Author Topic: Stepping up to distances greater than 300km  (Read 3133 times)

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: Stepping up to distances greater than 300km
« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2020, 01:41:19 pm »
On 400s I always felt very discouraged when I got the first smell of the night air.  We'd stop for dinner in a town, ride out an hour later and as soon as we'd hit the countryside the smell of the fields would hit me like a hammer.  The feeling would wear off in ten minutes, but if during that time someone had suggested quitting I'd have found it hard to resist.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Re: Stepping up to distances greater than 300km
« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2020, 01:50:46 pm »
Riding into the night is a splendid feeling for me.  It's the cold light of dawn that I like less (especially when it really is cold).

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: Stepping up to distances greater than 300km
« Reply #27 on: January 31, 2020, 01:52:35 pm »
It's funny: I never minded it on 600s or 1000k+ rides, but something about the 4 pm start of the 400s got me every time.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Re: Stepping up to distances greater than 300km
« Reply #28 on: January 31, 2020, 02:19:53 pm »
Riding into the night is a splendid feeling for me.  It's the cold light of dawn that I like less (especially when it really is cold).

Indeed.   I'll happily push on into the night but prefer to be off the road 2-5am when my sleep requirement really kicks in.   I find this less of a problem with an evening start when, provided I have banked some sleep, I can ride straight through.

To the OP - I discovered sports nutrition a few years ago.   It's not to everyone's taste and you have to experiment but I find a bar & gel every 50s and light feeds at controls to be the best combination.   On a 400 or 600 I will have the odd sit-down meal but I tend to prefer to keep moving and minimise stops.

Re: Stepping up to distances greater than 300km
« Reply #29 on: January 31, 2020, 02:42:01 pm »
^Ditto

Love the sense of mystery and adventure as night falls, particularly if meeting revellers emerging from pubs. But after 1am it turns into a horror show. 

Such is my dislike of riding in the small hours that if I'm not fit enough to finish a 400k before 1am I wont entertain it.

Re: Stepping up to distances greater than 300km
« Reply #30 on: January 31, 2020, 02:43:46 pm »
It's funny: I never minded it on 600s or 1000k+ rides, but something about the 4 pm start of the 400s got me every time.

Oh I love a late start to ride through the (first) night. The adrenaline is flowing, as you begin to tire and feel the effects of the night the sun pops up and makes everything lush. Much rather prefer that than being drained going into the dark and fighting the dozzies.

Re: Stepping up to distances greater than 300km
« Reply #31 on: January 31, 2020, 03:49:29 pm »
The Straggler and me are known as Lanterne Rouge riders, we could be quicker if we want to or need to recover time for a mechanical or headwind, but generally our approach is to only use 80% effort, start at the back, and reach busy controls as others are leaving, saving waiting time.

I tend to set the time targets between controls, this keeps our pace consistent and buys the stopping time, which we use as we wish, sometimes 20 minutes, sometimes 40, even going into the red if we know we can buy it back on the next section. So really we do what many do, treat a long distance ride as a series of short ones, taking whatever stops are needed, eating what you can, I am down to milkshakes after 200k or cola to soothe my throat.

For us this allows for an enjoyable ride, we finish fresh and well within time limits as a rule.   

telstarbox

  • Loving the lanes
Re: Stepping up to distances greater than 300km
« Reply #32 on: January 31, 2020, 05:16:40 pm »
I tend to plan food stops in advance - starting with the control towns/village halls and then reducing the 'gaps' down to 30km ish scouting out shops or cafes using Google Maps. Sometimes organisers will identify mid-course shopportunities in the rider notes.

From experience, Co-ops and BP/M&S petrol stations have a good range of vaguely healthy stuff. Costcutter/Londis/Mace tend to be more limited to pasties and flapjacks.

Wetherspoon pubs are usually consistent, if uninspiring, and usually serve food within 10 minutes of ordering it.

The old advice to "eat/drink before you're hungry/thirsty" is very wise - and it's good to have some backup snacks in a pocket or saddlebag.
2019 🏅 R1000 and B1000

Re: Stepping up to distances greater than 300km
« Reply #33 on: January 31, 2020, 08:13:05 pm »
Hmm.  I think I've probably made most of the mistakes in the book.

