- Any tips on pacing yourself for a longer ride…
Buy a heart rate monitor that has audible alarms, know your threashold, get it to beep annoyingly when you push above it. For reference my threashold is 180 much more than 5 mins above that and I seriously risk blowing up, though I can and have maintained higher for longer, depends on how rested / fuelled / well I am.Posted 4 years agoIAMember
It may sounds obvious, but you just need to practice/do a few. And try and be consistent with food and drink, so that’s not a factor.
I find I just kinda know what pace I can keep going all day, but I think that’s from experience – my lap times in all day events tend to be very consistent. Of course, maybe I could be going faster and still keep the times the same… but who knows.
I just try and keep my effort at a mental 7/10 on the dial, and only turn it up to 9 or so for overtakes. It’s allowed to go to 11 if you need to overtake someone you know mind 😉Posted 4 years agoMidlandTrailquestsGrahamMember
I can put in fairly consistent lap times over a 12 hour race, just by experience and knowing my own limits I suppose.Posted 4 years ago
I tend to try and put in a fast lap or two at the start to stay ahead of the traffic jams, but I always know I can’t maintain that pace and settle back in to one I can by lap three.
I guess a HRM would be a good way of judging it until you gain that experience.
If I took my training a bit more seriously, I’d probably find having some numbers to look at would help above just going by feel too.paul4stonesSubscriber
HRM definitely. I suffer with cramp on long fell runs (25 miles +) but keeping below 80% max for the duration makes it a thing of the past. It means you feel silly at the start when everyone hares off and you go really steady to keep your HR down, but then really smug as you reel them all in later. (I’m dreaming obviously but you know what I mean!)Posted 4 years agomrmoMember
the only answer is time, the more you ride the more idea you get of what you can and can’t do.
If you can ride for a couple of hours at a given pace, to ride a bit longer, just kick the pace back a bit. Or just ride hard and accept your going to suffer at the end. I find most people are too afraid to push so take it easier than they need to.
Other thing get some long 5-6hour rides in so when you come to do a 4-5 hour ride you know you will have a reserve to use at the end.Posted 4 years agojamesoSubscriber
Stay in higher Z2 or into Z3, but out of zone 4. Or if you don’t have / want a HRM, imagine having a conversation throughout the ride and being able to keep chatting relatively normally, only breaking sentences up on climbs, but still able to chat. Save the effort for the last 30-45 mins if you have it in the tank.Posted 4 years agowonny jSubscriber
Just go a bit slower. Not a lot, just a little bit less than your normal effort. Then see what happens…. If it wasn’t slow enough try slower next time around.
For really long rides don’t go above your lactate threshold. you can work this out with a HRM but I think it sounds like overkill for your requirements. Just don’t get to the point where you are out of breath with the bloody pounding – if you go there, you’re going too hard. you may have to get to this point on some of the harder hills but it can usually be avoided.Posted 4 years ago
….especially during competitions and other large group rides.Posted 4 years ago
I always get sucked into pushing too hard then blow-up and crawl home.
I’ve got a 4-5h event coming up in September and whilst the only competition will be against my last years time, I’d really like to hear any hints and tips that might help me to ride an even pace.theotherjonvSubscriber
Buy or borrow a hrm and get to know what going above your threshold feels like (zones as above)
On a practical point on group rides – most of the ones I go on start fast and then gradually ease back. It’s a bloke thing. Unless it’s a chain gang or training ride where if you don’t keep up you’ll be dropped – for the first hour don’t chase the fast boys up every hill, you have a limited stock of effort and giving it away early you can’t replenish it. If you pootle in the pack, you’ll be allowed to catch up and then when it gets slower later, then you can maintain your pace and seem faster compared to the group average.
On proper long enduro rides – another practical tip is to find the gear you feel you can comfortably turn on hills or effort sections – and then go a gear or even two lower and use that instead. If you get towards the end and have energy left, then you can get it out. Bitter experience tells me getting to the last 10% of an enduro or the last big climb of the day and having nothing left is a far worse situation.Posted 4 years agoToastyMember
As above, I rely a lot on my HRM for longer rides. No long mtb rides recently, ~160ish miles ridden over the weekend though, 105 on the road on Saturday. Felt fresh enough to go to Cannock Chase on the Sunday and still get some personal bests.
Spiking your heart rate up to crazy levels and burning off sugars, is the sort of thing you can only do a few times per ride, it’ll wear you down quick. Diet before and after big rides is one you need to be careful with as well, fuel up! Protein afterwards if you need to be riding again soon.
Something with electrolytes in while riding. If you’re not used to sugary energy drinks, don’t hammer them during the event.Posted 4 years ago
Thanks guys, some great advice.
