Riding a century in 2 weeks.

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    Aug 29, 2011 1:53 AM GMT
    Been a few years since the last. In good shape, but these days, haven't cycled more then 50 miles top (and that takes me out). To boot, might be some heat, although a lot of the ride is along the coast. Any last min. training advice?
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    Aug 29, 2011 6:43 AM GMT
    Going from 50 to 100 when you're struggling at that distance is going to be a challenge to work up to in 2 weeks. The best advice I can give is to get in plenty of miles this week with some climbing and sprinting, then do a 75 mile ride on Saturday with a shorter ride on Sunday. Take it easy the following week (short rides at easy pace) so you have fresh legs for the century.

    On the day of the century, ride at an easy pace for the first third to warm up, then a little faster for the middle third, then your legs will tell you how to ride the last third.

    I've did the Palm Springs Century last year without training up to it, but that one is almost entirely flat and I had stayed in shape in the winter with riding on my trainer and doing 50-60 mile rides every weekend. You might also do well if the century is also flatter than the shorter rides you're doing now.

    Finally, if you can ride with a group, you'll save 20-30% of your energy when you're in another rider's slipstream. Find a few people to ride with and share the load (that has to be the first non-sexual use of that phrase on this site ever).

    Good luck!
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    Aug 29, 2011 6:58 AM GMT
    I rode my first century ride this year. I didn't sign up for it until 3 weeks before the ride. Luckily I had been doing 90 min. spin classes 3 times a week for several months (5 to be exact) leading up to the ride. I did a 40 mile ride 2 weeks before and then a 70 mile ride the week before. If you can ride at least 70 before the ride, then you can do the century no problem.

    So I guess my advice to you is to try and do a 70 mile ride soon to see how it goes.

    Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition!!!! It is important to carb load for at least 4 days leading up to the even, NOT JUST THE DAY BEFORE. It takes several days for your carb stores to fill up. Also get a good amount of protein.

    On the day of the ride, make sure you eat a good sized breakfast of carbs and protein and make sure you have nutrition for during the ride......this is very important. You should consume about 250-300 calories for every hour on the bike. I really enjoy Cliff's "Shot Blok's". They replenish electrolytes, have some carbs, have a good amount of calories, and are slow digesting to give you longer lasting energy. I've had good success with Cliff Shot gels as well for that quick energy. Both of these have non-caffeine, and caffeinated choices. I like some of each. That caffeine really comes to bat after the first 50 miles are behind ya.

    Don't just try to survive on these alone though. Stuff some granola bars into your riding jersey pockets as well. Does this ride have fuel stations? If so, they usually have some granola bars, as well as bread and peanut butter to throw together a quick sandwich. The bread provides much needed carbs and the peanut butter is an easy digesting source of long lasting energy and protein.

    Hydration, hydration, hydration. It is key to consume 20-25 oz. of fluid for every hour on the bike. Water alone will not cut it. Have Gatorade or some form of electrolyte enhanced sports drink to help in replenishing electrolytes. This will help muscles function better and prevent cramping.

    This is Important......don't wait until you are thirsty to drink!!! By then it is TOO LATE and it will be very hard to get hydrated while riding.

    A side note-----Sodium replacement is very beneficial in cramp prevention. A significant amount of sodium is lost thru sweat. The amount of sodium in Gatorade (or the like) is usually not enough to keep up with the amount lost thru perspiration. Salt tablets are something to look into. The Cliff "Shot Blok" that I mentioned earlier, makes one they call the "cramp buster", in which they have added much more sodium than the normal ones. Sodium intake will also help you to retain water and thus stay hydrated. Water will follow sodium to keep electrolytes balanced. So, as you loose sodium in sweet, water will follow. As you keep sodium coming in, so will the water stay in.

    You can find some sweat calculators on-line to help you figure out your sweat rate and should give you an idea for optimal replacement of fluids/electrolytes/sodium.

    If you can manage to do these, the ride should go pretty well. Hope this is what you were looking for, or at least you found helpful and that the ride goes smoothly. Hope to hear how it goes!!

    ~~~~~~~One last thing. Try some of the gels, Shot Bloks, or whatever nutrition you decide to use on your rides BEFORE the actual century. Nothing will kill a century ride or make it miserable quicker than stomach aches from stuff its not used to.~~~~~~~

    HAPPY RIDING!!!
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    Aug 30, 2011 12:43 AM GMT
    I just completed the Hotter 'N Hell 100 this weekend in 110+ degree temperatures. As a matter of fact, I also did the 12 mile mountain bike race the day before too. I pretty much did everything joelryn pointed out and survived.

