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  1. #1
    Just ride.
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    Tell me I'm stupid...

    Or show me the way to go...

    I'm 32. Getting back into biking again (raced lightly during college). My life goal was always to do more mountain bike races. Signed up with a club last year, but never really got to race as family problems took away my heart and attention to getting into shape, and biking.

    This year I'm pushing myself to get ready for the season. However I have the half-brained Idea to complete at least one 100 miler (next year hopefully). To complete this I'm considering a 50 in June, but only ever having done maybe 15-20 at most on a mountain, and 50 on a paved trail.. I'm not sure of...

    Training (reading here I need to pick up more core training)
    Brain check (nope really don't have one)

    I'm guessing it's mostly trying to establish a strong core muscle system and aerobic base?

    And what in the world do you even pack to bring with you for such races as a 50 or 100 miler?

    And any other information you can provide... Thanks

  2. #2
    LightJunction.com
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    Sounds like you have a decent idea of what you've got in store for you. I'd work on stepping up your endurance gradually, maybe take one long ride a week and several shorter rides to improve cardio. I'd also get in a gym and do some light upper body training. Improving core, lower back and arm strength will give you the ability to support your body on the bike during long events.

    As far as what to bring with you, most races have aid stations every 10-20 miles. Instead of thinking of it as a 100 mile ride, think of it as 5 20 mile rides. If you break it up, it's easier mentally, and you only have to carry enough supplies for a 20 mile ride. That's much more doable.
    We sell quality bike headlights and flashlights.
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  3. #3
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    Your F'ing stupid! Sorry, you asked me too - I couldn't help myself

    Actually, good for you. It's never to late to get started and it sounds like your a lot like the rest of us on here. By that I mean that we sign up for **** all the time when we are not really ready for it. You actually have plenty of time to get prepared, but you'll want to get started now.

    If you have the means, by a training plan. LW Coaching has some good ones that are specific to 50 miler events. LW Coaching - Mountain Bike Training and Racing. That would be the best way to go, but if you don't want to commit that much yet and do your own thing here is what I would suggest:

    I'd make sure to get in one good long endurance ride each week. During this ride you want to keep the intensity moderate and each week increase the time - keep in mind your body doesn't know miles, just time on the bike working. For this reason I'd keep track of your miles, but do your rides based on riding time. Start out with whatever amount of time you feel comfortable with on your first endurance ride and then increase it by 15 minutes or so each week. Try to work out your calendar of training so that you build up to doing a 4-5 hour ride that is close to 40-50 mile range about 3 weeks before your event. The weeks right before your event I would suggest not doing any really long rides, but keep up fitness with some harder (intensity) and shorter rides. Basically in planning for this event you want to work backwards from the event and taper your fitness so that you "peak" for the event. Make sure you do these long rides on the mountain bike on trails similar to what the race is on. As for the rest of the week, yes find a good core/strength/low back routine you can stick with and get in some other rides. These rides should be shorter in time. I would search around and try some different things. You could work up to doing intervals or hill repeats and maybe some 'tempo" rides. There are rides where you can push a big/hard to pedal gear, others where you spin high rpm's. The list is long and goes on and on. This is where the training plan is nice - you know what to do because it tells you. If all this sounds too complicated, then stick to the long ride, core/strength work, and just make sure to get in a couple more rides during the week and do whatever you feel like, just try to make those short rides higher intensity eventually(you will want to take some time to work up slowly in intensity, just like you should slowly increase the length of your endurance ride).

    Sorry to write a book here, but hopefully some of it will help. Feel free to PM me if you'd like any more info. I'm not a trainer or anything, but have been doing this long enough that I've learned a thing or two. You can check out my blog (see link below) as well - sometimes I write training stuff on it. Good luck

  4. #4
    mtbr member
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    Pick up a big tube of chamois cream, and go nuts.

