Anyone Doing K2? Prep Tips Etc Needed.

Postby FLATULENTFRIEND on Sun 28/Jun/09 10:45am

:) I'm thinking (seriously, seriously) about giving it a go this year.
I will be my first time (a 200kms virgin).

What sort of prep do I need?
Food / drink etc?
Would it be worth me downgrading(?) to a compac crankset just for that event?

For training I could from my place (at the bottom of the Waitakeres, Sunnyvale side) over the Waitakeres to Waitakere Village and return x 4 which would give me all hills and 200kms.
There is only one problem with that - I'm bound to be found expired on the side of the road after about 80kms :blush:
If (a big if) I could complete that is it just way too many hill kms for the event?
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Re: Anyone Doing K2? Prep Tips Etc Needed.

Postby Roma on Sun 28/Jun/09 12:56pm

Do it! It's seriously (in my opinion, and probably the opinion of others with a penchant for hills) awesome; beautiful scenery and location and a fantastic route. The fatigue and general feeling of broken-ness in the couple days following pale in comparison to how fucking great it felt to have trained and completed this event.

I would very much recommend you do the actual course a couple times prior to the event to get a feel for the descents and also to help ascertain your hydration needs. I got severely dehydrated last year and that hampered my performance to quite a degree I felt. I drank approx 1.5 litres before the race and 4.6 litres during the race and this was not nearly enough. Combination of the hot sun and number of hills means you just sweat, sweat and sweat. There are a number of water stops (throw your empty bottles in the bins and grab 2 more, it was quick and efficient).

Food? I ate half a muesli bar, should probably have had more but dry muesli bars aren’t so appealing to a parched throat. Nutrition's a very individual thing you need to work out yourself through trial and error. I know I tend to eat a lot less than others on the bike, but with lots of experimentation I've got it down to know just what quantity is too little to sustain myself on long rides.

Gears, I know a lot of people running a 27 sprocket (Jeremy Yates included I believe). There is nothing as steep as, say, that steep little hill by the dam coming out of Huia Bay (not that I can recall anyway) but certainly comparable to the bigger hills you'd find in the Waitakeres. The route with hill grades is probably on mapmyride etc.

If I lived in AK the Waitakeres would be where I would do a lot of my K2 training, however, don't neglect the flat stuff too much. I made that mistake last year and got slayed on pretty much all the flat portions of the course (but made up for it on the hills!) K2 isn’t all up and down the way the Waitakeres are. There is quite a lot of flat and undulating parts.

It was my first time doing K2 last year, I basically started my training around late July and just gradually built up the kms week after week so that by the end of my training period I was doing around 180 or so of fairly hilly rides every weekend. That worked OK. This year will be focusing on introducing more regular intervals and sprints to help with my weak and pathetic efforts at keeping up on the flat!

I don't know if this post is of any help at all; it's more a personal elucidation than advice!
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Re: Anyone Doing K2? Prep Tips Etc Needed.

Postby znomit on Sun 28/Jun/09 2:15pm

Yeah do it.

if for no other reason than it will make taupo seem like a breeze.

Funny how hills that are no problem on fresh legs become monsters when you have done 150km already.
27 is probably a good idea.
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Re: Anyone Doing K2? Prep Tips Etc Needed.

Postby Fergie on Sun 28/Jun/09 2:53pm

Need endurance for 5-6hrs and the power to get up some pretty hard climbs.
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Re: Anyone Doing K2? Prep Tips Etc Needed.

Postby johnL on Sun 28/Jun/09 4:25pm

need endurance + nutrition + hydration.
Nutrition 50-70g CHO per hour
Hydration at least 1 L per hour
and learn to follow wheels.
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Re: Anyone Doing K2? Prep Tips Etc Needed.

Postby Spokes on Sun 28/Jun/09 7:30pm

Ride up a hill, then down it.

Repeat for 200ks.
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Re: Anyone Doing K2? Prep Tips Etc Needed.

