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Tips for first 100km race

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Tips for first 100km race

Old 11-14-21, 06:55 PM
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Cramic
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Tips for first 100km race

Hi all!

After having been cycling again for around 8 weeks Iíve signed up for my first 100km race on Sunday.

Iíve been doing 100-150km per week and longest two or three cycles of around 50km (quite comfortable). Iím just looking to finish! Would like to do so in under 4 hours (optimistic).

Whilst new to cycling Iím coming from a running background (bad knee) so have lots of experiences over half marathons and marathons (tend to tire badly on the marathons though).

The course is pretty flat and shared with cars some some of the distance. Likely to be windy and will get quite warm (Western Australia late spring).

I have one 750ml bike bottle, gloves, and sunglasses.

Any and all tips appreciated! Particularly hydration/nutrition.

Many thanks!
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Old 11-14-21, 07:51 PM
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billridesbikes
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Are there neutral feed zones so you can exchange water bottles? Probably 750ml of water is not enough for a +2hour event.
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Old 11-14-21, 07:58 PM
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Not sure what kind of race this may be - is it a gran fondo?
How much do you know about drafting and riding in groups?
You need more water. (How warm is "quite warm"? )
Also, a gel or two.
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Old 11-14-21, 08:43 PM
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For 100km, I'd need at least one more bottle, maybe two. And I'd also need a few gels or shot blocks. A banana or package of cookies (do you guys say biscuits?) couldn't hurt either.
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Old 11-14-21, 08:50 PM
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They'll likely require a helmet. Sunglasses and gloves are likely optional.
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Old 11-14-21, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by LAJ View Post
They'll likely require a helmet. Sunglasses and gloves are likely optional.
Oh, it's Australia. Not only will they require a helmet, but they'll require a helmet that they certify. It will have a sticker in it that looks something like this


When I rode in organized events there, my helmet, brought with me from the US, was not accepted b/c it did not have such a sticker.
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Old 11-14-21, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Cramic View Post
Any and all tips appreciated! Particularly hydration/nutrition.
I suggest you bring more water. A lot more.
...unless it isn't actually a race and there are support stops along the ride where you can refill at your own pace.
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Old 11-15-21, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Cramic View Post

I have one 750ml bike bottle, gloves, and sunglasses.

Any and all tips appreciated! Particularly hydration/nutrition.

Many thanks!
You are likely to need around 500 ml water per hour, more if it's hot or if you sweat more than average.
I usually carry 2x 1 litre bottles on this kind of event. But sometimes I'll carry just one bottle if there are reliable feed stations where I can top up.
Nutrition is very personal. I tend to carry both energy bars and gels and consume 1x bar per hour and 2 gels per hour after half distance. I also use energy mix in my water.
Eating, drinking little and often from the start is a good tip. Also don't eat or drink anything you haven't tested on yourself beforehand on training rides.
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Old 11-15-21, 09:46 AM
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I did 102 km this past weekend for the first time since starting cycling.

It was cool and I did not hydrate enough. I was short by over a bottle (I'd only brought two bottles that hold ~600 ml) and it showed towards the end where my ability to keep the pace I'd set flagged noticeably. Up to about 2:30 I was fine.

Finished in 3:09 solo, no drafting. It was a flat course, only ~500 meters of climbing but feel I could've done better if I'd hydrated more and sooner.
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Old 11-15-21, 10:05 AM
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Is this a race or just a ride? If it's not for competition, then don't be racing others. You'll need more water. I put a drink mix in my bottles that is basically all carbohydrate. Depending on the ride, 180 to 220 Calories (kilocalories) per bottle. On 100km rides I'm never hungry. Usually organized events have food and drink stops, but you haven't told us which event you are participating in.

