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Old 03-21-07, 09:39 AM   #1
Lithuania
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I have my first long road race comming up.

My first road race is going to be out in AZ 2 weekends from now. The race is 61 miles, 31 miles out and back.

Up to this point I have only raced in crits where at most I need to bring an extra set of wheels for the wheel pit (I never even did that).

Now with the considerably longer race I am obviously going to need to bring food. Is hammer gel enough for apprx 4 hours of racing? There is a feed zone but I dont know anything about it.

The course is open to traffic and I could end up without a follow car if I get dropped bad enough. Do I plan for this by carrying a mini pump and tube?

I am flying out from DC for this and will be by myself during the race so Im nervous about forgetting stuff.
anything else I need to be concerned with?

if you are curious this is the race i am talking about http://www.wmrc.org/superior/2007/flyer.pdf
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Old 03-21-07, 09:50 AM   #2
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I haven't raced long distance in a long time, so I'm interested to see the responses. My inclination would be to bring something to chew on (energy bar, fruit, or I've brought PB&J before -- really refreshing in a long race). The gels are important too.
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Old 03-21-07, 09:50 AM   #3
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3 flasks of Hammer Gel will do, especially if you start out with both bottles mixed. I don't bring a pump or tube, most races there's enough support vehicles that you can eventually get a ride or help, but if you're not taking it uber serious, a pump and tube doesn't add that much weight.

I'd email them and find out if the feed is neutral, and if they'll have just water or sports drink.
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Old 03-21-07, 09:53 AM   #4
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i didnt even think about putting stuff other then water in my water bottles! This is why I needed to make this thread.
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Old 03-21-07, 09:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waterrockets
I haven't raced long distance in a long time, so I'm interested to see the responses. My inclination would be to bring something to chew on (energy bar, fruit, or I've brought PB&J before -- really refreshing in a long race). The gels are important too.
I stopped bringing chewy stuff because it's tough to get down if you're working hard. Some races there's hardly any lulls and you're dealing with unwrapping and trying to chew while going 90%.

One thing I forgot is to bring some electrolyte tablets. You can get small one day (two sided) pill containers from most drug stores to put them in, keeps them dry and they are easier to deal with than ziplock bags. I take 2-3 every hour.
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Old 03-21-07, 10:05 AM   #6
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What fuel do you normally bring along on a 3 hour training ride? You should do likewise for your race. You can carry enough gels for the whole race. But depending on the temps. you could need up to 4 bottles which would be cumbersome, not-to-mention unneccessarily weighty on a hilly race. That's where the feed zone comes in.

"Feed Zone" means this is the only place on the course that you are allowed to be handed food or drink. A neutral food zone is one where every racer gets handed food or water or both. More likely, you need an assistant to hand you supplies. Even though you're going out there alone, it is possible that you will be able to find a spectator willing to hand you a water/energy drink bottle.

The proper "hand-off" technique is for your assistant to hold the bottle by their fingertips with the palm of their hand across the top of the bottle, held shoulder-high, so that you can grab it along its length as you go by.

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Old 03-21-07, 10:08 AM   #7
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I'd expect the race won't take 4 hours, unless you have to work solo for a while. That said, I'd stick with gels and liquid calories. It'll likely be hot, and I usually have trouble with solid foods in that kind of weather during a tough race.
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Old 03-21-07, 10:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riskus
My first road race is going to be out in AZ 2 weekends from now. The race is 61 miles, 31 miles out and back.

Up to this point I have only raced in crits where at most I need to bring an extra set of wheels for the wheel pit (I never even did that).


Now with the considerably longer race I am obviously going to need to bring food.
Not necessarily. I didn't always eat when I had 60 mile races. 75-80 mile race, yeah, but that's different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by riskus
Is hammer gel enough for apprx 4 hours of racing?
4 hours? who races at 15 miles an hour? whatever. gels the way to go IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by riskus
There is a feed zone but I dont know anything about it.
feed zones for lower cats sounds both odd and dangerous.

Quote:
Originally Posted by riskus
The course is open to traffic and I could end up without a follow car if I get dropped bad enough. Do I plan for this by carrying a mini pump and tube?
while not a bad idea, i never bothered with that when i was racing. not practical, i know, but it seemed just a touch too practical when i was trying to put on my race face.


