Are you ready for the HotChillee London-Paris 2020 Challenge?
Hot on the heels of the Virtual Alpine Challenge, we’re now throwing down the gauntlet for you to cover the 522 kilometres of the 2020 London-Paris Ride next week to be in with a chance of winning a spot on the real thing next year. Check out how to take part and here are some top tips for logging those kilometres.
Rest-up this weekend
You want to be fresh, fatigue free and ready to hit the ground riding on Monday. You’ve got a big week of cycling ahead of you next week so back things right off this weekend so, even if the sun shines, resist the temptation to head out for a big one. Use the time to plan for next week, check that your bike, kit and turbo are all ready to go and, most of all, try to put your feet up.
Have a plan
Have a think about when and how you’re going to log your kilometres. Most people will be relying on one or two bigger days of riding at the weekend at the end of the challenge so think what you can realistically manage on those two days and work back from there.
Schedule in a rest day
Although it might seem sensible to spread the riding over seven days – 75 km/day, especially if you’re planning one or two big weekend outings, factoring in a rest day on Thursday or Friday is a very sensible way to break the week up. It’ll give you a motivational boost to have a day off the bike and, if you’ll be heading out for one or even two epics over the weekend to finish off the challenge, it’ll give your body a chance to recover and replenish its reserves before your big final push.
Double ride days can be a really effective way to get this challenge done. Jump on the turbo or out onto the roads before work, find some flat and, even riding steadily, you should be able to get 25-30km in the bank. This will then leave you with a far more manageable amount to cover later on in the day.
Find the flat
Unless you’re a particular sort of masochist, the most time effective way to complete this challenge, both virtually, in real life or using a combination of both, is to ride on flat roads.
In the virtual world of Zwift your go-to route, especially for some pre-work easy kilometres, should be Tempus Fugit in Watopia. With just 16m of ascent in 17.3km it’s about as flat as it gets and, as Watopia is always on rotation, there will be plenty of wheels to suck too.
If you haven’t got a Zwift subscription but still want to take advantage of some flat virtual kilometres, give Road Grand Tours (RGT) a go. The Borrego Springs course has just 9m of climbing in a 7.7km lap.
Although with social distancing still in place you can’t get the benefit of the full drafting effect of following a wheel, there’s no doubt that, even if it’s just a mental boost, riding with some mates definitely makes the kilometres pass by quicker and easier.
However in the COVID free virtual world of Zwift, finding a wheel or a group of mates to work with makes a massive difference to your average speed. If you’re riding solo, opt for flat and busy routes (see above) and just tag onto the back of groups or riders that are outputting about 0.5 w/kg more than you’d be riding on your own.
Look out for fast and flat official Group Rides to join. The EVO CC 90-minute Ride held at 1700 on Wednesdays is a great one. You can sit in a bunch of 200-400 riders at an average of 2.5-2.8w/kg and towed along for 60-65km.
Avoid Group Workouts though as the speed of the bunch is kept frustratingly low and you won’t get a great kilometres return on your efforts.
Organise Meet-ups and, especially if you have some strong and willing mates, set them to No-Drop and get a speed boost well above what you’d manage on your own or by simply following a wheel.
If you are a HotChillee CC member there will be plenty of flat and fast virtual group rides accessible through the HotChillee Community Platform. Or if the real world is more your thing post in the #Members_MeetUps channel on the platform and plan some rides together!
Ride, recover and repeat
Fuel, hydrate and pace well on all of your rides as, if you go to deep or deplete yourself too much, it’ll have a knock on negative effect on subsequent rides and your London to Paris week will get harder and harder.
Try to spin really easy as a bit of a cool-down for the final 5-10 minutes of each ride and view this as the start of your next one.
Keep hydrating post ride and try to eat within an hour of finishing the ride. The longer and harder a ride is, the more important this is. If you think you’ll struggle to eat in this window, a recovery drink can be a good idea.
Look after your undercarriage as this is one of most likely issues to hamper you on a multi-day challenge. Use clean shorts for every ride, apply plenty of chamois cream and don’t hang around in your kit post ride.
Stay off your feet as much as you can off the bike and try to do some stretching, mobility work and foam rolling in the evenings.
Post your progress
Let us know how you’re getting on each day on Twitter by tagging @HotChilleeCC and #londonparis and don’t forget to also let us know your Yellow Jersey Moment to stand a chance of winning a Kalas jersey.