Tips for completing Sado

Izo

Warming-Up
Oct 20, 2010
44
0
0
Wakoshi
#1
Yikes I see Sado 210k is a week away and since 130k is the most I've cycled in a day (Sado last year!) I need some help with strategy.
- Is it best to take a short rest at the early stops (20, 40, 70k)? or just one stop and have a longer break (45 mins) at the 100k mark? I can cycle 80k without getting off the bike but I don't want to die later. I will be stopping often in the 2nd half.
- I'm much more concerned about my bottom than my legs. Is it worth taking a gel cover for later in the event? Or DRUGS :) I did a mountain marathon in Mongolia a couple of years ago and had been suffering back problems. We had to see two doctors before the race. I told the first I really wanted to finish. Didn't care about the time at all. He said take 400mg ibuprofen and 500mg paractemol before and during the race at 4 hourly intervals. He said it would have a "narcotic effect" when adrenalin kicked in. I was skeptical so asked the second doctor and he assured me it was what I wanted. Well, first dose at 3.00am (we were running with 100k ultras many of whom took pain killers!) and honestly I just bounced along totally off my face for the 8 hours and 2500m of ups and downs. Wondered if this cocktail would make the last 100k of Sado a joy?????
- Any other tips?? I don't have any problem eating and drinking A LOT.
Wish I'd managed to get a long ride in before!
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#2
If you are having to take drugs to complete any form of event I would recommend you go see a specailist and get yourself sorted.
 
Jan 14, 2007
2,516
213
83
Noda
japanichiban.com
#3
No pain no gain...

If it hurts it means you are pushing too hard or didn't train enough.

You may be better off getting off your bike every 50kms and just stretching...
Or stretch your legs as you ride...

Vary your pedalling. Standing, sitting, knees in, knees out... use different muscles.... pull sometimes, push... vary the gears...

Drugs that numb your senses may cause you to have an accident...

What's a little pain in the butt?
:eek:
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,681
493
103
Japan
#4
Start off slow and stay there, your bum will get over it. Wear well worn shorts with your trusty saddle, forget any gel packs or stuff. If you get some bum rub that might help. Stretch a heap, a 45 minute break won't do much except allow your body to cool down too much. take plenty of food and drink and stay away from the painkillers cause if you cause a crash that would be negligent. Good luck, If you need to, take a higher ratio cassette.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#5
FE is totally correct. If you require NSAIDS or anything else that is likely masking pain associated with damaging activiies - a big NO from me. Besides, why would they recommend Paracetemol? That is for fever reduction, primarily - and occasionally its combined with Hydrocodone (typically in Asia) which gives it a heavy 'narcotic' effect. Again - not the best thing to be cycling on.

You wanna complete Sado - then already you should be comfortable with 100+ km rides and more importantly 5hr+ in the saddle.

Besides that - most important tip is to simply eat and drink enough. Most amateur riders don't eat or drink enough and then suffer the bonks. You will burn about 500cal/hr based on riding around 25-30kph on relatively flat roads. Since you have not trained, your body will not be good at fat conversion or sustained aerobic activities. So you will suffer from LAT and oxygen debt more frequently thus eventually causing an increase in lactic acid to the point where your muscles will simply shut down and you can't continue. The only way you could prevent this at this point is to spend the next week doing nothing but intervals every other day with solid recovery regime between.

And then - to try to get the max energy load into your body as possible before the event by a simple carb-starve (this week), then carb loading 3days prior to the event with lots of hydration included. This means basically doing high effort intervals followed by high protein recovery and hydration. Then lots of stretching and soft excercise until the next round of intervals. Then 3 days before the event lay off this regime and then just focus on a minimum of 2hr light spinning never getting more than Zone 2 or 3 on your HR, followed by a large low GI carbload. Done no later than 6pm. Get lots of sleep 2 days before the event. Sleep the day before is worthless - because you won't sleep properly due to the adrenaline response in preparation.

On the event day, rise early and get a solid breakfast intake of low GI foods. Porridge, genmai, etc. And lots of liquid. This should be at least 3-4 hr before your event. Then spend an hour to chill out, massage, stretch and mentally prepare. Then ride.

Ride strategy for the unprepared.

1) Ride at a very slow and easy pace for the first hour. Your HR should barely go into Zone 2. Even your friends and other people are jamming off - resist the urge. Just spend the hour to get 'on the bike' , warmed up and settle into an easy pace.