Last edited by Iride01; 11-15-21 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 11-15-21, 10:10 AM
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I would also look in to using electrolytes.
Personally on longer rides I start with bars in the beginning, and towards the end use cliff shots with caffeine. For me this produces best results.
Is this a mass start race? If so try to do group rides to get comfortable riding around other people and drafting.
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Old 11-15-21, 10:32 AM
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Local info is the best. Wunderground says Sunday in Perth, Australia- Wind increasing. A few clouds from time to time. High 23C. Winds SSW at 25 to 40 km/h. I would look at the course and take that into account. If you ride into that as a headwind it will effectively lengthen the course (a lot), shorten if a tailwind, PIA if from the side. Wind is like a giant hill without a summit. Don't take my word on the weather, check it yourself. I used to tape bananas to the top tube before all the fancy stuff came out. Take more water than you think you need, you can always dump it. Pedialyte 25% water 75% works best for me. Prehydrate if you can. Cramps are the devil. Have a good safe ride, best of luck.

Edit: Don't forget sunscreen

Last edited by grizzly59; 11-15-21 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 11-15-21, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Cramic View Post
...signed up for my first 100km race...

fun... Fun... FUN!!! - BRAVO!

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Old 11-15-21, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by grizzly59 View Post
Local info is the best. Wunderground says Sunday in Perth, Australia- Wind increasing. A few clouds from time to time. High 23C. Winds SSW at 25 to 40 km/h. I would look at the course and take that into account. If you ride into that as a headwind it will effectively lengthen the course (a lot), shorten if a tailwind, PIA if from the side. Wind is like a giant hill without a summit. Don't take my word on the weather, check it yourself. I used to tape bananas to the top tube before all the fancy stuff came out. Take more water than you think you need, you can always dump it. Pedialyte 25% water 75% works best for me. Prehydrate if you can. Cramps are the devil. Have a good safe ride, best of luck.
But don't go chugging down a bottle of water 5 mins before the start. Otherwise you will be needing a comfort break in the first 10 mins of the event. Drink more in the last 48 hours leading up to the event and sip regularly a few hours before the ride.
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Old 11-15-21, 12:15 PM
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Pace yourself... with your riding speed and also nutrition and hydration.

This means don't guzzle water or load up on 100g of carbs right before the start.

But don't forget to eat and drink along the way, either. Sip water before you feel thirsty. Eat a handful of gummy energy chews or a packet of goo (or half a banana if they're available) about every hour.

If you know what pace you're capable of sustaining for 50km (in the expected terrain and wind conditions), watch yourself, and start a bit slower than that. At the 30 or 40km mark, if you're feeling strong you can bump up the pace a little. If you get to 80km and still have something in the tank, you can increase a lot at that point. You probably know this from running marathons and halves: a lot more people start too fast and then hit a wall than those who hold back too much and end up leaving something on the course.

One more tip, something that has been very helpful to me as I've learned and tried to apply it...

Draft whenever possible! (If this race is TT format, or your category doesn't allow drafting, disregard). If it's allowed, try to go with a friend or three, or else make friends with someone at the starting line. Ask if they want to work together with you. Riding on someone's wheel--and safely allowing someone on yours--requires additional concentration and teamwork. But it can make a huge difference... something like 10-15% faster for a given effort. If you're around guys going 25-28 kph and feel you can do 30, maybe sticking with them won't help. But if you feel like you can almost hold 32 going solo and are just afraid of getting exhausted, find someone going that speed and hang with him (get permission, and take your fair turns out front). It can really improve your time by a significant amount.

Last edited by Broctoon; 11-15-21 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 11-15-21, 08:38 PM
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Never actually raced... but I think you should try hard to stay with the fast pack. Drafting will make your ride much faster/easier. In your shoes I would ride hard at first to try and stay with the pack, don't save energy, but that's just me.
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Old 11-15-21, 08:50 PM
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No follow up from OP?

