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First sportive - lessons learned and tips appreciated

SoSimpleSoSimple Posts: 301
edited May 2013 in Road beginners
Took part and completed the long version of the Evans sportive at Watlington on Sunday, my first one.

Previous maximum distance was 64 miles so well pleased to get round in just under 6 hours moving time.

Lessons learned- I need a new saddle as the Giant Defy standard really isn't comfortable, so thinking along the lines of a Specialized and getting measured at Covent Garden.

I know I didn't bonk but felt really rough towards the end with stomach cramps (partially alleviated by release of wind!)- as opposed to the horrendous headwind for the last 10-15 miles!

Food wise, I had porridge for breakfast before leaving, 4 flapjack squares at the first stop, banana and cake at stop 2 and clif bar during ride and finally 2 gels(1 SIS and 1 high 5 towards the end). Used Torq carb drinks-drank 2x 750ml bottles plus a bit of high 5 drink.
Not sure if I ate enough but really struggled to get the bar down and couldn't have eaten much more if I'd tried.

Once I'd finished, felt fine and ate normal meal when I got home.

I'm doing the Suffolk 100 mile ride in 2 weeks and know I need to sort out my refuelling strategy but not sure where to take it from here.

I've read as many posts as possible and would appreciate Ny further tips.

Posts

  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Well done on the ride. Was it 80 miles then?

    Have you thought of getting a Fizik saddle?

    I tend to eat more in the morning for a cycle (not sure if thats good or bad?), porridge would be more for a running event. I feel I need food to cycle.

    The other thing I do is hydrate well at least 3 days prior to event.

    Other than that I need a good 100 mile strategy myself!
  • KevChallisKevChallis Posts: 646
    You say hydrate well 3 days prior? How? Just by drinking 2 litres or drinking certain type of drink? Thanks
    Kev
    PlanetX Pro Carbon
    Voodoo Bizango
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Just water. And not drinking alcohol or doing anything else that dehydrates.
  • KevChallisKevChallis Posts: 646
    Carbonator wrote:
    Just water. And not drinking alcohol or doing anything else that dehydrates.

    Thanks mate
    Kev
    PlanetX Pro Carbon
    Voodoo Bizango
  • SoSimpleSoSimple Posts: 301
    Carbonator is was 87 miles in total with (by my standards anyway) plenty of hills!

    I did look the Fizik saddles after reading a recent article but assumed they'd be outside my price range. The certainly look the business and I'd assumed getting sit bones measured was essential and doing that would limit me to Speclalized.

    As for hydration, agree on the no alcohol bit but probably didn't hydrate enough in the lead up to the ride and have figured preparation has to start a few days before, rather than the night before as I did!
  • stueyboystueyboy Posts: 108
    +1 for Fizik saddles

    I have a defy 2 and recently got an advanced 2 which has the Fizik Aliante saddle and it is much better (at least for me) than the one on the defy. Might be worth seeing if the saddle on your defy is pointed up slightly as looking at mine, I've worn the red paint off the front of mine. I've not had any saddle sore symptoms with the Fizik yet
  • SoSimpleSoSimple Posts: 301
    Thanks for the tip Stuey. I've had a good look and it seems level. The pain I get is right on my sit bones and initially assumed it was because my [email protected] wasn't bike hardened or whatever they call it but 800 miles on, it's definitely not right.

    What I don't know is whether I should get an kind of pain my censored after a long ride. I dream of a saddle that still feels great after a ride-am I expecting too much?
  • Wirral_paulWirral_paul Posts: 2,476
    2 bottles and a little bit doesnt sound anywhere near enough. 500ml / hr would see you drinking double what you did - so could be that the cramps were down to dehydration. Worth bearing in mind and see what works for you.
  • zardozzardoz Posts: 251
    2 bottles and a little bit doesnt sound anywhere near enough. 500ml / hr would see you drinking double what you did - so could be that the cramps were down to dehydration. Worth bearing in mind and see what works for you.

    Totally agree twice as much fluid is required and if you sweat a lot then more than that. You should drink even if you don't feel thirsty. Once you feel thirsty its too late. Evening out your eating during the ride rather than scoffing lots at the stops might help avoid stomach cramps.

