Relentless 24 Solo – First timer, tips please!

Home Forum Bike Forum Relentless 24 Solo – First timer, tips please!

Viewing 28 posts - 1 through 28 (of 28 total)
  • Relentless 24 Solo – First timer, tips please!
  • whatnobeer
    Member

    I’ve decided to be a bit reckless and throw myself in at the deep end of endurance racing, so I’ve signed up for Relentless. I’ve spent a lot of time on the road bike this summer training for various sportives so I’m used to doing 6 hour stints in the saddle, but its not quite the same as a 24 is it?

    Any hints, tips and advice relating to the event and the last couple of weeks training would be great – cheers!

    whatnobeer
    Member

    *cough* bump *cough*

    GaryLake
    Member

    Sounds like you’ll be fine. Go out slow. Eat and drink plenty. Go slow. If you can ride for 6 hours, you can do 24.

    I’d personally focus doing some kit testing/prep. I’d be looking to do do at least a 6 hour MTB ride kitted up and practicing your start pace.

    If anything niggles and aches after 6 hours, it’s a potential race ender. I promise you your fitness won’t be a problem, your legs will the be the least of your worries. It’ll be some bike fit related niggle, back ache or blisters/chaffing that’ll do you in first.

    Enjoy, it’s proper ace!

    Have you roped anyone in to support you?

    GaryLake
    Member

    Oh, read this: http://www.cyclistno1.co.uk/blog/amateur-mtb-marathon-gary-rode-24.htm
    (My 24 solo debut in 2010)

    And this: http://www.garyrides.co.uk/2012/08/gary-rode-wc2c/
    (My non stop wales coast to coast I did a few weeks back)

    I reckon I trained less than you did so you’ll do alright πŸ™‚

    sturider
    Member

    Good luck Whatnobeer, see you there. Also doing solo. I would try a 12hr ride ASAP.
    I did my first solo last year and it was interesting to see what happened. I made sure I fueled myself every lap with bars and gels and flap jacks plus lots of carbo drink (makes for a dodgy tummy for a few days)It worked for me.
    Stretched as much as I could. Had done some 12hrs before so I knew what my legs would do but after 12 plus hours legs grew tired but I found a gear and a pace that I felt I could just turn & turn. Night time was mentally draining as you end up focusing on the beam 6ft infront of you. My neck and shoulders suffered due to hours in the riding position.
    Its a 24hr race so expect to suffer but Its as hard as you want it to be. Don’t clock watch just enjoy the trails. Organize yourself before the event, have prepared all your food and drink. Know where you packed everything and make a check list so you can tick everything off and not forget something.
    Make sure your equipment is in good condition, fresh brake pads etc.

    enjoy it buddy πŸ™‚ and good luck.

    GaryLake
    Member

    Don’t use anything you haven’t tested before kitwise for a decent period of time

    whatnobeer
    Member

    Cheers guys πŸ™‚

    That’s exactly the sort of thing I wanted to hear. Planning on doing a long all day, minimum stoppage mtb ride in the next week or two to test out the position etc. Should be fairly sorted kit and food wise from the long road rides. I just hope the weather is good!

    All the above plus:

    Go at your own pace. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of racing others only to find they blow after 10 hours and your left stuggling to finish the event (must take heed of my own advice).

    And remember to enjoy it!

    GaryLake
    Member

    That’s a good point, at 24/12 I was almost 40th going into the night, the sun came up and I was 14th… keep moving, the only slower thing that going slow is stopping, and people will stop a lot.

    Taff
    Member

    Get 12 hour rides in as said above and do them at a decent speeds. Read endurance racers blogs who take part in these types of events. They give a lot of advice whether it was what they did right or wrong. Rob dean has a very good one. Make sure your bike is working as best it can and make sure your pit has everything you need. Something I noticed at 2412 was that a lot of 24hr solo riders ‘pootled’ around the course. A case of the tortoise and the hare perhaps

    GaryLake
    Member

    Sorry I keep remembering little nuggets.

    Pack Surgical tape, plasters and vaseline. If something is rubbing (I had big toes and thumbs), a Plaster won’t stay on long alone, but wrap it in surgical tape than dab some vaseline on top, this is great for shoe and glove sores.

    Whether you’re using hydration packs or bottles, make sure you alternate the hand you drink with. I always drank using my right hand and held myself up with the left. My left hand was numb and the whole arm and shoulder that side was in agony.

    It’s ok to push.

    thomthumb
    Member

    Don’t use anything you haven’t tested before kitwise for a decent period of time

    same for food, don’t stock up on gels if you don’t normally take gels. etc

    if you normally eat pork pies stick to that. or start eating a few different things whilst riding for the next few weeks.

    Taff
    Member

    Have some comfort food in the pits too. That helped me. Try not to stop too long if you can help it 5 minutes turns to 20minutes very quickly

    devs
    Member

    It’s ok to push.

    Walking is an extra gear. Don’t start off too fast, don’t try and race everybody that comes past you. Sounds obvious but it’s really hard not to. Plan breaks for food etc and stick to the plan. Enjoy!

    munrobiker
    Member

    Since we’re on tardworld I’ll give you some serious advice-

    Don’t go out too fast. As a solo rider there should be lots of pairs, trios and quads who will tear past. Let them go, don’t chase anyone.

    Eat before you are hungry- at least every 2 laps. Eat what you WANT to eat. Take a big bowl of pasta but if you want a bacon butty at 3 am, eat a bacon butty. Being happy is the main thing.

    If it’s wet take waterproof shorts, socks, gloves, jacket. If you aren’t going for the win make sure you are comfortable. Also fit mudguards. You won’t need mud tyres at Relentless though.

    Take brake pads and any other spares that may be hard to get.

    Take spare shoes and every item of bike clothing you own. And lots of socks.

    Sleep. Don’t go out for 12 hours, have a nap every now and then. But no more than 30 minutes- don’t let yourself get into deep sleep as you’ll feel rotten when you get back on the bike.

    Don’t quit!

    You’ll enjoy it really.

    whatnobeer
    Member

    Cheers everyone, really good tips. Not sure I’ll be able to find the time for a 12 hour ride between now and then, but I’ll definetly maxamise my time on the bike, especially the mountain bike. Not going for the win, or even a podium, just want to finish, enjoy it and try and make the top half. If I can make top 25% I’d be over joyed, but I’m being realistic.

    munrobiker
    Member

    What I used to do was blag a set of shoes off every club member that was my size and wasn’t racing. It was always worth it. And buy sealskinz.

    Premier Icon Paulio
    Subscriber

    I did 24/12 this year as my first 24 solo and the things that stuck in my mind as being important were:

    Training – Be uncomfortable, ride when you really don’t want to and do as much as you can. If you can drag yourself out for a rainy ride when you don’t feel great then you’re on to a winner.

    Organisation – I didn’t have any pit helpers so I made sure I got to the site early and set up my tent right on the track and got all my food, drink and kit set out so I could quickly stop and re-stock. Non-moving time will quickly add up and be prepared for any mechanical or personal gripe.

    Eating – Make sure to eat regularly. I made a load of easy to eat sandwiches (soft white rolls) a load of flapjack-type things and had some crisps. I often just grabbed something and ate whilst riding. I made sure I drank most of a bottle of energy drink on a lap too. Gels were good when I got fed up of food. I had a flask of coffee on my table and that was a nice thing to have during the night.

    Comfort – As mentioned above, be as comfortable as possible especially how well the bike and clothes fit. If I hadn’t been super-comfortable I’d have been in trouble. Although I was soaked to the skin and caked in mud from lap 1 I wore the same clothes for the whole thing and only changed gloves once – a handful of chamois cream every few laps was a welcome treat though!

    The night – I felt fine after bed time but looking back I think my body/brain shut down a bit as it was used to being asleep then! Lap times worsened and I had a fall or two. It’s worth it to see the first bit of light at dawn though.

    Keep going! – Stay happy, keep moving, talk to other riders and enjoy it. At 7 in the morning I was ready to give up and sat down at my tent completely defeated. 20 minutes, a few sandwiches and a coffee later and I told myself that I wasn’t going to finish sat in my tent or as a lurker. I pictured taking the chequered flag and cracked on with riding. Racing across the finish line as opposed to just finishing was well worth it.

    I only managed 12 laps and 15th place but (apart from my 7am mental breakdown) I actually did enjoy it. A pit helper would have made a huge difference I reckon but I just tell myself I did it super-solo so I’m the bestest!

    Sorry, that turned into quite a long post.

    michaelmcc
    Member

    What sets this event apart from others IMO is the length of the night. This was my first solo too and as far as I remember there was about 13 hours of darkness, compared to about 8-9 at 24/12 and mayhem. If you plan on riding all through the night make sure you have enough lights/batteries.
    Also, there will be times where you will do a lap or two without seeing any other riders, as its a small event, only a few hundred riders. You will question why you’re doing it but just think of all the training you did and how good you’ll feel when its all over.

    MaD
    Member

    Paulio beat me to it but keep happy and keep going. You’ll see lots of miserable people on the course….just cuz they’re misery’s don’t mean you have to be! It’s bliss…not being at work, just riding your bike for 24hrs!

    A tip that worked for me was not knowing (and not caring) about what position I was in, at twentyfour 12 I didn’t know my position until my penultimate lap…no pressure and I rode a lot better for it….quite a surprise at the end to find I finished 2nd LOL

    We’ll be there at Relentless in a mixed trio so will say hello on the course πŸ™‚

    Oh yeah….Cuppa Soup…..god send at 3am!

    michaelmcc
    Member

    MaD what year was that you were 2nd in 24/12?

    GaryLake
    Member

    If I can make top 25% I’d be over joyed, but I’m being realistic.

    You’ll do top 25% simply by the virture of keeping going. IME anyone outside the top 15, perhaps 20 depending on the size of the field will be people that stopped for breaks and/or sleep, or a big mechanical/off.

    I came 14th at 24/12 in 2010 but it did feel a bit like I was also almost last place of all the guys that rode the whole thing. There were guys much further down the field doing much quicker laps than me but then stopping to sleep.

    whatnobeer
    Member

    So I’m getting the feeling that as long as I get the pacing right the mental side of things and that ‘just keep going’ attitude will be really important. Don’t suppose there’s any real way of training to improve that is there, just a case of having a positive mental attitude while on the bike.

    quite a surprise at the end to find I finished 2nd LOL

    Brilliant! πŸ˜€

    michaelmcc
    Member

    Paulio beat me to it but keep happy and keep going. You’ll see lots of miserable people on the course….just cuz they’re misery’s don’t mean you have to be! It’s bliss…not being at work, just riding your bike for 24hrs!

    Don’t know what kinda races you’re doing but i rarely encounter many miserable folk in 24 hour racing.

    MaD
    Member

    Michaelmcc – it was this year, 2012. It was a very wet course with some awful boggy sections….I only came across miserable people in the bogfest bits though….I think the mud zapped power and humour at the same time!

    Whatnobeer – Yes, just keep going, when you have to stop for food etc, don’t get off your bike…and if you have to get off your bike….just don’t sit down – simple really πŸ™‚ Best of luck.

    whatnobeer
    Member

    Again, that’s for the tips everyone! Quick question on lighting, whats the best option to get through the 12 hours or so of darkness? In the past for night rides I’ve used an el cheapo Chinese LED torch which has worked well but doesn’t last more than a few hours and has become unreliable.

    So, new lights, bar mounted, helmet mounted or both? And lots of spare batteries? Recommendations? Was thinking of something like this :Magicshine

    michaelmcc
    Member

    Hi, I think Exposure are the best lights for 24 hour racing as most of the lights they have targeted towards racers can be put on a 3, 10, or 24 hour setting, So you could have it on the 10 hour setting for the really dark portion of the night and then the 24 hour setting for the tail end of it.

    I have a Joystick on my helmet and a Sixx Pack on my bars, the Sixx Pack is mega bright buts its still nice to have a light on your helmet to have a clearer view of whats around the corner.

    They aint cheap but worth it IMO!!!

    michaelmcc
    Member

    I imagine that the magic shine light with an extra battery should do the trick, and maybe a Joystick for the helmet if you can stretch that far!

Viewing 28 posts - 1 through 28 (of 28 total)

The topic ‘Relentless 24 Solo – First timer, tips please!’ is closed to new replies.