Drawing the obvious conclusion.
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Old 11-15-21, 09:19 PM
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'Race'? I don't think it's a real race. There is also some really bad, thoughtless advice in some replies, obviously from posters that have never been near an actual race.
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Old 11-16-21, 07:35 AM
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Is it a race? Or is it a Fondo? If it's a race, prepare to get shelled. 8 weeks to race MIGHTY quick. Running fitness doesn't always equate to cycling fitness (nor the other way around).

If it's a Fondo, I'd imagine that there will be rest/resupply stops. If so, you'll be fine.

If it's a race, you'll need far more hydration (probably with some carbs/calories included) and some on-bike nutrition (gels, etc.).
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Old 11-16-21, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
There is also some really bad, thoughtless advice in some replies
What are some examples? I'm asking out of a sincere desire to learn, not trying to troll anyone.

Maybe you can counter with good advice.
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Old 11-16-21, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
No follow up from OP?

Drawing the obvious conclusion.
Youíre thinking the same thing I am: Run down and pecked to death by an emu, obviously!
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Old 11-21-21, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy Somnifac View Post
Is it a race? Or is it a Fondo? If it's a race, prepare to get shelled. 8 weeks to race MIGHTY quick. Running fitness doesn't always equate to cycling fitness (nor the other way around).

If it's a Fondo, I'd imagine that there will be rest/resupply stops. If so, you'll be fine.

If it's a race, you'll need far more hydration (probably with some carbs/calories included) and some on-bike nutrition (gels, etc.).
OP uses the word "race" so I guess we have to assume it's a race. But then he talks about a target time of 4 hours on a flat course, so he's not expecting to win, just to finish as he states. He'll be okay at that pace if he drinks enough and takes on a few carbs along the way.
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Old 11-21-21, 07:08 PM
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Thanks for replies all! Particularly nutrition. I think most regards that and hydration were close to being spot on for me.

So I guess I got my cycling vernacular wrong (work in progress); this was a ride. I didnít realise the two (ride vs race) were necessarily different. I come from a running background and pretty much any organised event could be described as a race or a run (simple example, Park Run. Plenty just do it as a community run, guys up front compete, others go hard after a PB). The terms are used interchangeably.

I took one 600ml bottle and that would definitely not have been enough, but I was aware there were at least three water stations which ended up offering as much water and electrolytes as I could drink/carry. The last one also provided bananas and jelly snakes.

I had four gels with me (used two) and an energy bar (didnít use).

Enjoyed the first half, weíre large groups had formed, but these splintered, for a variety of reasons, by the second half and my friend and I were essentially left to ourselves cycling some pretty busy roads. Not enjoyable.

We finished in 3hr55, which Iím happy with, but he (my friend) broke around 70km and I stuck with him home. As such Iím not sure when my own break would have come/what time I could have finished.

In future Iím going to need more fluid/electrolyte carrying capacity if Iím actually racing! Nutrition was ok.

Thanks for all the tips though (approved helmet, drafting, etc.).

Drafting was difficult as finding people at the same pace was challenging. My friend and I tried to draft for each other, but even weíd vary particularly as he broke.

Thanks
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Old 11-26-21, 08:30 AM
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Congrats on your ride and good for you for sticking with your buddy ("mate?")

I think that most of us have been "off the back" more than once, and also waited for friends who are a tad slower. If you're not going to win a gold medal, then you might as well enjoy yourself.
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Old 11-29-21, 07:46 PM
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Your objectives are quite reasonable and the only real difference with the longer ride is needing more calories along the way. I have always found raisins to be easy to eat while riding, easy to digest, and they provide a lot of calories for energy. I start with a high carb breakfast of pancakes which are easy to digest and do not slow me down out on the road. I avoid eating meat which tends to bog my body down.

I would focus on maintaining a constant speed but do not worry if a head or side wind makes it more difficult and you need to slow down. Having other riders to block the wind will allow you to use a higher gear and lower RPM's. But be very careful as if your front wheel hits the rear wheel of another rider you are likely to crash and find yourself on the ground.
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