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fun, in a hurty kind of way

By Discodan - Posted on 21 March 2011

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.
Re: This ride meeting: 
Capital Punishment 2011
Position (Overall): 
Race Category: 
Position (Category): 

This was my first 100km event and also marked one year since I got hooked on this MTB lark (Last years CP 50km was my first event). There's already been lots of posts on the event and track so I won't repeat that content, instead here's the patented Danny summary of how my ride went

What worked:
- The weather; after last year it was just perfect
- The track; with the exception of the fields around the airport it was great and a lot better than last year. Bring on the Mont 24hr so I can try more of that Kowen goodness
- Nutrition; in order to avoid hitting the wall like I did at the Fling I was just jamming gels, bars and lollies like fury this time and never felt like I was out of gas even when my legs were getting very weary
- The start; guessing the 20-30 start wave was about right as I finished about 25% and wasn't held up at all. At the same time I don't think I held anyone up apart from a few tricky sections in the single track where I was a bit of a woose.
- The bike; the 1 x 9 gearing was just right after I changed to a 11-34 cluster the night before and kept running a 36t front. I never needed a higher gear and whilst I might have liked a lowered gear I was able to push it pretty comfortably even when the legs went to jelly
- The result; I'm pretty happy with that time for a first crack at a long one. I'm sure I could have pushed a bit harder and I certainly wasn't threatening anyone for a podium position but I didn't come home with my tail between my legs so I'm happy

What didn't work:
- Back pain; this was excruciating, caused by a stiff hardtail and too much weight in my backpack as I was carrying 3 litres of drink. After a lot of pain relief I could just handle it but it really took the fun out of the event for me and I'm still suffering badly today. I will see if not using a pack helps much but this may actually be the limiting factor for me doing more 100km events unless I get a mobile sofa aka a dually.
- Front end traction; in Kowen I lost the front bigtime 3-4 times (had to clipout to save it) as I'd put 5 extra PSI to reduce rolling resistance (I started with 35 psi in a Monorail). I'm not sure if the stiffer setup SID Race forks and fresh track contributed as well but it dampened my zest just a little in the first section. I let some air out at the 54km stop and it was definately better for Majura even though that section of the track was a bit off-colour
- The injured friend; the bad injury on black mountain they were talking about at the presentations was a work-mate of mine on his first MTB ride so that wasn't too good. He's got a couple of days in hospital but will recover OK, I don't think we'll see him next year though.
- My poxy Garmin forerunner 405 that only has a 4 hr battery life so I couldn't run the GPS feature. It was fine for time and HR but I might need to upgrade to a Edge 500 soon

Good on you for doing the 100k.

I did the 50 and have never done more than 65k events because of my lower back. I read with interest that you also suffer from the same problem and that you think its the 3L of water in your pack.

I think I could do 100k but its my back that stops me from even trying. Around 50k my back starts to get very very sore and there is nothing I can do once its like that. I do also carry a camel back with 3L of water in it. I ride a dual suspension anthem that I have had setup professionally to try and help with my back problems.

Let me know if you get any joy from loosing the back pack.

If its lower back thats hurting imho its likely to be the tall gearing. When you push a big gear up hills you actually put a lot more stress on your lower back than you would in a lower gear with higher cadence.
Next time you go riding always keep the cadence above 80 and see how it goes.

btw I can get a sore back if I push a big gear at low cadence for too long however don't get a sore back when i commute 38k into the city with a 10kg backpack.

I had a back operation about 18 months ago to have the disc removed in my L5S1, have you considered trying pilates/yoga to work on your core strength at all? I found once I started pilates it really helped with my core stability which has inturn helped with my riding, I would really recommend trying it.

Regardless, a good result for your first 100k well done.

Thanks for the ideas there guys. I don't think the weight of the backpack is really the culprit but I'm willing to do some testing to see. I was getting pretty sore at about 25km which is pretty lame. It was also flattish to then so I hadn't busted myself on hills (yet). I think Logan's point about increasing core strength has to help plus it's just a good thing to improve anyway. I'll do some playing around with combinations on some training rides and report back. I have seen in the past that two laps of the dam will get it sore, mainly from the fast downhill sections.

If you don;t get relief in the next day or so go and see Martin Krause at Back In Business Physiotherapy. I was referred by Steve Hogg, he has a fluid trainer in one of his rooms for clients and is an avid cyclist himself. The guy after me this morning is doing the Mont as well.

For years I couldn't lift a pizza box without my lower back copping a sharp stabbing pain.
Stopped sleeping on my stomach and haven't had a problem since. I don't sleep quite as well, but it's worth it.

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