Is a solo 24 on 14 hours per week possible.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Is a solo 24 on 14 hours per week possible.

    Hi all, as the title says, is it possible to do a solo 24 hour event on about 14 hours per week training?

    I can do about 2 hours each weekday morning but anymore than a four hour long ride on the weekend is going to be difficult with my family commitments.

    I will also be able to do a seven hour race about once a month.

    I'm not going to threaten the podium in any race I do and I may finish DFL. My goal if I did a 24 solo would just be to ride the whole 24 hours.

    What do you guys think? Can it be done?
    Last edited by Rochey; 06-19-2015 at 03:37 AM. Reason: Repeated words

  2. #2
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    Yes, for sure. I have done 12 hour races on low training time. It is really about how your butt feels, how much you eat, and other factors. Most guys sleep two hours at night. I would just do it and have fun. No worries.

  3. #3
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    yes, sure. I'd say 14 hours is already quite a lot. You always suffer, you just suffer at a lower speed than the winner.

    Make sure you do some very long rides. Back-to-back rides help, too (e.g. Sat-afternoon 6 to x hours, Sun morning 6 to x hours).

    Have fun.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rochey View Post
    ...I will also be able to do a seven hour race about once a month. ..
    7 hour race is key. Going 7 hours will put you past the point of riding on stored energy and well into the realm of needing to replenish. I went from a max of about 7hr-8hr to 14 hrs and physically it was not that hard. Mentally I hit a wall at about 10hrs as temps were dropping and light was fading and I all alone in unknown part of the trail. Thank fully other riders in group came through that got mentally out of my dark place and to the finish. So 24 hrs vs 7hrs on the bike will most a mental test. Expect your body to want to stop and expect to feel tired, but what you need is the mental strength to push on.

    BTW. I am not a really strong rider either. I can do some good rides at good pace, but never close to "Winning" anything. I ride and push myself where I can and my accomplishment is riding to my potential.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '19 Ibis Ripmo, XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys, I'm glad to hear from people who have been there and done it before. I had planned to do consistent long rides but it's just too hard with the family commitments which are far more important. Is it simply a matter of suffering through or are there any other suggestions that you have?

  6. #6
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    I just did a 24 solo a few weeks ago and I usually get around 10 hours a week in so it's possible. The biggest tips I can give you are:
    Don't go out too fast, know what pace or avg heart rate you want to be at and stick too it Don't get caught up in "racing" on those first few laps because it will come back to bite you in the end
    Have your nutrition dialed in but have a back up plan as well in case your stomach disagrees with your perfect plan
    Plan on at least one change of kits, gloves, socks and shoes around midnight just because it feels so good
    Carry a spare battery for your light in case you screw up on changing batteries out. I kept a little 500 lumen light on the bars just in case (had to use it once too)
    Give your pit crew (in my case, wife) a list of things to ask and check for, nutrition, lights, chain lube, checking results etc) every time you stop in case you get a case of the stupids and forget basic stuff
    Have fun with the other racers and spectators and before you know it the sun will be up and you'll just have a six hour race left

    Have fun!

    Here's a link to my race report that I put on our local forum
    Mid-South Trails Association ? View topic - 24 Hours in the Canyon

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the info. It is awesome. Congrats on the race result too. Well done. I really enjoyed the race report.

    I guess it's the lack of longer rides that scares me. But when I think about it how much longer than 7 hours could I do?

    I also think I will need to lose some weight. I'm about 230 pounds. I think if I could get under 200 it would make a big difference, but this has always been difficult for me. Part of the reason i took up cycling was to help me get my weight down but in reality the more I train the more I eat.

  8. #8
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    Imagine riding a 50 pound bike vs a 20 pound bike...

    Can you integrate commuting on a bike into your schedule? I started commuting by bike last year (at the time about 2 hours each way) and that helped my training. I would also add distance if I had time (rare) and ran on weekends (tri guy).

  9. #9
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    I would like to commute on the bike but it is not convenient as I need to take my kids to sport and school etc.

    I can do 90 to 120 minutes each morning but that means a 4am wake up which is not always easy!!

  10. #10
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    Now I do not know how you're built, may be you are just a "big" guy, but if you're struggeling with weight at 14 hours of endurance trainining per week I'd say there is something wrong with your eating habits. As I have said before, 14 hours is plenty of training. My suggestion would be that you review your eating behaviour critically.

  11. #11
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    Yeah, my eating habits can certainly improve.

    In the interest of full disclosure I should let you know that 3 years ago I was about 100 pounds heavier. I got some help and lost some weight. I then took up cycling to get fit and healthy.

