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Can I get much better on the bike?
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Hellen




Joined: 10 Aug 2011
Posts: 87

PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 7:27 pm    Post subject: Can I get much better on the bike? Reply with quote

Hi

I have just got a road bike. I am pretty much a novice at proper cycling although I have cycled a few miles to work every day for about 15 years on a hybrid so am used to doing a bit.

I am pretty rubbish and wondering if there is any hope???!!

I did a few 20-40 mile rides in 'training' for a couple of sportives. The most recent was 100km 4000ft in just over 5 hours moving time (long stops at feed stations and waiting for others) so I am pretty slow. My biggest issue is fear of going fast especially downhill where I have been known to get off and walk DOWN ( never walked up even though others did!). On a flatter course I would be faster as I wouldn't be wasting free speed by braking in the downs!

Could I , with a bit of training but not too much (because I prefer running and am not prepared to give that up) make the IM cut off Or is the step too big?

I am OK at swimming (31 min for 1600m and have swum Windermere) and at running I am ok (3.12 Marathon and done loads of ultras) and have the endurance but can I get from a 5 and a bit hour 100km to an 8 a bit 112 miles (was thinking outlaw as I think that is fairly flat)
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Mungo




Joined: 29 Sep 2016
Posts: 95
Location: Preston

PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do too much inside as I have a lovely life and family and the roads are so dangerous now.
Hence on Rise Above Sportif this year the descents really took me out of my comfort zone.

I never got off, but was petrified on the first few. I climbed well but lost time going downhill, I stuck with a quite fast group and bit by bit I settled. To the point were I was actually peddling down hill!

I did invest in swiss stop greens, which were fantastic and ditched the carbon wheels, as confidence in your brakes and bike is paramount.

Your swim and run will see you well at I'M distance and the outlaw doesn't have lots of fast technical descents.

Like everything else practice will improve your skills.
Obviously downhill sections are were your average MPH shoots up, if your braking to nothing or getting off your loosing all your speed.

Like you I'm fine on the flat, my decending is improving slowly.
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explorerJC




Joined: 20 Oct 2005
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Location: Farthingstone

PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes, of course, with appropriate training...

gaining confidence on the bike is a big step in achieving this....build yourself up slowly in both distance and intensity and also build your confidence in bike handling a bit at a time....this will pay dividends

good luck
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jibberjim




Joined: 15 Aug 2008
Posts: 7966
Location: Kingston

PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Consider doing a crit training course - or similar, something like

https://londonwomensracing.co.uk/28-02-16-lwr-training-day-cyclopark/

Even if you don't want to crit race, the parts about learning how to corner at speed and the confidence building sessions will do so much to build confidence, Huw has various ones of these in the south east, and I'm sure there are others elsewhere in the country.

Another thing is that the position on so many peoples bikes - especially if they have moved it from a hybrid - too short, too upright, weight too high much at the back. Is very conducive to uncomfortable descending.

You should have no trouble at all getting to an IM cutoff if you're a 3:12 marathoner, whilst my wife is not a super efficient runner, that was enough to get her to Kona, and whilst the translations are not absolute, the range should give you no trouble.
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Hellen




Joined: 10 Aug 2011
Posts: 87

PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of my friends is doing a level 2 coaching course and has asked me to do some coaching sessions with him on technique for his asssignment so that should help.

I am fairly confident I could manage an IM under 17 hours my issue is getting the swim and bike done in under 10. Once off the bike that's 7 hours for a marathon. Why can't the bike me 11 or 12 hours then I might be ok?!

Getting a turbo so that will help the leg strength but not confident on roads so know I need to get out on the roads as well
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Jorgan




Joined: 12 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ironman bike courses vary greatly, so you could choose a fairly non-technical one if you're prepared to travel to the Continent. Having said that, the only UK Long Dist I've done is the Cotswold 226, and there are no nasty descents on that, just 'rolling' all the way. No idea what Outlaw bike is like, but I believe it's pretty flat for starters?

There are some fast technical descents in Roth and IM Austria though, which are very popular races. This is where driving or riding a course beforehand make make it much faster & safer.