Quote:
Originally Posted by riskus
I am flying out from DC for this and will be by myself during the race so Im nervous about forgetting stuff.
anything else I need to be concerned with?

if you are curious this is the race i am talking about http://www.wmrc.org/superior/2007/flyer.pdf
good luck & keep the rubber on the road.

Last edited by botto; 03-21-07 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 03-21-07, 10:18 AM   #9
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61 miles sounds awesome. I wish there were more RRs that long for Cat4/Cat5 folks around here.

If it were me, I'd put flat, watered-down Coke or Mountain Dew in two water bottles, bring a couple of gels and maybe a granola bar. Then I'd plan on taking water at the feed zone.

--Steve
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Old 03-21-07, 10:18 AM   #10
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4 hours is worst case senario and thats how I like to plan. There is like 5500 ft of climbing or something and looking at someones results from last year it took them over 3.5 hours so I figured I would plan for 4.
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Old 03-21-07, 10:23 AM   #11
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this is what the elevation profile looks like

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Old 03-21-07, 10:34 AM   #12
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Hopefully you've eaten while on training rides so keep that as a good guideline. Label your wheels and check the wheel guidelines

eat a good bland breakfast (oatmeal, bagel, banana, etc) I put a bottle of water in my center pocket plus my mix in my cages since feed zones are a little dicey at times and gels. If you toss your extra bottle I always try to do it somewhere safe and that is close to some volunteers so I'm not just littering. I can only eat plain flavored gels so if you haven't trained with gels I'd suggest you keep the sweet flavors to a minimum until you know how your stomach reacts to the flavors.
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Old 03-21-07, 10:41 AM   #13
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unfortunately i never really eat on long rides.

I dont have to worry about bringing extra wheels since I cant put an inflated back wheel on anyway. SOL if something happens there.
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Old 03-21-07, 10:48 AM   #14
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you've got some time, start practicing now even on the trainer or short rides
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Old 03-21-07, 12:42 PM   #15
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The best thing is to have done similar length rides in training so that you know what your body wants and when. Don't do anything new during an event because you may find out your body dislikes whatever and rebels. In other words, don't try a new kind of energy drink at the last minute. For example, accelerade really works for me, but cytomax upsets my stomach.

For 3-4 hour events and hard training rides, I typically take two bottles - one energy drink and one water. If I can refill (like on a training ride I will). In a 3 hour race, that is usually not an option at least in the W4. I typically try to eat well about 2 hours prior and then take 250 calories for every 1-1.5 hours that I will be on the bike if I am going hard. In a race, the gels work well for <=3 hours. Easy to eat and a fast energy source.

I did a 206 mile road race last fall (LOTOJA) and used a combination of PB&J, energy drink, gels, and fruit. I find that kind of combination works well for anything beyond 6 hours. Gels for me seem good up to about 4 hours or so. Beyond that I need something a bit more substantial.

Keep in mind though, everyone is different...your body may like another way of doing things and you just have to find out what that is.
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Old 03-21-07, 01:11 PM   #16
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Man, I'm practically pissing myself looking at that profile. Unlike all of the Cat5 road races around here, that race is actually going to have a selection. Look for total carnage on the road starting right after that little dip on the last climb.

Oh yeah, a couple more things. Don't worry if a small gap opens going up the first hill. There is plenty of time to tuck in and catch back up, especially if you weigh a bit more than those in front. Also, stay with the group on the flat section, obviously, but don't do any work no matter how tempted you are! There's no way you'd be able to stay away if you tried to break away at that point, so pushing the tempo does nothing whatsoever but hurt you. This race is all about that last long slog up the hill. Those who push too hard too soon (ie. before that little dip) are going to die out.

--Steve

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Old 03-21-07, 02:25 PM   #17
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honestly... if im still with the group on the last climb i will be a happy camper.
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Old 03-21-07, 02:57 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riskus
honestly... if im still with the group on the last climb i will be a happy camper.
Watch the movie U-turn before you leave, then the fear of getting dropped and lost alone in AZ will motivate you to never lose the pack.

