50 + 100 Mile Advice

by swood   May 29, 2014  

Hey all,

I've never entered a cycle before before, but always wanted to. About 3 months ago, while riding to work, i came off my bike and knocked my front teeth out, took the top layer of skin off my lip, broke my nose and fractured my wrist. Determined to get back on it, i signed up for the 50 mile Three Counties ride this Sunday and 100 mile RideLondon in August for charity - If anyone is feeling generous, my donation page is below (Any amount is greatly appreciated!)
http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/SamWood7

So basically i'm looking for the best tips and advice when it comes to riding those kinds of distances. I'm not too worried about the Three Counties but RideLondon seems a bit daunting. How far should i be training for RideLondon? Best product to keep me from feeling fatigued? etc..

Many thanks in advance!

11 user comments

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Train up to 75 miles, before you try 100. I use jelly beans, mini pork pie (waitrose) and malt loaf. Have a caffeine gel for when you are flagging near the end. Presumably there will be food available at feed station for your London ride.

posted by wellcoordinated [85 posts]
29th May 2014 - 22:45

2 Likes

Sorry to hear about your accident and chapeau to your fortitude in getting back on the bike.

50 miles is not a huge deal but as one friend of mine says, 100 miles is when you begin to find out about yourself ! That said, 10 weeks is plenty of time and I recommend having a look at the advice here:
http://www.bhf.org.uk/get-involved/events/training/cycling-training-zone...

As has been said above, you will need to put fuel in the tank to do a 100 miles, so a bit of experimenting as you train is a good thing.

Good luck !

posted by arfa [517 posts]
30th May 2014 - 7:31

2 Likes

If you can ride 100 miles in a week, you will be able to do 100 in one go, especially as Ridelondon is closed roads and a fantastic atmosphere - the crowds alone will give you a boost and if you can get in a bunch with folk going around your pace and share the workload that is another help.

A lot of folk say you don't need to train as far as 100 (or maybe even 80) to do a ton, which is true, but you will be much better prepared if you have done one or two full distance try outs. You'll know more about how you're feeling as the ride goes on; some days it will feel effortless, others it will feel like torture, and if you have only done 60-70, you won't know how to pace yourself for the last 30. I did Ride London last year, and did 115 on my tod a couple of weeks before; the last hour in particular was gruelling and I was really questioning what the hell was I doing. It took me 7.25 hours, but the actual main event I managed under 6 and could have maybe pushed myself close to 5.

It isn't just physically conditioning your legs and heart to keep going for 100 miles, it's getting your contact points used to that time, and getting your head used to pushing you on. For example, my wrists ache after about 4-5 hours which never happens on a 2-3 hour ride, and of course you need to know your shorts are comfy for that duration. You'll learn when you need to stop for fuel, what you are comfortable to carry with you and what to pick up on the way.

Don't forget basic spares for the bike; inner tube, tyre levers, patches, pump, maybe a chain link or two.

I seem to remember last year the feed stations had tons of bananas and water and not much else; but I was in the last but one wave to start so the other goodies may have gone by the time I got there. I skipped the first big stopat Hampton Court, it looked too busy and I was in a good bunch. The next big one was at Newlands Corner and I lost a lot of time there. We were made to walk into the car park pushing our bikes, on a long hairpin, and the food and drink was on the reverse side as you came out.

Take a variety of food and drink, I can't stand more than one or two gels and bars, I crave "normal" food after a bit. Fig rolls are good, small and easy to scoff on the move.

If you can, do a variety of routes and lengths, and try and get some experience of riding in a bunch so you are familiar with the shouts and signals. It's one of the best things about the day for me, the feeling of being in a bunch all working together.

posted by Daveyraveygravey [73 posts]
30th May 2014 - 12:08

3 Likes

If you can I would suggest a recce of the route, at least the Hampton Court Bridge - Newland Corner - Leith hill - box hill - Hampton Court Bridge Section.

Knowing whats coming will help you to plan ahead, and know what efforts are coming.

posted by andycoventry [120 posts]
30th May 2014 - 12:44

3 Likes

Meh, Ride London is a pretty easy course - the climbs are mostly very forgiving in terms of gradient, and you only climb about 1000m total, if memory serves.
The hardest thing about it is getting up at 4am Yawn

posted by bashthebox [647 posts]
30th May 2014 - 13:37

4 Likes

Start the day with a double sausage and egg mcmuffin. You'll still be burning it off three hours later.

Serious junk food, but the carbs, salt, and fat are good fuel.

Under no circumstances should you you ever eat these products at any other time.

My eyes prefer Celeste, my bum prefers titanium.

Jack Osbourne snr's picture

posted by Jack Osbourne snr [305 posts]
31st May 2014 - 8:58

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Thanks so much for everyone's advice. I'll use some of the tips tomorrow, but i'll make sure to stock up on everything fatty snacks before RideLondon. I've got a few gel packs and energy bars that i'm going to test tomorrow and see how effective they are.

If anyone has any more advice, please let me know.

Thanks a lot!

posted by swood [2 posts]
31st May 2014 - 10:43

3 Likes

I've never ridden as far as 100 miles but when I used to run races the best advice I ever got was don't get "dragged out" at the start. Know the pace you should be travelling at and stick to it. Mixing with faster "athletes", the excitement of the start and the enthusiasm of the spectators can mean that you can overcook it over the first 2-3 miles and then spend the rest of the trip struggling. Good luck and I hope it goes well

posted by gmac101 [27 posts]
31st May 2014 - 23:05

2 Likes

gmac101 wrote:
I've never ridden as far as 100 miles but when I used to run races the best advice I ever got was don't get "dragged out" at the start. Know the pace you should be travelling at and stick to it. Mixing with faster "athletes", the excitement of the start and the enthusiasm of the spectators can mean that you can overcook it over the first 2-3 miles and then spend the rest of the trip struggling. Good luck and I hope it goes well

I did 3 counties today - 57.07 miles in 4 hours 21 mins.

I was riding with two keen cycling friends of mine. Looking back at certain points in the ride, i should have let them go and caught up with them later than try and stay on them. The last 6 or so miles were absolute hell, it just took everything out of me and seemed like it was only climbs, rather than flat road. Glad i did it though, energy gels, bars, bagels and plenty of rest helped.

I'm going to have to do a lot of training between now and RideLondon, so if there are any more tips anyone has. Please post them Smile

posted by swood [2 posts]
1st June 2014 - 20:24

2 Likes

Don't panic, you have plenty of time and are well on your way if you are doing 50 miles.
Don't over train as well !
Do consider adding in some pilates - core strength will help your endurance and comfort for long hours in the saddle.
Good luck !

posted by arfa [517 posts]
1st June 2014 - 20:52

1 Like

First comment, believe you can do it. 100miles sounds a long way, but really the biggest problem is your head.

If you don't rush, go easier than you think you can go, ie pedal at 13mph when you could be comfortably doing 15mph. eat and drink you will be fine.

One other detail, it may be frowned on by some, if you can find other riders going at a similar pace to you, use them, work with them, through and off, you get some shelter from drafting.

mrmo's picture

posted by mrmo [1191 posts]
2nd June 2014 - 12:22

1 Like