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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    773

    Tips for long ride!

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    In 2 weeks I'll be doing a 90km (+/- 56miles) challenge. I've never done more than 45km and it was slow, lots of stops because I was not in the "shape" I am now. Been training since January for a 135km in June. I did a 35km in strong winds this past Monday. Not always easy against the wind but I was rarely out of breath (hills mostly once reached the top) but nothing to make me stop and catch up.

    So what tips would you have to make this 90km go smoothly? In the sense that should I start strong and fast, or always regular cadence/speed, etc. I want to make sure I am not using up all my energy at 1st and end up with nothing to finish the last 20-25 either. At least this course is mostly flat. A few hills but not that many. The one in June will be something though. But at least the last 30km will be mostly downhill. Not this one.

    I can't "drink and drive" and I drink a lot, especially if warm...not even out...outside. So I bought myself a camelback bag. At least I'll be able to sip water when I feel like it. I've got the good clothes, but no clips (after my 3 falls of Saturday, clips are out!)

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,829
    In my experience, if I start strong and fast, I end up slowing down quite a bit in the latter part of the ride. If I start at a more comfortable pace, I'll usually maintain that pace to the end. Either way, I end up with the same average speed, but when I maintain a consistent comfortable pace I am in less pain after the ride. I still sometimes will start out fast, just for the challenge, but in general riding the slower consistent speed works better for me.

    Make sure you eat enough through out the ride, and stick with food and drinks that you know won't bother you.

    Have a checklist before the ride for all the things you need to bring to the start. The night before, pack up as much as you can, fill your water bottles, get your snacks ready, write down the directions to the ride start. I like to bring extra clothes, like a different jacket or warmer/cooler jersey, just in case I decide I'm not quite dressed right for the weather at the start.

    And then have fun!!

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,952
    +100 on not starting out too fast. While a neck injury currently prevents me from riding like I would like, a couple years ago I was pretty much riding a metric century most weekends (until overuse injuries stopped that - but THAT is another story) I also like using a hydration pack on the bike, it is less complicated and insures that I will actually drink. Nothing wrong with stopping for a bite when you need to do so if you aren't comfortable eating while riding - I can do that if I have something in small enough pieces in my top tube bag, but I don't often do that. Having your Camelbak, depending on the size, will provide a bit extra room for storing things.

    Have fun, pace yourself, and enjoy the event! Also agreed that you shouldn't take food/drink that you aren't accustomed to so think about having a little something with you in case they have different snacks/drink at the stops that you aren't accustomed to. Your first long ride isn't the time to experiment.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    773
    Thank you very much for your "input". I will take that with me on those 2 rides. After the 1st one, I will have a better idea what to expect for the 2nd one, which will be a bit longer/harder too.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,083
    Knowing the route is a big help in pacing yourself, so I'd recommend riding or driving a long route in advance to get a feel for where you need to conserve energy and where you can just lay it on if you're feeling strong. It also helps mentally knowing that you're a third of the way, halfway or whatever.

    Another tip that might help: adrenaline masks hunger, and I can ride without feeling hunger until I almost literally fall off my bike. Realize that your body does need fuel even though you don't feel hungry, and try to eat regularly - not a lot, just a little. Once my heart rate is above a certain level I have trouble swallowing and digesting food, so I have to either eat very easy stuff, like banana bites, or slow down for a while.

    Have fun :-)
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    Posts
    8,976
    Quote Originally Posted by ny biker View Post
    Make sure you eat enough through out the ride, and stick with food and drinks that you know won't bother you.
    By now you know the best foods for you; before, during and after. By the day of the ride you should be well rested and hydrated, have your fave pre-ride meal. If you have foods you need to eat on long rides or do better with, or have many that you can't do pack some of your fave snacks.

    Quote Originally Posted by ny biker View Post
    I like to bring extra clothes, like a different jacket or warmer/cooler jersey, just in case I decide I'm not quite dressed right for the weather at the start.
    Can use layers also; jersey, arm skins, vest and add and remove as the weather, pace and overheating dictate.

    Quote Originally Posted by ny biker View Post
    And then have fun!!
    Very important!
    Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    773
    Thank you. Great idea to do it by car before. I know the area as it is on my own turf but have not done it for "real". I did receive the map and husband knows the road very well. I don't. So this weekend it rainy so might as well put it to good use and check it out. The other one I have the map (and hills, etc) but not seen it and we will do it by car too.

    I cannot eat when exercising. It just rolls in my mouth and I feel like spitting it out instead of swallowing. I tried a few times and it just does not work when I'm working hard. And I cannot stand anything sweet during that time. So it will have to be something easy to swallow or take the opportunity when I have a slower pace at some point.

    My trainer is scheduling me a very easy training week the week prior (next week is hell training she said but I have not seen the plan yet). And a 30 minute ride the day before Challenge. Nothing strenuous.

    Knowing the 1st Challenge is not far from home, worst case scenario, hubby gets back home or start point and I wait for him to pick me up whichever is closer. And they also have an end car for those who have issues finishing it up. On the 2nd Challenge, my LBS will be the one on the road at the end. So I will be riding with some of their staff who will be participating in the challenge and they will push me if needed and if I'm "dead" I can ride in their truck. So not all is lost.

