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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I jsut registered to go solo...

I had a team but 1 guy bailed and its too late to get a 4th most likely.

I've done 1 24 hour race before in 2002; a brutal and misserable (at the time) experience.That year i was jsut getting back on the bike after a yearlong hiatus. This year I'm in the best shape of my life, so I'm going balls-out.

Can anyone give me some advice, ANY advice you think may be helpful to me? The logistics of a team race is easy I think, everyone brings the needed gear and we share resources. Pacing for team relay is easy, 1 lap, switch.


thanks in advance!
 

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Pace yourself...

Since its just you just keep and even cadence. When you get a few laps in and know the course pickup extra minutes were you can. Since I haven't raced yet that is the only game plan I have. I can just see myself going "balls-out" and running out of feul 4 hrs into the race. But you sound like you are in good condition and have a positive mind set. Let us know when it's over what lessons you learned.

Good luck and stay hydrated. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
NappyT said:
Since its just you just keep and even cadence. When you get a few laps in and know the course pickup extra minutes were you can. Since I haven't raced yet that is the only game plan I have. I can just see myself going "balls-out" and running out of feul 4 hrs into the race. But you sound like you are in good condition and have a positive mind set. Let us know when it's over what lessons you learned.

Good luck and stay hydrated. :D
word, that's the game plan right now... slow and steady.
I think for the most part I will keep a liquid diet for the whole thing. gel packs, accelerade, and water. Last time i did the race i ate too much solids and it left me feeling sluggish.
 

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Food variety is the key

bubbrubb said:
I jsut registered to go solo...

I had a team but 1 guy bailed and its too late to get a 4th most likely.

I've done 1 24 hour race before in 2002; a brutal and misserable (at the time) experience.That year i was jsut getting back on the bike after a yearlong hiatus. This year I'm in the best shape of my life, so I'm going balls-out.

Can anyone give me some advice, ANY advice you think may be helpful to me? The logistics of a team race is easy I think, everyone brings the needed gear and we share resources. Pacing for team relay is easy, 1 lap, switch.

thanks in advance!
Have done six solo races.

The hardest part of the race for me is being able to have an appetite for something after midnight. The last post suggested 500 to 700 calories an hour, which is reasonable. If you are just using gels, that is 5 to 7 gels and hour. This means 120 to 168 gels during the race. This is not realistic. You will get sick of the gels after about 50 of them.

Think you should consider other liquid items. You might consider Ensure Plus(I use the equate version from Wal-Mart). This is 350 calories in 8oz. Put in bottles and add water to taste. Another item would be your favorite soup. I put mine in a blender and then into water bottles. A hot bottle of soup in the middle of the night is wonderful. A variety of cut up fruit in dixie cups to take with you is also nice.

As to pace. The race will not get hard until after midnight. From Midnight till Sunrise is when most people slow way down or drop out. Save most of your energy for this time. I use a heart rate monitor to measure my effort. I do a two hour Norba race at 185bpm. During a solo race I keep my rate below 165bpm. It takes discipline but, better to have extra energy when the sun rises than not enough.

Best of luck and let us know how it goes.
 

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race report: negative attitude is my worst enemy

Hi all,

I figured i would add my race experence from the past weekend. It was my second 24 hour solo race.

Weather was hot! Had big breakfast and had postitve outlook for the race. Race starts and a few of my other teammates riding solo stuck together the first 2 laps. My HR was 175-185 way to high. Finally at lap 3 i found a pace at hrm 150-155 and stayed with it doing 1 hour laps. I stayed fueled with cliff bars, p and j, bagel. Stayed hydrated w/ water, ctyomax and edurux. a gel everylap. Lap 3 my back was really sore and decided to remove the camel bac, which helped to relieve the stress on the back.

Around lap 5 i was getting hamstring cramps and a slight knee pain. Took a break and drank edurox and took endurlites for the cramping.

At lap 7 (8.5 hours of riding) my leg cramps were getting bad and my knee was in a world of hurt. Then my negative attitude kicked in. Too make matters worst i fell into a mug bog and was covered in mud. The negative thoughts really kicked in now and I just wanted to stop. I still had energy, but the pain and negative thoughts were keeping me from going.

