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Problems with preparation for multiday ride

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Problems with preparation for multiday ride

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Old 07-07-13, 06:17 PM
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goldfinch
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Problems with preparation for multiday ride

I signed up for a four day ride in Minnesota starting August 17. You need to be able to ride 60 to 75 miles a day. It is fully supported and I am not camping out, but staying in hotels.

I am concerned that I am not fit enough to get ready on time. I have been riding a couple of years. Before that I was very sedentary. FWIW, I am 58. I started out obese and got to normal weight. Last year I rode 3800 miles. This year I have about 2600 so far. I am slow.

I have done a number of 60 mile rides with no problem and one 75 mile ride. I am slow so they take me quite a while but I do just fine. My problem is doing back to back rides if the rides exceed about 25 miles. They exhaust me. Yesterday I did 32 mile and today I did 45. I was so tired when I came home that I slept for three hours. About a week ago I did a forty plus mile ride, the next day 10, and the next day another 40 plus mile ride. No problem. I just can do them back to back.

I am wondering if I should bail out on the organized ride. I just can't seem to get over the hump of doing long days back to back. If I want a refund I have to cancel in the next week.

Any thoughts?
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Old 07-07-13, 06:54 PM
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What is your rehydration like while you are riding?
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Old 07-07-13, 06:57 PM
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From what your describing it sounds like it would be too much for you for now, maybe once you can do multiple days of higher mileage then you should try it. It sounds like you've done pretty well for yourself so far.
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Old 07-07-13, 07:09 PM
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Fully supported ride, so you ride a day, take a day off, ride a day, the general atmosphere will be enjoyable, and lots of good times will be had.
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Old 07-07-13, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
What is your rehydration like while you are riding?
Today started out cold and I didn't drink much for the first 15 miles, then it got hot and I drank and ate both steadily for the rest of the ride. The last 8 miles were gravel and that was what killed me.

Originally Posted by ursle View Post
Fully supported ride, so you ride a day, take a day off, ride a day, the general atmosphere will be enjoyable, and lots of good times will be had.
You can't take a day off. You are expected to ride all four days.
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Old 07-07-13, 08:15 PM
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Well, if you ask me I bet you'll be fine.

I've been watching the TdF. If a rider blasts off one day, he's likely to flame out the next unless he's a GC contender. Richie Porte is a good example of that.

So I'm guessing that instead of pacing yourself for a day at a time, you'll have to think more globally and think of your pace being stretched out over the four days. Or so it seems to me. Ride the first couple of days really slow.

Good luck.
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Old 07-07-13, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ursle View Post
Fully supported ride, so you ride a day, take a day off, ride a day, the general atmosphere will be enjoyable, and lots of good times will be had.
Bad Advice! "Fully supported" does not mean they carry you when you're tired. We don't know many specifics in this case. What is "slow?" Normal advice is to go 2-3 mph slower on the tour than you would on your training rides. Would that put you behind the suggested advance lines, i.e. behind the SAG vehicles?

I suspect nutrition or hydration. Try eating an energy bar and downing a bottle of water immediately after your rides and see how that helps with recovery. Longer rides can deplete your body's stores and if you don't get nutrition in the first 20 minutes after a ride, your body will start cannibalizing muscle tissue. Weight loss and training aren't necessarily compatible activities. Obviously if you don't think you'll be able to make it you should bail while you still can.
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Old 07-07-13, 08:27 PM
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Do it!
Take your time, find someone to talk to as you ride and enjoy yourself!
You'll get fitter as the ride goes on!
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Old 07-07-13, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
Today started out cold and I didn't drink much for the first 15 miles, then it got hot and I drank and ate both steadily for the rest of the ride. The last 8 miles were gravel and that was what killed me.
That drinking thing will grab you by the throat if you don't get it right from the get-go. That is, start drinking at the start of the ride, not 15 miles in.

What is your diet at the moment? You aren't doing the low-carb thing, are you (I can't remember from the C&A forum)? In addition, what eating are you doing after you have finished riding?
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Old 07-07-13, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
That drinking thing will grab you by the throat if you don't get it right from the get-go. That is, start drinking at the start of the ride, not 15 miles in.

