Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

Advice for aggressive goal

Old 07-06-09, 03:42 PM
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chewybrian 
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Advice for aggressive goal

I would like to try one or two 24 hour races next year. My goal is to ride competitively within my age group, meaning about 600k, or 375 miles in 24 hours. It means adding about 100 miles to my best 24 hour pace.

Where do I turn to add 100 miles, or 4 to 5 mph? A little history:

--I'm mostly a commuter, first century about 9 months ago, finished SR series this spring.

--I've always focused on distance, not speed(riding about 3 years total).

--I've been riding a hardtail mountain bike commuter--upright position, loaded, heavy!

--I have not done any serious weight training or cross training.

--I'm sure I could make some gains in nutrition.

--I can train year-round (Florida), but winter and spring are ideal.

--There is a 24-hour in Fla. in Feb., and a big one in Mich. in June.

Any links or advice would be appreciated, on any aspect. What type of bike would work best? What kind of training would pay off? Am I nuts? A general routine from someone who trained successfully for this kind of ride would be great. Thanks.
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Old 07-06-09, 07:50 PM
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If you did a SR series on a mountain bike, just get a decent road bike and you're good to go

You sound like me to some degree, except I raced when I was younger. My thoughts are that I was a pretty good distance rider back then, I just didn't have many outlets for demonstrating that. I can hammer pretty hard for some period of time on my brevets, but I can't sustain it for more than 30-40 miles. Then I go through a down period but then I recover and I'm good to go again. I'm thinking about doing 2x20 minute intervals and seeing how that helps even out my power output.
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Old 07-07-09, 02:35 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
If you did a SR series on a mountain bike, just get a decent road bike and you're good to go...
Yes, I'm thinking a road bike might be worth about 2 mph, so that's a good start. I'm ready to get one, but unsure how technical to get--road, tri, time trial?

But, I think there are many ways to get better, and I probably need to hit it every way possible to get good enough. A good book on general training principles would be helpful, but nothing beats a first hand account of how someone trained for the same ride.
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Old 07-07-09, 09:37 AM
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my advice would be to get a road bike with clip-on aero bars. I hate to mention this, but you may want to look at how the triathletes train. They do the longest time trials.
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Old 07-07-09, 11:35 AM
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24 hour in FL ? I'll have to google that one, would be interesting !

Some ideas ... although I have not attempted one of these, but extrapolating from the 600's that I've done ...

-- Ride a 200k Permanent each week, maintain a good base.
-- Minimize time at Controls, you sacrifice a lot of miles when you're stopped.
-- Work on the nutritional aspects, fine tuning what & when you eat & drink will make a big difference in what you can achieve. To maximize your miles you have to minimize your lows.
-- Push it -- stand up for a couple of miles every so often, into the Florida wind -- becomes like interval training. Ignore the pain
-- Find someone else who has the same goal and challenge each other.
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Old 07-07-09, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by thompsw View Post
24 hour in FL ? I'll have to google that one, would be interesting !

Some ideas ... although I have not attempted one of these, but extrapolating from the 600's that I've done ...

-- Ride a 200k Permanent each week, maintain a good base.
-- Minimize time at Controls, you sacrifice a lot of miles when you're stopped.
-- Work on the nutritional aspects, fine tuning what & when you eat & drink will make a big difference in what you can achieve. To maximize your miles you have to minimize your lows.
-- Push it -- stand up for a couple of miles every so often, into the Florida wind -- becomes like interval training. Ignore the pain
-- Find someone else who has the same goal and challenge each other.

Hey, Dave,

Some good ideas there; I should probably go from century a month to century a week. You know I've done the 600, but this is a whole new world, I think, to be competitive. I've got to do the roadie thing to some extent. I may need aero bars, liquid food, weight training, etc. to be in the mix. I'm a bit lost on where to start and how far to take it.

The Florida 24 is in Sebring(link). I want to use it as a test/training for Michigan, if I can get on pace. Maybe I'll see you out there next year. In some ways, it's easier than a brevet ride. You run in laps, and after dark the laps are much shorter. So, it's easier to follow the route, more chances to hit the control, refresh food/water, etc.

EDIT--I just realized how funny that was, you telling me to minimize time at the controls! You passed me like 12 times on that 600k! Until I stopped to catch a couple hours sleep, we had a serious tortoise and hare thing going on, there.
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Old 07-08-09, 07:49 AM
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I responded to this last night but for some reason it didn't "take" ... must not have saved.

Anyway, regarding time at the controls -- I end up spending lots of time at the controls when I'm with others, by myself not so much. With the 600k, it was a matter of getting through in the time limit vs the 24 hour, packing in as many miles in that time as possible. Different objectives call for different strategies. Less time at controls can really affect your digestion as well since your body has less down time.

I'm not sure about weight training -- others could provide advice here -- I'm not that disciplined a trainer. My approach is simply to pack in as many miles as possible, get in some long distances (200+k) at least once per week, and on the shorter rides (for me that tends to be 70 mile rides), push as hard as I can for periods of the ride. That might mean standing into the wind or a heads down sustained effort. It's not quite interval training, but works for me. I don't know what that might produce on a 24 hour as-many-miles-as-possible ride.

