947 Challenge

Wild Dog Adventure Riding

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JohnB

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Hi all

In an attempt to loose some weight I started cycling (kinda) a while back. I needed something to work towards to keep myself motivated so I ended up entering the JHB 947 challenge.

I`d like to hear from those who do "long" rides.

How do I approach the race from a training point of view?
What can I expect on the day in terms of other riders around me, average speed required to finish - Can I push my bike on the hills :)?
What should I take with me on the ride other than water?
Etc, Etc...

I am 43 yo, not super fit and on a 29" MTB riding solo.
I do regular 30-40 km tar rides on weekends and my longest ride was a 57km done last weekend. I found it to be pretty tough.

TIA for the advise.
 

edgy

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Sounds to me like you are on the right track and if you can fairly comfortably ride a 50km on your own you will be surprised how riding in an event and with a crowd carries you along. With the gearing on a MTB you really should`nt need to push up any hill on that event at all, just go at your own pace and spin in an easy gear! For longer events such as this you should be hydrating with something containing electrolytes etc and not just water, all these events generally have more than enough sustenance available at the drinks tables on the way to supplement your supply. Dont overthink it and enjoy
 

Grunder

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A packet of Rennies I hear is great for an emergency cramp situation.
 

Gerard

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Many years ago they asked a winner on Tour de France how does he train to get sonstrong. His answer “Ride a bicycle”
 

manxkipper

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Bananas. Rennies dont help me at all. I carry 5 or 6 bananas for the cramp time . Usually after 90km I crap off with thigh cramps both legs. Only remedy for me is bananas. Probably a potassium deficiency in my case. Some find magnesium works.
 

Sandban(g)k

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Rennie also did nothing for me, but nothing will work once you feel the cramps coming.

Start hydrating two days before the event and include a lot of electrolytes, like Rehidrat.
 

Antonie

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Whatever you do, race with what you’ve trained. Never do (esp eating & drinkng) something new on race day.

Take at least one bottle of water and one with race fuel (pick your poison) you can go for the expensive stuff like USN, or you can try the following
50% water
50% apple juice
5 draaie growwe sout (my english fails me here 🤣)

This is supposed to be low gi, and the salt helps to prevent cramps.

Energy bars worked ok or bananas, maybe a gel or two.

Good old rennies, back in the day it was said that rennies also gives you a little boost. Might be a kop job but worked for me 🤣

Training: try pushing yourself a bit further every week, and get a long ride in once every month. By long ride I mean time in saddle and not necessarily distance. Your butt must get used to riding for long. 4h+ rides

It is very important to eat and drink during the race, force yourself to regularly take a small bite and sip of your drink. Most people either forget about this or cannot eat or drink. VERY important if you dont want to hit a wall, then it will be too late. Keep those energy levels up

Just enjoy it, enjoy the atmosphere, take it easy and look around you have more than enough time to finish even at snails pace.

Hope I made some sense here
 

manxkipper

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Eating and drinking while you ride is so important. As said above any ride longer than 2h requires eating and drinking every 20 to 30 mins in order to avoid the wall on a long ride.
 

Wayne

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The event is in November so you still have some time on your side. Try and do at least 50-60km rides on the weekends. Couple of shortish rides in the week to keep the legs moving. When training try and aim for a average speed of around 20km/h or more to push yourself a bit.
At a reasonable level of fitness you will be out there for a minimum of 5 hours on a MTB. So electrolyte juice is a must and some energy bars. Water points often have things to eat but if you at the backend of the pack the pickings can sometimes be a bit lean as the guys in front of you eat everything up.

Like it has been mentioned, Rennies helps for cramps but start taking them the minute you feel the tightening in your leg muscles. Wait to long and Rennies becomes a bit ineffective.

Like edgy said, go out and have fun, don't overthink it and you will be surprised by how riding with others motivates you.
 

manxkipper

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One last thing - do the race distance at least once in order to understand how it feels both mentally and physically.
 

RyanI

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I've done 4 of them including the last two. All the nutrition and hydration advice above is excellent. In addition, make sure you eat a good breakfast about 30-45min before the start (not easy with the loading system). My choice for these longer rides is proper oats with honey and salt and an egg. Thats slow release carbs and protein. The egg can be a "egg muffin" made the day before. Basically mix eggs and some bacon or spinnach or anything you want and cook them in a muffin tin. That way you can eat them like a snack before the ride.
During the ride drink about one bottle per hour. There are many drinks stops on the route so don't worry about carrying too much. They also have energy bars and bananas etc at those stops. And there are toilets. I eat at least one energy bar per hour.
Try all of this BEFORE the race though - not first time on the ride.

In terms of the "new route". Be careful here as the new route can give you a false sense of comfort. The first 50-60km is largely flat to downhill and your average speed might look better than you have ever done. Once you have turned past Kyalami some gentle climbing will start but gets quite tough when you get to Jan Smuts at 73km and the climbing is not over. Then you will get Zoo Lake hill at about 79km. Zoo Lake finishes at about 83km and the last 14km is flat.

As the guys said, I love this race because of the atmosphere and the fact you can ride closed roads that are otherwise off limits.

For training, my advice is long ride on the weekend (build up slowly) and something short and strong during the week like spinning or intervals. Works for me.

Enjoy and good luck.
 

JohnB

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Lekker. Thanks for all the advise thus far. It seems that I am on the right track in terms of training. I will now focus on the ave speeds and try and do a 4 hr ride soon. I did another 40km this weekend and I felt much better than the previous "long" rides and my HR was down by quit a bit - good sign I think.

I do think that I need a bit more padding as my riding pants is entry level. I might also take my bike to have it set-up for me - I believe this is important. I also need to add bullhorns so I can change my posture from time to time.

I will definitely try and do the hilly section of the track before the race for sure.

I am looking forward to the ride :)
 

MegaPix

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John man, I have done a lot of 100+ cycle races. Somewhere I have a nice 12 week training schedule to start from scratch and work towards a 100km race.
The once thing you must do to help on a MTB is to put slicks on. Get away from knoblies if you have those on. I did my first 100km race on a MTB before I switched to a Road bike. Less resistance will help a lot.
The rest is to keep things simple. Ride within your limits. Enough time to finish. And once you did 57, 80 is easy and before long 100 is the norm.
Train a lot of hills as 94.7 is a very hilly route.

Good luck
 
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