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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 08-09-07, 08:19 AM   #1
fuzzymemory
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Training - 25 mile event is coming up in a month!

I'm getting back into shape and have started to bike again.
I saw an upcoming event, Pedaling for Pennies on Sept 15, 2007, sponsored by the Concord, NH Hospital, and decided this would be the right way to motivate myself. They have 3 rides that one can sign up for: a 5k "Family" ride, a 25 mile ride and a 50 mile ride. I've set a goal for myself to do the 25 mile ride.

I'm looking for a good training program that will help me build up the endurance needed to ride in a month for 25 miles on my bike. I'm currently out of shape, after sitting on my butt during the past 3 years of grad school, and I get winded and tire easily if I try to pedal too fast or climb hills. Currently I can bike on flat terrain for about 45 minutes to an hour - I'm guessing about 8-10 miles or so, but I've never really measured it.

My road bike is a Trek Multitrack 7200 Hybrid (I think 2000 or 2001 - it was the first year with an Aluminum frame and front forks). Bike has grip shifters (never thrilled with them) and a 700 road tire that has minimal tread and is 38mm wide.

Can someone point me to a good program for increasing my endurance. Should I be biking every day? Every other day? Once or twice a day on training days? Doing other training programs during this time (like ab work, weights or other cardio?)
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Old 08-09-07, 08:34 AM   #2
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OK, a 25 mile ride is pretty easy to train for.

How do you feel at the end of that 8-10 miles? The reason I ask is because if you can do that and not be spent, you can likely do the 25 already. Most people have no idea that they are as capable as they are because they are their own worst critics.

Training for the ride would be appropriate though, so here goes:
  1. Get a bike computer to track your miles and speed. They can be had as cheap as >$20.
  2. Set increasing mileage goals, sensibly. If you can ride 10 miles, work to 15 next week, then 20, then the 25.
  3. try to select the appropriate gear for the terrain. Your pedaling cadence is critical, 70-90 RPM at the crank is our power and endurance band and are easier on the knees.
  4. Learn how to manage your hydration: If you wait til you are thirsty, you're already getting dehydrated. Sip every few minutes
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Old 08-09-07, 11:09 AM   #3
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Your 25 miler is my 50 miler (is somebody else's century) and so on.
The basis of the training is the same. If you can do your 8-10 miles and not be worn out for the next 2 days, then you're already there for your 25 miler. The key elements to remember are hydrate, and pace yourself. Don't get caught up early with a group that's going beyond your comfortable pace. You might feel good for the first 12 miles, but that second half of the ride won't be so much fun.
As with any distance ride, keep hydrated. Sip your water (or if you're like me and you sweat a lot, keep a bottle of electrolyte replacement, and a bottle of water) every 10 minutes or so. Don't let yourself get thirsty, or else it's too late and you're already past the point when you should have started drinking. Snacks like Clif Bars, bananas, etc. are also nice to have. When I do 25-40 miles on the weekends, I like to eat something small about every 12-15 miles.

To train up to the 25 mile distance, each week do a little bit more time on the bike. You're at 45-60 minutes now. Next week, aim for another 10-15 minutes for your longest ride. Another 10-15 minutes the next week. In the Long Distance forum, I've seen the general rule that you're ready for your ride distance when you can do 60-70% of it during your training. At 10mph you'll be looking at about 2.5 hours in the saddle for 25 miles, so you want to build up to about 90-100 minutes for your training to make the ride pretty easy.

Most importantly, have fun with it! If you're training alone, and you get into your 25 miler with a group of people and start talking, you'll be done with the ride before you even know it. I had taken a while off from cycling before getting back into it about 18 months ago. When I started back out, 15 miles was really pushing it. After a couple months, I was doing 25 on the weekend and biking to work (15 r/t) 2 days a week. Now I'm doing 4 days a week to work, and aiming to do a metric century before the year is up.
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Old 08-09-07, 11:10 AM   #4
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Thanks for the advice. I recently purchased a cyclometer and plan on getting a Hydro backpack such as a camelbak. Do you think I should try to bike every day, or would I be better served with a day of rest between training days? I like your +5 miles a week plan. I have a heavy travel schedule this summer, but I'm trying to fit cycling in and this event seems like a good motivator.
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Old 08-09-07, 11:15 AM   #5
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If you're comfortable riding every day, then go for it. It doesn't always have to be a long ride. There are days when I just do my 15 miles to/from work, and some days when I take the long way home and do an extra 5 miles.
Rest days are for when you need them. If you're feeling achy, take a day off and recover. Maybe starting out, only ride 3 days a week. Then do 4 the next week, and so on.
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Old 08-09-07, 11:26 AM   #6
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Do some reading on 5K, 10k, half marathon and marathon training. Very few actually have you cover the goal distance during the training. Rather, they have you build a solid base. I subscribe to this when thinking of my biking.