    I'll also add that if your prone to cramps like I am, pickle juice will help. Mind you that I don't like pickles. In fact, I can't stand the taste of them. But a friend of mine taught me to fill up a bottle with 5 to 6 oz of pickle juice, and top off the rest with lemonade. The lemonade will mask the pickle taste. I've also used electrolyte mix instead of lemonade. It does dilute the taste a bit, but it's bearable for me. Pickle juice is packed with electrolytes and you'll absorb it quickly.

    But yeah, nutrition is the key, but don't over do it. Learn to eat on the bike and spread that 250 to 300 calories across. If you eat too fast, you could make yourself sick. You'll have to experiment and find out what foods work best for you.

    Also, regarding the heat. When it got to above 100, I could feel my body starting to overheat. At the aid stations, I would get ice cold water and drench my jersey with it, so that it would retain a little water. I also stuff ice down the front and back of my jersey. When I was out riding, it lasted long enough to keep my core temperature down for about 10 miles. By the time I got to the next aid station, I was completely dry, and I repeated the process.

    Good luck! When you cross the finish line, it's the greatest feeling in the world. icon_smile.gificon_twisted.gif
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    Aug 30, 2011 1:09 AM GMT
    Erik, joelryn, and solo - thanks for the input. Going to do a 70 mile ride this week end. Will take the nutrition / hydration to heart.

    Solo, you're an animal. 100 miles in 110 degree weather. I'd be dead after 10!
  • gwuinsf

    Posts: 525

    Aug 30, 2011 9:55 PM GMT
    It sounds like you're doing this for achievement, not for time, so my advice is just take it easy. Don't kill yourself in the first half. Enjoy the ride and take it easy. Stop at all the pits, hydrate and eat, and take your time.

    State of mind is A LOT of it IMO. Breaking the ride into intervals helps. "Only 25 miles to the next pit".
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    Aug 30, 2011 10:07 PM GMT
    Strictly doing it for fun. Its an organized ride for Orange County to San Diego, and the Amtrack brings you back. Some friends had to back out and passed the tickets to me and a buddy. We both do tris, but only at the olympic distance. Also understand there's a pretty nasty hill (long) at mile 80 (Torrey Pines). Will definately take the advice to heart. Planning a 70 mile ride for Sat per Eric and Joel's advice.

    Thanks for the input.
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    Aug 31, 2011 4:50 AM GMT
    TriAthInCA saidAlso understand there's a pretty nasty hill (long) at mile 80 (Torrey Pines).


    I do Torrey regularly. It's 1.5 miles long and a gradual climb averaging about 6%. The elevation gain is only a little over 400 feet, so it really isn't as hard as people think.

    That said, where it does get its reputation from is the fact that it's a constant climb with no stops and not a foot of elevation loss on the way up. Also, depending on the weather and time of day, sometimes the sun can really beat down on you. The road curves in a couple places and fools you into thinking you're closer to the top than you are, so keep pedaling at a steady pace until you see the blinking lights--then you'll know you're finally there!

    I haven't done the Amtrak, but what will tire you out more than Torrey is the crosswind through Camp Pendleton--hopefully, you'll be sharing the load in the wind. I've tired myself out through there riding solo a few times. Also, there's a little bit of a climb through Del Mar between Solana Beach and Torrey Pines state beach that sneaks up on you. Watch out for that.

    Once you're past Torrey, its just a short ride on the mesa until you get in a fast descent and then it's flat all the way to the finish.

    I'm glad the other guys hit on electrolytes, nutrition and hydration--definitely important. Since you do tris, you probably already have a sports drink and food that work for you--I recommend sticking to those and not trying anything different.
  • UStriathlete

    Posts: 320

    Aug 31, 2011 5:18 AM GMT
    I do Torrey as well...

    just pace yourself, it's not that bad, it's gradual climb, nothing like the santa monica mountains, like latigo or maholland etc. it will be over before you know it.

    it's wont be hot, the beach is right there, with a breeze.
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    Sep 04, 2011 11:14 PM GMT
    Thanks for all the input guys.

