My experience is very low, longest is only about 2hrs of relaxed riding.
I'm trying to get a scope on how people train and what their biggest hurdles were on these longer distance rides...
On your first ever big distance ride (so 200km and upwards), what was/were the biggest things that you wish you had done/adjusted/changed/took?
could be anything from....that better pair of bibs friends always recommended,
that other saddle you wanted to try because you werent 100% satisfied with the current one,
that bike fit by that renowned guy,
should have been able to do centuries (miles) weekly before doing this event...
that better pair of shoes because the current one is just that little snug riding passed 1hr.....
that specific waterproof jacket instead of a water resistant jacket
I figure that once a reasonably fit cyclist get's past a point, distance wise, it's just about good fueling from there on in. Your muscles will feel like they've been 'tenderised' regardless.
My advice would be
1) invest in a decent pair of shorts and base layer (I like PedalEd or Rapha for shorts and merino for base layers but everyone has their own preferences).
2) pace yourself, it's too tempting to push on early in the ride, but if you do, you'll pay for it later, keep it steady.
3) stop little and often, just have a stretch and a bite to eat - make sure you eat 'normal food' forget bars and gels they'll just mess with you on the inside on a long or multi-day ride.
4) ensure your bike is comfortable, if you've any niggles then get a bike fit to stop or minimise them, any small niggle will be a big deal on a big ride.
One thing for shure: without proper training, material will do nothing for you. And changing what works for your 2hrs rides will make it worst.
In the days leading up to the event maybe carb load a little bit. Dont worry about it too much, any excess you’ll store as fat, which is fine.
On the morning of the event, eat a normal sized breakfast consisting of mostly carbs and some proteins. Don’t fill your stomach with roughage/fiber.
Before the start, eat a low-medium glycemic index food like a dense energy bar...Banana bread larabars or something like that. For the first couple hours you want your carbs to be low-medium GI, so stick to bars, rice cakes, peanut butter and honey sandwiches, etc.
Moving into the later hours, start using simpler sugars like gummies, Clif Bloks, etc.
In the final hours, switch to gels if you have them.
Save the real food for post-ride. Make sure to get enough protein at this time.
If there is a designated lunch stop, then of course take the opportunity there to eat real food. Just keep in mind raw fruits like bananas, while popular, will make you feel bloated and won’t supply the calories from carbs you need.
Hydration and sodium/potassium/magnesium/etc replenishment is very, very important. Take sips of water even if you don’t feel thirsty. If your stomach can handle sugary drinks, keep one bottle of that and one bottle of water per refill.
Use components that you know will work to the end. Reliability is number one concern.
Ride with people you like - it's a long day together and nerves can fray with exhaustion.
Set off with oiled chain, brake pads with plenty of life etc - any mechanical imperfections will be found out over distance.
Make sure you know how to follow the route. On longer rides there's less time for messing with GPS devices.
(Assos has marveleous bib short for long distance. Expensive but far better than Rapha for example)
- Another must: good tires/ tubes for long distance and depending on the tarmac that you will ride on etc...
Just get in some proper training and mileage this year. At least once a week, try to poke past your longest ride to get your time in the saddle up to at least the longest day you'll do on the ride.
Another strategy is to string together 3 or 4 days into a mini training camp - like 3 hours on Friday, 4 hours on Saturday, and 6 hours on Sunday. if you do this once every couple of months it will bring your fitness to a higher level each time. By the time you do the charity ride, the distance and time in the saddle won't seem daunting at all.
+1!JackRussellRacing wrote:IMHO nutrition and fitness are fairly easy to adjust in preparation for a very long ride. The difficulty, for me (and many I've ridden with) is simply the mental boredom that can just about bonk your spirits. For me, 100 miles is a non-issue. 130 miles is a non-issue. At about 160-180 miles, I find myself just sick and tired of pedaling and simply want to get off the bike. I've soldiered on > 200 miles, but at that point in the day, I've run out of conversation topics with my riding mates and kinda just want to go home and see my wife+family. That mental 'anguish' is more challenging than anything I've encountered in the fitness realm on long rides.
I have my own crisis crank which consists of an SCap pill, tramadol, and caffeine. Maybe throw in a tylenol as well. Last summer I worked myself up be able to handle 10 - 12 hours of ride time with little discomfort. I found that at a certain point I would need a lift and found the combination above to be very helpful. I have a spinal injury which is how I came to tramadol, the SCap is just salt, potassium, and sodium bicarbonate to stave off cramps, and the 50 mg caffeine is in a PowerGel.
Be very careful not to get behind in food or liquid consumption. Hard to catch up. If you are big - over 175 pounds (80 kg) this is a challenge. In the actual event in which I participated , I consumed about 200 calories every hour in addition more substantial real food that constituted my meals lunch, dinner etc. but we were going pretty hard as it was only 10 hours on the bike.
Ride the route if you can. Even if you do it in pieces. I find this helps psychologically.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.
Eat all the time, small portions - real food or gels depending on your stomach, but nothing too heavy. Keep drinking too, water as well as electrolyte mix since you shouldn't be sweating too hard.
If you stop, don't stop for long; better to roll slow than let your muscles cool off completely.
A 550 is likely to take you into the night, or start at night. You need to have good lights (dynamo for preference) and experience of night riding. Don't underestimate how hard it is to ride through the night - if the plan includes riding in the small hours, you need to practice that (i.e. do a ride that starts at midnight and ends at 04:00).
Find a group. Some people like long-distance solo riding, but having someone to talk to, or hide behind for a while, is invaluable in my opinion. At the very least have one riding partner.
Bike needs to be comfortable - titanium is best - and have easy gearing. I've got a 34x32 bottom gear on my Audax bike, and the guys who use triples sometimes go down to 1:1 or even over-geared. It depends on the route, of course, but it helps with staying out of the red. Add a spacer or two under your stem if you can, assuming you're doing this on your race bike.
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