Postby Claude on Sun 28/Jun/09 8:46pm

I did it last year, was my first race over 100km, but I'd done a good few training rides over that. Anyway, for K2 I got by on 3 (I think) 160k rides, but heaps of hills included. I think it's 2300m of vertical climb on K2, so aim to get up round the 2000m over that 160km.

Nutrition wise, I didn't drink enough (I never learn!) and got cramps about 120km & dropped off my bunch. Then a puncture later, & would have been under 6hrs otherwise. A few bars never go astray, but it's kind of hard getting them down you when riding in a bunch which surges a lot and you've got to keep your wits about you to avoid the wheels around you.

Go for it - a good "re-hydration" do afterwards too.
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Re: Anyone Doing K2? Prep Tips Etc Needed.

Postby FLATULENTFRIEND on Sun 28/Jun/09 9:12pm

:thumbsup: This is all good information.
I guess my next move is booking the motel and the race entry...
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Re: Anyone Doing K2? Prep Tips Etc Needed.

Postby Muzza on Mon 29/Jun/09 9:33am

I've decided to ride K2 for the first time this year and the comments made have been good reading.

Question, How did you manage getting the additional fluid. Did you just relying on drink stations for new bottles/to refill bottles or did you use some other method?

If anyone has ridden K2 and logged the ride on garmin gps unit, it would be much appreciated if you would be happy to supply me with history or course file of ride.

Thanks
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Re: Anyone Doing K2? Prep Tips Etc Needed.

Postby psyclist on Mon 29/Jun/09 11:19am

As far as fluids go, I started K2 last year with two bottles and picked up leppin and water drink bottles along the way from the helpers. I think I drank too much prior to the race cause I needed a piss after about two hours, but I didn't want to lose the bunch I was in. I was able to take a leak when we got held up by the crash. It is a very well organised event, and I am going back for another attempt this year.
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Re: Anyone Doing K2? Prep Tips Etc Needed.

Postby Claude on Mon 29/Jun/09 8:57pm

Nah Muzza, ya don't want to be like a water tanker on that ride - ever litre is another kilo to push up the hills. Start with two bottles on the bike, the bottle swap stations are well set up and as they're near the top of hills generally it's no hassle to drop an empty and get a full one. Just remember to start with older bottles if you have favourites you'd rather keep long term. The briefings that come out before the race were pretty clear and set out all the options well.

If you're looking for a picture of the hills check out the ARC website, it had a good profile.

That question re the gearing too - it's all up to you and how well you can push up hill. Most of the hills were not too bad and the standard 25 I had was ok. The big hill between Whitianga & Coromandel (Karatau? - or something like that) was a fair old climb though. Not sure where you guys are from but it would equal The B'stard down here in CHCH for gradient. There were a few other short but sharp climbs (esp between Whitianga & Coromandel also). They all just add up to sap the legs.
Prepare to go into the hurt zone - all good fun though! :crazy:
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Re: Anyone Doing K2? Prep Tips Etc Needed.

Postby Muzza on Tue 30/Jun/09 6:45pm

Good to hear I can rely on the water stations and thanks for the information on the hills. I live in Wellington but have ridden the B'ast so have a good idea of hill gradient. Good to hear my 12-25 will be the perfect choice :)

The K2 website is great and details to course well. The reason I would like Garmin data, is I am thinking of making up a route or course with hills and drink stations marked. I can get maps and elevation but cannot find a simple, non time consuming way of getting map reference (i.e. long/lat) of summits or generating a course with altitude. Having the Garmin data will make it simpler, as gamin software is more useful friendly with garmin generated data. I have found a number of tools to help do this, but I have not found a method that works without lots of shagging around.

I asked this earlier without reply, so wondering if anyone has a recommendation on a clean, cheap and cheerful place to stay Whitianga.

Thanks
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Re: Anyone Doing K2? Prep Tips Etc Needed.

