10 Weeks to go until first 24 Hour Solo - looking for training tips.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    10 Weeks to go until first 24 Hour Solo - looking for training tips.

    I have been training hard for the last few months in prep for my first solo 24 but I am now looking for training advice for the last 10 weeks.

    So far I have mainly been doing some higher intensity, shorter rides during the week (as part of my commute), then a longer one at the weekends (up to 4 hours).
    I am planning for a 6 hour ride this weekend and then at least one 8 hour and one 10 hour ride in the build up.

    I have a a wife and 4 young kids at home so my training time is limited to about 10 hours a week (except for the planned 8 and 10 hour ride weeks).

    I am looking at nutrition hard as that is something I always seem to struggle with.

    FYI - I have done a few 12 hour solo's over the years so I have an idea of what its going to be like, however, I also know how I feel after 12 hours of racing so doubling that is going to be hard!

    Any tips, training plans etc would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    I am Walt
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    There are a few threads on this, so maybe do a search. Also, check the Nutrition and Hydration forum.

    Youíre set on your training, it seems, so at this point, Iíd worry about the non-riding stuff: logistics, nutrition, hydration, mental. The stomach is always a big concern, because it WILL go south at some point.

    Other than that, my biggest advice is: Donít stop (other than pit stops, of course). Just keep it going...

    Good luck!


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  3. #3
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    Which 24 are you doing?

    As far as training tips... really long training rides will do zero for you physically but they will help mentally. Instead of short iintense I would concentrate on sweet spot endurance rides, just hanging the heart rate close to 160 for 1 to 2 hrs.

    Nutrition , the human body under perfect circumstances can only process 250-275 calories per hour, so anything over that will most likely bloat the hell out you especially after a extended time when your body slows digestive processing to increase blood flow to your legs. Pick your nutrition and USE your plan while training to work out all the kinks. I use a combination of Tailwind, Nuun, Honeystinger products, I will carb (pasta/potatoes etc.) and electrolyte load and hyperhydrate the day before a race. Big cup of hot coffee race morning cleans me out, first 8 hours I will munch waffles and gels and wash it down with Nuun Endurance. After 8 hours I start to migrate to Tailwind and Nuun and run just a liquid diet the rest of the race unless my body screams feed me then I eat a gel or Waffle.

    Main thing is use your nutrition plan during your training period , that is a must do or you are asking for big surprises during the race.
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  4. #4
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    You're going to get a ton of good advice on this thread, but at only 10 weeks out, don't second guess yourself TOO much. You probably know the answer to most of your questions in your "heart of hearts".

    One of the fittest, mentally tough guys I know was undone in his first 24 hour attempt by his butt. I've never done 24s, but have had great luck lubing up with Okole Stuff for up to 12 hours: https://endurostuff.com/reviews/

    You'll have one very dark period mentally. Keep telling yourself that it will pass, and good luck!
    Whining is not a strategy.

  5. #5
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    Many thanks for the feedback. I am doing Moutain Mayhem in the UK.
    I am concentrating now on SS sessions during the week and then longer Z2/Z3 rides at the weekend. I am hoping that combination should see me ok physically with the longer rides built in to. Unfortunately we are lacking in 6-10 hour lap races I can attend in the UK during the build up to it so I am planning to go to a trail centre and create my own race situation!

    As far as nutrition goes, I was planning on using a combination of Nuun active/plain water alternate bottles. I find I can stomach Nuun better than everything else.
    My main concern is food - I am currently planning to break the event down into six hour sections and then after each six hour stop for a longer break (10 mins max) to eat something bigger - a can of rice pudding, pasta, protein rich porridge, that kind of thing.
    Between those times, it will be a stuff i can eat on the move, couple of Clif bars, waffles (good shout), small sandwich sections, bananas.
    I think if I break it into 6 hour sections it will help mentally as well, knowing a small break will be coming up.

    All tips most welcome!

  6. #6
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    echo Kosmo. I find that when I get into my dark place (usually somewhere around 12-16hrs in) I can get out of it with music and/or sugar/caffeine. If your race allows riding w/ a single bud or open ear headphones (i have aftershokz) I'll ride a lap w/ music and be back to normal. Small cans of Coke are a good kick in the ass too. The trick is to use it only when you're REALLY desperate (16hrs in cold, windy, rainy...) as it can become a crutch and riding for a few hours on nothing but coke and sour patch kids (can be done) but the hangover sucks.

    have fun!!

