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When it comes to ultra-endurance races like LOTOJA, energy and strength are very important factors. We need energy and strength to pedal our way to the finish. And 206 miles is no easy task. Some may be traveling quicker than others, but the need for energy still remains. Over the years I've seen and major energy wasters that can really make your event miserable.
Here's the Top 3 LOTOJA Energy Wasters Top 3 Energy Wasters
1. Lack of cool weather clothing: It's interesting to see a number of riders sporting just shorts and jersey as they roll off the start. Given, some may not have the luxury of dropping off clothing at the first Feed Zone (in Preston) so they decide to go without. However, think of all the energy your body needs to give in order to heat up your body as you freeze during the first hour or two of LOTOJA. Be wise, wear proper clothing to keep warm during the first couple of hours.
2. Not Drafting: This one is HUGE. I see it every year. Countless riders riding 20 to 50 feet apart and not partaking of the free energy savings that drafting offers. Drafting offers about 30% energy savings. Over the course of 206 miles, that's a significant amount of energy and strength saved. Drafting is a skill, and it takes some trust being tucked 6-18 inches behind a wheel. The energy savings is worth it.
3. Gear Mashing: Mashing a gear takes a ton of strength out of our legs and can be a little taxing on your knees. I recommend maintaining a cadence of 80-100 RPMs. A higher cadence will allow your heart to do much of the work and not your leg muscles. Over the long haul, you will have preserved energy and strength.