Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Senior Member ISPringle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Connecticut
    My Bikes
    Trek MTB, Fit Bike Co. Mac 3, Shogun 100
    Posts
    72
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    The Days Coming Up To The Century

    I guess for some of you guys this isn't even a thing, since you probably ride lots of centuries or longer, but for someone who is embarking on their first century, is there anything I need to know or should be doing on those last few days, say the week, before the event?

    What should my riding look like? Should I change it up at all or am I okay to just ride the same routine I always do?
    Do I ride the day before? Am I taking it easy the week or few days before?
    What about food? The night before what do I eat? Carb up? Protein up? Lots of water?

    And anyone have suggestions for the night before with sleep? I'm that kind of person that can't sleep a wink before something exciting, even if I have to be well rested. I ran in the Hartford Marathon and didn't got more than three hours of sleep. I drive back to school after breaks, or home for a break, and I sleep a few hours. I don't want to drug myself because I've been known to sleep 14 hours on benadryl and I can't stand that melatonin stuff, it makes me feel drunk the next day.

  2. #2
    Pirate/Smuggler jlafitte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    New Orleans
    Posts
    346
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Here is a great resource that covers your questions and a lot more. Describes century training plans for 8 or 15 weeks.

    Distance Cycling: John Hughes, Dan Kehlenbach: 9780736089241: Amazon.com: Books

    Well worth your fifteen bucks. I used a general approximation of the program for a super randonneur series this season and it worked great.

    About sleep and performance anxiety, an established meditation practice is very helpful. There is some good treatment of this in the book where it describes visualization techniques.

  3. #3
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    England
    My Bikes
    2009 Specialized Rockhopper Comp Disc, 2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    Posts
    3,997
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm sure people with far more experience than I have will also chime in (I've done a dozen or so 100+ mile rides).

    What I'd be doing is winding down the riding a bit in the week leading up to the ride. Personally I'm not into the whole "carb loading" thing but I'm a heavy rider so I've probably got enough fat reserves to see me through anything that isn't hugely intense. That said when I've ridden 100+ miles it has never been in a race scenario - if you're racing your needs might be different. I would make sure I'm adequately hydrated and stay off alcohol for a couple of days beforehand, simply because if I get dehydrated I really struggle on the bike.

    The first time I ever rode 100 miles in a day it was on a mountain bike with reasonably road-friendly tyres. I think I slept for maybe two hours the night before, because I was nervous about the ride. I'd done 85 miles on the MTB before but the thought of going over 100 was a psychological hurdle for me, and I didn't want to have to bail on the ride and take an expensive train home. But because it was a purely social ride, the group I was riding with (six guys in total) wasn't out for a race and we took plenty of rest breaks it was easier than I expected. Yes, I was a bit sore at the end of it, but that's not entirely surprising given I was wearing regular street clothes and had a pack on my back.

    As a general rule if you're increasing your distance it's probably a good idea to avoid changing anything major. I remember my first ever 200km brevet was also the first time I'd used my (then) new SPD shoes and pedals in anger. I had to stop to adjust my cleats multiple times during the ride, and finished the ride using the platform side of my pedals because my feet were aching. I'd also had to drop the saddle a little because the transition from thick-soled trainers/sneakers to SPD shoes meant that I was uncomfortable on the bike within a surprisingly short distance, and didn't really have the inclination to make lots of minor tweaks to the saddle at the roadside. I got around the ride, but it really highlighted how a small change can have unexpected effects. So, as a rule, before a big ride make sure everything is as it should be and then leave it alone.

    Finally, enjoy the ride and if you've got a cycling computer that tells you how far you've gone, don't forget to let out a huge cheer when it rolls from 99.9 to 100.0
    "For a list of ways technology has failed to improve quality of life, press three"

  4. #4
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Dallas area, Texas
    Posts
    10,648
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    What should my riding look like? Should I change it up at all or am I okay to just ride the same routine I always do?
    Pretty much ride like normal.

    Do I ride the day before? Am I taking it easy the week or few days before?
    If you're concerned about how you'll do, take a rest day the day before.

    What about food? The night before what do I eat? Carb up? Protein up? Lots of water?
    Eat like normal, drink like normal, not a good time to experiment with Mexican food or whatever.

    And anyone have suggestions for the night before with sleep?
    Just sleep normal. A lot of our randonneuring rides are done with inadequate sleep the night before. The biggest drawback is the possibility of getting sleepy on the ride (which you can do!), not so much being weak from lack of rest.

