Author Topic: Audaxability  (Read 3883 times)

Re: Audaxability
« Reply #25 on: April 24, 2020, 01:51:17 pm »
I had no idea what my BMI was so ran it through the NHS calculator.  20.6 - seems to be in the middle of healthy.

S2L

Re: Audaxability
« Reply #26 on: April 24, 2020, 02:07:08 pm »
I had no idea what my BMI was so ran it through the NHS calculator.  20.6 - seems to be in the middle of healthy.

It's actually pretty low! You are probably in the 5-10% of the population who are under 21... mine is 22.5 and I am considered pretty skinny.
You should be a hell of a climber

Re: Audaxability
« Reply #27 on: April 24, 2020, 02:46:39 pm »


I think my BMI was 27 when I completed PBP last year. Lockdown has it down to 26 hoping to get it below 25 for the first time in many years this summer.


Fine, but your 27 BMI was not your peak of fitness, otherwise you wouldn't try to reduce it...

To put it in another way, you completed PBP despite your BMI of 27, which proves my point that fitness is not a requirement for Audax.

I have yet to see a piece of evidence linking long distance cycling with any health benefit in addition to say, doing your 90-150 minutes of weekly exercise or whatever the Government bangs on about
Still fitter than most, despite their lower BMI
   Eddington  87 miles

Re: Audaxability
« Reply #28 on: April 24, 2020, 02:49:34 pm »

I think the ability to complete audax is mostly mental,  determination,  willpower and planning.  Soured becomes more crucial as the distances go up as riding faster reduces the need to ensure sleep deprivation.


Not leaving your bottles at home on the kitchen table ?   :)
LOL,

Pales into insignificance compared to losing my main light on the eurostar when heading over to do a Dutch 1000km and consequently sleeping outdoors on 2 nights, still finished with 3 hours spare

Did I neglect to mention adaptability and resourcefulness in the field?
   Eddington  87 miles

Re: Audaxability
« Reply #29 on: April 24, 2020, 03:31:56 pm »

I think the ability to complete audax is mostly mental,  determination,  willpower and planning.  Soured becomes more crucial as the distances go up as riding faster reduces the need to ensure sleep deprivation.


Not leaving your bottles at home on the kitchen table ?   :)
LOL,

Pales into insignificance compared to losing my main light on the eurostar when heading over to do a Dutch 1000km and consequently sleeping outdoors on 2 nights, still finished with 3 hours spare

Did I neglect to mention adaptability and resourcefulness in the field?

Much as that was in jest it's an important point.   When I caught up with you you had resolved the issue.

On PBP My left pedal fell apart at about 800k.   I was very lucky to be near a bike a shop and managed to buy a new pair of pedals and swap the cleats over, losing about an hour.   A few years back I would probably have had a tetchy strop and quit.

Re: Audaxability
« Reply #30 on: April 24, 2020, 10:58:34 pm »
I have yet to see a piece of evidence linking long distance cycling with any health benefit in addition to say, doing your 90-150 minutes of weekly exercise or whatever the Government bangs on about

The Norman Lazarus studies of a cohort of older cyclists (mentioned several times here, normally when he's looking for new participants) are a pretty good start - the BBC report gives a reasonable introduction and further links.

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-43308729

S2L

Re: Audaxability
« Reply #31 on: April 25, 2020, 06:52:18 am »
I have yet to see a piece of evidence linking long distance cycling with any health benefit in addition to say, doing your 90-150 minutes of weekly exercise or whatever the Government bangs on about

The Norman Lazarus studies of a cohort of older cyclists (mentioned several times here, normally when he's looking for new participants) are a pretty good start - the BBC report gives a reasonable introduction and further links.