First, figure out how far you can go now and in what time. Trace your route on Google Earth or RouteSlip just so you know where you're starting from in terms of distance. The key for me is distance and frequency. Whatever you ride now, you need to be doing that at least 4 days a week if you're not already.

Let's say you're covering 10 miles on your current ride. If you're not riding at least 4 days a week, try to get up to that if time allows. Do that for a week. The week after that, add 2-3 miles and stay at that distance for a another week. Keep adding a few miles a week, which should put you at the 18-20 mile mark before your 25 miler. If you can pull off the 18 - 20 mile ride, 25 should be a walk in the park.

As an example, my current "training" ride is 20 miles, which I can do in about 70-75 minutes with traffic. I do this ride 4-6 times a week. With that base, I'm 100% confident that I can go ride a metric century (62 miles) whenever I like. That 3x my typical ride distance. Now, if I was riding a true century (100 miles), I'd be sure that I'd ride at least 2 metric centuries in the few weeks before the big ride, on top of my 20 mile training ride. But, that's me.

As you build your base and add miles, listen to what your body is telling you. Do you need to take water? How much? On the longer rides, does a small snack help? Do you ride better in the morning or afternoon? Are you tight the day after a ride? Stretch. Does your training ride 'empty your tank?' What is the best way for you to re-fill it.
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Old 08-09-07, 11:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
[LIST=1][*]Get a bike computer to track your miles and speed. They can be had as cheap as >$20.[*]try to select the appropriate gear for the terrain. Your pedaling cadence is critical, 70-90 RPM at the crank is our power and endurance band and are easier on the knees.
Kill two birds with one stone and spend $40 on computer with cadence. I found a big jump in mileage once I had a computer showing me my cadence. Soon after getting the cycloputer I increases my cadence because I could watch my rpm, this in turn greatly increased my distance. Before the computer I was lugging at a slower cadence and burned out my legs much sooner.
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Old 08-09-07, 01:42 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Caincando1 View Post
Kill two birds with one stone and spend $40 on computer with cadence. I found a big jump in mileage once I had a computer showing me my cadence. Soon after getting the cycloputer I increases my cadence because I could watch my rpm, this in turn greatly increased my distance. Before the computer I was lugging at a slower cadence and burned out my legs much sooner.

Excellent advice!
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Old 08-10-07, 09:04 PM   #9
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Doh! Before reading your advice, I purchased AND INSTALLED a cyclometer that does not have cadence. I found it very useful to know exactly how fast I was going and to have the computer track my distance and time. I'll see if I can switch it out for one with cadence and maybe I'll transfer this one to my mountain bike (which I use almost exclusively off road and for very different things than my hybrid).
Any suggested models? I'm using a Topeak Comp 130 now.
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Old 08-10-07, 09:24 PM   #10
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Cadence is easy to count. Count your pedal strokes for 6 seconds and multiply by 10. I use the clock on my cheapo ($14) speedo to calculate it.
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Old 08-10-07, 09:28 PM   #11
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Someone posted, in this forum or another, that most techno/house music is about the right BPM... if so, just pedal to the music in your head (or on your ipod, if you ride with one).
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Old 08-10-07, 09:30 PM   #12
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Cadence is easy to count. Count your pedal strokes for 6 seconds and multiply by 10. I use the clock on my cheapo ($14) speedo to calculate it.
or a quick check, count "1- one thousand" and if you are doing 1 1/2 turns of the crank in that count, you're turning a 90 cadence
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Old 08-10-07, 09:40 PM   #13
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or a quick check, count "1- one thousand" and if you are doing 1 1/2 turns of the crank in that count, you're turning a 90 cadence
Great idea. Why didn't I think of that?

After I learned to keep cadence, I very rarely check it anymore. It's kind of like "Get on Bike; make feet go around" But at 110, I'm a fast peddler. Don't know if thats good or bad; But, its what I learned and how i ride; Always shifting.
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