Rapha Festive 500 2023 Tips

Holidays can only mean one thing...Rapha Festive 500 for 2023 is upon us.

Riding 500km in winter during can be a serious challenge, but with these Rapha Festive 500 tips, we can hopefully make it more manageable. The event was born in England over a decade ago and has grown to over 65,000+ cyclist a year to take on the challenge. As a long time cycling coach, I have had a variety of athletes complete the event. Take advantage of these tips to help complete the 500km or 310-mile challenge!

Rapha Festive 500 Tips:

Tip 1: Ride on Zwift

While not exactly in the same spirit as the original, completing the event becomes drastically easier while riding on Zwift. The advantage of doing indoors can be increased even more by riding the route course with the “RoboPacers” Zwift now has riding around. When you load the app, scroll down to “24-7 Group Rides.”

Then select the scroll over and be sure to a course with an average watt per kilogram or W/kg of 2.1 and an average speed of 21 mph then select that course. The RoboPacer rides at steady watts per kilogram but you will be in a HUGE group of other cyclists and benefit from the draft. Expect to be riding at around 1.8-2.0 w/kg at 20-22mph. The miles will literally fly by on the flat route the RoboPacer rides.

Rapha Festive 500 Tips and Zwift

Tip 2: Set a Schedule

Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Give yourself a road to success. You need 39 miles a day to make it, so look at your calendar and write out exactly what you plan to do. The best way to go about it is to plan big for the first couple of days, if possible, and try to go for 50-60 miles to start. Doing this gives you a good buffer, especially when something may come up and you have to miss a day. Our athletes see the most success by getting in 60+ miles on the first day, followed by back-to-back 50-mile rides the following days. You will be halfway to the goal 3 days in with 5 days left.

Tip 3: Tell Others of Your Goal

Telling your spouse, friends and other cyclist of your plan to complete the Rapha Festive 500 can create accountability for your goal. It can also help your friends and family understand why you may be more occupied and a little more tired than usual. Getting another cyclist to do it with you can be immensely helpful as well! You can plan to either do the entire thing together or just meet up from time to time to ride together. 

Tip 4: Take Advantage of the Weather

If riding outdoors check the weather and plan accordingly. Especially look at the wind speed and direction. If you see a change in wind direction mid-day, take advantag of it! Try to spend as much time with a tail wind to keep your average speed as high as possible.

Tip 5: Recover Properly

For most cyclists, this will be the most consecutive days of long riding they have ever done. You’ll need to fuel your body properly during the ride and take advantage of refueling immediately after. This means consuming 60 grams of carbs every hour while riding. Once you are done get a protein shake that is 4:1 carbs to protein to maximize recovery and carbohydrate replacement.

You can learn more about how to fuel properly for endurance here as well.

Rapha Festive 500 Tips Recap

Finishing all 500km or 310 miles can totally be done! The number is large but as long as you stay committed the miles will fly by and before you know it you’ll be there! Hopefully these tips help get you launched to your goal! Happy riding to all!