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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 08-08-11, 07:58 PM   #1
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did my first 24hour cycling challenge!

Over the weekend I did the CASA 24 hour cycling challenge, a charity event for abused and neglected children, held at the Subaru facility in lafayette IN on their 2 mile test track... very fun event, I rode 234 miles in the 24 hours best part is afterwards I weighed myself and I was down to 213 lbs lol. I am sure I gained it all back on the ride back to PA but for a while I was the lightest I have been in quite a while!

I finished 7th out of 18 solo rides and 26th over-all - ahead of a few teams
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Old 08-08-11, 08:02 PM   #2
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very cool! nice ride for a wonderful cause.

congratulations!
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Old 08-08-11, 08:03 PM   #3
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Nice setting, great charity, and even better challenge! I can't imagine how you gained it all back on the ride home? Don't tell me you stopped for a bacon cheeseburger with onion rings, chocolate smoothie, and strawberry cheesecake?
Great job - I hope you got pictures to show
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Old 08-08-11, 08:05 PM   #4
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very cool! nice ride for a wonderful cause.

congratulations!
Thanks... that was my first 24hr event... loved it!
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Old 08-08-11, 08:08 PM   #5
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Nice setting, great charity, and even better challenge! I can't imagine how you gained it all back on the ride home? Don't tell me you stopped for a bacon cheeseburger with onion rings, chocolate smoothie, and strawberry cheesecake?
Great job - I hope you got pictures to show
lol... maybe I was exaggerating a bit about gaining it back... I will be sure to get some pic's posted tomorrow
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Old 08-08-11, 09:28 PM   #6
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Cool! I'm planning to start doing more and more endurance events including a few 24 hour events. Any tips?
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Old 08-08-11, 09:31 PM   #7
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That would be fun.
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Old 08-08-11, 11:43 PM   #8
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Cool! I'm planning to start doing more and more endurance events including a few 24 hour events. Any tips?
Me, too. I'd like to hear your strategy. How did you pace yourself? Did you start out with a plan, and were you able to stick with it? Did you make any equipment changes for the ride, like aero bars? Did you have any issues with sleepiness, or bonking out? How much did you eat and drink?

Congrats on finishing the whole 24. In looking at the results of these events, I am surprised at how many riders don't stay on the course the whole time.
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Old 08-09-11, 06:48 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone, it really was quite a good experience... as far as tips and such, I will be happy to offer up what i have discovered which is subjective to my experience- your mileage may very

preparing for the 24hour i addressed 3 major points: nutrition, equipment, mental attitude. I already have a pretty good fitness level as my team races quite a bit, I do TT's and crits and I average 225miles a week.

Nutrition is obviously a very important aspect. The old maxim of 'eat before you're hungry and drink before you're thirsty' takes on even greater significance when you are looking at it over the span of 24 hours. A strategy which works for a training ride might not work for an endurance event. I usually do 4 or 5 hour training rides with little more than straight water, a couple of GU chomps and some bananas and that works for me but I knew it would leave me in a serious deficit were I to try this on the ride. I planned on consuming 400 calories per hour on the bike, both from a drink supplement as well as solid foods. The key for me was to find what worked nutrition wise but also what would work while riding, i.e. not upset my stomach, cause digestive issues and things like that. Find something that you like, and try it for a few weeks of long riding efforts to get an idea. I asked around as to what others were using and found many different recommendations. This is where my only issue of the ride came into play: my supplement of choice for on bike nutrition was not the best. I used it for some 6 and 8 hour rides with good results but at hour 11 into the ride I encountered serious leg cramps so I know I was lacking something nutrient wise. I was staying hydrated enough to be sure and eating well so it must have been a protein or amino acid deficiency or something along those lines. I was drinking 2 large water bottles per hour, one of water and one of supplement.. I am going to look into it more these next few days. These cramps/spasms persisted through the latter half of the ride, costing me an extra 2 hours off the bike than planned for and limited my average speed to just spinning at the threshold of cramping....

equipment is important as well. Reliable and comfortable trumps weight-weenie and bling every day of the week. Get a set of aero-bars (I just used a set of clip-ons for my road bike with great results), have a professional fit, and train in and with the equipment and clothing you will race in. That way there are no surprises when you are on the clock. Better to find your new bib's chaff before you are in the event that after. The aerobars may seem like overkill, and I saw riders not using them, but aside from the aero-benefit they give an extra position to ride in. If you are new to aero's tho, be sure to get some miles in on them as they do handle differently. It was very hot for the first 8 hours of our event, which started at 2pm. My Garmin showed a max of 105 degrees, so when I took my rest stop I changed my bibs, jersey and socks which took just a couple of minutes to do and felt so much nicer. my second stop at around midnight, I did the same and it was very refreshing.