    Did a 62 mile ride today, starting and ending with 15 miles of hilly terrain. Ride ended with a 5 mile sready climb with some periods of relief. Did a couple goos during the ride and a double goo just before the last 15 miles of hills. Did not feel anywhere near as wiped as last weeks 50 mile ride. Thanks for all the pointers feeling pretty good going into next week.
  • GoodPup

    Posts: 752

    Oct 22, 2011 4:39 AM GMT
    Just noticed these postings... how did the Amtrak ride go for you? The rain made it a tough day. By mile 70 I was so exhausted and Torrey Pines damn near killed me. haha!

    Tomorrow I'm doing the MS Ride... very similar route, but 100 on Saturday but once you get to Carlsbad you go inland and then come back and finish there. Then day 2 is 50 more miles taking you from Carlsbad down to Mission Bay in San Diego.
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    Oct 22, 2011 4:49 AM GMT
    JaseinOC saidJust noticed these postings... how did the Amtrak ride go for you? The rain made it a tough day. By mile 70 I was so exhausted and Torrey Pines damn near killed me. haha!

    Tomorrow I'm doing the MS Ride... very similar route, but 100 on Saturday but once you get to Carlsbad you go inland and then come back and finish there. Then day 2 is 50 more miles taking you from Carlsbad down to Mission Bay in San Diego.


    Hey JeseinOC - it was a blast. Good luck on the MS ride tomorrow. Did that some years back. And if you ever want to ride, I'm in Anaheim Hills.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Oct 26, 2011 5:35 AM GMT
    The longest ride I've had for many years was 50 miles and it just about killed me. The problem I'm experiencing is an incompatibility with the saddle; the pain gradually builds 'til it is unbearable. Even special padded under shorts do not completely solve the problem. It helps to move around a bit on the saddle and periodically lift myself completely off it, but the pain is still there. The longest I can ride without excessive derriere pain is about 30 miles. As a result, I can't imagine myself riding 100 miles, but I could work up to it if I found a solution for the derriere pain.
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    Oct 26, 2011 5:42 AM GMT
    FRE0 saidThe longest ride I've had for many years was 50 miles and it just about killed me. The problem I'm experiencing is an incompatibility with the saddle; the pain gradually builds 'til it is unbearable. Even special padded under shorts do not completely solve the problem. It helps to move around a bit on the saddle and periodically lift myself completely off it, but the pain is still there. The longest I can ride without excessive derriere pain is about 30 miles. As a result, I can't imagine myself riding 100 miles, but I could work up to it if I found a solution for the derriere pain.


    Sounds like the saddle is not the correct size for you, and/or you need to adjust the position. That's something you'll have to experiment with in different saddle sizes. Your sit bones should be supporting your weight, and a proper width will match up with your sit bones. When your resting on your sit bones, pain and numbness should almost be non-existent. Of course, if you sit there long enough, you'll eventually experience discomfort, but nothing too intense.

    I myself ride a 145mm saddle width. Anything smaller doesn't work for me.
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    Oct 26, 2011 1:29 PM GMT
    FRE0 saidThe longest ride I've had for many years was 50 miles and it just about killed me. The problem I'm experiencing is an incompatibility with the saddle; the pain gradually builds 'til it is unbearable. Even special padded under shorts do not completely solve the problem. It helps to move around a bit on the saddle and periodically lift myself completely off it, but the pain is still there. The longest I can ride without excessive derriere pain is about 30 miles. As a result, I can't imagine myself riding 100 miles, but I could work up to it if I found a solution for the derriere pain.

    You may need a gel saddle, plus a gel chamois in your biker shorts or underwear. I have briefs with gel paddings from Andiamo! that give me cushioning even when wearing ordinary cargo shorts for use around town.

    prd_andiamo-padded-bike-briefs.xlg?partn

    http://www.internationaljock.com/andiamo-padded-bike-briefs,4514.html

    It may also be possible, and forgive me for suggesting this, that at your age you are losing tissue mass, especially muscle, in effect "thinning out" in that area. You also don't describe the nature of your discomfort, so is there any possibility you're developing hemorrhoids?

    I'm riding 165 miles in 3 weeks, 100 the first and 65 the second, down to Key West. I try to ride every day, because that keeps the perineal area tough and resistant to saddle pain. Not riding frequently enough can also be a cause of discomfort on longer rides.
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    Oct 26, 2011 1:37 PM GMT
    Art_Deco saidI'm riding 165 miles in 3 weeks, 100 the first and 65 the second, down to Key West. I try to ride every day, because that keeps the perineal area tough and resistant to saddle pain. Not riding frequently enough can also be a cause of discomfort on longer rides.