I decided to change into dry cloths and rest a few hours and try to go back out in a few hours. I crawled into my tent and fell a sleep and never woke up until early morning and missed all my night laps. I rode the morning at a pretty smooth pace and had a better attitude and was actully having fun again. I need to get stronger and work on my race attitude and maybe i'll do another 24 hour race. Stay positive!

David
 

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crussell said:
Have done six solo races.

The last post suggested 500 to 700 calories an hour, which is reasonable. If you are just using gels, that is 5 to 7 gels and hour. This means 120 to 168 gels during the race. This is not realistic. You will get sick of the gels after about 50 of them.

Best of luck and let us know how it goes.
That seems like a ton of calories. The most comprehensive advice I've found is from e-caps.com, "The Endurance Athlete's Guide to Success", which you can download from their site. Granted they are trying to sell you stuff, but they also have an interest in giving advice that works for us. They suggest about 250-300 calories/hour, and claim that your body can't really process any more than that, even though you are burning more than that. I haven't done a solo 24, but I did do my 2nd 100 mile race this past weekend, and I took in about 2700 calories over 12 hours. Less than 250/hour, but I only weigh 150. Mosly gel. A couple of cliff bars, and some small amounts of cookies, chips, PB&J, banannas at the aid stations. I felt pretty good thoughout the race. I definitely wouldn't have wanted to take in twice that amount. Anybody have any more thoughts on this?
 

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solo 24

couple of thoughts:

1) 500 - 700 is way too many calories. I adhered very closely to the 250-280 cal/hr mentioned previously, worked fine for me (solo at Laguna Seca). I supplemented with a few comfort foods & some strong coffee at 6 am. I went almost totally on Sustained Energy/Hammergel/Perpetuem and never ran into bonk (I had plenty of other issues...). See the E-caps articles on their website (or two of the articles on my site - www.ride424.com)

2) whatever pace you start out at, it is too fast. Seriously, it is hard to crank it down enough in the first few hours. A heart rate monitor is essential in helping you overcome the excitement of the race. Even with one I got overly juiced up. Try to imagine how you would start out a 9 our training ride, rolling out of your neighborhood. You'd be going pretty slow. Aim for this type of pace - there is plenty of time to crank it up later.

3) Stay warm. A lot of people get influenced by the XC or euro road dogs racing around in 40 degrees with bare legs & arm warmers. Don't buy it - keep the muscles warmed with knee & leg warmers, I wear mine at anything below 65 degrees (yes 65 degrees & knee warmers!)

4) Soup is a great midnight snack - salt, hydration, soothes a throat abused by sucking a lot of dust. Also has a large "comfort food" factor, at least for me.

those are my quick thoughts.
cheers
Karl
 

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kretzel said:
those are my quick thoughts.
cheers
Karl
Thanks - I appreciate 'em! What about your longest training ride before the race? I have read that in training for ultra events you should aim to hit 75% of your goal, so 18 hours, about 2 weeks before the race. Is this what people do? I have also heard some comments from people that suggest their long rides are more in the 12 hour range before a solo 24. Hmmm... seems better to err on the side of longer, but those long rides can be, well, so long!

I read recently that Chris Eatough only does one solo 24 each year, which I thought was pretty interesting since he's been so successful. I wonder what he's doing in the month before the race?
 

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Goals

I decided I was going to learn how to do 24 hr races solo. The 1st year I only tried one and finished about 12:00 midnight. The 2nd year I did the same race and only made it to about 2:00 AM. Both races I got up and finished the following morning. The 3rd year(same race) I made it my goals: 1st, to base my nutrition off what the ultra cyclists are doing(RAAM). I got my information from UCMA's web site. 2nd, to ride all night, nothing else mattered. If I quit at daybreak, I completed my goal. That year I did make it to sunup and completeted the race with a good finish.

I also had knee and back problems during the race. My back hurt so bad at the end, I was laying on the side of the track about half way around a lap, with a friendly stranger who happened to be a physical therapist working on my back. She got me to where I could finish the lap. But I figured if I was going to do solo races, I had to work on these problems.