  7. #7
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    I have my first 24 solo effort coming up in about 8 weeks. I still have a lot of logistical stuff to work on, but my physical training plan is pretty much set. I already have completed my 6-8hr back country races and also back to back 14 hr day rides. No so many this year, but I have felt the pain of long rides. Never 24 hr straight, but for me that is why I am doing it.

    It does remind me that I need to do some logistical lap planning
    Joe
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  8. #8
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    That is a good shout on the music, may try that when I am desperate! I have a feeling i will also feel the pinch at 12-16 hours but just got to keep moving.

  9. #9
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    I think a solid 10-12hr ride is good in the next few weeks, especially one where you minimize stop time to only a few minutes here and there. Not gonna build fitness doing that (might even lose a little bit), it's just good mentally knowing you can go that long, get the nutrition right and mostly practice for your butt/hand/feet endurance too.

    On the other hand when I did the Colorado Trail last year I believe I only had 4 or 5 rides over 5hrs in the 3+ months leading up to it, and no ride over 6hrs. So I don't think you gain much fitness with long rides and therefore they're not entirely necessary, it's more the constant training load and back to back to back days of 2, 3, 4hr rides that make for good ultra endurance racing. After that it's mostly mental toughness.

    I would advise against the 10 minute break plan. At least I know for me, 10 minutes off the bike 12-18hrs in wouldn't be good. Muscles would immediately start stiffening up, sweat starts to dry, my core temp would drop and I'd get physically cold, chamois gets cold/stiff, my butt definitely gets super tender once I get off the bike and have to get back on it, it'd take me awhile to get going again and get back into a rhythm, it'd be hard to mentally get back into it. it's also easy for 10 minutes to leak into 12 or 15, or 'let me close my eyes for just a minute and then i'll get back on'.... and if you're in in for a podium spot, stoppage time is absolutely killer. Someone who doesn't stop is gonna put 30 minutes into you, or make up 30 minutes on you.....which is a significant amount of time, and you'll have to bike significantly faster than them during the other 23.5hrs to make it up.

  10. #10
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    @Timon - fair point on the 10 min breaks. I guess its going to be a big learning curve either way but my plan is to keep the stops to a bare minimum. And it will definitely not involve sitting in a chair - that would be hard to get up from.
    I think my longest stop in my last 12 hour was about 5 mins, just to eat something and get my lights on but 12 hours easier to keep going for.

    I am not looking to gain fitness from the long ride, just getting used to being in the saddle for a long time again!

  11. #11
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    I did my first 24 hour race last summer. I had the usual staple energy foods (Honey Stinger gels and waffles, Tailwind drink mix), but also had a huge buffet of real food, mix of salty and sweet, to choose from. I let my body tell me what it wanted, as long as something went in each pit stop.

    It worked really well. For some reason, Peanut M&M's were the golden ticket "breakfast" I had at 6am to bang out the final few morning laps.

    Things I liked: Coca Cola at night for the sugar/caffeine jolt to keep me awake. Sweet potatoes and chips for salty/savory when my mouth got all cottony from too much sugar and not brushing my teeth.

    Some warm noodle soup at 4-5am when it was the coldest and I had the inevitable mental melt-down.

    So yea, bring all the foods, then pick and choose as needed.

  12. #12
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    I've done quite a few 24 hour solos and there's a lot of good info in this thread--you'll be well-prepared if you follow the advice here. And definitely listen to Timon. If I remember correctly, he's super human and made a mockery of us lowly humans in the singlespeed category at Enchanted Forest a couple years ago.

    Something else I'll add about long 10+ hour training rides is they give hints about what might cause you problems late in the race. Pay close attention to what pains or irritations you're dealing with towards the end of the long training rides. Think of things like where you might be chafing (bum, toes, nipples...yeah, that happens sometimes) and how your feet feel and if your shoes are good for 24 hours.

    Consider your bike too. Is it set up with a slight bias towards comfort? Preride the course if possible to get everything dialed in. Does it develop random creaks or ticks after a few hours of use on dusty trails? Listening to a creaky bike for 20 hours will drive you bonkers, I know from experience.

    Good luck!

  13. #13
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    Also this might be obvious: but test your light system! Get at least comfortable with which light goes where and how long the battery life is.