    Way to go Art!!!!
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Oct 26, 2011 8:43 PM GMT
    SoloXCRacer said
    FRE0 saidThe longest ride I've had for many years was 50 miles and it just about killed me. The problem I'm experiencing is an incompatibility with the saddle; the pain gradually builds 'til it is unbearable. Even special padded under shorts do not completely solve the problem. It helps to move around a bit on the saddle and periodically lift myself completely off it, but the pain is still there. The longest I can ride without excessive derriere pain is about 30 miles. As a result, I can't imagine myself riding 100 miles, but I could work up to it if I found a solution for the derriere pain.


    Sounds like the saddle is not the correct size for you, and/or you need to adjust the position. That's something you'll have to experiment with in different saddle sizes. Your sit bones should be supporting your weight, and a proper width will match up with your sit bones. When your resting on your sit bones, pain and numbness should almost be non-existent. Of course, if you sit there long enough, you'll eventually experience discomfort, but nothing too intense.

    I myself ride a 145mm saddle width. Anything smaller doesn't work for me.


    Thanks for the suggestion. I'll see if there is some way to try out different saddles without having to buy them first.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Oct 26, 2011 8:51 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    FRE0 saidThe longest ride I've had for many years was 50 miles and it just about killed me. The problem I'm experiencing is an incompatibility with the saddle; the pain gradually builds 'til it is unbearable. Even special padded under shorts do not completely solve the problem. It helps to move around a bit on the saddle and periodically lift myself completely off it, but the pain is still there. The longest I can ride without excessive derriere pain is about 30 miles. As a result, I can't imagine myself riding 100 miles, but I could work up to it if I found a solution for the derriere pain.

    You may need a gel saddle, plus a gel chamois in your biker shorts or underwear. I have briefs with gel paddings from Andiamo! that give me cushioning even when wearing ordinary cargo shorts for use around town.

    prd_andiamo-padded-bike-briefs.xlg?partn

    http://www.internationaljock.com/andiamo-padded-bike-briefs,4514.html

    It may also be possible, and forgive me for suggesting this, that at your age you are losing tissue mass, especially muscle, in effect "thinning out" in that area. You also don't describe the nature of your discomfort, so is there any possibility you're developing hemorrhoids?

    I'm riding 165 miles in 3 weeks, 100 the first and 65 the second, down to Key West. I try to ride every day, because that keeps the perineal area tough and resistant to saddle pain. Not riding frequently enough can also be a cause of discomfort on longer rides.


    I've tried a gel cover for the saddle and it made little difference. I have padded undershorts designed for bicycle riding; they help a bit, not not enough.

    Hemorrhoids are not the problem; the pain is not in that area, but I can see how depending on how a saddle is contoured, that could be a problem for some riders.

    After changing gymnasia (from the gym for geriatric citizens at $13 per year plus a requested donation of 50 cents per workout to Defined Fitness) a few weeks ago, I started using a machine to strengthen the glutes. That didn't make any difference either, although I thought that it might.

    Even when I was riding more than 100 miles per week, the problem did not diminish. I'll see if there is some practical way to try different saddles because I really would like to be able to ride longer distances. As near as I can tell, it's not an especially unusual problem.
  • UStriathlete

    Posts: 320

    Oct 27, 2011 11:46 PM GMT

    Sounds like the saddle is not the correct size for you, and/or you need to adjust the position. That's something you'll have to experiment with in different saddle sizes. Your sit bones should be supporting your weight, and a proper width will match up with your sit bones. When your resting on your sit bones, pain and numbness should almost be non-existent. Of course, if you sit there long enough, you'll eventually experience discomfort, but nothing too intense.

    I myself ride a 145mm saddle width. Anything smaller doesn't work for me.

    Thanks for the suggestion. I'll see if there is some way to try out different saddles without having to buy them first.[/quote]


    you must try www.ism.com or a www.cobbcycling.com saddle they are magic. plus a good bike fit. it's not really really your shorts or pad.

    both companies do a demo program.
  • gwuinsf

    Posts: 525

    Oct 31, 2011 4:54 PM GMT
    Unless you're just looking to be a casual, occasional rider I don't recommend gel padded saddles or even extra cushion in your shorts. Definitely take the recommendation of saddle fit, but I also think when you start doing any serious riding your sit bones are just going to hurt. Eventually with enough riding your sit bones get used to that pressure and the pain goes away.