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  1. #1
    `````````````` CaptainCool's Avatar
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    My first 100k - what happened to me?

    I finally broke the 100k barrier today, biking a 70 mile loop around a few other towns. I'm hoping to get some insight into the problems I hit along the way.

    Temperature was nice, 70-80F, varying clouds and sun. Strong south winds, steady at 14mph or so and gusting well above that. My route went basically ENE, S, W.

    The first 25 miles were great. Averaged about 14mph on a bike trail. The next 10 were painful, into the wind. At mile 35 I forgot what I read the night before about avoiding lactose and stopped at a Dairy Queen for a sundae. At mile 40-45 I really bonked. When I breathed in deep, it felt like I had to cough when I breathed out. Didn't want to eat. Really uncomfortable. It's only gone now, 5-6 hours later. Limped home from there, being generous with my gears. Overall average speed was 11mph, including all stops. Went through three bars, two-plus bottles of water and one of Gatorade.

    Also, I'm using street shoes and Powergrips. The last two toes on my right foot were getting numb toward the end. This might be something weird with my body; it tends to happen with rollerblades too. I'm gonna try tightening the powergrips one notch for a different fit.

    I'm 23 and I've had a non-mountain bike for about ten months now. I rode a mountain bike in high school, but had nothing for the last four years. My bike is a Trek 7.2FX hybrid, my commuter. I think it weighs 28lbs stock, probably 35 or 40 today with fenders, rack, and some clothes and tools in a pannier. Gears range from 48-11 to 28-32 and I finally found out what they're all for today. My previous longest trips were 42 and 30 miles, and that's about it for distances above 20 miles in a day.

    Now the real problem. I'm doing a century next weekend, and a friend and I are planning to bike down there, making it about 130 miles. There's a good amount of support though and we have pretty much all day. Anything I should keep in mind?

    Other lessons I picked up:
    - Don't bomb down hills. Save it for the uphill. (It was cool to hit 37mph though.)
    - Plan water and bathroom spots if you can.
    - Check more than one source for weather forecasts. Use sunscreen if even one of them predicts sun.

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Eat regularly. 250 calories/hour.

    I don't think the sundae was necessarily a problem in itself, but next time you might think about eating a sandwich or some nuts or something a little bit more substantial around the halfway point instead. Save the sundae for an after-ride reward.

  3. #3
    `````````````` CaptainCool's Avatar
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    I hadn't heard that number before. I'll keep it in mind. Looks like I was at about half of that today.

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    Well Captain, congrats on success. You did it, whatever it took. I am old enough to be your father and I started riding about 8 years ago so I remember those first long rides and the pride I got from them well, as well as the after ride sufferfest.

    I do a lot of self suppoerted metric and longer rides alone and with company, for me, this is how I plan:

    Liquid. I round off my expected aveage speed, usually 15mph and calculate how long I am going to be out on the road. A 60 miler should be 4 hours, so, if I am not going through anywhere I can refil, I find a way to carry 4 bottles of water, think frame and seatpost mounts. I use a tablespoon of molasses as my 'sports drink' in addition to one with same honey and one plain.

    If I am in the mountains doing a lot of climbing, I will watch the clock on my GPS and sip every 5 minutes, it does help the long grinds pass. If it is flat lands/rollers/ easy stuff, every 15 mintues a couple of sips or a serious sit up rolling rest every half hour with more sipping to catch up.

    This is easy to do when it is hot, much harder to do when it is cool or cold. Whatever the weather gives, if I fall off my liquid intake, I suffer.

    Food
    Again I do not use commercial bicycle foods. I am a fan of the GORP style preps. Something I can eat on the fly w/o wrappers to deal with. I bought some honey packets from a restaurant supply that for me go down easier than gu and similar, and is a lot cheaper. Still have to deal with wrapper though. Fig newtons and small candy pieces and maybe some hard cheese in the baggie round out my food. If you can find real, oldfashioned black licorice, this is among my favorite treats. Made with molasses, it has a lot of good stuff in it. The easy to find, made with corn syrup modern commercial stuff is not as good. Trader Joes often has it and sepcialty candy stores too. Read the label

    Consumption is similar to the water, when climbing it is a bite every ten minutes otherwise every twenty to thirty. I am one who can stop and have a big deli sandwich w/o apparent side issues in the middle of a ride, and I do, if the opportunity is available.

    You will note the real important part of what I've written is not my food preferences, but the frequency. Do not get behind with your food/fluid needs. It is near impossible to recover on the ride. Watching the time has been very helpful for me, otherwise, I just zone into the joy of riding and have gotten myself into trouble.