    I've misjudged the battery life of lights, getting caught far away from help in total darkness, and also a dud battery that said fully charged but died after only about 30 minutes of use.

    Common sense but always something to check before you get caught in the dark. Bring more batteries/light systems than you think you'll need or utilize the race charging station so you have at least 2 backups for each lap.

  14. #14
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    Re: NUUN. Be-sure to read the labels. I could be wrong, but I think NUUN is primarily electrolytes and not much in the way of usable calories (Carbs, Protein, etc). That's why it doesn't hurt your stomach because there's not much to it.

    NUUN is great stuff, and I am a fan... just make sure you have a game plan for getting some real calories.
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  15. #15
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    Thanks for all the advice, much appreciated.
    I have a long 8hr-10hr ride planned for Sunday, minimal stops, just churning it out.

    Nuun is more for the electroyles and to fend off cramps etc. I will be making sure to eat enough calories (hopefully!).

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MavAndy View Post
    Thanks for all the advice, much appreciated.
    I have a long 8hr-10hr ride planned for Sunday, minimal stops, just churning it out.

    Nuun is more for the electroyles and to fend off cramps etc. I will be making sure to eat enough calories (hopefully!).
    I like your plan!
    I like to keep the 'food' separate from the hydration/electrolytes too.
    You can drink as much as you want without overdoing the carbs.
    TTUB - Ventura County California

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MavAndy View Post
    @Timon - fair point on the 10 min breaks. I guess its going to be a big learning curve either way but my plan is to keep the stops to a bare minimum. And it will definitely not involve sitting in a chair - that would be hard to get up from.
    I think my longest stop in my last 12 hour was about 5 mins, just to eat something and get my lights on but 12 hours easier to keep going for.

    I am not looking to gain fitness from the long ride, just getting used to being in the saddle for a long time again!
    I had a yoga mat in my pit area and occasionally stretched or used a foam roller on my legs for a short bit while a friend lubed my chain.
    Fall is here. Woo-hoo!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DLd View Post
    I had a yoga mat in my pit area and occasionally stretched or used a foam roller on my legs for a short bit while a friend lubed my chain.
    Must have very good friends...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TTUB View Post
    You can drink as much as you want without overdoing the carbs.
    Science does not agree with you...
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaleinTexas View Post
    Science does not agree with you...
    You're misinterpreting him, I think. He's saying that he prefers to keep his food/calories and his hydration/liquids separate. This way he can drink as much liquid as he prefers without loading up on carbs/nutrition/food.
    The inverse would be if he combined his calories and hydration into a liquid format, then he'd feel he had to manage both systems with only one solution.

    Cheers,
    CJB

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by CBaron View Post
    You're misinterpreting him, I think. He's saying that he prefers to keep his food/calories and his hydration/liquids separate. This way he can drink as much liquid as he prefers without loading up on carbs/nutrition/food.
    The inverse would be if he combined his calories and hydration into a liquid format, then he'd feel he had to manage both systems with only one solution.

    Cheers,
    CJB
    Copy, now that I have went back and re read it, it makes sense now..
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by NordieBoy View Post
    Must have very good friends...
    I don't know if I would have won that event without the support I had. Mostly my wife, she stayed up the whole time and I was averaging 40 minute laps, almost 5 minutes faster than expected, so she didn't have much time to rest and was giving out bottles of water as neutral support for other racers as well. I felt fantastic, it was my best result by far. Tailwind the entire way, switching between caffeinated and non-caffeinated each lap. No solid foods, no gut issues at all.
    Fall is here. Woo-hoo!

  23. #23
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    Anyone use the Garmin external battery pack before? Looking at it to run my 820 for the full 24 hours + to save charging/changing batteries etc?
    Lights tested and they are good so getting there with ironing out kit!

    My legs did explode last weekend after a 7 hour ride but hopefully that was mainly down to pushing quite hard and not eating enough. Hopefully...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by MavAndy View Post
    Anyone use the Garmin external battery pack before? Looking at it to run my 820 for the full 24 hours + to save charging/changing batteries etc?
    Lights tested and they are good so getting there with ironing out kit!

    My legs did explode last weekend after a 7 hour ride but hopefully that was mainly down to pushing quite hard and not eating enough. Hopefully...
    I know this isn't really what you asked, but after trying the battery pack option I ended up doing this (simpler):

    Used a cheap Bryton 310 for GPS duty last couple seasons, spec is 36hr battery. They are pretty cheap.

