My first 50 miler - not quite to plan!

Jaydoubleyou Posts: 41
edited June 2010 in Road beginners
I did my first 50 miler yesterday.
I needed to visit family who are 26 miles away in the Lake District, so I thought I would go on my bike ( a have done a couple of 40 milers but not cracked the 50 yet)
It is quite a hilly route and it was very windy, but the ride there was fine.
The trouble was, an hour visit turned into 7 hours and by the time I was ready to return in the evening my muscles were feeling pretty tight.
I started off back at a fast pace as I wanted to get home before it started going dark, but burnt myself out and the last 10 miles of my ride (which are pretty much all up hill) were frankly tortourous!
I have learned a lesson here - either do all my miles on one ride or get fitter before attempting this type of trip again!


  • CarbonCopy
    CarbonCopy Posts: 492
    Try fueling up better on the ride home next time.
    Sometimes if you feel your about to bonk eat an energy gel or bar or even a ceral bar or two can get those lungs and legs going again you`ll soon realise that the body can go further than you think.
  • Doombrain
    Doombrain Posts: 360
    my ride to work is bang on 20 miles and i find the ride home i could go on for a 35-40 so, as above, it's got to be down to fuelling after a rest like that, hills or no hills.

    grats at hitting the 50 though, next time with no rests!
    LOL road riding.
  • Thanks for the input fellas.
    It would appear that the problem was lack of fitness/fuelling rather than splitting the journey?
    It didn't help me getting caught up in a local time trial event on Kendal/Barrow dual carriageway. It can take it out of a newbie trying to keep up with them boys!
    In hindsight the longest ride I had done before this was 40 miles so I suppose the last 10 of a 50 miler would be challenging even if it was split in two.
    I don't feel too achy today so I reckon it wasn't as grueilling as it felt at 9pm last night!
  • cw42
    cw42 Posts: 205
    Nice story, but a 7 hour rest between rides doesn't make it a 50 :) Try doing it all in one hit next time. Well done for the effort though!
    live long, eat biscuit
  • Matt the Tester
    Matt the Tester Posts: 1,261
    good job :) RT Tester
    north west of england.
  • Hals1967
    Hals1967 Posts: 231
    Well done :D

    I always find a ride much easier in the afternoon or evening than first thing, even after a decent breakfast. Though everyone's different, some advocate early starts but it's just not for me.

    The fact you tended to fade later on will probably be due to setting back off at too high a pace with the added pressure of getting back before dark.

    It's all good experience though. :)

    1967 Engine
  • PeeDee
    PeeDee Posts: 88
    Not eating enough, and not soon enough.

    I used to do a 25 mile to work once a week in summer. The morning run would be a breeze, then I would die a horrible death every evening on the way home.

    What cured it for me was eating a second (large) breakfast as soon as I got to work. Waiting until lunchtime was too late as my body had already packed up though lack of food by then.

    Also: I always find if I set off slower then I arrive quicker.
  • Thanks for the support and tips fellas.
    Six weeks ago I was a stone heavier and struggling to cover 15 miles so I am heading in the right direction.
    I probably need to think about taking in more carbs before and during my ride. I tend to only take a bottle of water and a cereal bar with me, which is, for my level of fitness probably not enough calories to keep be effective for 1.5 hr rides.
    I am hoping to get my first proper 50 next weekend, commitments allowing.
    There may be another moral to the story - Newbies shouldn't try and keep up with TT'ers when they are already knackered and still 20 odd miles from home! Doh :oops:
  • mudslinger
    mudslinger Posts: 237
    For rides less than an hour I have just water in my bottle but for longer than that you should look at squash / energy drinks.

    Well done on the fitness improvement. Losing a stone in 6 weeks is very quick.
    Winter commuter: Planet X London Road
    Winter road bike/commuter: Specialized Langster
    Best road bike: Planet X RTD90
    MTBs: Giant XTC 650B / On-One C456 singlespeed
    TT bike: Planet X Stealth
  • Lycra Man
    Lycra Man Posts: 141
    Congrats on doing your 2 x 26 milers.

    Lessons learned ought to include
    pacing yourself (and not trying to race agianst TTers)
    fuelling up for a ride
    buying a light, then you can take yor time :wink:

    But yoiu are definitely going in the right direrction. It's proibably easier to do a 50 mile ride non-stop, than stopping for too long a break.

    Just my opinion.

    Lycra Man
    FCN7 - 1 for SPDs = FCN6
  • postman
    postman Posts: 120
    Also congrats from me .

    Keep putting food and fluids inside all day on longer runs .

    A couple of banannas will also help .
  • A couple of banannas will also help

    I could always use the one keep down my lycra shorts :shock:

    Thanks for all the encouragement chaps - even though this is a beginners forum, some of the distances and average speeds talked about can seem a little unobtainable at first.
    I have got Saturday to my self so a 'proper' 50+ is in my sights. All I need is more carbs and a PMA and it is a done deal I reckon.
  • cyclowen
    cyclowen Posts: 21
    well done mister :-) I'm just about to set off on my first 50 miler over the weekend - will try and start out slow and take lots of snacks/energy drink etc. Unfortunately I'm doing a hilly route so my die a death on one of those at some point...
  • PeeDee
    PeeDee Posts: 88
    You'll find that as you get fitter you can ride further without needing to eat as much and as often.

    Signs that you are running low on blood sugar (as opposed to just having tired legs) are: feelings of drowsiness; your vision not being as sharp as it was when you set off; feeling hard to hold your head up.

    If you feel these symptoms then then stop and eat something straight away!
    Good luck with your next ride.