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  1. #1
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Best Approach for Upcoming Century Ride- Conservative or Aggressive?

    In the last 3 weeks, I've completed training rides of 75, 80 and yesterday 93 miles. All went well. I purposely rode the 75 mile/3500 ft climb ride conservatively and it felt very easy to me. Ave speed of 12.8 mph, which is slow even for me. My Garmin battery ran dead during the 80 mile ride, so I don't have good data on that ride, but I would have rated the effort as medium, overall average speed approx 13.5 mph. Yesterday, I did 93 mi/4000 ft ride at an average speed of 13.8 mph and I would rate the effort as medium-strong. Felt good at the end, finished well, could have probably ridden another 20 miles. Today I felt good, a little leg soreness but rode a mellow 38 mi & now feel fine except for a little saddle soreness (after 9:45 pedaling time in past two days!).

    The Century ride is in 2 weeks; its in Palm Springs, about 3000 ft of climbing but sometimes very windy. The real end goal is the Wildflower Century in late April, 7000 ft of climbing. The Palm Springs ride was always meant to just be a stepping stone to the Wildflower. I had a semi-notion when I started training for the Palm Springs ride that it might be nice to ride it at 14mph, but I didn't want to set any really specific goal until I got far enough into my training that I could set something realistic. But the primary goal of the Palm Springs ride is just to get an organized century ride under my belt.

    I'm happy with how the training has gone, feel very well-prepared and confident about the Palm Springs ride. I'm trying to figure out how to ride it in general. My orginal idea was to ride it conservatively, just finish it to get the check in the box. Now I'm thinking of riding it more aggressively to see how fast I can do it. Its strange to say this after so much work but if I rode Palm Springs aggressively and did not finish as a result, I'd be ok with that- that would be a valuable training lesson itself, giving me an idea of how much I can push things. I'm looking at the Palm Springs Century as just another training ride at this point.

    There are circumstances in which I would not try for speed- for example if there's tons of wind, surviving that might become the goal. But say, I go for a fast (for me) ride and I blow up and do not finish- what would be the consequence training-wise? Do I just get back on the bike the next week and continue on training for the Wildflower? Or could it cause some bigger set-back that would take me longer to bounce back from? I have 9-10 weeks between the two centuries, so a lot of time to recover from a training mistake.

    I'm also totally ok with being patient, keeping it in check now in order to better prepare for the Wildflower.

    Opinions?

    H

  2. #2
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    They call me the Deranged. I'm an aggressive rider. I guarantee you that there is no pace you could set that would have you not finishing this century. Now, whether an early hard pace would have you finishing slower than a more even pace is very much harder to say, and really quite immaterial to your training goal. You don't have the experience in your body to tell. I can "titrate the pain" very precisely. I have ridden, at 60+, centuries where I did every climb near threshold and still finished quite nicely, though utterly destroyed. I advise going for that experience. It's called "learning to suffer."

    Watch your HR. If it drops below what it should be for that RPE, eat more, immediately. Keep eating until it goes back up. If your HR is higher than it should be, drink more, immediately, and continue until it goes back down.

    Eat on the bike as much as possible. Practice riding in the drops. Keep your elbows and knees in.

    Assume you can do it and go for it. Recover between climbs. That's faster than taking it easy on the climbs. Shelter behind wheels, especially if you feel tired. Look for every opportunity to recover. If you can outclimb the group you're with, drop them and look for another group up the road. If they drop you, find a slightly slower group.

    Enjoy the physicality of it. It's quite the trip and addictive. Don't have a goal time or speed until you get close to the finish and know what you're capable of. Then surprise yourself - if you can.

    Even going really hard, you should be able to recover muscularly in 3 days, hormones in a week. Meaning that you can start riding again with maybe one day's rest, just easy to start with until you see where your body's at.

  3. #3
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    Assume you can do it and go for it. Recover between climbs. That's faster than taking it easy on the climbs. Shelter behind wheels, especially if you feel tired. Look for every opportunity to recover. If you can outclimb the group you're with, drop them and look for another group up the road. If they drop you, find a slightly slower group.

    Enjoy the physicality of it. It's quite the trip and addictive. Don't have a goal time or speed until you get close to the finish and know what you're capable of. Then surprise yourself - if you can.
    Thanks as usual for the advice. I can envision quite a few scenarios in which I don't finish, but I'm worried about any of them because I'm exactly where I wanted to be from the training. No matter what happens in the ride, the training is a success already- I can't help it if I get blown over my a 50 mph wind, lol, or if someone (myself included) causes a crash & I break my collarbone. All I can control is what happens on my own bike.