    Organized rides are wonderful because you can do the ride w/o the prep necessary for the unsupported rides and don't need to carry all the water and food with you, one water bottle will do just fine..

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    Captaincool,

    Good ride. You most likely experienced your first hard bonk. Lucky you got home that far away.

    Ice cream may have caused some stomach upset but not the bonk. When riding long distances you have to be very careful to pace yourself and eat small amounts frequently.

    Also, you can only expect to increase your distances about ten percent per training week (assuming you are riding at least three times a week). If you suddenly do a long distance that is much more than 10-20 percent longer than your usual ride you will bonk unless your pacing is substantially slower than normal.

    The foot problem is normal. You need some better cycling shoes with a stiffer sole. Mountain bike shoes are usually preferable in situations where you may have to get off the bike to walk or rest.

    Also, to survive your 130 miler you are going to need to ride about three MPH slower than you usually ride to stay at a very comfortable pace. I assume you have a bike computer since you state your speeds. If you normally ride 16 MPH average for 30-40 miles you will probably need to drop down to a 12 MPH average to make 130 miles without bonking. My guess is that on your 70 mile ride you felt fine out to your normal riding distances. You had fun and rode at your normal pace. You hit a wall at around mile 45 which is a few miles passed where you normally ride.

    Training suggestions: ride very hard and fast two commuting days a week. Doing cruise intervals. Then ride easy on days in between to recover. Cruise intervals you ride very hard for about three to five minutes at just below a time trial pace then you slow down to a brisk but more comfortable pace that you can recover at. Then repeat this as many times as you can. You should be very tired when you get home but not bonked. Bonking is different than being tired. With bonking you have used up the glycogen stored in your muscles. This can take two or three days to recover from so you want to avoid hard bonking. Only muscle fatigue from exersion is what you want. The idea with cruise intervals is to be at your anerobic threshold for about three minutes and then slow down into a high aerobic heart rate for about five minutes to recover. Then keep repeating this cycle over and over as many times as you can.

    Then do a very long 70 mile plus ride on the weekend at a very slow pace for building endurance to prepare for the 130 mile ride.
    Last edited by Hezz; 04-22-07 at 09:55 AM.

  6. #6
    jcm
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    I'm also old enough to be your dad, so listen up! You did good, son. Double up on the food, at least. Dairy products tend to make my muscles sting a little more. I've heard it's the lactic acid in the milk. I drink alot of water before and during a long ride, and I don't usually need the hyper-food that bike shops sell. Your standard run of the mill oat bars will do the job. Stop for a good sandwich and wash it down with plenty of water. Take breaks when you drink, no need to stay on the bike and sip. No time limit for the ride but keep the breaks fairly short so you don't cool down too much.

    The numbness is probably caused by you rolling your foot to the outside a little. Switch to a bigger pedal. I agree that stiffer soles like those on good quality low-top hikers might help. Use them only for biking so they stay stiff. When I used platforms, that was the way to go for me.

    Going for a 130 miler is a bit ambitious, but you're young. You'll survive.

    Dad.

  7. #7
    `````````````` CaptainCool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cfblue
    You will note the real important part of what I've written is not my food preferences, but the frequency. Do not get behind with your food/fluid needs. It is near impossible to recover on the ride. Watching the time has been very helpful for me, otherwise, I just zone into the joy of riding and have gotten myself into trouble.
    Thanks for the food suggestions. It's different than I had been planning for, but these are much longer time periods than I'm used to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hezz
    Training suggestions: ride very hard and fast two commuting days a week. Doing cruise intervals. Then ride easy on days in between to recover. Cruise intervals you ride very hard for about three to five minutes at just below a time trial pace then you slow down to a brisk but more comfortable pace that you can recover at.
    I was thinking that my commute might be part of the problem. It's less than a mile and a half, so I'm nearly sprinting the whole way. I'll plan some interval rides.

    Quote Originally Posted by jcm
    The numbness is probably caused by you rolling your foot to the outside a little. Switch to a bigger pedal. I agree that stiffer soles like those on good quality low-top hikers might help. Use them only for biking so they stay stiff. When I used platforms, that was the way to go for me.
    Interesting. I wear a size 13 so it might be hard to find pedals wide enough. I'm trying not to change much equipment at this point, so I'll see how the powergrips adjustment goes.

    I think the problem with rollerblades was helped when I loosened up the laces, while keeping the ankle tension the same. With my current powergrips setup, if my foot slides farther in, the pedal edge will hook on a line in the tread. That might let the strap get too tight on my shoe.