    At the time I was on a very low carb diet which I couldn't maintain with the exercise. I had massive bonks on the bike was often lightheaded and even fainted twice. After I fainted the second time I up'd the carbs. But my appetite increases in proportion to the exercise.

    I'm not currently doing 14 hours a week but I think it's the most I will be able to achieve time wise.

    Because the weather was so poor here last weekend my mtb race was canceled. I did a 5 &1/2 road ride with a fair amount of climbing. It wasn't always fun haha. But it did motivate me to lose some more weight!!

    I'm 40 years old with arthritis in both hips and a solo 24 hour would be a bucket list type undertaking especially given where I have come from. It's heartening to hear it might be possible.

  12. #12
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    I don't want start a diet war here (again), this topic is one of the more "emotional" ones on this forum.

    I just want to mention that there a plenty of world class ultrarunners and ironman distance triathletes pracitising low carb (adapted for athletes). Even I practiced it for one season and it worked perfectly well. I just couldn't maintain it for "social" reasons.

  13. #13
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    Yeah I understand that and I was really happy with it but once I started riding i had problems. After fainting the second time and being in pain for a couple of weeks after as a result I wasn't prepared to continue.

    Obviously everyone is different and I may have been able to make modifications but that was my experience nonetheless.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rochey View Post
    I would like to commute on the bike but it is not convenient as I need to take my kids to sport and school etc.

    I can do 90 to 120 minutes each morning but that means a 4am wake up which is not always easy!!
    Get them bikes too, make them bike to scho

    I biked 2.5 miles each way starting at age 11, felt like hours when I was a kid. Now I'm complaining about my 8 mile bike commute is too short (was up to 32 miles each way last year).

    How do you define "low carb", do you mean like 0 carbs? Even elite ultra endurance athletes still eat carbs, just lower amounts. They also rely on fat for fuel.

    I would look into the idea of trying to add weight to your workouts on the longer ones, like a weekend ride. Carry extra fluids for weight, extra tools, spare pumps, etc. It can help you benefit from some of your limited time.

    Ironman was a bucket list thing for me, something I thought about when I was about 30 to aspire to at age 40, giving me time to prepare. That ended up only being 4 years. Just set your goal, plan it out, and work with what you have. Train smart, and you can do it. And no excuses.

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    For me at the time I was trying to stay ketogenic. From memory it was less than 50 grams of carbs a day.

    A typical day was bacon and eggs for breakfast, meat and salad lunch, meat and vegetables for dinner. Snacks were cheese nuts and sometimes meat.

  16. #16
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    I don't follow any specific diet. I'm not a pro athlete and don't have the time or the money required to maintain a great diet. But I do try to at least be reasonable where I can. I do try to follow the spirit of the 40/30/30 diet. If you listen to podcasts, here is a good start:

    Marathon Talk - Talk Ultra Training Archive

    Very short article on it with an experiment:
    We Tried It: The Zone Diet - Competitor.com

    My best weight loss actually came from Jared. I'd eat a footlong Veggie Delight (with cheese and dressing) spread out all day and then dinner. $5 a day for food is a good deal. Lately I've been going with Ramen and peanut butter sandwiches

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I don't follow any specific diet. I'm not a pro athlete and don't have the time or the money required to maintain a great diet. But I do try to at least be reasonable where I can. I do try to follow the spirit of the 40/30/30 diet. If you listen to podcasts, here is a good start:

    Marathon Talk - Talk Ultra Training Archive

    Very short article on it with an experiment:
    We Tried It: The Zone Diet - Competitor.com

    My best weight loss actually came from Jared. I'd eat a footlong Veggie Delight (with cheese and dressing) spread out all day and then dinner. $5 a day for food is a good deal. Lately I've been going with Ramen and peanut butter sandwiches
    Thanks I'll check those out.

    Like it's been said earlier if I do start to do around 14 hours a week I'm sure I will lose weight but just as importantly if my diet is poor it won't support me doing the 14 hours. Kind of a chicken egg situation I think.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rochey View Post
    I would like to commute on the bike but it is not convenient as I need to take my kids to sport and school etc.

    I can do 90 to 120 minutes each morning but that means a 4am wake up which is not always easy!!
    I trained for a 24 earlier this year on 12-15hr weeks, mostly doing 90-120 min rides during the week and then a long 5-7hr ride on the weekend. It's doable. Try doubling up 2 or 3 times a week if you can. I would usually get 7-9 rides in a week with at least one complete rest day. Doubling up will limit your recovery time and increase your fatigue and stress given limited ride durations.

