Strategies for endurance riding (Everesting/Audax)

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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fruitfly
Posts: 42
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:40 pm
Location: Wet coast

by fruitfly

I completed in Everesting attempt yesterday (remains to be verified). Thanks to all who offered comments on this thread-much appreciated and I learned a lot. Just a few comments in light of the discussion.

Being a geek, I went on multiple training rides on the local mountains, gradually increasing from 2000m to 5400m. On each ride I tired different food, drinks, timing of eating and drinking, and then wrote notes on what worked and what didn't, and what I would change next time. I also wrote out tentative nutrition and hydration plans based on this, and wrote out a final version before the event. I made a list of everything I needed to bring.

I wish I had read fastezzie's comment about saddle position on June 17! Sorest part during ride was lower back, so I had to ride more out of the saddle than normal just to stretch it out. I rode my Tarmac for lightness and confidence descending, but if there is a next time, I will ride my endurance bike. I did do a lot of stretching during the ride.

I did follow the advice about slow (and by implication, low gears), and my cadence never ended up being that high. 16h25m of riding time, 286km. Reasonably consistent lap times except the last which was much slower.

I ended up eating solid food (mostly rice bars with dried fruit and chocolate chips, but enjoyed ricebars with tuna fish and dill pickles for a change-up,grapes, bananas, clif bars, pancakes with jan and peanut butter, baps with hummus and olive tapenade, and had a couple of chocolate bars). I ate solid food for 11/13 laps, but at end, enjoyed warm bouillion, orange juice. I should probably have gone to liquid nutrition earlier in the ride. During breaks (every 3 laps~2000m) I appreciated coffee. I didn't use gels until the very end, and wish I had started earlier-in hindsight I wasn't getting enough carbs. I didn't develop salt cravings.

For fluid I rotated through water, home-made energy drink (water, coconut water, orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice, honey, and salt), and commercial energy drink (Powerade). I didn't like the aftertaste from the commercial drink.

Things I was glad I did: 1) Planning clothing for different temperatures as the ride progressed (long, short and not gloves, warm tights shorter tights, layers); 2) Having 3 changes of clothing-not much point adding layers if the underneath layers are soaked with sweat; 3) Having a portable charger for phone, computer, lights; 4) Having a second pair of shoes. A pair that seems fine for 100km can be excruciating by 200km. 5) Stopping to take pictures, chat with people.

If I was doing it again I would: 1) ask my friends to show up at different times to ride a lap or two; 2) Have a bigger support vehicle to facilitate, changing, lying down for stretches, being able to bring a back-up bike/wheels, being able to organize things in bins so I didn't waste time rooting around looking for things; 3) Have a device for listening to music-it gets boring to do the same lap over and over again; 4) Have a driver to get home at the end when exhausted and sleepy

I should have practiced descending in the dark-a bit unnerving. I wasn't expecting the subconscious to kick in so strongly with the questions like "why are you doing this? what would it matter if you quit? is it worth it?" I also didn't anticipate how much tiredness would affect ability to make decisions, where things had been put in the car (never did find my headband, which was there all along).

by Weenie


AeroObsessive
Posts: 113
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:42 am

by AeroObsessive

^ mate, massive effort, well done!

Apart from the titanic undertaking, I am sure there many lesson and revelations had.

The Marginal Gains had a recent episode all about Everesting, might be some useful tidbits to shave even more seconds 😁

altuna98
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:52 pm

by altuna98

Congrats!

fruitfly
Posts: 42
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:40 pm
Location: Wet coast

by fruitfly

Thanks AeroObsessive and altuna 98 for the support!


RandyEverman87
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2020 11:17 pm

by RandyEverman87

fruitfly wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 9:05 pm
I completed in Everesting attempt yesterday (remains to be verified). Thanks to all who offered comments on this thread-much appreciated and I learned a lot. Just a few comments in light of the discussion.

Being a geek, I went on multiple training rides on the local mountains, gradually increasing from 2000m to 5400m. On each ride I tired different food, drinks, timing of eating and drinking, and then wrote notes on what worked and what didn't, and what I would change next time. I also wrote out tentative nutrition and hydration plans based on this, and wrote out a final version before the event. I made a list of everything I needed to bring.

