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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 02-18-09, 09:18 PM   #1
demolay rules
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Uhhhhh......No Comprende

I don't understand how some of you guys can do like a hundred miles and when I do like 20 I'm completely drained...is it bike fit, over doing it at the beginning, or what? Is it just endurance????
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Old 02-18-09, 09:23 PM   #2
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I'm guessing you're very new to cycling. It does take a while to build up ... just keep increasing your distance gradually, and you'll get there.

While you're doing that, make sure your bicycle fits, and make sure you are eating and drinking regularly.

Have a look at some century riding tips: http://www.machka.net/century.htm

Then once you've done 100 miles ... you can build up to 200 and more.
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Old 02-18-09, 09:34 PM   #3
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I don't understand how some of you guys can do like a hundred miles and when I do like 20 I'm completely drained...is it bike fit, over doing it at the beginning, or what? Is it just endurance????

That's hard to say without knowing what you're doing exactly.

Maybe you're riding a BMX or mountain bike with very low seat- that makes it harder.
Or a bike with big knobby cushy tires- that affects it.
Maybe you live in the Andes and it's uphill all the time.
Maybe you ride just as fast as you can everywhere you go.

Anyway, I'm overweight, slow, riding the yellow bike in the avatar picture, and I've ridden a couple of century rides. So chances are that you can too, given the right conditions. And if you're just out of shape, you could probably be up for 100 mile rides within a year if you're doing 20 now.
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Old 02-18-09, 09:45 PM   #4
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Weekly mileage. Keep track of it. Slowly increase it. No more than 10%/week is a good rule. Try to ride year-round as possible. Compound interest is a powerful thing. Most of us have indoor trainers or rollers that we ride when it's impossible to get outside in winter. We're nuts, but we like it like that.
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Old 02-18-09, 11:40 PM   #5
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That's hard to say without knowing what you're doing exactly.
+1

Need more info; like how long have you been riding, what are you riding, how do you approach 20 miles, what is your general fitness like?

Sir Edmund Hillary didn't just walk out of his apiery and climb Everest; he hiked up the local hills a few times.
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Old 02-19-09, 12:23 AM   #6
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I don't understand how some of you guys can do like a hundred miles and when I do like 20 I'm completely drained...is it bike fit, over doing it at the beginning, or what? Is it just endurance????
Conditioning. Do short rides often rather than one long ride occasionally. Then try increasing your maximum distance. You need to find the pace that doesn't tire you out- you should still be relatively fresh at the end of the ride.

FWIW: I'm 45, 215lbs, and a diabetic ex-smoker. I've done many long rides, including centuries. It's all about getting there and enjoying yourself along the way.

Some people think 100 miles is a warm-up:
http://www.ohpv.org/albums/alex508-2008/index.htm
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Old 02-19-09, 02:07 AM   #7
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There are a many good advices in this thread, and in the Long Distance forum in general. Please avail yourself to these informations!

IMO, try finding things in your general locale that interest you. Perhaps a local lake, mountain, photo opportunity, or even restaurant! Ride the bike there. If you keep doing this, you will get to know your area better than you have ever dreamed. If you do something like this, you begin to understand the joy of bicycling somewhere It's not always about collecting miles -- sometimes a destination is important, and sometime it's not, but a destination is a perfectly worthy goal.

In other words, try not to worry about mileage, just ride. Find places that you think are a little bit too far away to ride to and just go there.
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Old 02-19-09, 07:48 AM   #8
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...is it bike fit, over doing it at the beginning, or what? Is it just endurance????
No doubt, anyone who rides for hours at a time must have previously figured out the fine points of finding a comfortable position on their bike. Otherwise, they'd be complaining of a sore butt, neck or other problem spots.

Endurance is a vastly under appreciated and largely "hard-to-identify" bicycling attribute.

Although some of the talent for long-distance riding is genetic, most of the capacity to ride for longer periods is the result of several years and hundreds and hundreds if not thousands of hours of cycling.

A lifetime of specific aerobic activity provides a rider with a base-power delivery system that they can call upon to ride for scores of miles. Often, you'll hear of a rider "coming back" to cycling and completing a hundred mile ride, - even though they had not ridden a bicycle for several months.

Endurance take years to develop, and for the most part is retained much longer than other training adaptations associated with shorter, non-aerobic exercise efforts.
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Old 02-19-09, 09:04 AM   #9
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I have done some short rides with beginning riders that just about killed me. The memory is fading, but I think one ride we took 4 hours to do 17 miles. I rode my mountain bike, which is very inefficient. I have come up with the theory that simply sitting in the saddle and standing around waiting for people for that long is almost as tiring as simply riding your bike. Also, when someone tells me we are going on a 20 mile ride, I don't prepare to take 4 hours.
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Old 02-19-09, 09:30 AM   #10
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Yeah, this happened to me. I went 40 miles in 5 hours. We stopped for breakfast for an hour in the middle, but still. It was fun, but it was also frustrating to get home and feel like I hadn't even gone for a ride.
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Old 02-19-09, 10:11 AM   #11
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When I first started riding longer distances after a significant break, 30 miles was a long ride to me. Gradually I worked my way back up to 40, then 50 on up to 100 and 200 miles.
I can do 200 miles, but I still have the same feeling you do about people who can do 600k and 1200k rides. I'm pretty well bushed after 200-210 miles and have a tough time imagining myself doing another 200k+ on top of it.
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Old 02-19-09, 12:53 PM   #12
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When I first started riding longer distances after a significant break, 30 miles was a long ride to me. Gradually I worked my way back up to 40, then 50 on up to 100 and 200 miles.
I can do 200 miles, but I still have the same feeling you do about people who can do 600k and 1200k rides. I'm pretty well bushed after 200-210 miles and have a tough time imagining myself doing another 200k+ on top of it.
If you can do 200 miles, you can almost certainly do 1200K. A lot of it is pure psychology. At the end of a 300K, it may seem incomprehensible to get back on your bike and ride down to the end of the parking lot. But on a 600K, the halfway point is at 300K, and you've known it all along. So when you get to 300K, you go in to the controle, do whatever you need to do, come out, and get back on your bike and ride. No problem! Same's true for a 1200K.

