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  1. #1
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    Since I like a challenge and want to get fit, 3 or 4 times a week I push myself on club touring rides by trying to keep up with experienced "B Speed Group" (17-20 mph) cyclers. I was concerned at first when my heart rate monitor kept beeping with a sustained heart rate well over 139 BPM. I turned off the alarm, took the advice on proper hydration given me on the forum and after a few months I feel comfortable keeping my BPM between 145-155 for an hour or so. I'm exerting myself, in a good sweat but not dripping or overheated, and I can almost carry on a conversation, at least short sentences. At 165 BPM, I'm breathing hard and start to feel tightness in my chest that stops the minute I reduce my heart rate. If it means anything on a number of occasions I've taken my heart rate up to 173 climbing a steep hill - while panting and my heart is pounding, I'm able to dismount without assistance and stand without falling over...! My heart rate drops quickly.

    Using the standard formulas my "target" heart rate should be 140 BPM with a "max" of 164 (220-56 & 220-56x85%).

    I started to cycle in April after years of vigorous walking and so far this summer I've logged over 1200 miles.

    Am I on the right path at this level of effort or just putting myself at increased risk of "a cardiac event" (like sudden cardiac arrest)? I want to try my first "Century Ride", a 100 miler, in a couple of weeks.

    Also other than hydration, any advice on doing the Century Ride?

    Thanks.

    Mark
    Last edited by TrailRider; 08-29-05 at 11:34 AM.

  2. #2
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailRider

    Using the standard formulas my "target" heart rate should be 140 BPM with a "max" of 164 (220-56 & 220-56x85%).

    Am I on the right path at this level of effort or just putting myself at increased risk of "a cardiac event" (like sudden cardiac arrest)? I want to try my first "Century Ride", a 100 miler, in a couple of weeks.

    Also other than hydration, any advice on doing the Century Ride?

    Thanks.

    Mark

    I'm 58, Treat my max as 165, like to ride at around 140 to 145 and but do get up to or exceed the 165 on severe hills. Long hills are taken with 150 as my max, because I know this will be exceeded, but that is my target for the long ones. Cardiac Problems--Doubt it. I had a triple bypass in 99 and worked with my surgeon to get back to fitness asap. Within 3 months I was hitting 170 max, but this was suck it and see training as the surgeon did not know of any other idiot that wanted to get fit as quick as I wanted.

    Hydration is a big problem and I DO drink 1 litre of water per hour. No chance of dehydration at that level so that is problem no 1 eliminated. The body will run out of energy if you do not have enough Carbo-hydrates in it. I carbo load for at least a week before a big event with every meal being Pasta, rice, plenty of bread and potatoes. There is even room for the odd sticky bun or 3 so keeps me happy being able to eat whatever I like. On the ride, if you can get a good breakfast in you 2 hours before the ride, this will help, but I normally get a Big Pasta meal on the saturday night to help aswell. Snacks on the ride, because you ought to eat during the ride- Cereal bars, cake, Dried fruit and I like to have cheese for a bit of protein aswell. If the ride is going to last more than 8 hours, I like to have a rice meal at around the 6 hour mark. There are occasions when I run into a problem in that I cannot eat at the 6 hour mark because I don't feel like eating, or anything I try to eat will not go down. Then I have my backup of creamed rice. A bit sweet, but it slips down easily. Main thing is to always have something to munch on, Bananas, fruit, Steak and chips, in your back pocket and just munch through the ride.

    Carbo load before the ride, drink plenty, stop every 2 hours to eat something- well anything really, and you will be fine. Now all you need is the anaesthetic for the backside, but when you find that, let me have a gallon of it.

  3. #3
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    What kind of distances are you riding per ride? If you have been riding relatively short distances you might have real problems on a century ride. To get ready for my first century I rode a lot of 60 mile long rides and thought I was ready. What I didn't know was that back then (in my youth) I had enough muscle glycogen to ride about 60 miles and then it would run out. I didn't need to eat anything to ride 60 and so I didn't eat on my training rides. So in order to ride longer I would have to either eat or tap into my body's reserves or both. I hadn't trained to do either and so I had a miserable last 17 miles on my first century. I "bonked" with all caps! For my next century I rode a lot of 75 to 85 mile training rides and finished the century ride feeling great. I had trained to be able to eat while riding and I guess my body learned to tap into my reserves before using all my muscle glycogen. After that I was able to do double metric century rides without problem even some longer distance rides.