    Ha, about the advice about passing people on hills. Guarantee that's *not* going to happen, almost everyone passes me on hills. But then I pass most of them back on the downhills. Again, this is not something that concerns me too much right now- I've not yet started really training for climbing, that comes in Part II of this program. But I am interested in understanding why. Is this purely a training thing? Or is much of it the bike? Almost everyone I ride with is on a fairly high end bike. I'm pretty sure I have 4 or 5 pounds of bike weight over some of these people, the fact that I pass them back going downhill suggests to me that weight might be a factor (also many people stop pedaling on the downhill, which I totally don't understand). Plus I run out of low gears on every hill, I cannot keep my cadence up and I do think pedaling quickly and smoothly keeps me efficient, I lose all that going up hill. I guess I'll know in a few weeks when I get the new bike, which will drop about 5 pounds of weight and given me more gears. But I have wondered if this is more or a training thing or a bike thing.

    Riding with the group has shown me one attribute about myself- I have a very strong desire for a bit of open road in front of me. I don't have to be out in front of the entire group, I'm ok with being in front of whatever group of people I wind up with, but if I dont have twenty or thirty feet of open road in front of me, I do what I can to get to some open road. Some of that is the nature of my being so much slower than most up the hills and then faster down the hills- I get trapped behind people going downhill sometimes and it kills me to break on the downhill when road conditions dictate otherwise. Again, I am wondering if the new bike fixes some of this- if I'm riding a more even pace, maybe I don't get trapped as much. Some of the desire for open road is personality though, I just really prefer it. Trust me, it's not fear of being in a group, it's an inherent to who I am and I've always been like that.

    I do not practice many of the recommended energy-saving strategies- I don't ride in the drops essentially ever because my bike handling becomes squirrelly, I'm pretty sure the problem is the shape of my current handlebars (the drop is too low, it's actually hard for me to reach them and when I try it puts me in a weird position on the bike), but that is getting fixed on the new bike. I will draft someone occasionally, particularly if I know it's someone who will not be dramatically slower than me on a downhill, maybe I would be more ok with drafting if I ride with more predictable people- I can see the utility of it. But mostly now I just ride upright right now, dead into the wind.

    So any insight into the slow up/fast down hill phenomenom would be welcome.

    H

  4. #4
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Start easy, finish hard. See how the middle goes. If you wind up
    getting a stiff head wind... that ups the stakes considerably.
    We are as gods, we might as well get good at it.
    Stewart Brand

  5. #5
    Senior Member lsberrios1's Avatar
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    I have not read everything but got what I thought was important from your post. I tend to start easy and finish on a strong note. However, you will see me "stretch my legs" every 5 or so miles which to me it means that I go 120-150% of my max power for a mile or so just to keep myself warm. It can get very monotonous keeping the same pace for 100 miles. Then I give it 100% on my last 15 miles. Usually averge about 16mph with the fastest being 18+/- solo effort. For that solo effort I was completely peaked and I hammered from the get go. Never let off the gas but then again THAT DAY I was completely peaked.

    I say easy first with a few "sprints" or "stretches" and heard going out. That being said don't take it too slow as the time in the bike plays a psychological game against you. The century is not 100% physical, a lot of it is mental and boredom on the bike can be a brutal as aches on your joints and muscles. \

    Perceived effort:

    Warm up first ten miles: Intensity 3-4/10 (a bad warm up can lead to an early injury)
    10th mile to 90th mile - Endurance/tempo: Intensity 5-6/10 with occasional burst at 9/10 for a mile or so.
    90th mile onwards - BALLS OUT! 9-10/10 intensity.
    Cat 6 going on PRO....

  6. #6
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    There is a thread on the Palm Springs Century in the SoCal regional forum. That will give you a better idea of the riding conditions. The beginning of the route has been very windy the past few years.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Palm Springs is a very easy century with all the "climbing" in the first 40 miles. It's the sort of ride where even if you toast yourself in the first 1/2 (unlikely) you'll still be able to finish. You sound like you want to attack the ride. I'd go for it with one caveat; if you encounter high winds as we did one year I'd not push too hard during that 10 mile slog into the wind as there is little to gain in those conditions. Also, parts of the course may be crowded so exercise some care.