To me, the idea of continuing on for another 1200K at the end of the first 1200K, now that's just incomprehensible!
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Old 02-19-09, 02:45 PM   #13
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If you can do 200 miles, you can almost certainly do 1200K. A lot of it is pure psychology. At the end of a 300K, it may seem incomprehensible to get back on your bike and ride down to the end of the parking lot. But on a 600K, the halfway point is at 300K, and you've known it all along. So when you get to 300K, you go in to the controle, do whatever you need to do, come out, and get back on your bike and ride. No problem! Same's true for a 1200K.

To me, the idea of continuing on for another 1200K at the end of the first 1200K, now that's just incomprehensible!
I think it's the idea of a 2 or 3 hour nap after a 400k, then going out and cranking another 200k that I just can't wrap my brain around. Most of the time I get a full night's sleep after a 300k and take a 30mi recovery the next day, or even just my 15 mile ride into work in the morning, and it's a rough slog to get moving.
Maybe it's the difference between a full sleep vs. a short nap? Less time off the bike means you're more prepared to just hop back on and get going?
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Old 02-19-09, 03:20 PM   #14
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If you can do 200 miles, you can almost certainly do 1200K. A lot of it is pure psychology.
I think it's a bit of a jump from 200 miles to 1200k (745mi), both psychologicaly and physically. A lot of physiological and mental issues can present themselves in the interval between.

Riding 200 miles (320km) will give you an idea of the issues in store on a 600 or 1200, but can't predict in any precice way how an individual will react to ultra distance.

The other thing to keep in mind is if one has been lucky with weather and other variables, how will one fare if you get hit with weather, hills, etc. on a longer brevet? All are not equal.

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I think it's the idea of a 2 or 3 hour nap after a 400k, then going out and cranking another 200k that I just can't wrap my brain around.
This is easier to quantify. If you've done a 400 in reasonable form, the 600 follows well for most. My first 600 I only got 1 1/2 hours sleep, due to waiting for a friend with mechanicals. It was pretty grim getting going, but once on the bike it was fine. I've gotten use to expecting 2 or three hours, but on last year's 600, I had a luxurious 4+ hours. The trick was riding faster overall (on a slightly easier course than previous).

I hope this year to try my first "straight through" 600. Many variables will indicate whether this will be feasable for me to accomplish.
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Old 02-19-09, 10:30 PM   #15
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I don't understand how some of you guys can do like a hundred miles and when I do like 20 I'm completely drained...is it bike fit, over doing it at the beginning, or what? Is it just endurance????
Part of it is endurance, part of it is efficiency on the bike, but my guess is a lot of it is level of effort. Most people ride too hard and tire out too fast.

My advice is to ride at a much lower effort level.
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Old 02-20-09, 09:43 AM   #16
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IThis is easier to quantify. If you've done a 400 in reasonable form, the 600 follows well for most.
This year will be my first 400k in August. If all goes well with it, I may give a shot at a 600k next year. If I'm barely squeaking by on the 400k, I'll stick with that until I'm comfortable with aiming for more.
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Old 02-22-09, 03:10 AM   #17
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I think it's the idea of a 2 or 3 hour nap after a 400k, then going out and cranking another 200k that I just can't wrap my brain around. Most of the time I get a full night's sleep after a 300k and take a 30mi recovery the next day, or even just my 15 mile ride into work in the morning, and it's a rough slog to get moving.
Maybe it's the difference between a full sleep vs. a short nap? Less time off the bike means you're more prepared to just hop back on and get going?
First, it is kind of like being in University ... you put in a full day of classes and commuting and your part-time job, and you stay up till 2 am doing your research papers etc. ... and then you're up again at 5 am to go back to the University again. If you can do that, you can cope with the 3 hour nap in the middle of a 600K or longer ride.

Second, there is some evidence that adults generally sleep in 90 minute cycles*. Therefore if you can sleep in one, two, or more 90 minute cycles and wake up at the end of the cycle, you will feel more refreshed than if you wake up in the middle of a cycle. You know how sometimes you wake up from a nap and feel really horrible and disoriented ... you've woken up in the middle of your sleep cycle, and that's the last thing you want to do on a randonnee. So, if you can plan for a break long enough so that you can eat, and get yourself together for the next leg of your journey, plus sleeping for 1.5 or 3 hours, you should do just fine.

Also, do not discount the 10-15 minute nap. With a 10-15 minute nap, you don't fall deep enough into sleep to wake up with that really horrible feeling ... instead you wake up feeling surprisingly refreshed.

Do some research on Sleep or REM cycles, it's quite interesting.



(*Disclaimer: Apparently some people do not fit with this 90 minute cycle, and some research indicates that the cycle may vary from 90 to 110 minutes, so you might have to experiment with your sleep cycles a bit.)

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