    The biggest issue I see with people riding centuries is there are a lot of people that will ride 30 miles very fast (faster than I ever will), but then struggle with longer distances- and it seems to be because they are trying to ride just as fast on those longer distances. Get a comfortable pace and stay with it. If your buddies pass you up, that's okay. Stop when you need to or feel like it. Take a camera if you like, it'll give you a good excuse to stop. If it's a personal ride, be sure to have money with you to buy food or drink as you need, even if you don't plan to need it. If you hit a long stretch of headwind, just get in the drops and patiently crank along at 12 mph or whatever works and you'll eventually get through it. Use sunblock as needed. My theory is, you should never walk a hill, but it's okay to ride up at 2 mph and stop to rest 8 times. Have an extra tube or two, and the means and knowledge to fix flats, even if it's a supported ride.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    70
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ISPringle View Post
    ... is there anything I need to know or should be doing on those last few days, say the week, before the event?

    What should my riding look like? Should I change it up at all or am I okay to just ride the same routine I always do?
    Do I ride the day before? Am I taking it easy the week or few days before?
    What about food? The night before what do I eat? Carb up? Protein up? Lots of water?

    And anyone have suggestions for the night before with sleep?
    First thing to know - you can do it. Period. Point is - it's all in the mind and mindset. If you think about it, you already know you can do the distance. Treat the ride as a series of shorter sections with distances you know you can ride. Section A - 15 miles to turn X, Section B - 35 miles to convenience store Y... Once you get to the last control, you can start thinking "Go me! I've ridden the same distance I have left before - today even! I can do this!" Then just keep pedaling.

    The week before the ride, taper off. Nothing longer than 40 and nothing more than 10 - 15 miles each of the two days before if that. You want to be loose and refreshed, not tired and sore at your start.

    If at all possible, drive or ride part of the course to familiarize yourself with it - especially the locationsof known or rumored to be difficult hills. Also, knowing where convenience stores/refill stations are or will be can help you plan out your effort and help you to mentally plan out your ride/ride strategy. This should also help with sleeping the night before.

    Food - for me, I just eat normally all week. Some people, using what I can only attribute to "Marathoner's myth", try to "carb up" throughout the week and especially the night before. I find it more important to think about having a good breakfast the day of the ride and to remember to eat something every hour while riding. Don't overdo sugary foods on the ride, though they are good in the short term if you find yourself in a hole (bonking). Then again, I have a cast iron stomach and can eat & digest practically anything while riding - not while pedaling all out, but while still pedaling.

    Water - The night before? All you'll do is keep waking yourself up to off-load that water during the night (then again, that could help as a backup alarm clock). Drink (sip) constantly while riding. Electrolytes - (Gatorade/Powerade, etc.) - I usually drink a .5 liter bottle bought at a convenience store every 2 hours though most advice I've read says to drink a bit more often. I used to do long distance on water alone; things have changed. To each his/her own. But drink something - often.

    Sleeping - it is what it is. If you can quiet your mind, you can sleep. Some lost sleep the night before is probably due to pre-event jitters. Normalno, neh? Warm milk (only occasionally with a 1 oz kicker [hot toddy] mixed in), a loooooooooooooong hot shower and mood music work for me most of the time. If I haven't fallen asleep within 15 minutes of getting in bed, I get up for a half hour and do something quiet. Then I go back to bed. No point in lying awake NOT sleeping in bed. Bed is for sleeping (and other things but we're talking about pre-ride sleep, not other things).

    Occasionally I have ridden a century on a single hour's sleep and an adrenaline-fueled start. Things have worked out as far as that goes. If I've prepped the bike properly, have put in proper training miles and pre-visualized the entire ride (especially finishing well), then I tend to sleep well the night before - maybe not a full 8 hours, but sufficient to not be groggy the next morning. I've never not finished a century ride due to being sleepy.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by dual650c; 06-15-14 at 10:25 AM.

  6. #6
    Randomhead
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    12,726
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    the last week doesn't really do anything to help you. My suggestion is easy rides, eat well, get enough sleep. If the spirit moves you to ride hard, Wednesday should be the last day you do that.

    In years that I have been training hard for an event, I didn't worry about what I was going to do even the day before a century (200 km in my case). So if I wanted to do a hard ride the day before, I would. I know I can ride 200 km without exactly being in the best physical state for it. I am fairly confident that you can too, but taking it easy is a good idea. It takes me 3 days to recover from a hard effort. Then again, even in those three days it's only a matter of riding 10 miles and I feel fine.
    Randonneuring -- it's touring for people that aren't smart enough to stop for the night.
    It's a wonderful sport when you can make up for a lack of ability with a lack of sleep

  7. #7
    Senior Member rowebr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Washington DC
    My Bikes
    Mid 90's GT MTB, 1981 Bianchi Limited 650B conversion
    Posts
    125
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    take it easy for 3 or 4 days before the ride to make sure you're fresh.

