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Endurance ride preparation(6 posts)

Endurance ride preparationSteve98501
Apr 17, 2003 1:09 PM
The thread about what to eat on century rides prompts me to ask about rest. We've written and read a lot about eating and drinking enough (before you're hungry and before you're thirsty) on long rides, and I'm trying to do a better job of it, especially for longer-than-century rides. As a result, the hardest part of riding a century has become how tired I am. Let me explain.

Most of the organized centuries, double centuries, and RAMROD don't begin from my driveway. So I either have to get up while it's still the middle of the night, or sometimes drive the night before and stay in a motel. The night before a "big" ride, I experience something I suppose is similar to pre-race anxiety. It's hard to get to sleep, and I wake up too early. Last time I rode RAMROD with 3 1/2 hour's sleep, one-day STP with 4 or 4 1/2 hours, you get the idea. So far, I've tried taking melatonin regularly or a Tylenol PM at night, but still don't get enough rest. I am middle-aged and often wake up earlier in the morning than I used to, but that's when I go to bed and to sleep at my regular time. This is happening after going to sleep late - due to the excitement about the ride, I guess, so my rest gets cut short at both ends. I'm thinking about asking my doc for ambien or something to knock me out for 8 hours, but I'm leery about riding after being drugged.

Do you have a problem getting enough rest before challenging rides, and if so, what do you do to help remedy the situation?

Thanks.

Steve
A good night's sleep before the event certainly helps...Lon Norder
Apr 17, 2003 3:20 PM
But I find that if I get several good night's sleep in the days leading up to the event, then I'll be alright even if I can't sleep well the night before. So my suggestion would be to make sure to get a good night's sleep 2, 3, and 4 nights before the event.

Things that help me fall asleep are: regular exercise, drinking a beer or two, and reading in bed.

As far as whether to drive to the event that morning or motel-it, my personal rule of thumb is I'll drive if I don't have to get up earlier than 4 AM.

I've found that the more events I do the less anxious I am the night before. So keep doing them and things should get better.

And if all else fails, take a caffeine pill to ward off drowsiness.
Sleep not that big a dealKerry
Apr 17, 2003 4:23 PM
The amount of sleep the night before a big ride will not have a significant effect on your performance that day. Worrying about how much sleep you got will have a greater impact. Accumulated sleep deficit is a problem, but not one night's worth. There are numerous stories of record athletic performances after nights of little sleep. Relax, get as much sleep as you can, and stop worrying about it. The worrying wastes energy.
re: Endurance ride preparationdcdre
Apr 18, 2003 6:24 AM
Lots of agreement with what Lon wrote. I haven't done any burly bike rides like what you're talking about, but I've done some really long distance rollerblading races. I make sure I'm getting plenty of sleep in the week beforehand, up the carbohydrate intake. The evening / night before the race I won't really eat a ton - I don't want to have to go to the bathroom all morning as I'm trying to race. But I will drink a beer or 2 to help me get to sleep.

With how early all of these events seem to start, you'll still end up with not a whole lot of sleep, but usually the excitement of the event will keep me going.
Live on the Adrenaline..........BIG RING
Apr 18, 2003 8:34 AM
and excitement of the ride. I can't really sleep before a century, especially a new one which may be more difficult than prior ones. But experience tells me to go with the flow and enjoy the entire experience. Not many other things in life make me feel like a kid on Christmas Eve. Besides, when the adrenaline is flowing, excitement is high and the first grade is right in front of me/300 other riders, the last thing on my mind is the lack of sleep I got the night before.
focus on food, water, and preparationDougSloan
Apr 18, 2003 9:36 AM
The things that are most likely to get you on an endurance ride are not eating enough of the right food, dehydration, or mechanical problems. Take care of those things, with the mechanical things well in advance. Sleep is way down the list.

Doug