Mental prep and attitude was key for me. Do not rush, allow yourself plenty of time to get to the race, pack the night before, etc...all of the things which normally apply to a race. Have a /riderace plan and stick to it regardless of how many people pass you at the start, chances are you will eventually be passing most back as the night wears on because they went out fast and couldn't sustain. The old tortoise and the hair applies here lol. Race your own race, set your goals realistically but at the same time just out enough to challenge yourself, and break it up into segments. Either blocks of time, distance, sections of the course or whatever so it is much less daunting that starting off and thinking "ok, 24hours to go....23 hours to go....." My original plan was for 500k/312 miles and had it laid out at a conservative 16mpg avg for 20 hours of riding, but ended up with considerably less ride time due to cramp/spasm. Have a plan set, but be flexible in it. I realized I would not make my goal, so rather than push hard and DNF I found the point where I could ride at the pain/cramp threshold and knew I would be finishing if I stuck to my new plan of attack. Adaptation is important in any situation, especially so in a long challenge such as a 24hr and I much more wanted to finish, albeit with less miles, than to not finish. I am pleased with my distance, my game plan and my performance. Sleep really wasn't much of a factor for me, a quick cat nap on my stops between cramps... The night was beautiful to ride in, we had a very strong head wind throughout the afternoon and evening, but when I started riding again at 2am it had all but disappeared, the temp was down into the low 80's/high 70's and the sky was full of stars and the moon. Really was a great time to be on a bike.

With a positive mind, a clear game plan, reliable equipment and a decent level of fitness I think it is possible for anyone to do a 24hr event. I knew I wasn't in contention to be a top finisher so that took some of the pressure off and allowed me to focus on my own goal, and no matter how i finished it was my first one so it was going to be a PR no matter what lol.

I hope this has helped. Again this is just based on my own experience of having done one 24hr lol. But it is a learning experience and next one will be better, as will the following one.... If you are thinking of giving one a go I whole heatedly recommend it! And be sure to share your experience with others
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Old 08-09-11, 07:25 AM   #10
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thats amazing. I bet you slept well!
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Old 08-09-11, 07:30 AM   #11
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let us know what you find out about the supplaments.
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Old 08-09-11, 01:06 PM   #12
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Dang, that is awesome dude! Good job
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Old 08-09-11, 11:16 PM   #13
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It sounds like you had a good strategy and a good attitude, Fix.

Did you take a supplement for calories, electrolytes, or both? I've used Endurolytes on long rides, and it's kept the cramps away, except for a couple times when I rode too fast (trying to stay with groups that were too fast for me).
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Old 08-10-11, 05:55 PM   #14
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It sounds like you had a good strategy and a good attitude, Fix.

Did you take a supplement for calories, electrolytes, or both? I've used Endurolytes on long rides, and it's kept the cramps away, except for a couple times when I rode too fast (trying to stay with groups that were too fast for me).
Did you take a supplement for calories, electrolytes, or both? I've used Endurolytes on long rides, and it's kept the cramps away, except for a couple times when I rode too fast (trying to stay with groups that were too fast for me).[/QUOTE]

Thanks The supplement I used is a GNC product, called AMP... I really liked it for the shorter rides of 6 or 8 hours. It has electrolytes, carb's, hydrolsates to help replenish glycogen, BCAA (amino acids), proteins and vit's/minerals. I utilized it in conjunction with h2o, relying on it more for the electrolytes and glycogen replacement... I think the big things is there is not much hydration value to the supplement, so I drank it alternating with my fluids (h2o) and that is where my protein intake suffered. I experimented at first with a greater bias of the AMP (in relation to the water) and became dehydrated a couple of times so I balanced the water and AMP intake to one large water bottle each per hour. While great for the hydration as I felt great, my nutrition suffered. For my next one I will keep the same, perhaps biased a bit more towards the AMP and up my protein intake through food intake. I am doing the 24hour in Sebring in Feb so I have some time to get it figured... my learning curve is pretty good...

The speed wasn't an issue, I wasn't chasing any groups, did zero drafting and had an easy pace on a flat Indiana landscape (relative to western pa especially)...
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Old 08-10-11, 05:55 PM   #15
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Dang, that is awesome dude! Good job
Thanks! I am excited for the next one
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Old 08-10-11, 05:56 PM   #16
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thats amazing. I bet you slept well!
Thanks Once I fell asleep I did sleep well, still running off the rush for the rest of the day!
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Old 08-10-11, 07:15 PM   #17
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fix: how about protein powder with your water? would that help?
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Old 08-10-11, 08:23 PM   #18
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I am doing the 24hour in Sebring in Feb so I have some time to get it figured... my learning curve is pretty good...
If you're down for Sebring, I hope I get to meet you. God willing, Sebring will be my first major event of this caliber.
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Old 08-10-11, 08:53 PM   #19
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Congratulations on a great first 24hr effort. Here's to many more!