I wish I had read fastezzie's comment about saddle position on June 17! Sorest part during ride was lower back, so I had to ride more out of the saddle than normal just to stretch it out. I rode my Tarmac for lightness and confidence descending, but if there is a next time, I will ride my endurance bike. I did do a lot of stretching during the ride.

I did follow the advice about slow (and by implication, low gears), and my cadence never ended up being that high. 16h25m of riding time, 286km. Reasonably consistent lap times except the last which was much slower.

I ended up eating solid food (mostly rice bars with dried fruit and chocolate chips, but enjoyed ricebars with tuna fish and dill pickles for a change-up,grapes, bananas, clif bars, pancakes with jan and peanut butter, baps with hummus and olive tapenade, and had a couple of chocolate bars). I ate solid food for 11/13 laps, but at end, enjoyed warm bouillion, orange juice. https://au.edubirdie.com/buy-essays-online I should probably have gone to liquid nutrition earlier in the ride. During breaks (every 3 laps~2000m) I appreciated coffee. I didn't use gels until the very end, and wish I had started earlier-in hindsight I wasn't getting enough carbs. I didn't develop salt cravings.

For fluid I rotated through water, home-made energy drink (water, coconut water, orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice, honey, and salt), and commercial energy drink (Powerade). I didn't like the aftertaste from the commercial drink.

Things I was glad I did: 1) Planning clothing for different temperatures as the ride progressed (long, short and not gloves, warm tights shorter tights, layers); 2) Having 3 changes of clothing-not much point adding layers if the underneath layers are soaked with sweat; 3) Having a portable charger for phone, computer, lights; 4) Having a second pair of shoes. A pair that seems fine for 100km can be excruciating by 200km. 5) Stopping to take pictures, chat with people.

If I was doing it again I would: 1) ask my friends to show up at different times to ride a lap or two; 2) Have a bigger support vehicle to facilitate, changing, lying down for stretches, being able to bring a back-up bike/wheels, being able to organize things in bins so I didn't waste time rooting around looking for things; 3) Have a device for listening to music-it gets boring to do the same lap over and over again; 4) Have a driver to get home at the end when exhausted and sleepy

I should have practiced descending in the dark-a bit unnerving. I wasn't expecting the subconscious to kick in so strongly with the questions like "why are you doing this? what would it matter if you quit? is it worth it?" I also didn't anticipate how much tiredness would affect ability to make decisions, where things had been put in the car (never did find my headband, which was there all along).
Congrats!!! :beerchug:

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Lewn777
Posts: 987
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:35 am

by Lewn777

fruitfly wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 9:05 pm
I completed in Everesting attempt yesterday (remains to be verified). Thanks to all who offered comments on this thread-much appreciated and I learned a lot. Just a few comments in light of the discussion.

Being a geek, I went on multiple training rides on the local mountains, gradually increasing from 2000m to 5400m. On each ride I tired different food, drinks, timing of eating and drinking, and then wrote notes on what worked and what didn't, and what I would change next time. I also wrote out tentative nutrition and hydration plans based on this, and wrote out a final version before the event. I made a list of everything I needed to bring.

I wish I had read fastezzie's comment about saddle position on June 17! Sorest part during ride was lower back, so I had to ride more out of the saddle than normal just to stretch it out. I rode my Tarmac for lightness and confidence descending, but if there is a next time, I will ride my endurance bike. I did do a lot of stretching during the ride.

I did follow the advice about slow (and by implication, low gears), and my cadence never ended up being that high. 16h25m of riding time, 286km. Reasonably consistent lap times except the last which was much slower.

I ended up eating solid food (mostly rice bars with dried fruit and chocolate chips, but enjoyed ricebars with tuna fish and dill pickles for a change-up,grapes, bananas, clif bars, pancakes with jan and peanut butter, baps with hummus and olive tapenade, and had a couple of chocolate bars). I ate solid food for 11/13 laps, but at end, enjoyed warm bouillion, orange juice. I should probably have gone to liquid nutrition earlier in the ride. During breaks (every 3 laps~2000m) I appreciated coffee. I didn't use gels until the very end, and wish I had started earlier-in hindsight I wasn't getting enough carbs. I didn't develop salt cravings.