  8. #8
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    Captaincool,

    For some reason I assumed your commute was farther. Ya you are right about that. You need at least a 15-20 mile commute to make it work. You could go on longer training rides after work. I'd say that if you can ride 30-40 miles on the weekend after dong only 1.5 mile commutes that pretty good. It's probably because you have been sprinting that has allowed you to do this. Now if you can raise your riding during the week to 80 - 100 miles total over five days plus a long weekend ride you will be in pretty good shape for the 130 mile trek.

    In fact you could continue to sprint to and from work but add two longer rides after work during the week. 20-30 miles with cruise intervals. Between the sprinting, cruise intervals and long weekend ride you should be in good form in a couple of months.

    Even better would be to do two long slow rides on the weekend. One on saterday and sunday. These are very slow and easy so they don't engage any fast twitched muscle fiber. Probably no faster then 12 MPH. You could do two of these since they are not so taxing on the system. Then do two cruise interval rides during the week along with your sprints to work. The cruise intervals will come natural to you since your used to sprinting. Thier like a 80% sprint sustained for longer periods than an all out sprint with 60% effort rest periods of relatively fast riding in between. Doing these for 20-30 miles will get you in really good shape.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by Hezz; 04-22-07 at 02:00 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCool
    I finally broke the 100k barrier today, biking a 70 mile loop around a few other towns. I'm hoping to get some insight into the problems I hit along the way.

    Temperature was nice, 70-80F, varying clouds and sun. Strong south winds, steady at 14mph or so and gusting well above that. My route went basically ENE, S, W.

    The first 25 miles were great. Averaged about 14mph on a bike trail. The next 10 were painful, into the wind. At mile 35 I forgot what I read the night before about avoiding lactose and stopped at a Dairy Queen for a sundae. At mile 40-45 I really bonked. When I breathed in deep, it felt like I had to cough when I breathed out. Didn't want to eat. Really uncomfortable. It's only gone now, 5-6 hours later. Limped home from there, being generous with my gears. Overall average speed was 11mph, including all stops. Went through three bars, two-plus bottles of water and one of Gatorade.

    Also, I'm using street shoes and Powergrips. The last two toes on my right foot were getting numb toward the end. This might be something weird with my body; it tends to happen with rollerblades too. I'm gonna try tightening the powergrips one notch for a different fit.

    I'm 23 and I've had a non-mountain bike for about ten months now. I rode a mountain bike in high school, but had nothing for the last four years. My bike is a Trek 7.2FX hybrid, my commuter. I think it weighs 28lbs stock, probably 35 or 40 today with fenders, rack, and some clothes and tools in a pannier. Gears range from 48-11 to 28-32 and I finally found out what they're all for today. My previous longest trips were 42 and 30 miles, and that's about it for distances above 20 miles in a day.

    Now the real problem. I'm doing a century next weekend, and a friend and I are planning to bike down there, making it about 130 miles. There's a good amount of support though and we have pretty much all day. Anything I should keep in mind?

    Other lessons I picked up:
    - Don't bomb down hills. Save it for the uphill. (It was cool to hit 37mph though.)
    - Plan water and bathroom spots if you can.
    - Check more than one source for weather forecasts. Use sunscreen if even one of them predicts sun.
    A few thoughts:

    1) A sundae is probably the last sort of thing you want on a ride. Even if you can tolerate the lactose, it likely has a load of fat, which won't make your stomach happy. Carbs plus a little protein are the general formula, aiming for 250-350 cal/hour max.

    2) With what you ate, I don't think you bonked. Bonking usually leads not only to really heavy legs but to some disorientation and hunger (and the desire to just lie down at the side of the road).

    3) Gatorade isn't a great hydration drink. It's too sweet to make it palatable plus is doesn't really have that many calories. Oh, and the premixed version is sweetened with fructose, and the amount of fructose you can absorb per hour is limited (if you exceed it you'll get GI symptoms).

    4) The "lungs hurt" part sounds to me like you were pushing too hard

    5) I used the powergrips (powerstraps?) when I first started riding, but I don't really recommend them. A good pedal and cycling shoe will waste less energy, make your feet more comfortable, and most importantly, put your feet in a position that make your knees happier. If you're riding more than 50 miles at a pop, I think you'll be really happy with the improvement. You can also get footbeds or custom orthotics to address specific problems.

    Be careful changing any of these things right before a long ride, however - you need to make sure any changes work before you do them. Except for not eating a sundae - you can safely skip eating sundaes on the century.

    Hope that helps.
    Eric

    2005 Trek 5.2 Madone, Red with Yellow Flames (Beauty)
    199x Lemond Tourmalet, Yellow with fenders (Beast)

    Read my cycling blog at http://riderx.info/blogs/riderx
    Like climbing? Goto http://www.bicycleclimbs.com

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