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I signed up for the Leadville Silver Rush 50 this year in July. It will be my first mountain bike race, so I'm looking for some suggestions regarding preparation. I can only ride on the weekends, but I have worked up to 42 and 43 mile rides the last 2 weekends, each with a fair amount of climbing (5K and 6K according to my Garmin Forerunner). Would it be better to start decreasing my mileage for the remaining weekends before the race on July 14? Or do a lot of you keep doing long rides up through the weekend before the race? I usually do my longer ride on Saturday and then a 20-25 mile ride on Sunday. Also, how much do people generally eat during during a race like this? I have run a few marathons in the past, and I usually eat about 4 gels during those, but a race like this will take significantly longer.
 

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travis_mattern said:
I signed up for the Leadville Silver Rush 50 this year in July. It will be my first mountain bike race, so I'm looking for some suggestions regarding preparation. I can only ride on the weekends, but I have worked up to 42 and 43 mile rides the last 2 weekends, each with a fair amount of climbing (5K and 6K according to my Garmin Forerunner). Would it be better to start decreasing my mileage for the remaining weekends before the race on July 14? Or do a lot of you keep doing long rides up through the weekend before the race? I usually do my longer ride on Saturday and then a 20-25 mile ride on Sunday. Also, how much do people generally eat during during a race like this? I have run a few marathons in the past, and I usually eat about 4 gels during those, but a race like this will take significantly longer.
Hmmm. Not sure where to start here.

You are about to read the advice of a stranger on the internet who knows nothing about you - your results therefore may vary. Disclaimer off.

Do you want to just finish or place well? Since it is your first race (and you picked a toughie) I am assuming finishing is the goal.

How much to train between now and the race is a tough call at this point. If you have a really good base you can probably train relatively hard this coming week and into the 4th of July weekend and start to taper as the week of the 4th wanes. You might want to do something really hard the weekend of the 4th - that'll give you a couple of weeks to recover. The week before the race take it easy and prepare mentally. You can do light rides but don't overdue it. Rest, eat and drink.

I 'eat' only fluids and gels. You should know what you can tolerate on a 50 miler, if you don't know you better try a hard 50 miler before the race. 4 gels probably won't cut it. I consume between 150 to 250 calories per hour in a race like that. You will also need to remember to drink and keep your electrolytes in balance. There are aid stations with food and fluid, use them. But you have to know what to expect and the only way to not bonk is to get out there and ride a long ride before the race.

You will be at very high altitude. You start at 10K and go up from there. You may be ready for that, I don't know.

SR has a ton of sharp, nasty rocks on the course be prepared for flats, possibly several flats.

And be prepared mentally to hike sections. You will and there is no shame in it, everyone will be hiking some sections.

SR is tough but lots of fun and the people are great. Good luck and most of all enjoy the race!

Ed E
 

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travis_mattern,
Do take Ed E's advice. He is a very serious endurance racer and has a welth of knowledge to share. I agree about the taper after the 4th thought as well, especially if you are going to take this race seriously. It will be more like the marathons than some fast 28mi sprint that most mountain bike races have turned into. Take about double that amount of Gels would be my suggestion. Do you ever use E-caps by hammer gel or sport legs?? Something like that is great not only as electrolite replacement but more for the cramping issues. The Silver Rush will have some pretty heavy duty aid stations so you can also get away with taking less and getting aid at the stations. Power Bar products (power Gel and old school bars) will be at the sattions as will pretzels, chips, M&M's and various other candy, PB&J's as well as Turkey Wraps...lots of options!! Also, I think you sound like your training is fine, I think you are ready now, just go on up there and have a great time and don't take it too serious, it will be a very relaxed atmosphere. Have a good one and we'll see you up there!! :thumbsup:
Cheers,
Cole
 