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-43308729

That is encouraging, however it is not clear to me whether a group of long distance cyclists were chosen for convenience (easy to find them via AUK or CTC) or to be compared against another population of ageing (yet active) people.
It seems to me the control group are inactive.
It would be interesting to compare them against another group of relatively fit subjects.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Audaxability
« Reply #32 on: April 25, 2020, 07:36:49 am »
I’ve long thought that a rider needs most (but not necessarily all) of five things for success in brevets. In no particular order, they are:
- Ability (naturally talented folk can easily ride fast enough to finish in time, despite losing time to incidents or faffing. Other folk, not so much)
- Fitness (training on the bike or otherwise to make the most of your natural talents, lack of illness)
- Preparation/ experience (understanding the demands of the event on machine and rider, including understanding the route)
- Determination (deciding to finish ‘come what may’ and actually following through in a pinch is worth a lot)
- Luck (at crucial points of the ride, including assistance by fellow riders, weather and so on)

Having all five makes finishing even tough brevets look trivial. Lacking one or even two of the five doesn’t really stop a rider finishing a brevet and often makes for a better story afterwards. Lacking three or more is almost certainly a DNF.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Audaxability
« Reply #33 on: April 25, 2020, 10:13:36 am »
I agree with LittleWheelsandBig regarding natural ability, fitness, preparation, determination and luck, although I think most of the luck aspect is in the natural ability. Most bad luck events in audax rides can be designed out by good planning and preparation as they are mostly predictable.

Ultimately I think the key trait for successful audaxing is persistence; just keeping going and chipping away whatever distance needs to be covered. All you really have to do is make sure that your overall average speed is sufficient to stay ahead of the control closing times. I don’t advocate cutting it fine though; ideally I like to keep as far away from those control closing times as possible as time in hand can soon disappear if you need to stop for any reason, foreseen or otherwise.


Re: Audaxability
« Reply #34 on: April 25, 2020, 10:41:24 am »
One thing is missing. Support from the person you live with. Having to do all the house chores on top of a demanding day job can stretch even the most talented rider to breaking point.  The ‘I expected it of you’ even when you complete a very tough event against odds that say you shouldn’t undermine your confidence and pleasure in a job well done.

Re: Audaxability
« Reply #35 on: April 25, 2020, 12:03:34 pm »
I agree with LittleWheelsandBig regarding natural ability, fitness, preparation, determination and luck, although I think most of the luck aspect is in the natural ability. Most bad luck events in audax rides can be designed out by good planning and preparation as they are mostly predictable.

Ultimately I think the key trait for successful audaxing is persistence; just keeping going and chipping away whatever distance needs to be covered. All you really have to do is make sure that your overall average speed is sufficient to stay ahead of the control closing times. I don’t advocate cutting it fine though; ideally I like to keep as far away from those control closing times as possible as time in hand can soon disappear if you need to stop for any reason, foreseen or otherwise.

Unless you ride tandem or tandem trike. It’s impossible to factor out mechanicals that could potentially stop play no letter how good your prepreperation is.  A strong team is always going to break stuff. There are also things like eLeptiGos destroying back wheels.   The art is not to flap and have the ability to fix anything and of course have the talent to chase back into time.

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Audaxability
« Reply #36 on: April 25, 2020, 01:02:06 pm »
i find audaxes quite easy, so probably not the best person to give advice. being healthy(ish), not overweight and willing to ride a bike a lot is a good start. having the bike that is fit for purpose helps too (many different choices there). travel light, have fitting non-flappy kit, know your digestion, don't spend too much time stopped. tough moments do pass and they happen to everyone.

i've mentored my father on one training camp, as a preparation for a hilly audax 2100km over seven days - as his first audax. he wasn't really a cyclist, discovered bikes two years prior, but was fairly fit from playing football, ice-hockey and table tennis in his youth, eating simple home cooked food all his life and not being overweight.

S2L

Re: Audaxability
« Reply #37 on: April 25, 2020, 01:32:47 pm »
The paradox is that if I was less fit, I'd be better at long distance.
The problem is that I tend to go too hard, so I typically pay a heavy price on long brevets.

Day one of the BCM I averaged 27-28 km/h moving speed, day two was more like 20... just spent, with no energy. I've tried many times to ride slower at the start, but inevitably I get carried away and end up in the fast peloton, rolling out at 32-35 km/h for the first hour or two...
I guess that's what I enjoy to do and should probably give up on anything longer than a 200 or an easy 300.