    I wouldn't pay too much attention to speed and would completely ignore average speed during the ride - pretty hard to interpret in terms of, let's say, a desire to average 14 mph. You know how you felt during the 90 mile ride so use that to maybe up things a notch and see how you feel in the last 20-30 miles or so; that's the point at which you might look at the average to see if you can reel in that goal of yours.
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  8. #8
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
    Thanks as usual for the advice. I can envision quite a few scenarios in which I don't finish, but I'm worried about any of them because I'm exactly where I wanted to be from the training. No matter what happens in the ride, the training is a success already- I can't help it if I get blown over my a 50 mph wind, lol, or if someone (myself included) causes a crash & I break my collarbone. All I can control is what happens on my own bike.

    Ha, about the advice about passing people on hills. Guarantee that's *not* going to happen, almost everyone passes me on hills. But then I pass most of them back on the downhills. Again, this is not something that concerns me too much right now- I've not yet started really training for climbing, that comes in Part II of this program. But I am interested in understanding why. Is this purely a training thing? Or is much of it the bike? Almost everyone I ride with is on a fairly high end bike. I'm pretty sure I have 4 or 5 pounds of bike weight over some of these people, the fact that I pass them back going downhill suggests to me that weight might be a factor (also many people stop pedaling on the downhill, which I totally don't understand). Plus I run out of low gears on every hill, I cannot keep my cadence up and I do think pedaling quickly and smoothly keeps me efficient, I lose all that going up hill. I guess I'll know in a few weeks when I get the new bike, which will drop about 5 pounds of weight and given me more gears. But I have wondered if this is more or a training thing or a bike thing.

    Riding with the group has shown me one attribute about myself- I have a very strong desire for a bit of open road in front of me. I don't have to be out in front of the entire group, I'm ok with being in front of whatever group of people I wind up with, but if I dont have twenty or thirty feet of open road in front of me, I do what I can to get to some open road. Some of that is the nature of my being so much slower than most up the hills and then faster down the hills- I get trapped behind people going downhill sometimes and it kills me to break on the downhill when road conditions dictate otherwise. Again, I am wondering if the new bike fixes some of this- if I'm riding a more even pace, maybe I don't get trapped as much. Some of the desire for open road is personality though, I just really prefer it. Trust me, it's not fear of being in a group, it's an inherent to who I am and I've always been like that.

    I do not practice many of the recommended energy-saving strategies- I don't ride in the drops essentially ever because my bike handling becomes squirrelly, I'm pretty sure the problem is the shape of my current handlebars (the drop is too low, it's actually hard for me to reach them and when I try it puts me in a weird position on the bike), but that is getting fixed on the new bike. I will draft someone occasionally, particularly if I know it's someone who will not be dramatically slower than me on a downhill, maybe I would be more ok with drafting if I ride with more predictable people- I can see the utility of it. But mostly now I just ride upright right now, dead into the wind.

    So any insight into the slow up/fast down hill phenomenom would be welcome.

    H
    Looking at this one as a training ride . . . When one does intervals, one wants to "hit the numbers": achieve power/HR goals. Intervals at lower levels are not as effective at building power at LT, which is what you want for hills. So I tend to warm up, then go hard for the first 3rd, say, then see what happens. Who knows, maybe I can go hard the whole way? That way for sure I get my quality intervals in. The other thing that does is ensure an "endurance finish," digging into reserves, which is what really makes one strong at long distances. The more one digs, the more one has next time.

    But to answer your question: Climbing well depends on body type, learned skill, and talent.

    A very large part of it is weight - body weight, not bike weight so much. Good climbers have BMIs around 22. It's really hard to climb with a BMI over 25.

    I start practicing my climbing pedaling technique on my rollers in January for events in July: I do one-legged pedaling intervals once a week for up to 45 minutes at a time, really digging deep. On the road, I work very hard at pedaling circles. I only pull up during accelerations or deep digs, but I push forward hard at the top and pull back at the bottom, assuming all my muscles are operational. I keep my upper body absolutely still and pedal smoothly with my legs. This doesn't improve my maximum possible effort, which depends on VO2max, but it makes those efforts repeatable on a long ride. Another way to practice this skill is to do a set of three 10 minute intervals (3X10X5) in the subthreshold zone at a 50-55 cadence once a week. Another drill that helps me is to do high cadence intervals on the road: in gently rolling terrain, do 2X30X5 intervals at a steady 100 cadence, holding the cadence and heart rate steady by shifting a lot, concentrating on good form.

