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-   -   Tips for riding a Century (http://www.bikeforums.net/long-distance-competition-ultracycling-randonneuring-endurance-cycling/808559-tips-riding-century.html)

bikeme 08-04-12 10:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chidonchea (Post 14146761)
Here is a video I made of a feed bag I use on centuries and double century rides. The bag can hold more than enough food to get me to the next rest stop. By eating all the while I ride, I can avoid the "Bonk".

Just was referred to this thread..nice idea, great video!

Machka 08-05-12 04:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EdgewaterDude (Post 14513097)
I felt like my nutrition was OK, but maybe needed to be tweaked more. We had a rest stops every 15-30 miles, at which I filled up on water and grabbed a banana. My only concern was that my pee was far from being clear, which leads me to believe my water intake was STILL not up to par. Also, I;m not sure a banana every 30 miles was sufficient food intake. Like I said, I was TIRING badly for the last 30 miles. I'm not sure if I can attribute that too nutrition or lack of training (I ride 20 miles daily for work commuting, supplement with a 40 mile ride on weekends.) I probably need to throw more 70 mile rides into the mix before the century.

Any more tips on nutrition?


Hydration ... aim for one 750 ml bottle of water and/or sports drink and/or other beverages every 1 to 1.5 hours. This will depend on heat, wind, effort etc.

So, what I usually do is to drink a tall glass of water, fruit juice, or even diet coke before the ride. Then I carry two 1-litre bottles of water which I sip while riding. When I stop for a break at a rest stop or convenience store, I'll get a 500-600 ml bottle of fruit juice, coke, iced tea, or whatever appeals to me (or a large cup of whatever is provided at the rest stop), and drink it all then and there. Slowly. I don't gulp it down, and while I'm drinking I'm trying to eat salty snacks.

Incidentally, this brings up a small rant about supported events. Quite often I've rolled into a rest stop with the idea in mind that I will fill at least one of my 1-litre bottles with water, and drink 500-600 litres of sports drink or fruit juice or whatever they have there ... but they don't have enough for me and for the 6 other people standing there to do the same thing. It's like they expect we're all going to take maybe 500 ml of water or less ... not 1.5 l or more. Even if organised events can't calculate the food properly, they should have ample liquid for the cyclists.


When I finish, I'll drink another 500-600 ml of water, fruit juice, iced tea, coke or whatever as soon as I'm done.


Food - no, a banana every 30 miles was probably not enough. Nowhere near enough.

Aim for 200-300 calories per hour right from the beginning of the ride.

A banana runs about 80 calories. 3 bananas would have provided you with enough calories for about an hour. Of course, you would have had about 2000 calories stored in your liver and muscles if you had been eating well the week before, and you would have likely eaten breakfast, so that would have helped you get through, but you would have been pretty depleted by the end.

Have approx. 500 calories for breakfast (more if you can stomach it), then carry some good quality granola bars or cookies (oatmeal raisin are good) with you, and nibble them while you ride. Take a bite ... wait 10 minutes or so ... take a bite ... and repeat. I find a bento bag works really well for this purpose.

When you stop, a banana is a good choice, but have some salty snacks with the banana. Go for potato chips, pretzels, pickles, salted almonds, etc. The banana will provide you with potassium, but you also need salt as the slightly more important electrolyte.

During your first few centuries or longer rides, aim to eat quite a bit. As you get fitter and more used to long distance rides, you may be able to cut down on the amount you are eating. But have the food with you so that if you run into trouble (i.e. a stiff headwind between rest stops that saps your energy and slows you down), you have a cookie or something with you to eat and give you a bit of extra energy.


On many of the centuries Rowan and I have done as a part of the Century-A-Month challenge, we stop at about the halfway point and have a meal ... it might be McDonalds or Subway or whatever happens to be in the town we're in at that point. But it will be something full of calories and salt. And it will get us a couple hours down the road with quite a bit of energy.

One of the best organised centuries I've done provides a 6-inch sub from Subway at the halfway point, plus 3 cookies to carry with you, plus a small bag of potato chips, plus enough water or other drinks so that you can fill your bottles and drink lots. Andt then they provide all sorts of fruit and a few other snacks along the way as well. More organised centuries should take notes from that one.