What is your diet at the moment? You aren't doing the low-carb thing, are you (I can't remember from the C&A forum)? In addition, what eating are you doing after you have finished riding?
I am not low carb. In fact, I think I am too high of a carb diet right now. I also am not working on weight loss now. I live with my spouse half the year and he is a vegetarian so I tend to eat a lot of carbs.

I ate more than usual on today's ride because at the half way point I stopped at a little rural store where they were selling wildrice brats. Spouse not around to disapprove so I ate one. Bun and all. Earlier I had a piece of bread with almond butter. Later on I had an apple. And some granola. If anything, I overate.

When I was done with the ride I had chocolate milk and a bit later some fresh bread my spouse baked. I then slept for two hours and now I think I will live.

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Old 07-07-13, 09:14 PM
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While I understand your trepidation, it sounds like you have a good base of mileage under your belt. Question. What would happen if you just were too wiped out to finish the ride? Do you have a bailout option?
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Old 07-07-13, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
While I understand your trepidation, it sounds like you have a good base of mileage under your belt. Question. What would happen if you just were too wiped out to finish the ride? Do you have a bailout option?
My spouse will be on his own trip. I would have to call friends in Minneapolis to rescue me. Which would be doable but not desirable.
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Old 07-07-13, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
My spouse will be on his own trip. I would have to call friends in Minneapolis to rescue me. Which would be doable but not desirable.
I would say do it.
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Old 07-07-13, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
I am not low carb. In fact, I think I am too high of a carb diet right now. I also am not working on weight loss now. I live with my spouse half the year and he is a vegetarian so I tend to eat a lot of carbs.

I ate more than usual on today's ride because at the half way point I stopped at a little rural store where they were selling wildrice brats. Spouse not around to disapprove so I ate one. Bun and all. Earlier I had a piece of bread with almond butter. Later on I had an apple. And some granola. If anything, I overate.

When I was done with the ride I had chocolate milk and a bit later some fresh bread my spouse baked. I then slept for two hours and now I think I will live.
I don't know. I think you often have to listen to your body, and proceed with what it directs you to do, but in moderation when on a ride.

But that post-ride refuelling is also critical, and I would think about upping the intake of proteins in particular. A bit of fat might help. I know the chocolate milk has all that, but a bit more might help.'

And unless you are keen on post-ride socialising, there is absolutely no problem in sleeping for a while after ride. I bet if you get around the tents on many of the supported rides, you will find quite a few people stretched out and snoozing away.

In the end, I suppose what I am trying to do is ensure you don't panic, and don't let this feeling that you aren't going to make it become a major emotional hurdle so that you actually don't finish.

You've still got five weeks to go. Try doing back-to-back 30-mile rides a couple of times, the maybe up the next set to 35 or 40 miles. Maybe when you get to that threshhold point of 40 miles, you should be able to handle the 60.
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Old 07-07-13, 09:55 PM
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I'm preparing for an endurance test too. And I'm wondering if I'll be ready by the first week in September. It is a 75 km (50 mi) backpacking trip. Last weekend we hiked 7 kms on rough trail, camped over night then hiked back to the car. Seven km was exhausting. On the trip we will have to do 13 to 15 kms per day! Next week we are going to do another over-nighter with 13 kms each day.

We are registered for the September trip. The longer I wait to pull out, the less refund I get, but the $$$ are not the issue. If we can get up to doing 15 km days, back to back, I'll be ready. We won't be setting any records but at age 59, I'm not trying to. It will be guts, determination, and necessity after we start. There is no turning back.