2) Break your ride into manageble segments and set realistic goals and rewards. So - for example, try to hit 20km in one hr. And when you complete the 1hr, then stop for no more than 10min, stretch out a bit, eat a bit, drink, then back on the back for the next 1hr. Keep this very routine. Don't ride for like 3hr, then take a 2hr lunch. If you feel like you need a 'lunch break' , then you haven't been eating enough on the ride itself.

3) As the ride progresses, your other parts of your body are likely to be stressed more than your legs - especially if you have not been training. Like your arms, shoulders, neck, lower back, etc. So - to avoid this, make sure you ride as relaxed as possible and vary your position on the bike frequently.

4) Make sure your equipment is prepared at least 3 days before your event. Like tires, brakes, fit, adjustments, etc. Last minute tweaks will just result in Murphey's Law issues. Don't make any radical changes to your machine unless you have thoroughly ridden and tested them beforehand.

5) Make sure you have quality cyclewear that is well broken in. Again small things like blisters, saddlesores or rash will kill your event faster than perhaps your muscle conditioning. Along those lines, its advised to carry , perhaps, some blister creme or chamois creme. And of course UV block or other minor skin protectant.

6) Pack as light as you can. Everything you carry is extra watts you need to push it around. Sado has assistance, right? So why would anyone use hydration packs, etc? Makes no sense. Stuff a couple of onigiri and powerbars in your pockets and carry a single bottle of just plain water. Refill / refuel when you take your 10min break. Again - routine.

7) Use HRM and never exceed Zone 4 unless you absolutely have to. Again - you sound like you're completely unprepared and anything approaching anerobic for any extended period of time will put you into oxygen debt and heavy increase of lactic acid which will kill your chances of finishing faster than anything.
 

Izo

Warming-Up
Oct 20, 2010
44
0
0
Wakoshi
#7
Thanks guys. Interesting about the long break - makes sense of course. I was remembering our leisurely lunch last year at the 100k mark, but we didn't then have another 110 to go. I agree the drugs could well cause a crash - I was seriously sailing in Mongolia. I spoke to a lot of the ultra competitors after (feel a real loser only doing 42k when the majority are doing 100!!) and was surprised how many took pills, though I'm sure not in the combination given to me!
Far East ... agree with you too ... alas I'd been to Mongolia the previous year to do a different marathon in the Gobi. Fell down a sewer in UB the first night and that was the end of that. Wasn't not running second time!
 

Izo

Warming-Up
Oct 20, 2010
44
0
0
Wakoshi
#8
Thanks GSAuto. Slow and steady. Will do! I actually just got back from a fortnight's cycling in India last week and averaged 80km a day for 11 days (sore butt on an uncomfortable mountain bike!!!!!!!!!!). Did 100+ on the Arakawa last week with my tires a bit soft and didn't have any problems. Not sure if it has any benefit for cycling but have been doing a lot of endurance hiking in prep for an attempt at 7,134m Pik Lenin in July. As I definitely fit into the novice cycling category though it will be interesting what proves hardest. I was relatively strong in India in very hot temps. Felt really good on a particularly warm day till 84k and then my quads just quivered. Really don't think I could have done more than the 4k I had left to the destination.:eek:uch:

The drugs. First doctor was Danish, second American. Not being much of a drug taker - I like to know what is wrong and how bad - I really was surprised at the cocktail. The second doc agreed totally with the recommendation.
 

andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
1,708
1,354
133
Niigata
#9
Excellent info from Tim.

Food and drink are important. Eat constantly in small amounts. Bananas are great, high energy, help to prevent cramps and you can throw the wrapper in the field. Bananas will give you energy quickly but you also want to eat stuff that releases energy slowly through the day, so a big breakfast and some sandwiches or onigiri enroute.

For drink take two bottles. I'd start with two bottles of coke if you can stomach it. Enroute they'll probably offer pocari and water so nice to start out with something different. Again drink constantly. Keep an eye on the distance and aim to have both bottles empty by the next check point.

Eat, eat, eat. Drink, drink, drink. You'll never do too much.

Take a 1000 yen note in a ziplock in case you need more fuel between check points. Although convenience stores are few and far between on Sado, so maybe research their location first.