This looks like an out and back course, and I'm assuming AZ = good weather. Therefore, just in case, I'd pack a tube and co2 cannister in my left jersey pocket. 3 water bottles, 2 on the bike with your fav. sports drink and one in your center jersey pocket with just water (your body heat will warm it up and make it nasty if sports drink). I'm right handed, and more comfortable digging into my jersey pockets with my right hand, so in my right jersey pocket I'd have my gu flask and electrolytes, and power bar if you feel the need (open the wrapper ahead of time so you can grab and stuff in your mouth).
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Old 03-21-07, 03:01 PM   #19
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70s and 80s while I am out there. its going to feel magically after racing in the 30s.
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Old 03-21-07, 03:33 PM   #20
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have fun, riskus!! -i did this race the last two years as a collegiate B

steve is right....DO NO WORK and just stay with the group until the last climb. (but i've gotta disagree with steve a bit-if a SMALL gap opens on that first climb then no worries, you'll catch back on during/afterr the descent. but if that gap gets big and you can't get back on, enjoy your 50miles of solo training). oh yeah, and remember that after you finish that final climb there's still a few miles of racing left!

when i did this race i found i was okay with two bottles, but a third in your pocket couldn't hurt. for me, a good breakfast a couple hours before, a little snack or maybe a banana while i warmed up, and then one bottle with some cytomax (H20 in the other two bottles) 2 gels, and maybe a clif bar (already out of the package and just loose in my jersey pocket) to grab chunks off occasionally if necessary.

but everybody else is right, don't do anything you haven't done while training, and since you're not used to the heat, a little extra water never hurt (as in, make sure you're hydrated the day before). -also, i always brought a tube, levers and a CO2 cartridge just in case...i never used 'em, but it was good piece of mind.
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Old 03-21-07, 03:45 PM   #21
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Quote:
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i've gotta disagree with steve a bit-if a SMALL gap opens on that first climb then no worries, you'll catch back on during/afterr the descent. but if that gap gets big and you can't get back on, enjoy your 50miles of solo training.
True. What I meant was if you're able to stay with the main field, don't worry too much if several guys get off the front on that first climb. But, yeah, you don't want to lose the whole field on that first climb.

There will probably be a few who are better at climbing than the group and if they see a gap they might decide to try to stay away the entire time. If you're not one of those guys, you should not do any work to bridge up to them. If someone else wants to pull you up to them then suck that wheel but don't help in any way. In the 5s, there's a really good chance someone else will do all of the work for you.

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Old 03-21-07, 03:52 PM   #22
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the last thing im going to be trying to do is catch anyone (other then the entire group) on that first big climb. Im in total survival mode. If something keeps me in it near the end I will go from there.
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Old 03-21-07, 04:02 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riskus
the last thing im going to be trying to do is catch anyone (other then the entire group) on that first big climb. Im in total survival mode. If something keeps me in it near the end I will go from there.
you'll be fine....it's an epic race, but it's not like leipheimer and basso are gonna be driving the front the whole time. that first climb is hard but short: keep your breathing steady and don't freak out too much about where you are in the pack or whether or not you are about to get dropped.

even if you do get dropped, you're sure to not be the only one....organize yourselves and try to paceline back to the group. -and regardless, if you pace yourself well, you'll be happy to see how many people charged into the first few miles of the final climb only to blow themselves up and be left walking.
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Old 03-21-07, 06:05 PM   #24
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In my 66 mile race last weekend (under 3 hrs), I ate a power bar as I was lining up at the start, carried 2 large bottles with cytomax (it was only 50 degrees), and a gu flask with 3 servings. I consumed nearly all the cytomax and all of the gu. I also was more or less eating food from when I woke up at 6:30 until the start at 9am - mostly high carb stuff - cereal, banana, power bar.

Last year I took 1/2 a cliff bar in two races that were just over 50 miles, but I think sticking with Gu at this distance worked better for me. Solid food is tough if there isn't a good lull in the race pace.

Good luck and have fun.
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Old 03-21-07, 06:10 PM   #25
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Let me ask a dumb question about the Gu Flask. Can you actually get all the gunk out by squeezing or does it come out when you suck on it? I've always wondered this.

Also, I'm assuming most of you guys just suck the stuff and swallow it without actually trying to "chew" it, right?

--Steve
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