    The other thing that helps climbing is hard intervals. Around here, we don't have hills of more than about 15 minutes. Most good hills are more like 10 minutes. I make it my practice to take those hills all out, holding threshold for most of it, then going anaerobic the last few hundred yards at the top. So most of the way, I'm breathing as deeply as possible as fast as possible, then forcing myself over into panting the last little bit. If there's a flat at the top, I'll drop back to threshold and try to recover there for a while before ramping it back down.

    Breathing: be sure to breathe by first expanding the stomach fully, then the chest. Breathe out by contracting both together. Concentrate really hard on that. When it's very hard to do that fast enough to keep up with your oxygen needs, you're right around LT. Keep your back straight and shoulders relaxed. I climb best with hands on the bar tops which seems to open my chest, and with a pretty good bend in my elbows, getting my weight over the pedals.

    Another thing I'll do is all-out standing hill sprints which last 45 seconds, 6X45"X5, starting a few weeks before an event. That really stimulates the legs.

    The talent part is just about your parents. Nothing you can do about that. But even with little to no talent, you can get pretty good by working hard at it. Getting better at climbing is a long term thing. It takes years.

    People who descend fast naturally are heavier for their frontal area than others. This is usually either weight or just short legs. Good position is a big help: elbows in, back flat, pedals level, butt way back in the saddle, knees squeezing the top tube like to put dents in it. I have a reputation as a killer descender. Every now and again I'll meet someone who can descend with me, but they're rare. Short legs, used to ski race downhill so I have good position and am used to speed. I'm also not a hollow-boned waif.

    I've never been much of a climber - no talent. I'm a darned good sprinter, though. I've trained hard to be able to hold high outputs for a long time, so when I drift back on a climb, I'll make it up by keeping the throttle down and usually passing the group on the next descent. But one must be very careful about that, especially on an event ride. One never knows what the idiot in front of you is going to do. On our tandem this Sunday we missed a guy by about 4" who turned left from the right shoulder, without signalling or looking, right in front of us. We were probably doing 30 or so, just coming down a small drop. We stopped and were OK, but the other guy had a serious nervosa problem. Probably messed his shorts.

  9. #9
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    Looking at this one as a training ride . . . When one does intervals, one wants to "hit the numbers": achieve power/HR goals. Intervals at lower levels are not as effective at building power at LT, which is what you want for hills. So I tend to warm up, then go hard for the first 3rd, say, then see what happens. Who knows, maybe I can go hard the whole way? That way for sure I get my quality intervals in. The other thing that does is ensure an "endurance finish," digging into reserves, which is what really makes one strong at long distances. The more one digs, the more one has next time.

    But to answer your question: Climbing well depends on body type, learned skill, and talent.

    A very large part of it is weight - body weight, not bike weight so much. Good climbers have BMIs around 22. It's really hard to climb with a BMI over 25.
    Yes, I've already decided that losing 13 pounds would be ideal. Literally this morning I tried to recruit my staff to join me in a wellness endeavor, so far no takers- but I told them I'm going for 13 pounds of weight loss over the next 3 motnhs. Believe me, that will be very hard for me, I lost 35 pounds a few years back and since then hover very easily within a few pounds of my current weight. Its also hard to do with all the riding, managing hunger, nutrition and calories- but doable if I pay really close attention. I actually have a pretty strong background in nutrition, know exactly how many calories I need, what macronutrients to eat, etc. Its just a matter of actually doing it, which is much easier said than done. But if I could do it, between my own weight and the new bike's weight, I'd be 20 pounds lighter, which would really help, I think.

    H

  10. #10
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    Setting all the training advice aside and speaking only to the upcoming century:

    You have no century history, so, setting a "goal time" would be premature.

    Your second century is going to be significantly hillier and very likely slower than the first, but, may require additional fitness just to finish that.

    I frequently agree with Carbonboy. But, NOT on the subject of recovery after an all out effort on an event like this. 3 days is a reasonably quick recovery for training level efforts. If I attack a course like this for all I'm worth I may find myself digging deep enough that it can easily take up to 3 WEEKS for complete recovery to where I was before the event.

    At any given fitness level, riding in the correct group can easily effect ones speed and time by 10% or more. As your fitness improves, weight decreases and goal times shorten riding in groups is going to become unavoidable.

    I'd recommend you use this century as the training tool you have suggested and initially planned.

