Rapha M2L – 3 important considerations for long distance rides
The Rapha M2L ride is a 220 mile 24 hour ride from Manchester to London in aid of raising money for Ambitious about Autism.
In preparation for the Manchester to London Rapha ride here’s three really important aspects to consider in order to complete the ride. Finishing of course is the most important aspect, regardless of the battle between the north and the south.
Probably the most important and easily missed aspect of any endurance ride. It was the thing I realised was key to covering any long distance, eat little and often.
Whilst training for the TCR I got some advice from the nutritionist Emma Watkins at the Leeds Beckett Sports department. I was told that I should never feel hungry, and by eating little and often, even if not particularly hungry, would keep my energy levels constantly topped up and thus not starving my body of any resources it needs.
At first it was quite difficult to change my habits and reposition my mentality to eat every 20/25 minutes but soon it became normal. Within a couple of weeks the unsettled nature of eating on the bike and digesting at the same time was soon lost.
220 miles is a long way and without that added supply of energy you’re really going to struggle past the first hundred!
Soreen was probably my easiest item to eat along the way but I’ll probably mix it up with a cake loaf, some haribo, bananas and some pedal bite balls. The route consists of 4 feed stations so you don’t need to pack loads, just enough to snack along the way. I won’t be too keen on hanging around the feed stops though as I’m keen to get a relatively good time!
Although the event is timed and it’s north vs south in terms of the amount of folk from each side to finish first but let me remind you this is not a race. Pacing yourself, getting in a good rhythm and maintaining that rhythm will be key to completing this event!
If you train to a heart rate or can work out an optimal zone/heart rate from your cycling computer this will benefit you much further down the line. It’ll also save un necessary cramping or strain during the event.
What to wear/what to take.
For an event like this, personally a frame bag is absolutely essential for a ride of this distance. I’m not a big fan of carrying tools, food or important belongings in my back pockets so a frame bag works out really well for me. I don’t often ride without one these days to be honest! This also means that any food supplies can also be stored in the frame bag and easily accessed when needed. I use a large Restrap frame bag which enables me to carry everything I need for a ride like this!
When it comes to what to wear, my only recommendation would be don’t take too much. A base layer and lightweight water proof jacket is essential in my opinion but this is relatively personal. I’ll be wearing the Rapha Brevet Bibs and jersey as it’s the comfiest kit I own, along side that I’ll maybe start the dat with arm/legs warmers which can be easily removed if too hot.
M2L won’t be easy, it’ll be filled with highs and lows but by following this advice your journey should be that bit more manageable. On a final note, if you’re taking on a challenge like this or of similar natural, my final bit of advice would be if it gets really bad and you’re struggling, STOP. Get off the bike and lay down/sit for 5/10 minutes, sometimes during the TCR I just needed a moment not in motion (sounds weird I know) or a 10 minute power nap. It really helped!
I’m sure you’ll find alternative ways that help push you through those tough moments so if you do, be sure to share them in the long run!
For more information on the Rapha M2L here and to sponsor my effort here