Re: Audaxability
« Reply #38 on: April 25, 2020, 02:56:47 pm »
The paradox is that if I was less fit, I'd be better at long distance.
The problem is that I tend to go too hard, so I typically pay a heavy price on long brevets.

Day one of the BCM I averaged 27-28 km/h moving speed, day two was more like 20... just spent, with no energy. I've tried many times to ride slower at the start, but inevitably I get carried away and end up in the fast peloton, rolling out at 32-35 km/h for the first hour or two...
I guess that's what I enjoy to do and should probably give up on anything longer than a 200 or an easy 300.
You paced yourself incorrectly for your level of fitness. If you were less fit you would probably do the same. That is down to experience/preparation - number 3 on the now definitive list.


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S2L

Re: Audaxability
« Reply #39 on: April 25, 2020, 03:03:36 pm »
The paradox is that if I was less fit, I'd be better at long distance.
The problem is that I tend to go too hard, so I typically pay a heavy price on long brevets.

Day one of the BCM I averaged 27-28 km/h moving speed, day two was more like 20... just spent, with no energy. I've tried many times to ride slower at the start, but inevitably I get carried away and end up in the fast peloton, rolling out at 32-35 km/h for the first hour or two...
I guess that's what I enjoy to do and should probably give up on anything longer than a 200 or an easy 300.
You paced yourself incorrectly for your level of fitness. If you were less fit you would probably do the same. That is down to experience/preparation - number 3 on the now definitive list.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

... I still finished in the top 25%... despite sleeping 7 hours and riding like a snail after Aberhafesp...

The point is that if I was less fit, I'd probably not get involved with the fast guys at the front, would be able to pace myself better and enjoy the second part more... There is no mad rush for speed other than at the very front.

Whenever I've been involved in events with a distinct lack of speed at the front, I've been able to pace myself a lot better. National 400 2017, looking at Strava I averaged 26 km/h up to Aberystwith (or whatever the spelling is) and 27.5 after... so much better pacing.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Audaxability
« Reply #40 on: April 25, 2020, 04:17:03 pm »
I’ve long thought that a rider needs most (but not necessarily all) of five things for success in brevets. In no particular order, they are:
- Ability (naturally talented folk can easily ride fast enough to finish in time, despite losing time to incidents or faffing. Other folk, not so much)
- Fitness (training on the bike or otherwise to make the most of your natural talents, lack of illness)
- Preparation/ experience (understanding the demands of the event on machine and rider, including understanding the route)
- Determination (deciding to finish ‘come what may’ and actually following through in a pinch is worth a lot)
- Luck (at crucial points of the ride, including assistance by fellow riders, weather and so on)

Having all five makes finishing even tough brevets look trivial. Lacking one or even two of the five doesn’t really stop a rider finishing a brevet and often makes for a better story afterwards. Lacking three or more is almost certainly a DNF.
I prefer this analysis to the "what is most important" approach. You need a number of things at a decent "level".
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

vorsprung

  • Opposites Attract
    • Audaxing
Re: Audaxability
« Reply #41 on: April 26, 2020, 09:55:40 pm »
depends what you mean by "long distance"
to some people that's tcr to others it's another 200 for rrty
quite different things
Audaxing Blog follow @vorsprungbike on

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Audaxability
« Reply #42 on: April 27, 2020, 03:11:08 am »

Sat in a radio studio of a local community radio station. I'd just explained what I'd been through on a race. The interviewer, he starts a sentence, then stutters. I know that look, I know where he's going with this.

"You don't look like a cyclist." Is what he eventually comes out with.

