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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 07-04-07, 11:00 AM   #1
Portis
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Resting During Solo Century

I am preparing for a century in a couple days. I've done a few but it's been awhile. In the past i hardly ever rest during the unsupported century, but wonder if there would be an advantage. I usually stop a couple times to refill water, etc. but i just stop long enough to get water, use restroom, etc. and then head out. Usually, no more than 5 minutes.

I guess, I am always concerned that the legs will tighten up so I don't rest long. But having not rested much during these stops before, I am wondering if there will be any gain by resting for 20-30 minutes somewhere along the ride?
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Old 07-04-07, 09:07 PM   #2
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I am wondering if there will be any gain by resting for 20-30 minutes somewhere along the ride?
That would depend how intensely you are riding before you rest. And to a lesser extent, how much heat or cold you are enduring.

Rest, in many ways, is the same as stress, at least with respect to effectiveness. In other words, most of the benefits of resting come in the first few minutes. Then as you rest longer and longer, the relative amount of benefit decreases.

Essentially, this means that a series of shorter stops are usually more beneficial than just 1 or 2 longer stops. My own perspective toward efficient riding suggests that you ride so slowly that you can ride for several hours at a time without having to take "time out." But of course, everyone has different goals when they ride.
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Old 07-04-07, 11:07 PM   #3
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Last year I did a century that was very hot, 104 degrees hot, and I stopped at the 50 mile stop, the 75 mile stop, and the 85 mile stop. I doused my head and neck with ice water at all those stops. I think I took about 5-7 minutes at each stop. I still finished in 5.4 hours(total including stops), ahead of another strong rider I know who didn't stop until he suffered mild heat stroke at the 95 mile marker. I certainly thought I gained something from stopping.
Sounds like HTH. My first stop was a the 50 mile mark for a splash of water, on and off the bike in a minute or so. Next was around 80ish, I just had to sit down and cool off, probably spent a good 20 minutes off the bike. Total time was 6 flat and ride time about 5:30ish. But yeah, that thing was a hot ride. Thinking of punishing myself again this year on it.
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Old 07-05-07, 06:59 AM   #4
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I do a lot of centuries and I don't like to stop for 20 minutes usually it 10 minutes max. I usually stop every 20 miles for liquids. But I've got to ask how can you ride 50 miles without stopping for fluids? I go through a 100oz Camelbak in about 35 miles.
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Old 07-05-07, 07:20 AM   #5
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I don't think 20-30 mintues does any good unless you need to stop for a meal or you're experiencing some other type of severe situation (perhaps cramps or overheating). I tend to agree that after about 5 minutes I start experiencing diminished returns. My legs won't feel any more fresh after 20 minutes than they did at 5. Same goes for my ass. It's funny- I stopped for an hour-long dinner at a brevet once and as soon as I sat back on the bike my ass felt the exact same way it did before the break. My legs were a little better off, but they did get a little stiff after all that sitting around, which probably cancelled out any benefits of rest.

If you're going for speed short rests are the way to go. Just think, if you stop 15 extra minutes, is that going to make you 15 minutes faster on the bike? That's doubtful. But it's reasonable to imagine a situation where a 5-minute rest could make you 5 minutes faster on the bike.
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Old 07-05-07, 08:03 AM   #6
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In very hot weather, an extended rest in air conditioned space can help the body recover from early stages of heat exhaustion. The cooler temperatures will allow the body core temp to lower and you may be able to take on more fluid to rehydrate if you stop longer than 10 minutes.
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Old 07-05-07, 10:12 AM   #7
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In very hot weather, an extended rest in air conditioned space can help the body recover from early stages of heat exhaustion. The cooler temperatures will allow the body core temp to lower and you may be able to take on more fluid to rehydrate if you stop longer than 10 minutes.

I've had to do this on some solo centuries when it was sunny, the teperature was >95F and the humidity was 85-90%. You start seeing spots and slowing way down, get some A/C or at least some shade fast.
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Old 07-08-07, 08:15 AM   #8
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Century went pretty well. I only rested once and that was for about ten minutes. I averaged 19.5 mph and my ride time was 5 hrs 7 min. Overall time was right around 5.5 hours. Anyway, I did have to rest at the last stop for a few minutes to regather some energy, and I do think it helped.
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Old 07-12-07, 09:52 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Portis
I am preparing for a century in a couple days. I've done a few but it's been awhile. In the past i hardly ever rest during the unsupported century, but wonder if there would be an advantage. I usually stop a couple times to refill water, etc. but i just stop long enough to get water, use restroom, etc. and then head out. Usually, no more than 5 minutes.

I guess, I am always concerned that the legs will tighten up so I don't rest long. But having not rested much during these stops before, I am wondering if there will be any gain by resting for 20-30 minutes somewhere along the ride?
Unless you are trying to address a specific problem - you're too hot, you're facing a food/energy issue, or you need to stretch - my experience is that if you stop for <n> minutes, it takes <n> minutes back on the bike before you feel decent again. I've also found that you are much less likely to overeat on short stops.
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Old 07-16-07, 04:29 PM   #10
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I always stop every 1.5 - 2 hours or so, but usually limit my stops to just enough time to use the restroom and/or fill up my water bottle. Most of my stops are under 5 minutes. I also listen to my body, though, and have been known to stop for 20+ minutes to cool down, let my stomach process something too rich or sweet that I ate, etc. There are no hard rules for me. It depends on how I feel. I have to admit that I think that it is NUTS to stay in the saddle for 5+ hours without getting off the bike at all, though. Nuts, I tell you.
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Old 07-16-07, 05:22 PM   #11
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The best reason to stop is because you want/need to. If you don't perceive a benefit, don't bother. I've been known to stop for a beer on long rides, but that's because I'm enjoying the ride, not going for my PB
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Old 07-16-07, 05:52 PM   #12
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The best reason to stop is because you want/need to. If you don't perceive a benefit, don't bother. I've been known to stop for a beer on long rides, but that's because I'm enjoying the ride, not going for my PB
Maybe the single best thing I've ever seen written about the subject.
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Old 07-17-07, 01:10 PM   #13
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If the weather is really hot, I tend to overheat as soon as I stop. I would make my stops short. Also, cool down on the bike before stopping. Othewise, you'll heat up very quickly once the air around your body becomes still.
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