Author Topic: Long Ride Rest Strategy  (Read 3101 times)

Long Ride Rest Strategy
« on: April 10, 2017, 03:26:53 pm »
Hello everyone.

I'm planning to do a 140+ mile ride. The most I've done in the past is 103 miles, which wasn't too bad, albeit I felt a bit debilitated afterwards.

I know that there are a lot of considerations to take into account in planning this - the right weather, eating properly and all that. But what I'm interested in at the moment is an appropriate rest strategy.

Is it better in general (for example) to take shorter, more frequent rests? So would a five minute rest every 45 minutes be better than a ten minute rest every 90 (say)? Is it a good idea to take more than an hour off at the half-way stage? And so on.

Any thoughts welcome and appreciated.


Re: Long Ride Rest Strategy
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2017, 03:30:58 pm »
Depends a lot on your fitness, how tough the route is (hilly, headwinds) and your load.

Eating well and sufficiently is a major factor.

A lot of people here will do 140miles with minimal rest, just a few 10min breaks to eat. Some will want breaks of an hour or two.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

cameronp

  • upside down
Re: Long Ride Rest Strategy
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2017, 05:02:49 pm »
If I'm riding by myself, I tend to go by feel. Usually stops will be less frequent at the start of the ride and more frequent towards the end. Your route will also tend to certain places natural for stopping: a town with a nice cafe at the top of a big hill, perhaps.

Try not to stop for too long, because it can be hard to get back on the bike again if you're too cooled down. On the other hand, for a ride that length you may well want at least one decent-length rest break in there. For me, that would mean around 45 minutes - I certainly wouldn't want to rest for more than an hour in the middle of a ride.

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Long Ride Rest Strategy
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2017, 05:31:47 pm »
it depends on how it works for you. fwiw, rest stops don't work for me as my legs seize up and it takes twenty minutes of riding to get into the flow again. so i prefer not to stop, unless necessary (and keep on riding at a gentle pace instead).

Re: Long Ride Rest Strategy
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2017, 07:21:07 pm »
I don't tend to think of 'rest stops', but 'refuelling stops'. As posted by cameronp, I would have fewer stops earlier on, and increase the frequency later.

On a 200km event, there are often cafe or food stops every 50km or so. I would generally make sure I'm fuelled up before I start, have something quick at the first stop after 50km, and then have something more substantial at the halfway mark. The third stop is just a top-up to see me through the ride. Stop time is dictated by the type of place - up to 45 mins for a sit-down cafe, or 20 mins if eating on a garage forecourt or similar.

If any one stretch is a little longer (eg 60-80km), then I might take a quick stop at some point to eat a banana or similar.

I don't really think that 'resting' is necessary, but being off the bike does helps to stretch all the muscles and avoid issues of being in the same position for too long.

I guess the one exception is on a really hot day, when a 'rest' in the shade can be advisable to cool the body temperature.

Re: Long Ride Rest Strategy
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2017, 07:21:41 pm »
Long stops (>5 minutes) don't work at all for me, but I normally try to take a couple minute break every 20Km-ish (sort of hourly) whether I feel I need it or not, and feel better for that overall. Stop, have a drink maybe a munch, carry on, but as is a common theme here, each to their own.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Long Ride Rest Strategy
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2017, 07:36:42 pm »
Long stops (>5 minutes) don't work at all for me, but I normally try to take a couple minute break every 20Km-ish (sort of hourly) whether I feel I need it or not, and feel better for that overall. Stop, have a drink maybe a munch, carry on, but as is a common theme here, each to their own.

As a recumbent rider, I find that getting off the bike and standing up for a few minutes does wonders for my knees and spine.  "Every 20km-ish" sounds about right if there isn't any stopping at junctions or waiting for others to regroup.

Long stops aren't a problem, but big meals are.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Phil W

Re: Long Ride Rest Strategy
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2017, 07:57:03 pm »
There a minimum amount of faff time no matter how long you rest. So less stops for longer will allow you to complete your ride in a shorter time.  I generally base stops around food stops and or topping up my water bottles. So you could aim to stop roughly every 50 miles and have a hot meal and top up your fluids / drinks / energy levels.  Look at where you might be able to eat along your route and what time you might hit those places. For any other stops I tend not to plan them. If I come across a bench with a nice view on a quiet lane I'll stop on a whim for a few mins etc.

Re: Long Ride Rest Strategy
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2017, 09:58:53 pm »
Thanks a lot for the replies, very useful.

On a related note, if you do stop at a caff, pub or similar - do you clog round in your cleats, put covers on them, take a pair of light trainers in a back pack or something else?

I've taken a pair of flip-flops in the past but on other occasions I must admit I've strolled into Costa Coffee with cleats on. I take a lightweight cable and padlock to secure the bike to railings, post or whatever.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Long Ride Rest Strategy
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2017, 10:14:14 pm »
It probably depends whether you have, broadly speaking, road or mtb cleats, how happy you are walking in them and what the attitude of the place is. Most places don't seem to mind people cleating around but some, particularly village halls with wooden floors, do. I can only think of one commercial establishment that asks you to do this though and even then only for exposed cleats. I use SPDs and keep them on (in that cafe).
An ungovernable laughter, a joyous agitation which makes the summer stretching before you seem like an unrolling canvas on which you might draw those first rude pure strokes that are free. (Capote)

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Long Ride Rest Strategy
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2017, 02:27:27 am »
Make a mental 'shopping list' of  things you should do at your next stop, do them, don't faff move on. The list may include:
Eat
Drink
Rest
Toilet
Adjust clothing
Fill Bottles/buy food
Adjust lighting
Attend to maps/route sheet/GPS

I would plan to stop every 90 minutes or so but we're all different and formal controls on an Audax need a systematic approach.