    That died after a trip through the washing machine. Replaced it with a Lezyne Mega XL. 48hr battery.

    I like the Lezyne app more, but did preferred the small size of the Bryton. Overall, I'd probably get the Bryton if I could go back in time.

  25. #25
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    MavAndy, I use one of those small USB portable chargers, GoalZero Flip and it cost $20. It is small and fits in my top tube snack bag. Works great, no complaints.

  26. #26
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    Regarding training, ride a lot! It sounds like you already do this for your commute and weekend rides. If you can integrate formal structure into these to maximize your training regime it will pay dividends. You're on the right track and will do just fine.

    I recently completed my first 24 hour race and learned a few tidbits which helped me out.

    Get everything ready and well organized before hand; you don't want to be searching for changes of clothing or food during that 24 hours.

    Bring support staff. Having someone to give you encouragement or change tire pressures helps a lot.

    Eat a lot. I rode two hour stints that were fed by gels, gummies, one bottle of water, and one bottle of Tailwind. I would then take 10 minutes to gorge myself on real food, drink recovery mix, another bottle of water, and coffee before heading back out.

    Change riding kits often (and use lots of lube). Getting into a clean diaper and shirt feels good and will help reduce long term chafing and rubbing issues.

    Get some sleep. Rest and recovery can give you new life out there. My race began at 7pm; I rode until 3am, slept for 4 hours, and then started back up again. Yes, I lost position during my long nap but gained it back over the next day while others suffered from fatigue and the lack of sleep. Your bodies rhythm is a powerful force to fight. My sleep strategy worked well for me; others took short naps which worked for them. Know yourself.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by kerns bbo View Post
    Regarding training, ride a lot! It sounds like you already do this for your commute and weekend rides. If you can integrate formal structure into these to maximize your training regime it will pay dividends. You're on the right track and will do just fine.

    I recently completed my first 24 hour race and learned a few tidbits which helped me out.

    Get everything ready and well organized before hand; you don't want to be searching for changes of clothing or food during that 24 hours.

    Bring support staff. Having someone to give you encouragement or change tire pressures helps a lot.

    Eat a lot. I rode two hour stints that were fed by gels, gummies, one bottle of water, and one bottle of Tailwind. I would then take 10 minutes to gorge myself on real food, drink recovery mix, another bottle of water, and coffee before heading back out.

    Change riding kits often (and use lots of lube). Getting into a clean diaper and shirt feels good and will help reduce long term chafing and rubbing issues.

    Get some sleep. Rest and recovery can give you new life out there. My race began at 7pm; I rode until 3am, slept for 4 hours, and then started back up again. Yes, I lost position during my long nap but gained it back over the next day while others suffered from fatigue and the lack of sleep. Your bodies rhythm is a powerful force to fight. My sleep strategy worked well for me; others took short naps which worked for them. Know yourself.
    Some good points here such as being organized before the race and going over your pit procedures so itís non-cognitive. Nutrition has to be tested and proofed before the race. If your racing as a team maybe sleep some, but if racing solo and want to be competitive you have to minimize the time off the bike. Meaning eating as much as you can on the bike no kit changes and certainly no sleeping!!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by MavAndy View Post
    Anyone use the Garmin external battery pack before? Looking at it to run my 820 for the full 24 hours + to save charging/changing batteries etc?
    Lights tested and they are good so getting there with ironing out kit!

    My legs did explode last weekend after a 7 hour ride but hopefully that was mainly down to pushing quite hard and not eating enough. Hopefully...
    Oh , cool Idea. Think I'll give that a try at the 24hrs in the canyon in 15 days with my Wahoo bolt.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by MavAndy View Post
    Anyone use the Garmin external battery pack before? Looking at it to run my 820 for the full 24 hours + to save charging/changing batteries etc?
    Lights tested and they are good so getting there with ironing out kit!

    My legs did explode last weekend after a 7 hour ride but hopefully that was mainly down to pushing quite hard and not eating enough. Hopefully...
    If you have two Garmins you can combine the .fit files after the race. I've found that some Garmin units can get glitchy if you try to use them past 12 hours without saving separate files, even if the battery lasts longer. And by glitchy I mean total or partial data loss.

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