I'm not too sure about doing 2 mile laps for 24hrs though. I think you'll have a slightly more interesting route at Sebring.
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...Nutrition is obviously a very important aspect. The old maxim of 'eat before you're hungry and drink before you're thirsty' takes on even greater significance when you are looking at it over the span of 24 hours. A strategy which works for a training ride might not work for an endurance event. I usually do 4 or 5 hour training rides with little more than straight water, a couple of GU chomps and some bananas and that works for me but I knew it would leave me in a serious deficit were I to try this on the ride. I planned on consuming 400 calories per hour on the bike, both from a drink supplement as well as solid foods...This is where my only issue of the ride came into play: my supplement of choice for on bike nutrition was not the best. I used it for some 6 and 8 hour rides with good results but at hour 11 into the ride I encountered serious leg cramps so I know I was lacking something nutrient wise. I was staying hydrated enough to be sure and eating well so it must have been a protein or amino acid deficiency or something along those lines. I was drinking 2 large water bottles per hour, one of water and one of supplement.. I am going to look into it more these next few days. These cramps/spasms persisted through the latter half of the ride, costing me an extra 2 hours off the bike than planned for and limited my average speed to just spinning at the threshold of cramping....
Just some thoughts. First, you are correct in that what works at shorter distances often don't work at longer distances. Everyone is a little different. I can use Hammer products (like SE or Perpetuem) for about 350 miles then my body is done with them. Interestingly, I can use Spiz for much longer distances with no problem so if you are having issues with one fuel you might give another one a try. Your 400 cal/hour + regular food is a lot. Not totally out of the realm of possibility but it is a lot. Especially if you are eating regular food as well. Most people can only process around 250-350 cal/hr. When you are exercising blood flow is diverted from your gut to your muscles so you have limited digestive abilities. Food that doesn't get digested just sits there causing discomfort and possibly cramps. Speaking of the cramps, the cause of them are very difficult to narrow down. Most MD's don't even know what is the root cause of them. I've never cramped even when dehydrated. Some people are just prone to them. I think you are on the right track with the protein. You need to have a protein component to your fuel intake.

If you can get your fuel/cramp issue under control I think your goal of 500km/312miles is easily within your realm. When you are doing long distance events it's important to not stop unless you have to. If you are going 20mph, every three minutes you are off the bike is 1 mile you could have gone. That adds up real fast! When I do those types of events I don't get off the bike unless I absolutely have to.
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Old 08-11-11, 05:47 PM   #20
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If you're down for Sebring, I hope I get to meet you. God willing, Sebring will be my first major event of this caliber.
very cool! I am working it out now to see how it will work with my school sched and the logistics of the whole thing (being a college student puts a damper on things lol, especially an old student haha). I hope to get to meet you tho, and good luck either way! With a good fitness base it is all mental You will do fine!
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Old 08-11-11, 06:03 PM   #21
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Congratulations on a great first 24hr effort. Here's to many more!

I'm not too sure about doing 2 mile laps for 24hrs though. I think you'll have a slightly more interesting route at Sebring.


Just some thoughts. First, you are correct in that what works at shorter distances often don't work at longer distances. Everyone is a little different. I can use Hammer products (like SE or Perpetuem) for about 350 miles then my body is done with them. Interestingly, I can use Spiz for much longer distances with no problem so if you are having issues with one fuel you might give another one a try. Your 400 cal/hour + regular food is a lot. Not totally out of the realm of possibility but it is a lot. Especially if you are eating regular food as well. Most people can only process around 250-350 cal/hr. When you are exercising blood flow is diverted from your gut to your muscles so you have limited digestive abilities. Food that doesn't get digested just sits there causing discomfort and possibly cramps. Speaking of the cramps, the cause of them are very difficult to narrow down. Most MD's don't even know what is the root cause of them. I've never cramped even when dehydrated. Some people are just prone to them. I think you are on the right track with the protein. You need to have a protein component to your fuel intake.

