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Any last minute Century tips?

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Any last minute Century tips?

Old 11-03-10, 06:23 AM
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jasandalb
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Any last minute Century tips?

Doing my first century on sunday. Starting to get extra hydration today, an extra 24oz on top of my daily intake. Temps should be in the 50's to start and then reach mid 60's by rides end. Great Day!!! Not worried about heat exhaustion. Planning on bringing a few salt tablets and my normal powerbar chews, along with some pre-portioned gatorade powder. Rest stops on the route every 20 miles.

Any other tips?
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Old 11-03-10, 06:29 AM
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don't do anything out of the norm. meaning: eat what you normally eat, drink what you normally drink.

don't push it. meaning: take it easy in the beginning.

don't sweat it. meaning: a century isn't a big deal. it's just a number.
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Old 11-03-10, 07:33 AM
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thanks botto. my main concern was cramping...In some of my training rides I hit around the 60 mile mark and start getting leg cramps..but I kind of factored that into the 90+ heat here in FL. So I was going to bring some salt tabs...
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Old 11-03-10, 07:42 AM
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i dont do any special pre-ride rituals or practices. everything depends on what i do during the century. constant hydration, nutrition, etc.

but whether i finish the century or not, bonk out, retire due to muscle pain/cramps, beat my best time, etc depends on one factor - the pace i chose.
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Old 11-03-10, 07:53 AM
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The night before my last one I was up until 2am and have about 8 beers that night.

I wouldn't recommend it, but I agree with botto, it is just a number, don't overthink it.
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Old 11-03-10, 07:53 AM
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The rest stops are important. Take them and use that time as an opportunity to hydrate well and to take a gel. Some organized centuries have snacks and fresh cut fruit. Take them, and then wait a few minutes before heading off. During the lunch break, its good to socialize and that will keep your mind off of riding for a while.
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Old 11-03-10, 08:01 AM
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botto hit probably the most important...don't do anything out of the ordinary. He mentioned your nutrition, but this also applies to you and the bike. Don't wear a new jersey (unless the ride requires it), new shorts, new socks, new shoes, etc. You just never know how they'll feel after 50+ miles.

Don't decide this is a good time to change anything on your bike. Don't try to make any last-minute adjustments (brakes, shifting, fit, etc.). If the bike is set up the way you've been riding/training for your century, go with it as is. Obviously if there is a mechanical problem, get it taken care of, but please don't start messing with it the night before the ride.

It sounds like this is an organized ride...are you riding with a group on it or will it be solo? You might want to try and get with another rider or two rather than doing it solo. It helps with the pacing, and can make some of the more difficult miles go by easier.

Most of all, enjoy!
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Old 11-03-10, 08:03 AM
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If you do feel a leg cramp starting, slow down and spin for a few minutes. Works for me, unless I'm climbing, but you probably don't have to think about that.
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Old 11-03-10, 08:12 AM
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The ride is the "Cure On Wheels". Well organized. Have been training with a few people off and on but mainly by myself. they are having a "social hour" thursday night, going to that. Not wearing anything new, bike is just getting the rear wheel trued up after I ran over something saturday morning riding. My goal is 5 1/2 to 6 hours... that'll set my ride pace at 17 avg. I figure if I ride in the 20's (which is normal for me) that my breaks will put me down to 17mph. I plan on stopping at the 20-60-80 mile marks, that should give me a good indication of how I am feeling and make any fluid/nutrition adjustments.
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Old 11-03-10, 08:16 AM
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It sounds like an organized ride? If there will be food, gatorade and water available at the stops then don't carry so much of your own stuff. I mostly ride solo and used to show up at events essentially "self-supported". Dumb. Now I bring one or two prefilled bottles and maybe a bar which often survives the rides. Part of your sign up fee goes to setting this stuff up, so use it.
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Old 11-03-10, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by botto View Post
don't do anything out of the norm. meaning: eat what you normally eat, drink what you normally drink.

don't push it. meaning: take it easy in the beginning.

don't sweat it. meaning: a century isn't a big deal. it's just a number.
quoted for helpfulness. O_o
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Old 11-03-10, 08:21 AM
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If you need last-minute tips to ride a century, you're doing it wrong. You should have already ridden several longer rides so you already know what to do/not to do.