[HR][/HR]
And yes ... throwing a few more 70+ mile rides into the mix will help. Riding longer distances in preparation for even longer distances does more than just train your muscles. It helps you determine if there are fit issues with the bicycle and helps you sort out your nutrition, determining what works and what doesn't work.

Also, someone asked me once how to make a 100 mile ride easier, and my response was ... "Ride a double century". :D But even doing a 200K (125 miles) one month, and then doing a century the following month can make that century seem a bit easier. :)

contango 08-05-12 05:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlackPaw (Post 14522667)
Guys i read the whole thread and all of you seem focused on nutrition, hydration etc etc.. I have another problem - my legs are fine and after 70 miles - my legs allow me to sprint - but my butt wants to get off the saddle. I get all kinds of pain on my gluteus, perineum, testicles...

Any tips or suggestions?

Check the position of your saddle. If it's too far back you may be leaning forward too far and putting pressure on your testicles. If the problem is more the perineum area that sounds like you're sitting on the narrow part of the saddle rather than the wider part, which also suggests the saddle might be too far back.

It's also important to get the angle of the saddle right - if the nose is too high it will tend to cause you to crush your testicles into it as you lean forward for the bars; if the nose is too low you'll tend to slide forward on the saddle, putting your weight on the narrow section. A tiny change can make a huge difference - a while back I was aware I had to keep sliding myself back on the saddle so I raised the nose by a little over 1/4" and found it was too much, I had to take it down a little.

Also consider what clothing you're wearing. I only started wearing cycling shorts fairly recently - my first ever century was on a mountain bike with regular clothing, platform pedals and regular training shoes. But I had worked out that some of my underwear was tight in ways that really didn't work on a bike, and some was loose in ways that caused it to soak with sweat and bunch up underneath me (which was as unpleasant for me to ride on as it probably was for you to read about). Padded cycling shorts aren't essential by any means but do make riding so much more comfortable you won't want to go back.

DGoeder 08-05-12 04:37 PM

I'm taking on my first century this Saturday and this seems to be exactly the thread I was looking for. I feel like I'm okay on mileage and nutrition during the ride, but I'm wondering if I should do anything different this week as far as eating. More or less of anything in particular or just eat like I normally would?

Machka 08-06-12 09:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DGoeder (Post 14569867)
I'm taking on my first century this Saturday and this seems to be exactly the thread I was looking for. I feel like I'm okay on mileage and nutrition during the ride, but I'm wondering if I should do anything different this week as far as eating. More or less of anything in particular or just eat like I normally would?

Don't eat anything unusual, and try to avoid spicy food.

roborovski007 08-22-12 08:07 PM

How many energy bar/gel should I bring for a century ride ?

Jseis 08-22-12 08:32 PM

I rode the STP Classic in July, a back to back century. Trained for 6 months with prior six weeks pushing 100-125 miles a week. I'm 57 and 190#'s

What I did right.

Stop every 15 miles for a short break.
Always ate something, even on bike (Cliff bars, fig newtons)
Drank water regularly (or so I thought)
Rode my ride, did not try to keep a pace that would burn me out (14-15 mph was my pace by myself, never drafted).
Used butter 2nd day, saved my ass.

Things I did wrong

Didn't eat enough real food, can't live off energy bars.
Drank water at well under a quart an hour rate. Not enough. Should've been at 32 oz per hour.

I ended up moderately dehydrated. Low pulse and high blood pressure.
Solid food and hydration got me back up quickly post ride.

What I do now: Ride with two 32oz water bottles and carry 1-3 sandwiches of my favorite food (PB&ham/turkey on potato bread). I still pack 3-4 energy bars, I just don't rely 100% on them. Drink at about 32 oz per hour in frequent sips. Stop at 1 hour or so, eat solid food.




ThermionicScott 08-22-12 10:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by roborovski007 (Post 14640808)
How many energy bar/gel should I bring for a century ride ?

As close to none as you can manage. Real food and water will sustain you better.

benajah 08-23-12 01:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ThermionicScott (Post 14641290)
As close to none as you can manage. Real food and water will sustain you better.

Agreed. If you are doing a noncompetitive century, you don't need the convienence of energy bars or gels. The real plus of bars and gels is they digest fast and are easy to handle on the bike, but if you don't need that, real food is much, much better.