Another thing to research is the wind on the day as you are doing a lap of the island. You will have a tail wind, a side wind, a head wind and another side wind. Really strong too in Niigata at this time of year. As you approach the side with the head wind, you should look for people going at a similar speed to form a group with.

Also, my advice is don't stop at all. Pace your effort so you don't need to spend time off the bike. "tomaru to komaru" is the rule here!

For your bum, try oronine available at any drugstore and the best chamois cream around! If you are expecting any aches (neck, shoulders, lower back etc) some tiger balm before the start is a good idea. If it's something you suffer from in particular, stick some in your jersey pocket.

Good luck with the ride, I look forward to hearing about it.

Don't fear it, embrace it!

Andy

www.jyonnobitime.com/time
 
Mar 2, 2011
160
0
0
Minami Urawa (南浦和)
#10
so much great advice in this thread. this really makes me wanna up my game and move out of the "casual" cyclist catagory. i think my biggest problem with a tough training regime is the weekdays, afer work = night riding and apart from the arakawa i dont know any nice routes for riding in the dark (im not too confident with cars).

Izo good luck, i hope you finish. 210km is a big feat but im sure you will be fine. i hope one day i can match it.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#11
@Tim..... perfect... falls in to the Euro "ABC" rules of cycling:

Always Be Consuming

Eat, eat, eat......drink, drink, drink do it while on the move and actually try to keep stops to a minimum, in fact try not to stop at all apart for "comfort breaks" (Toilet) as its harder to get going again both physically and mentally.
 
#12
Though I'm not nearly as experienced as Tim and James, I am often in the poorly/mediocrely prepared and in-over-my-head category.

Things that have worked for me on 200+km rides:
Set up a system where it is easy to eat without stopping. I'm not good with taking both hands off the bars so I have a little bag on the top of my top tube. On my 300+ ride last summer I filled it with cashews and Gabbo chocolates. Othertimes I've put unwrapped onigiri or mochi anko things or the horrible but awesome white bread and margarine pre cut sandwich things (before giving up wheat).
Similarly, a drink bottle that you are comfortable drinking a lot from. Something that doesnt slow you down to drink.

Only stopping for bathroom/buying more food/switching out headlight batteries--every 50km or more-- worked best for me.

Personally, my upper body gives out way before my legs. Do what you can to keep your neck and shoulders relaxed and warm.

Saddle soreness is a bitch but you can tough it out. I find increasing airflow by hovering/standing gives tempoary relief. I am also without the perfect saddle and lost many layers of skin my last trip. Clean clothes help a lot! I'm just beginning to experiment with creams but thinking about baby powder to be less sweaty/damp.

My favorite drink is 50/50 diluted coke or mountain dew. If it's cold, dilute with boiling water at conbinis. If it's cold, your bladder may feel like it's shrunk but you still have to work hard to stay hydrated.

I find that after 180km or so I am loopy with exhaustion and feel too ill to eat (earlier if I haven't slept enough) and that's when I switch to gels. The blue energy one and the orange/yellow amino one in conbinis are my favorites. But really--eat drink whatever sounds good. but keep eating/consuming calories even though you stop feeling like it.

Load up on iron and folic acid before and after. There are some jelly candy vitamin things in conbinis that I love but they aren't everywhere.

Find a pace you feel comfortable and just ride without stopping (for me it's 22-25 for long distances). For the first half set your cycling computer to time elapsed for optomisic accomplishment--especially if there are hills which slow you down. Only look at kilometers after the first 100 when you'll be happy rather than dispairing.

Finishing is mostly about your head game ( 90% in my opinion). Find a good theme song or inspiration to think about. I reccomend the episodes 'limits' and 'in the running' by a podcast called Radiolab. Save all the anger or frustration and burn it off with the kilometers. Cultivate gratitude for the mountains, headwinds, challenges and just keep riding.

You can totally totally do this. We are all stronger tha we think we are.

Good luck.
 

Sikochi

Maximum Pace
Sep 13, 2010
1,181
76
68
Kochi
#14
If it hurts it means you are pushing too hard or didn't train enough.

You may be better off getting off your bike every 50kms and just stretching...
Or stretch your legs as you ride...