Botto nailed it: don't do anything you don't already do.
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Old 11-03-10, 08:56 AM
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Pace yourself, take plenty of breaks. Keep eating!!!! Keep Drinking!!! Take Breaks!!! pack some gels or Clif Shot Bloks w/ Caffenine (personal Favortie) eat about 2 of those every 30 minutes (theres 6 in a pack). Bananas kick ass since they are loaded with Potassium, drink plenty of fluid I drink Cytomax but there are plenty of different brands out there. Have Fun!
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Old 11-03-10, 09:07 AM
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Old 11-03-10, 12:02 PM
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I'm doing the Cure on Wheels event too. Only doing the metric century though. Good luck and have fun.
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Old 11-03-10, 12:17 PM
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This is going to sound crazy to anyone but perhaps the racers... but if you do cramp, ride through it. Don't stop and stretch the cramp out. Just keep pedaling, keep the legs moving. It'll hurt like hell, but once the cramp goes away, for me at least, it doesn't come back. On occasions when I have stopped and stretched the cramp out, the muscle has remained fragile and extremely susceptible to further cramping. Riding through seems to reset the muscle somehow.

FWIW, I've tried salt tablets when I was dehydrated and cramping up (literally ran out of water about half of the way up a 20 mile climb in 80+ weather)... didn't work a whit. Riding through the cramp, however, has worked marvelously. Don't be afraid of making some faces and some noise when doing this .

I also recommend eating whatever is offered, stopping at each rest area, but no more than 5-10 minutes to a stop. Also, even if you think you have enough water in your bottles to push on to the next rest stop, refill your bottles whenever the opportunity presents itself. I would also drink some plain water in addition to the gatoraid. 5 or 6 hours of drinking straight gatoraid is enough to put anyone off the drink for life.

And for the love of god... don't get into a "race" early in the ride. That's the easiest way to blow yourself out with 20 miles to go. Also, don't be afraid to join a paceline group. It's not cheating; it's traditional. You'll appreciate the draft and the company and maybe make a couple new friends. Just ask someone before latching on and don't be sucked into maintaining a higher pace than you can sustain for the duration.
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Last edited by Brian Ratliff; 11-03-10 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 11-03-10, 12:19 PM
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just did my first last month...

Summary of advice I did and didn't take

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...=#post11611052

Summary:

* DON'T fine tune bike night before.....I did and paid for it
* Meet someone and ride with them...drafting makes it MUCH easier and faster as well as more pleasant
* LOT'S of advise on eating and drinking which gets confusing...summary
- carb load day before
- big meal few hours before
- eat snacks and drink along the way even if not hungry or thirsty
* IGNORE the overcautios saying you have to ride a 50, then 60, then 80, then century..my longest ride before was 50 miles....the century was tough, but worth it

DON'T SWEAT IT...I, and I would guess most, overthink it, overplan it, and overprepare for it...just ride, baby, ride...and you'll do fine...if you don't, big deal, stop early and help out at one of the SAG stations...

cheers and good luck!
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Old 11-03-10, 12:21 PM
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Don't take long breaks and rest stops or it will be that much harder to get back on and knock out another chunk of the trip.

Don't judge your pace based on others passing by you. They are either more capable or don't know how to pace themselves.

edit: sounds like a given but- nutrution and hydration- be on top of it.
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Old 11-03-10, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
This is going to sound crazy to anyone but perhaps the racers... but if you do cramp, ride through it. Don't stop and stretch the cramp out. Just keep pedaling, keep the legs moving. It'll hurt like hell,
Couldn't agree more.
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Old 11-03-10, 12:27 PM
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Oh yes... eat something with lots of carbs and substantial before the ride. I eat 3/4 dry cup of oatmeal with a good slab of butter, a couple scoops of brown sugar, and a good handful of dried cranberries before a long ride. Most of the calories you expend during the ride are eaten before the riding starts.

I don't recommend changing what you normally eat for breakfast... just choose something big and with lots of carbs (bread, cereal, etc.) out of what you normally eat, and save the eggs and bacon for after the ride.
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Old 11-04-10, 08:33 AM
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If you hook up with a fast group, don't go anaerobic or above your redline too long. Otherwise, you stand a good chance of bonking. Find your own pace and hopefully a group that works for you.
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Old 11-04-10, 08:40 AM
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My advice: Have fun! And look at the course profile before you head out, either via map my ride or ridewithgps.com if the organizers don't have the profile somewhere. Worst thing ever would be to have a mountain 10 miles from the finish and you have no idea about it.
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Old 11-04-10, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
This is going to sound crazy to anyone but perhaps the racers... but if you do cramp, ride through it. Don't stop and stretch the cramp out. Just keep pedaling, keep the legs moving. It'll hurt like hell,






Originally Posted by jeffs223 View Post
Couldn't agree more.
Works for me.
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Old 11-04-10, 09:31 AM
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Just do not overthink things. I'd put some tape over your computer so you are not worrying about your speed. Just keep pedaling and have fun.

As Brian Ratliff mentions, you will tire of Gatorade. You will probably crave only water at about mile 60 or 75.
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Old 11-04-10, 09:35 AM
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yeah i side with the "stop as rarely and as briefly as possible" folks.

stopping just kills rhythm. vary to tempo all you want, but to quote apocalypse now:

never get off the g0ddamn bike
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