Time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted
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SGreg




Joined: 30 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are no fast technical descent's at outlaw.

I find descents are scary when they are steep enough that you feel the bike is getting away from you, that you are no longer in control of its speed. that's when you start grabbing brake because you are desperate to regain control.

There is not one point on outlaw where its like that. There is literally no rest you need to pedal every inch of that course. I think the only place where the gradient is >5 degrees is Oxton bank and your going up it.


The biggest descent is from Oxton bank to Southwell and that is nothing but straight open road and a subtle gradient. Its the type of descent I get aero and pedal. Its defiantly not the type of hill you would even consider braking on....unless you pedal you just wouldn't go fast enough its that shallow.

Next is a small drop after you hit the highest part of the course (its not very high) before you climb up to the white post pub. this is a little steeper but its really nothing and very short

Next isn't really a descent at all but it looks like one. and you lose the most altitude. Its very open, straight as an arrow, wide road and shallow. If you tried breaking on this you would just stop...infact Unless you pedal quite hard you will stop Laughing Its very annoying as it looks like a descent and you might fancy a rest, but there is no freewheeling to be done here.

The final one is probably the worst. but it still is nothing, really, plus it comes at about mile 105 so just take it easy, you won't be losing much time here.

And that is honestly it. there is nothing else I would even call a descent. maybe 5 miles in total that's remotely descending.

If you don't like hills (Up or Down) Outlaw is the perfect course!
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team bungles




Joined: 31 May 2006
Posts: 198
Location: Kent

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can totally relate to this! I must be the only cyclist who climbed Alpe D'Huez then got the bus back down (only one per day, put the bike in the luggage compartment much to the drivers amusement) as I was too scared to ride back down!

The good news is that it does get better with practice. I'm never going to be a fast biker but I've done Ironman and this year did just under 7hrs for the bike at IM Germany so if I can then you can too. Things that have helped me,

Get out on the roads even if it scares you. Chose quiet roads or lanes don't worry about the speed just get your confidence up. If the route is hilly then practice on these. As you get to know the descents this will help with your overall confidence.

For me the biggest help has been finding someone I trust who I ride with every week. Before going out I'm usually anxious thinking of worst case scenario's for everything but once I meet up with my cycle buddy my confidence increases and the anxiety goes. Usually I don't like cycling with people I don't know and definitely wouldn't follow someone's wheel but I trust this person and have found this has helped enormously.

Lastly as has already been mentioned pick a race that isn't technical and therefore wont stress you out massively. I've not done Outlaw but if it hasn't got technical descents (hairpins for example) then you should be fine.

When I first started triathlon I used to think riding at 8mph was fast and braked all the time petrified I was going to fall off. It's not been easy but with time I'm now "ok" at cycling and despite what I've written above do actually enjoy it when it's on my terms.

PS should add I do all my speed/strength work on a turbo but do get out once a week on the roads.
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Hellen




Joined: 10 Aug 2011
Posts: 87

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the comments , I will take a look at Cotswold as well.

Thank you for the thorough insight into outlaw.

I find I am better when the downhill is shallow or when not too long and I can see there is an up to slow me down later as it's the fear of getting out of control.

I am OK at just over 20mph on the shallow ones and have been practicing a local hill which is a bit steeper but goes shallow. As I know the hill I have been able to get up to 26mph but only because I know it gets flat soon.

I too don't want to go out with other people as I know I will embarrass myself on the down. I was a lot better on my second sportive as I had been able to do the first and last part of the route before
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explorerJC




Joined: 20 Oct 2005
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Location: Farthingstone

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of practice...to gain confidence as previous post but also to learn to read the road - get help from coaches at your local club

Wherever possible I will recce a bike route before an event particularly if it's a challenging course
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Whisk




Joined: 09 Jun 2005
Posts: 8287
Location: London

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 5:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Can I get much better on the bike? Reply with quote

Hellen wrote:
I did a few 20-40 mile rides in 'training' for a couple of sportives. The most recent was 100km 4000ft in just over 5 hours moving time (long stops at feed stations and waiting for others) so I am pretty slow. My biggest issue is fear of going fast especially downhill where I have been known to get off and walk DOWN ( never walked up even though others did!). On a flatter course I would be faster as I wouldn't be wasting free speed by braking in the downs!

