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First Metric Century. Am I Ready?

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First Metric Century. Am I Ready?

Old 08-14-12, 08:07 AM
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the_tool_man
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First Metric Century. Am I Ready?

I just signed up for a local charity cycling event. I have a choice between a 28 mile route and a 62 mile one. I've been riding regularly for a couple of months now, but never in an organized event. I'm even still riding my old steel touring rig while I save up for a newer road bike. My typical week includes 2-3 rides of about 25-30 miles at a 14-15mph pace, over some of the very same roads used in this upcoming ride. Because it's my first event, I wasn't sure it would be a good idea to over do it, so I signed up for the 28 mile route.

Last night, the people I was riding with, some of whom ride this event every year, urged me to go for the longer route. Is there some rule of thumb that says if you regularly ride X on a training ride, you can ride Y at an event? It would be great to go the distance, but I am worried about over doing it and having a setback. Any thoughts on this?

Thanks in advance,
John.
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Old 08-14-12, 08:12 AM
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Bo up and do the long ride. You will be fine. make sure to stay hydrated and take in some calories. Ride at your own pace. Report back.
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Old 08-14-12, 08:15 AM
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Go for it!
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Old 08-14-12, 08:16 AM
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Typically those have several rest/water stops. Just treat it as three 20 miles legs and you should be fine. And if you are used to riding solo and you do this in a group/paceline, then yes, the miles should go by a bit easier.
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Old 08-14-12, 08:17 AM
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If you are regularly riding 30 miles then you should be able to do it but it may be a bit of a stretch. I would recommend that you do one longer ride each week up until two weeks before your ride. The general rule of thumb is 65-75%. So, for a 65 mile ride that would mean that you should be riding 42 to 49 miles comfortably. When is your ride?
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Old 08-14-12, 08:37 AM
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I forgot to mention. The ride is Sept 8th; 3-1/2 weeks out.

I suppose I could take the racks and U-lock off my bike to lighten it a bit, lol.
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Old 08-14-12, 08:43 AM
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When I did my first metric, my usual rides were anywhere between 20-30 miles 4 times a week 18 mph average. Never did over 40 miles before it. It went pretty awful, but that's because the main road of the route was along the beach, with extreme headwinds. Two weeks later did my second one in the city, it went great and ended up with 19mph average. Just stay hydrated and eat along the way. It's really not as hard as it seems. Just stay at a comfortable pace and don't over exert yourself early.
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Old 08-14-12, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by the_tool_man View Post
I forgot to mention. The ride is Sept 8th; 3-1/2 weeks out.

I suppose I could take the racks and U-lock off my bike to lighten it a bit, lol.
Do a 45 mile ride this weekend.
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Old 08-14-12, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by slowandsteady View Post
Do a 45 mile ride this weekend.
This is exactly what I was going to say. If you can do a ride in the 40's you can ride the metric century.
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Old 08-14-12, 09:08 AM
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If the event is hilly, the climbing will be more difficult than the distance.
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Old 08-14-12, 09:16 AM
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You could do it tomorrow if you're riding multiple 30milers a week.
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Old 08-14-12, 09:17 AM
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The only real gotcha is you'll run out of energy after around 2 1/2- 3 hours, which can be truly unpleasant. YMMV but I've found that even snacking just once after an hour or hour and a half circumvents that problem. And drink some water before it's too late.
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Old 08-14-12, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
The only real gotcha is you'll run out of energy after around 2 1/2- 3 hours, which can be truly unpleasant. YMMV but I've found that even snacking just once after an hour or hour and a half circumvents that problem. And drink some water before it's too late.
I've learned this the hard way. My first 30+ miler with a "C" group that turned out to be more C+ or B-. 27 miles in on a 2-mile hill I bonked bad. Had to sit down for a few minutes. I'd been hydrating, but waited too long to eat (I think). Won't make that mistake again.

