Author Topic: GuitarStv's long bike ride tips!  (Read 7718 times)

katscratch

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Re: GuitarStv's long bike ride tips!
« Reply #100 on: November 09, 2018, 02:46:56 PM »
I don't have a way of measuring specifics other than what my legs tell me, so here's how it works for me.

My longer rides tend to be 6-8 hours of road or gravel on terrain that is rolling hills or a series of many steeper hills. For myself, as a middle age female who generally eats low carb and can't eat sugar normally without feeling very ill, my legs feel much better if I've carb loaded the day before and continue to eat more carbs than normal throughout the day. I'll have a beer with lunch, for instance, when I don't normally tolerate beer at all. I snack on gummy bears, and in general snack every half hour or so with a variety of foods I've learned work well with my gut. I tend to do better and almost never cramp if I have a consistent intake of carbs and electrolytes.

I've learned that if my legs are starting to feel sore, I need to get off the bike and move in a different way for a few minutes. Stretch. Jump a few times. Then I'm good to go.

How frequently are you doing these rides? I perform much better when I'm doing hilly rides more often -- the first few of any season I tend to have a harder time and am more sore the following day, whereas the end of a season my muscles are well-used to what I'm asking them to do. Doing long distance flat rides frequently doesn't seem to translate to doing better on hills, for me anyway.

GuitarStv

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Re: GuitarStv's long bike ride tips!
« Reply #101 on: November 09, 2018, 06:43:10 PM »
I'd like to take this thread in a different direction. For LOOONG rides, my real problem/wall is fatigue. Beyond a certain # of total WATTs, my legs just wont produce.

Maybe the simple answer is I need more training to do those ironman type rides? Ensuring that water and glucose are not the limiting elements contributing to my fatigue/cramping, what can I do other than not attempt these type of rides? The last one for example, was an all day mountain bike ride (~6 hours) with >4K feet of climbing between all the ups and downs.

Would loading muscle glycogen in the 48hr prior to such a ride help me out here? Am I engaging in too much anaerobic effort where picking routes with more gently inclines would keep me in a more aerobic zone? Or am I just taking on too much at one time?

Any thoughts are appreciated!

Eat more while you're riding, and pace yourself better.  The eating makes a really big difference for me, long before I feel hungry I just feel slow/listless/empty.  The pacing require a lot of going on long rides at different intensities to really figure out.  If you want to get good at something, do a lot of it.  If you want to get good at doing long rides, do lots of them.  A 140 km ride feels a lot different than an 80 km ride, which is completely different than a 40 km ride.

big_slacker

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Re: GuitarStv's long bike ride tips!
« Reply #102 on: November 10, 2018, 08:35:18 AM »
I'd like to take this thread in a different direction. For LOOONG rides, my real problem/wall is fatigue. Beyond a certain # of total WATTs, my legs just wont produce.

Maybe the simple answer is I need more training to do those ironman type rides? Ensuring that water and glucose are not the limiting elements contributing to my fatigue/cramping, what can I do other than not attempt these type of rides? The last one for example, was an all day mountain bike ride (~6 hours) with >4K feet of climbing between all the ups and downs.

Would loading muscle glycogen in the 48hr prior to such a ride help me out here? Am I engaging in too much anaerobic effort where picking routes with more gently inclines would keep me in a more aerobic zone? Or am I just taking on too much at one time?

Any thoughts are appreciated!

What is your training like? For me and many others training for endurance rides you need a BIG base of Z1 and Z2 seat time early on in the season. That is easy riding, like holding a conversation easy, but I start out at 5 hours/wk and ramp up to 10 hours/wk over 3 months or so. 5 hours a week is easy, 3 1hr sessions and a 2 hour 'long ride' on the weekend. 10 hours/wk is 3x2 hour sessions (sometimes those 2 hours are a morning and afternoon 1 hr) and a 4 hour long ride.

It's also important to not ONLY do z1 and z2 rides. For me the weekend long ride is always a real MTB ride, 2 hours=2000 ft of climbing + descending, 4 hours=4000-5000 feet. If you're going to be climbing for your event, just having all day endurance at low watts you'll end up having the lungs but not the legs. Cramp city. So to sum up, start out with a lot of easy base miles, and ramp up time + effort as you progress towards your event. Lots of specific training plans out there on trainingpeaks, strava, trainerroad, slow twitch, etc.

Nutrition is important too, as mentioned in my first post on this thread *I* like mostly liquid using tailwind nutrition with a little solid food to keep from feeling hungry. Others do well on real food, others on gel. Whatever you use though, you need 200-400 cals/hr and some electrolytes. Note that there is no magic, if your legs aren't conditioned for the effort you're gonna cramp regardless of electrolytes and hydration. But if you are conditioned properly

powskier

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Re: GuitarStv's long bike ride tips!
« Reply #103 on: November 27, 2018, 11:55:21 PM »
If you get tired on looooong rides, you haven't built a wide enough base over enough years, think loooong and slowish, and /or you aren't eating enough and/or haven't taught your body how to burn fat ( hint, don't eat and go slow then eat a little fat, adaptation takes time).

