Question about IF over really long rides/races: what's high?

This is a pretty specific question that I’ve had for awhile but decided to post when the guys referred to a specialist doing sweet spot over 3hrs in a race. I did a road race last year, 65ish miles, and it took me 3.5hrs. The result was mediocre, I got off the back and did way too much of it solo. But my IF for the 3.5hrs was 0.86, with an hour at 0.96 and 2hrs at 0.91. Is this unusual for people to pull off? I’ve always been curious. I would have preferred to have lower IF and been with the main group, but that’s life sometimes! lol

I looked at a RR I did last year and my IF numbers for the intervals you stated aren’t too far off. Obviously there are a lot of variables but I wouldn’t consider 0.96 for 1 hr and 0.91 for 2 hours out of the ordinary.

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For a 55 mile race this past fall, I was at 0.92 IF for 2 hrs 41 min.

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Checked back on a couple of recent events

200km hilly Road - 7h 41m elapsed 0.846 IF
Disaster workout - 4h 15m elapsed 0.784 IF

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awesome guys, thanks! I didn’t think mine was that unusual for someone with training, no doubt it’s not super easy to ride at that intensity for that long, but figured anyone worth their salt can do that

@Nate_Pearson spoke on a different podcast about using Joe Friel’s triathlon bike leg IF recommendation as a guide. But since you don’t need to be able to do a run afterwards, you can use the half-IM guide for a century, for example.

Can’t necessarily see Friel’s name on this but these look reasonable:

So I guess for a 60 miler you would use somewhere around the Olympic distance IF as a guide, which on that page is 0.85-0.95.

I’m planning to do a 70km event in a few weeks and am targeting that sort of IF.

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I’ve wondered this very same thing myself for gravel grinders I ride/race. Looking back at a couple of A events last year, I did:

  1. 0.89 IF for 3:15 total: I probably couldn’t have done more. In fact, the first 2 hours were 0.94 IF and had me nursing cramps and going slower for the final hour.

  2. 0.83 IF for 3:35 total: I probably could have gone harder. I was carefully (maybe a bit too conservatively) pacing myself for first 3/4 and then let myself go a bit more at end. Was happy with result and fun passing lots of people later in race, but I felt like I had a little bit left in the tank at the finish.