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  1. #1
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    HR during 24 hour solo?

    Hi Guys,
    Doing my first 24 hours solo in June and just had a HR/pace question. My goal is to finish and have a consistent race not to kill the competition or anything. For those of you guys who've done 24 solo do you walk up hills and through technical sections that would jack your HR outside of your endurance zone? It seems that it would be better to walk and keep the HR lower than to try to recover from the effort lap after lap...
    thanks,
    Zach

  2. #2
    More than a little slow
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    I don't walk at the beginning of a race (not too often anyway). I believe that most people get into trouble with a sustained effort that is just a little too high to be sustainable for more than a few hours. I'd worry more about dialling back your effort overall at the beginning of the race rather than worrying about short term spikes.
    Most of my races are in southern Ontario though, which is not known for it's long and steep hills. I wouldn't push something that would put me over the edge, but a shortish push should be fine.
    Cheers, Dave

  3. #3
    New MTB XC Racer
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    I don't usually ever walk unless someone in front of me has a slip up and stalls me out or its really slippy due to weather, and even then I am stubborn and try to ride everything :P
    From my experience granny gears are pretty low and and my balance is pretty good, even on steep climbs I can keep my effort reasonably in check and won't red zone on a climb yet still keep moving forward.
    My biggest problem is mentally 'checking in the ego' as someone blows by you who is a team rider doing a lap. Get a train of guys pass you and it's easy to get excited and jump on board and the next thing you know you are 10-15 beats higher than you should be pushing for a long solo event.
    Later in the race I sometimes have trouble getting my HR to elevate ....
    I say generally you should stay on the bike if you can but if the course has a couple crazy sections that really need the HP to clear then walking up may be your best option. Crashing half way up a tough section because you are tired can happen causing injuries that could slow you down more than walking, not that my ego or I have ever done anything silly like this ........
    Bottom line if your goal is doing a personal best finish type race than you can start a little cautious and during the night and near the end of the race if you feel good you can push it a little more

    Cheers,
    Paul

  4. #4
    Team Velveeta™
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    stay off the throttle when you can, but do what you do

    Quote Originally Posted by Zach75 View Post
    Hi Guys,
    Doing my first 24 hours solo in June and just had a HR/pace question. My goal is to finish and have a consistent race not to kill the competition or anything. For those of you guys who've done 24 solo do you walk up hills and through technical sections that would jack your HR outside of your endurance zone? It seems that it would be better to walk and keep the HR lower than to try to recover from the effort lap after lap...
    thanks,
    Zach
    I've only done a couple of my half dozen or so 24 solos with any thought about being competitive or even pushing for any kind of speed. My goal is usually like what you're saying; to just ride through the whole thing and not take hours off or quit early.

    I've allowed the experience to take me for a ride. I've gone out hard in the first lap or two because I got caught up in the "pass or be passed" mentality that dominates the early part of any 24, then spent a couple of laps recovering. I've gone into the 3 AM doldrums where I'm just slogging along in a daze. And almost universally, at dawn or sometime soon after, I've gotten the kick in the junk that you get when the sun comes up. Always exhilarating to some extent. And I've gone with it. Because it's fun to take that exhilaration and roll with it. Irrational exuberance has caused me to blow myself apart around 10:30 am and really feel the pain in that endless final lap.

    If you are like me, your heart rate will only go so high after 12 or 18 hours of riding. Using an HRM would become kind of useless for me because my HR won't react the way it does when I'm relatively fresh. Monitoring HR would probably be most valuable, at least for me, in helping me stay off the gas in those first few laps. Sometimes you have to just let somebody you know you could be beating pass you, cuz he/she is on a team and can afford to burn it up.

    As for walking; depends entirely on the course. The Old Pueblo course has maybe two or three short steeps that I have walked after the first 6-8 laps. Gunnison's 24 Sage has the first bit of singletrack by kill hill which is pretty steep, I've walked it starting maybe 4-5 hours into the race. There are some other climby technical sections I've walked later into the race, but lots of it I've ridden. I've never solo'd Moab, but I walk sections of that course even when on a team. Unless you are one of the elites you'd kill yourself trying to ride them, even at the start of your ride.

    Just listen to your body. If riding it is making you feel like you're going to die, get off and walk. Depending on what it is, often walking is faster anyway once you are deep into a solo.

    One of the really interesting and enlightening things about doing a 24 solo is what you learn about your body, and the places you go mentally and emotionally. 3 AM can be weird and scary, dawn can be a miracle. My brain and I have been some places during 24 solos that they never have been at any other time.

    Good luck and have a time.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  5. #5
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    Hi Guys,
    Thanks for the replies. It definitely seems like keeping the ego in check while riders bust past you can be a tough thing to deal with. Along those lines is the the run at the beginning, my plan is to just walk the thing.
    Happy New Year,
    Zach

  6. #6
    Grizzly
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    The course itself can cause rapid variations in your heart rate. A nice way to avoid that on a punchy course is to spin lightly on short steep climbs. Some spikes are inevitable. A good mantra for 24 solos is "spin to win".

    But I wouldn't worry much about your heart rate. Focus instead on eating, drinking, and smiling.
    GrizzlyAdam.net
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    "The only thing better than solitude, is society."

    ~Ed Abbey

  7. #7
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    I agree with Adam.

    I have worn a monitor in a 24 and largely ignored it, went a bit hard at the start but this ended up being a good call.

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