Postby Claude on Sat 25/Jul/09 9:02pm

I got the following e-mail from the K2 organisers, thought it might be of interest. A good comparison for some of us against what the TdF guys are riding.

How do the Coromandel Hills compare to the Tour de France ?

We often get asked how the hills on the RoadCraft K2 compare to the Tour de France. Well this year’s pen ultimate stage gives a good comparison.

The climb up Mont Ventoux has become legendary as the scene of one of the most gruelling climbs in the Tour de France. Tomorrow marks the fourteenth time that the climb has been used in the Tour. The mountain achieved world wide notoriety when it claimed the life of British cyclist Tom Simpson within ½ mile of the summit. In 1970 Eddy Merckx rode himself to the brink of collapse while winning the stage. He received oxygen, recovered and won the Tour.

The 20th stage is going to be a fascinating contest between the world’s greatest riders with more than the yellow jersey at stake.

So how do the statistics stack up with the RoadCraft K2 ?

The final climb from Bedoin to the summit of Mont Ventoux covers a distance of 21.8km and climbs a total of 1,617m, an average gradient of 7.42%. The last 16km of the climb averages 8.9%. This is the equivalent of climbing the Whangapoau Hill 5 times!

Interestingly however the Coromandel Hills have some steeper gradients than one of the Tours toughest climbs.

Climb 1 – Kouatunu Average Gradient 6.1% - distance – 2.0km, climb 123 m

Climb 2 - Myundermans Average Gradient 10.6% - distance 0.9km, climb 91m

Climb 3 – Whangapoua Average Gradient 9.0% - distance 3.5km, climb 315m

Climb 4 – Manaia Average Gradient 6.5%, distance 2.1km, climb 137m

Climb 5 – Kereta Average Gradient 7.6%, distance 2.83km, climb 214m

Climb 6 – Kopu- Hikuai Average Gradient 3.6%, distance 11.5km, climb 414m

The final 3km of the Kopu Hikua has an average gradient of 6.4%.

Climb 7 – Pumpkin – Average Gradient 5.7%, distance 3.7km, climb 208m


The total of these 7 climbs is as follows (using the last 3km of the Kopu-Hikuai)

Average Gradient - 7.5%
Distance – 23.3km
Climb – 1,757

So you can see why the RoadCraft K2 is such a tough race, the sum of the seven hills, is longer, steeper and higher than the Tours toughest climb.


:o :o
Last years race that Myundermans was a bit further into the ride but it started to break up the bunch I was in and then Whangapoua really did the damage.
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Re: Anyone Doing K2? Prep Tips Etc Needed.

Postby Muzza on Sat 25/Jul/09 10:05pm

Claude wrote:
So you can see why the RoadCraft K2 is such a tough race, the sum of the seven hills, is longer, steeper and higher than the Tours toughest climb


Thankfully there are gaps between climbs in K2, unlike Mont Ventoux.

I've always wondered what a Tour stag would be like to ride, come October I'll know. I've now entered and heading up with 3 others, of which 3 of us first timers. Tonight it's off to study mountain riding, before another ride in the Welly hills tomorrow. :)
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Re: Anyone Doing K2? Prep Tips Etc Needed.

Postby thekiwi on Sun 26/Jul/09 8:46am

I normally race with a 23 for hills, but used a 27 for K2. It saved my legs nicely and was still feeling OK for the sprint at the end, all I put down to being able to spin the hills a little more comfortably. Jeremy Yates also had a 27 on.

Use the bottle stations and hydration wont be a problem. I swapped out a bottle at halfway and was all the extra I needed. Other than that it was energy bars, perpetuem and a few gels.

Longest ride over the winter was two of 200+km, but the rest were fairly high intensity of up to 2 hrs. The bunches are of a good size so that makes it a little easier on the body as well. Someone has mentioned to not forget the flat stages. From Coromandel through to Thames, for example, we managed to break free of some chasers so you need to be able to handle some high speed stages if you want to stay in the groups that form once over the hills.
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