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OK I'm a n00b, but I guess 60 km is my "wall".(5 posts)

OK I'm a n00b, but I guess 60 km is my "wall".Eug
Jul 22, 2003 9:45 AM
Just got a road bike late last year and have been using it more this year. I have been doing lots of short rides, and actually I had never ridden over 50 km. A couple of friends brought me out for my first metric century (well, almost - 95 km).

They took it easy on me, doing about an average of 17 mph over the first half, with speeds ranging usually from 15-21 mph, albeit with me drafting most of the time and sometimes granny-ringing it up the hills. (They tried pushing it to 23 mph a couple of times but I just couldn't do it for any significant distance, even when drafting.) With their slowed pace I could basically keep up. We went for a little under 50 km, stopped for lunch, and then started up again. Still going strong... until about 60 km mark. After that I was totally useless.

The weird part is that going at 15 mph after the 60 km mark I wasn't hugely out of breath, but my legs just refused to go much faster. And the first half was mostly in rain, while the second half was mostly nice weather (not hot and no rain).

I guess I have lots of work to do to work on that endurance. Hope my knees hold up...
re: OK I'm a n00b, but I guess 60 km is my "wall".joekm
Jul 22, 2003 10:44 AM
First off, for just starting out 60 km is respectable and your speed is fine and will naturally develop over time.

A couple of things come to mind as I read your story. It kinda sounds like you are describing the effects of lactic acid buildup in your legs. You may not have taken on enough carbs and/or liquids. It's also possible that you are trying to turn too tall of a gear. Lower gear/ higher cadence will slow the accumulation of lactic acid. However, it takes time for your system to get accustomed to turning higher rpm (say, around 90 cadence) and lower gear. Took me several months and, for the first few, I didn't think I was making any progress at all.

It's also possible to develop a greater tolerance for lactic acid buildup - I'm currently trying to learn how to go about doing that myself in the hopes that I might be able to climb halfway decent someday.

Anyway....just my thoughts.
Cadence ~ 100...Eug
Jul 22, 2003 12:24 PM
Actually my cadence was usually around 100ish (except when I was struggling up hills). Part of the reason I am using 165 mm cranks was to make it easier to increase my cadence (and save my knees).

I had a fair amount of carbs as I was going - fruit bars, but they didn't seem to help. However, I was getting a bit dehydrated. I ran out of water for the last 15-20 km. Also, I almost cramped up a couple of times after ~65 km.

It did seem like lactic acid was at least part of the culprit.
Carb up pre-ride as wellinnergel
Jul 22, 2003 2:39 PM
If you are losing your carbs at the end of the ride, you probably need to carb up a bit heavier the few days prior to the ride as well. Cutting back your training intensity the week of the rally will help preserve the carbs already in your system and allow you to sustain much longer during the ride.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "fruit bars", but eating Power or Clif bars and possibly some sort of Gel or Gu pack every 30 mintues or so will help a bunch. I would also consider drinking a sports drink instead of water during the ride.

Talk to the guys you ride with, at the LBS, or do some searching on the web for "eating on the bike". There is a lot of info out there on this exact topic. You'll quickly find out that no matter what your physical capabilities might be, your diet is at least the same importance for riding longer distances.
Good point, I was a slug before that ride...Eug
Jul 22, 2003 3:19 PM
Good point about the carbing up. For the 2 weeks before the 95 km ride I was on vacation and not riding at all. Lots of restaurant food, some healthy, some not...