I’ve got an Edge 800 with HRM but only started using it the past couple of rides.
I’m half way through my six week build-up and training is usually 1h45 up to 3hours.
The three hour rides are 40 milers (my target distance) but on-road with less hills. The fact I’m no longer smashing PB’s on Strava every time I go out suggests I’m getting better at pacing and I try and save enough for the last hill before home.
I rode the Maxx Exposure SDW thing last year in 12hours and was impressed by the second and third winds I kept finding.
It’s only The Brecon Beast I’m training for but I really want to get serious about beating last years time so am trying to make sure every angle is covered.
Assuming the course is similar, there’s a bottle neck about 8 miles or so in so I might push hard to get there quickly, then ease off for the middle and try and nail Pen y Fan.
I’ve got a little 20mile TT route that I use once every ten days or so to monitor my progress and flat to the bore for just over an hour, I can ride it at a 169bpm average.
On my longer rides where I pace myself, I’m around 145bpm.
Not sure of my Max HR though. Highest ive hit cycling is 182.Posted 4 years agobikebouyMember
Resist the high pace at the start, don’t follow the flock, pace yourself. You will find that a couple of hours in you start to see folks that left you for dead at the start, that’s when you know you can pace past them then pick it up another hour in. Eat well during, drink more than you think you need.
BoLPosted 4 years agoononeorangeSubscriber
Jusat ride and ride and ride (imo). I find you gardually increase your limits, but I do suspect that a lot of that is ion the mind.
I have a bad habit of not eating on any rides (whcih i am not recommending), and I find that the onset of mental and physical pancake does take longer gradually.Posted 4 years agoIAMember
If I do go too hard, are there any tips for in-ride recovery?
I find stopping can be really bad. A brief stop doesn’t really help at all, and if you stop too long then your heart rate drops, your body kinda thinks “I’m glad that’s over, time to recover” then you struggle to get going again.
Far easier to slow down than to stop and get going again. The stopping’s easy, the getting going’s not!
Also on endurance events (what that means for you will depend on personal fitness I guess) keeping going often matters more than outright speed.Posted 4 years ago
I wasn’t planning on stopping even at rest stops this year. My initial plan is to get right up the front and avoid congestion, ride hard for ten miles or so then once people have strung out, use the next 15 miles to pace myself before ramping back up for the gap road and then try and keep a little bit left for a buzz up through Brecon. It’s silly really, concentrating is much effort into a ‘fun’ ride but its an event my mates and I can all do, so really important to me.Posted 4 years agosenor jSubscriber
For rides over 40/50+ miles I set off at a reasonable, but sensible pace but always under gear climbs,rest on the downs and when I know I’m 15/20 mile away from home push on.I only stop to fill up with water & only carry enough water to get me to the next tap.Posted 4 years ago
Like you , I’m not going to win “it” ,but want to beat my own time. Going like the clappers at the start is a recipe for disaster imo.
For me,mentally, it’s much better to be catching riders at the end than having them pass me when I’ve bonked. 🙂
Best of luck to you.pussywillowMember
DT78 – Member
Buy a heart rate monitor that has audible alarms, know your threashold, get it to beep annoyingly when you push above it. For reference my threashold is 180 much more than 5 mins above that and I seriously risk blowing up, though I can and have maintained higher for longer, depends on how rested / fuelled / well I am.
POSTED 4 HOURS AGO # REPORT-POST
😆Posted 4 years ago
I’m a bit over competitive. Did my first Gorrick Xc race last year and couldn’t help but show off my climbing skills (more impressive when you’re built like a tank 😉 ) which resulted in me blowing up on the second lap. Well, I say that, I was 21/65 or something so not horrendous but definitely didn’t ‘pace’ myself for the end.
I’m still thinking that avoiding a 20min wait at a bottle neck is worth ‘burning a few matches’ for……Posted 4 years agojamesoSubscriber
flat to the bore for just over an hour, I can ride it at a 169bpm average.
On my longer rides where I pace myself, I’m around 145bpm.
Not sure of my Max HR though. Highest ive hit cycling is 182.Posted 4 years ago
Your threshold is probably close to / just above 169 bpm then, and your max almost doesn’t matter. Joe Friel’s methods mainly base your training zones on a % of your threshold and test your threshold regularly. Worth looking up – you can compare his zones to traditional Max-based zones as he talks about base mile intensity as well as threshold efforts etc.
I tried a mix of this LTHR training with lower zone work based on a max that I knew was roughly right but it was more about keeping a lid on Z2 during base miles. It worked for my non-scientific approach to training anyway. LTHR training is great for raising your base-pace.singletrackmindMember
you were going to do a 40 mile off road ride with no stops at the feed stations , and aim for a good time , or at least better than last year?
