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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 08-20-12, 08:21 PM   #1
szewczykm
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Goals too lofty?

This months riding goals have been abysmal. Funny how a couple of months make a big difference. I'm not far from mashing my June goal, but well short of my August goal.

Anyway, my stamina and speed have really increased. Tonight I really attacked the hills. I can ride for hours now at much higher speeds Thani used to.

I've found that I haven't ridden on days that I should have because my goals were too lofty. I've improved too much if that makes sense.

Should I ride today? Nope, I don't have time for 40 miles, I only really have time for 15 which isn't a challenge anymore, so I don't go. I wonder if people will understand that reasoning. But there have been some ill effects and some odd productive effects. The delays between ride mean I feel stronger on those rides. I know about recovery time, but I've been giving myself a little too much.

Anyway I've decided that distance alone shouldn't be the goal anymore. Speed should be a big factor if I Don't have time for distance and I still want to push myself.

It might be a duh moment, but it rally didn't occur to me. If I only have an hour, just push extra hard for that hour. Or, god forbid, just go for a ride...
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Old 08-20-12, 08:55 PM   #2
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Yeah, if time is a factor aim for going as far as you can in that amount of time by going faster.
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Old 08-20-12, 10:35 PM   #3
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when the weather is good, few of us will do a lunch ride. Short, intense and sweet. Good 10 min warm up then throttle it up and kill it until we get back.

If you still feel you don't get a work out in an hour on the road, I'd highly suggest getting a MTB. MTB is more like unpredictable intervals to clean short steep step u/hills. You will gain power climbing, but if too much can lose top end on the road. They go hand in hand if you know how to mix them and maximize your time pedaling.
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Old 08-20-12, 10:58 PM   #4
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I don't track miles per day per se, but do track miles per month, and those add up whether you ride 12 miles or 750. I use bikejournal.com for that purpose.
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Old 08-20-12, 11:19 PM   #5
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Well, as Robert Browning said, a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?
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Old 08-20-12, 11:55 PM   #6
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An hour is more than enough for an absolutely killer workout. If you're not adverse to really hard efforts and can find a godd 500-700 meter stretch of uninterrupted pavement, try:

15:00-20:00 warm up
0:30 at 8/10
2:00 recovery 3/10
0:30 at 9/10
2:00 recovery 3/10
Now the Workout begins (In a gear appropriate to the sprints below and in the big ring)
0:30 or the length of your straight unbroken stretch at 10/10
Turn, drop to small ring and recover on return leg approximately 1:30 at 3/10

Repeat

You'll be lucky to get in 5 or 6 repititions the first go. Try to work up to 10.

Then cooldown on the way home and stretch.

Have fun:-)
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Old 08-21-12, 01:35 AM   #7
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OP, if your aim is to get fit, distance is a poor goal anyway. Focus on time on the bike and intensity, and count up your time over a week rather than a single day. When you have time for a long ride, do it at a pace you can sustain - not idling, but steady. When you only have an hour, hit it fairly hard - sometimes intervals, as Fred suggests, other times time-trial efforts going as fast as you can for the hour. Spread the more intense efforts through the week. One of each is probably enough, at least to start with.
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Old 08-21-12, 05:45 AM   #8
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Maybe figure out why you don't have time? I get up at 4:30 to ride so that I can ride (almost) every day. I find that by doing that 17 mile route every day, a 60 mile ride when I have time is easily obtainable and enjoyable.

If you don't like getting up, what about late night rides? I don't know about you, but I spend plenty of time watching TV or messing around on the computer that if I don't do that I have enough time to ride.
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Old 08-21-12, 06:12 AM   #9
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Goals too lofty..... Maybe it's what I call the August Slump. I now call July my Big Month. Last year, I made great gains in distance in July. In August I had the expectation of exceeding that total only to find myself dreading the ride and feeling guilt. This year, I again set a new personal best in mileage in July but I expected August to be a recovery month. No guilt this time and my miles haven't dropped off as much as last year. In fact they'll be close to last year's July total. I think what you feel is normal, if you can call any of us normal.
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Old 08-21-12, 06:56 AM   #10
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if you have less time, then ride those short miles more intensly
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Old 08-21-12, 09:49 AM   #11
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I understand. At a new job, and now I have to relearn my commuting routine. And traffic around here sucks. And less daylight in the AM. And terrible heat wave this past week. And I just came off a really big week and my fitness is best (probably) ever. It's all a conspiracy I tell ya.
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Old 08-21-12, 01:10 PM   #12
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This is one reason people shouldn't make 'goals.' I can sit down on Jan 1 and make some resolutions, and, if I have time, I can detail what I think I should be doing every week for the next year ... without knowing what else will come up, how my tastes will change, or what other opportunities will open up to me. But it wouldn't make sense to.

Instead of something arbitrary like riding X miles, I think it makes more sense to set for yourself goals like being a stronger rider, spending more time outdoors, etc. Then chase them down in whatever ways make sense given your time, your changing abilities, and things you learn along the way.
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Old 08-21-12, 02:51 PM   #13
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Should I ride today? Nope, I don't have time for 40 miles, I only really have time for 15 which isn't a challenge anymore, so I don't go.
15 miles can be plenty challenging provided that you're willing to ride hard enough and aren't in an area that's too urban to give you stretches with 4-8 miles between red lights.

I'm pretty fond of 3x10 minute intervals a bit past my lactate threshold with 5 minutes between which can fit into 15 miles (painful) and 2x20 at or a bit below which is a 20 mile ride (merely uncomfortable).

That will significantly increase your lactate threshold, how fast you go when working that hard, and how fast you go at easier paces.

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It might be a duh moment, but it rally didn't occur to me. If I only have an hour, just push extra hard for that hour. Or, god forbid, just go for a ride...
That's great as long as you keep your hard days infrequent enough and easy days light enough that you can still ride hard when you should.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 08-21-12 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 08-21-12, 03:18 PM   #14
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Maybe figure out why you don't have time? I get up at 4:30 to ride so that I can ride (almost) every day. I find that by doing that 17 mile route every day, a 60 mile ride when I have time is easily obtainable and enjoyable.
+1 but I ride about 90 miles in the weekend by getting up at 4am. I can ride for an hour or so every weekday morning and 6-8 hours on Sunday. If time is really pressed then 10 miles is better than no miles.
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Old 08-22-12, 10:48 AM   #15
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like many have said 1 hour ride can be more taxing than the long 40-50 mile rides.

When I first started to ride I only had an hour saturday and sunday to ride. Now during the week I only get one hour on tuesday and one on thursday and 2 on saturday and sunday.

The 1 hour weekday ride i do a interval workout, and i swear that kills me more than my last 50 mile ride. I will also do a 1 hour tempo ride and try to add in one sprint towards the end, but am so spent that I can barely sprint.

Those 1 hour tempo and intervals have helped me get stronger faster. I just recorded my fastest 40 miler last weekend.

Honestly I have grown to like the 1 hour rides better and feel like I work harder knowing its only a 1 hour than on longer rides where I hold back to conserve and not blow up to early.
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