"You mean I'm fat"

"I was trying to be polite"

My BMI is over 30. I am fat. A lot of that is muscle, working in a brewery has left me with a surprising (to others at least) amount of strength, tho it's starting to reduce a bit now. The problem is, lugging 100+kg of fat dyke up hills is a hard. *really* hard. I think I may find that had I started audaxing in the UK, I would have had a much much much higher DNF rate, and probably wouldn't have enjoyed it as much. Sure the Dutch mountains suck, but being fat doesn't massively make them harder. Nearly every time I interact with a medical professional, they tell me to get more exercise, very rarely do they ask what exercise I am already getting first. It's becoming a bit of a joke now. Even at the lightest I've been in recent years, my BMI was 31.8. That was in my first year of audaxing, when I lost 15kg in about 10 months.

Usually within the first 10 km or so I am riding on my own, I may cross paths with a few others at controls, but with a few exceptions, I'm riding alone. With even fewer exceptions, I'm the last rider to finish each time too. I think there is a certain element of being able to be comfortable with riding alone, really alone, in many respects audaxing is solo riding in loose formation, tho for some of us, it's a lot more solo than others.

Having the knowledge, skills, tools, and confidence to fix stuff at the side of the road is under appreciated. I've taken my brakes apart under a tree at the side of the road in the dark in Germany. Knowing that if I screw up, I'm going to be rather fucked, but that if I don't, I'm also going to be pretty fucked. Having seen the bikes people bring into the shop, with the faults they have, having riden past riders getting picked up due to mechanicals, I'm starting to realise that actually very few people are confident to fettle much on their bike beyond fixing flats.

Finally, something I've learned the hardway, and something we perhaps don't mention to newbies enough: eating. Exerting for long periods of time, at high output levels is a challenge for the gut, and it's something we typically leave out of our training plans. You go for the training ride, then come home and have dinner. You don't tend to do it the other way round. I'm trying to work out how to fix this, my digestive system just seems to shut down when I start to really push, making it hard to put out any power. Fortunately I do have several ten's of thousands of kcal of energy stores to draw upon, but it's not a comfortable experience.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

S2L

Re: Audaxability
« Reply #43 on: April 27, 2020, 06:34:19 am »

 Nearly every time I interact with a medical professional, they tell me to get more exercise, very rarely do they ask what exercise I am already getting first. It's becoming a bit of a joke now. Even at the lightest I've been in recent years, my BMI was 31.8. That was in my first year of audaxing, when I lost 15kg in about 10 months.


They always recommend generic exercise as a form of weight loss. It never really worked like that for me. I recall finishing the Raid Pyrenees 2 kg heavier than when I started, despite cycling 6-7 hours a day on very hilly terrain.
Audax hasn't helped lose pounds at all, if anything, I would be heavier as a result of overeating after and snacking during.

Training, so shorter but more intense, seems to result in significant weight loss, simply because I don't tend to over eat to compensate afterwards.
Of course we are all different and with our own metabolism, but it would be helpful if there was some kind of quick metabolic test that one could do to work out what type of exercise is best to lose weight and of course medical professionals could draw upon it to advise.

Re: Audaxability
« Reply #44 on: April 27, 2020, 09:16:21 am »
I didn't properly lose weight until I started structured training.   I used to just ride and then ride further without looking at intensity.   A heart rate monitor solved that.

Re: Audaxability
« Reply #45 on: April 27, 2020, 09:31:11 am »
I find it interesting how hungry I am after different forms of exercise having burnt similar calories. I am always starving after swimming but after running not hungry at all. Cycling I would class  between the two.


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Re: Audaxability
« Reply #46 on: April 27, 2020, 10:13:34 am »
How much I ate during an Audax varied massively with my fitness and, more specifically, how well trained my metabolism was.

On my first 200 I was starving at the first control (50km), despite having breakfast before leaving, and ate well at the subsequent controls (100km, 150km) and after the ride itself. I certainly consumed more calories that day than I expended.

Compare that to when my fat metabolism was far better trained such as on a DIY 200 where I had no breakfast, just got a cashpoint receipt at the 50km control, bought some food at the 110km control and stuffed it into the bag, and ate it at the 160km control (where I bought some other food) and then ended up at home (where I ate the remaining food). Calorie deficit for the day was easily > 1000kcal.

Or PBP where I had a baguette at the 140km control and then the first proper food at the 220km control.