  • Ran out of food, had to resort to raiding the hedgerow for sustenance.
  • Started with little sleep the night before.
  • Started with an enormous hangover.
  • Started with little sleep and an enormous hangover.
  • Set off far too fast and suffered the consequences.
  • Forgotten money or bidons or clothing.
  • Turned up on the wrong day.
  • Turned up on the fixed because I thought I was on a different, flatter, ride.
  • Misread the routesheet for several bonus kms.
  • Had the routesheet disintegrate in a day of stormy rain.
  • Lost my brevet card.
  • Discovered I'd loaded only part of the route on my Garmin.

I'm sure I'm still capable of adding to the list.  It's all part of the fun.



Re: Stepping up to distances greater than 300km
« Reply #34 on: February 01, 2020, 11:07:00 am »
I’m still very much learning. I started with a viewpoint that anything is possible, and have gradually set limits for myself - which I still resent, rather than starting from the point I’ve done 100k, I’m not sure I can do 200.

Coming to it later in life has some advantages. I’ve learned something along the way, but still have the enthusiasm of the beginner. I had a colleague who lost a huge amount of weight and took up running. One of his club mates told him, “I really envy you. I’ve been running all my life, know exactly what I’m capable of, and know I’ll never be as fast as I used to be. You’re still getting faster and don’t know what your limits are.”

There were some shocks. Stomach problems being the biggest one. I always thought my stomach was bulletproof and I could eat anything. Finding that was not the case was a surprise. Scrambled eggs really work for me. At a cafe stop I’ll always try to have scrambled eggs on toast if my guts are a bit fragile. I’ve come to recognise that is known as gastric distress, and is the main reason for people packing on endurance events.

Repeated mishaps gradually wear through my cloak of invincibility. 4 punctures on my only 400, and a broken garmin due to water damage, had me very close to packing. A helpful soul gave me a park tools tyre boot, which saw me through, but I was quite close to the time limit, cold wet and lost.

Breaking it down into sections works for me, but my mood and motivation picks up at the end. In fact halfways is a huge psychological boost, and it feels as though “it’s all downhill from here!”

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Stepping up to distances greater than 300km
« Reply #35 on: February 01, 2020, 12:12:27 pm »
Many in Audax have come to it 'later in life', some having had joint issues in other, higher impact activities, some just choosing a challenge.

As I was silly/audacious enough NOT to withdraw from my first 600 on a Saturday/Sunday when I'd spent the previous Thursday puking my guts up, I was prepared to be gentle on my fragile digestion and pack should the need arise. I'm lucky that I can miss one night's sleep without too much trouble -I suppose years as a junior doctor trained me up!

I've always been something of a solo rider as my pace was painfully much slower than most. Getting food right is a balance between what's available, what 'works', what you fancy and the time factor.

IMHO it's NEVER worth pushing the next feed until you're completely depleted, even if the next control is theoretically only a few minutes off. A quick snack can put the power back in your legs and if you ARE totally depleted you might be past the stage of a feed boosting you. (There's also the pssibility of something like a p*nct*r* delaying your arrival at a control.

Faffing kills time and it's worth planning exactly what you want to do at any control, doing it and going. I think it's usually best not to leave a control wth any basic need unmet. My usual list:
Eat
Drink
Food for the road
toilet
Bottle refill
Clothing adjustment
Rest

Suggest avoid excessive queuing time by doing something else on the list while others queue. (That's why eating bag food in the queue might help, just because you can start digesting and absorbing it ASAP.)

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: Stepping up to distances greater than 300km
« Reply #36 on: February 01, 2020, 04:52:12 pm »
It's funny: I never minded it on 600s or 1000k+ rides, but something about the 4 pm start of the 400s got me every time.

Oh I love a late start to ride through the (first) night. The adrenaline is flowing, as you begin to tire and feel the effects of the night the sun pops up and makes everything lush. Much rather prefer that than being drained going into the dark and fighting the dozzies.