So keep us posted on your training progress. It will give me inspiration.
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Old 07-07-13, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
Do it!
Take your time, find someone to talk to as you ride and enjoy yourself!
You'll get fitter as the ride goes on!
+1

I remember my first tour. I was sure I'd spend the whole time at the back, all by myself. What I had was the time of my life and made a lot of good friends.
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Old 07-07-13, 11:06 PM
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This is a weird question, because I don't know you, nor ever rode with you, nor know what kind of time you can give to training between now and August 17th. You have a 6 weeks, if you have the time start training by doing 20 miles a day back to back the first week with one day of 45 miles with a day of rest after the 45 mile day; then 2nd week do 25 miles back to back, one day of 50, day off; then 3rd week 30 miles back to back, one day of 60, day off; 4th week 40 miles back to back, one day of 70, day off; 5th week 50 miles back to back one day of 76 day off; 6th week 60 miles for Mon-Tues, then a 75 miler on Wens, then stop riding till you leave on that Saturday the 17th to give you 2 days off before the trip.

The good news is with this trip is that it's only 4 days, not 2 weeks or some such time.

If you can't put that time in to do that then you may want to reconsider the trip; or if doing these back to back drills and the one long day starts to give you a melt down then again it may be time to reconsider. Sleeping after a ride is not a big deal, just sleep! Make sure you're getting properly hydrated, your urine color will tell you if you are, if it's a darker yellow then drink more, you want a real light pale yellow color. And the ride refueling is important, but I think the tour company since it is supported will be making sure everyone eats, but you need to make sure if that's the case.

And if you have to put it off, then start training for it next year. You can actually do a century training program that you can find on the internet that will get you ready in 14 weeks by customizing it for more then the 8 weeks they show and getting the weekday mileage higher to eventually equalling 75 mile back to back riding but maintaining the longer weekend ride at 100.

Personally I think, note I said I think, you should be able to do this ride. It may take a lot out of but again it's only for 4 days. But if you don't start training now then you may not be able to do it. Keep in mind too that if that 4 day tour is a leisurely ride and not a "see how fast we can get the day done" ride you will fair better because you can go at a slower pace.

I don't know if the training program I laid out will work for you or not, but you will find out if you can handle it. If it does work for you then you will be successful on the tour because it's only 4 days, you trained for 6! Also make the training fun, don't stress over it, I think you're stressing over it too much and that's taking the energy out of you as strange as that sounds. You see this in sports all the time, an athlete gets nervous and they fail, don't get nervous about it and make it fun by taking different routes and going places around where you live.

I too am training to try to do the longest ride I've ever done in my life...200 miles in a day! I'm 60 years old by the way. My training program is based on a Century schedule that I modified to take more weeks to train because I'm going 200 miles and not 100, so I'm hoping by the middle of August to do the trip, I am on target as of this week to reach the goal, in fact this coming Saturday I have a 64 mile ride to do, then every Saturday after that it goes to 70, 77, 85, 100, 125, 150, then 200. Living in Indiana with the wet cool summer we've been having may alter the plans a bit, time will tell.
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Old 07-08-13, 02:15 AM
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None of us are able to tell you what you can and can't do, Goldfinch. Te question you have to ask yourself is whether your fatigue is manageable if you pay close attention to pre- and post-ride nutrition, and to getting more sleep, or whether it is cumulative and there is a serous danger of you simply being unable to complete day 3. If the latter, my suggestion would be to miss the ride. You are doing this for fun, after all, and your enjoyment will be severely compromised if you go into the event in a state of high anxiety about your ability to do it.

On the other side of the equation is the sense of achievement you will have if you are able to finish, of course.

Irrespective of what decision you make, the depth of your fatigue after back-to-back rides is surprising given how many miles you are doing. Might be worth thinking about the amount of iron in your diet?
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Old 07-08-13, 07:20 AM
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Iron is an interesting subject. Most men do not need iron in their diet...BUT, it is possible. However I would not start taking iron due to possibility of reaching toxic levels pretty quickly for men. If you feel that you are missing some sort of nutritional issue you may want to see a doctor to get a complete physical to determine that and not try to second guess a problem which could make matters worse. If you feel that iron may be an issue then get it by eating the right food(s) and not from a pill because men don't need as much iron as a pill will provide UNLESS the doctor says you need a pill.

It could be something simple like not enough calories being taken in for what is be expended, you could be especially prone to this since you've been on a diet for a year and are afraid to take in more calories for fear of gaining weight.

