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  1. #1
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    New question here. Endurance Riders

    Hi everyone,

    Looking to get some info on endurance racing and I am wondering if there is anyone out there who has participated in any endurance races. I am looking to do my first this summer (50 miler). Any advice on preperation, necessities for race day, and good training rides around here would be great. I have no problem riding 50 miles and 5- 6k feet, and I am looking to step up my workouts. So, I am also looking for any good rides that incorporate trail and dirt that might approach 6k+ in elevation in the denver boulder area. I am familiar with all the standard boulder rides (super walker, 4 mile/switzerland area back roads, magnolia to west mag trails etc.) but I am looking for something new, even if I need to drive to the start. Thanks in advance...

    Also, if anyone wants to train for one of these crazy things, or typically does longer rides, it would be great to find someone to ride with

    Chris

  2. #2
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    Chris,

    I'm not much of a racer, but I do enjoy longer rides. I did the Firecracker 50 last year and had a good time, but I realized racing wasn't for me.

    Here's what I rode yesterday and I bet it would make a good training ride because it uses some of the trails for the Firecracker 50 and the Breck 100:


    It ended up being 55 miles and 8,300 vert.

    Another good one would be an out-and-back on the Colorado Trail from Waterton Canyon to Lost Ck Wilderness. This one's probably 80 miles and 10,000 vert.

  3. #3
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    sourdough

    there's a bunch of great ways to ride to sourdough

    via gold hill:
    left hand to lick skillet to peak to peak OR
    sunshine canyon to peak to peak OR
    boulder canyon to 4 mile to golf hill to peak to peak

    then ride sourdough starting from the south side, out and back, then take peak to peak to ward
    go down the canyon, then ride heil ranch, then back home.

    makes for a long day. a lot of the longer events have a lot of forest road. rocky, but not the same as riding singletrack for 100 miles.

    firecracker is great training for longer events. lots of great climbing. and such a fun course. some of the best riding I've done out here.

    most important thing is to be comfortable on the saddle for anywhere from 10-12+ hours. not just physically, but mentally. So at a minimum, try to get in some 8 hour rides. it also kind of depends on what your goals are. are you just trying to finish, or finish within a specific amount of time, win your category, etc?

    also be prepared for changing weather. it can start out at 40 degrees, get up to the 90s, then dump rain, etc. i carried all of my gear with me. slowed me down, but i was so greatful when it started dumping rain and i had knee/arm warmers and a breathable waterproof jacket. you may not need to bring it out on the course with you depending on the forecast, but at leat bring it to the race.

    good luck to you.


    just for background, two vail 100s and two firecrackers. nothing like some of the guys on this board but good enough for me.

  4. #4
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by jjonas

    I'm not much of a racer, but I do enjoy longer rides. I did the Firecracker 50 last year and had a good time, but I realized racing wasn't for me.
    How tough was the FC50? I'm thinking of riding/racing it this year.
    How about a comparison, if you can, with some other trails?
    I have one firm belief about the American political system, God is a Republican and Santa Claus is a Democrat P.J. O'Rourke





  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandan
    How tough was the FC50? I'm thinking of riding/racing it this year.
    How about a comparison, if you can, with some other trails?

    I'll be there.. maybe, we can get a few miles in together>?
    "The search for a perfect pint should take lifetime." M.Jackson

    Ride bikes, not goats. Just good advice

  6. #6
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    The FC50 was not as bad as I thought it would be. I hadn't even ridden around Breckenridge before the race and I didn't pre-ride the course so I really had no idea what I had signed up for.

    My favorite part was giving all the kids 'high-5s' as we rolled through town in the parade...I was having so much fun that by the time we left the parade route, I was dead last in my category. Since I didn't pre-ride and I'm not a good strategist, I didn't realize how much of a bottleneck it would be once the course leaves the Boreas Pass Rd. I took my time up the road and ended up having to do a lot of passing on the Baker's Tank trail. When I hit Little French Gulch on the first lap, I didn't know how I was going to make it up on the second lap but the second lap isn't as hard as you think it'll be...I kinda fell into a groove/trance on the second lap.

    The aid stations are well placed so you don't need to carry that much food or water. They say that it's 5800 ft of climbing in each lap, but it felt more like 3k-4k.

    What to compare it to? Hmmm...that's difficult...none of the climbs were as difficult as Front Range climbs (Mt. Falcon, White Ranch, etc) and they were mostly roads. I ended up averaging a little under 10mph (50mi/5.5hrs) and that's about what I'll do at Buffalo Creek over the same distance but the course is not the flowing singletrack like Buffalo Ck. I guess a comparison to the Indian Creek loop might be pretty good when thinking about the mix between dirt road and singletrack. Anybody else got some comparisons?

  7. #7
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    Rides and training

    I live in Boulder and have signed up for the Leadville 100 this year, so I am always interested in finding training rides and partners. If anybody wants to get together a local "endurance" ride group, I would be very interested.

    Others have mentioned the typical Boulder rides. Going up one canyon and down another, thru Nederland, seems to get you about 6-7000 vertical. One additional climb that you can add on for an extra 1800 or so is the climb up to Caribou townsite from Nederland. This is a constant grade, gets you up to 10,000 feet, and is free of snow currently.