Could I , with a bit of training but not too much (because I prefer running and am not prepared to give that up) make the IM cut off Or is the step too big?



IMHO as you come from a very limited cycling background, I think you would need to be prepared to get some much longer rides in. A 100km sportive with long stops at the feed stations is a very different ride from 180km continuously in an IM.

It takes time to get the adaptation so that you remain comfortable for the whole ride and then get off the bike after 7-8 hours able to run the marathon. You've clearly got a lot of fitness from your running background, but you need to convert this to bike fitness. You don't necessarily have to ride long every week, but I do think you need to be comfortable riding 100+ miles by the time you get to the IM.
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Hellen




Joined: 10 Aug 2011
Posts: 87

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whisk , obviously looking at next year, only got my bike a couple of months ago so not done much yet . Am prepared to do a few 100 milers if that's what is needed but in the first instance only want to enter something if I feel I have a chance of being good enough to make the cut off! That's why I'm asking now. If I have no hope then I will choose different goals for next year and wait / not bother at all but these things needed to be thought out and planned!

I have looked at Cotswold 225 and that has a much longer bike cut off - 11.5 hours which I think sounds just about do able ..... although I have no idea what would happen on the bike after 100km... is it like a marathon where everything goes to pot after about 20 miles if you are not prepared?!
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Tin Pot




Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 1831
Location: Bromley

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hellen wrote:
Whisk , obviously looking at next year, only got my bike a couple of months ago so not done much yet . Am prepared to do a few 100 milers if that's what is needed but in the first instance only want to enter something if I feel I have a chance of being good enough to make the cut off! That's why I'm asking now. If I have no hope then I will choose different goals for next year and wait / not bother at all but these things needed to be thought out and planned!

I have looked at Cotswold 225 and that has a much longer bike cut off - 11.5 hours which I think sounds just about do able ..... although I have no idea what would happen on the bike after 100km... is it like a marathon where everything goes to pot after about 20 miles if you are not prepared?!


It depends on the amount of climbing, but yes - if you haven't built the bike endurance you fade and stay faded. Worse if you have started getting sore down under, and your back is on fire.
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SGreg




Joined: 30 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Honestly, it sounds to me like you have bugger all to worry about.

You have only had the bike a few months. and already doing 100km. with a winter of base fitness and then pushing the rides longer during spring up to a few 100milers and you will be fine.

The type of run fitness you have will transfer over. sounds like you have the perfect engine, just need to convert it over. (done by just cycling)

I doubt very much when the time comes you will be worrying about cut offs at all!

The only caveat being that you actually do the training...but from the limited amount I can see from what you have posted...you will be fine doing that. 3:12 maras don't grow on trees, so you have certainly got the mental capacity for training.

I'd read a few race reports/threads off here of the race's you fancy and get yourself signed up. I sing Outlaws praises in this thread Clicky so won't repeat myself. But TBH one of its biggest selling points is its BIG RACE feel, but if you are from a ultra running background that might not be too important to you.

Whatever you choose I wouldn't base your decision around which has the longest cut off as I'm sure on a flat course you will go sub7 for the bike ...at least...as long as you train
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Happy




Joined: 14 Apr 2006
Posts: 168
Location: Birdlip

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hope you enter an iron distance race! Definitely recommend the Cotswold226. I am a numpty cyclist and made the cut-off. My iron cycles have all been well over 7 hours, just build up your long cycles with the same approach you must take to your endurance running. Eat and drink enough and don't get cold.

Do you know you can swim in the lake used for the Cotswold 226 as a guest, then take yourself for a cycle from the lake venue? http://www.ukwatersports.co.uk. Obviously wait until it is not too cold! DBmax also have an Olympic distance race at the venue which is in May I think.

In previous years the Cotswold 226 race organisers have also held familiarisation days taking race entrants round the cycle route and a lap of the swim course.

Good luck!
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