    I did the Watlington ride as well, the headwind coming back on the long route was a bit of a censored wasn't it.
  • JACE100JACE100 Posts: 47
    I had problems with the standard Defy saddle as well; caused numbness downstairs. Swapped for a Specialized Toupe Expert saddle and no more numbness. Also the Specialized was 150 g lighter than the Defy saddle, it's like a brick!
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    "You should drink even if you don't feel thirsty. Once you feel thirsty its too late"

    That old chestnut. Any evidence for this assertion that isn't flawed science sponsored by the sports drinks industry?
  • zardozzardoz Posts: 251
    keef66 wrote:
    "You should drink even if you don't feel thirsty. Once you feel thirsty its too late"

    That old chestnut. Any evidence for this assertion that isn't flawed science sponsored by the sports drinks industry?

    Any coaching manual for endurance sports or medical resource and water will do it not expensive branded drinks. If you think its wrong then go out for a 6 hour ride without and fluids and we'll see how you get on.
  • Wirral_paulWirral_paul Posts: 2,476
    zardoz wrote:
    keef66 wrote:
    "You should drink even if you don't feel thirsty. Once you feel thirsty its too late"

    That old chestnut. Any evidence for this assertion that isn't flawed science sponsored by the sports drinks industry?

    Any coaching manual for endurance sports or medical resource and water will do it not expensive branded drinks. If you think its wrong then go out for a 6 hour ride without and fluids and we'll see how you get on.

    Amen to that!! :lol::lol:
    I really dont think dehydration affecting performance is flawed science at all. I'm not about to test it out either. :wink:
  • littleprawnlittleprawn Posts: 135
    Do not change components on the bike the day before!


    I changed my 35mm tyres to 28mm Gatorskins...not only was getting the gators hard work but it was risky based on the familiarity of using skinnier tyres when ascending and descending. If you do change components...do it a week before and have a test ride (missus said I was not organised...and she was correct!).

    I did the Wiggle Dorking Sportive and it was fun, hard, challenging but rewarding.
    Cannondale CAADX 5 105
    Trek T10
  • So Simple - Which distance are you doing at the Suffolk Sunrise....42miles, 68 miles or the 102miles?
    Either way, I think you'll be fine as this route is largely flatter than a witch's censored . I did the 68mile/100k route last year & thoroughly enjoyed it. The only possible issue is that we sometimes get a fair old breeze coming in from the North sea (compensation for lack of hills, altho the slightest incline has me puffing). Only other advice I'd give is not to go off to quick. Because its flat & there are quite a few long, quiet roads, if the weather's decent you can easily get sucked in to putting the hammer down early on.
    Let us know how it goes mate.........
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    I'm not saying don't drink. I'm not advocating riding till you're dehydrated. I'm just saying listen to your body and drink when you feel thirsty. On a hot day when you're sweating a lot this will be pretty frequent. On a steady, cold ride it will be relatively infrequent.

    As far as I can tell, all this advice to drink before you're thirsty, drink 500mls an hour / 6 litres a day regardless of the weather or what you're doing, drink till your urine is completely clear etc stem from "research" conducted by or on behalf of the sports drink industry.

    I did a local sportive three weeks ago when the weather was still quite cool. I did 86 miles in a steady 6 hours and drank about a litre and I was certainly not dehydrated. (I know what dehydration is like; I've worked in Sudan, which has a variety of ingenious ways of desiccating a man. And more recently prior to a colonoscopy, the osmotic laxative meant I was extremely thirsty, had a blinding headache, and they found it extremely difficult to get a needle into a vein on the back of my hand by the time they got around to any camera work)
  • Wirral_paulWirral_paul Posts: 2,476
    We'll have to agree to disagree on that one then Keef.

    My information on hydration comes directly from my coach - a British Cycling trained and licenced Level 3 coach who is getting me ready for the Paris to Nice ride in September (760 miles in 8 days inc Mt Ventoux) - and i really dont think he'd buy into all the hype put out by by sports drink manufacturers and advise over hydrating.

    While it certainly sounds like you've been severely dehydrated, there's a world of difference between where you were (which sounded a dangerous level) and the mild dehydration that could affect your ability to ride at your maximum ability. I think we all know severe dehydration can kill you - but it doesnt take severe cases to slow you down on your bike.
  • adr82adr82 Posts: 4,002
    SoSimple wrote:
    Thanks for the tip Stuey. I've had a good look and it seems level. The pain I get is right on my sit bones and initially assumed it was because my [email protected] wasn't bike hardened or whatever they call it but 800 miles on, it's definitely not right.

