Lessons from the Sea Gull Century 2016

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  1. Drafting really matters: During the century ride I was losing my breath just to get my speed up to 11-12 miles/hour; however, when I started drafting I was able to easily maintain speeds between 17-20 miles/hour. I finished the century in 6 hours and averaged just around 16 miles/hour. I wish I had also drafted during the RBC Century earlier this year. Makes me wonder what my training rides would look like if I ride in a group.
  2. Paddling off your saddle frequently really helps: Six hours of riding and no saddle discomfort or pain! I was getting off the saddle and paddling standing up whenever I was able to, so it was releasing any pressure or saddle discomfort. Sometimes I was getting up every five minutes. I was doing so mainly to keep up pace with the peloton I was drafting behind. this is something I need to keep doing during my usual rides.
  3. Carbs run out quicker than you think: I was eating well at every rest stop. Chocolate cakes, ice-creams, bananas, energy bars, etc. Still within an hour after the ride, my stomach was grumbling and I had to rush for a turkey sub.
  4. Warm clothing after an endurance ride is a must: I got sick after the RBC century for not putting on layers, it was bad and had to make a trip to the ER. This time around, I was fully prepared with a beanie covering my scalp and ears, thermals underneath a jacket and recovery tights. Of course I picked up a hot chocolate right after the post ride meal.
  5. Sleeping a lot may not be as important: I only slept about 3 hours the night before the ride, on top of that I had to drive three and a half hours to Salisbury, MD. Still by the grace of the Lord it was not an issue during the ride. However, resting up pre and post ride is important nonetheless.
  6. Core conditioning is essential for an endurance rider: I incorporated core strengthening HIIT workouts in my training and reaped the benefits during the ride. I did not have any issues with body mechanics during the ride and I could tell those strong quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves are throttling me ahead.
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