    24's are a long race, get your body use to riding fatigued but don't neglect your recovery days. Lots of sleep and good nutrition. Good luck

  19. #19
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    These came up on my friends FB page while talking about him preparing for a 24. Not sure if they are any help.

    Endurance Cycling Tips | Edward Pickup

    https://www.ultracycling.com/section...very_part1.php

    No matter what you do, even 40 hours a week of training, you'll still feel under prepared. Leading up to my 140.6 I was riding about 200 miles a week and running 20 miles and felt unprepared because I wasn't swimming enough. Figures, because the swim ended up being my best leg that day (just slow).

    So just prepare the best you can and go with it. I just recently heard an interview with an ultra runner who adds weight to his runs to increase the effects of the runs with less time. I guess the equivalent would be riding with a loaded backpack and full bottles on your bike. Just an idea. I was thinking about experimenting with adding weight to my runs when I start training for my next ultra.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    These came up on my friends FB page while talking about him preparing for a 24. Not sure if they are any help.

    Endurance Cycling Tips | Edward Pickup

    https://www.ultracycling.com/section...very_part1.php

    No matter what you do, even 40 hours a week of training, you'll still feel under prepared. Leading up to my 140.6 I was riding about 200 miles a week and running 20 miles and felt unprepared because I wasn't swimming enough. Figures, because the swim ended up being my best leg that day (just slow).

    So just prepare the best you can and go with it. I just recently heard an interview with an ultra runner who adds weight to his runs to increase the effects of the runs with less time. I guess the equivalent would be riding with a loaded backpack and full bottles on your bike. Just an idea. I was thinking about experimenting with adding weight to my runs when I start training for my next ultra.
    Thanks for the advice. I will check those out and look into the extra weight.

  21. #21
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    If I quickly glance at my strava training calendar for the last few months it shows I average 7-10hrs of riding per week when a week doesn't contain a 8hr or longer race. I've taken first Solo overall at most 24hr races I've entered and I take thing far less serious then most people you'll meet. The key to success in a solo 24hr race is experience and willpower. Each time you race you'll reach a personal limiting factor such as fatigue, cramps, monkey butt and such. You learn from these problems and chalk them up to experience. Now if you can muster the willpower to push through the earlier issues you'll run into more issues and you keep digging deeper. The more you can withstand the more you'll learn each race and the quicker you'll have a chance at that perfect race. Most issues you'll come across can be learned about from others with experience but each person is different so not all issues overlap. Someone like myself who raced Single Speed in those 24hrs doesn't get ass rash because I literately stand for 60% of the race. I also intake all my calories via accelerade drink mix so my nutrition plan is extremely simple compared to most peoples. If your riding 10 hrs a week then there's no reason you don't have the potential to finish a 24hr but be warned, there's really nothing to prepare you for 24hr of riding besides riding for 24hrs.

    I wont go over list everything you need to know here because people tend to take it personal when I scoff at any sort of training regimen but I have a ton of experience and I don't mind giving tips that have worked for me in the past and current. In fact I'm preparing to race a 24hr in Bend OR this coming weekend and I will be experimenting with a few things I hope will keep me going faster for longer.

    Take all advice with from an objective point of view, consider how it works and believe anything blindly. Nothing at this distance comes easy.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rochey View Post
    I would like to commute on the bike but it is not convenient as I need to take my kids to sport and school etc.

    I can do 90 to 120 minutes each morning but that means a 4am wake up which is not always easy!!
    It the past I've just ridden randomly with friends and gone out on adventurous rides now and then between races and I've always gotten good results. But now I've got a few national and world level guys a want to close the gap on so I started commuting to work 2 weeks ago to see if it helps. 30 miles each direction and I have to wake up at 2:30am to get it done. All I can say is I'm lucky I have no family or responsibilities outside of work. I wont lie though, getting up a 2:30 everyday to ride 90 mins harder then I thought.

  23. #23
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    Thanks. I'd love to hear how your race goes.

    There's lots of great advice in here. The more I see the more I think getting my head right will be the most critical thing. I won't have experience so I'll need an extra dose of willpower.


    Quote Originally Posted by RojoRacing53 View Post
    If I quickly glance at my strava training calendar for the last few months it shows I average 7-10hrs of riding per week when a week doesn't contain a 8hr or longer race. I've taken first Solo overall at most 24hr races I've entered and I take thing far less serious then most people you'll meet. The key to success in a solo 24hr race is experience and willpower. Each time you race you'll reach a personal limiting factor such as fatigue, cramps, monkey butt and such. You learn from these problems and chalk them up to experience. Now if you can muster the willpower to push through the earlier issues you'll run into more issues and you keep digging deeper. The more you can withstand the more you'll learn each race and the quicker you'll have a chance at that perfect race. Most issues you'll come across can be learned about from others with experience but each person is different so not all issues overlap. Someone like myself who raced Single Speed in those 24hrs doesn't get ass rash because I literately stand for 60% of the race. I also intake all my calories via accelerade drink mix so my nutrition plan is extremely simple compared to most peoples. If your riding 10 hrs a week then there's no reason you don't have the potential to finish a 24hr but be warned, there's really nothing to prepare you for 24hr of riding besides riding for 24hrs.