    Use it to work on training the aspects you can't work on solo: Picking a group that is at the correct average speed for you, learning how hard you have to go up hill to hold that group and not wasting energy on descents, learning to comfortably ride in the group with 20 inches of gap instead of 20 feet of open road, picking and moving to the sheltered side of the group in crosswinds, etc.

    The goal: Safely complete an organized group century. Do so in a manner that allows you to fully recover in a week. At the completion of your recovery peform a new fitness test to help you more accurately determine your training zones for the two blocks of training that remain between then and your "A" event.
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

  11. #11
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
    Yes, I've already decided that losing 13 pounds would be ideal. Literally this morning I tried to recruit my staff to join me in a wellness endeavor, so far no takers- but I told them I'm going for 13 pounds of weight loss over the next 3 motnhs. Believe me, that will be very hard for me, I lost 35 pounds a few years back and since then hover very easily within a few pounds of my current weight. Its also hard to do with all the riding, managing hunger, nutrition and calories- but doable if I pay really close attention. I actually have a pretty strong background in nutrition, know exactly how many calories I need, what macronutrients to eat, etc. Its just a matter of actually doing it, which is much easier said than done. But if I could do it, between my own weight and the new bike's weight, I'd be 20 pounds lighter, which would really help, I think.

    H
    Heck, you know it would help. You bought ~4 lbs of weight loss. Now for the next $18k worth. I know it's very hard. My wife and I have been hovering for the last month or so. Winter is always hard here. Once we can get outside during the week, I find it helps most to do low-cal rides, 20-50 miles, moderate pace. So if I normally use 250 cal/hr. on a long ride, on these I'll drink maybe 70 cal/hr. Then a light high-protein recovery drink, maybe 200 cal., then normally small dinner portions. Immediately before bed, 15g whey or casein protein, maybe an ounce of cheese if we're really hungry.

    We can come up short on carbs for the weekend rides doing this, so we carb up 1-2 days in advance. This weekend, we tried having a pre-ride bowl of ice cream immediately before bed. That did seem to help quite a bit. We rode strong, though we didn't lose weight. When I did RAMROD, I always had a banana split immediately before bed.

    It is funny, both slightly humerous and odd, how much people resist wellness here. Some cultural oddity: people seem to feel rewarded for letting themselves go. There must be a musty dissertation on this somewhere.

  12. #12
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
    <snip>

    I frequently agree with Carbonboy. But, NOT on the subject of recovery after an all out effort on an event like this. 3 days is a reasonably quick recovery for training level efforts. If I attack a course like this for all I'm worth I may find myself digging deep enough that it can easily take up to 3 WEEKS for complete recovery to where I was before the event.<snip>
    Maybe it's just me, or maybe it's my recovery and nutrition. Looking back at my records, way back when I could really ride, in 2004 I set a personal best at STP, under 12 hours ET for 205 miles. Then ten days later, I set a personal best for RAMROD, 154 miles, 10,000', in 8 hrs. saddle time, 9:30 ET. Toward the end, I covered 25 miles in dead on one hour, upwind, but rolling a paceline with 3 racer boys. 2 days later, I went on a hard backpack with my wife and felt fine. OTOH, I was only 59 then.

  13. #13
    Senior Member lsberrios1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    Maybe it's just me, or maybe it's my recovery and nutrition. Looking back at my records, way back when I could really ride, in 2004 I set a personal best at STP, under 12 hours ET for 205 miles. Then ten days later, I set a personal best for RAMROD, 154 miles, 10,000', in 8 hrs. saddle time, 9:30 ET. Toward the end, I covered 25 miles in dead on one hour, upwind, but rolling a paceline with 3 racer boys. 2 days later, I went on a hard backpack with my wife and felt fine. OTOH, I was only 59 then.
    Beastly! I have newfound respect for you
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    Maybe it's just me, or maybe it's my recovery and nutrition. Looking back at my records, way back when I could really ride, in 2004 I set a personal best at STP, under 12 hours ET for 205 miles. Then ten days later, I set a personal best for RAMROD, 154 miles, 10,000', in 8 hrs. saddle time, 9:30 ET. Toward the end, I covered 25 miles in dead on one hour, upwind, but rolling a paceline with 3 racer boys. 2 days later, I went on a hard backpack with my wife and felt fine. OTOH, I was only 59 then.
    I would contend that most PB/PRs are set while riding within one's self. Not, while riding at 100% of what one is capable of at any given moment and riding one's self into a dark, dark hole. Quite a few high end coaches would agree. Both the Australian and GB cycling plans require their athletes to cool down and go home anytime they've set a PB/PR, for fear that if they're allowed to continue training they'll blow up and set themselves back months if not more.

