September '18

    I agree with Lionel you're way overthinking it. Ride jah bike and everything will fall into place.

    That said I rode La Marmotte twice and the key for me was long climbs.

    Marmotte is basically 3 HC climbs so I rode local 25km climbs until they became old hat even doing hat tricks on some HC mountains.

    When it feels normal to go up for 25km you not only have the physical but also the mental training in the bag.

    I also strongly recommend a plate of pasta for breakfast the morning of your ride. Pasta fuels you far into the ride and pays dividends before the bike food party.

    Good luck and enjoy the struggle
     

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    Default Re: Training Advice: planning to ride Cinglés du Ventoux in September '18

    i thk you need to make an adjustment to ride the climbs in the real mountains.
    steady and low, low gears.

    very few people have local climbs that they can ride on as prep for these mts.
    those km signs come very slowly at 5mph.
     

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    Default Re: Training Advice: planning to ride Cinglés du Ventoux in September '18

    Quote Originally Posted by holliscx View Post
    I agree with Lionel you're way overthinking it. Ride jah bike and everything will fall into place.

    That said I rode La Marmotte twice and the key for me was long climbs.

    Marmotte is basically 3 HC climbs so I rode local 25km climbs until they became old hat even doing hat tricks on some HC mountains.

    When it feels normal to go up for 25km you not only have the physical but also the mental training in the bag.

    I also strongly recommend a plate of pasta for breakfast the morning of your ride. Pasta fuels you far into the ride and pays dividends before the bike food party.

    Good luck and enjoy the struggle
    agreeing as well. just get used to long climbs. don't even worry about the pace. you need to build endurance. this is a challenge about finishing. and i'm training for the marmotte this year although i've told myself that i'll be happy if i just make it to the bases of alpe de huez. i climbed it last year with fresh legs and worried i'll have the strength to climb it after all those climbs before.
     

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    Default Re: Training Advice: planning to ride Cinglés du Ventoux in September '18

    Quote Originally Posted by holliscx View Post
    I agree with Lionel you're way overthinking it. Ride jah bike and everything will fall into place.
    I don’t disagree with this - or anything else you said for that matter. It’s very true.

    Checking on local climbs, most are 2-5km long with 4-6% average gradients, but with pitches of 12% or more in places. I trained on less for the Quebrantahuesos and others (Fred Whitton numerous times and the Dave Lloyd Mega back when it was a 250km+ route, for the UK contingent) so I’m not too bothered in that respect. I do wish we had a bigger climb of around 10-15km locally, but c’est la vie.

    I guess I just want to maximise my chances of completing it - and really that’ll probably have more to do with conditions on the mountain, support riders (of which there will hopefully be at least 3, with 1 other planning to do the whole Cinglés too) and nutrition on the day, as long as I’m fit enough in the first place.

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    Default Re: Training Advice: planning to ride Cinglés du Ventoux in September '18

    Quote Originally Posted by RichTheRoadie View Post
    I don’t disagree with this - or anything else you said for that matter. It’s very true.

    Checking on local climbs, most are 2-5km long with 4-6% average gradients, but with pitches of 12% or more in places. I trained on less for the Quebrantahuesos and others (Fred Whitton numerous times and the Dave Lloyd Mega back when it was a 250km+ route, for the UK contingent) so I’m not too bothered in that respect. I do wish we had a bigger climb of around 10-15km locally, but c’est la vie.

    I guess I just want to maximise my chances of completing it - and really that’ll probably have more to do with conditions on the mountain, support riders (of which there will hopefully be at least 3, with 1 other planning to do the whole Cinglés too) and nutrition on the day, as long as I’m fit enough in the first place.
    i'm going to Girona in April with campo bicleta to get some pre-training in. very inexpensive. my plan is to climb mare de du del monte and the valter 2000 as practice
     

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    Default Re: Training Advice: planning to ride Cinglés du Ventoux in September '18

    Quote Originally Posted by RichTheRoadie View Post
    I don’t disagree with this - or anything else you said for that matter. It’s very true.

    Checking on local climbs, most are 2-5km long with 4-6% average gradients, but with pitches of 12% or more in places. I trained on less for the Quebrantahuesos and others (Fred Whitton numerous times and the Dave Lloyd Mega back when it was a 250km+ route, for the UK contingent) so I’m not too bothered in that respect. I do wish we had a bigger climb of around 10-15km locally, but c’est la vie.

    I guess I just want to maximise my chances of completing it - and really that’ll probably have more to do with conditions on the mountain, support riders (of which there will hopefully be at least 3, with 1 other planning to do the whole Cinglés too) and nutrition on the day, as long as I’m fit enough in the first place.
    I mean this in the best way but instead of asking the forum how to train for the ride parlay that time to the bike and ride a hundredfold more. Your legs will have all of the answers out on the road. That IS cycling.

    All of the guys who finish ahead of you and drop you with ease on climbs whom you will ponder crawling uphill at 8kph will have posted on a bike forum about training for Cinglés du Ventoux exactly 0 times

    Ride and don't overthink: if your longest local climb is 5km repeat it 5 times for 3 sets; 2 or 3 times
     

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    Default Re: Training Advice: planning to ride Cinglés du Ventoux in September '18

    My longest local climb is about .5km at about 3%. Guess I better get some mad repeats in on that thing . . .

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    Default Re: Training Advice: planning to ride Cinglés du Ventoux in September '18

    Quote Originally Posted by dogrange View Post
    My longest local climb is about .5km at about 3%. Guess I better get some mad repeats in on that thing . . .
    I'd start IPAing because you don't stand a chance ;)
     

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    Default Re: Training Advice: planning to ride Cinglés du Ventoux in September '18

    Quote Originally Posted by holliscx View Post
    I'd start IPAing because you don't stand a chance ;)
    Well underway at this point!

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