Chitown_Mike 08-23-12 03:47 PM

Great tips in here!

Excited to apply this to my first century in about a month here.

One more clothing question: I own a pair of padded biking shorts, and I usually wear boxers underneath, should I refrain from the boxers and wear just the bike shorts? I also gold bond up and will be using lube.

lanahk 08-26-12 03:42 PM

Chitown_Mike, No underwear with padded shorts. If you are self-conscious about lycra, try a pair of mountain bike shorts instead.

Chitown_Mike 08-26-12 05:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lanahk (Post 14655505)
Chitown_Mike, No underwear with padded shorts. If you are self-conscious about lycra, try a pair of mountain bike shorts instead.

Actually I would be fine in just lyca, I usually throw a very light pair of shorts over it, but didn't know if I should be wearing boxers/underpants. Next time out I will be going just bike shorts then. I should probably look at getting a new pair since mine are getting old and slightly thread bare.

Thanks for the info lanahk!

EdgewaterDude 08-28-12 02:12 PM

Chitown Mike, are you referring to the North Shore Century? I'll be doing that one as well. Look for the dude on the old green Schwinn Voyageur; that'll be me.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chitown_Mike (Post 14644184)
Great tips in here!

Excited to apply this to my first century in about a month here.

One more clothing question: I own a pair of padded biking shorts, and I usually wear boxers underneath, should I refrain from the boxers and wear just the bike shorts? I also gold bond up and will be using lube.


flaski 09-03-12 12:08 PM

Great tips everyone. I'll be doing my first century in 2 weeks (tour de bayou at Alexandria, LA). We'll see how it goes

Chitown_Mike 09-04-12 11:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EdgewaterDude (Post 14664202)
Chitown Mike, are you referring to the North Shore Century? I'll be doing that one as well. Look for the dude on the old green Schwinn Voyageur; that'll be me.

That would be the one I am riding! I can't PM yet but if you are up for some training rides I try to reserve Saturday mornings for the long ones, going to try to run about 80-85 this Sat..

Look for me on the old blue Schwinn Continental, this one to be exact, just minus the rack on the rear, I have learned to ride lighter than that:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-W...815_172400.jpg

BykOfALesserGod 09-05-12 02:23 PM

I did my first Century last month (Camp Pendleton to Huntington Beach and back via PCH), three months after I started road biking. I finished it in 6:41. It was easy but for the last 10 miles when the temps started getting to me.

My training plan was to just ride. 20 to 30 milers twice to three times a week and a long 50 to 70 miler on Saturdays with my Century Buddy.

My day of the ride plan was simple. Drink constantly and eat every 20 miles. I brought bananas, Mooncakes and M&Ms. I had substantial food at the halfway mark and a big sweet pastry at around 70 miles. I also had a pint of milk at the 95 mile mark.

For comfort I had my Brooks saddle, gel filled gloves and a good balance of riding in the drops, hoods and tops. I kept my RPMs at an easy high (85 to 95) and shifted when practical instead of mashing. Felt good after the ride and in fact am ready to try it again this month.

jrickards 09-06-12 09:21 AM

  1. What about chafing? Does anyone use Body Glide or other similar product?
  2. On a solo ride, how does one carry enough food/drink on their bike or would a person make stops?
  3. Bathroom breaks? On my occassional 58km ride to the cottage (1hr paved, 1.5hr gravel), I haven't needed to poop (yet) but during a century, I might.

Machka 09-06-12 09:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jrickards (Post 14698102)
  1. What about chafing? Does anyone use Body Glide or other similar product?
  2. On a solo ride, how does one carry enough food/drink on their bike or would a person make stops?
  3. Bathroom breaks? On my occassional 58km ride to the cottage (1hr paved, 1.5hr gravel), I haven't needed to poop (yet) but during a century, I might.

1. If your bicycle fits properly, and you've got the right saddle, and you are wearing the right clothing, there's rarely any chafing. I don't use any creams.
2. A person would make stops. Small country grocery stores in the middle of nowhwere are good choices.
3. Do your #2 before the ride ... use the ditch for everything else. Or the toilet in the small country grocery store in the middle of nowhere.

jrickards 09-06-12 09:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Machka (Post 14698189)
1. If your bicycle fits properly, and you've got the right saddle, and you are wearing the right clothing, there's rarely any chafing. I don't use any creams.

