The LEJOG world record has stood since 2001, when Gethin Butler took 44 hours, 4 minutes and 19 seconds to cover the 874 mile distance. Since then, there have been attempts, but no one has managed to beat it. Ian To, an ultra-distance cyclist, thinks he could be the man to do it.
The record breaking attempt will take place during a two-week window from 12 May and To is hoping to shave almost two hours off the current time.
Having started cycling in his mid-twenties, To took several years off before re-starting in 2014 and discovering a passion for ultra-distance racing. When his entry to the Transcontinental in 2016 was turned down, he instead entered three other ultra-races and won them all: Giro Ciclistico delle Repubbliche Marinare, Hard Cro and Sverigetempot.
The LEJOG attempt will require To to maintain an average speed of above 20mph for 42 hours. That requires quite some legs to power the bike and, according to To, he can sustain 250W at a heart rate of just 115bpm. What would be a hard effort for a lot of people is a leisurely pace for him.
His training schedule is a busy one with 12,000km covered already this year and between 20 and 40 hours training each week. Self-coached, To subscribes to polarised training, which means his efforts are either long and easy or hard interval sessions training aerobic capacity or max effort respectively.
To’s approach to nutrition is also refreshingly simple with the claim that he will be eating diluted milk and sausages only, as a source of fat, protein and no sugars. We’ve looked into the claim that milk is a good hydrator and apparently it holds tight.
He will be raising money for the National Autistic Society, a cause close to To’s heart, and you can donate via his Just Giving page. For more information on Ian To’s attempt you can follow this Twitter page or visit the dedicated website.
Another LEJOG record contender
While the start of this attempt is a few days away yet, there’s another contender in the mix, Michael Broadwidth. Broadwidth has taken the national 24-hour racing title three times and is attempting to beat the LEJOG record too this month.
His attempt window opened on 29 April, and he’s currently waiting for the conditions to be right before setting off. You can follow his attempt on Twitter here.