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  1. #1
    rhm
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    making the 200k to 300k jump

    I can ride a century or 200k without much pain. But in a few weeks I'm going to ride a 300k, and in my mind that's a big step up. Accordingly I would appreciate any advice about how to train for that jump.

    I'm not used to the idea of "training." But I have never ridden over 160 miles in a day, and over 145 only few times, the most recent one last July.

    This ride will happen around the summer solstice, just me and a couple friends, not an organized ride, no sag wagon. There will be plenty of daylight, but I mean to get the guys out on the roads as early as possible and hope to knock off the first 100k before the sun comes up.

    I'm planning to carry plenty of food and water, sunblock, analgesics. Haven't decided on a bike, but it will be a comfortable one.

    Advice?

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    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    There's not a lot different, just takes longer. Assuming you weren't on the verge of collapse on the other long rides, there's not a lot of reason to do anything different.

    On a 200k, you can easily hit headwinds the first 100k. On a 300k, you can easily hit headwinds the first 100 miles. Mentally, that can be a little taxing, but still, nothing to do but chug along until you hit the turnaround.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

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    Senior Member rowebr's Avatar
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    If you handled previous 200K rides okay, and you're still in shape, then the 300K is not that different. Just another 5 hours or so of riding!

    Personally, I think starting really early (like at 4am) is great, but are you sure you want to do 100K before the sun comes up?

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    200 to 300 is not a big step up. 300 to 400 is a big step. Enjoy your ride, you'll be fine.

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    i went from a 200k to a 300k, and the jump does seem to be smaller than the 3 to 4, or 4 to 6 (or of course 6 to 1,000 or 1200).

    all of the problems i had encountered during previous 200k's, i made sure to be more prepared for.
    exercise-induced asthma = bring along a (non-expired!) inhaler.
    IT band problems = stretch as much as possible at controles.
    loss of energy, near-bonking = having a sit-down meal when i knew i needed it, instead of getting by on an energy bar just so i could make a faster time.

    i also had some difficulties (and still do) trying to figure out exactly what to eat and drink to fuel yourself for that long (and longer). i used to drink gatorade, tried nuun, and i think i settled on hammer perpetuem. trying to figure all that out is part of the adventure, as some would say.

    another thing that you might want to consider is your friends that you are riding with. how many? are they all about the same pace, your pace? are there ones likely to hammer up climbs or sprint on flats/downhills? there's somewhat of a team dynamic if you all want to ride together (i've never done a fleche but i assume that kind of advice would apply here). look out for everyone and try to communicate if someone is flagging, and make sure there is a plan B if some of them want to get ahead, or drop behind.

    with the distances in your legs, a 300k is not that much farther than 145 or 160. just try to be comfortable, relax, and enjoy a loooong day out with friends. completion should be #1 , and hopefully no one will be hurting that badly at the finish.

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    Like others have said, it's not that big a step; it just takes longer. Lots of us find it easier mentally to just think about going the 30-60 mi until the next control (or planned stop, if you're on your own) rather than try to wrap your head around the whole distance. Whatever worked for you on the 200k, assuming you finished with "gas in the tank", keep doing that and you'll be fine.

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    Randomhead
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    No matter how good my conditioning is, I'm always worn out after a 200k. On the other hand, I know I can ride as far as I want. It's funny how that works. I remember getting to the 200k point on my first 300k and realizing there was only 100k left, and I felt great. I know we are all different, but I have a hard stretch between 50 and 100 miles on every ride. That 300k showed me that it is temporary, and that I will recover from it. I think that's the secret to riding long distances, knowing that you can recover from just about anything.

    I think the biggest difference between a 300k and a 400k is that you definitely need reliable lights on a 400k. I think you should probably let them run during the day for an entire 200k just to make sure. I had 3 lights for my first 400k, and they all failed on me.
    Last edited by unterhausen; 06-02-14 at 08:42 PM.

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    In my experience, one important difference between 200k range and 300k range rides is the necessity of carb loading.

    I can do 100k with no specific carb loading, while drinking tap water all the way. To do 200k, I need to eat regularly during the ride. To do 300k, I need to eat during the ride _and_ I need to adjust my diet (go high-calorie, high-carb) at least for 24 hours before the start. I can finish without doing this, but it will be painful and slow. 300k+ rides usually start very early, often before sunrise, and it's easy to make a fatal mistake of skipping breakfast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    No matter how good my conditioning is, ...
    Kind of similar: On my recent 600km, I got dropped early in the ride and was by myself for most of the first 80 miles -- when I did find someone to ride with, I got a flat so I was on my own again. The terrain was tough, I was behind schedule and feeling somewhat discouraged. But I decided to just ride at my maximum sustainable speed and hope that some of the "faster" riders would have gotten slowed down and I'd have someone to ride with at night. I started picking up time relative to my schedule, so that was encouraging. Somewhere around the century point I remember thinking "By the time I get to the 200km point, I'll probably start to settle in and enjoy this ride." Which is exactly what happened. And then to my surprise, two "faster" friends were sitting at the control right at 200km, looking somewhat beat up, so now I had friends to ride with.

    To the OP: For me, most of the "fit" issues have typically shown up between 100 miles and 200km. So as long as you didn't ignore those fit issues and have resolved them, the main challenge to a 300km is that typically you make a transition from daytime to nighttime riding, with cooler temperatures often requiring you to have carried extra clothes, plus the requirement for good lights and reflective gear. Other than that, a 300km is just a longer day in the saddle and if you can ride a 200 then you can ride a 300, no extra "training" required.

