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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 08-09-12, 12:02 PM   #1
groovestew
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Rest day(s) before a randonnee?

Hi everyone,
I'm just curious: do you long distance riders take any time off the bike just prior to a century or randonee? I cycle-commute to work, 20 miles round trip, and generally treat my commute like a time-trial. But I'll always take the bus or drive to work the day before a randonnee to give my legs a day off. I'm curious what other people do, and if they find it beneficial to take a rest day, or would it actually be better to still ride the day before?
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Old 08-09-12, 02:58 PM   #2
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When I was racing, the rest day would be TWO days before. The day before would be a short ride but with some high-intensity thrown in. This set you up for a hard effort the next day.

It also helped to have a vegetarian (or very light on meat) meal the night before. I'm not a veggie, but meat takes a lot of energy to digest, and I could feel the difference in performance if I held off on the steak until after the ride.

And extra hydration also helped. You should have to get up and use the bathroom at least once during the night.

So if the event is on Saturday, I'd take the bus in on Thursday, and then ride in on Friday, freely engaging in any informal street racing. Heck, I'd even ride in on Thursday, but without making anything resembling a hard effort ("active rest").

Luis
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Old 08-09-12, 10:45 PM   #3
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I don't intentionally take a day off, but a lot of times, it works out like that because I'm getting my stuff together. I do feel better after a rest day, but don't have any issue on "normal" brevets either way.
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Old 08-09-12, 11:10 PM   #4
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Brevets being what they are, I like to take two days off before one. One isn't likely to make a hard effort on a brevet unless one is an exceptional rider who will come in a couple hours before anyone else. Instead, what the average rider needs is completely topped up glycogen stores. So that last couple of days I'll keep calories about the same but shift them toward carbs. The day before, I'll drink two bottles of a sports drink like HEED or Cytomax to top up my water and electrolytes.

So it depends on how old you are and how quickly, in your experience, you recover completely from a ride.
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Old 08-10-12, 05:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groovestew View Post
Hi everyone,
I'm just curious: do you long distance riders take any time off the bike just prior to a century or randonee? I cycle-commute to work, 20 miles round trip, and generally treat my commute like a time-trial. But I'll always take the bus or drive to work the day before a randonnee to give my legs a day off. I'm curious what other people do, and if they find it beneficial to take a rest day, or would it actually be better to still ride the day before?
I just do a short ride,say 10-15 miles on the bike I will be doing the Randonee on.Nice and easy just to make sure the bike set up is OK.
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Old 08-10-12, 09:48 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by lhbernhardt View Post
When I was racing, the rest day would be TWO days before. The day before would be a short ride but with some high-intensity thrown in. This set you up for a hard effort the next day.

It also helped to have a vegetarian (or very light on meat) meal the night before. I'm not a veggie, but meat takes a lot of energy to digest, and I could feel the difference in performance if I held off on the steak until after the ride.

And extra hydration also helped. You should have to get up and use the bathroom at least once during the night.

So if the event is on Saturday, I'd take the bus in on Thursday, and then ride in on Friday, freely engaging in any informal street racing. Heck, I'd even ride in on Thursday, but without making anything resembling a hard effort ("active rest").

Luis
This is an interesting approach. Now that I think of it, if I don't ride during a weekend, my legs feel the best on my Tuesday commute, after warming them up on the Monday commute. I'll have to try this next time. Too late for this weekend - I rode Thursday and am taking today off the bike before back-to-back 200's this weekend.
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Old 08-10-12, 10:05 AM   #7
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I also have a 20-mile r.t. commute. Before brevets I will sometimes drive the first three miles (cutting out a bunch of tough hills) and cut the commute down to 15 miles, and then ride at a very easy pace.

By the way, if you ride every day as a time trial then you are not necessarily optimizing training. Better to ride your commute one day doing intervals, super-intense efforts, possibly hill repeats, whatever, then take it extremely easy until you've recovered. For me, that can work out to be: Saturday, brevet, Sunday, conked out, Monday, ride to work at an easy pace, Tuesday, hard intervals, Wed, easy pace, Thursday, hard intervals, Friday, easy pace and maybe shorten mileage, Saturday, another brevet, lather rinse repeat.
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Old 08-10-12, 11:25 AM   #8
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there isn't going to be any training effect the week before an event that will benefit you on that event. So you might as well take it easy. That said, I like to ride a little anyway. If your goals are longer-term, and you don't have to fully recover before the randonnee in order to successfully complete it, then there may be no need to rest at all. In the condition I'm in right now, there is no reason to rest before anything up to a 600k. I'll probably stop doing anything too strenuous the weekend before the 1200k I'm riding at the end of the month.

I find that if I really hammer my legs it takes me about 3 days to recover, so I keep that in mind. Although, once I'm on the bike the fact that I'm not really recovered seems to only affect me for the first 10 miles or so. Once I'm warmed up, I'm good to go.
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