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Pre-Century panic(6 posts)

Pre-Century panicdbrogan
Aug 26, 2001 7:04 PM
I've been training this summer for my first century, which will be in two weeks. The route is fairly flat and on paved trails that I know well.

I've been building up my mileage with four rides each week, including a long ride on Saturdays. I had hoped to get up to about 85 miles for the Saturday ride the week before the century. Though I've never done a group ride before, I assumed that riding with others, as well as the excitement of the day, would easily get me to 100 miles.

Things were going well last month. I was up to 130 miles for the week, including a 70-miler. The long ride was pretty easy (aside from a sore butt -- a new saddle solved that).

Then I went on vacation for two weeks. I was able to rent a bike, and I rode a lot. No long rides, but a bunch of 40 milers. In all I did 300 miles in about 12 days.

My first short rides after vacation were great. I was a lot faster than I'd ever ridden before. But later that week, I started feeling pretty burned out on the bike. Sluggish, not a lot of power. On that Saturday, I cut my ride short when a pretty big wind-storm blew in, but I was feeling pretty lethargic anyway.

Worried that I was over-training, I took it easy this week, doing my normal rides, but not pushing it too hard. Saturday's ride got rained out by a thunderstorm, so I took my long ride today. Because of family obligations, I didn't get started until almost noon, when it was already 90 degrees. I normally ride early in the morning.

I felt fine for the first 45 miles, but then I felt like the heat really started to get to me. I was light-headed and a little tight in the chest. My legs felt fine. I was drinking a lot and eating every 45-60 minutes, so I don't think that was the problem. At 60 miles I called it a day. I right that today's problem's were heat-related? Should I be worried about the century? Up to now, I'd been focused on doing well; now I'm worried about finishing. How should I apprach these last two weeks?


re: Pre-Century panicJon Billheimer
Aug 26, 2001 7:34 PM

Sounds to me like your problems were heat related and not due to a lack of endurance. The fact that when you came back from vacation you were riding faster is a good sign.

You've definitely got enough miles in your legs to do a flat century comfortably. What I'd do if I were you would be one fairly fast 25 or 30 mile ride midweek this week and a moderately paced 60 to 65 mi. ride on the weekend. Make all your other rides easy, shorter ones. Next week take the two days prior to your century off or make them very easy. Now that you know, be sure to drink well and often on all your rides, starting 15 minutes into the rides. Also, hydrate really well the two days prior to your century if it's going to be hot. You'll do fine.
Heat will do that ...Humma Hah
Aug 26, 2001 7:49 PM
I tried a century+ ride last year, wound up in 90-something degree heat, was not acclimated for it, and felt just as you describe after 40 miles in pancake-flat El Centro, CA. The following day, I did 40 miles easily in cooler climes. The following week, sticking to the cooler location, I completed 140 miles with no such symptoms.

I'd say you were probably flirting with heat exhaustion.

I'm now better acclimated to temperatures as high as 100 F, but I still take it easier above 90 than I do on a nice, cool morning.

Because centuries get you into mid-day heat, it is a good idea to try some mid-day rides to acclimate to those conditions. You've done one of those now, and know what to expect. Back off, maybe find a place to cool down, and watch the fluids if you feel such symptoms coming on. You definitely don't want to keep pushing if you're on the edge of heat exhaustion. Pushing on to heat stroke can be fatal or debilitating.
re: Pre-Century panicBreezydz
Aug 27, 2001 9:08 AM
Probably was the heat on that ride. You have plenty of miles to complete a century comfortably. In the words of an ultra mararthon running friend "You can always go slower."
re: Pre-Century panicdbrogan
Aug 28, 2001 12:37 PM
Thanks for all the good advice!

from 40 to 80bear
Aug 28, 2001 6:52 PM
hey buddy I did my first 80 last week(I am 48 and 200). up to that day my longest ride was 40 hard miles with 2200ft of climbing and very steep. the 80 mile ride had a long 10 mile climb and 4400ft of total climbing, I took a big change but the guys in this board encaurage me and I made it fine, so go for it, take you time dont try to keep up with anybody,, you probably are training much harder then you be riding the century,,,,good luck food at the rest stop...very important, you will see everybody else eating,,so do eat.....