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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 09-09-12, 10:46 PM   #1
Mithrandir
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Time off the bike affected endurance?

Last year I had completed 57 weeks in a row of very steady cardio, ultimately culminating in my two proudest bike rides, both imperial centuries.

This year I had worse luck, spending 13 weeks off the bike (with no extra cardio). 6 weeks were due to laziness in winter, 3 were due to a knee injury in April, and 4 were due to being hit by a car in July/August. I'm now back on the bike beginning my 5th week in a row tomorrow, but my endurance is gone. Last year this weekend I did my first 100 mile ride, having done a few metrics before it. This year, anything over 40 miles puts me in a weird place. I start feeling bad, my body starts swelling, my muscles lose power. I just feel utterly exhausted. Even this mornings 35 mile ride had me feeling like death the last few miles.

My theory is that the 57 weeks of solid cardio last year had built up a nice base, something which I am lacking this year due to almost 3 whole months with no cardio for the year so far. Is this expected? There's a metric century in 2 weeks that I really want to try, but at this point I'm having some serious reservations about it.


I should note that my speed is at an all-time high. Last year I was lucky to average 12mph for an entire month, this year I'm on track to hit 2 months in a row at 15.0mph. It's only my endurance that seems lacking.
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Old 09-09-12, 11:09 PM   #2
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I'd rather have the speed than the endurance - it seems like it's easier to regain endurance.

I notice a drop after 2 weeks off the bike so what you're experiencing is probably normal.
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Old 09-09-12, 11:11 PM   #3
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If your plan is to get to 65miles in 2 weeks, you should be making plans for a 50mile next weekend. Crash course yes for most but looking at your strava I think your should be fine for doubling up your normal rides. Also another note, your butt might not be used to that saddle time. I hope you have some good bibs, if not I'd recommend getting some Castelli or Capos.
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Old 09-10-12, 01:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
. Even this mornings 35 mile ride had me feeling like death the last few miles.

There's a metric century in 2 weeks that I really want to try, but at this point I'm having some serious reservations about it.

I should note that my speed is at an all-time high. Last year I was lucky to average 12mph for an entire month, this year I'm on track to hit 2 months in a row at 15.0mph. It's only my endurance that seems lacking.
Backing off the speed lets me go much further with no stress. I would try a training ride of 50 miles or so, but hold the pace down to about 13mph. If you can do that and feel good at the end, then you can probably get the full century at the same pace. If you don't have the saddle time, you might want to use some saddle cream, too.
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Old 09-10-12, 09:03 PM   #5
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Am I the only one to think that you're possibly overtraining? Perhaps you're pushing yourself way too hard, way too soon.
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Old 09-11-12, 09:42 AM   #6
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your experience has me worried I have a century scheduled in two weeks. I got the flu and been off my bike for a week, and pretty much laid up on the couch. Im still not 100% and probably wont get a ride in until Friday which will be almost two weeks off the bike.
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Old 09-11-12, 03:13 PM   #7
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Like others, I find a noticeable performance drop after 2 weeks. I spent about 3 months off the bike a couple years ago and I've never bothered building my endurance back up to my former 300 and 400k levels; but after those 12 weeks off, I started back out with only doing 15 minutes of any consistent activity. It took another couple months to build back up to an hour.
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Old 09-12-12, 07:10 PM   #8
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In my opinion, a 15mph average pace is a pretty swift pace to average on a regular basis, but as mentioned earlier, I bet you could get back into the the longer rides sooner if you just slow your average speed down to say the 13mph average range. that way it would not be as draining. For myself it depends on the day & the area that I'm riding as to what my average speed is probably going to end up at because if I'm riding in an area where there is a fair share of stopping & starting due to traffic or general road crossings, I'm usually going to end up with an average in the 13's range as the stopping & starting always seems to ruin me. If it's a more open area low traffic, non busy crossings where i don't have to slow or stop as often it seems easier for me to end up closer to the 15mph range. But for example, if i'm planning on doing a century ride as i plan to this weekend, I will keep my speed in check so as not to burn myself out. Could i average 15mph for that distance? Maybe, but I would probably pay for it for the next couple days
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