    Later in the summer, any of the rides out of Montezuma that are part of Montezuma's Revenge are hard climbing rides that start at 10,400 feet and go up. Also, Argentine Pass goes very high, but the last mile or two is usually walking - too steep and loose for me to ride.

    Steve

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the info guys...much appreciated. Any advice about nutrition throughout one of these races? Also, do you take any breaks and get off your bike?

    Also, I would be up for an endurance riding group, but compared to guys that have been doing these races and training them for awhile, not sure I can hold my own. I certainly am willing to try!

  9. #9
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    I like doing endurance races as well, and I'd be up for any orgainized death marches. I'm new to this area, and I can't wait to do some of the higher elevation epics I've heard so much about, such as the ones along the Colrado Trail and Continental Divide. If you're interested, let's organize something! Also, I threw together a spreadsheet with all of the endurance races I could find in the CO/UT/WY area, so if anyone is interested ...

    As far as advice to the original poster, the first couple of longer races I did four years ago, I treated as experiments. I didn't race, I just rode. I tried liquid food (perpeteum) but found that I liked real food much better (fruit, beef jerky, pop-tarts and red bull). I also learned to leave as much at the aid stations as possible, carrying only the bare essentials (tools mostly, and a little food). I also learned it was valuable to know in advance where the long climbs were, so I could spin easy before-hand and give my legs a little prep time. I've never come close to winning a 100 miler, but I know guys who have, and they tell me an effective strategy is to hammer for the first 20 miles, and put into over-drive for the rest.

    Hope this helps, and I hope this thread continues

    Scott

  10. #10
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    Approach

    I just did my first 24hr race last weekend in Steamboat on a 2 man team. Pretty adventurous probably for my first. But it was a blast, and we took 4th. I was thinking of doing the FC50 as well. Would the approach and pace be pretty similar to 24hr race? Other than I will be riding for the whole period, not taking breaks.

  11. #11
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    Hammer Nutrition

    [QUOTE=cjlane]Thanks for the info guys...much appreciated. Any advice about nutrition throughout one of these races? Also, do you take any breaks and get off your bike?

    I experimented with Hammer Nutrition. I thought the Sustained energy worked well for 6-8 hour rides. The Hammer jell was a handy way to consume calories before a climb and the electolye tablets let you consume the correct amount for varying conditions. I had no intestinal trouble and didn't have a post ride crazy hunger attack which tells me my body received what it needed during the ride. I think their theory of not consuming simple sugars to optimize performance held true for me. I also find not eating 3 hours in advance of a ride allows me to hammer from the start feeling great. check out ride424.com for more info on Hammer Nut. theory and products.

    cheers

  12. #12
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by sportsman
    I'll be there.. maybe, we can get a few miles in together>?
    Sounds like a good plan!
    I have one firm belief about the American political system, God is a Republican and Santa Claus is a Democrat P.J. O'Rourke





  13. #13
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by jjonas
    The FC50 was not as bad as I thought it would be. I hadn't even ridden around Breckenridge before the race and I didn't pre-ride the course so I really had no idea what I had signed up for.

    My favorite part was giving all the kids 'high-5s' as we rolled through town in the parade...I was having so much fun that by the time we left the parade route, I was dead last in my category. Since I didn't pre-ride and I'm not a good strategist, I didn't realize how much of a bottleneck it would be once the course leaves the Boreas Pass Rd. I took my time up the road and ended up having to do a lot of passing on the Baker's Tank trail. When I hit Little French Gulch on the first lap, I didn't know how I was going to make it up on the second lap but the second lap isn't as hard as you think it'll be...I kinda fell into a groove/trance on the second lap.

    The aid stations are well placed so you don't need to carry that much food or water. They say that it's 5800 ft of climbing in each lap, but it felt more like 3k-4k.

    What to compare it to? Hmmm...that's difficult...none of the climbs were as difficult as Front Range climbs (Mt. Falcon, White Ranch, etc) and they were mostly roads. I ended up averaging a little under 10mph (50mi/5.5hrs) and that's about what I'll do at Buffalo Creek over the same distance but the course is not the flowing singletrack like Buffalo Ck. I guess a comparison to the Indian Creek loop might be pretty good when thinking about the mix between dirt road and singletrack. Anybody else got some comparisons?
    Thanks!
    I have one firm belief about the American political system, God is a Republican and Santa Claus is a Democrat P.J. O'Rourke





  14. #14
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    FC50 pace FASTER than 24hr pace

    Quote Originally Posted by Endo King
    ... I was thinking of doing the FC50 as well. Would the approach and pace be pretty similar to 24hr race? Other than I will be riding for the whole period, not taking breaks.
    The pace will definitly be faster since it is only a 50 mile race.

    Checkout MavSports for 2005 results http://www.mavsports.com/Firecracker%20Results2005.PDF

  15. #15
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    Breck100 100k version

    We are offering a 100K course this year at the Breck100 as well. You should check that out.

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