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Old 06-28-07, 10:38 AM   #1
Yen
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Mileage for daily rides to build strength

I'm planning to ride in the evenings after work as soon as it cools down a bit (it's almost 100 here during the day) so I can get more riding time during the week between our longer weekend rides, and also to give my sit bones more time to adjust in the saddle. We live close to busy streets with fast-moving cars; we don't live close to long open country roads. So, last night I rode 5+ miles for 30 minutes around the quiet streets in our neighborhood, avoiding the busy streets. We live in the foothills so I don't have to go far to find a street with inclines, and my legs did get a work-out. On the weekends we take longer rides - last weekend we rode 24 (Friday) and 16 (Sunday). When we returned, I wanted to go further, so I think my endurance is pretty good (I also walk a lot including stairs, hills, and treadmill intervals). I just need more regular time in the saddle to condition my legs and help my sit bones adjust for the longer rides.

One of the streets in our neighborhood is steeper than the others and I'm planning to use that one for some training. Using someone else's suggestion here, I plan to ride up as far as I can, then turn onto a flat side street and return to the bottom of the hill to start over, eventually reaching the top with ease. I have no idea what the grade is.... 30%?

I can go further, and one of the busy streets is all uphill for a mile, then it turns right for an even steeper grade. Reaching the top of that with ease is one of my near-term goals.

Given my lack of daily time (I work full-time and my commute to/from work eats up 2 additional hours), how many miles and/or time, at a minimum, should I strive for on these shorter daily rides to help build measurable strength and improve my comfort on the weekend rides? I know 5 miles is almost nothing at all to many of you, but I could be sitting on the couch watching TV instead . I don't necessarily plan to keep it at 5 miles..... I'm just wondering if a 5-mile jaunt on most nights of the week is sufficient at this time, and how long I should continue that before adding a few more miles each night. Maybe I should Google century-training charts... does anyone know of a long-term training program?

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Old 06-28-07, 11:03 AM   #2
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Also... I have a plan to measure my progress:

Go up the long busy street in the lowest comfortable gear as comfortably fast as I can, and gradually increase the gear as I get stronger, and measure my time at least once a week (depending on how often I can get out and ride). This will give me something to aim for and motivation to go out. I am not competitive with others, but I am with myself.
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Old 06-28-07, 11:15 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yen
Also... I have a plan to measure my progress:

Go up the long busy street in the lowest comfortable gear as comfortably fast as I can, and gradually increase the gear as I get stronger, and measure my time at least once a week (depending on how often I can get out and ride). This will give me something to aim for and motivation to go out. I am not competitive with others, but I am with myself.
I think the best way to measure improvement is against ourselves and not others

There are several century training programs available - here's just one
http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/c...a/aa052703.htm

I personally would try for at least an hour for the rides during the week. I work 4x10 days with a long commute also. It's tough getting the extra time for riding during the week but I usually try for 1 to 1.5 hours on Monday and Tuesday. I save the longer or harder rides for the weekends.
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Old 06-28-07, 11:34 AM   #4
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Getting out on the bike for some shorter rides is a good idea- but even these may take it out of you if you stress yourself too much.

When I started riding- And some of us used to be in the same condition as you think you are in now- I did a long ride at the weekends and only two rides in the week. One I used to do at speed but in your case- I would just suggest a ride that you have to put effort in. Does not have to be long- 5 miles at a faster pace than you usually do will get the muscles aching the next day again so Keep it short and relatively fast. The other ride I took it steady but took in some hills.

If you keep yourself to 2 or 3 rides in the evenings- But make them count- Then a short milage like 5 miles- will shortly become 8, then 10, then----


By the way 5+miles on 30 minutes is over 10mph so for someone that has only just taken up sitting on a saddle- You are not doing too bad.

Keep it up But don't go over the top for your current fitness.
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Old 06-28-07, 11:48 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Yen
... I have no idea what the grade is.... 30%?

...
There are some exceptions, but the maximum grade permitted here is 12%.
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Old 06-28-07, 12:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yen
One of the streets in our neighborhood is steeper than the others and I'm planning to use that one for some training. Using someone else's suggestion here, I plan to ride up as far as I can, then turn onto a flat side street and return to the bottom of the hill to start over, eventually reaching the top with ease. I have no idea what the grade is.... 30%?
Jen
If you get to where you can climb a 30% grade with ease, I'll be asking you for tips.

The steepest hill I've ridden was a 1/3 mile section on Brasstown Bald called The Wall that was 25%. I had to stop twice and catch my breath and that was with a 30 ring and a 34 cog.
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Old 06-28-07, 12:29 PM   #7
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Yen,

Your working/commuting hours are about the same as mine, 9hr days with a 3.0 hr round trip commute. I try to ride at least 3 nights a week preferably 4. My nightly rides are 10-12 miles which take about an hour. This seems to work pretty good for me. Any longer and I don't have time for dinner, any shorter does not seem like enough.

As far as progress, I don't use any sophisticated system, I just notice taht all of a sudden this or that hill became easier, or I went up it faster.
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Old 06-28-07, 12:50 PM   #8
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I start work at 7:00a so that I can get out by 4:30. I am lucky that my commute is only 30-45min. I can usually get on the bike by 5:30p and I finish my 20mi ride by 6:30p - 6:35p. I manage to do this 4 days a week. I ride the same course so it can get somewhat boring but I am pretty religious about getting out.
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Old 06-28-07, 03:11 PM   #9
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You spend two hours each day sittin' on your ass in traffic?

No offense, but that sounds like Hell. With that much time wasted every day, it becomes very difficult to find time for the "finer things in life"...like, riding your bike (not to mention the frustration/irritation it must entail).

I recommend moving somewhere closer to your work, or finding work closer by...if at all feasible. Otherwise, you'll forever be "Off the Back".
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Old 06-28-07, 03:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesDawg
If you get to where you can climb a 30% grade with ease, I'll be asking you for tips.

The steepest hill I've ridden was a 1/3 mile section on Brasstown Bald called The Wall that was 25%. I had to stop twice and catch my breath and that was with a 30 ring and a 34 cog.
So will TdFrance pros!
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Old 06-28-07, 03:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesDawg
If you get to where you can climb a 30% grade with ease, I'll be asking you for tips.
Ok, obviously I have no idea how to measure the % of a grade. Some of you seem to know exactly the grade of a hill you climb. How do you know that? Do you have an altimeter on your bike and then measure the distance from the bottom to the top?

And, N% of WHAT?
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Old 06-28-07, 04:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yen
Ok, obviously I have no idea how to measure the % of a grade. Some of you seem to know exactly the grade of a hill you climb. How do you know that? Do you have an altimeter on your bike and then measure the distance from the bottom to the top?

And, N% of WHAT?
The Garmin Edge 305 displays the % as you ride.

It is essentially the elevation gain in relation to the distance traveled.
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Old 06-28-07, 04:07 PM   #13
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Uh... oh.... for about $300.00.
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Old 06-28-07, 04:32 PM   #14
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What's cool is that there is a local site that lists the hills, the altitude gained and the grade. There are so many bike geeks about that someone in your area has probably compiled those stats already. The steepest prolonged gradient i my area, according to the site, is 15.8%, although there are sections that max out at 22% for very brief distances. The biggest hill is 503 ft. elevation change.

Any of these climbs would leave all but the hardiest of souls blowing chow.
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Old 06-28-07, 05:24 PM   #15
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Here is a web site of a local club just for women with information on training. http://www.velogirls.com/resources/p...tions/base.htm I picked out an article on base training but there are others and many books available.
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