Author Topic: First timer at a 24 - what do I need to do?  (Read 7237 times)

marcusjb

  • Full of bon courage.
    • Occasional wittering
First timer at a 24 - what do I need to do?
« on: October 17, 2013, 10:24:42 am »
Right - I've wanted to do a 24 for a while, and I reckon it fits with next year's plans to ride the ESCA 24.

Complete novice time trialler - ridden a hilly 10.6 mile one around Richmond Park and that's it.

I haven't yet even considered supported or unsupported - for the moment I want to focus on training and bike.

Training - miles, faster miles and longer stints without stopping are my rough ideas!  I have Richmond Park on my doorstep (even more now) - so plan to use laps of the park as my baseline in terms of speed and consistency.  Sadly, turbo is on eBay - I hate the thing, I'd rather head out in the cold and wet, and I just do not have space in the new house.

Any ideas on slightly more structured ideas for training?

Bike - I will be riding my Audax bike - there's a one-in, one-out policy on bikes here - so as much as I want a little carbon rocketship, it's not happening. 

So - mudguards and Carradice off. 

Aero bars?  Well, I guess so?  What changes am I likely to have to make to the bike (stem length?  saddle fore/aft position?)?

Wheels - I have a lightish set of 28/32 Hope/Archetype wheels for summer usage.  I assume that dynohubs are not the done thing (throwing away however many Watts not sitting well with TT world?)?  For a one off ride, I could certainly look at hiring some trick wheels if people think they would really make a difference (it would look pretty comical to have a set of Zipp 404s or whatever on a steel Audax bike though!). 

I doubt I am going to be in the game of pointy hats and skinsuits though.

What else for a complete newbie at the discipline? 

I've no idea what distance I can achieve - that's part of the fun for me - to find out.  There's obviously a good chance I completely stuff it up and blow up within 12 hours and have to try again in 2015!  (Afraid I am going to talk km!) - I can see 500 being very achievable (and I've not been a million miles off that sort of pace a couple of times on Audax rides with a big bag and navigating etc.(but with the added factor of group riding)).  600 - well, maybe.

So - advice on winter build up and equipment requirements for a complete novice will all be appreciated
Right! What's next?

Ooooh. That sounds like a daft idea.  I am in!

Jonah

  • Audax Club Hackney
Re: First timer at a 24 - what do I need to do?
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2013, 10:55:16 am »
I have very similar aspirations and plans to you Marcus  :)

I have approached a local TT club for advice as well as ordering the TT 'manual' kindly reccomended by Oranj OTP.

PS I'm gonnah heat-seal some of that carbon effect tape onto an old pair of Deep 'V's for that 'Johnny-Carbon' look - no one will know the difference, I'm sure ::-)

Just need to work on converting an old Darth Vader fancy dress costume hat into a full-on Kask Bambino.  I'll start by removing the face mask...

marcusjb

  • Full of bon courage.
    • Occasional wittering
Re: First timer at a 24 - what do I need to do?
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2013, 11:04:38 am »
Good to hear you're going for it as well!  Please tell me you're going to be on that ridiculous lo-pro frame of yours?

Hackney are going to have to find quite a ringer to beat Willesden's main man! 
Right! What's next?

Ooooh. That sounds like a daft idea.  I am in!

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: First timer at a 24 - what do I need to do?
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2013, 11:26:00 am »
I reckon you could definitely do 600km.  You can go faster in these things than in audaxes, because the courses are faster, all your food is to hand, you don't have to faff about at controls and you get that extra bit of speed from the magic numbers on your back.

Training: you've got the distance nailed already.  Work on your speed. 
Position: It's hard to say without seeing what your current one's like!  Generally with tribars, the idea is to move your saddle up and forward and your bars down.  For a 24, people generally then move their bars back up a bit again, and possibly put a slightly shorter stem on.  If you're going to use tribars, you need to get them soon and then train in them lots, otherwise you won't use them after the first afternoon on the 24.
Planning: Get a plan well worked out so that you don't waste time faffing about on the day.  Think about whether you're doing it supported or unsupported and work out how much food you'll want to take on and where you'll want to dump it if unsupported.