If you get "lactic acid burn" it's because you are going harder than you can buffer lactate, this requires training repeated effort at threshold. I have found that developing more powerful legs has made me far far better at going hard than all the intervals in the world, even though it took a solid 10 years of training on top of a huge volume base to get there ( I prefer climbing hills with my bike loaded with and extra 50 lbs and squats and deadlifts for power, YMMV). Think of it this way : a more powerful engine is much harder to get to redline. Notice the quads of sprinters compared to long distance riders, and yes you cannot excel at both but I am sure the vast majority of riders could gain more by building some strength and power than just adding mileage.

Most people don't go hard (or long) enough on hard (or long) rides  and go too hard on recovery rides. If you are always doing the same thing you won't get better.

Food: Don't waste money on fancy special biker foods, unless you are a Cat 1 or 2 racer but otherwise average food is fine, find what works and eat and drink before performance decline. Not eating is fine too for up to 3 to 6 hours or way more if trained up to it, it takes a bit of adaptation for most before you can add a lot of intensity to it. Teaching your body to be flexible is a wonderful tool and worth the time and effort.

Winter: I have a ton of experience with this, for hands pogies are the way to go, buy or make your own. Boot covers for feet or plastic bag as a vapor barrier to prevent convective heat loss. Staying hydrated is the most under appreciated part of staying warm, thick( under hydrated) blood has a hard time warming the tiny capillaries of fingers and toes.

Ass/crotch: Once upon a time 100 miles in to a 2000 mile ride I thought I must have lost all skin in areas contacted by my saddle, turns out it was just irritated. Creams and potions are just bacterial traps IMO. On long tours clean the crotch once during the day and really well at night, add talcum powder at night to keep it dry. After 800 miles I built up some calluses. Since that ride I have never worn bike shorts again, just board shorts in summer and polypro underwear in winter, no pad( bacterial trap). My short rides are 60 miles( 5000 ft vertical gain) 3 times a week, long ones are 130 to 180 miles 15 to 30 000 ft vert ( all gravel/dirt). Harden up your ass everything will be fine. For the ladies, my wife adds that perfect seat is important and getting the angle of the seat perfect is even more important.

Bike: "It's not about the bike" as Lance would say.  It's not about the drugs either but seriously ride what you have, a nicer bike is nicer for sure but whatever. If your bike doesn't get you stoked about riding get one that does. Buy a bike that fits you, if you have no idea what that means go to a bike shop, a real bike shop and have them help. Side note :Always support your local bike shop.

Weight: Can you see the outline of your abdominal wall? Don't waste money on super light weight gear until you can, and only if you are racing

Tubeless: YES. Every bike I own. I add sealant once every 6 months and no longer ride with anyone who isn't set up tubeless...they are always getting flats and having to change tubes( elitist prick, eh?). I have had dozens of things puncture my tires over the last 10 000 miles and NEVER had a flat. Besides the improved performance and handling qualities the no flats aspect of tubeless is rad.

Mind: This is what you should be training at all times, all the other stuff is to trick this thing to go. Seriously, this is key to life , bikes, happiness, etc.

I remember the first time I rode 20 miles, 3 months later I rode 50 miles. 3 months later I raced 100 miles, that next year I did 2 x 100 mile days in a row. Now it's all just "going for a ride". Start where you are and take a bigger bite when you are ready. Compare yourself only to yourself.
 You should be happy riding , it is totally possible to be suffering and happy at the same time.

When riding the road, obey the rules of the road...yes I know, the infrastructure isn't made for bikes, bla,bla, bla....but you will never get car drivers to be on your side if you do not show respect for the rules they have to abide by. Plus it's bad press when a cyclist gets killed by breaking the rules, then they get to brush the bigger questions about infrastructure and sustainability under the rug.

Most riders nowadays tend to be  over informed on food and bike parts and ratios and heart rates and blood PH and carbs and gluten and  Strava and bla,bla,bla, bla. I would encourage them to forget it all for a month and just go ride, preferably somewhere they have never been and resist the urge to update the world on where they are and what they did.

Always wave and smile to little kids on bikes, they get stoked to be recognized by senior gang members ;)

FunkyStickman

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Re: GuitarStv's long bike ride tips!
« Reply #104 on: January 25, 2019, 07:01:23 AM »
I'm in Louisiana and there are no touring bikes in any shops here.  I'll definitely have to try and fit the bike to me before purchase.  FIRE is in 2019 or 2020 I'll get a lot more use soon, but I'm not in any hurry to purchase yet.  Thanks for the input.

Also Louisiana here. I built a Surly LHT about 9 years ago for commuting using old MTB parts (got the 26" wheel frame because of that) and ended up spending about $800 completed.

Still riding it, it's bombproof. Even did a 200K brevet on it, though I wouldn't recommend that... it's just a really solid bike. Super comfy, extremely tough, able to run MTB knobbies for trail riding... there isn't much this thing won't do. It *is* slow, though. Sucks for group rides. I have a vintage Peugeot PH12 for that.