    But I'll resume your replies on a sheet and work from this "check-list". Thank you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,829
    You need calories during long rides.

    Some gels are not that sweet. I find that Gu vanilla is good. I think they also have an unflavored version.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    773
    Thank you. I'll have to eat/drink something but I'll do some tests of "flavors" this weekend.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,829
    I should add, the only thing I eat while I'm actually moving is Jelly Belly Sports Beans (I prefer the orange flavor). For anything else, I wait until I get to a rest stop or I just pull over and stop at the side of the road somewhere to have a quick snack. That is what works for me, even on long rides. I alternate bottles of Gatorade with bottles of water, so the Gatorade is how I get some calories while in motion.

    I am not able to eat most foods during rides, especially on very hot days. I find that I can eat NutriGrain bars and Lance cracker sandwiches (whole wheat with cheddar spread). Since you don't like sweet foods, maybe some kind of crackers or pretzels would appeal to you. Or maybe bring a zip-top bag with some kind of cereal that's easy to eat by hand, like Chex.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Rowland Hts, CA
    Posts
    473
    Quote Originally Posted by Helene2013 View Post
    Thank you. Great idea to do it by car before. I know the area as it is on my own turf but have not done it for "real". I did receive the map and husband knows the road very well. I don't. So this weekend it rainy so might as well put it to good use and check it out. The other one I have the map (and hills, etc) but not seen it and we will do it by car too.

    I cannot eat when exercising. It just rolls in my mouth and I feel like spitting it out instead of swallowing. I tried a few times and it just does not work when I'm working hard. And I cannot stand anything sweet during that time. So it will have to be something easy to swallow or take the opportunity when I have a slower pace at some point.

    My trainer is scheduling me a very easy training week the week prior (next week is hell training she said but I have not seen the plan yet). And a 30 minute ride the day before Challenge. Nothing strenuous.

    Knowing the 1st Challenge is not far from home, worst case scenario, hubby gets back home or start point and I wait for him to pick me up whichever is closer. And they also have an end car for those who have issues finishing it up. On the 2nd Challenge, my LBS will be the one on the road at the end. So I will be riding with some of their staff who will be participating in the challenge and they will push me if needed and if I'm "dead" I can ride in their truck. So not all is lost.

    But I'll resume your replies on a sheet and work from this "check-list". Thank you.
    My husband also doesn't like eating when exercising. He did not like the sport jelly beans nor the energy shots nor the energy gels. He is ok with the Vanilla and the Honey flavored energy wafflles (I forgot the brand, but they are in every bike shop and sports shop that I have seen so far) and Gatorade G2 sports drinks

    My favorite GU is the Caramel Salt flavor. AVOID the apple cinnamon one (tastes so nasty that I can't believe anyone invented it)
    2014 Liv Lust
    2013 Specialized Fate Expert with carbon wheelset (sold)
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    2011 Specialized Ariel Sport,suspension post,Serfas Rx Women's Microfiber saddle (sold)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,952
    For me it worked best to take actual food on the bike with me. Now, not everyone can tolerate this while exercising, but something like a combination salty nuts, and dried cranberries worked well for me and sometimes I add small pieces of nitrate-free jerky - though I am more likely to do this when hiking but I used to do it when I was still mountain biking as well. I don't eat processed food and can't abide the gels and so forth. Skratch is really my one exception, it fills the need and my body tolerates it well. I can also tolerate Heed, but not when it gets really hot, I don't have that problem with Skratch.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,829
    Quote Originally Posted by TigerMom View Post
    My husband also doesn't like eating when exercising. He did not like the sport jelly beans nor the energy shots nor the energy gels. He is ok with the Vanilla and the Honey flavored energy wafflles (I forgot the brand, but they are in every bike shop and sports shop that I have seen so far) and Gatorade G2 sports drinks
    Honey Stinger makes the waffles. I found them to be a bit sweet, but I'm not wild about honey.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    773
    Thanks again.

    We had to go to LBS so I bought different ones to try over the next week while training. I have those Gu Vanilla, some type of lemon/lime pills you put in your water, one energy bar (cranberry and something), a bag of something that looks like jelly beans but are like cough drops.

    I like the idea of taking some cereals like http://www.quakeroats.ca/en/products...-original.aspx . I think I would prefer those. Sweet but not that bad and high in good calories (I think). Could bring dried raisins, etc.

    I'm such not a fan of these sports gels, etc. I don't really know if it is that good or just a good marketing product... like a "oh you must take that if you exercise a lot". Couldn't we find something better and less expensive. I mean those Nu Vanilla thing are like $2 each and the bars just as much, if not much. Anyway, I'll give it a shot and go from there.

    I printed the map and we'll check it out this weekend.

    Thank you all for all that great input. It is helping me a lot.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    543
    I love the shot blocks for quick, pop one in before you have to climb a hill energy, but on a really long ride, I get tired of sweet things too. I love the whole wheat mini-bagels with either peanut butter or cream cheese sandwiched in. They are small, so will fit in a small trunk bag or even a back pocket if you want to do that.

    Have fun on your ride!
    "Don't go too fast, but I go pretty far"

 

 

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