Forum home Road cycling forum Tours, routes, audaxes & organised rides Sportives/audaxes/training rides

Marmotte 2010..

staggerstagger Posts: 116
Well done all who finished the 2009 Marmotte! .

Now is probably a good as time as any I guess to get some advice, while the pain's still fresh...

I am planning to do it next year for the first time, and know that as my current fitness definitely wouldn't cut it, that I need to think seriously about it in the next few months, and not in March 2010...

I dont really want to spend 13 hours in the saddle, silver for my age is 11hr

Current summer miles are fairly random, peak district hilly and for fun/commute, 80-100m/week at 14-15mph av, max ride length 60m ish . Winter miles generally fair bit less, don't turbo at moment.

I have some long term joint problems so any increased training load has to be applied very gradually.

I do a few hilly uk sportives a year, fairly slowly.. ie 8hr+ , have never put any structured training in place

Would be interested to get some top tips on what training worked for you/didn't, things you would do differently, miles in the year up to it, correlation uk hilly sportive/marmotte times etc etc

I have done a bit of research and yep there's a fair bit of info already on web but more the better!

I know the area fairly well from other activity hols there and have done a bit of riding there including Galibier from the easier briancon side a few years back. ( i remember looking down to the other side and thinking hmm, well, maybe one day..)

Any advice gratefully received.
«134

Posts

  • dave milnedave milne Posts: 703
    Hi,

    I did it in 8:34 and just made gold time however the last 3 hours were a serious sufferfest

    I would do this differently. Take the first 2 climbs slower, I took them at the pace I would take hills in a tough hilly ride in the uk, still too fast. Second, hill repeats are your friend, I wish I had done more of these to just get used to the grinding slow cadence. You can do these on the turbe of your up for it
  • bahzobbahzob Posts: 2,195
    I wrote up experiences of last years Marmotte and stuck here. (Guide mentioned at the end.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Marmotte

    I know it helped a few riders this year. Plan to update with some extra tips following this years ride most important one being avoid latex.

    Happy to offer any specific advice if needed.
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • bahzobbahzob Posts: 2,195
    PS one specific piece of advice is avoid any training plan that involves using the short steep hills we have here in UK.

    Even if fully fit training on these has little benefit in training for Mamotte, if you've got joint problems I would avoid altogether.

    With this in mind the Dragon sportive is a very good intermediate target event. Its climbs are long and steady and its timing in June is perfect for checking out all aspects of your ride including bike/food/drink etc. since there's enough time after to recover and fix any problems you find.
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • staggerstagger Posts: 116
    thanks thats useful!
  • mark_dmark_d Posts: 61
    Yep, the Dragon ride and any other long sportives with long climbs will probably help. I don't think doing hill reps on short hills is very useful. The Marmotte is 3 very long periods of climbing and two descents. What counts is being able to produce enough power over a long enough period of time to climb 1200m in one go, not being able to do 5 minutes of climbing ten times.

    You can train this by spending an hour or two working continuously at the level you hope to climb at. This doesn't need to be uphill. I often do a 75 to 90 minute above aerobic to sub-threshold effort which is about where I am while climbing. For me this is a flat ride at about 22mph, HR 155 bpm. It's enough to make talking a bit tricky but not so hard I can't hold it for hours.

    This said, some hill intervals might well help raise your power at threshold, which might help with your overall fitness. By this I mean 3 or 5 *hard* efforts on hills -- grinding out lots of slow climbs won't do this.

    Different people suit different plans but perhaps this'll give you some ideas.

    Lastly, enjoy it. It will end, and it'll be a great achievement.
  • dave milnedave milne Posts: 703
    bahzob wrote:
    PS one specific piece of advice is avoid any training plan that involves using the short steep hills we have here in UK.

    Even if fully fit training on these has little benefit in training for Mamotte, if you've got joint problems I would avoid altogether.

    With this in mind the Dragon sportive is a very good intermediate target event. Its climbs are long and steady and its timing in June is perfect for checking out all aspects of your ride including bike/food/drink etc. since there's enough time after to recover and fix any problems you find.