My Sugoi shorts tend to chafe (strange, considering how much I paid for them) but my new Louis Garneau (worn once each short) seem to be much better. Do you find that some brands/models of shorts fit one person fine and another not so well?

Machka 09-06-12 10:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jrickards (Post 14698202)
My Sugoi shorts tend to chafe (strange, considering how much I paid for them) but my new Louis Garneau (worn once each short) seem to be much better. Do you find that some brands/models of shorts fit one person fine and another not so well?

Yes, definitely.

I went through a whole process of trying to find decent cycling shorts for long distance riding several years ago. I tried on all kinds of shorts, mens and womens, brands from very expensive to not expensive at all.

I have a slight allergy to nylon/lycra so the blend has to be just right for me or I feel like ripping them off about 2 minutes after I had them on ... so I weeded out a whole bunch that way. Then, the padding needed to cover my sitbones. I did not want to sit on the seams or not sit on any portion of the padding at all. And some had very narrow padding or padding in all the wrong places. I also don't like it when the padding is formed into lumps and bumps all over the place. I like relatively thin padding that is all one smooth piece. So that weeded out a lot more. And finally I ended up with the $35 shorts from MEC.

They were wonderful ... so comfortable. Unfortunately I wore them out (as you do after a couple years of long distance cycling), and I ordered more to be picked up when I went to Canada in 2011. And sadly, they have changed their shorts. The padding is lumpy and bumpy now. The shorts are OK, but I'm not sure I could wear them for much more than a 200K.

You've got to find something that works for you (and I'm back on the hunt again for really good long distance cycling shorts).

Chitown_Mike 09-17-12 08:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Machka (Post 14698189)
1. If your bicycle fits properly, and you've got the right saddle, and you are wearing the right clothing, there's rarely any chafing. I don't use any creams.
2. A person would make stops. Small country grocery stores in the middle of nowhwere are good choices.
3. Do your #2 before the ride ... use the ditch for everything else. Or the toilet in the small country grocery store in the middle of nowhere.


Machka, I have a found that if I want comfort in regards to saddle position/riding style then I sacrifice my ability to maintain a more moderate pace and tire easily, from my guessing it is because I am sitting up straighter. But when I set the seat more aggressive I can maintain a faster pace but then run into chafing problems, but I have been using Bag Balm on all my long rides and have very little soreness or issues. What have you done/suggestions to the situation?

Also I know what you mean on finding shorts, I have a pair of Canari shorts that I love, but since they have a few thousand miles on them and are a few years old I am finding that they will need replacing soon. I haven't found a pair with the same "setup", as you will, that matches how these are made. Should have bought 2 when I did.

chidonchea 09-20-12 03:42 AM

A century riding cue sheet tip. I filmed this in the desert during the White Mountain Double Century that started in Bishop, California.

chidonchea 09-20-12 03:46 AM

And if your ride crosses cattle guards.

Machka 09-20-12 03:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chitown_Mike (Post 14740798)
Machka, I have a found that if I want comfort in regards to saddle position/riding style then I sacrifice my ability to maintain a more moderate pace and tire easily, from my guessing it is because I am sitting up straighter. But when I set the seat more aggressive I can maintain a faster pace but then run into chafing problems, but I have been using Bag Balm on all my long rides and have very little soreness or issues. What have you done/suggestions to the situation?

I sit fairly upright on a bicycle.

When I was doing the really long distances, as a part of my training, I did a lot of core work. Having a strong core helped me sit with good posture on the bicycle for extended periods of time so that I did not tire quickly.

Chitown_Mike 09-20-12 09:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Machka (Post 14753333)
I sit fairly upright on a bicycle.

When I was doing the really long distances, as a part of my training, I did a lot of core work. Having a strong core helped me sit with good posture on the bicycle for extended periods of time so that I did not tire quickly.

Hmmm....well back to crunches, lunges, sit-ups and planks for me! I stopped that a few months before taking riding back up, plus my wife will be happy I use our TRX thingy again. While this won't help me for the century I have this weekend, my goal by end of the riding season next year is to participate in a 5 hour century, so this will definitely help.


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