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travis_mattern said:
I signed up for the Leadville Silver Rush 50 this year in July. It will be my first mountain bike race, so I'm looking for some suggestions regarding preparation. I can only ride on the weekends, but I have worked up to 42 and 43 mile rides the last 2 weekends, each with a fair amount of climbing (5K and 6K according to my Garmin Forerunner). Would it be better to start decreasing my mileage for the remaining weekends before the race on July 14? Or do a lot of you keep doing long rides up through the weekend before the race? I usually do my longer ride on Saturday and then a 20-25 mile ride on Sunday. Also, how much do people generally eat during during a race like this? I have run a few marathons in the past, and I usually eat about 4 gels during those, but a race like this will take significantly longer.
If you can if at all possible try to go up there and pre-ride the course. If you do go up there you can go to the Leadville Trail 100 Store (on main street) and they can answer any questions you might have too. The people who run all these races are WONDERFUL. Good luck and remember to HAVE FUN!!:D
 

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Bikergal said:
If you can if at all possible try to go up there and pre-ride the course. If you do go up there you can go to the Leadville Trail 100 Store (on main street) and they can answer any questions you might have too. The people who run all these races are WONDERFUL. Good luck and remember to HAVE FUN!!:D
Great idea! So maybe for the 4th take a trip to Leadville.

Good luck!

Ed E
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks a ton for all the great advice everybody. With this being my first race and such a tough course, I am definitely just racing to finish. I think I will be ok with the elevation, since I do most of my riding in Winter Park. I will do one more long ride over the weekend of the 4th, hopefully getting close to 50 miles on that ride. I have never heard of E-caps by hammer gel or sport legs, I will see if I can find some for my ride this weekend. I have used Gu gels in the past, just because I have found them very easy to digest and quickly eat. Cramping is usually my problem as I get into the later miles of long rides, so maybe those gels will help me out. I'm a little nervous about the flats, I will probably take it pretty easy on the rough stuff to limit my number of flats. One more question about the course - does anybody know the net elevation gain to the turnaround point? Just curious if the first half will have a lot more climbing, or if it will be about the same amount of climbing throughout the race.
 

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travis_mattern said:
Thanks a ton for all the great advice everybody. With this being my first race and such a tough course, I am definitely just racing to finish. I think I will be ok with the elevation, since I do most of my riding in Winter Park. I will do one more long ride over the weekend of the 4th, hopefully getting close to 50 miles on that ride. I have never heard of E-caps by hammer gel or sport legs, I will see if I can find some for my ride this weekend. I have used Gu gels in the past, just because I have found them very easy to digest and quickly eat. Cramping is usually my problem as I get into the later miles of long rides, so maybe those gels will help me out. I'm a little nervous about the flats, I will probably take it pretty easy on the rough stuff to limit my number of flats. One more question about the course - does anybody know the net elevation gain to the turnaround point? Just curious if the first half will have a lot more climbing, or if it will be about the same amount of climbing throughout the race.
E-caps web site and it's what I use;

http://www.e-caps.com/

Some bike shops carry Hammer products. I've never used Sportlegs but I've heard good things about them and I've seen them in some bike shops.

Gu gels are good stuff too. But don't confuse electrolyte replacements with energy gels. Gu gels don't have enough (probably none) electrolytes for a race.

miSSionary will know more about the elevation gain details....right miSSionary?

Ed E
 

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travis_mattern said:
Thanks a ton for all the great advice everybody. With this being my first race and such a tough course, I am definitely just racing to finish. I think I will be ok with the elevation, since I do most of my riding in Winter Park. I will do one more long ride over the weekend of the 4th, hopefully getting close to 50 miles on that ride. I have never heard of E-caps by hammer gel or sport legs, I will see if I can find some for my ride this weekend. I have used Gu gels in the past, just because I have found them very easy to digest and quickly eat. Cramping is usually my problem as I get into the later miles of long rides, so maybe those gels will help me out. I'm a little nervous about the flats, I will probably take it pretty easy on the rough stuff to limit my number of flats. One more question about the course - does anybody know the net elevation gain to the turnaround point? Just curious if the first half will have a lot more climbing, or if it will be about the same amount of climbing throughout the race.
Well if cramping is your problem GO GET E-CAPS or SPORT LEGS NOW!!...you will thank me later, this will be a Godsend for you I'm telling ya!! Don't worry about flats (though Ed got two last year??) I would just carry a couple tubes and some CO2 AND a hand pump. The gain is upwards of 5,500 (??) not real sure as Breck claims to have double what we do but times and course seem very close. I say 5,500 to be on the lower end, it could be more like 6,600, ED?? Never run a computer, sorry. The way back is easier, just prepare for the climb after you pass the last aid station on the way back, the climb up the road is AWEFUL, however, after that you FLY all the way home!! Also, you will walk around Ball Moutain just after the turn-around, it is a nice change to walk there though. You will get samples of e-caps in your packet, fyi. Good Luck!! :D
 

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edemtbs said:
miSSionary will know more about the elevation gain details....right miSSionary?