For fluid I rotated through water, home-made energy drink (water, coconut water, orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice, honey, and salt), and commercial energy drink (Powerade). I didn't like the aftertaste from the commercial drink.

Things I was glad I did: 1) Planning clothing for different temperatures as the ride progressed (long, short and not gloves, warm tights shorter tights, layers); 2) Having 3 changes of clothing-not much point adding layers if the underneath layers are soaked with sweat; 3) Having a portable charger for phone, computer, lights; 4) Having a second pair of shoes. A pair that seems fine for 100km can be excruciating by 200km. 5) Stopping to take pictures, chat with people.

If I was doing it again I would: 1) ask my friends to show up at different times to ride a lap or two; 2) Have a bigger support vehicle to facilitate, changing, lying down for stretches, being able to bring a back-up bike/wheels, being able to organize things in bins so I didn't waste time rooting around looking for things; 3) Have a device for listening to music-it gets boring to do the same lap over and over again; 4) Have a driver to get home at the end when exhausted and sleepy

I should have practiced descending in the dark-a bit unnerving. I wasn't expecting the subconscious to kick in so strongly with the questions like "why are you doing this? what would it matter if you quit? is it worth it?" I also didn't anticipate how much tiredness would affect ability to make decisions, where things had been put in the car (never did find my headband, which was there all along).
Well done! What was the total time?
I'm late to this thread, but I wrote this somewhere else for anyone else thinking of doing an Everesting:

I've done an Everesting and two failures above 7000 metres.

-It's a mental game. Your brain and body will collude to convince you to quit, you'll get grumpy and any niggles, bad weather or other negativity can explode into a failure. Be absolutely determined.
-Some people think because the current record is about 7.5 hours, therefore the ordinary bloke can do an Everesting in about 10-12. If you can do one in under 18 hours, you're a total machine.
-Expect the ride to take 20-24 hours, I prefer to start in the afternoon, go through the night and finish before it gets dark again as finishing in the dark can be unsettling for some, also descending in the dark when is exhausted is shit, get the dark done early. Bring a charger or two maybe another GPS computer. Really good lights.
-Match the gearing to the climb, 10% gradient then maybe a 34x11-32, and if it goes up to 15-20% for more than a short distance then think about MTB gearing.
-For many people sugary foods like gels and energy bars won't cut it. Many people thrive on more normal savory foods when the time period is so long. Your body may crave salt. Also think about slower burn carbs like brown rice, oats potatoes etc.
-You really want a straight road, braking on descents will add a fair chunk of time.
-Your bike needs to be in perfect condition, maybe bring a spare bike.
-Things get ridiculous after 7000 meters, be prepared, maybe organise some kind of mental pick-me-up like a cold beer or favorite food at 7500 metres.
-Read https://everesting.cc/ completely.

fruitfly
Posts: 42
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:40 pm
Location: Wet coast

by fruitfly

Lewn777: Thanks for your very helpful comments. Completely agree about eating as much normal food as possible. I still like a gel for the last 2 laps...A local guy Everested eating boiled potatoes and chocolate biscuits, with water. My vegan riding buddy ate yams and raisin, hummus on rice crackers, brown rice and pickles. Savoury is good!

Also agree that "normal gearing" is too high, especially if you want to keep your HR/power down in Z1 or Z2. Learning this has been my biggest discovery.

My riding time was 16h:15m, and elapsed time around 20h. Lots of rest, my riding buddy had mechanical issues.

I have today completed a different Everesting, the 10k metre roaming. Basic rules are 400km minimum, 10,000m, and completed in 36h on the course or courses of your choice. Sleep is permitted. I did it with 12' to spare....I didn't think enough about the ratio of climbing to flats. Good climbing gradients make it hard to get the distance, good courses for distance make it hard to get the climbing. I started out with the idea that it would be nice to break up the climbs, whch was a mistake. So I had to revise my plans drastically after the first lap.

I found this much easier because of being able to break up the effort, and thus avoid getting exhausted. My division was about ~6300m the first day and 3800m the second day; and 275/127km on first and second day respectively. I did a much better job packing myself the second time round, and a much better job eating. Biggest difference for me was on a point to point, I needed to carry more, and often got stuck with clothing that was too warm or too cold because I hadn't planned enough for getting back to the car at regular intervals, or have someone move the car as the day went on.