Read some stuff by other people who've done it before.  I've got an article for the club mag from this year which I'll stick on here presently, but for now, here is something from a fellow first timer from my club.  Oranj has got a report up somewhere, either on here or on his blog.  There's then loads of stuff in the TTF archive, I particularly like the report on Roy Cromack's ride<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Z9g_g73Iqeg&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/Z9g_g73Iqeg&rel=1</a> with Andy Wilkinson is also really informative as to how he managed his massive distance in 2011 (apart from being a robot of course.)

I've said it before, but enter a 100 to give yourself an idea of what long distance time trialling feels like, and to test your setup.  Here is last year's 100 calendar - I'm guessing the Hounslow event would be most convenient for you.  Note that it didn't fill up (max is 120) so you should have no problem getting in.

Oh, and enjoy it!

marcusjb

  • Full of bon courage.
    • Occasional wittering
Re: First timer at a 24 - what do I need to do?
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2013, 11:58:31 am »
Thanks Dr!

I will read more tonight.

I think that you're right in terms of having the distance thing nailed - it's speed I need to work on and I hope this is where laps of the Park can help (as you probably know, it's cycling Mecca around here - each lap is just under 11km with around 60m of ascent - making three laps almost exactly 20 miles and a good baseline).  I take on board attempting a 100 as well.

600km is a nice target (and I would be disappointed to get anything less than 500km as I have pretty much done that in Audax conditions (including a sleep!)) - we shall see!

I'm going to read up on aero bars more and will plan to start using them in the new year to give me plenty of time to adapt.  If anyone has recommendations on specific aero bars, then please speak up. 

I hope to enjoy it a little - I'm not in it to win it, but want to put up a good showing!
Right! What's next?

Ooooh. That sounds like a daft idea.  I am in!

bikey-mikey

  • AUK 6372
  • Yes, I am completely mad ! a.k.a. 333
Re: First timer at a 24 - what do I need to do?
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2013, 12:32:32 pm »
http://use1.com/use-hardware/handlebars/time-trial/triathlon/boost-bar

Tri bars? Look at this range by USE (ultimate sports engineering). The Boost bar range offers a pick and mix  of components and is very high quality.

My set up with short carbon bars gel pads and even including extra shift buttons for my DI2 weighs just 240 grams.

You can choose materials and the bar profile, eg straight or slight bend.

The rock n roll pad holder help you get the angle just right got you.

Not cheap, but I use mine lots in general Audax riding !!
I’ve decided I’m not old. I’m 25 .....plus shipping and handling.

Cycling heatmap
https://www.strava.com/athletes/4628735/heatmaps/6ed5ab12#10/51.12782/-3.16388

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: First timer at a 24 - what do I need to do?
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2013, 12:51:05 pm »
i was also pondering about 24s. ideally i'd like to do it properly - with aero bike, kit and a support team (i.e. nothing that i have got at the moment and might be a problem to source/organise..*). oh, and i could do with some coaching to reset my mindset from plodder's into racer's!

*any offers, ideas and advice muchly appreciated! :)

Tim Hall

  • I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes
Re: First timer at a 24 - what do I need to do?
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2013, 01:03:22 pm »
i was also pondering about 24s. ideally i'd like to do it properly - with aero bike, kit and a support team (i.e. nothing that i have got at the moment and might be a problem to source/organise..*). oh, and i could do with some coaching to reset my mindset from plodder's into racer's!

*any offers, ideas and advice muchly appreciated! :)

Plodder. Yeah, right.
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: First timer at a 24 - what do I need to do?
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2013, 02:26:28 pm »

Plodder. Yeah, right.

what i mean is that i lose the motivation to push when going gets tough, as i found out during my race to istanbul last summer. in order to compete, to get the most of my body - my attitude has to change. it's very easy to lose focus during those long events and just drop into "plodder's" mode, both physically and mentally.

marcusjb

  • Full of bon courage.
    • Occasional wittering
Re: First timer at a 24 - what do I need to do?
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2013, 02:46:02 pm »

Plodder. Yeah, right.

what i mean is that i lose the motivation to push when going gets tough, as i found out during my race to istanbul last summer. in order to compete, to get the most of my body - my attitude has to change. it's very easy to lose focus during those long events and just drop into "plodder's" mode, both physically and mentally.