  5. #5
    NedwannaB
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    OK yur stuped

    Quote Originally Posted by unstuckpilgrim View Post
    Pick up a big tube of chamois cream, and go nuts.
    Do this^^^^^^
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  6. #6
    hispanic mechanic
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    I'm gonna pipe up with one of my favorite quotes. When asked to give advice to aspiring bike racers, Eddy Merckx replied, "ride lots." Base miles ae your friend!
    For me, intervals are key. I race singlespeed so recovery is vital, and that's what intervals trail your body to do.
    Core and upper body strength both pay big dividends later in the race, so definitely don't neglect these.
    Finally, start figuring out your nutrition; I.e. what your body wants, needs, and can digest while on the bike.
    Have fun, enjoy the journey.
    I'll finish with another favorite quote, this one from Mohandas K. Ghandhi-"Strength does not come from physical capacity, but from an indomitable will."

    Los
    Last edited by sslos; 02-11-2012 at 12:46 PM. Reason: Autocorrect
    Whiskey is my yoga.

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  7. #7
    New MTB XC Racer
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    I am in a similar situation but @ 44. Had some personal and family health problems last few years.
    Was a hockey player but gave that up with the Wife and child. Started commuting by bike which lead to MTB'ing with some local groups. @ 39 did my first ever bike race and it was a 24 hr solo attempt. Had a ton of fun and now super hooked ! !

    My wife had a couple strokes but now seems to be under control and I turned diabetic a couple years ago and finally sorting that out with insulin. At any rate our health seems to be back on track as good as it can be in our situation so I got a coach in December and hoping to have my best season ever.

    For me the key ingredients were joining an awesome local club with great people and having a positive attitude and reasonable expectations for training vs dealing with family.

    If you are in any kind of shape at all and do some regular weekly spirited group rides you should be able to do a longer ride.

    Cheers,
    Paul

  8. #8
    Just ride.
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    Thanks for the advice everyone. I am in a club that I joined last year, and hopefully can go to some of these races with them as I go along. One of my most limiting factors is having a single car, a wife that expects me to stick around the house... since we have an almost 3 year old and a 1 month old.

    My nights I'm stuck on the trainer. Considering something a bit softer to sit on so I can log more miles on it. Currently have a Trek base model road bike that I've lashed to my wind trainer. Made a big difference then trying to use my mountain bike to train indoors on.

    I'm thinking that if I want to do a 50 in June, I should do a 20 in April on my path to ramping up...

    chamois cream... i'll have to look into it, at least what i'm supposed to do with it, i'm afraid to ask

  9. #9
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    On top of what everyone else has said, have fun and enjoy it. Race the course and your limits, not everyone else and their gear.

    Commuting to work and/or road miles will help build the base miles, and it's easier to get 4, 5, 6 hour rides on the road bike.

  10. #10
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    Lots of discussion on having a family and racing. Getting that sorted will help.

    I did a few 50-65 milers last year. More this year. 100s next year. Build base. Have fun. Keep wife happy!

    Feeding ... You have to find what works for you. I cannot do solids and will kill for an ice-cold Pepsi after several hours. But something solid and I have probs. Experiment and find what works for you.
    If you can be blissfully ignorant to the notion that something is impossible, then you might surprise yourself. -- Andrea138

  11. #11
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    I'm gonna try my first 50's this year. I'm a bit intimidated about it too. In January I got 28 hours in the saddle. So far this month 3 spin classes, that's it. Dang snow!

    I have found so many great resources on the internet for everything related to endurance racing, but this site is killer. So much great support and knowledge here.

    Good Luck and Go For It.

  12. #12
    NedwannaB
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    Ditto to you and OP

    Quote Originally Posted by givati View Post
    I'm gonna try my first 50's this year. I'm a bit intimidated about it too. In January I got 28 hours in the saddle. So far this month 3 spin classes, that's it. Dang snow!

    I have found so many great resources on the internet for everything related to endurance racing, but this site is killer. So much great support and knowledge here.

    Good Luck and Go For It.
    Great info! I wish I could get extra traing in thru osmosis!
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  13. #13
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    ordinary people can do extraordinary things when they are motivated and have a plan. You should think a/b what you want to do during the season. Give yourself 3 Goal races (20,50,100) and try to build yourself up to each one with a smart and simple training plan, consisting of a weight training circuit that focuses on strengthening your legs and core, and a riding schedule(6-12hrs/week) that builds a solid base and progresses to race specific riding. As far as nutrition goes, just shoot for 300cal per hour while on the bike w/ plenty of water(20-28oz per hour)

    write out your plan, put it on paper and hang it where you and others will see it. If it's a good plan, you'll not only build enough fitness to race competitively again, you'll build focus and a mindset that will carry over into other parts of your life...that's the good stuff. Good Luck! thanks for starting a cool thread. if you need any help, i'll help ya. that's what mtb'ers do...

