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Old 11-08-07, 11:43 PM   #1
billonmidwatch
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how to ride my fastest metric century

I'm in a metric century next weekend on a flat course in Florida. My usual weekend rides this summer have been 40 to 60 miles, plus a 20 mile ride during the week, on rolling hills. My cycling anaerobic threshold measured 165, max hr about 185. I can pedal hard for 3+ hours, at average heart rate of about 160. During accelerations when heart rate hits 180+ I know I won't last more than a mile, or about 2 minutes. When I then sit on a wheel for 10 minutes, heart rate drops back in the 140's-150's and I'm ready to sprint up the next hill.

Strategy for metric century PR: Temp - expect 58F at start, 68F at finish. Nutrition - powerbar and water an hour before, gel 10 minutes before, carry 2 large water bottles (probably only need 1.5), second gel at 1.5 hours. Pace - this is the big question. I can TT 62 miles at 20+ mph, or sub 3 hour ride (depending on head wind). To do so I would target my heart rate in the mid-150's the first hour, low-160's the second hour, upper 160's the third hour, and all I have left the last 5 miles.

Of course it's not a TT, so I'll take whatever the peloton offers. The event is not a race, but a charity fund raiser. I expect there will be a couple of "fast" groups, followed by a trail of the full range of pace. Not knowing the crowd, how do I play it? Go out with the big dogs and hang as long as I can? If this requires my heart rate in the 160's just to hang on, should I go ahead and drop? Conventional wisdom says you can only finish with the lead pack, if you stay with them -- unlikely to find a group who were pacing themselves for the first hour and are ready to go with you to bridge up. More likely a bunch of Fred's who went out too fast and are fading in the second and third hours. Do you agree or disagree?

What's wrong with this strategy?: If the lead pack is "fast", hang as long as possible with a sub 165 average heart rate (could be 23-25mph, if I stay on someone's wheel), but drop after 20 minutes if it requires more hr.

If the lead pack is "slow" and I'm rotating through and pulling and still in my mid-150's, then organize a break to up the pace in the second hour.

What else?

Bill
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Old 11-09-07, 12:23 AM   #2
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depends on the size of the ride. if it's small there may be only a couple of serious pacelines. if ther are thousands or riders there may be a number of pelotons and lots of paceline to ride in.

most centuries i've been to riders can't ride a paceline for crap. riders don't know how to pull smoothly, pull for too long and try to be heroes, don't know how to rotate a paceline or worse you will have 15 riders all around you but all racing each other individually passing and repassing each other and then dying and then attacking again instead of riding together

you're way over thinking this, you have to play it as it comes think defense, not offense. you have to be able to read what's happening on the road as groups come by you. if you want to go fast jump on every paceline that passes you, if you get dropped no big deal, since it's not a race, just slow up recover a bit and jump in the next paceline that comes by.

there won't be and 'bridging up' to pacelines, if you can't stay with a group in the draft, your surely not going to cacth them without one, if you do it will because that paceline is too slow for you

if you're in a group that's too slow, don't break it apart by pulling too hard or accellerating at the front too quickly, just take a few longer pulls and pull away from the group if they stop or at a turn or a hill

Last edited by zzzwillzzz; 11-09-07 at 12:34 AM.
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Old 11-09-07, 06:04 AM   #3
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how to ride my fastest metric century?
get a license and find a race that's 100km long.
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Old 11-09-07, 07:14 AM   #4
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I'm in a metric century next weekend on a flat course in Florida. My usual weekend rides this summer have been 40 to 60 miles, plus a 20 mile ride during the week, on rolling hills. My cycling anaerobic threshold measured 165, max hr about 185. I can pedal hard for 3+ hours, at average heart rate of about 160. During accelerations when heart rate hits 180+ I know I won't last more than a mile, or about 2 minutes. When I then sit on a wheel for 10 minutes, heart rate drops back in the 140's-150's and I'm ready to sprint up the next hill.