When I'm in that kind of state Audaxing is almost always good for weight loss via a sizeable calorie deficit. On LEL I put on 1kg during the ride (comparing pre-ride weight with weight the day after finishing) but that was just my body in an odd state of water retention, within a few days it had settled down to a 2kg weight loss that stayed off.

Fitness and metabolism go hand in hand. It's a bit of a simplification but there's only a certain amount of energy your body can extract from mostly fat (you still need some carbs to fuel this process).  A more well trained metabolism can extract slightly more, or at less of a cost to the carb store, but not by a huge amount. The fitter you are, in terms of cardiovascular efficiency, and lighter you are helps, the lower the demands of your body to go at a certain speed.

It took me many years to go from Audaxing whilst eating everything in sight to Audaxing (well, 200s at least) whilst almost forgetting to eat. Also not destroying the fridge or the local take away when finishing or on subsequent days.

I'm on my way back to it now, mostly through running (especially now in lockdown, but before that swimming was second best) and exercise mostly acts as an appetite suppressant for me. I can go out for a run feeling starving (since I often do runs up to HM distance on an empty stomach) and spend the first 10 minutes thinking about what I'm going to eat but by the end of it I don't feel hungry and don't eat for many hours (except for a dose of protein via chocolate milk to aid recovery and help stave off sniffles). Shorter/faster exercise seems to be a faster route to improved metabolism than long (relatively) slow Audaxing/riding.

I've still got plenty of energy reserves. I'm 17kg heavier than I was when I did LEL and even then I was probably 6kg heavier than I should be. (Losing 17kg from now would still only get me to a BMI of 25)

Finally, something I've learned the hardway, and something we perhaps don't mention to newbies enough: eating. Exerting for long periods of time, at high output levels is a challenge for the gut, and it's something we typically leave out of our training plans. You go for the training ride, then come home and have dinner. You don't tend to do it the other way round. I'm trying to work out how to fix this, my digestive system just seems to shut down when I start to really push, making it hard to put out any power. Fortunately I do have several ten's of thousands of kcal of energy stores to draw upon, but it's not a comfortable experience.

The biggest problem I had in my half-arsed 24 a few years back is that I hadn't anywhere near enough training at all, let alone Audaxing, and so my body just failed to get enough energy out. It wasn't about being able to put the energy in (although I made a few mistakes in that itself). Tummy troubles, empty legs, and then the apathy hit, but it was still "fun".
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

S2L

Re: Audaxability
« Reply #47 on: April 27, 2020, 10:38:21 am »
I take the view that if you are that much overweight, so on the BMI 30 line or over, then you should get thoroughly checked before doing things like LEL.
I don't think you can have such high body fat and be completely healthy, from the cardiovascular point of view... in other words we are not bears or sea lions who can thrive with large amounts of body fat.
If you don't get thoroughly checked, then you are taking some serious risks, by doing very long distance stuff

Re: Audaxability
« Reply #48 on: April 27, 2020, 12:16:08 pm »
I hope everyone is aware that BMI is a highly flawed measure, in my opinion so highly flawed as to be next to useless. The only reason it continues to be used is that it is easy to determine, and the medical profession seem to prefer measures that are easy rather than meaningful (they aren't alone in this). There are a number of better measures of body composition around, but require rather more equipment/calculation to determine so aren't used extensively. So please take all BMI values with a handful of salt.

IJL

Re: Audaxability
« Reply #49 on: April 27, 2020, 12:20:20 pm »
I take the view that if you are that much overweight, so on the BMI 30 line or over, then you should get thoroughly checked before doing things like LEL.
I don't think you can have such high body fat and be completely healthy, from the cardiovascular point of view... in other words we are not bears or sea lions who can thrive with large amounts of body fat.
If you don't get thoroughly checked, then you are taking some serious risks, by doing very long distance stuff

It's worth pointing out that BMI is little more than a "rule of thumb" its quick and simple, but it assumes an average muscle mass for age, sex and height and then assumes that any mass above this must be fat. 

Used properly its a good tool but its doesn't work for everyone

(need to type quicker)