Hugh

NordicSal
Posts: 154
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:09 pm

by NordicSal

One week from now I will ride Hamburg Hbf to Brandenburger Tor in Berlin in one day. We have yet to decide on the definite route, but 300-320 km is what we're in for. My previous longest ride was 170 km, and I did 160 km with twice the elevation this Sunday.

My question is, how do I prepare myself one week out. I believe my form is there no problem. I need food, I know what I can eat while riding, but what can I do from now leading up to the "event"?

fruitfly
Posts: 42
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:40 pm
Location: Wet coast

by fruitfly

Rest a lot. Form is more important than fitness at this point, so get lots of sleep, don't ride too long, do a few short fast bursts on each ride from now to 4 days before, then very easy rides, or no rides.

Hugh

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Lewn777
Posts: 987
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:35 am

by Lewn777

fruitfly wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:48 am
Lewn777: Thanks for your very helpful comments. Completely agree about eating as much normal food as possible. I still like a gel for the last 2 laps...A local guy Everested eating boiled potatoes and chocolate biscuits, with water. My vegan riding buddy ate yams and raisin, hummus on rice crackers, brown rice and pickles. Savoury is good!

Also agree that "normal gearing" is too high, especially if you want to keep your HR/power down in Z1 or Z2. Learning this has been my biggest discovery.

My riding time was 16h:15m, and elapsed time around 20h. Lots of rest, my riding buddy had mechanical issues.

I have today completed a different Everesting, the 10k metre roaming. Basic rules are 400km minimum, 10,000m, and completed in 36h on the course or courses of your choice. Sleep is permitted. I did it with 12' to spare....I didn't think enough about the ratio of climbing to flats. Good climbing gradients make it hard to get the distance, good courses for distance make it hard to get the climbing. I started out with the idea that it would be nice to break up the climbs, whch was a mistake. So I had to revise my plans drastically after the first lap.

I found this much easier because of being able to break up the effort, and thus avoid getting exhausted. My division was about ~6300m the first day and 3800m the second day; and 275/127km on first and second day respectively. I did a much better job packing myself the second time round, and a much better job eating. Biggest difference for me was on a point to point, I needed to carry more, and often got stuck with clothing that was too warm or too cold because I hadn't planned enough for getting back to the car at regular intervals, or have someone move the car as the day went on.

Hugh
Hey, your Everesting time was similar to mine in elapsed and total. But I suppose a lot depends on the hill and weather, so it's not really that comparable. I'm seriously considering a never before competed Cat2 next. I'll def do a virtual on Zwift next winter, too.

I've been wanting to do the roam 10K for ages, but somehow have never managed over 5000m and about 300km before throwing in the towel. Today I did 3500m and 222km, in just under 9 hours that's a solid ride, but 400km and 10K? Ouch, maybe I need to plan better. To do the 10K roam I think I need to put in longer breaks for more recharging? Two to four hour breaks seem long, but I think that could really help me with a good feed to then really make it manageable, I think I go too long before resting and feeding and take my breaks are too short making fatigue build up.

Lew

fruitfly
Posts: 42
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:40 pm
Location: Wet coast

by fruitfly

Lewn777,you clearly have the speed and strength to do a roam 10K. From the sound of it you have than more than me. The roaming one does have a different feel. Before the ride I would have said that I spent more time planning the route than anything else. Yet my biggest mistake was my choice of route. There are 3 local mountains, and summiting each is referred to as the "Triple Crown", so I was trying to achieve a "quadruple triple crown" as much as I was trying to get the roam 10k. The mistake was that getting from one mountain to the next meant urban flat stretches with lights, and this consumed much more time than distance/everage speed calculations would suggest, so I realized that I wasn't going to make the time limit. So I switched from doing 4 laps, 1x up each mountain per lap, to doing a lap with twice up the two highest mountains, and dropped the third because it is not very high or steep. Next day I went up the steepest mountain 4x to make the altitude, and then booted it on flattish roads at the base to make up the distance. It was nice to have a break from climbing, but cycling along at a steady 27-28kph and relax body and legs, eat and drink. But to get it don, this wasn't the best.