    When you achieved those results, you were probably well trained for them and very experienced. You would have been practicing, perhaps without even thinking about it, many advanced (for lack of a better term) riding techniques, such as: Pacing for the intended distance, seeking shelter where ever possible, energy conservation by expending more during slower periods and less on descents, etc. This is the very stuff Heathpack needs to be learning. Without it, one can easily go too hard early and dig a hole that requires weeks if not months to recover from.

    I'm also highly suspect of the hydration and nurishment advice with regard to HR realative to RPE. Unless one is incredibly attuned to their body and RPE levels realative to power and speed, at the point one is experiencing a HR change it's WAY TOO LATE to be fueling or drinking. Hydration and nutrition should be consumed well in advance in an effort to prevent exactly those symptoms from ever being experienced. If a realative beginner is seeing their HR go up or down realative to RPE, the horse has already bolted from the barn. And, a simple gear change would in all likelihood alter the muscular/cardio balance sufficiently to obfuscate such a difference anyhow.
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

  15. #15
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I was in pretty good shape I trained and rode using exactly the advice I've been giving. Experience starts when you begin.

    To ride long distance (LD) is to practice the art of problem solving. There are no perfect LD rides. There are times of joy and times of despair. Success involves figuring out how to get through the times of despair. If you aren't having times of despair, you aren't even touching the edges of your ability. On that RAMROD, I was forced off the bike 3 times by pain and being way over my limits. When one starts up the 12 mile Cayuse Pass climb at 1:00, in the full sun, with 100 miles and over 6000' of hard riding already in one's legs, it will try one's soul. I assessed the damage, made corrections, recovered, and got even stronger. I was so bad on that STP that I had to lie on the grass for 20 minutes at ~150 miles. I was staggering from exhaustion. I recovered and went on, finishing in the first 100 riders.

    BTW, I eat when I'm hungry, drink when I'm thirsty. The biggest thing to avoid is bonking from "sloshy stomach," which is a direct result of eating too much. I'd rather eat too little than too much. Less is more.

    But perhaps much more germane is what did I do between and after those rides?
    Saturday: STP
    Sunday: ate and napped, retrieved bike from the STP corral in Seattle.
    Monday: day hiked 5:38 with wife, zone 1, 3680' elevation gain.
    Tuesday: Rode 52', mostly zone 1, but with three 45" all-out standing hill sprints.
    Wednesday: Rest
    Thursday: 1:50 zone 2 ride, with one 20' near-threshold hillclimb. PR for that climb that still stands.
    Friday: One hour of zone 1 on the rollers. PR.
    Saturday: 1:24 zone 2. Attempted two 5' zone 5 hill intervals, but HR was slightly depressed, legs felt tired, only got 2 beats over threshold.
    Sunday: 2 hour tandem ride with wife. Zones 1-3. Average HR top of zone 2.
    Monday: 2:16 dayhike, zone 1, 1200' elevation gain.
    Tuesday: 30' zone 1 on the rollers.
    Wednesday: Off.
    Thursday: RAMROD
    Friday and Saturday: Off
    Sunday and Monday: Backpack, zone 1, 3900' elevation gain.
    Tuesday and Wednesday: Off
    Thursday: Set a PR that still stands on my evening 18.3 mile circuit, 55'. Ready to resume. Lifted weights after.

    As can be seen, I use an active recovery regimen that involves a lot of low HR cross training, some spinning, combined with some interval work at all levels. I don't remember my nutrition, except that I used four 15g servings of whey protein, one before each meal and one at bedtime.

    I weighed 2 lbs. more then than I do now and gained .5 lbs. over the two events and associated recovery. I wasn't taking any body measurements back then, so nothing to compare there. I have exercise-induced asthma, so I took my peak flow every morning. Back then it was 670. My peak flow now is 780, so some improvement there. As I said, I don't climb well.

  16. #16
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Thanks everybody for the replies. What a difference a day makes. My friend who was supposed to ride this with me but then decided she wasn't ready has now decided she will ride it after all. Then a couple from the group rides I've recently started riding with messaged me to see if I wanted to ride with them. They are nice, sane riders, so I said yes. Suddenly what was going to be a solo ride is a group of four. The whole dynamic has changed.