Also, I find that on the nutritional side, I can eat whatever I want on centuries and and/or get way dehydrated and still finish without a serious slow down. That's probably because my "usual" ride is 70 miles and 100 miles is not so far beyond that. At some point between 200k and 300k, if I've not been eating and hydrating properly, I'll semi-bonk and need an easy riding recovery period before I feel fresh again. For the 24 hour ride, that's the period to be avoided, so consumption has to be fine tuned.

I looked at the Sebring website. I'll keep it in mind. It would be interesting to try. Short laps worry me though -- perhaps I'll get too bored and fall asleep ! I see that lights are "recommended" -- so that means that I could lighten up, go with a battery powered light vs the hub generator, use my light aero wheels ... all these things would help. Even minor changes in my setup produce a 2-3 mph increase in average speed. I could tweak it even more with different tires etc. Hmmm.
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Old 07-08-09, 08:19 AM
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Any links or advice would be appreciated, on any aspect. What type of bike would work best? What kind of training would pay off? Am I nuts? A general routine from someone who trained successfully for this kind of ride would be great. Thanks.
You ask too many questions for a single thread.



This quote does little to setup a discussion leading to good answers:
It means adding about 100 miles to my best 24 hour pace
If we are discuss a "path" to improving -what appears to a 275 mile result for a 24hour ride - assuming your new goal is to be 375 miles - then any discussion would require knowing something about your riding style and speed, and what led you to taking so much time off the bike during your past 24 hour effort.


The easy advice, "stay on the bike" - the hard part, actually doing it.
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Old 07-08-09, 09:36 AM
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if you read his post, the reason he spent so much time off his bike was he was riding a brevet. There would be 4-6 stops required during a 24 hour period on a 600k brevet.
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Old 07-08-09, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Richard Cranium View Post
You ask too many questions for a single thread...
You're right, but I'll look at improving any way I can. Being a non-roadie Fred, I don't know where to begin, other than to get a road bike and go out hammering.

I suppose that is the pressing question--what bike would be right for this goal? I say this because I'm ready to buy a bike, and I can learn training techniques and nutrition as I progress (hopefully).

Originally Posted by Richard Cranium View Post
...discussion would require knowing something about your riding style and speed, and what led you to taking so much time off the bike during your past 24 hour effort...
I didn't take much time off the bike; I was just slow (that's why Dave passed me a dozen times; he's faster, but he stops). I was focused on getting my SR series, with no regard to time other than the cut-offs. I finished 400k, 260 miles, in 23 hours, so 275 is a conservative estimate of what I could ride in 24, right now, on my mountain bike.

So, is it unreasonable to think that a road or tri bike would be worth a couple mph, and that I could train up a couple more? If not, then I only need a small push, a book to read, whatever. Don't send me to the Road Forum for a Fred barbeque.
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Old 07-08-09, 06:08 PM
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Maybe go find some hills.

People tell me how much faster I'd be on a road bike, but they don't ride mine, so it's hard to say for sure.
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Old 07-08-09, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by chewybrian View Post
Where do I turn to add 100 miles, or 4 to 5 mph? A little history:

--I'm mostly a commuter, first century about 9 months ago, finished SR series this spring.
That's like a 16-year-old thinking they are the best driver they will ever be. Keep with the training, intervals, etc., and be sure at some point to take a break away from cycling. For me the month of December is a busy month and a good time to take time off the bike (maybe ride once a week or less). Also, I saw great gains when an injury forced me off the bike for 4 weeks and I came back stronger than ever.
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Old 07-08-09, 11:44 PM
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Most everyone at the Michigan 24 rides a road bike. Lots have clip-on aero bars (I'm shopping for aero bars now, after losing feeling in my left pinky for a while despite having what I thought was a good, hand-friendly position).

I think a handful of people bring TT bikes for the night loop. And I rode briefly with a guy who I believe did the whole thing on a Cervelo P3 (he said the bike was completely comfortable for him, which I can't imagine would be true for very many people). But for comfort over that kind of distance, and also for safety/handling when riding in groups with people you don't know, I think a road bike is the best choice.

Oh, and then there are the guys doing 400+ on their Bacchettas. They might have other opinions about the ideal distance bike...
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Old 07-09-09, 10:33 AM
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I've done the 24-hour ride in Florida. It's pancake-flat, so you need to train your body to be in the saddle with no climbing all night long. You could definitely lighten up (pun intended!) on your lights, but people with brighter lights definitely have an advantage on the track. You could see the folks with dim lights creeping around the corners, and with bright lights, just picking the fastest/shortest line through the turns.

+1 on the aerobars.
+1 on watching your time off the bike. That's my worst time-waster. When you're riding by the pitstop every 13-14 minutes, it's too easy to stop "just for a minute."
I followed the 24-hour training plan by Lynda Wallensfall on Training Peaks. It's designed for a mountain bike race, but it's real easy to adapt to a road race.
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Old 07-09-09, 02:48 PM
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http://www.ultracycling.com

Lots of info here.
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