Vary your pedalling. Standing, sitting, knees in, knees out... use different muscles.... pull sometimes, push... vary the gears...
I`m with this. Given you have done marathons before, then I feel the biggest factor in completing the ride will be muscular endurance so try and vary muscle groups as much as possible. But like Koribeyer and GSAstuto said, it`s not just the legs but the upper body. Don`t grip the bars too hard and if you have the option, resting your forearms on the handlebars changes the load from muscular into skeletal. Depending on the bike, it can be dangerous (I have a set of mini tri-bars for this but you would need to check if these are allowable for the race) and also uncomfortable (I have some padding for this!). You sometimes see pro`s doing it, but that`s for the aerodynamic benefit and unless you are trained in that position, only use it for short spells to provide relief. For the legs, I find the compression fabrics help with muscular endurance (thighs and calves), but I`m not a fan of it for the upper body.

As for btm soreness, then you can buy padded underwear - I have some Craft bike boxers that i use when needed - and also, you could pack a change of underwear which might help. But if do buy new underwear (I`m not sure if this is a topic we should really be discussing! :eek:), then like GSAstuto says, make sure you have worn it in slightly and definitely don`t wear it for a first time on such a long ride.

The other tip which was half-mentioned, is draft as much as possible! This will effectively reduce the distance and the effort level required. On the same note, check for anything that might cause drag as anything that takes your watts away from being turned into forward propulsion will mount up over the distance you are doing. So, even little things like tying up straps, having tight (not loose or flapping) clothing to more pro-style tricks like aero booties, or taped-up vents on your helmet will become noticeable.

As for ibuprofen, there are a lot of threads about taking it before exercise and some people seem to swear by it, but it is not something I have ever done. If you do a google search (ibuprofen exercise, ibuprofen cycling), a myriad of discussions on it will magically appear.

One more thing came to mind, don`t just focus on pre-ride. You also need to focus on what happens when you finish, and that means the minute you cross the line, not just from the next day onwards.
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,517
644
133
Kanazawa
#15
"...You also need to focus on what happens when you finish, and that means the minute you cross the line, ..."

Yeah, I always like the beer part. :)
 

Izo

Warming-Up
Oct 20, 2010
44
0
0
Wakoshi
#16
I really appreciate everyone's advice - thank you. I think my biggest concern was time when I factored in all the rests I planned on taking but since you have all unanimously said no rests and ride through the pain it is almost a relief. To be honestI am secretly wishing for heavy rain so I can do the 130 guilt-free.

I've never walked in a road marathon and can trudge up hills for a few hours non-stop ... but none of that is butt pain. Not sure I've got the stuff it takes!!
 

Sikochi

Maximum Pace
Sep 13, 2010
1,181
76
68
Kochi
#18
Yeah, I always like the beer part. :)
Actually, the other month I met a guy as I stopped for refuelling at a large drinks corner just as the descent back into Kochi starts. He was getting a can of beer so I was going `at least have some water as well, it`s dehydrating` but he said that was his usual post-ride tipple and at the bottom of the descent he heads straight for a bar and has a few more. :beer: He did admit to having crashed on the descent once though...
 
May 22, 2007
3,617
1,454
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#19
(I have a set of mini tri-bars for this but you would need to check if these are allowable for the race)
It's not a race. Tri-bars are not allowed.

As for btm soreness ... I`m not sure if this is a topic we should really be discussing!
I don't see why not. It's an issue many cyclists have to manage.

This is a really interesting discussion. I've done the Sado LongRide (and longer rides) before. Last time I did Sado was in 2007, in the pouring rain. Hoping very much for better weather this year.

My strategy for completing is to hang around with a less-fast cyclist all day. That way I won't push myself too hard. :)
 

Izo

Warming-Up
Oct 20, 2010
44
0
0
Wakoshi
#20
I did it!!

Thank you everyone so much for your advice. No long stops was a winner as was Kori's "don't look at the odometer"! It was much much much easier than I'd expected - butt was pain-free, legs were good and when I'd got to100k before 11am I didn't have to worry about limping home in the dark. In fact I was over 2 hours faster than expected - 9.50, average 24.3, top speed 58.7 ... all records!!! Fantastic weather, tailwind the whole way :)

Including pre-race I ate 7 Power Bars, 3 onigiri, 3 bread rolls, bananas, 1 Aqaurius satchet and 4.5l of water. A lot of fuel in the engine at the finish line!

You may recognise some of the riff raff I came across on the island https://picasaweb.google.com/isobelhatrick/Sado?feat=directlink

I really did appreciate all the advice. I was very very nervous.

Isobel