If you can get your fuel/cramp issue under control I think your goal of 500km/312miles is easily within your realm. When you are doing long distance events it's important to not stop unless you have to. If you are going 20mph, every three minutes you are off the bike is 1 mile you could have gone. That adds up real fast! When I do those types of events I don't get off the bike unless I absolutely have to.
Thanks Homeyba! yeh, I will try some other brands as well. Never much liked the Hammer products, I will give the spiz a try. I was thinking that about my calorie intake as well, especially for the rather conservative pace I was riding on the pancake flat terrain, 300-325 seems more in line. Sebring ought to be a similar scenario ... The cramping was problematic for sure, and just my right hamstring/back of knee/top of calf. Flexibility may have played as much of a role I am thinking, I stretch pre and post ride, and while on the bike to a degree, but always room for improvement especially since I am not gettin' any younger...

I agree about the stopping, or not stopping. plus my idea is it is a 24hour race, that means riding not ride fast/take a break/ride fast/take a break. I am not doing a dozen 40k's, I am doing a 24hr TT lol...

Thanks for the advice
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Old 08-11-11, 06:08 PM   #22
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Congratulations on a great first 24hr effort. Here's to many more!

I'm not too sure about doing 2 mile laps for 24hrs though. I think you'll have a slightly more interesting route at Sebring.


Just some thoughts. First, you are correct in that what works at shorter distances often don't work at longer distances. Everyone is a little different. I can use Hammer products (like SE or Perpetuem) for about 350 miles then my body is done with them. Interestingly, I can use Spiz for much longer distances with no problem so if you are having issues with one fuel you might give another one a try. Your 400 cal/hour + regular food is a lot. Not totally out of the realm of possibility but it is a lot. Especially if you are eating regular food as well. Most people can only process around 250-350 cal/hr. When you are exercising blood flow is diverted from your gut to your muscles so you have limited digestive abilities. Food that doesn't get digested just sits there causing discomfort and possibly cramps. Speaking of the cramps, the cause of them are very difficult to narrow down. Most MD's don't even know what is the root cause of them. I've never cramped even when dehydrated. Some people are just prone to them. I think you are on the right track with the protein. You need to have a protein component to your fuel intake.

If you can get your fuel/cramp issue under control I think your goal of 500km/312miles is easily within your realm. When you are doing long distance events it's important to not stop unless you have to. If you are going 20mph, every three minutes you are off the bike is 1 mile you could have gone. That adds up real fast! When I do those types of events I don't get off the bike unless I absolutely have to.
ooops... missed part of your post... honestly the 2 mile loop wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. a nice aspect is that never were too far from home base on the infield, sag support and such. Made for a very nice first endurance event. Sebring will be much more scenic and a great 2nd 24hr for me
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Old 08-11-11, 06:09 PM   #23
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protein powder work?
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Old 08-11-11, 08:28 PM   #24
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ooops... missed part of your post... honestly the 2 mile loop wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. a nice aspect is that never were too far from home base on the infield, sag support and such. Made for a very nice first endurance event. Sebring will be much more scenic and a great 2nd 24hr for me
I've never done a 24 hr event that was lot of little laps like that. I'd think I might get dizzy. Really, for me the down side to short laps like that is that there is too much opportunity to talk yourself into stopping. That's easy to do on long events and the longer/further you go the easier it is..
Regarding the food vs excursion you need to remember that the harder you push the less you will be able to digest properly so the answer to your calorie question might be a little counter intuitive and you may actually want to intake fewer calories. If you are not pushing very hard or taking lots of breaks you can get away with more calories and heavier foods because you'll have the ability to process them. There is a very fine line there between too much and not enough. If you really push yourself and take in too many calories you're heading for barfville. Everyone is a little different here so your actual requirements will be different than mine or someone elses. The really difficult thing is that it can be very difficult to tell if you've consumed too many or not enough calories because the symptoms are very similar. It'll take some experimentation on your part.

PS, If I'm doing an ultra where I have support I will used a fuel like Ensure or Boost. It's old people food. It's designed to have balanced nutrition and be easily digestible. It works great (for me and a lot of other ultra racers.)!
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Old 08-12-11, 05:56 AM   #25
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Location: Petrolia, PA
Bikes: '01 Cannondale CAAD5 3000si, Framed Minnesota2 Fattie
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I looked at it as just the opposite... I could ride longer before the cramps were too bad to spin the pedals anymore because I knew that if I got into too much trouble I wasn't too far from haven lol. Were it an open road thing I might not have been as inclined to push through as I did. I do not think I want to do every one like this (short course) but it was nice for now and I do look forward to doing this one again. It was such a great event and put on very well... I had considered the Boost option actually, then got busy with other aspects and it got lost in the shuffle. I will def look into it. Old people food is good for us old people
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