My next step was to go see Andy Pruitt in Boulder Colorado. He helped me with position on the bike, made up for different leg lengths using shims, exercises for the back. We also improved on my nutrition plan . My wife logged calorie intake during the race, so we had numbers and products to work with.

All these steps helped me through the next couple years where I did a total of 9 more races with consistent finishes.

Motivation is the key though. 24 to 25 hrs of riding, occasionally I am ready to ride the next day, but most likely I am wiped out for 3 weeks with periodic throat infections during that time also. The races take a big toll on my body. I kept thinking that my body would adapt after time, but it seems that the opposite is happening. I may do more races in the future, but races that are better suited for me, lower elevations, flatter, etc. Another thing I decided to try were the shorter races.

I did my 1st 100 mile offroad at Brianhead a couple of weeks ago. Finished the race in 9:46, not bad for me riding at an elevation of 10,000- 11,000' and coming from 113' below sea level, being slow, but steady. It was a piece of cake that time in the saddle. Calorie intake was not near as critical as in a 24 hr race either.

Set goals for yourself, have fun. For me, the challenge was against myself, nobody else.
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I did my first 24 hour this past Memorial Day at age 47, finishing 2nd in the 30+ group out of 13. My training prior to the race included lots of base miles in March/April, a few XC races and some longer rides of 5-6 hours. I also did a 8 hour race a few weeks prior and learned a lot of what not to eat.

For the 24 hour it was mainly Perpetuem and Accelerade with some halves of PB&J sandwiches and a cookie or two. At night some homemade soup. What hurt me was doing a two day stage race two weeks later including a double XC on Sunday, first Expert and then SS. My body was toast and I took a few weeks off to recover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
do you think its unreasonable to plan on riding the whole 24 hours?
do you plan sleep/downtime or just rest when you need it?

I'd imagine after 12 hours you body is screaming for rest constantly ;)

from what I've been reading lately, the body has a limit to what it can absorb per hour... while the requirements or rather, expenditure of calories is always goign to be higher than your intake. If it were a big problem, people wouldn't be finishing the races so I was wondering, what do YOU do to keep the caloric intake high enough, but not so high your stomach saps your energy?
 

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Game plan

My game plan ( always subject to change) : start at a fairly hard pace, trust my recovery and nutrition to keep going. I brke the race into 4 blocks: 12:00-6:00, 6:00-12:00, 12:00-6:00AM and the the last block was to the finish.

Most races at the beginning, I went as hard as the team riders, unless it was a real long climb, then I would set a hard tempo. I would push myself for the 1st block ex. (6 laps). The 2nd block I backed off and rode comfortably, enjoying the night ex. ( 5 laps). The 3rd block was my problem area. I usually would make sure I rode easily and tried to stock up on nutrition and fluids during this period ex. ( 4 laps). The last block would be to use whatever I had left ex. ( 5 laps). The example laps were from a race in Arizona last year.

I would use strictly accelerade at the beginning of the race, till I reached a point my stomache got sick of it. Then I would alternate water and accelerade. I have been expermenting with a new drink lately "Player's Drink", it has real fruit and is much easier on my stomache.

Ensure plus, gu's, soups with high sodium content, occasional solid food like half a sandwich , I need to add the solid food every now and then to keep my stomache settled. Dry foods are hard to eat after being on the bike for awhile.

My first couple of races, I paced myself so slow, that it killed me mentally after many hours. Just sitting there spinning away, not going anywhere.That is why I started to go harder at the beginning, bust my race into blocks. I then think I am in the race, keeps my head in it. Next thing I know it's dark. Then it's midnight...etc...

I know if I stop, I am done. My wife and I had a routine of pitstops held to a few minutes max. She would have everything ready, I'd load up while she quickly cleaned and lubed the chain. She also logged calories and fluids to know where I was at in my plan. I also tried to change clothes every 4 hrs, made me feel better. The only time I could stop and get back on the bike was right at sunup. That always tends to be the coldest time. I could warmup for a few minutes then get up as the sun comes up and go.