    What I don't know is whether I should get an kind of pain my censored after a long ride. I dream of a saddle that still feels great after a ride-am I expecting too much?
    I think after a couple of hours (or more) in the saddle you can't expect to feel like you've been sitting on a cushioned sofa the whole time :) That said it shouldn't be unusually painful either, if you are still sore minutes or even hours after you get off then there is room for improvement. Be prepared to experiment a bit, I think I went through about 5 saddles (mostly bought at random it has to be said) before I finally found one that worked for me.
  • Slo Mo JonesSlo Mo Jones Posts: 272
    zardoz wrote:
    keef66 wrote:
    "You should drink even if you don't feel thirsty. Once you feel thirsty its too late"

    That old chestnut. Any evidence for this assertion that isn't flawed science sponsored by the sports drinks industry?

    Any coaching manual for endurance sports or medical resource and water will do it not expensive branded drinks. If you think its wrong then go out for a 6 hour ride without and fluids and we'll see how you get on.

    Amen to that!! :lol::lol:
    I really dont think dehydration affecting performance is flawed science at all. I'm not about to test it out either. :wink:

    Post deleted.
  • NavrigNavrig Posts: 1,352
    We'll have to agree to disagree on that one then Keef.

    My information on hydration comes directly from my coach - a British Cycling trained and licenced Level 3 coach who is getting me ready for the Paris to Nice ride in September (760 miles in 8 days inc Mt Ventoux) - and i really dont think he'd buy into all the hype put out by by sports drink manufacturers and advise over hydrating.

    While it certainly sounds like you've been severely dehydrated, there's a world of difference between where you were (which sounded a dangerous level) and the mild dehydration that could affect your ability to ride at your maximum ability. I think we all know severe dehydration can kill you - but it doesnt take severe cases to slow you down on your bike.

    There was a programme on TV last year challenging the drink before you are thirsty philosophy and the drinks manufacturers were partially "blamed". Some, limited research showed that performance and health was not affected by waiting longer before you drink but not as you both say until you are dehydrated.

    I suspect many coaches, including professionals, are influenced by the drinks companies even if it is just because the companies will offer sponsorship for training courses etc or they fund the research and chose to publish selectively.

    I go with the "do what your body says" approach.
  • SoSimpleSoSimple Posts: 301
    So Simple - Which distance are you doing at the Suffolk Sunrise....42miles, 68 miles or the 102miles?
    Either way, I think you'll be fine as this route is largely flatter than a witch's censored . I did the 68mile/100k route last year & thoroughly enjoyed it. The only possible issue is that we sometimes get a fair old breeze coming in from the North sea (compensation for lack of hills, altho the slightest incline has me puffing). Only other advice I'd give is not to go off to quick. Because its flat & there are quite a few long, quiet roads, if the weather's decent you can easily get sucked in to putting the hammer down early on.
    Let us know how it goes mate.........

    I'm doing the 102 as I'm in training for London-Paris(plus an extra 200 miles!) so need to get some long days in the saddle. It's reassuring to hear its flat but now I've tried a few hills and found they aren't quite as bad as I feared, it feels like a weight has been lifted!

    Thanks for the advice and hopefully the wind want be too bad
  • zardozzardoz Posts: 251
    Navrig wrote:
    I go with the "do what your body says" approach.

    I agree, but at the point where you are feeling thirsty then you are already slightly dehydrated and you only need to be slightly dehydrated for it to impact on athletic performance. Some people seem to be convinced that this is a rumour put about by the drinks industry, and yes they certainly use this fact to encourage people to buy their expensive products but the reality is that in all but extreme conditions, water from the tap (which I don't think the drinks industry yet have the monopoly on) will keep you hydrated.

    The other thing that I bet most people don't know about them selves is their sweat rate. Its quite easy to calculate. Weigh yourself naked for cycling ride for an hour (put some clothes on first though), don't eat or drink during the ride or go to the toilet afterwards and on return weigh yourself naked again. The difference in before and after will determine your sweat rate per hour and will indicate what rate of fluid intake you need to remain fully hydrated. There will be vast differences between different people depending on weight and fitness levels. You would need to repeat the test to cover different heat conditions.

    I don't have a background in cycling, but I did run competetively as a middle and long distance runnrer for 25 years and my coach was also coach to several top international Athletes, he used to drum it into us about making sure we were properley hydrated before timed training sessions and especially competition to maximise performance. He definitely wasn't influenced by the sports drinks industry as it didn't at that time.
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