It's been a very long time since I raced a distance that was so long that I'd not gone that far before. I did my longest triathlon back in '97, repeating the Ironman distance two more times. I did my first 50 mile ultra marathon back in '80, doing three more ultras after that. I swam 3 miles once back during the summer of (about) '98 in a lake in Minnesota. Longest bike ride ever was a training ride of about 120 miles for the '97 Ironman.
Everything since then has been just trying to race faster, not longer...until now. My wife, who is a Realtor for Landmark Group, www.landmarkomaha.com here in Omaha came home one day to tell that the company was going to put on a 172 mile bike race that covered three states - Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri. The route goes from Omaha to Rock Port, Missouri and back. Yes, there is a 2 person relay division and a 4 person division, but...time for a new challenge I think. Check it out at www.Omaharacetorecycle.com
How do you train for a 172 mile bike race? I don't know. Ride your bike a lot I guess. How do you pace yourself for such a long race? I don't know. Go real easy the first 120 miles I guess. What kind of nutritional plan should you use? I'll stick to 300 calories/hour of Hammer Nutrition products which has always worked in other races. What about saddle sores? www.skinstrong.com offers "Slather" which works great for that potential problem.
Biggest challenge for me (besides the distance which is ridiculous, and questions about pacing) is the lack of time to train for such a race. I'll no doubt be under trained. It's May 14 but I'm out of town for a week in March so no riding, and then, two weeks in April, I'm out of the country, so no riding then. That leaves less than 8 weeks! Man, wish I had about 4 months, but I don't. So, what will I do?
I'll try to get in as many long rides on my days off, as I possibly can. I might be able to get my longest ride up to 110 miles which, seems woefully short of what is needed. But, all I can do is to do what I can, then, try to be really smart on race day. If you ride a bike but are not interested in the solo 172 or the two person relay, get three friends and do the 4 person relay - 43 miles each. Or, if that's a bit too much, do the Family Ride of 17 miles. There will be an expo and some cool stuff going on that day besides the races at Midtown Crossing which is the start and finish line for all races. So, check out the website and join in the fun if you live in eastern Nebraska or western Iowa.