On Saturday at 7am, I met with a group (for the first time) out of my LBS, about 14 riders. The ride would be approx 37 miles. I hung in for 26 and had to peel off and "limp" back to the shop finishing with 30miles total. The avg speed was around 21. I'm hoping to hang in with them this coming Saturday and am looking for any advice on where I might have screwed up and what I can do to endure....
I hydrated well the night before and ate a banana and PB sandwich for breakfast. I took along a pack of shot bloks and a banana. I was at the LBS at 630am and warmed up for about 1.5 miles.
The ride went well and it was great to cruise at 21-23mph with the group. A few times, the group increased pace and sometimes broke out and sprinted. I simply tried to hang with the crew and managed to do so. But those sprint sessions, although not too long, sucked power out of me. at about 18miles, I ate two shot bloks and how anyone can chew and swallow while keeping pace is beyond me. Around 22miles, I began to fall to the back and a couple of the guys were cool enough to slow for me. They were encouraging but I wasn't there for their sympathy and didn't want to ruin their ride. I told them I was going to hang as long as possible but if I had to cut out, I'd see them next week. Sooooo, at around 25.8miles, I was cooked. I stopped, ate another banana that I brought with me, drained a water bottle and rode about 5miles at 18mph back to the LBS.
Is it that I just need to ride more? Did I not eat enough before, during etc? I have ridden two metric centuries in the past, just not at the pace these guys were keeping....
I called the LBS and told one of the guys I hope I didn't cramp their style and would like to continue riding with them. He said to keep coming, that I'll improve... He also said the ride was pretty aggressive at times and that wasn't always the case when they get together.
So where did I fail and/or what can I do to keep up?