How to turn a 100 mile ride into a real sufferfest!

I road somewhere between 100 and 105 miles this morning which is, itself, not worth mentioning. That happens all the time, but this morning food and water ran out somewhere around mile 80. I decided to just ride out the century without stopping.

That was a good reminder how not eating or drinking on a ride can turn a comfy seat into a torture device…comfortable shoes into toe breakers…and a comfortable riding position into sore hands and wrists. Yikes! What a sufferfest the last 5 miles of that ride turned into.


Well done for breaking through that discomfort and completing the ride! Hope you rest and recover well :+1:


Great effort

The best part is when it’s unexpected :+1:

Intetesting to note the difference. I’ve been on HFLC and long fasted rides for 3+ months now. I did a 100mi Z2 ride yesterday on 4 bottles of water and 6g carbs. Had steady energy from 0-100.

If the intensity was upped I’m not sure that would be the case, but all I’ve got is my n=1 experiment. :slightly_smiling_face:


Yeah it’s awesome the extent to which the body’s fuel mix can swing! I’ve done long fasted rides & not only do you feel ok during the ride you also legit feel great the day after. But if I start out fueled with carbs and stop…different story.

As a fully adapted rider…you should give that a try. Start out fueled by carbs and then go fasted 90-120 minutes into the ride. It’d be interesting to see if you can switch it on and off. Clearly, I’m not able to!

I would characterize my ride yesterday as Z2, for sure. Although my HR started to creep up at the end due to dehydration. I’m just not trained up to ride fasted.


For me doing low carb rides, there is an intensity limit. I can do 5hr upper Z2 rides with no carbs. I still need some volume in my stomach, usually hard boiled eggs or nut butters. But if I ride upper Z3 for a 3-5hr ride, then I need near the 90g limit of carbs. Intensity is the key here.

Also hydration is huge too. Falling off on hydration is worse than under fueling carbs, for me.

Maybe you would’ve been ok if it weren’t for your dehydration. Like if you would have continued drinking water/electrolytes without food. The performance degradation from just a slight drop in fluids is a good bit, and a lot if you hit dehydration.

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Maybe dehydration but maybe temperature too.

I always underestimate how quickly my body will shut things down when the temps get above 90F.
As soon as you ran out of water, the temperatures started to climb. Kind of a double whammy.

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To be honest, that was my first Century/6hr ride. Ever.

Also started doing 5hr rides for the first time this year.

Still terrified of that last hour – is it all going to fall apart?! :scream:

I’ve managed to push my hunger knock from the ~2hr mark to about the ~4hr mark before I need to cram something into mah face. Ditto on the drifting HR due to dehydration. I drink 1 bottle every 1.5hrs or so but 1:1 would make that last hour a lot more steady (and enjoyable).

I’ll see if I can post my marked-up Strava.

I’m not sure it works that way. :man_shrugging:
Plus, totally not “fully adapted”; that will take a lot more time and discipline.

And now for the graphix!

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Ha-ha! Crazy driver…that got your heart rate up! Potentially tragic but since you lived we can laugh about it.

The StdDev of your cadence in the 1st half of the ride look like it’s much higher than the last quarter of your ride. Were you doing some spin drills or is that normal for you?

Laughing…yeah, some real clowns on those long days out. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Cadence: first half of the ride I do a 9km loop repeat where I alternate between 95-100rpm sections and 60-70rpm sections. I do the low cad stuff in the first couple hours to zap the fast twitch muscles which will hopefully force better endurance adaptation. Second half cad is usually just whatever whenever.

The first couple of rides I tried this I really felt the leg fatigue in the later hours, now it’s not so bad, which means I probably just have to do more early low cad work.

edit: you can also see the increase in red lights during the second half – 0rpm. One thing I’m consciously practicing is keeping on the power throughout the entire ride, like right up to the stop line. My rides back in June were always 10+% of coasting, I’ve got that down to 1-2%. Gotta keep entertained!


My first century was Feb 2016, a couple months after buying a road bike. Didn’t have any real fitness at that point, and didn’t really understand the importance of nutrition. Spent the last 20 miles riding like a zombie, completely bonked!

Been there, done that…but on much shorter rides! Heck, even on a couple 1hr trainer sessions!

Fuel, no matter the source, is a good thing to have. :poultry_leg:

Crazy the differences between people, I’ve only bonked hard once!

Just thought I’d throw this out, from a few weeks ago.
NDE#1 – I delivery van ran right through a red light going probably 60k/hr (35+mph)…I was quite literally 1 second from being killed. Haven’t skidded on a bike like that since I was a kid.

NDE#1 – mere moments later, an 112-year old raisin in a 45 foot Oldsmobile whose motto is “Look out! I’m old and I’m comin’ through!” sails through a stop sign and once again, 1 second from being raspberry road jam. Called it a day shortly thereafter.

So, yeah…if you ever want evidence of how stress can make your heart explode…