AGAIN, you should see a doctor if your worried about any of this, and be sure to tell the doc what your issues are while exercising so he can narrow in on those problems and try to find something.
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Old 07-08-13, 07:25 AM
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I can't take iron, my blood clots too easily.

I haven't been on a weight loss diet for more than a year now. I lost my weight in 2010 and 2011. In fact, I gained 10 pounds over the last year and will work on that this winter.

I have been thinking about how tired I was yesterday and the last time I did back to back rides of similar mileage. Part of the problem is that I have an old dog with colitis. She sometimes has bad nights where you have to take her out a couple of times in the middle of the night. This really interrupts my sleep. The night before yesterday's ride was such a night. I think the same thing happened the last time I did back to back rides. Last night it was my spouse's turn to take care of the dog and I slept like a rock and today I feel like I could ride again.

The other issue is that yesterday I took my Terry because I needed wider tires to handle the eight miles of gravel. It is a comfortable bike but over longer distances it gets borderline. The saddle on it stinks, I've ordered a new saddle. Those last eight miles I was not only tired but my rear end was almost numb and my hands were getting really sore from the poor road. This added to my fatigue, almost to the point of calling spouse for a rescue. I should have but I am extraordinarily stubborn.

Today I am taking a rest day partly because I have to go to a birding event. I have another event on Wednesday. Thursday I'll do what Rekmeyata suggests, I'll do twenty miles, the next day another 20 and the next day 45 and see how it goes. I'll try to have dog watching duty only on one of those nights. I'll decide at that time.

One issue is how slow I am. I average only about 13.5 on long rides. If I reduce my speed for the event by a couple of miles an hour that will be mighty slow. I have to think about that.

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Old 07-08-13, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post

One issue is how slow I am. I average only about 13.5 on long rides. If I reduce my speed for the event by a couple of miles an hour that will be mighty slow. I have to think about that.
That is a pretty low average unless you're doing a lot of city riding then stops will bring that down and 13 may not be bad. Contact the touring company and find out what the average speed range is, then find out if it's too much. If it's a fast pack and their averaging 16 mph for all those miles then you may have problems, if they have a range from 12 to 20 then you'll be ok because you'll simply be in the slower pack that will separate themselves from the faster packs.
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Old 07-08-13, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
That is a pretty low average unless you're doing a lot of city riding then stops will bring that down and 13 may not be bad. Contact the touring company and find out what the average speed range is, then find out if it's too much. If it's a fast pack and their averaging 16 mph for all those miles then you may have problems, if they have a range from 12 to 20 then you'll be ok because you'll simply be in the slower pack that will separate themselves from the faster packs.
Yes, it bums me out that I am so slow. This is not riding in the city either. I think years of sedentary life take their toll because efforts at increasing average speed have gone nowhere.

I emailed the tour organizers and told them that I generally overage only about 13.5 on long rides and may very well only average 11mph on the tour. I asked if that will be a problem and asked what people generally average.

A friend of mine did this tour last year and she was averaging about 13mph. Her general pace is about 14.5 to 15 mph.
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Old 07-08-13, 08:02 AM
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I would back out of it.
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Old 07-08-13, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
I would back out of it.
You dog, you. You're just trying to tick her off to motivate her.
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Old 07-08-13, 08:14 AM
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Goldfinch:

I probably do a multiday ride once a year; every year... I would like to say I train and prepare for them but I don't (I mean to every year I really do). I've learned to just go out and ride... not worry about the distance. Its not a race - it's an event; something to enjoy - meet new friends; see the sights. Take your time; if you are slow, so what, you won't be the only one. And 11 - 13 mph is not that slow - trust me. On alot of the rides I've done, people show up on beach cruisers and putz along doing 5 - 8 mph.

I assume (check and make sure) there are "sag" services available if the distance is too great but frankly I think once you get "in the moment" you will be fine. Also, doing multiday is a good thing - I always seem to ride myself into shape...

Good luck - it sounds like a cool event!
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