Ed E
Ha ha ha, NO!! 32X18...chime in here please!! :winker:
 

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I too never used E-caps until I met miSSionary. We rode part of the Silver Rush trail on Friday and I felt great although I think one of my lungs is hanging out up on the hill.:D

You should try them I'm one of the few lucky ones that never have had leg cramps but now I know for sure that won't happen.
 

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miSSionary said:
Don't worry about flats (though Ed got two last year??) I would just carry a couple tubes and some CO2 AND a hand pump. The gain is upwards of 5,500 (??) not real sure as Breck claims to have double what we do but times and course seem very close. I say 5,500 to be on the lower end, it could be more like 6,600, ED?? Never run a computer, sorry. The way back is easier, just prepare for the climb after you pass the last aid station on the way back, the climb up the road is AWEFUL, however, after that you FLY all the way home!! Also, you will walk around Ball Moutain just after the turn-around, it is a nice change to walk there though. You will get samples of e-caps in your packet, fyi. Good Luck!! :D
Haha ! And here I was relying on you for that bit of knowledge. I don't honestly remember the elevation gain stuff. I do remember hiking the last half of that climb after the turnaround - ugh!

I agree with your skepticism about Firecracker's 5,800 ft./lap claim. My computer, in three races there, never got over 8K total. But they insist, so who am I to argue.

Not just me! Did you forgot about Dan's four flats last year, two of them on tubeless? And guess what I bet Dan has the scoop on the elevation gain, charts and all.

Ed E
 

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travis_mattern said:
Thanks for sending the web site. So you use the Hammer Gel pouches? Just want to make sure I am getting the right product...
My personal preference is to get a gel flask and the Hammer 32-serving jug with which to fill it. They used to send free flasks when you ordered the jugs but I'm not sure they do that anymore.

The electrolyte replacement (they are called Endurolytes) is either a powder you can mix into your water/energy drink or the pills. I prefer the pills because I can better regulate exactly how much I take. 2-3 caps/hour, possibly more if it's a really tough race or hot. But it's easy to manage the pills.

Ed E
 

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The total is....

edemtbs said:
Not just me! Did you forgot about Dan's four flats last year, two of them on tubeless? And guess what I bet Dan has the scoop on the elevation gain, charts and all.

Ed E
6800 feet and 2 flats ( 4 last year :) ) is the average of the last 2 Silver Rush events for me! You really don't want to see the elevation profile as it will only make it hurt more. Just remember that from mile 32 to mile 37 the suffering hits hard.

travis_mattern said:
Thanks for sending the web site. So you use the Hammer Gel pouches? Just want to make sure I am getting the right product...
Give the Hammer Gel folks my customer# - 37313 if you like and they will sport you 15% off your first order. Can not say enough good things about their products!
 

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32x18 said:
6800 feet and 2 flats ( 4 last year :) ) is the average of the last 2 Silver Rush events for me! You really don't want to see the elevation profile as it will only make it hurt more. Just remember that from mile 32 to mile 37 the suffering hits hard.

Give the Hammer Gel folks my customer# - 37313 if you like and they will sport you 15% off your first order. Can not say enough good things about their products!
Very nice, I knew you'd have it!! :D
travis_mattern, sure you figured it out but the section mile 32 to 37 is also the part I said was so difficult on the return. 32X18 was on the Hammer Gel team, I'd use the number and go get some e-caps!! :thumbsup:
 

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travis_mattern said:
Just placed my order, I included the customer referral number too. I'll try them out this weekend and see how things go.... :rockon:
hit me with a PM if you have any questions about either the race or my experiences with the Hammer products.
 

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And remember...

You are better than you think you are! You can do more than you think you can!

...or is that just LT100 racers?
 

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Zignzag said:
You are better than you think you are! You can do more than you think you can!

...or is that just LT100 racers?
I think it's safe to share it with the whole world!! :thumbsup:
 
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