    I also struggle to sleep well the night before big rides. I try to build up some extra sleep in the couple of days beforehand by going to bed a bit earlier and sleeping in past my usual alarm.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ISPringle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Connecticut
    My Bikes
    Trek MTB, Fit Bike Co. Mac 3, Shogun 100
    Posts
    72
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks everyone. My day before will be rideless, I have to drive 600 miles back home in order to be there the next day for the ride.

    I just completed my first 60 mile ride, did a 50 on Friday, with nothing on Saturday. When I began today my intention was to do 50. I got on the bike and my intentions quickly became to just do 20 because I had no energy at all. Then I got past something a few miles down the road, I think a mix of mental power, protein bar kicking in, and body getting warmed up, and I was fine and decided the 50 miler was back on. Ended up doing 60 because I went further than I intended, there was a frozen yogurt place five miles beyond where I was going to turn back.

    The 50 mile ride was on water alone. Mistake, for me! I was dead by mile 40. This time I ate a serving of fig newton (I know it's dry, but I need that because I forget to drink) around mile 10, another at mile 20, froyo at mile 30, and one more serving of fig newton on the back stretch somewhere around mile 40. Made a world of difference. I need to be taking on more fluid though, I have a camel back I've been using, partially because of habit from MTB and partially because my bike is old and doesn't have a place to attach bottles, and I only went through two of those today, need to fix that because I was and still am a bit dehydrated.

    I'll get it all dialed in though, I'm a bit new at this (this is day 7 for me), but I've got another two or three weeks before the ride and I've come to terms with the fact that I want to finish and I don't care how long it takes me and if I miss the lunch they have at the end, and that was what was really holding me up.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    70
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ISPringle View Post
    I need to be taking on more fluid though, I have a camel back I've been using, partially because of habit from MTB and partially because my bike is old and doesn't have a place to attach bottles, and I only went through two of those today, need to fix that because I was and still am a bit dehydrated.
    There's a cheap & simple way to attach "standard" water bottle holders to your frame - hose clamps. Put a piece of rubber (old tire tube?) between the hose clamp and the frame, then tighten it down. 2 clamps per water bottle older - cost < $2.00. I've seen people use zip ties instead of hose clamps - but I think the hose clamps are more secure.

    Another alternative is a water bottle holder that attaches to the rear of the saddle. There are both singles and doubles.

    I mention these because I can't stand weight on my back while riding a DF - part of why I ride a recumbent now.

    Added: One way to ensure you are drinking enough is to set up a schedule. Say 2 swallows every mile or two, minimum. Distance as opposed to time works better for me as it's something I pay more attention to while riding (I rarely look at my watch).
    Last edited by dual650c; 06-15-14 at 10:43 PM. Reason: Added comment about frequency...

  10. #10
    Speed is Life... UnfilteredDregs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    NYC, duh Bronx.
    My Bikes
    Salsa Ti Warbird- 2014/ HED Ardennes +
    Posts
    1,280
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Rest, hydration, and good eating (Lots of varied greens and multiple colors of fresh vegetables...) the days before...No booze. When you've finished you'll realize it isn't a big deal and you'll be much more aware of your capabilities. As long as you're all caught up and have been well rested during the week prior in general you'll be fine even if you don't sleep well the night before. I typically only get 5-6 hours of sleep before a long ride simply because I like to start at 0530.

    Eat a good breakfast... I like homemade poundcake, 500~ calories worth, an hour before I hit the road.

    Carry good food on the bike, I pack a veritable picnic and knosh for the first half+...Nutella sandwich at the 75 mile mark...on organic potato bread... yum!!! Best damned Nutella sandwich you'll ever have...

    Good foods:

    Dried figs & apricots... Bananas (I carry 3-4), I like Laramar & KIND bars- each bar is typically 180-250 calories. Mix it up, have sweet and savory, I take Endurolyte tablets as well. I pack on 63oz of water on my bike- refill as necessary, drink frequently. I've noticed that as your body kicks into the "Cyclist's High..." that you become kind of detached and unaware that you're thirsty, so, drink.

    The 100 mile mark is a mind & logistics game. I just finished my first century a few weeks ago and now, if time permitted, I'd do one once a week. In general my weekly "long ride," hits the 70 mile mark now versus the 40 I was doing previously.
    Last edited by UnfilteredDregs; 06-16-14 at 11:12 AM.
    http://www.pedalroom.com/members/UnfilteredDregs
    Poetically vacant... -U.D.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •