Join Date: Mar 2013
Bikes: Giant Defy Composite
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Re: the fingers- my right hand was better in 24 hrs, my left is finally coming around. I usually get some tingling on my 40+ rides but I can shake it off and it usually goes away instantly. I think this was just a much longer time frame (6.5 hrs on the first day). I paid more attention to my hand position the second day and things were better but I think the damage was already done. I'm taking a break from the bike for a bit- but things are definitely getting better.
Re: training- I didn't really use a formal plan. My work schedule is very random- some days I work early in the morning, some days I work overnight, some days I work in the evenings. I basically just rode as much as I could whenever I could. At most it was 3 days a week. But I did specifically sign up for some longer group rides (the 80 and 60 mile rides). What helped me the most was getting a trainer though the winter. Like most of us here- I'm not built for hills. Gravity is just not my friend. As a former offensive lineman my first instinct was to hammer up the hills in big gears- which worked, but then I was gassed after a handful of good climbs. I started watching the guys who were dropping me, and reading more, and learned to spin my way up the hills. It's slower, but once I got my cardiovascular endurance up, I could spin up a hill and keep going.
So I bought a trainer for the bad weather days, and focused on maintaining a 90RPM cadence for longer and longer intervals. For me, I can recover easier from spinning up a hill as opposed to hammering up a hill. It hurts the pride a bit when the group has to wait for me on hills- but at least I can keep moving after the hill.
With the wind, and increased climbs, my avg RPM day one was 79, which is high for me, but I was able to do it and finish. Day two was a more typical 72 RPM day for me.