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Old 02-16-08, 06:01 AM   #1
bing181
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Centuries a week apart?

It's that time of the year when I need to plan/register for my rides this season. They'll be mostly "event" type rides here in Belgium, many of them on the classic routes. Often hilly with brutal, shortish (1-2 km) climbs, 3000m+ of climbing in total, and around 140 - 170 km's.

Amongst them, there are a couple that fall a week apart. I'm just wondering what the experience is here amongst we "mature" riders in terms of recovery, and of doing these kinds of rides on consecutive weekends?

My own experience is that I still feel pretty knocked around a week or so after one of these, it takes 2 weeks to get really going again, and 3 weeks later I feel I could take on the pros ... But ...doable??

B
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Old 02-16-08, 06:30 AM   #2
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Doable? Sure. By me? No way.
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Old 02-16-08, 07:34 AM   #3
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Doable? Sure if you are riding enough and are fit enough. I would assume that you would need to have a lot of base miles in and be doing fairly long and sufficiently hilly rides several times a week. I tend to think that if I am not back to form in a few days to a week after a ride I probably wasn't ready to do the ride and overextended myself.

You don't say how old you are so I am not sure how relevant my comments are, but... I don't think that age has to be a huge factor as soon as some folks think. At 56 I find that I bounce back only a bit slower than younger riders that I have ridden with. I am sure that it gradually gets worse as we age, but it shouldn't limit us too severely until well up in years unless we have specific health problems. After all quite a few riders do pretty tough rides well into their 70's.
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Old 02-16-08, 07:56 AM   #4
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I know exactly what you are talking about. I did a tough century once with 12,000 feet of climbing and struggled on it. The next weekend I was still tired from the effort. It wasn't so much the legs, but just overall I was still wiped out. 2 people who were with me for both rides felt the same way.
Now an easier century and the following weekend I feel great. I would say to take it as easy as you can when you know the next one is only a week away, and do everything you can to recover during the week.
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Old 02-16-08, 08:04 AM   #5
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Bing

Get us a few dates. Preferably middle season and close to Calas or French border. Could be a chance for a trip over.

100 miles Sunday- recovery ride Monday and then a ride Wednesday and Friday. 100 miles again Sunday and you won't even feel it. Mind you- All that exercise means you will have to eat so hope you can find something better than "Tartes Au Pommes"
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Old 02-16-08, 11:11 AM   #6
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Last fall I did a 200k (125mi) brevet and a century on the SAME weekend. Wasn't real fast on day two, but "that which doesn't kill me makes me stronger".

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Old 02-16-08, 12:35 PM   #7
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On our WI trips every summer the tendency is to celebrate every day's ride with moderate amounts of alcoholic lubrication immediately afterwards. I eventually realized that makes it much harder to recover for the next day's ride. Since I started doing a special recovery shake (no, not a chocolate malt) and some other smart stuff FIRST, the next days rides were a LOT easier.
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Old 02-16-08, 03:52 PM   #8
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Summer before last I did 7 centuries on consecutive weekends. The climbing on each ride ranged from aproximately 4000 ft to 11,000 ft. If you have a lot of base miles it's not too bad-but I did notice a pretty wide range in performance from event to event. Rest, hydration and nutrition are absolutely critical during that time. Do it incorrectly and you'll sure know it the next weekend.

However last summer I just didn't seem to bounce back after events like I normally do. I had lost even more weight to help with all the climbing and I suspect a lot of fatigue was attributable to not refueling properly.......in addition to an "attitude" issue I wound up with.
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Old 02-16-08, 04:05 PM   #9
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If you are in shape, it shouldn't be a problem... I do a ride we call "Tour de Skyline" in the Shenendoah Mountains of Virginia. We start in Front Royal and ride to Waynesboro over Skyline Drive-- 110 miles. We spend the night in Waynesboro and return the next day; another 110 miles. This includes about 20,000 feet of climbing over the two days. Definitely a tough weekend, but not that bad if you train for it and go at a steady pace.

I am 53 and ride with some that are half my age on this ride. I am not the fastest, but I am steady and enjoy it

I say go for it, but train for it accordingly

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Old 02-16-08, 10:43 PM   #10
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Drink some Kriek Lambique and you can do a century every day!
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Old 02-16-08, 10:56 PM   #11
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You can do it i you want to enough.
Heck, Seattle to Portland is 100 miles two days in a row. Not much climbing, but still. And 9000 people do it. Some look like they've never been on a bike before.
So, yes, you can. YOU CAN!
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Old 02-17-08, 07:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbg View Post
On our WI trips every summer the tendency is to celebrate every day's ride with moderate amounts of alcoholic lubrication immediately afterwards. I eventually realized that makes it much harder to recover for the next day's ride. Since I started doing a special recovery shake (no, not a chocolate malt) and some other smart stuff FIRST, the next days rides were a LOT easier.
Post the recipe! A lot of us do not want to forgo the lubricants so we need the recovery shake.
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Old 02-17-08, 08:27 AM   #13
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I think it depends on you. Some people recover faster than others. It usually only takes me a day to recover and sometimes two from a hard ride. But I suspect that I recover faster than most people.