    This year I am again training to ride a century. Now that I'm older I find that 50 miles is the limit I can ride without eating, so I have been riding a lot of 70 mile rides and a few longer ones to get ready. Unfortunately the century ride I'm pointing toward is just over a month away and the Fall semester has started, so my training must be cut back and finding time for long rides will be difficult. Finding windows of opportunity for 30 mile rides will not be difficult, but finding blocks of time for 80 mile rides will be.

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    Thanks. I worry I'm not in condition for 100 miles. The most I've done is a 100 KM (60 or so miles) a few weeks ago - my butt was so numb I couldn't wait to finish. My thighs were burning and I felt a wreck (worse than just "nackered") the rest of the day and stiff the next morning. Usually my rides are only 30 or 40 miles a few times a week.

    But the ride director of my touring club tells me I'm "a strong rider", he and another senior rider said I can do the 100 miler without much trouble as long as I stop every couple of hours. But if I'm going to get the ride completed in a day they better be short stops.... Taking food, as you advise, sounds like a must - maybe those nutrient/carb chocolate (candy) bars in a "fanny" pack behind me. And Gatorade type drinks - I've got two frame brackets. I want to strip my bike as much as possible to remove weight - remove every nut and bolt I can. No carrier, lights, mirror, bell, wheel reflectors, air pump or emergency repair kit - there should be support people around. And pump 10 psi over tire max rating and jack up the suspension as stiff as it'll go. But I'm still worried if I can do this - without running into real trouble. Also the terrain is rated as low rolling hills http://www.thefreewheelers.com/sep.htm, not the flat riding to which I'm accustomed. I don't know about his.

  5. #5
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    Ride a little slower, eat food, keep hydrated and you can make it. When you stop don't stay off the bike too long as you can start to stiffen up. Don't go overboard pumping up your tires. You don't want to shake yourself too much with a very harsh ride.

    Some might flame me for suggesting this, but it works for me: Late in a long ride Coca-Cola does wonders. Sugar and caffeine hit the spot.

  6. #6
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I worry I'm not in condition for 100 miles. The most I've done is a 100 KM (60 or so miles) a few weeks ago - my butt was so numb I couldn't wait to finish. My thighs were burning and I felt a wreck (worse than just "nackered") the rest of the day and stiff the next morning. Usually my rides are only 30 or 40 miles a few times a week.

    Why do 100 miles training for 100 miles-pointless. I attune my butt by doing 4 hour non stop rides, but still doesn't help after 6 hours. Use an antiseptic cream and apply liberally. it does help if you do it right from the start.


    But the ride director of my touring club tells me I'm "a strong rider", he and another senior rider said I can do the 100 miler without much trouble as long as I stop every couple of hours.

    Don't listen to others- believe in yourself, but if the director says you can do it- Don't let him down. The mental side of this ride will pull you through, or let you down if you let it. Stop every couple of hours for an extra bottle of water, and any thing you can eat- I mean anything.




    Taking food, as you advise, sounds like a must - maybe those nutrient/carb chocolate (candy) bars in a "fanny" pack behind me. And Gatorade type drinks - I've got two frame brackets.

    Take a power supplement to refill your bottle, in small one dose packets you can make up. On food side, take anything you can


    I want to strip my bike as much as possible to remove weight - remove every nut and bolt I can. No carrier, lights, mirror, bell, wheel reflectors, air pump or emergency repair kit - there should be support people around.

    Lose surplus weight . I go over the top on my long rides and carry everything , and every tool, but that is on the Tandem. Prepare the bike beforehand, check everything beforehand, but keep the pump, tube and levers. My normall offroad pack is as I have said with 4,5,6mm allen keys and a phillips screwdriver, oh and a patch kit.




    And pump 10 psi over tire max rating and jack up the suspension as stiff as it'll go.

    Only 10lbs extra? Put on the thinnest tyres you have, and pump up to comfort or discomfort level. Suspension-- Hard as possible.



    But I'm still worried if I can do this - without running into real trouble.

    If you think that way, you will fail. I now do longer rides, but my first 100 miler was a doddle. I thought it would be hard, and I admit it was, BUT There was always some one around me to ride with, I found people slower than me, I found 20 year olds that couldn't hack it and I found an older rider that just kept overtaking me. I stopped every couple of hours and he didn't. Go at your pace, and you will be fine. The encouragement from other riders will be fantastic-- Go for it

  7. #7
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I somehow need to find more time to get back into "century shape." I concur with everyone else; stay fed, stay hyrated, and pace yourself.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  8. #8
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    Ummmm... it's more about distance and endurance than how high you can push your heart rate. You haven't said a word about the distance. How many miles is your longest ride?

    If you're doing 60 mile rides, you're more than ready. If you're pushing it, but you're only doing 20- 30 mile rides, you will most likely suffer. But you could do a century even if you haven't built up for it. Just pace yourself, go slowly, take breaks when necessary, and keep yourself well hydrated and get some carbs in you during the ride.