Strategy for metric century PR: Temp - expect 58F at start, 68F at finish. Nutrition - powerbar and water an hour before, gel 10 minutes before, carry 2 large water bottles (probably only need 1.5), second gel at 1.5 hours. Pace - this is the big question. I can TT 62 miles at 20+ mph, or sub 3 hour ride (depending on head wind). To do so I would target my heart rate in the mid-150's the first hour, low-160's the second hour, upper 160's the third hour, and all I have left the last 5 miles.

Of course it's not a TT, so I'll take whatever the peloton offers.
The event is not a race, but a charity fund raiser. I expect there will be a couple of "fast" groups, followed by a trail of the full range of pace. Not knowing the crowd, how do I play it? Go out with the big dogs and hang as long as I can? If this requires my heart rate in the 160's just to hang on, should I go ahead and drop? Conventional wisdom says you can only finish with the lead pack, if you stay with them -- unlikely to find a group who were pacing themselves for the first hour and are ready to go with you to bridge up. More likely a bunch of Fred's who went out too fast and are fading in the second and third hours. Do you agree or disagree?

What's wrong with this strategy?: If the lead pack is "fast", hang as long as possible with a sub 165 average heart rate (could be 23-25mph, if I stay on someone's wheel), but drop after 20 minutes if it requires more hr.

If the lead pack is "slow" and I'm rotating through and pulling and still in my mid-150's, then organize a break to up the pace in the second hour.

What else?

Bill
This is where you lost my attention. No idea what you said after that.
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Old 11-09-07, 08:04 AM   #5
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Attack at the rest stops, and throw your hands in the air at the finish line.

Go get 'em Fred!
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Old 11-09-07, 08:05 AM   #6
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Stay near the front, don't go with anything smaller than 5 people if it splits. Also, it is a charity thing...There should not exactly be a lot of attacking. Lastly, I am having trouble with the idea of a max HR at 185 but you being able to hold 180 for 2 minutes. One of these numbers is off. But that of course has nothing to do with your ride.
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Old 11-09-07, 08:08 AM   #7
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Often you'll find a local team that targets such rides due to sponsorship commitments (i.e. shop that sponsors team does sag wagon for ride), no races, excuse for a group ride, etc. See if you can't meet up with one of these groups - they'll go as fast as their slowest rider (probably a Cat 4 or 5) and it'll stay together until the last 10 or so miles. Since they're trying to keep a reasonable group together you'll have a better chance of hanging on.

Leave or lead the group you're in only if you can make a huge difference. If it's windy you might think it's easy when you're sitting in but if you pull, you may increase speed only 1-2 mph and totally explode 10 miles down the road.

Try ignoring your heart rate now and then. It really opens doors when you realize after that you've maintained a HR 5 or 10 beats above what you considered to be "your threshold". Riding in a group or a race does that for me.

If you find yourself on your own, go easier on the hills and work hard on the downhills and flats. If you're going under 40 mph then maintaining your efforts on downhills (instead of coasting) can get you a lot of relatively free speed.

Also, if you aren't totally antisocial or work only 3rd shift or whatever, then joining such a group in general might be a good way of gaining a lot of experience very quickly. It's motivating, you see a lot of different riding styles, your riding is exposed to a lot of different riders, and depending on the group, there's usually a rapid increase in riding ability (strength and skill) in the first three or four years. Years, not months. A good group will teach you more about riding in a month than you can learn in years (conversely a bad group will teach you nothing).

good luck on the ride,
cdr
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Old 11-09-07, 08:42 AM   #8
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Thanks! Yeah, I agree. I failed to mention I've done a couple of century rides, and as you said, most do not know how to ride a paceline. My upcoming ride is not a huge event (not thousands, but a few hundred). I agree in a huge ride, there's always another bus coming along.