There is nothing like riding and finishing the first 24 hr race strong. Pretty soon you will be hammering an extra lap, just to see if you can after already riding for 24 hrs.

Have fun, ride safe.
 

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solo 24

rpiontek said:
Thanks - I appreciate 'em! What about your longest training ride before the race? I have read that in training for ultra events you should aim to hit 75% of your goal, so 18 hours, about 2 weeks before the race. Is this what people do? I have also heard some comments from people that suggest their long rides are more in the 12 hour range before a solo 24. Hmmm... seems better to err on the side of longer, but those long rides can be, well, so long!

I read recently that Chris Eatough only does one solo 24 each year, which I thought was pretty interesting since he's been so successful. I wonder what he's doing in the month before the race?
my longest training ride was about 7 hours, and I put slicks on my mtb and did that ride on the road. when I was able to put my head down & hammer the last 30 minutes of that ride at a pulse of about 178, I knew I was ready. I had planned for a double century prior to the race but that got nixed by sickness/travel. see my recent article on my site - www.ride424.com, I talk about a few things that I found imp ortant in getting prepped. hopefully it is useful.

the "standard" rule for tapering prior to a race is maintain intensity but cut way down on volume. you don't want the body to forget how to go hard, you just want to make it do so a lot less, so you can get rested. can't say I follow this perfectly but this is what I target.

good luck!
Karl
 

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kretzel, nice info on your site, it backs up what my coach told me.

I was talking to my coach monday and he told me the things i did wrong at my 24hr race.

1) I overhydrated, by drinking just water in the beginning and before the race. This caused my cramping and poor performance.

2) My pace for the first 2 laps was to high. When i finally settled down and got my HRM to 150-155, i might of shocked my system causing the cramps.

I have been sick all week with a sore throat and congestion. Finally feeling better today.

I signed up for a 40 mile race on sunday.

I might do the churn and burn 24 hr race, well have to see though.

David
 

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kretzel said:
my longest training ride was about 7 hours, and I put slicks on my mtb and did that ride on the road.

Karl
I'm amazed and impressed that you were able to finish the race with your longest rides being only 7 hours! By the time 2am hits you've been on the bike twice as long as your longest training ride, and there's still 10 hours to go! Were those 7 hours rides higher intensity?

My weekly long training rides have been low intensity, really trying to keep the heart rate below 80%, increasing the duration. I'm at about 11 hours ride time (I couldn't do two 11 hours days in a row, though) with this weekend and next before the race. I think I will do another long ride the weekend before the race as a week seems to be plenty for me to recover. I'd like to have a 14+ hour ride under my belt going into the race. At least for this being my first race i think it will be a big mental advantage.
 

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1st solo 24

rpiontek said:
I'm amazed and impressed that you were able to finish the race with your longest rides being only 7 hours! By the time 2am hits you've been on the bike twice as long as your longest training ride, and there's still 10 hours to go! Were those 7 hours rides higher intensity?

My weekly long training rides have been low intensity, really trying to keep the heart rate below 80%, increasing the duration. I'm at about 11 hours ride time (I couldn't do two 11 hours days in a row, though) with this weekend and next before the race. I think I will do another long ride the weekend before the race as a week seems to be plenty for me to recover. I'd like to have a 14+ hour ride under my belt going into the race. At least for this being my first race i think it will be a big mental advantage.
Thanks. I did not race as strong as I wanted - I mention on my site that the goal had been to do a double century (~12 hours) as part of the training plan. For various reasons that got nixed. I think you are right to target 11-14 hours for training - but I think you can survive on less, I see it as a matter of "what's the bar I should clear before I bother sending in my entry fee" and then, how fast do you want to go. My 7 hours were definitely higher intensity than I did the 24 at.

I'd be careful doing too a long ride the weekend before the race, the general idea on tapering is keep intensity up but cut back on volume. Of course if you are up to 14 hour rides (with suitably quick recovery) then a 4 hour is cutting way back.

good luck, let us know how it goes.

Karl
 
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