As you know from last week’s post, I decided to start the VE100 Ride with bailout options. Those of you that are Twitter followers saw that I made it at least 64 miles of the possible 100 miles on Saturday. (Photo reposted below.)
My initial plan for the ride was to remain aerobic, or in Zones 1 and 2, for the first 50 miles. I was going to keep an eye on heart rate on my Garmin.
Learning #1, software updates: I updated the Garmin software the day before the ride. I didn’t know the update would erase my settings for the display screens. I learned about the problem when the group of 12 was rolling out to begin the ride. I didn’t want to stop and mess with a computer so I decided to just ride by RPE and download heart rate data later.
At the first potential bail spot, I decided to go on because I felt pretty good. It was at this stopping point that I shared one of my tricks. Ron Kennedy had a thorn or piece of glass in his tire that he could not remove with his fingernail. I loaned him my safety pin to remove the debris and it worked like a charm.
Trick Shared: I have a safety pin attached to cuff of my cycling gloves. The pin keeps the two gloves together when not on my hands and it serves as a great tool to remove stubborn debris from bike tires.
We passed a couple more of my potential bailing points and I still felt good, so I decided to ride on. At just over 50 miles, there is a second major refueling stop. I felt reasonably good here, so I decided to go for the entire 100 miles.
At the 64 mile point, I’m packing a lot of clothes under that jacket (I swear it's not all winter fluff!) due to a 28-degree start temperature and a 57 degree finish temperature.
Bruce Runnels seems happy to be riding over a century today – 120 miles?
I did some experimenting with hydration and fueling. Hydration was primarily a formula of sodium citrate, sodium bicarbonate and some flavoring (lemon juice or Emergen-C). I did have one Coke during the ride. Fuel came from solid foods, rather than liquid. I tried this technique because of a presentation I attended by Dr. Stacy Sims at the USA Cycling Coaching Conference last fall. I’ll do a separate column or post on this issue alone at a later date.
You can see that this year’s ride was about 18 minutes slower than last year. The fastest ride time for the VE100 was 5 hours flat and we were very lucky with near constant tailwinds for the majority of the ride. We weren’t as lucky with the wind this year.
When I downloaded the data I was surprised to see so much time in the higher heart rate zones. I had over an hour more time at Zone 3 and above this year. I suspect that due do the illness and low training in recent weeks, I drove higher heart rates but had reduced ability to turn that into speed.
Learning #2: When I am detrained, my RPE correlation to heart rate is not as accurate as when I’m well trained.
I decided to look back at training data from the last two years. I looked at gross weekly training hours for the week of the century ride and the five weeks prior.
Here’s what I found:
As you can see from the chart, I’m down about 12.5 hours compared to last year. There’s not much anyone can do when they get sick except try to get healthy as quickly as possible.
Though I was worried the VE100 had the potential to make me sick or give me other injury issues, now that I’m out four days past the ride I can safely say that I’ve recovered well. In fact, I felt pretty good on Monday.
In the next day or so I will sit down and begin to plan training through mid-August. Looking at my current training status, I have some work to do before I’m ready to race…