In this smaller event, I'm hoping I can ride the course as fast as the lead riders, so I'm trying to think of how to do it, without making the mistake of either dropping off the lead pack too soon, or going out too fast and blowing up. My concern is, if I drop, there won't be another group for a while.

I've had some success with coaching, scolding, cajoling a group of strangers to fall in line and rotate 2 minute pulls. Yes, as you mentioned sometimes they fracture into 8 individuals racing each other.

I guess this is the difference between time trialing and road racing and century riding. I think can time trial 62 miles in under 3 hours (with no headwind). With any paceline, even a little, I should finish faster than doing it solo. Unless I go out too fast and blow up. I'm no racer, but my I've heard some road races ride the first third to half at a moderate pace, until someone launches a serious attack. At my event I think it's more likely a bunch will over estimate themselves, go out too fast, then wilt. I suppose there's no way to know in advance, unless you know most of the strong riders who are going to be there.

So I'm back to: go out with the leaders, refuse to pull, stay within the front 20 or so to spot a break. If they're slow, patiently suck wheel, until such point that I know I can solo it faster the whole rest of the way. If they're fast, hang on as long as possible.

Yes, I'm over thinking it. I was just hoping to prompt the forum for some bit of wisdom.
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Old 11-09-07, 08:58 AM   #9
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So I'm back to: go out with the leaders, stop and take a picture of the nice view, refuse to pull, no one notices, stay within the front 20 or so to spot a toilet break. If they're slow eat my sandwiches, patiently suck wheel, until such point that I know the rest of the way home. If they're fast, hang on as long as possible and then ride with people at my own pace.
^^ Fixed. Good luck hope you have a fun day.
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Old 11-09-07, 10:33 AM   #10
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1. Not enough water, you should be using three large bottles.
2. Powerbar is not nutrition, eat a full breakfast with complex carbs.
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Old 11-09-07, 10:46 AM   #11
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Thanks! Yeah, I agree. I failed to mention I've done a couple of century rides, and as you said, most do not know how to ride a paceline. My upcoming ride is not a huge event (not thousands, but a few hundred). I agree in a huge ride, there's always another bus coming along.

In this smaller event, I'm hoping I can ride the course as fast as the lead riders, so I'm trying to think of how to do it, without making the mistake of either dropping off the lead pack too soon, or going out too fast and blowing up. My concern is, if I drop, there won't be another group for a while.

I've had some success with coaching, scolding, cajoling a group of strangers to fall in line and rotate 2 minute pulls. Yes, as you mentioned sometimes they fracture into 8 individuals racing each other.

I guess this is the difference between time trialing and road racing and century riding. I think can time trial 62 miles in under 3 hours (with no headwind). With any paceline, even a little, I should finish faster than doing it solo. Unless I go out too fast and blow up. I'm no racer, but my I've heard some road races ride the first third to half at a moderate pace, until someone launches a serious attack. At my event I think it's more likely a bunch will over estimate themselves, go out too fast, then wilt. I suppose there's no way to know in advance, unless you know most of the strong riders who are going to be there.

So I'm back to: go out with the leaders, refuse to pull, stay within the front 20 or so to spot a break. If they're slow, patiently suck wheel, until such point that I know I can solo it faster the whole rest of the way. If they're fast, hang on as long as possible.

Yes, I'm over thinking it. I was just hoping to prompt the forum for some bit of wisdom.
This is sad, really. You desperately want to be a bike racer, and want to race other people at a CHARITY ride. You want to organize a break...at a CHARITY RIDE. There is no prize list, no upgrade points, no officials, no time keepers, no red kite hanging above the course at 1k to go, just like most CHARITY RIDES.