While I couldn't do it locally,I think the ideal situation is a mountain with two different routes up and down (or two mouuntains that generate the required altitude and distance, without going over altitude or distance too much. If the right mountain doesn't give enough distance, then it needs to have flat roads nearby to make up distance as required.

As for breaks, I think that was my other mistake. I live an hour's drive from the base of the nearest mountain, and decided to go home for a shower and a brief sleep. That took 4h in the car which took up time that I could either have been cycling, or really relaxing. If I was to do it again, I would get a motel room, and this would have allowed more rest with less driving, showers to warm up or cool down (it was cold at night and hot during the day, so temperature regulation was difficult....), and allowed 3 cycling bouts long enough to get it done, but not so long that I went as deep into my reserves as I did on the first day....

Hugh

raven14
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 7:27 pm

by raven14

Congrats Fruitfly

I also Everested this weekend, together with my significant other. What helped for me:

- social presssure: we did this together and neither of us wanted to give up because of that. Also we had plenty of friends over, cycling and non-cycling, and we wanted this to be a celebration
- enough drinking and eating, and not drinking too much sports drinks. Solid food was sometimes difficult to get into the stomach, but didn't upset it as much as carbed sports drinks do (to me)
- keeping the rests short
- having a base camp at the top of the hill
- I believe the nature of the hill also helped me: 1.6km with 104m of climbing. That means many reps, but also a short rep which is relatively easy on itself. I think mentally, this is easier to me than 6x Mont Ventoux eg.
- starting early
- mentally splitting the effort into pieces: first 20 reps enjoying the start of the day and the silence of solitude, next 20 reps with music, then 10 reps counting down to lunch break, etc...

In the end I finished in 14h15min total time, 13h15min cycling time. She did it in about 2hrs more. I could have gone a bit quicker but I stayed with her for the last two hours because she needed some support to get her through a difficult period. I basically started off around 80% of FTP for the climbs, sustained that until 5200m and then slowed down to 70-75%, until I started riding together with her.

We did this basically with no specific preparation, we decided to do this 2 weeks out. Although I do cycle a lot (500hrs/year) I have not had a ride of more than 4hr15min this year, before the Everesting ride. For me the main element for success is mental preparation.

fruitfly
Posts: 42
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:40 pm
Location: Wet coast

by fruitfly

Raven 14: Good for you and your partner! I am super impressed that you two could do it without a lot of preparation. Agree on the social pressure being valuable. So intereting to hear outher approaches. As a high metabolism guy, I suspect I eat and drink more than most, but it is so important not to bonk or dehydrate.

Biggest difference between us I think is that I was working most of the time about 65% of FTP. I like short rests, but I also like longer rests where I can stretch, lie down, and have real food. For the 10k roaming, my car was in a small mall, with a coffee shop, a super-market, a sandwich shop, so I enjoyed having a meal each day that wasn't "cycling food". I used more caffeine on the 10k roaming attemp as well.

I like longer hills, and would have trouble doing many many reps I think. I like the idea of segmenting the ride, and providing some reward at the end of each segment. I tend to start at night, and use coffee and breakfast as the reward for the first segment, lunch and dinner as the next rewards. For the Everesting I started out with 3 lap segments, but then I noticed that laps 6 and 9 (about 670m/lap) were bad, so I shortened the segments to two laps for 10,11, and 12,13.

If I do this again, I will try to find a longer hill (the obvious local one is 10 laps), and also try to hit the 10,000m mark after the Everesting.

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Conza
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Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2017 3:28 am
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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by Conza

fruitfly wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:03 am
If I do this again, I will try to find a longer hill (the obvious local one is 10 laps), and also try to hit the 10,000m mark after the Everesting.
Was 9,119m for me - just to be sure. Sprinted last lap (fastest time of the day)... but I had underestimated no. of laps, thus the time to complete as well. So started to get dark again, which was not necessarily a problem - but friends & some fam had come out to celebrate near the particular time and had been waiting a little while to 'celebrate'.

Hahah - didn't feel I could just be like, "yep - well I just did it, but I'm going to keep going to 10km, stick around a while longer?"
It's all about the adventure :o .

by Weenie


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