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Smash 100 miles on a bike

Ride 100 miles on a bike

For runners, it’s a marathon. For cyclists, it’s cycle 100 miles.  But with these tips from our Army expert you can take on 100 miles with no fear

Plan

The best way to cycle 100 miles is to sign up to an organised event. Allow a good couple of months’ training if it’s your first time. Do one long ride each week and build up to maybe 80 miles. If you can do a 70-80 mile training ride, on the day you’ll definitely manage 100.

Nutrition

If you plan to use sports gels, which are good products, then practise using them in training. One benefit of doing an event is you can grab more food at feed stations. Have at least one caffeine gel as a back-up, and some normal food as well, like a peanut butter and jam sandwich, or flapjacks.

Drinking

Again, practise using your hydration tablets, anything that gives you some extra electrolyte to give you a boost. Fill your water bottles at every opportunity; you don’t want to be suffering later on simply because you’ve not picked up water.

Kit

Always take a mini pump, inner tube, tyre levers and patches. Check the weather forecast at the last minute to assess the layers you might need to carry.

Bike

A clean bike is a quick bike. Make sure it’s serviceable at least a week in advance. You don’t want to be changing parts on your bike the day before and having no idea if it’s going to work.

Pace

In your training, learn what your average pace is. What tends to happen when people do these events is they get caught up in it all and they go off like the clappers. They end up burning themselves out and suffering because they’ve gone out too fast. Start a little bit slower, work your way into it and see how you feel.

Route

Choose a route to suit your ability: flat or hilly. If you’re coming to a climb, save energy. Roll into it, drop onto your low gear and slowly spin your way up.

Photo: Jon Buckle/London Marathon Events

The expert

Name: Adam Colvin

Job: Joint Tactical Air Control Field Training Unit (FTU)

Unit: Training Branch Field Army

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Biog: I cycle for the Army Race team, from Criterium to National A and B races. I joined in 2001 and went into the 7 Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery. I’ve been on a few tours like Kosovo and Afghanistan, and I’m now organising exercises with the FTU