With the National Three Peaks attempt drawing ever closer, it’s time to get organised. Will and I are trying to assemble crew, a campervan for transport, plus any equipment and supplies we need to succeed in August.
But first, a quick update on training. TL;DR it’s going quite well.
I cycled over 1,000 miles in June. Since my my big day out I’ve also completed a few fast, mid-length ride. I also checked out some more of the planned route. Now the only part remaining that is a mystery is from Snowdon to St. Helens. Everything else I have either ridden or driven many times (Glasgow to Fort William).
A fast loop around Beacon fell – 47 miles at 22.3mph
Part of the 3 Peaks route – 80 miles at 21.8mph
These rides were done within 7 days of my 182-mile monster. So I’m recovering well and pleased with my endurance legs!
This week I am in Stockholm and will drop some volume in favour of intensity during my trip. After getting in some quality miles since we did the Coast to Coast, I’m ready for an ‘easier’ week. I will mostly be riding on a Wattbike, doing vO2 or Threshold / SweetSpot intervals. My planned workouts are an hour long – any more on a static bike is miserable. I will most likely do some easy runs or long walks in the evenings too.
When I get home from Stockholm, it will be about 5 weeks to go. I will do at least one more big day of 9-10 hours in the saddle and then start to taper off. Doing 3-4 hours during the weekend, and ticking over with 90 minutes to two-hour rides mid-week.
From food to tech to spare bike bits. It’s going to take a whole lot of planning to get me from Snowdon to The Ben.
I’ve found sugary snacks are the best things to keep me pushing on all day. If I try to eat too much real food on the go I find it gets difficult to digest, fills up my stomach, and makes cramming in extra calories uncomfortable.
I’ll be taking with me lots of
- Energy gels
- Chocolate Rice Crispies bars
- Jordans cereal bars
- Cubes of instant jelly
- Jelly babies
And I’m sure we’ll stop at the Apple Pie for a Jam Doughnut or three.
During the walks, I will try and eat things that are a bit more balanced. I like a good sandwich. Bananas always go down well, too.
I don’t normally enjoy energy drinks. They often leave me feeling a bit thirsty if I’m honest! I prefer water. I’ll drink some strong coffee or coke when I get off the bike for extra calories/energy.
I’ll need hiking and cycling equipment. Although I plan to hike incredibly light. I’m thinking a Camelbak with a bladder and a few sandwiches and bananas, plus a stowaway jacket just in case. Cycling will be a different story.
- Cycling kit x2 or x3. Probably skinsuits with pockets or Gabba if the weather is bad
- Cycling shoes x2
- Spare wheelset
- Water bottles
- My trusty tool bottle – minipump, spare tubes, co2, multi-tool
- Lights x2 at least
- Head torch
- Fell running shoes
- Stowaway jacket
- Garmin x2 at least
- Phone x2 – one to Strava my walks
- USB chargers
- Bum cream
I’m hoping to take with me at least three people. That way the driving will be spread out a bit, and someone can sleep whilst the others are on call. I’d also like to document the attempt quite well with pictures and videos.
We’re also hopign to use a camper van for comfort. If that falls through, it’ll be down to my trust Toyota Hilux Surf to do the donkey work.
If the weather is on my side and my head doesn’t crack, I think a realistic target is somewhere between 38 and 40 hours. The bike is where most time will be saved, and that’s where I’m strongest. I just need to get my head down and knock out the miles.
I’ve made a spreadsheet to play around with some figures, then I’ve added an extra two hours to the outcome.
With fresh legs, 3 hours to tackle Snowdon is realistic. And from my test rides, I believe I can ride the 190 miles from Snowdon to Scafell at a 20mph average speed. From then on, it’s a bit unknown. I’ve dropped the average speed down to 17mph for the rest of the ride, as I imagine I’ll be rather tired. I’m hoping I can keep the speed up, but like I say – I’m entering the unknown here.
The current record is just under of 42 hours. If I can cycle fast enough, there will be a bit of time to think about resting or sleeping for an hour or so. But honestly, I’m not too sure that’s a good idea. Maybe if I sleep that’s it, I won’t bother getting up again! I still like the power nap idea, and will probably take one at Scafell, then see how I get on up to Fort William.