There will be times when you make an unscheduled stop - usually mechanicals or bladder. Try to minimise these, but take the opportunity to eat before you get your hands dirty!.

There might be times when it takes half an hour to 'clear' a cafe stop. It is usually still more efficient to get all the 'jobs' done in one stop.

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: Long Ride Rest Strategy
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2017, 09:01:12 am »
When I'm planning an Audax I allow for 20-minute stops every 50 km and a meal break of at least an hour every 100 or close to a natural meal-time.  If you manage your speed properly your legs shouldn't be so hammered that they stiffen up, or at least not more than five minutes pedalling will fix. Aim to do the whole ride at a moderate speed - the UAF Audax moving average is 22.5 kph which, given that there'll be periods when you're forced to slow down, usually means riding at 24-26 kph when you're on the flat and unimpeded.

Above all, enjoy the countryside and have fun.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Re: Long Ride Rest Strategy
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2017, 10:36:14 am »
I hate stopping so I try and ride 100km a time. Definite depending on weather though.

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

  • Miles eaten don't satisfy hunger
  • 3x Brimstone ancien 3x Pendle/Tan Hill DNF
    • CET Ride Reports and Blogs
Re: Long Ride Rest Strategy
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2017, 07:20:04 pm »
Counter to a lot of posts above, I prefer to have a 30 minute stop from time to time as I find that helps my ability to digest food.  This usually coincides with control stops or cafes.  With experience I've been able to extend the length of my stages, but when I started I would have a break after 3 hours and then ever 2 - 2.5 hours.  Now, I'm good for 5 hours if necessary before the first stop.  After that I'll go up to four hour stages but if it is a longer stage usually have one or two short stops (usually to answer the call of nature and grab some food that's not so easy to eat on the go).  On this strategy I ride about 2mph faster than if I take just short stops, so I lose very little time overall and I feel a lot happier.  I do ride the first 15-20 minutes after the food stop a little slower (again to help digestion) and that also helps the legs to warm up.  But unlike some other posters I don't have a problem with the legs seizing.
Eddington Numbers 124 (imperial), 168 (metric) 517 (furlongs)  111 (nautical miles)

Re: Long Ride Rest Strategy
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2017, 10:51:57 pm »
When I'm planning an Audax I allow for 20-minute stops every 50 km and a meal break of at least an hour every 100 or close to a natural meal-time.  If you manage your speed properly your legs shouldn't be so hammered that they stiffen up, or at least not more than five minutes pedalling will fix. Aim to do the whole ride at a moderate speed - the UAF Audax moving average is 22.5 kph which, given that there'll be periods when you're forced to slow down, usually means riding at 24-26 kph when you're on the flat and unimpeded.

Above all, enjoy the countryside and have fun.
Roughly this, except I don't travel as fast as that when on the bike :-[

Re: Long Ride Rest Strategy
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2018, 05:56:13 pm »
Thanks a lot for the helpful replies everyone. I did that 140+ mile ride and did a 179 mile one later in the year. Hoping to do a 200 miler this summer.

Samuel D

Re: Long Ride Rest Strategy
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2018, 09:10:13 am »
Well done. Did you arrive at a preferred rest strategy?

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Long Ride Rest Strategy
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2018, 11:23:52 pm »
Counter to a lot of posts above, I prefer to have a 30 minute stop from time to time as I find that helps my ability to digest food.  This usually coincides with control stops or cafes. ..

Which is why should almost always EAT before you do anything else if you get a puncture or mechanical...

Re: Long Ride Rest Strategy
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2018, 05:56:40 pm »
Well done. Did you arrive at a preferred rest strategy?

Thank-you. Not really. I have a policy of stopping every 30 miles or so depending on on available bench or promising looking fence to lean against, preferably withdrawn a little from the road so I can take a discreet leak. On the 179 miler I stopped at a McDonalds for about 30-40 minutes at roughly the half-way mark.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Long Ride Rest Strategy
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2018, 09:01:22 pm »
Is it better in general (for example) to take shorter, more frequent rests? So would a five minute rest every 45 minutes be better than a ten minute rest every 90 (say)? Is it a good idea to take more than an hour off at the half-way stage? And so on.

Any thoughts welcome and appreciated.

Consider that I am a relative novice to the long riding thing, so by all means take what I'm about to say with a pinch of salt[1].

I find that the main thing that limits how far I can go without stopping is my bladder. Having suffered greatly in the past from dehydration and heat stroke, I have a justifiable fear of not drinking enough, meaning that I end up needing to stop to pee about every 50-60km[2] (2-3 hours).

In winter I've also found I need to stop every 25-30km to wiggle my toes and get some feeling back (and even change socks on really cold rides).

Riding in Germany last month I was amusing myself by doing the maths on speeds and breaks. If I stop for 5 minutes every hour, for 12 hours, that adds up to a whole hour total, leaving 12.5 hours of the 13.5 to ride, meaning I then need to average 16kph, rather than 15. Factor in 30 mins for a meal at each of the 2 controls, and average speed needs to go up to 17.4kph... I'm not 100% sure what the best balance is in terms of rest stops to riding time, but I'm experimenting with all my rides.

The only advice I can be sure of, be careful in winter of getting too cold when you stop. If you have something insulated to stick on when you stop, do so. Keep your body heat up, if you stop for a long cafe/lunch break, consider having a clean/dry base layer in your bag that you can change into. Keep warm. With the related note of when you take your gloves off to eat, put them in your jersey to keep warm, or the sweat in there will get cold and you'll have a hell of a job getting the heat back in there...

J

[1]a slice of lemon and a shot of tequila...

[2]not as easy as you might think in a country where you can see, and be seen for miles, with foliage coverage to match the Nullarbor. Nipping behind a bush to squat down just means you're visible to a different set of people...
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/