Having just survived my Knighthood attempt, I figured it would be good to put done some tips and thoughts for those that follow.
Very person, but I am eternally grateful to the Knights who warned me against doing long intervals in the last few videos. I had chosen Team Scream for #8 but given how I was feeling by then I don’t think I could have survived it even at a low %. I did Team Scream at #2 instead (after Nine Hammers!) and it still knocked me around! Revolver at reduced % was a much better option later on.
Again pretty personal here. The wisdom of knights appeared to be two-fold. Around 70% is good, but starting too high is NOT good. I started at 65% but after Nine Hammers and Team Scream I was starting to doubt this choice. Around #5 I was feeling horrid, and did GOAT at 55% - keeping to low cadence, and standing a bit just to change position on the bike. Thankfully after #6 I started to feel better and went up to 65-70% for the rest. Note that I had barely ridden in the month leading up to the quest so my numbers probably weren’t accurate at the time.
Food / hydration
Again pretty personal, but DO NOT dehydrate! And don’t just drink water - look up hyponatremia and marathon runners if you want to know why. My goal was to need to pee every second video. I missed one and increased my fluid intake for the rest of the attempt. If you don’t know a lot about sports nutrition, and haven’t done endurance events before it could be good to chat to a sports nutritionist / dietitian. I drank 5L of home made sports drink, 500ml of home made salted mocha gels, and 2L of water. I ate one and a half peanut butter and honey sandwiches, one chocolate au pain, and a handful of potato crisps. After the ride I continued hydration (another 1.5L water before bed), more crisps, and a smoothie.
- Use a timer - I just had one set on my phone for 8 minutes. This way I had a little leeway. I was generally on the bike and pedalling before the buzzer went off.
- Take shoes off for every 10 minute rest. I started to get a numb / hot toe on one foot so after #2 I started taking my shoes off as soon as I got off the bike. And put them on a minute before the timer went off. It may not seem like much, but it felt sooooo good.
- Routine helps you get through mentally. I decided I would only post something to the group after every 2 videos. This made me think of it as 5 “sessions” rather than 10. Every 3 videos I changed shorts / bibs and socks. This meant a new set for the last video (don’t want to come into the castle smelling that bad!).
- At one stage I decided to distract myself by watching The Matrix. I was thinking about what a great soundtrack it had and decided to watch it. I don’t necessarily advise it, as I found it so out of synch with what my body was experiencing that it was quite difficult. Going back to the Suf videos was actually a relief (does seeking a relief disqualify me?).
- Chamois cream is necessary. This is a LONG day. Thankfully I make my own, so was fine with gooping it on. I only put it on when I changed shorts, but some do it every ride.
- Download all videos and make sure your bike / trainer is ready for it. My gears were generally good, but not always. And yes, I’m well aware I shouldn’t need gears as I had a smart trainer, but I still find them useful as high gears are better for long intervals.
- I used a Garmin Edge that was plugged in to mains power to record the entire ride (apart from the first few minutes as I forget to hit go!). I also saved every workout as soon as it finished to Strava as well as getting the tcx file emailed to me. At the end I deleted all the individual workouts from strava and just uploaded the big one.
ok, that’s all I can think of now.
Best of luck to anyone attempting this in future - it is not to be taken lightly…
Chris (hopefully Sir to be as soon as confirmed)