I could do with your input on if I should participate in a century event or if I’m setting myself up to fail/reinjured. I feel like I know the answer .
Your thoughts please?
I have been injured for 6 weeks and last week was the first time since injury I managed to resume my century low volume plan. The event is in 3 and a half weeks. I developed plantar fasciitis in Feb, tried to ignore it and when I could no longer ride, I unsurprisingly found it really difficult to recover from. Riding made it worse so had to take the time off.
I have the option of downgrading my entry from the 100 mile to the 60 mile on the day but I don’t know if I will even make that.
Started cycling for more then commuting in 2019 and before I injured myself, my biggest achievement was in Feb doing a 70 mile ride and then a 30 mile ride the following day. Both had lots of punchy steep hills in with 1880m and 1000m respectively of elevation gain. I used them to check my bike fit and nutrition plan. I had a bike fit a couple of weeks ago when permitted post-lockdown.
I’ve been planning on participating for over a year as a carrot to wave infront of me after an accident when I was commuting on my bike involving a nasty broken collarbone and head injury in Jan 2020. I started ad hoc training last summer and I joined TR in Dec last year and stuck to the plan including scheduling my rides in Feb as events with the century as the A race.
So if you’ve made it this far (thanks!) my question to you is this:
Should I turn up and ride or not?
I’ve ridden a number of metrics, centuries and a double century last year. If it were me given your story, I wouldn’t make the attempt…especially if you’re even doubting making the metric.
What I would consider is to start the metric so you get a feel for the course to ride it at a later date and call the SAG wagon to come pick you up at one of the stops. This way, you can still get out but have an exit strategy. Most importantly, LISTEN! to your body and stop when it’s time to stop
Thanks for the reply. It sounds fair, I think I’m asking for trouble. I also haven’t done a long ride with my new bike fit.
I never considered attempting part of the course though. The event is local to me so attempting it later this year by myself when I am fit enough to enjoy it sounds good.
What did you do to help with planter fasciitis? Are you cleats moved back in the shoe to decrease load in your foot? How stiff are your shoes? Use insoles to provide arch support? Sleep in anything that helps provides dorsiflexion?
I partially tore my planter and cycling was all I could do. Was easy to not put much load on my foot
A lot of this depends on what you goal is. If you’re just trying to finish the 100 miles, leave the plan as is. Get back on the bike. See how the body feels and make the choice that day. If you’re going for a specific time…then you have to pre-plan.
A full century is LOTS longer than a metric, but honestly, if you’ve got a metric, you’ve got an imperial. It’s not about fitness at that point, it’s about comfort. For most, the back will be a problem before the legs unless there is a crap ton of climbing.
I’ve dealt with plantar fasciitis before and it’s no joke. There’s almost nothing you can do to make it better other than wear the stupid night boot. If, over the next three weeks, riding makes things worse, you’ll know what to do. Right now, carry on and know you may have to abort at the last second.
That sounds nasty. I’m no longer hopping around first thing in the morning so I’m a lot better.
What seemed to help the most was seeing a Physio. She showed me what exercises to do and told me to get insoles for my normal and cycling shoes. Not standing still and going for short walks only did the rest
Redefine fail. Failing to go out and enjoy a big local ride, wherever you end it, is the real fail in my opinion. Just do it and have fun.
PF is no joke…and if you cause it to flame back uo by going too long too soon, you can end up in an even worse situation. I’d be cautious about doing a century if you aren’t fully ready for it. Yeah, you co7ld bluff your way through it, but you could also make the situation worse.
I’ve had PF since forever it seems. That’s why I said redefine fail. Do what makes sense, have fun, claim victory. People gave me shit last week for short cutting Wed night worlds. Half the Wed night crew wears no see em socks, the horrors! Whatever. Ride your bike, have fun, repeat.
I would say over the next 2 weeks slowly build up the volume, keep the intensity on the lower side, and on the weekends do increasingly longer rides (like a 40 then a 60-70) with options to bail halfway. If the longer rides go fine with no PF flair ups or niggles then go for the century but don’t be afraid to cut it short. Yeah, it would suck to bail on the 100 but it would suck even more if you reinjured yourself and you can’t ride all summer.