Also those are pretty tough rides. With me, it would be motivation to do another one. I have already done one so why do another even if I feel fine?

From what you have said though, doing two in one week sounds as if you would be pushing it. If they have so many of these things, why not pick a couple that are a couple of weeks apart?
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Old 02-17-08, 11:47 AM   #14
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Sure they're doable. One thing I've found to help recovery is nutrition-related. Be sure to get some recovery drink down as soon as you finish. Before your muscles cool down! It should contain protein and electrolytes.
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Old 02-18-08, 01:42 AM   #15
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Riding in Belgium ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
Drink some Kriek Lambique and you can do a century every day!
Yes, well it being Belgium, the after-ride recovery stand only seems to do hot dogs, frites, and beer ...

If anyone is in the neighbourhood or interested, rides are grouped here:

http://www.sport.be/lottocyclingtour/2008/fr/

Complicated by:

Eddy Merckx ride: http://www.bikeorganisations.be/frans/frans.html

Sean Kelly ride: http://www.vlaamsewielrijdersbond.wa...ord.php?ID=858

and the big one ..

Claudy Criquielion ride: http://www.velomediane.com/

Not to mention another very popular "Tour of Flanders" ride on May 1.

I definitely prefer the Ardennes ones. Sean Kelly is the hardest (all the climbing is near the end), Eddy Merckx is the most fun (climbs mostly out of the way early, then enjoy the company and scenery) and the Velomediane has the biggest public .. everything from cheering schoolkids to bands along the way etc. etc. Any of the Flemish rides are within 1 hour of Calais, but be warned, those climbs aren't famous for nothing - see below!

Thanks for the input/suggestions/words of wisdom.

B
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Old 02-18-08, 02:10 AM   #16
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About 10K people in PacNW do back-to-back centuries during the annual Seattle to Portland (STP) ride on everything from unicycles to tandems to mountain bikes. It's not a picnic by any stretch, but for a reasonably fit cyclist, back-to-back centuries are not a huge deal. So if you're fit, a week apart should be any problem whatsoever.

This doesn't speak to whether it might be preferable to go for more time between.

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Old 02-18-08, 02:31 AM   #17
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Pushing It

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat View Post
From what you have said though, doing two in one week sounds as if you would be pushing it. If they have so many of these things, why not pick a couple that are a couple of weeks apart?
You're right, from what I've said I would be "pushing it". But .. I've never "pushed it" in this way until now, so whether that's perception or reality I'm not sure. Thus, was wondering what other's experiences are.

There are rides further apart, so that's not a problem. But in some periods, the only rides available are on consecutive weekends (not to mention the same day ...). Bad organisation IMHO, but when the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing ...

Thanks again for the input.

B
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Old 02-18-08, 03:55 PM   #18
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For recovery, make sure you take in a good amount of carbs and protein right after your longer rides (within 30 minutes max).

It also helps to take on board some L-Glutamine...that stuff really seems to help with muscle recovery after hard efforts.

My standard post hard ride recovery drink is 12 ounces of orange juice, with whey protein (about 30 grams of protein), and 5 grams of L-Glutamine.
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Old 02-18-08, 04:15 PM   #19
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This past weekend I rode a double century (200 miles) with 8,000 ft. of climbing. Last weekend I rode a pretty flat century (Palm Springs) in 6:15 (total time) 5:22 bike time.

I'm 57, going on 58.

Don't know how old you are, but I'm sure you can do it.

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Old 02-18-08, 04:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
My own experience is that I still feel pretty knocked around a week or so after one of these,
Wow, that's tough, but maybe if you know you have to ride next week you can "pace" yourself a little.

I've never heard of any single-day ride that "knocks people out for a week." I wish I had to worry about scheduling so many quality events....
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Old 02-18-08, 05:44 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff View Post
Post the recipe! A lot of us do not want to forgo the lubricants so we need the recovery shake.
My recipe:

I start with the PowerBar Recovery Shake Step-3 in Chocolate (http://www.powerbar.com/Products/RecoveryProducts/) IMMEDIATELY (run straight to the car cooler or room or whatever before anybody corners you with a beer) We usually have plenty of chips and salsas and cheeses and fruits and veggies and oh-my-god-I-can't-wait...

And the first two beers MUST be followed by equal amounts water.

After that, it's Katy-Bar-The-Door...
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