    As far as my staff goes, I'll bet I wind up with a few takers, I just caught everyone unawares this am. We have a meeting every morning which I lead. I make a point of taking a few minutes to talk about whatever I'm doing (trying to make it sound amusing or interesting) and it almost always rubs off on them even when they don't explicitly join in. Heck, my intern ran 15 miles last week and he has the least free time of anyone I know, all because I've been chatting up the cycling.

    Thanks again!

    H

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    Maybe it's just me, or maybe it's my recovery and nutrition. Looking back at my records, way back when I could really ride, in 2004 I set a personal best at STP, under 12 hours ET for 205 miles. Then ten days later, I set a personal best for RAMROD, 154 miles, 10,000', in 8 hrs. saddle time, 9:30 ET. Toward the end, I covered 25 miles in dead on one hour, upwind, but rolling a paceline with 3 racer boys. 2 days later, I went on a hard backpack with my wife and felt fine. OTOH, I was only 59 then.
    At least I have something to look forward to. That's inspirational.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Wesley36's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    Watch your HR. If it drops below what it should be for that RPE, eat more, immediately. Keep eating until it goes back up.
    Hmmm, I find this interesting. I have not heard this before - not doubting you, but what is this based on? For the last month or so, about 40 minutes into a ride my HR drops about 5 - 10 beats for a given intensity, and at about 90 min the same thing happens again. My response has generally been to pick up my power to get my HR back up, assuming that I am just more warmed up. The thing is, at x intensity my HR is lower but RPE is not much different. I have been at a bit of a loss to explain exactly what is going on, I wonder if this might be part of it - most of my rides are early in the morning.

  19. #19
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley36 View Post
    Hmmm, I find this interesting. I have not heard this before - not doubting you, but what is this based on? For the last month or so, about 40 minutes into a ride my HR drops about 5 - 10 beats for a given intensity, and at about 90 min the same thing happens again. My response has generally been to pick up my power to get my HR back up, assuming that I am just more warmed up. The thing is, at x intensity my HR is lower but RPE is not much different. I have been at a bit of a loss to explain exactly what is going on, I wonder if this might be part of it - most of my rides are early in the morning.
    By "intensity" do you mean power? If so, does that mean that you are training by HR rather than power? Just trying to understand exactly what you are experiencing.

    My recommendation is based on nothing more than a lot of personal experience and experimentation. I don't have power, but I do have a good feel for how I'm doing in that respect. When my HR drops on a long ride like I'm saying, my power also drops at the same RPE. If I am well-recovered, this never happens before 3 or so hours. This is an early symptom of bonk. We have 3 fuel sources: fat, glycogen, and food. Fat never gets depleted, but the other two go back and forth. If glycogen starts to drop, we have to get on the food wagon. If food starts to drop, glycogen use goes up and I think we feel that, too, as a drop in energy.

    My experience with underfed rides, whether in morning or evening after eating nothing since lunch is that I'll get starving hungry at about 45 minutes and maybe experience a little power drop. I think that's circulating blood sugar dropping. I ride through that and feel better soon. I think that's the body responding by bringing fat and glycogen online to kick the blood sugar back up. Then at about 1.5 - 2 hrs. I get hungry again and usually a little dizzy. This is another blood sugar drop out, maybe liver glycogen going (dizzy). This one I can't ride through - I have to start eating a little. Not much if I'm riding moderate, but a little. I know that some people can go out and ride for 6 hours on water only. I've never reached that training state or maybe that's a talent I don't have.

    I may have the physiology a bit wrong about this, which doesn't really matter to me all that much. I know what's going to happen and how to fix it.

  20. #20
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
    Thanks everybody for the replies. What a difference a day makes. My friend who was supposed to ride this with me but then decided she wasn't ready has now decided she will ride it after all. Then a couple from the group rides I've recently started riding with messaged me to see if I wanted to ride with them. They are nice, sane riders, so I said yes. Suddenly what was going to be a solo ride is a group of four. The whole dynamic has changed.

    As far as my staff goes, I'll bet I wind up with a few takers, I just caught everyone unawares this am. We have a meeting every morning which I lead. I make a point of taking a few minutes to talk about whatever I'm doing (trying to make it sound amusing or interesting) and it almost always rubs off on them even when they don't explicitly join in. Heck, my intern ran 15 miles last week and he has the least free time of anyone I know, all because I've been chatting up the cycling.