I enjoyed late starts too, but a 400 starting at 4 pm made me feel stale at nightfall.  As I said, it always passed quickly.  9 pm or 10 pm starts were great.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

  • Miles eaten don't satisfy hunger
  • Chartered accountant in 5 different decades
    • CET Ride Reports and Blogs
Re: Stepping up to distances greater than 300km
« Reply #37 on: February 01, 2020, 05:21:45 pm »
I have done two > 300 rides so far, a 400 and a 600. The 400 was by far the hardest and you can read about it here https://calumonwheels.com/2019/12/08/the-daft-story-of-my-hardest-ride/amp/

For me the big stumbling blocks were psychological - in Belgium I basically had no choice but to ride on, if I'd happened across a train or a hotel I'd have 100% stopped. But with that experience behind me it's given me strength to go further.

That's a great blog, thanks.

In my Audax career todate I have done 20x100km brevets, 35x150, 42x200 and 1x300. Its got to be psychological! I have a library of excuses & reasons but I am eliminating them one by one, here all ride distances cost the same, (which is mostly just the brevet card and BRM homologation cost, very few are "supported" in any way),  so once I crack the longer distance I am going to save heaps in ride fees. My 300 (310) was very flat therefore with the expected wind but wasn't so bad,  15h55, quite pleased with myself except I was curled up in the 24 hour truck stop / service station (final control) toilet for about an hour afterwards being sick, the staff would come in every 5 minutes to see if I was still alive, they brought my bike inside to keep it safe, after a hour I crawled next door to the caravan park where my tent was pitched and I was surprised in the morning that I was still alive, great experience though. This year is the year of SR.

Two things that may help with stomach troubles over 200km:

1) Consider anti-reflux medication.  I found that taking a rainitidine tablet six hours into a 300 helped with my stomach troubles
2) Keep the stomach and kidney areas warm - especially if the weather is (a) below 12C or (b) on events where there are lots of climbs and descents (I learned this on the Kernow and SW, when I packed due to stomach troubles the first time I tried it and continued on despite second-day stomach troubles the second time I rode it) - I got hot on the climbs but immediately chilled especially in the stomach area, on the descents - this repeated cook-chill played havoc with my digestive system.  Goretex do a kidney warmer for cyclists which helps keep the gut warm and makes it easier to digest food. 
Eddington Numbers 125 (imperial), 170 (metric) 520 (furlongs)  112 (nautical miles)

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Stepping up to distances greater than 300km
« Reply #38 on: February 02, 2020, 09:28:28 pm »
Don't exhaust/stress/fatigue yourself by getting too:
Hot
Cold
Wet
Dry
Hungry
Full
Sore
Tired
Busting for a leak/loo.
Lost

Attending to these matters is not rocket science! You need sufficient clothing and bag space to be able to add and remove garments as conditions vary, You should always have some available drink and food. Attend to any minor discomfort before it escalates to a major pain.

Stress causes fatigue; avoid!

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Stepping up to distances greater than 300km
« Reply #39 on: February 03, 2020, 12:20:44 am »
Suggest avoid excessive queuing time by doing something else on the list while others queue. (That's why eating bag food in the queue might help, just because you can start digesting and absorbing it ASAP.)

I've taken to refilling bottles / water bag early on, along with anything bike-related like changing light batteries or sorting out mechanical niggles, so I get the outdoor faffing out of the way while I'm still warm from riding.  Minimises the amount of time spent getting cold before I can get going again (I run hot and freeze at controls in all but actually warm weather), and is usually a good way to not waste time in a queue.

Related:  If you're riding with a group, and waiting for someone else to finish faffing, go and check your tyres.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: Stepping up to distances greater than 300km
« Reply #40 on: February 03, 2020, 08:34:05 am »
You need sufficient clothing and bag space to be able to add and remove garments as conditions vary

...and you need to be able to stow wet gear without getting your dry stuff wet.  My rain jacket usually goes through a couple of straps on the outside of the saddlebag, and on significant rides spare gear is in labelled freezer bags. Sorting through six different black items at dead of night is boring.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Re: Stepping up to distances greater than 300km
« Reply #41 on: February 03, 2020, 08:44:56 am »
I have been audaxing regularly for nearly three years doing mainly 200km and 300km rides.
I have tried some rides longer than this and found them very tough. I managed to finish Brevet Cymru within the time limit last year but failed on 500 and 600 events.
Last year's Brevet Cymru was not easy with 8 dark hours of temperatures reaching down to zero. So completion of an 'easier' 600 is well within your grasp.
I've taken to refilling bottles / water bag early on, along with anything bike-related like changing light batteries or sorting out mechanical niggles, so I get the outdoor faffing out of the way while I'm still warm from riding. 
After arrival and before going to 'control' I sort everything out on the bike so that I can return to the bike, climb on and ride off: especially useful if there's a group leaving. So: GPS stuff whether that be charging or loading a new track, refolding map (I use road atlas sheets), clothing changes, lights, on-the-go food relocation - before going to eat/buy food/fill bottles/use the loo.