  14. #14
    Just ride.
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    My Initial thoughts are
    ~8 mile race in March (AFC Sugar Hill XC)
    17 mile race in April (Greenbrier)
    ? May (Iron Hill)
    50 miles in June (Stoopid 50)

    At that point I will see if I am up to aiming for a 100 in September, or trying to build from that 50 to the 100 over the next year.

  15. #15
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    Believe and commit yourself

    At the risk of sounding like a total jerk I'm going to be honest. Assuming you have no pre-existing physical conditions that would ruin this, and assuming you don't develop any, you can finish a 50 or a 100, BUT you absolutely will not do it if you don' t have your head in the game. Focus on the goal, and what you can do, not the limiting factors.

    "Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal."
    ~ Henry Ford

    July 2010 I demoed a MTB for one day and ran into the High Cascades 100.
    September 2010 I finally purchased a bike and fumbled around riding.
    October I made doing the HC100 a goal. I never biked before this beyond going to the grocery store. I read what ever I could find about training, race reports, experiences of others. I found and entered progressively longer events (23, 25, 60, 60,) and did a shitty haphazard job of doing training rides. July 2011 I finished the 106 mile race. Not at any blistering pace, but I finished.

    I'm no bad ass. Just a guy that started biking in his mid 30s. There's a lot that I did wrong or could have improved in nearly every aspect of nutrition and training: I had too much sugar, not enough water, actually too many electrolytes, vomited from too much GU, bonked hard enough to see mythical woodland creatures , and just didn't have much of a base to work with. But I did it, and you can too.

    "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. "
    ~ T. S. Eliot

    There's at least one thing I did right - I got a professional fit. They're not cheap but they prevent a lot of overuse injuries.

    There are far better training plans (Distance Cycling by Hughs and Kehlenbach ) that I use now, which I can recommend. In my completely unprofessional hack opinion i'd say you can do more than you have in your race plan. At least in terms of the training miles you put on. I'd bet you can do 8 miles off the couch right now.

    "The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we hit it."
    ~ Michelangelo

    Ride ride ride

    You can do it. Be bold, focus on the goal, and make it happen! Good Luck

    What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it! / Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
    ~Goethe
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  16. #16
    Dreaming of single-track.
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    Piling on here - I'm 42 and I took 10 years off the bike, so who's stupid now? My first 'comeback' race was an 8-hour solo and I covered well over 50 miles in that event. Granted, there were laps and I could make it around to my pit area to freshen up drinks and calories. But you can do it...

    Remove the doubt from your head that can finish - you can. Fatigue is a mental trick that dates back to caveman days. And it's just that - a trick. Physically, you can do much more if your head is right. To help build confidence - do what all these guys are all saying - ride a lot and above all else - test your nutrition and liquid intake levels. TEST. TEST. TEST. You'll figure out what you can stomach and what it'll take to get you across the line. Be prepared to spend some money, waste some time and get it wrong many times before you get it right.

    If this is your first endurance event expect to learn a lot and treat it as such. Just remember to have fun, talk to people and be nice to the volunteers.

    Make sure that your bike fits you brother. Nothing worse than riding a bike that makes you hurt - don't read too much into the hype - do what works for you and your current level of fitness and flexibility. There will be a lot of time later to refine for speed.

    When you do your long rides leading up to the event - find those little problems and fix them! A nuisance on a training ride (like hands or fingers tingling) become torture on race day.

    On race-day, if you see someone broken down on the trail - ask them if they're okay and have what they need. Next time, it might be you.

    Definitely invest in some good chamois cream and quality bib or shorts... You've been warned - your arse will hurt 9 ways to Sunday if you go cheap in this department.

    My two cents - tons more where that came from but it looks like a lot of smart folks have worked in their experiences already.