    A 400km brings the new challenge of potential sleep deprivation. And a 600km adds to that the challenge of getting up the second day, usually after very short sleep, and going out on legs that feel like rubber while sitting on a saddle that feels like a hatchet. After about five minutes of that you usually get settled back in to the ride and it's just a 200km to go, though without the spring in your legs that you had for the first 200km.

    Nick

  10. #10
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhm View Post
    I can ride a century or 200k without much pain. But in a few weeks I'm going to ride a 300k, and in my mind that's a big step up. Accordingly I would appreciate any advice about how to train for that jump.

    I'm not used to the idea of "training." But I have never ridden over 160 miles in a day, and over 145 only few times, the most recent one last July.

    This ride will happen around the summer solstice, just me and a couple friends, not an organized ride, no sag wagon. There will be plenty of daylight, but I mean to get the guys out on the roads as early as possible and hope to knock off the first 100k before the sun comes up.

    I'm planning to carry plenty of food and water, sunblock, analgesics. Haven't decided on a bike, but it will be a comfortable one.

    Advice?
    I did my first 300km in April this year, which I think was the second long ride (i.e. over about 50 miles) I'd done since the previous September. I'd been out of the loop regarding long rides for a variety of reasons, and hadn't been riding much at all due to truly dismal weather that went on for weeks.

    Because I'd done a small number of 200s in recent years and knew the rough area the 300 was going to go through I did a short sharp test to see if I was likely to be OK with it. Firstly I did a 40 mile (64km) ride near home to see how I'd feel at the end of it. I still felt OK, so entered a local 100km ride and cycled to and from the start. Because it was a bit overdistance the total distance I rode that day was 112 miles (180km). I looked at where that would take me on the 300km route, figured I could manage the remainder of it in the time I expected to have left, and so I entered the 300 and completed it in 18 hours. I'd hoped to be a little faster but I was within the kind of time I'd aimed for, even if at the slow end of it.

    So if you can ride a 200 without major issues you'll hopefully find a 300 is little more than doing a 200 and then doing another 100km. For me the key things to remember are to take on enough food and water, and make sure you've got decent lights. Here in the UK it's usually relatively easy to find places to refill water bottles without travelling too far (unless it's a very remote area or a silly hour of the night), depending on just where you're riding you'll need to carry more or less.
    "For a list of ways technology has failed to improve quality of life, press three"

  11. #11
    Pirate/Smuggler jlafitte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rowebr View Post
    Personally, I think starting really early (like at 4am) is great, but are you sure you want to do 100K before the sun comes up?
    At the solstice you have 14-15 hours of daylight. Unless you expect to ride a pace that will approach the 20 hour time limit, I would also wonder what the need is for so much night riding.

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    Randomhead
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    I am not a big fan of waking up before 3 to get to a 4 am start, but I think it's nice to be 200k into a ride by early-to-mid-afternoon. And it's nearly light by 5 this time of year over most of the U.S., so starting any later is wasting light. With a 4 a.m. start, most riders still finish in the dark, albeit just after dusk.

    I wasn't around randonneuring at that time, but my understanding is that after the high U.S. dnf rate at the 2007 PBP, there was a calculated decision to emphasize night riding as well as hill climbing. Old-timers can correct me if I'm wrong. I know that it makes sense to have people work up to more night riding. Most people getting into randonneuring have problems adapting to long hours of night riding.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    I wasn't around randonneuring at that time, but my understanding is that after the high U.S. dnf rate at the 2007 PBP, there was a calculated decision to emphasize night riding as well as hill climbing. Old-timers can correct me if I'm wrong. I know that it makes sense to have people work up to more night riding. Most people getting into randonneuring have problems adapting to long hours of night riding.
    looking forward to the upcoming NJ shore by night 200k, specifically to log some 'easily gained' night-riding experience.

  14. #14
    rhm
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    Okay! Well, thanks, everyone, for your advice! You were all pretty much on target.

    The reason I wanted to get an early start was that if I'm going to ride in the dark, I prefer the quiet early morning hours, when the roads are empty, over the early evening hours when the roads are full. Also, I had a strong suspicion we would be slow, slower than is generally acceptable on this forum. Since we were't doing an official randonneuring "event" I don't mind that, of course.

    More details on the 'century every month" thread.

    Thanks again!

    Rudi

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    Randomhead
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    Good job. That area is very familiar to me. Interesting that you went off-roading

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    Guess I'm an old-timer. Typical PBP DNF rates run around 22%. As I recall, the U.S did have a higher DNF rate at the '07 PBP. However if memory serves, at approximately 29% it was no higher than the DNF rate of most of the other countries. The unusually high DNF rate (for all countries) was due to the inclement weather that year. About 1,000 riders DNFed on the first night. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find my 2007 PBP results book, so the above stats are approximate and from this old-timers' possibly failing memory.
    The push to acclimate U.S. riders to night riding began at least as early as 2007 in some areas of the U.S. In July of 2007 the first edition of the NJ Cranbury 200K was run at night specifically to give riders more night riding experience.

  17. #17
    rhm
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    Good job. That area is very familiar to me. Interesting that you went off-roading
    Thanks! I do like to get off the beaten path, though this was definitely a little farther off the path than usual.

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