So, why is this in the road racing forum?
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Old 11-09-07, 10:49 AM   #12
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Old 11-09-07, 10:50 AM   #13
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get a license and find a race that's 100km long.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/road/?id=...ep06/atlanta06



I found one for you. 100k in 2 hours 19 minutes.
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Old 11-09-07, 11:29 AM   #14
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should be moved to road forum....................................
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Old 11-09-07, 12:00 PM   #15
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2. Powerbar is not nutrition, eat a full breakfast with complex carbs.
Lies! It's just like a healthy breakfast, distilled into bar form. Or maybe it's essentially the same as a snickers bar with a dusting of whey protein...can't be sure...
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Old 11-09-07, 12:05 PM   #16
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Lies! It's just like a healthy breakfast, distilled into bar form. Or maybe it's essentially the same as a snickers bar with a dusting of whey protein...can't be sure...
we left one out[of the wrapper] at the shop for 3 months and it didn't change at all, but I like the way the PB @ choc tastes.
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Old 11-09-07, 01:02 PM   #17
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we left one out[of the wrapper] at the shop for 3 months and it didn't change at all, but I like the way the PB @ choc tastes.
gross. cookies and cream protein plus ftw.
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Old 11-09-07, 02:01 PM   #18
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should be moved to road forum....................................
correct.
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Old 11-09-07, 02:27 PM   #19
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we left one out[of the wrapper] at the shop for 3 months and it didn't change at all, but I like the way the PB @ choc tastes.
They're sorta like cockroaches, in that they're one of the few things that's going to survive the nuclear holocaust unscathed.

mmmm...delicious...
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Old 11-09-07, 02:35 PM   #20
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They're sorta like cockroaches, in that they're one of the few things that's going to survive the nuclear holocaust unscathed.

mmmm...delicious...

**** it, I'm going to be eating twinkies on my ride from now on, sugar rush FTW.
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Old 11-09-07, 02:37 PM   #21
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This is sad, really. You desperately want to be a bike racer, and want to race other people at a CHARITY ride. You want to organize a break...at a CHARITY RIDE. There is no prize list, no upgrade points, no officials, no time keepers, no red kite hanging above the course at 1k to go, just like most CHARITY RIDES.

So, why is this in the road racing forum?

+1. You can't win if it is not even a race.
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Old 11-09-07, 02:39 PM   #22
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Are you just trolling the racing forum looking for a reaction?

Chill out and have fun riding your bike with others while doing a good deed and raising $$ for a charity. Going into a ride such as this thinking about it as a race makes YOU a danger to others. Typical charity rides have folks who have never riden their bike before, families on hybrid bikes with tagalongs, etc. Some fred coming along hammering in his drops and yelling to the other riders to get out of the way, weaving through charity ride participants, etc. is a hazard and detracts from enjoyment of those who are out riding their bike and trying to raise some $$ for what is probably a very worthy cause.

Also - refusing to pull ... on a charity ride!?!?!? Again, I hope you're just trolling in the racing forum for reaction.

If you want to race, then get a license and register for a race.
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Old 11-09-07, 06:43 PM   #23
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I tend to agree with the previous posters. It's a charity ride, enjoy chatting with other people, meet new people...etc. On the other hand, I've done a couple "event" rides to test my time over 100k. In that case, I ride alone so I don't interfer with other riders. However, If I'm out enjoying a nice afternoon in a charity ride with another rider who's convinced he/she is in a race (i.e., attacking, refusing to pull...etc.), I'd quickly find another group. I'd also avoid this person.
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Old 11-10-07, 07:45 AM   #24
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Lastly, I am having trouble with the idea of a max HR at 185 but you being able to hold 180 for 2 minutes. One of these numbers is off. But that of course has nothing to do with your ride.
It may not be off. My max HR is 196 with tons of data and lab measurements to back that up. I did a horribly awful TT in the spring (threw up on the bike, etc) where my average heart rate for the last 20 minutes was 189.

--Steve
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Old 11-11-07, 06:58 AM   #25
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It may not be off. My max HR is 196 with tons of data and lab measurements to back that up. I did a horribly awful TT in the spring (threw up on the bike, etc) where my average heart rate for the last 20 minutes was 189.

--Steve
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