Learned something yesterday.. long duration is TOTALLY different to fast/short
I usually ride 6-7 hour 160km with very few stops. Yesterday I decided to take it up a notch and shoot for 240km. The wind also decided to step it up and push us backward for 170km of said ride. For a six hour ride fast pace and quick snacks do fine. Hit hour 10 though and that pace has sapped your energy and not eating enough is bad. Next time I drop the pace a little and pack some more food.
Did all right with 9 1/2 hours for 208km riding time and a total time of 10 1/2 hours with the wind from hell to fight, but I think better strategies are in order to circumnavigate the island I wish to beat. Thats going to a 270km ride. Would NOT have finished that yesterday.
Long Distance Cyclist
Yes ... it is. Long duration is TOTALLY different to fast/short.
And that's why various ones of us suggest things like ...
-- eat 200-300 calories per hour starting right away.
-- drink one 750 ml bottle of water (or your beverage of choice) every 1 to 1.5 hours
-- don't forget to consume electrolytes
We also suggest stopping for a meal every 5 to 7 hours on a long ride. Consume 500-1000 calories during that meal, ride slowly for the next hour or so to digest the meal, and then you'll suddenly get a burst of energy. On your shorter rides, you'd be stopping the ride all together about that time. But on a 12-hour ride, that's only halfway.
But it takes some practice to be able to eat like that on long rides. Some people can do it quite naturally, but others end up feeling quite sick the first few times when they try to eat enough to get through a long ride. So, practice helps.
And yes, you'll encounter all sorts of things on a long ride. You can probably squeeze a 6-hour ride into a segment of time with fairly decent weather and lighting conditions, but once you get up around 12 hours and longer, you increase the chances of running into bad weather and all sorts of interesting challenges. So make a point of going and riding in various conditions as a part of your training.
Next week I leave at 4am and stop at lunchtime for a decent meal as well
as snacking on the ride. I pretty much felt that had I stopped for 40 minutes or so around 160km I would have been rwcharged enough to continue. Know for next time. Hopefully the wind won't be blowing picnic tables over as well.
I love the rolling hills.
Yep, it seems like there are always new things to learn as you bump up your distance.
Originally Posted by chandltp
just another gosling
Actually not. As one gets up toward 300k, the only real change to make is not to pop over the little hills out of the saddle. Short hard efforts are really anaerobic, though they don't give your HR time to respond, so you may not realize how hard they are. But they burn lots of glycogen. Just sit and spin over at a normal effort.
Otherwise, longer rides are just the same as shorter rides. You eat about the same amount, say 250 cal./hr. You limit your effort in the same way, just use a lower limiter. I use heart rate. It's really all the same. I ride 400k just the same as 100k, just with a lower heart rate. The only thing that really changes is that on longer rides, discomforts build up, like saddle, shorts, position, general muscle tone, etc.
Might be instructive to use a power meter and compare how much effort is being applied. I would think that on a shorter ride, you'd be more likely to average maybe 250 watts, with lots of 400+ watt efforts on the climbs. But over 10 or 15 hours, you might drop that to 150-200 watts average and avoiding hitting those 400 watt efforts at any time. I think that's basically what everyone is saying. I agree with the feeding, but I would add that once I hit 8 hours, my body starts craving saltier drinks, so I'll switch from Gatorade to V-8. I'll also pack a ham Subway in a jersey pocket for about the 5- or 6-hour mark of a 10- to 12 hour ride (or longer). But be careful on hot days; the mayo could go bad!
Tried again today. Plenty of food, left the house at 3am so time wasn't a factor. BUT it rained the whole way. I bailed at 80km in and got home at 140km. By which time my core temperature was so low that my hands lost all strength and I shivered violently if I stopped pedaling for more than 30 seconds. If it had even let off for an hour I would have been all right and partially dried out. Next time a sacrifice to the weather gods as well.
just another gosling
Better clothing. I've seen 33° and sleeting on a couple of brevets. Never more than a 200 of that, but it's happened on 600s, too. It's doable, just not quite as much fun other than bragging rights. All the same, better to wait for better weather. OTOH, one never knows what will happen, so also better to be prepared to ride in poor conditions.
Its a learning curve. Next week I pack extra clothes and some dry cloths so that I can actually use my touch phone when I need it. I suppose I could have pushed on. but I was getting really close to hypothermia and being disorientated on a bike isn't safe. Round 4 will be the winner. Besides, winning too easily is boring.
not a total loss. scouted out some more of the course, rode 80km half frozen, and got a decent photo op
I like old forts and this one is quite impressive.
Last edited by krobinson103; 04-20-13 at 12:04 AM.
just another gosling
Hey, that photo looks dry! IME a pair of socks in a Ziploc can be good, as well as an extra pair of gloves. If I have room, I'll sometimes bring 3 pair of gloves. I never change gloves because they are wet, rather because I want a different temperature range. I only change socks if it looks like it's going to be dry(er) from there on out. I usually don't bring extra clothes, rather wear everything I think I'll need from the start and then take stuff off as necessary. Usually unzipping is enough. Main thing is just the thickness of the insulating layers. I have a really heavy poly jersey and put a long sleeve Craft under it. Lacking that heavy jersey, two LS poly jerseys are good, then a shell over all. PI winter tights are good. I use the Elite Thermal with pad. Many people use the heavier Amfib with pad. I use the Lake MTB winter boot for serious rainy cold, with drysuit leg seals on my ankles so my feet stay dry. Spring brevets in the PNW are good proving grounds.
Looks dry... but trust me when I say every stitch of clithing I had was drenched down to my socks. Thought it eas warm wnough to get away with cycling shorts, long pants over them, cycling jersey and a windproof. It would have been to, had it not been raining. First time I've been that cold in spring though.
Got it! the checkpoints on the Border stopped me adding the final 25km. Oh well. I did notice that once I hit riding hour 8 or actual time 10 hours motivating myself to keep going was getting harder. Don't think I could push myself to 400 or 600. Serious pain threshold going on for those riders. Perhaps if I stopped for 40 minutes or so then went on my way it would be easier.
Has opinion, will express
Originally Posted by krobinson103
Awesome ride: well done!
Funny thing happened. I spent a few days with my business partners, all of whom suffer from varying degrees of adult-onset cycling. Actually, I consider myself the weakest cyclist in the company by far. These are guys who do tours through the Rockies, 100 mile mountain bike races (on single speeds), etc. They can outclimb and outsprint me in their sleep. I probably wouldn't even finish some of the races they do, and there's no way I could do some of the massive climbing they do (one rode Alpe d'Huez twice in one day). But they were impressed with the idea of riding 200K or 300K and felt they could never do that, let alone 400k or 600k. We all thought it was pretty interesting that we have VERY different opinions on what we each personally define as "crazy".