What sort of course is your event and is there an opportunity to bail on the day to the shorter route if it doesn’t feel right? The atmosphere of an event, supported stops etc will make a 100miles easier (if its not too hard a course) but you have to bear in mind your past injury. Myself I would go out with the intention of doing the 60 mile route but if on the day at the split point you are feeling good go onto the 100 route. If not bail to finish the 60miles route in the knowledge you achieved your target for the day, and the ton can wait for another day when you are injury free. Good luck
Just read a blog post at CTS / TrainRight.com from Lisa Bourne’s bucket list ride of Mt Lemmon. I’ll screenshot one of her tips, its what I meant by redefining fail:
There is no shame in knowing your limits and calling it quits!
The 100 mile has 9500ft (2880m) elevation gain. Lots of punchy climbs.
You can bail on the 100 mile by not turning off and keeping to the metric course, it’s even written in the T&C’s.
Here’s the event if you’re interested:
Thanks for the advice and tips everyone
I think testing the legs this and next weekend sounds good. I’m willing to pull the plug on the whole thing if I get discomfort. When I first posted I had a set idea that I’d either not go or commit to finishing the metric. The worst outcome of this would be ruining a summer of riding (or longer) with PF. I think not going sounds miserable and going with the freedom of being able to quit if I need to sounds like my only option.
I also like the idea of changing my goals. My original goal was simply completion as it is my first 100 mile, first cycle event and first time riding with more than 1 other person. Now my goal is to quit decisively if I feel discomfort and get used to how an event feels. I also want to nail the nutrition side as that’s the difference between a fun day and a miserable one.
Maybe also see in the next three weeks whether your cycling shoes are contributing to the PF. Are the soles very stiff, with plenty of width in the toebox? And ask your doc about using a metatarsal pad. For me, adding one of those to a Superfeet insole for every pair of shoes (at my ortho’s recommendation) has made PF symptoms disappear for me.
I changed my shoes from specialized torch 1.0 to Lake CX176 wide a few weeks ago to see if it would help. These shoes fit so much better but I don’t have any rides of 3hrs+ yet.
On recommendation from the Physio I got insoles for them. I ended up getting G8’s and set them up at the bike fit I had recently. My feet at the moment feel okay in them and I feel so much better supported in them.
My race number came today so it’s starting to feel quite real!
I’ve done it 3 times, it is a great event and a medium to hard route (would consider it hard but compared to the Dragon 185 miles around Wales or Fred Whitton in the Lakes its medium/hard.)
If in doubt just switch to the Medio route at Princetown. Lots of people do. Dartmoor is very grippy in places. Defo go for it and switch if you feel you need too.
I thought I’d update here post-event to say how it went.
The event was yesterday and it went really well, considering the gap I had in training leading up to it. I finished the “medio” 60 mile route with 5932ft of elevation gain in a little under 6 hours. I made the choice to not try the 107miles route at the feed station at 30 miles. My foot was flawless on the bike & no additional pain today. I’ve been keeping on top of the stretching and exercises.
The first 30 miles were brutal and several hill sections resulted in 40-60 rpm cadence dispite my compact chainset and 36-11 cassette. I was trying to not sit above threshold for too long or too often but my knees became sore to the point when I knew that I was risking doing damage to try the longer ride. I did around 10mph that first half.
The final nail in the coffin that led me to do the 60 mile ride was arriving at the only feed station and seeing that there was real food like sandwiches, flapjacks and cans of coke but no gels or things I could digest while riding hard. There was a good selection of real foods but I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep any of it down if the rest of the ride was as difficult. I was told that in previous years there were gels, chews/shot Blocks and sports nutrition so I only had a couple of hours of extra food with me.
Thanks again for the suggestions and advice, I just wanted to get the most out of the experience and think I achieved that. I met some nice people and enjoyed riding in groups. Most importantly I have gotten away with only being a bit achey today and not injured, apart from sore knees
Thanks for following up, and happy to hear you had a good time and the body cooperated!