Totally Overestimated my Ability - Heavier Rider Help - Dropped by Roberge

Getting back to the point of the thread… I tried to do GFNY this year (85miles / 6000ft) being 51/m, 210W FTP, 240 lbs (108 kg), 1.95W/kg. Heavier than you, less power available. Blew myself up, made it about 45 miles and had to get a ride home. So I know exactly where you’re coming from on this. :grin:

Basically, yes… you overestimated your ability. But it’s a simple fix.

  1. Gearing does matter and wouldn’t be a miracle cure, but would definitely help! Sounds like you’re running SRAM 12-speed? Those don’t seem to shift well with Rotor or other cassettes that have easier big gears, so probably the 10-36 cassette you have is the best choice at the rear. Changing your chainrings from 48/35 to the 43/30 wide is the best choice available from SRAM and would make a VERY real difference… you’ll have to weigh the cost/benefit on that one. But don’t sweat the spinning-out-at-high-speed part: that’ll be a few minutes, whereas climbs will have you in your easiest gear for HOURS.

  2. Nutrition is vital. Try the Saturday app, and read through the Saturday app thread. Failing that, at least work your way up to about 80-90g of carbs per hour, maybe 100g, and MAKE SURE you ingest it. You simply cannot do this kind of event on 50-60g/hr.

  3. Hydration deserves its own point. Dehydration can make every other thing worse: you’ll bonk sooner, fade more easily, cramp more quickly, and so on. Make sure you’re drinking 800-900ml of water per hour from the start of the race.

  4. Last and probably most important, pacing. For an event that long, at the edge of (or beyond) your endurance envelope, make sure the whole thing is Z2 except for the climbs, and the climbs shouldn’t be at anything above sweet-spot power… ideally less! Fatigue and endurance drops exponentially faster as you ratchet up the power. Don’t underestimate this.

  5. Be kind to yourself. Remember that a lot of training and “doing events for fun” is trial and error. Mistakes and “bad” results are fine along the way, and you’ve clearly learned a lot and improved a lot so far. My “failed” GFNY taught me (between the prep for it, and the learning after it) all the things I’m mentioning here.

  6. You can improve power or reduce weight. Train for more power (if you can add another 10-15W to your FTP the climbs will be easier to do at lower effort), and approach weight loss with a very light touch so you don’t lose muscle and fitness. Make sure you’re getting enough protein. And remember that either more power, or less weight, or both, may be hard and you may make very little progress. That’s a possibility. Accept it and enjoy the process and the journey anyway.

I know all of this has already been said, but it bears repeating.