    Koffee

  9. #9
    What's the speed of dark?
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailRider
    Since I like a challenge and want to get fit, 3 or 4 times a week I push myself on club touring rides by trying to keep up with experienced "B Speed Group" (17-20 mph) cyclers. I was concerned at first when my heart rate monitor kept beeping with a sustained heart rate well over 139 BPM.
    If you only get your heart rate up to 139 doing 17-20 mph you're probably doing ok. DOn't worry about your heart rate monitor beeping. Set your age for 30 like I do. It will stop beeping.


    Quote Originally Posted by TrailRider
    I've taken my heart rate up to 173 climbing a steep hill -
    Since you're on this forum your are obviously over 50. 173 BPM is well over your 100% max rate. Your appear to be in pretty good shape.


    Quote Originally Posted by TrailRider
    My heart rate drops quickly.

    One of the best ways to measure how fit you are is how fast your heart rate drops after you've stopped exerting yourself.

    So it appears you are fit. One thing to keep in mind on a century is the heat. You can keep yourself hydraded well enough but, if it is very hot, you may well be flushing yourself of the necessary electrolytes. A potentially fatal condition. I've done 4 centuries over the last 2 months. One was in 100 degree heat for over 3 hours, hitting 105 degrees for 45 minutes. I got into trouble about 30 miles from the end of a 135 mile ride. I finished the ride and I was well hydraded but my shorts and helmet looked like I poured salt all over them. I can't say enough about keeping your electrolytes up. Gatorade won't do it. You need to supplement with calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium chloride, and magnese.

    I'll be doing 130 miles in the Sacramento Valley this Saturday. Temperatures are expected in the upper 90's. But its a relatively level ride. Should be pretty easy.

    Good luck on your first century. I hope you appreciate it enough to do more. Notice I said "appreciate" and not "enjoy". Centuries can be very painful and trying, not necessarily enjoyable. Some point along the way you start asking "who's idea was this anyway?". If you stay with it though you'l l get the satisfaction of knowing you did it, and obtain the level of fitness that comes with it.
    Last edited by RabidCyclist; 08-31-05 at 08:08 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailRider
    my butt was so numb I couldn't wait to finish.
    I did a metric and my butt felt the same way.

    I have done three things:

    1) ASSOS cream. It tinges and I think helps. Try it on a SHORT ride first.

    2) Changed my shorts to a bib and tried a different name. I use my Pearls for shorter rides. My Campagnolo for longer rides as they are more comfortable.

    3) I try new saddles. I read reviews on my Selle Italia XO. People seem to love it. My butt doesn’t. My friend recently purchased a Trek Madone 5.2. He asked me to ride it. During the 10 miles I put on it, I liked the Bontrager Race Lite Lux with Ti rails. I was able to get a new one on eBay for $26. Let’s see how it feels after 40 miles.

    As to your other question:

    “Also other than hydration, any advice on doing the Century Ride?” The advice you received is great. Mollusk advise is the same I use:

    “Ride a little slower, eat food, keep hydrated and you can make it. When you stop don't stay off the bike too long as you can start to stiffen up. Don't go overboard pumping up your tires. You don't want to shake yourself too much with a very harsh ride.”

    Sunday was my 51 birthday. To celebrate I did 51 miles. I was surprised that it was easier than the week before when I did 42. My friend brought up an interesting point. Mileage is mileage. Past a certain point it is the PACE you set. Also the weather wasn’t in the upper 90’s and a more tolerable 80.

    Many things affect the ride. To the point previously mentioned, Pace is one. If you ride at a more comfortable 16 mph avg., that is different than “trying to keep up with experienced "B Speed Group" (17-20 mph) cyclers”.

    Wind is another. Doing 100 miles INTO a driving wind of 20 mph or more would be death for me. 100 miles with the wind at your back would be nice and we probably would avg. 17 or greater mph.

    So, other than hydration I see four factors. Three you have control over, one you do not:

    1) Your condition, time in the saddle. You're set here.
    2) Pace you set.
    3) The snacks you eat (and drink)
    4) Weather conditions.

  11. #11
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Okay-I've just completed my 4th weekend in a row of 100 miles rides.....only 3 more weekends to go before I'll take a break.

    You're question was around heart rate. Heart rate is not the issue based on what you've indicated, at least for me. You'll find that the longer you go the less strength you have in your legs and you just can't drive your heart rate up as high as the early part of the ride so here are some other things to think about. Here are my keys:

    Keep the heart rate from getting too high for too long early in the ride. You may find that with adrenalin and riding in a stronger group your heart rate is higher than you'd like the first several miles-I have to watch that.

