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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 04-16-12, 09:54 AM   #1
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One Way To Increase Miles When You Are Getting Started

As I get into Spring and getting my miles back up (25 miles max) I sometimes jolt myself into getting out of my comfort zone. To date I had only done a tad over 10 miles and wanted to get to doing 20 miles (and then 25) fairly soon to handle my commute to work. To do this I merely rode 10 miles away from my house which made me ride 10 miles back. As it was a cold and windy day the first 10 miles was a bit more painful than my normal 10 miles. The second 10 miles (wind now at my back) certainly hurt but my mindset was "Well I have to get home so I might as well keep going.". At times I went slower and twice on a hill I stopped to recover but in the end I made it. My legs were wiped out the rest of the day but on Sunday I felt great.

What made this work was that by going out and making myself get back I didn't allow my mind to limit me. As I mentioned above at the 10 mile mark I was ready to stop.... but couldn't. On a normal day I would have stopped at 10.

Going forward as I get more used to the 20 miles I'm not going to ride out 20 and come back 20 to get to 40. However I will certainly increase my miles by forcing myself away from an easy out. My "out" on all this was if I had physically reached my limit I could have called my wife for a shameful pickup but I would have to have been bad off to do that.

So.... the point is that sometimes you can overcome some of your mental limitations by putting yourself into a situation that makes it harder to quit. It's not dangerous like swimming out into the ocean and hoping you can get back, it's more that you can manage your mental hurdles and keep going. Doing one more painful lap when you are going right by your house is sometimes difficult but getting back to your house in the first place is doable.
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Old 04-16-12, 11:08 AM   #2
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Yeah, I tend to do that to myself too, and sometimes that results in biting off more than I can chew. Oh well, a little walking never hurt anybody.

Another trick is to do the easy leg first - I've never quit in the middle of a downhill leg, but if you do the uphill first, um, you might cut it short.
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Old 04-16-12, 11:32 AM   #3
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Here's something I found works well for me: Turn the cyclocomputer facing downward so you have no idea how many miles you have gone.

It's all mental, and when your brain is telling you 10 miles is enough, you will stop when those numbers hit 10, even if you can go further.
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Old 04-16-12, 11:36 AM   #4
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Last year I always rode into the wind to begin a ride. This year I'm doing a lot of with the wind beginnings. Like Wonder says "Well I have to get home so I might as well keep going."
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Old 04-16-12, 11:52 AM   #5
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Yesterday I did something pretty similar. I drove out to Cle Elum to explore the Teanaway watershed. I didn't really know much about the area, stuff like where to park, so I played it by ear. I remember thinking "I should turn around soon" about a hundred times... But I was in a place I'd never seen before, and ignored this advice from myself. I wound up riding to the end of the pavement, and then it was a loooooong slog back. I couldn't have been any happier, though. And the scenery was just as fantastic a mile before the road ends as it was when things go to dirt, but it was an accomplishment.

And so was your setting of a new personal record.

Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
Another trick is to do the easy leg first - I've never quit in the middle of a downhill leg, but if you do the uphill first, um, you might cut it short.
This is exactly the opposite of what I do. It's good advice in keeping with this thread ... but it's dangerous (in the you could wind up bonking way, not in the you'll be hit by a car sense) and I do whatever I can to avoid it.
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