    I have to disagree about the dragon ride, it's too easy. Hill reps I think are the only way apart from the turbo trainer to get the volume of climbing in. Just my two pence worth
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    Use the Dragon but your aim should be to complete the course confidently and quickly. If you struggle on a circuit like this, you risk being destroyed by the Galibier.
  • musto_skiffmusto_skiff Posts: 394
    bahzob wrote:
    ... most important one being avoid latex.

    Eh? what latex inner tubes, why?
  • CatbertCatbert Posts: 5
    Agree with those who suggest the Dragon - a good workout even if it's nowhere near as hard, and a timely prompt to upgrade/replace tyres, brake pads and sprockets to make sure they are all in working order (I saw several riders descending the Alpe to the start this year getting punctures or other problems - not a good start).

    You also need to think about logistics. Staying at the top of the Alpe means at the end of the ride you don't have to ride down to shower etc. I'm told there's plenty of accomodation but the better places will get booked up. If you're planning to book via a tour operator then I would avoid SportsTours (aka Graham Baxter): they were totally disorganized - to the extent of managing to forget to enter one client for the event and not noticing they hadn't had the medical cert from another - and unresponsive. Riders with Cyclomundo and French Cycling Holidays seemed to be getting much better service as far as we could tell. If you want to do it in a group it seems just about possible to drive down from the channel ports in a day (suggest the Thursday though!), assuming you've got enough people to share the driving.

    Good luck!
  • mark_dmark_d Posts: 61
    Catbert wrote:
    If you want to do it in a group it seems just about possible to drive down from the channel ports in a day (suggest the Thursday though!), assuming you've got enough people to share the driving.

    We did this. It was a killer. We drove overnight on Weds/Thurs, arriving at lunchtime on Thursday completely knackered. Slept too much that night then couldn't sleep before the Marmotte (had 1 hours` sleep!). It might be more comfortable during the day but tolls and fuel are expensive.

    Last year we got the train. Brilliant! Left London at 8am or so, changed in Paris, arrived in Grenoble late afternoon. 1 hour drive from station and into Alpe d'Huez in time for dinner.
  • UK sportives will help with Marmotte preparation but I made the mistake (in hindsight) of not taking them seriously enough in my prep last year. Next time I'll ride fewer than last time, but I'll pick hard ones and I'll rdie them with a time in mind. Only by riding them fast can you make them hard enough to test out performance under pressue and getting your feeding and drinking right for the Marmotte. Pootling round a UK sportive like I did won't prepare you properly.
  • mark_d I was thinking of doing something like that, did you manage okay with transfers (how did you get to London, or are you based there?) and did you get any fuss about bike bags on the trains? I asked a similar question recently in another thread and it was suggestedt that bike bags and the TGV in particular didn't go well.
  • mark_dmark_d Posts: 61
    mark_d I was thinking of doing something like that, did you manage okay with transfers (how did you get to London, or are you based there?) and did you get any fuss about bike bags on the trains? I asked a similar question recently in another thread and it was suggestedt that bike bags and the TGV in particular didn't go well.

    Yes, I live in London. Handy!

    Bagged bikes are fine on both Eurostar and TGV. I've taken them several times. Bikes go on the racks with everything else (though I hear there may be some other part of the train as well but don't quote me). No booking required. If you get them on first there's rarely trouble with a lack of space. Don't believe anyone who suggests it's not possible or even difficult.

    Changing trains in Paris is a minor faff. Eurostar arrives in Gare du Nord, trains to the Alps/Med leave from Gare de Lyon, a two-stop RER (underground) ride away. Heaving bikes through the station/turnstiles/RER is a bit of a pain but it ain't the Galibier :~)
  • bahzobbahzob Posts: 2,195
    bahzob wrote:
    ... most important one being avoid latex.

    Eh? what latex inner tubes, why?

    In my experience prone to blow out if brake too hard on descents. Had this happen on Glandon. Know theory about keeping off brakes and alternating front/back etc but may not be possible in practice.
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • musto_skiffmusto_skiff Posts: 394
    bahzob wrote:
    bahzob wrote:
    ... most important one being avoid latex.