Re: Stepping up to distances greater than 300km
« Reply #42 on: February 03, 2020, 09:44:27 am »
Through experimentation the correct answer to “Would you like jalapeños on that?” is an emphatic “no”.

I also have found for me that it is often better to plod a long slowly than stop.


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vorsprung

  • Opposites Attract
    • Audaxing
Re: Stepping up to distances greater than 300km
« Reply #43 on: February 03, 2020, 06:12:09 pm »
https://audaxing.wordpress.com/2012/05/21/what-i-ate-on-the-bryan-chapman-memorial-600km/

 - little and often beats enormous meals
 - lots of liquids is good
 - electrolyte tablets (like Nuun) good, Carb Drinks bad
 - there are some foods that are tolerated better.  In my case Fruji

Have to agree with Tomsk about pacing.  If you want an easy method with no special equipment for limiting your pace - only breathe through the nose
Audaxing Blog follow @vorsprungbike on

Re: Stepping up to distances greater than 300km
« Reply #44 on: February 03, 2020, 06:14:58 pm »
Through experimentation the correct answer to “Would you like jalapeños on that?” is an emphatic “no”.

I’ve found that if I have gastric distress then spicy food is one of the things I can have!
If you don’t make time for exercise now, sooner or later you’ll need to make time for ill health.

Tomsk

  • Fueled by cake since 1957
    • tomsk.co.uk
Re: Stepping up to distances greater than 300km
« Reply #45 on: February 03, 2020, 08:07:44 pm »
Have to agree with Tomsk about pacing.  If you want an easy method with no special equipment for limiting your pace - only breathe through the nose

Under-performing is the key, for me - sort of the opposite of the fighter pilot's "Never throttle-back in combat". Or the great Beryl Burton: " Ride everywhere as fast as you can".

arabella

  • no se porque yo no lo se
Re: Stepping up to distances greater than 300km
« Reply #46 on: February 03, 2020, 08:43:45 pm »
I find 2 dinners the night before are handy. And breakfast.
Then ride it as a series of rides from control to control.
Have a proper break at each control.
Drink enough and eat enough, before you get hungry/thirsty.

I'm finding you have to want to finish - as I no longer have anything I feel I need to prove to myself I'm finding this harder now.

Pick rides that suit you as much as you can. (for me this is a 400 that starts at lunchtime as I'm going to ride through the night anyway and it means I don't have a prolem getting there/back on a train.  Alas the popular start time for a 400 seems to be 6:00 am.
In the dark, all views are the same.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Stepping up to distances greater than 300km
« Reply #47 on: February 03, 2020, 09:27:24 pm »
https://audaxing.wordpress.com/2012/05/21/what-i-ate-on-the-bryan-chapman-memorial-600km/

 - little and often beats enormous meals
 - lots of liquids is good
 - electrolyte tablets (like Nuun) good, Carb Drinks bad
 - there are some foods that are tolerated better.  In my case Fruji

Have to agree with Tomsk about pacing.  If you want an easy method with no special equipment for limiting your pace - only breathe through the nose

Frijj/Yazoo (sweet milkshakes) are a godsend, especially latish on longer rides. Ubiquitous in garages etc and untaxed (VAT, sugar tax) at present. Water is taxed, milk and milk drinks are not (yet).

Not everyone tolerates milk though.

Re: Stepping up to distances greater than 300km
« Reply #48 on: February 03, 2020, 11:05:29 pm »
I find 2 dinners the night before are handy. And breakfast.

I’ve found it’s good to start the “little and often” thing in the 24 hours before a big ride. If you have a big dinner or a big breakfast you can feel *very hungry* mid-morning.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Stepping up to distances greater than 300km
« Reply #49 on: February 03, 2020, 11:36:44 pm »
Ideally, do not start any long ride with a food or sleep deficit from the previous week.

Carb loading is probably unnecessary but try to avoid skipping meals or curtailing sleeps.