    Get plenty of rest, eat well and drink plenty of fluids at least 2 days ahead of the event.

    Eat before you're hungry on the ride. I recently learned the hard way that I had not eaten enough along the ride and just started feeling bad about 80 miles into it. After that happened on a couple rides earlier this year I finally figured out I just need to eat more along the way and that has cured that problem.

    Drink something other than just water (sports drinks, or other substitues) at regular intervals along the ride. This is a big challenge for me. I have to discipline myself to take 5 swallows at least every 15 minutes (on the quarter hour). For whatever reason I just don't naturally drink a lot and if I don't follow the timetable I tend to dehydrate and cramps set in.

    At some point beyond 60-75 miles you're probably going to begin "talking to yourself". Why am I doing this? Why did it stop being fun???? Simply set short term goals like...let's see about getting to the next 5 or 10 mile mark. Or getting to the next rest stop etc. Break up the remainder of the ride into smaller segments and reward yourself for getting past that point.

    Best of luck with the century. It's a great challenge but you'll be richly rewarded with a sense of tremendous accomplishment.

  12. #12
    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    ...
    Hydration is a big problem and I DO drink 1 litre of water per hour. No chance of dehydration at that level so that is problem no 1 eliminated. The body will run out of energy if you do not have enough Carbo-hydrates in it. I carbo load for at least a week before a big event with every meal being Pasta, rice, plenty of bread and potatoes. There is even room for the odd sticky bun or 3 so keeps me happy being able to eat whatever I like. On the ride, if you can get a good breakfast in you 2 hours before the ride, this will help, but I normally get a Big Pasta meal on the saturday night to help aswell. Snacks on the ride, because you ought to eat during the ride- Cereal bars, cake, Dried fruit and I like to have cheese for a bit of protein aswell. If the ride is going to last more than 8 hours, I like to have a rice meal at around the 6 hour mark. There are occasions when I run into a problem in that I cannot eat at the 6 hour mark because I don't feel like eating, or anything I try to eat will not go down. Then I have my backup of creamed rice. A bit sweet, but it slips down easily. Main thing is to always have something to munch on, Bananas, fruit, Steak and chips, in your back pocket and just munch through the ride.

    Carbo load before the ride, drink plenty, stop every 2 hours to eat something- well anything really, and you will be fine. Now all you need is the anaesthetic for the backside, but when you find that, let me have a gallon of it.
    Like Stapfam says...

    I would also try to ride with someone else, 4 riders seems ideal. This allows some 'social' thru the ride, which will take your mind off the 'miles' more than if you were riding solo. An even number means side-by-side where the roadway allows and having another pair of riders to break 'pulls' will go a huge way to making the effort easier. I make a mental note to consciously change my hand position every 10 minutes or so, this inaddition to what happens without me paying attention... Out of the saddle on EVERY climb for some distance. If on the flat for long spans, I wil drop into a large gear and get out of the saddle also.
    If I'm expected to be on the bike for 3 hours or more I start eating small snacks (fig bar?) after the 1st 30 minutes, then plan on a larger bit of food (banana?) at about 1 1/2 hours. Small bag of grapes is great. Water - just as StapFam notes.
    In addition to what I might carry in my jersey, on rides (not races) I will use a handlebar mounted bag for stuff I can reach easily without having to stop (convenient for the grapes) - means I can snack as much as I want and not worry about a 'group' plan for stops. Much prefer the handlebar location over any kind of small rear rack.
    Waterproof sunscreen for the face and schnooz.
    fresh set of foam insoles for the shoes.
    A note on modern kit...
    Seems most of the cycling shorts, dez daze, have these overstuffed chamois sections. I find them less than comfortable. The initial 'bite' of the seat is handled, but after the 1st hour the 'padding' doesn't really help and actually starts bunching, absorbing moisture/sweat and getz really uncomfortable. I prefer a nice quality thin chamois that stays smooth and absorbs as little as possible. Back in the early 80s Pearl Izumi was a sponsor and supplied our team with their stuff. Their shorts were TOPS! (at least back then). I still have 2 pr that get used regular again, prolly have hundreds of days on each and the chamois and lycra are still in excellent condition. The waist elastic has long since given up the ghost and the leg grips are there enough to serve their function, but the lycra is so good that the waist elastic is not needed.
    Have yet to find anything close to this quality or function - even though the new Pearl Izumi stuff is nice and better than most, it isn't up to the stuff they used to make.
    And Whatz With the OVERSTUFFED Crappage out there NOW? Feel like I have a 'load' even before I sit on the bike...

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