    Eh? what latex inner tubes, why?

    In my experience prone to blow out if brake too hard on descents. Had this happen on Glandon. Know theory about keeping off brakes and alternating front/back etc but may not be possible in practice.

    Ah, right. I always use butyl(sp?) on my raod bike, save the latex for the TT bike ...
  • bahzobbahzob Posts: 2,195
    Kléber wrote:
    Use the Dragon but your aim should be to complete the course confidently and quickly. If you struggle on a circuit like this, you risk being destroyed by the Galibier.

    Agree 100%,Key is to ride event like the Dragon at intensity similar to that needed for Marmotte. Tools like power meters, HR monitors or just speed can be used to do this. As an e.g. I reckon 19mph average on Dragon will be around 15mph average on Marmotte.
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • andypandyp Posts: 8,457
    mark_d wrote:
    Yes, I live in London. Handy!

    Bagged bikes are fine on both Eurostar and TGV. I've taken them several times. Bikes go on the racks with everything else (though I hear there may be some other part of the train as well but don't quote me). No booking required. If you get them on first there's rarely trouble with a lack of space. Don't believe anyone who suggests it's not possible or even difficult.

    Changing trains in Paris is a minor faff. Eurostar arrives in Gare du Nord, trains to the Alps/Med leave from Gare de Lyon, a two-stop RER (underground) ride away. Heaving bikes through the station/turnstiles/RER is a bit of a pain but it ain't the Galibier :~)

    The way to avoid the latter problem is to change at Lille. Trains from there go to Valence, which is 1.5 hours from Alpe d'Huez in a car.

    I've used the Eurostar and TGV every year for the past ten and have never had any issues with taking a bagged bike on board.
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    bahzob wrote:
    In my experience prone to blow out if brake too hard on descents. Had this happen on Glandon. Know theory about keeping off brakes and alternating front/back etc but may not be possible in practice.
    I think this is more down to technique than material, you need to brake late and hard, rather than ride with the pads on the rim for long stretches. The pros on clinchers use latex tubes.

    Also it suggests you might have too much pressure in the tube to start with. None of this is meant as criticism, just something for reflection.
  • bahzobbahzob Posts: 2,195
    Kléber wrote:
    bahzob wrote:
    In my experience prone to blow out if brake too hard on descents. Had this happen on Glandon. Know theory about keeping off brakes and alternating front/back etc but may not be possible in practice.
    I think this is more down to technique than material, you need to brake late and hard, rather than ride with the pads on the rim for long stretches. The pros on clinchers use latex tubes.

    Also it suggests you might have too much pressure in the tube to start with. None of this is meant as criticism, just something for reflection.

    Thanks. In fact as it happens going back to Glandon next week on way to Etape, specifically to practice for next year.
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • I died a 1000 deaths up the Galibier, and a few people probably heard and spectated! It took me 3 hours to get from top of Galibier to home and I had to walk/ride Alpe D'huez - needed a compact and race wheels! Perfected being sick on the move at 83 miles - very classy! And finished in time of 8.02....my average heart rate ended up at 136!

    And already I'm planning my return! I'm going to be doing a training camp at the end of May/beginning of June in either that area, Massif Central, Pau or 20 miles inland from perpignan so if anybody is interested in coming, drop me an email!
  • popettepopette Posts: 2,089
    wow - 8.02 - that seems a stonkingly good time Elastigirl72! No wonder you were puking :-)
    You are going to p!ss the Etape.

    Hoping to do the Marmotte next year too. I would be interested to know details of the camp. Although can't commit to anything with family etc
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    8 hours is a very good time, that puts you in the top 10% of starters and 4th in the women's category. 8)
  • maddog 2maddog 2 Posts: 8,114
    just to hijack a little - the butyl vs latex question is something I was wondering about prior to the event, but couldn't find any comments on it. I rode with butyl in the end and had no problems but I noticed there were loads of people flatting.

