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?