I can totally understand this and I know I am guilty of it as well.  To push myself at around my limit for 24 hours will be very different to anything I've ever done.  Having a definite end I think will help - knowing the suffering will only be for 24 hours. 

LEL, I raced out and really did plod back (37 hours up, 58 hours down) - I wish I had the motivation to have pushed on the way back as well.  I just got lazy and that is what I will need to make sure I don't do on the 24. 
Right! What's next?

Ooooh. That sounds like a daft idea.  I am in!

marcusjb

  • Full of bon courage.
    • Occasional wittering
Re: First timer at a 24 - what do I need to do?
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2013, 02:51:26 pm »
Thanks for the USE recommendation Mikey.

I'll take a wander down to my local emporium of high-end bling (Sigma) and await their raised eyebrows when I show them what I want to put aero-bars on!
Right! What's next?

Ooooh. That sounds like a daft idea.  I am in!

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: First timer at a 24 - what do I need to do?
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2013, 04:29:53 pm »

Plodder. Yeah, right.

what i mean is that i lose the motivation to push when going gets tough, as i found out during my race to istanbul last summer. in order to compete, to get the most of my body - my attitude has to change. it's very easy to lose focus during those long events and just drop into "plodder's" mode, both physically and mentally.
Have a schedule - stick it on your bars where you can't miss it.
This will also give you a rough idea of your 'flat bits' target speed. If you're 2mph down but not hurting, you know it's your 'plodder' taking over and you CAN pick it up.

(I wrote 3 schedules, so that even if I was going surprising well/badly I would know what to aim for in the next 3 hours, etc - YMMV ;)  Worked well on 3 attempts.)

And of course, it should stop you blowing it in the first 6 hours going off too fast ...
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

fungus

  • SO @ T
    • Tamworth cycling club
Re: First timer at a 24 - what do I need to do?
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2013, 05:02:56 pm »
Interesting stuff!  I'd also like to have a go at a 24 some time.
SR 2010/11/12/13/14/15
RRTY. PBP. LeJoG 1400. LEL.




Re: First timer at a 24 - what do I need to do?
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2013, 05:10:19 pm »
Ride enough TTs to get used to the position on the bike and the mindset of racing.  You might want to 'ease' the position slightly for the 24: you won't win if you're not reasonably comfortable on the bike.

marcusjb

  • Full of bon courage.
    • Occasional wittering
Re: First timer at a 24 - what do I need to do?
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2013, 05:11:07 pm »

Plodder. Yeah, right.

what i mean is that i lose the motivation to push when going gets tough, as i found out during my race to istanbul last summer. in order to compete, to get the most of my body - my attitude has to change. it's very easy to lose focus during those long events and just drop into "plodder's" mode, both physically and mentally.
Have a schedule - stick it on your bars where you can't miss it.
This will also give you a rough idea of your 'flat bits' target speed. If you're 2mph down but not hurting, you know it's your 'plodder' taking over and you CAN pick it up.

(I wrote 3 schedules, so that even if I was going surprising well/badly I would know what to aim for in the next 3 hours, etc - YMMV ;)  Worked well on 3 attempts.)

And of course, it should stop you blowing it in the first 6 hours going off too fast ...

(remember I am a total an utter beginner at this!)

This schedule - are we talking simply about something like

Hour X - Target mileage Y?

(real beginners question) - are you typically looking for the same average throughout each of the 24 hours or do you expect some slowing down - or a bit of both?  I understand not going out of the gate all guns blazing and suddenly realising after a few hours of riding like a loon that you have nothing left.
Right! What's next?

Ooooh. That sounds like a daft idea.  I am in!

Re: First timer at a 24 - what do I need to do?
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2013, 05:15:13 pm »
Do a 100 in May. There seems to be an increasing amount of interest in the 24. The East Sussex might fill up, as it's the National Championship. If you haven't got a time at 100 you might not get a place. It's not first come, first served, if the event is over-subscribed, it goes on recent performances, i.e. within the last three years. 12s happen later in the season.

Setting heart rate limits is sensible, the alarm can chivvy you along if you drift at night.