    Enjoy the journey.
    Michael.
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  17. #17
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    You guys are scaring me!
    I'm almost 55. When I ride anything over 20 miles I start to have issues in many areas. Neck, shoulders, butt, toes, back, fingers/carpal tunnel, etc. I also have limited funds. I can't spend what Lance spends. Yes, I can get a good pair of shoes and seat, but I can't afford surgery and a professional fit. I want to enter these races for a couple of reasons. the challenge (I want to prove to myself I can do it), fun (though I know it will be tough, I have always enjoyed such challenges), camaraderie (mountain bikers are just fun to be around).

    I believe I can do it. I love to work hard. I have a good bike. I'm in the stage of life where my kids are grown and don't have to play games with the wife. I work full time but I can commit to riding 8 to 12 hours a week. I do have a mental issue after a bad crash, but I'm hoping these races aren't too technical.

    I'm still gonna do it. At least one. Then we'll see.

  18. #18
    Just ride.
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    givati - ask as many questions as you can, read everything! I have read quite abit about fit online and you can do it yourself mostly based on which system you want to try if you have a lot of patience. I'll be able to get a un-professional fit from my LBS since it's my team's sponsor and I just got a new bike from them. But from there I'll have to dial it in myself.

    Also do some research on ergo grips if you haven't see if there are any riders in your area with some that you can try (or buy some cheap from craigslist, pinkbike, etc)...

    And if all else fails, just start a thread asking for help. I know I'm way in over my head. I won't know how far until I actually do the 20 or 50 mile races (and the 100).. but I know I won't do as badly as I would have before these fine people add in their knowledge!

  19. #19
    Just ride.
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    For my training for Endurance Races. I need to up my game.

    Limiting Factors:
    1. Time
    a Weekdays can only do trainer at home (need a cushy seat maybe for more time?)
    b Weekends hope to get out more, but depends on family plans and our one car.

    2. Weight: a Fat bugger here. At 230, dropped in training to 215 last year, but gained some back (started 250..)

    3. Endurance: Getting in solid 30 minute rides keeping a cadence of ~80rpm ~15mph on a road bike on a wind trainer. Going to try and push these to 45 minutes per session soon.

    4. Nutrition: Need to remind myself to eat better and more, realized I can't "diet" while trying to train this hard, bonked the other day and took 48 hours to recover.

    Numbers...

    2012 Stats: Distance: 81.6 Mi Time: 5:34:00
    January: 33.4 Mi 2:17:00
    February 48.3 Mi 3:17:00

    Rate I'm going now should hit 100-120 miles and 7-8 hours for the month. I know I need to get this trend for February to be weekly vs monthly.

    Avg Speed: 14.8 mph
    Avg HR: 131 bpm

    Resting Heart Rate
    12/23/11 82 bpm
    2/14/12 72 bpm

  20. #20
    Just ride.
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    Ok, with riding on pavement/hardpack multiuse and sparse single track, i've completed 2x20 mile rides over the weekend. Averaging about 9.5-10 mph.

    Both rides I was down about 1.5 lbs, which as i understand is ~3 cups of sweat? or 700ml roughly.

    Ride 1: Consumed 1.2L (300ml propel, 900ml water) -58' sunny
    Ride 2: Consumed 300ml water - 48' sunny/windy

    Trying to wrap my head around all these nutrition things, while trying to be a penny pincher is hard. (limited what i can do with my tight budget and wife oversight... )

    Second ride definitely felt stronger. Had a 30min / 5 mile recovery between those two 20 milers on the trainer.

    Jan 30-Feb 4: 24.4mi
    Feb 5-11: 28.7mi
    Feb 12-18: 47.8mi
    Feb 19-25: 26.5mi (current, 70 miles planned)

  21. #21
    Just ride.
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    Nutrition (if anyone is still reading this)...

    Do you really *need* all the high tech endurance drinks and what not, or are there some of you out there who do homemade foods/gels/etc stuff?