    I wont go over list everything you need to know here because people tend to take it personal when I scoff at any sort of training regimen but I have a ton of experience and I don't mind giving tips that have worked for me in the past and current. In fact I'm preparing to race a 24hr in Bend OR this coming weekend and I will be experimenting with a few things I hope will keep me going faster for longer.

    Take all advice with from an objective point of view, consider how it works and believe anything blindly. Nothing at this distance comes easy.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by RojoRacing53 View Post
    It the past I've just ridden randomly with friends and gone out on adventurous rides now and then between races and I've always gotten good results. But now I've got a few national and world level guys a want to close the gap on so I started commuting to work 2 weeks ago to see if it helps. 30 miles each direction and I have to wake up at 2:30am to get it done. All I can say is I'm lucky I have no family or responsibilities outside of work. I wont lie though, getting up a 2:30 everyday to ride 90 mins harder then I thought.
    That's funny, I was about to say "Hey, I know a guy racing at Bend."

    Never mind.

    Getting up at 2:30 sucks. Going home can either feel like a chore, or be enjoyable, depending on your weather. At least in San Diego I had lots of people commuting, so sometimes I was giving a pull, sometimes taking a pull. But always at 70

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rochey View Post
    Thanks. I'd love to hear how your race goes.

    There's lots of great advice in here. The more I see the more I think getting my head right will be the most critical thing. I won't have experience so I'll need an extra dose of willpower.
    I would ignore anything this guy says, he is just luring you into a trap. He's mental.

  26. #26
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    ^and if you take this guys advice he'll have you cleaning horse stables claiming it's great cardio

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by RojoRacing53 View Post
    ^and if you take this guys advice he'll have you cleaning horse stables claiming it's great cardio
    Puts hair on your chest.

  28. #28
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    It can definitely be done on 14 hours per week of training. But IMO, you would benefit greatly by going for a 8+ hour ride once a month. If nothing else, it will give you an idea of how your body will feel after a few hours in; how you might want to readjust your bike; in-saddle nutritional needs; etc. Also, diet is a HUGE factor in this type of riding. Cut out all fast food, and as much processed food as possible. Try to go for some rides that are similar in terrain to where the race will be held.

    It's also a huge help to have someone in the pit to help you out with water, nutrition, food prep, pit set up and break down, moral support, bike adjustments, and anything else you may need. I can't imagine breaking down the pit all on my own, after riding for 24 hours.

    Riding for 24 hours is no joke. I've done a number of them and all of the above is what got me through them. But they are incredibly painful fun!

    Good luck, have fun, and keep it slow and steady.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knucklehead View Post
    It can definitely be done on 14 hours per week of training. But IMO, you would benefit greatly by going for a 8+ hour ride once a month. If nothing else, it will give you an idea of how your body will feel after a few hours in; how you might want to readjust your bike; in-saddle nutritional needs; etc. Also, diet is a HUGE factor in this type of riding. Cut out all fast food, and as much processed food as possible. Try to go for some rides that are similar in terrain to where the race will be held.

    It's also a huge help to have someone in the pit to help you out with water, nutrition, food prep, pit set up and break down, moral support, bike adjustments, and anything else you may need. I can't imagine breaking down the pit all on my own, after riding for 24 hours.

    Riding for 24 hours is no joke. I've done a number of them and all of the above is what got me through them. But they are incredibly painful fun!

    Good luck, have fun, and keep it slow and steady.
    The hardest part of a solo 24hr is packing up your pot area after the race. It's amazing how well you can ride that last lap compared to your complete and utter inability to fold a tent 1 hour later.

    I find two viable options work best for loading the pit.

    1. You get off the bike and race to pack up your pit area like it was your final lap and pray you can finish before the endorphins wear off. Helps if you don't speak with anyone and just focus.

    2. Have a cot/bed already setup for after the race and a post race fruit/protein smoothly ready to go. Chug the smoothy and crash out for 30-60 mins, you'll stay awake through the whole awards ceremony.

    Don't plan on driving very far solo after the race, it just plain dangerous.

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