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: First timer at a 24 - what do I need to do?
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2013, 05:26:47 pm »
I've put my report up in Ride Reprts, so have a look at that as it talks about schedules a bit.  For my schedule this year, I decided the distance I wanted to do (430 miles) then worked backwards: I looked on CTT at people's 24 hour times and their 12 hour and 100 miles splits from previous events, decided where I wanted to be at those points (and basically yes, you plan to slow down slightly in the second half.)  I then worked out roughly how often I'd be lapping and what time I'd take to do each lap.  I also scheduled in a couple of planned stops for hot food and attaching/removing lights at either end of the night - this was useful as it allowed me to press on when I might have stopped otherwise, as I knew there was a break coming up. 

TBH my schedule petered out in the second morning - my plan was to follow the numbers up till then and then just ride as hard as I could from wherever I'd got by then.

hillbilly

Re: First timer at a 24 - what do I need to do?
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2013, 05:30:30 pm »
Do a 100 in May.

That features in my thinking (I'm not definitely going to do the 24, but am interested enough to begin putting some structure into my rides towards it).  I'm going to put down a base over winter, with intervals on the turbo during the week.  In February/March I'll try 25s, then move up to a 50, then a 100.  If that is going well, I'll commit to a 24.  If not, I'll at least have (hopefully) increased my general speed.

I'm lucky enough to be in a cycling club (Redhill) that has a number of TT riders, so intend to make friends with them over the coming weeks and months.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: First timer at a 24 - what do I need to do?
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2013, 07:39:59 pm »
This schedule - are we talking simply about something like

Hour X - Target mileage Y?
More-or-less ... I reckoned hourly was toomuchinformation - I wanted to be sure I could read the thing on the move! (plus I didn't want to worry too much about short refuelling stops - some will, but I can't be arsed with that level of detail .. but see later ... ) I think I had 6hour chunks, my brain could divide that up on the move. But see later ...
As I said, I had 3 speeds on my schedule sheet, so clearly that takes up more room.

Quote
(real beginners question) - are you typically looking for the same average throughout each of the 24 hours or do you expect some slowing down - or a bit of both?  I understand not going out of the gate all guns blazing and suddenly realising after a few hours of riding like a loon that you have nothing left.I
IMO - aim for even splits. Loads of things will f**k with this of course. Hence I looked at 6h chunks more than each hour. Sort of.

However - I knew from experience I probably won't get thru without a quick nap. I pseudo-scheduled to do that sometime in the early hours. So (to keep things simple-ish) I treated the race as 23.5 hours. If I was off the bike for less than 30mins, bonus!
The tricky bit was not knowing when I'd HAVE to sleep, so I had to build some cunning flex into my overnight schedule ... I've probably lost you by now, so I won't explain further  ;D
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

marcusjb

  • Full of bon courage.
    • Occasional wittering
Re: First timer at a 24 - what do I need to do?
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2013, 09:17:10 pm »
All good stuff.

It's such a different game to the Audaxing lark - lot to get my head around. 
Right! What's next?

Ooooh. That sounds like a daft idea.  I am in!

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

  • Miles eaten don't satisfy hunger
  • 3x Brimstone ancien 3x Pendle/Tan Hill DNF
    • CET Ride Reports and Blogs
Re: First timer at a 24 - what do I need to do?
« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2013, 05:14:30 am »
On the experience of 2 24's.   Firstly they were the hardest things I have done on a bike.  I wouldn't have been able to do them without support - thanks Berni & Adam (2009) and Andrew & Berni (2011).  Supporters help you minimise the time off the bike by handing up food etc, but they can also set up deckchairs fetch coffees (or brew one up in the back of the van etc etc) and offer moral support (or kick you back on the bike if you spend more than five minutes off it)

On the bike set up.

Tri-bars help.  But get used to them.  Before the 2009 attempt I spent the previous 3 or 4 months riding around on the race bike with tri-bars until I was comfortable sitting on them for long periods.  I still didn't spend the whole time on tri-bars in either event especially towards the end but I was balanced in corners and able to not lose momentum when hitting bends or rough surfaces on the 'bars.

A light pair of wheels helps - my one piece of bling for TTs is a pair of Shamal Ultras - they help to keep the speed after descents.

Whatever the set-up get as many miles in on the set-up you have, so that it is comfortable and you can sustain it.  (When I take the race bike on Audax events the position I use on the tri-bars is exactly the same set-up as I would use for a '24 although I spend less time in an Aero position and I tend not to put the blingy wheels on)

On training

Practice pedalling all the time and using the gears.  I've noticed a custom amongst Audax riders to roll down hills.  24 hour courses tend to be gently undulating so that you lose or don't gain much speed on the descents - make the most of gravity and your capability to distance will go up (the good wheels will help).