    Thanks again!

    H
    The dynamic of doing a ride like this with friends is definitely different. I've always had my fastest times riding alone. So it depends on what experience the various group members want, and what the difference in riding level is among the group of friends. That can be evened out a lot by who pulls and who sits in, but not completely. I have left friends at rest stops, which is not that great a thing socially but it can happen, depending on the experience one is after, if you see what I mean. It helps to talk ahead of time and try to sort out these issues. Getting through rest stops as a group is difficult without organization. One group that rides a lot together uses a loud whistle. If you hear that whistle, you better be standing beside your bike real soon. Anyway, have a little face time and talk. Reduce the potential frustration.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Wesley36's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    By "intensity" do you mean power? If so, does that mean that you are training by HR rather than power? Just trying to understand exactly what you are experiencing.

    My recommendation is based on nothing more than a lot of personal experience and experimentation. I don't have power, but I do have a good feel for how I'm doing in that respect. When my HR drops on a long ride like I'm saying, my power also drops at the same RPE. If I am well-recovered, this never happens before 3 or so hours. This is an early symptom of bonk. We have 3 fuel sources: fat, glycogen, and food. Fat never gets depleted, but the other two go back and forth. If glycogen starts to drop, we have to get on the food wagon. If food starts to drop, glycogen use goes up and I think we feel that, too, as a drop in energy.

    My experience with underfed rides, whether in morning or evening after eating nothing since lunch is that I'll get starving hungry at about 45 minutes and maybe experience a little power drop. I think that's circulating blood sugar dropping. I ride through that and feel better soon. I think that's the body responding by bringing fat and glycogen online to kick the blood sugar back up. Then at about 1.5 - 2 hrs. I get hungry again and usually a little dizzy. This is another blood sugar drop out, maybe liver glycogen going (dizzy). This one I can't ride through - I have to start eating a little.
    Yes, by intensity I mean power. Because I am in the base period of my training cycle I am keeping a close eye of HR as well - after all, I am trying primarily to stimulate adaptation of the aerobic system at this time of year.

    I have not noticed this happening before this winter. Interestingly, my HR drops off at roughly the times that you designate, although I only notice dizziness if the significant chunks of the ride are subthreshold power or higher - a 2 hr Z2 ride will see the HR drops, but no dizziness.

    So far I have generally assumed that this meant I could feel free to up my power and bring my HR back up. Because all of these rides have been on the rollers or trainer, no session goes beyond 2.5 hours, so I have yet to have this backfire, but pushing harder if my blood sugar in indeed dropping could get... interesting when I can get out for longer rides. I have been at a loss to understand what is going on, this seems like a plausible explanation.
    Last edited by Wesley36; 01-29-14 at 08:48 AM.

  22. #22
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley36 View Post
    Yes, by intensity I mean power. Because I am in the base period of my training cycle I am keeping a close eye of HR as well - after all, I am trying primarily to stimulate adaptation of the aerobic system at this time of year.

    I have not noticed this happening before this winter. Interestingly, my HR drops off at roughly the times that you designate, although I only notice dizziness if the significant chunks of the ride are subthreshold power or higher - a 2 hr Z2 ride will see the HR drops, but no dizziness.

    So far I have generally assumed that this meant I could feel free to up my power and bring my HR back up. Because all of these rides have been on the rollers or trainer, no session goes beyond 2.5 hours, so I have yet to have this backfire, but pushing harder if my blood sugar in indeed dropping could get... interesting when I can get out for longer rides. I have been at a loss to understand what is going on, this seems like a plausible explanation.
    There are a lot of power guys on here: I am not one of them. However, I believe for your endurance miles you're supposed to keep your power within limits defined as percentages of your tested FTP. So I would ignore HR except as an indicator of fueling, hydration, and training status. I would go nuts bored trying to hold the same power for such a long time, besides it makes my legs hurt. You might try riding hills on your trainer: drop to climbing cadence and increase power to near your upper zonal limit, hold that for say 15 minutes, then gear way down, increase cadence and drop power to near the lower zonal limit to simulate pedaling on a descent, then hold flat power for a while in the middle of the zone, etc. I think that might give you a more effective workout; I find it helpful anyway, though I use HR. That said, it's good to notice if HR climbs while doing long rides at a specific power: that's an indicator of fitness. No HR drift while holding fueling and hydration constant is the ideal.

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