  22. #22
    New MTB XC Racer
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    Check out this link for a quick read.
    Fueling and Hydrating for Your Event or Exercise

    While on the bike you need to take in fuel. Everyone will be different. 30-60g of Carbs per hr is suggested.
    For me as a new diabetic and new on insulin I check a lot and measure my intake pretty accurately. I'm not a huge sweater but have not really measured that. For moderate riding I find I need close to 30g carbs per hr, body weight of about 140lbs. This is in high zone 3 for endurance. HR about 140 (max 183 @44 yrs old) When doing intervals I up cabs to 45g an hr and sometimes get a slight drop in blood sugar from my starting point. So as you can see you will need more food the harder you work. And of course the fun part is the harder you work the harder it is to stay focused on food intake

    For training just getting some miles on the bike will help. Also practice that nutrition while on the bike even for your shorter rides so you will have it all down on your longer rides.

    I have found this site quite interesting and have read some of the articles a couple times now.....

    Methods of Endurance Training Part 1 | BodyRecomposition - The Home of Lyle McDonald

    Keep plugging away
    Cheers,
    Paul

  23. #23
    New MTB XC Racer
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnduroT View Post
    Nutrition (if anyone is still reading this)...

    Do you really *need* all the high tech endurance drinks and what not, or are there some of you out there who do homemade foods/gels/etc stuff?
    I'd say no. They can be convenient tho
    I think a big thing for training is to make sure you eat some carbs and protein 30-45 minutes after a workout for maximum recovery. Eating natural food is a lot easier off the bike.

    I have said this is some other post(s). Forgot my shampoo bottle of gel refills 550 kms from the 24hr race venue. My pit crew mixed up a big bowl of mixed fruit and I ate about a cup every lap, about 1.5 hrs. Did have my Gatorade mix so had about 1 bottle a lap.
    I I said I am a recent Diabetic so I have asked this question to the Doc and Nutritionist. Both said they would actually prefer me to have natural stuff but it was ok to use gels and such, but in moderation. They said some of these products are not FDA approved so who knows what they put in them.

    I've tried fig newtons on the bike put when doing race pace your mouth is so dry I could hardly get them down haha. Just make sure you try foods on training rides to see how easy you can use them while riding and how they effect you when riding

    Cheers,
    Paul

  24. #24
    Just ride.
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    Thanks for the feedback Paul. I like the reading material too. I know I'll have to reread that second one quite a few times. But From that I realize that I need to limit my HIIT training that I just started, and also to not ignore those long rides... So much information out there it's overwhelming!

    Working on digesting some food and all this information! Time to create a homemade waffle with 30-60g of carbs

  25. #25
    gran jefe
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnduroT View Post
    Do you really *need* all the high tech endurance drinks and what not, or are there some of you out there who do homemade foods/gels/etc stuff?
    Real food is where it's at.

    Quote Originally Posted by EnduroT View Post
    One of my most limiting factors is having a single car, a wife that expects me to stick around the house... since we have an almost 3 year old and a 1 month old.
    I found that if I took the kids with me, I could go wherever I wanted for as long as I wanted. Get a trailer and drag the kids with you.

    Quote Originally Posted by givati View Post
    So far this month 3 spin classes, that's it. Dang snow!
    Your spin classes got snowed out?

  26. #26
    Sweep the leg!
    Reputation: Caffeine Powered's Avatar
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    I'm a believer of riding a lot, but there are ways to get strong and fit without spending 4-6 hours per ride. At least this is what my coach has been telling me. Once I get my leg out of the cast I'll let you know how that goes.

    Oh yeah, you're stupid.

    As for the balancing of family, children, work and riding. I feel your discomfort. Communicate to your wife that you need specific times for riding. Don't be selfish, she'll need the same time to do her thing (whatever that may be). The kids are a shared responsibility (I'm sure you know that without me telling you) but you can't have your wife thinking you're putting the bike before the family.

    If you really want to get stronger and kill a few birds with one stone, do what I did when my daughter was small. Get a bike trailer. I hauled her around on 20-40 mile road rides until she weighed more than 60#. If you had a two child trailer you could pack them both in and go for a 1 hour ride every day (or longer if the kids get into it) and give your wife some alone time. I had books, snacks, squirt guns and musical instruments in the back for my daughter to amuse herself with while I rolled along. Most of the time it was on group rides so there were other riders to squirt, conversations and interactions.
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

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