I plan to ride 35 or so with this same group again on Thursday, so my theory will be tested.
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Old 08-14-12, 09:31 AM
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...and 45 miles this weekend is a distinct possibility.
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Old 08-14-12, 09:35 AM
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Don't do the 28 miler (it's the same as your normal rides). The 62 miler should be reasonable for you to do. It might be hard for you but that's OK. Make sure you pace yourself (don't start out too fast).
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Old 08-14-12, 09:44 AM
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Pace yourself. Start easy and if you're feeling strong, power out the last leg of the ride.
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Old 08-14-12, 09:49 AM
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my longest ride to date has been ~25mi, I wouldn't think twice about going for the metric, just pace myself and bring some nutrition is all. prolly have to plan about 4-4.5hrs for it. bring my cell phone and map my loop past some places to refill water. my goal is to make a metric before the end of this season. might give it a try on Labor Day wkd.
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Old 08-14-12, 09:53 AM
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yes - take the racks, lock etc. off your bike, eat small amounts at each aid station and drink plenty. You can totally do it. the only setback you might have is your butt will hurt the next day.
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Old 08-14-12, 10:11 AM
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Do the 28 miler this year. Have fun and enjoy the ride. Plan to do the 62 miler next year and start working on riding longer.

If you haven't been riding that long, and it sounds like you haven't, doubling up your longest distance in one ride is not as easy as it sounds.
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Old 08-14-12, 10:12 AM
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What Valygrl said. Charity rides are usually well supported, plenty of rest stops with lots of food and water, and routes that aren't the hardest. Try a 40-50 mile ride before hand, if you can do that, you can easily do a metric century. Now that you have put it out there, if you don't try, you will regret it.
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Old 08-14-12, 10:44 AM
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First time I did a metric the longest ride I had ever done prior was about 40 miles. 20 was much more common. It is not particularly difficult. You know the area. Go on and getcha some!
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Old 08-14-12, 04:01 PM
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first off, what ride are you planning? Secondly, you CAN do a metric right now... might hurt, but you can finish it.

My first metric was in Chester, SC... not as big of hills as you have in Spartanburg, but my rides prior to the metric were 5 miles, 5 miles, 10 miles, then the metric. I did it 10 days after my first ever ride on a road bike. I wasn't the speediest at it, but I finished. AND, even better, didn't need help to get out of bed the next morning which was as big of an accomplishment in my mind as finishing the day before.

so, go for it. You will finish. Your butt will hurt, but you'll have fun and will get a much greater sense of accomplishment from it than just riding the 28.
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Old 08-14-12, 04:24 PM
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I did my first metric century in late March. I found out about it and started training for it in mid-December.

In mid-December, I was riding my cross bike, typical rides were 15-20 short with one longer 25-30/week.

In Jan, I increased those with the short 20-25 and long 30-35/week.

In Feb, that went to 20-30 for short (depended) and long 35-45.

In March, short went 25-35 miles, with long rides 45-60 miles.

I rented a bike (a Specialized Roubaix) for the metric century, averaged right around 18, and didn't have any major problems. I just stopped once, at the 3rd SAG, somewhere around 48 miles. I remember they had animal crackers out and I devoured them.

I had been a distance runner, and mostly followed a similar plan as I had for ramping up before a marathon. And I plan to follow something similar before a 111 mile tour this fall, with some rides in the 90s, and at least 1 around 100 miles.

More important than eating during, I've found properly eating and drinking that morning really helps. Before each of my marathons, the metric century, a 70 mile tour, and all long runs/rides I eat a PB&J sandwich. It seems to have the right mix of carbs and protein to keep me going. It is extremely rare that I need to eat during a ride now...even some 75-78 mile solo rides.
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Old 08-14-12, 04:40 PM
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You can do it. The biggest obstacle is between your ears.
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Old 08-14-12, 11:00 PM
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Worse comes to worse you ask someone to turn back...but like I always say to myself "you woke up early today just to quit? nah"

You'll get to know yourself and your bike better by doing long distances like this one. Fit, nutrition, everything.
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