Not sure on that strategy unless you are happy with 3 or 4 gels and 3ltr of water, reckon you would do better to do a very quick pit stop. Not long enough to cool down , and drop your blood oxygen / heart rate. literally 1 min to reload with water , scoff some flapjack and go.
As for the pacing , start slow , stay light on the pedals, always be able to whistle or speak a 7 word sentance without needing to gasp. Use a computer to tell you how far you have gone , then turn up the wick after say 24 to 28 miles and hope you dont blow up in the last milePosted 4 years agoiamconfusedagainMember
I find it is the first hour or so you want to make sure you dont go too silly, then I find that pacing becomes less of an issue and can go on feel as long as you dont get influenced by others. I recently did a 100 mile solo loop 30 seconds quicker than the previous time by going on feel, it is amazing how good your brain can work these things out.
Fuel little and often from the start, I prefer all my kcal from drink in races and this is a similar kind of effort, its easier to get a steady stream of sugar that way. Some people prefer food- just make sure you keep eating it.Posted 4 years ago
Singletrackmind- I rode it last year with a half full camelbak (army 3l one) and a 750 ml bottle of Lucozade sport. I stopped at both feed stations and ate food I was already carrying and topped up my bottle with water so ended up drinking no more than I could have started with anyway.
I’m going to think harder about my food and eat stuff I can put in my jersey pockets so I can eat on the fly.
If I need to stop I will, but I reckon I can shed thirty minutes by not stopping at the actual feed stations.
The weekend prior will be spent doing a practice of similar duration to fine tune what I end up taking food wise.Posted 4 years ago
It almost certainly won’t be gels as I’ve never eaten them and don’t really like the idea of them. It will probably be based around fruit, flapjacks and peanut m+m’s 😀
So, I had a little practice today and rode 61 miles non-stop off road in 4h07mins with my jersey stuffed with cereal bars.Posted 4 years ago
Made myself eat and drink every 30mins and it was fine so am happy with my ability to pace to the end now. See what happens on the day though when I’m sure the adrenalin will be pumping a fair bit more 😉DanWMember
Very, very, very roughly riding around 70-75% of your maximum heart rate should give good pacing for a 4-5 hour ride.
This has a multitude of problems if you are to get technical and scientific about it but a very, very, very rough, quick, basic calculation might help as a starting point to explore up and down from there for yourself.
Of course hills/ terrain/ wind etc push this up when on a MTB from time to time so my very unscientific approach is to try and ride around 135-145bpm as much as I can and then not go too nuts on the climbs. Whether or not this is the fastest way to pace yourself for a 4-5 hour ride I don’t know- all I know is that I feel much fresher and can push much harder towards the end whereas before with a “follow the group pace” approach I would feel half dead 2/3 to 3/4 in to the ride and crawl home just like everyone else 😀Posted 4 years ago
Conclusion- just out if interest….
I got hemmed in at the start behind 300 odd people 🙁 Whilst I should have ridden my own ride regardless, I regretfully decided to put right my game plan and get on the back of the pace van. This burned a lot of matches and took 3.5miles but I did make it lol
I had my hrm alarm set for 170 and finally turned it off after 12miles because it was beeping the whole way 😀
I had enough cereal bars to eat one every 30mims for 4hours and a few snickers to munch as ‘treats’ on the hour.
It’s actually pretty tough to eat on the fly on rocky Welsh mountainsides so as a result, I did 42miles without stopping , in 3h36 on the following:
600ml of water (3l camelbak was a waste of time then!!), 300ml of lucozade revive (yes I know it’s fizzy, oooops), 2 snickers and 1 cereal bar!!!!
Did try and pace myself on the long climbs though and something fascinating to my tiny mind happened. For the first time ever, I was able to watch the power/weight equation in action.
On the steep bits (16% +/-), little tiny people poured past me like I was going backwards. My pretty handy power figures weren’t enough to counteract the circa 4stone weight difference. For once, I held my nerve and didn’t attack, I just plodded on at a steady 176bpm ( 😉 )and let them go. Then, as the gradient eased and gravity stopped punishing me, I one by one reeled them all back in as I continued clicking up through the gears and accelerating whilst they struggled with any extra power.
Then, by the next climb, we were back in the same order 😀
Anyway, I was able to sprint up the last hill in Brecon which tells me I was a bit conservative on the pacing.Posted 4 years ago
I’d secretly hoped for a top ten but finished 29/373 for the overall short course or 8/129 for my age group.
I know it’s not a race but its an event that fits my year so I love challenging myself on it, roll on next year 🙂
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