Julian Rider, 46 from Staffordshire is a builder by trade. At the weekends, he is almost always on his bike and often completes endurance challenges such as Revolve24.
Julian set a new record for solo competitors, riding a total of 427 miles and more than 37,000 feet of climbing. The fact that Julian has only been riding road bikes since December 2014 made his 2015 achievement all the more special.
His Brands Hatch highlights include the beautifully smooth downhills on the pit straight. “Coming down past the pits feels like you’re flying.”
He says: “I call Revolve24 the F1 of cycling events as it’s simply the best out there. You’ve got your own pit with power and great camaraderie on and off-track.
Julian’s Top Tips for riding a 24-hour event
- If you’re a mature rider like me, take heart. Riders aged 35-45 are at their peak level for endurance. I often beat far younger guys than me as my stamina gives me an advantage. If it was a shorter race, they would beat me, but not when it comes to endurance.
- Don’t compete with anyone else. I’m not on Strava for that reason. I don’t believe in it. Sure, you can compete with others when it comes to shorter segments and around bends, but when it comes to endurance training the main goal is to do long-distant rides.
- When it comes to training, train to watts, not your heart rate. If you’re lucky enough to have one, train with a power metre on your bike. It’s about maintaining your power intensity and pushing your threshold up.
- Work with a trainer. I work with Alex Welburn who motivates me like I could never do. If you’ve paid someone for a training session, you’re going to make it.
- Ride, ride, ride. During the week, I work a full-time job with long hours. In the winter, it’s about getting home and on the Wattbike. Winning a Wahoo Kicker at Revolve24 was the best prize ever and I love it. In the summer it’s about using the longer evenings to get out for as long as possible. I’ll often ride an hour’s starved ride before breakfast, and then a five-hour one at the weekend. In the run-up to Revolve24 my longest ride was seven hours and I was in the saddle for about 20 hours a week.
- You need a team behind you. I had my best mate and my girlfriend as my pit crew. They took all the thinking away from me so I could just ride. They’re my mind-readers; ready with my bottles when I needed them, telling me when I needed to drink more, or jacket when it got colder.
- Recovery – You can train your body to burn fat more efficiently before the event, but your body eats all its fat on an event like this. It will then start to cannabilise muscle. That means, post-event you’re looking at a month’s recovery. I don’t ride again for at least until the following Saturday. Then it’s just a light spin. It’s amazing how much your body is fatigued due to muscle wastage. You need to build yourself back up slowly.
About the Author: Julian Rider is taking part in Revolve24, the fast but safe closed-circuit 24 hour endurance event at Brands Hatch on 10-11 September 2016. The challenge offers the perfect combination of smooth asphalt, arduous climbs, exhilarating descents and a supportive festival atmosphere, along with the thrill of riding on a world-class motor circuit. The 24hr event is open to soloists, duos and teams of four, six and eight riders. New for 2016 is the track-based 12hr “Dusk ‘til Dawn’ challenge and the 6-Hour relay. For more information visit www.revolve24.com