100m TTs helped me to get used to doing a time trial and keeping to a consistent pace, as long as you remember that 5 hours is a lot less than 24.  Once I'd done on or two TTs I also set up a practice 'TT' course to work on aspects of my riding that let me down in TTs - I found it quite easy to lose concentration and rhythm after a climb - so (having noticed that from the Lord Derby to the top of Ewshot Hill on the A287 gave me a 12.5 mile circuit), I did a couple of practice 50's (4 laps).  This road has a much more serious hill that I would find on a '24 (1.4km @6% average) but forced me to break my rhythm.  By timing laps I could see how my performance changed and improve my technique for picking up speed after having lost it. 

Becuase a '24 doesn't have the breaks that you would have on an Audax (if you take 30 mins off the bike as you might in 3 or 4 controls on a 600 then you will lose 2 hours or 30+ miles off your potential distance.  This may well put more strain on your lower back and some (properly advised) weight training to improve leg and lower back strength and the connectivity between the two would probably help.  Winter is a good time to do this.

In thinking about the event itself

You will slow down at night.  For the Sussex '24, in training, I rode a few laps of the night circuit on a windy day, in the evening (just about needing to put the lights on at the end of the last lap.  I'd ridden for 35 miles into a headwind to get to the circuit and so was already fatigued.  I averaged 3 miles an hour more on the training ride (in the daylight) than I was doing on the actual event in the dark.  Don't worry about slowing down.  Everyone does.  Probably even Wilko.

You probably won't get it right first time out.  I did 27 miles more on my second attempt on a harder course in tougher conditions
Eddington Numbers 125 (imperial), 168 (metric) 518 (furlongs)  111 (nautical miles)

marcusjb

  • Full of bon courage.
    • Occasional wittering
Re: First timer at a 24 - what do I need to do?
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2013, 08:28:06 am »
Very interesting thanks.

I am seeing a reoccurring theme that this isn't something you can do just once.
Right! What's next?

Ooooh. That sounds like a daft idea.  I am in!

Re: First timer at a 24 - what do I need to do?
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2013, 09:35:39 am »

You probably won't get it right first time out.  I did 27 miles more on my second attempt on a harder course in tougher conditions

Whereas I did my best distance on my first attempt and have been going downhill ever since.

Re: First timer at a 24 - what do I need to do?
« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2013, 10:00:32 am »
The most successful transition from Audax to TT was Jose Pinon Shaw. His first club was Central Lancs RC, my old club. He got into Cycling Weekly in 2004, after coming back from cancer, that was the way to get publicity back then.
http://www.timetriallingforum.co.uk/?showtopic=41358

He's doing Triathlons now, I haven't seen him for a while.

Re: First timer at a 24 - what do I need to do?
« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2013, 10:06:12 am »
Having decided to ride next year's Sussex 24 I did a few TTs this year finishing with a 12hr.

I learnt quite a lot about pacing, feeding and position.   Beware fitting tri-bars to a road bike.   I ended up with my back at the wrong angle which left me struggling to walk for a few days after the 12hr.   I've had a bike fitting since and am replacing the frame on the TT bike* to get a more comfortable position.   It's all about the hip angles, apparently.

Pace-wise I started to use a HRM which, rather than slowing me down, actually made me push a lot harder.   Most of my audaxing was very much in Zone 1, so riding hard was a very different experience.   You also need to learn to not stop.   I stopped for a max of 10mins on the 12hr, breaking at 3, 6 & 9hrs - wee, refill food bag, new bottle, quick stretch.   Eat on the move, either from pockets or get a tri-bag.   

As mentioned up-thread the distance is not the issue for an audaxer as we can all sit on bikes for days on end.   In the 50 and 100 I was in the bottom 5, but on the 12hr I was mid-table, despite not doing what I thought I was capable of.   The 12hr is the furthest the average club rider will do in a year so a lot of them struggle towards the end, slow a lot and take more breaks.


Rob

* not actually an extra bike, more an upgrade of an existing one so it passes the rules