    I'd definitely recommend the event - the route is just fantastic. But it is very hard, (just in case you hadn't picked that up already :wink: ). It was carnage on Alp d'Huez at the end with men dropping like flies.
    Facts are meaningless, you can use facts to prove anything that's remotely true! - Homer
  • grimpeurgrimpeur Posts: 230
    I nearly ( probably did ) get heat stroke on the Alpe at the end. Arrived at the bottom of the Alpe with 7h09m and was hoping to do a decent enough time up the Alpe without stopping as I had the previous time. Big mistake! I only took on one bottle of water at the bottom and didn't stop at La Gard as I wasn't feeling too bad, then I got about bend 10 and felt like I was shivering. My legs cramped up when I rode in the saddle and I just died when I stood up. Carrying on I could see the Huez village water stop about 250 - 300m ahead but my legs wouldn't move. In the end I had to stop and get off, doing a combination of hobbling and riding that awful stretch to my saviour. On arriving I hogged a water tap for about 10 - 20 minutes and just doused myself in cold water and drunk about 4 bottles. This gave me a second wind thankfully and after that I was able to climb back on the bike and ride at a decent pace to the top. 8h14m ride time but the stop at Huez dropped my time to 8h40m.

    Definitely the hottest year I have done it. The fact that everyone was comfortable in Bourg at 6:45am standing around in jersey and shorts said everything, it was going to be a very hot day!
  • ju5t1nju5t1n Posts: 2,028
    I managed 10 hours, 26 minutes and 59 seconds - which gave me a 'Brevet d'Argent' (silver standard) by an 8 minute margin. I came 3703rd

    Looking at the results it seems that about 2000 people didn't finish, can that be right?
  • ju5t1nju5t1n Posts: 2,028
    In case you'd forgotton...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRCmO8lsUp4
  • topcattimtopcattim Posts: 766
    ju5t1n wrote:
    Looking at the results it seems that about 2000 people didn't finish, can that be right?

    Yeah, I'd wondered that. Approx 5000 finishers. I wonder, of the missing 2000, how many were non-starters as opposed to non-finishers? There must have been a few DNFs but for 2000 to DNF, there would have been loads more exhausted and abandoning riders along the route than I actually saw.
    which gave me a 'Brevet d'Argent' (silver standard) by an 8 minute margin

    I too got a Silver standard, which I was amazed by. One of my goals for the year was a silver in a sportive, but I would never have expected to have got it at the Marmotte. Just finishing it was my initial goal. It set me wondering - are the Marmotte times for gold and silver particularly easy? I don't mean "is the Marmotte easy" which it is clearly not. But instead, what I mean is, assuming that you complete the ride, is it relatively easier to get a silver or gold at the Marmotte than at UK sportives?
  • Given that 2000 didn't finish, only 151 women finished, I think any finishing time warrants a medal!
  • ju5t1nju5t1n Posts: 2,028
    I only just scraped the silver on Saturday and found it pretty tough doing so. I've found silver to be comparatively easy to achieve in UK sportives, so I would say that the Marmotte standards a similar to those in the UK, and certainly no easier.
  • meenaghmanmeenaghman Posts: 345
    There is a timeout at 6PM at the bottom of the Alp... I didn't know about this. I reached the bottom just before 6 - approx 5:58 according to Garmin.. and went for food. 15-20mins later went to get back on the bike and the guys were stopping people telling them to go back and hand in their timing chips. Some guys in a neighbouring club did this and continued up the Alpe. I took mine off but instead of handing it in, stuffed it in my back pocket... rode over the timing mat.. reattached it to my ankle later on.. and rode over mat at the finish.. However it still didn't register in the results. I caught guys who had chips on their ankles going up the Alpe who obviously got past the bottom before 6PM. I could have probably argued my case and got myself in the official results but I have my Garmin readout anyway which gives me as much information and a time to go for next year. There seemed to be a shambles with people getting their diplomas afterwards.. I know some guys where it wasn't ready 3-4hrs after they'd finished and indeed the guy printing out the diplomas offered them blank ones which they could fill in themselves ! There were plenty of people who finished after me and a fair few who were chipless finishing in front of me also, so thats where the huge discrepency in numbers will come from. I reckon there's a good 800- 1000 who finished but were timed out at the Alpe.
Sign In or Register to comment.