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Old 05-15-08, 09:13 AM   #1
Timtruro
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Good or Bad Riding

Lately I have been doing 20-22 miles at a time on a Specialized Sirrus Comp. I avg. 13 to 15 mph on these trips over varying courses. I feel good but somewhat tired after these rides. I want to do a 60 miler later this month or early next. Now I am getting concerned that this would really exhaust me.

Did 22 miles yesterday in 91minutes. headwinds on the way back, rolling hills. Since January I have put 300+ on the bike outdoors, and many sessions on the stationary bike at the gym.

I am 59+ and really have no idea whether this kind of performance is good or bad. Not looking to break any records but would like to be recording an acceptable pace and would like to complete the 60 miler without falling over at the end. Any comments, suggestions??
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Old 05-15-08, 09:25 AM   #2
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Feeling tired after a ride is good. It means you've stressed your body, which is how you improve. In order to be ready for a 60-miler, you should be increasing your mileage (on at least one ride each week) by about 10% a week. And make sure that the ride after each long ride is an easy one - as one cycling coach describes recovery rides, "almost guilt-provokingly easy". In addition to stress, your body needs rest to improve, and "active rest" (ie, recovery rides) is more effective than doing nothing.

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Old 05-15-08, 09:34 AM   #3
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Started riding this Jan. 3400 miles complete. I am 66 y/o. Took 500 miles for my legs to get stronger. 1000 mile to get good and strong. Try for longer distances without being fast. Last week in five days logged 385 miles.
The last day was a 101 mile "The Rolling Hill Challenge", Columbus Texas in 8 hours. I rode it with a 73 y/o, 65 y/o and a 69 y/o experienced riders. They are awesome, but have riding for over 20 years. It takes time to develop your stamina. The speed with come with the miles.
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Old 05-15-08, 09:58 AM   #4
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I am 59+ and really have no idea whether this kind of performance is good or bad. Not looking to break any records but would like to be recording an acceptable pace

It's sort of like sex. Good or bad performace is a highly relative. At least that's what I tell my inflatable girlfriend.
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Old 05-15-08, 10:08 AM   #5
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Don't worry about your speed at this point just focus on time in the saddle. Speed will come after you get your endurance and fitness up. Generally you don't want to add more than about 20% in miles or time over what you have done previously, so I would not shoot for 60 until I could do at least 40 comfortably.

For me I generally will ride a couple of mph slower on my longer +60mi rides than I do on my daily 26mi ride. And there is no such thing as bad riding
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Old 05-15-08, 10:11 AM   #6
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In my always humble opinion, IF your riding is frequent, it is excellent or at least plenty good. As you accumulate more miles your average speed may increase. Your confidence certainly will.

Riding 60 miles can actually be just as easy as riding 20 if you are willing to take it easy at least at first. Even if you are part of a group, avoid any early heroics. If you get dropped, you get dropped.

For me, age 61, the long rides I begin thinking they will be slower than usual have a way of becoming faster. It's as if the first ten or twelve miles turn out to be a great warm up.

With a bit of food, plenty of water, and your own pace, you could actually find yourself at mile 60 ready to go a bit farther.
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Old 05-15-08, 10:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timtruro View Post
Lately I have been doing 20-22 miles at a time on a Specialized Sirrus Comp. I avg. 13 to 15 mph on these trips over varying courses. I feel good but somewhat tired after these rides. I want to do a 60 miler later this month or early next. Now I am getting concerned that this would really exhaust me.

Did 22 miles yesterday in 91minutes. headwinds on the way back, rolling hills. Since January I have put 300+ on the bike outdoors, and many sessions on the stationary bike at the gym.

I am 59+ and really have no idea whether this kind of performance is good or bad. Not looking to break any records but would like to be recording an acceptable pace and would like to complete the 60 miler without falling over at the end. Any comments, suggestions??
22 miles in 91 minutes is 14.5 mph, which is faster than me, most of the time at least. I'm planning for a century or metric (60 mi or so) this summer, I'm just going to try to pace myself and see what happens.
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Old 05-15-08, 10:54 AM   #8
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You're worrying too much.
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Old 05-15-08, 11:02 AM   #9
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The best way to train for a 60 mile ride is to do one. If you survive, do a few more and pretty soon you'll be ready.
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Old 05-15-08, 11:23 AM   #10
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+1.

But it's an excellent question: how we know when we're pushing it too hard? How do we know when we're just dogging it?

At our age it might be hard to tell. It's very difficult for me to judge as I have nonsyndromic chronic fatigue, and am equally tired from a 50 mile ride as I am from walking around the block.

Keep in mind that for every 50+er who qualifies for the TdF after three months of cycling, there are 10-20 of us who are thrilled to be able to ride 30 miles at 14 MPH after 3 years.
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Old 05-15-08, 11:28 AM   #11
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You're worrying too much.
That's what I think too. You'll be fine.

I think that it's mostly psychological. When you're mentally prepared to only ride 20 miles, the last few miles always seems hard. If you're mentally prepared to ride 60 miles, you'll make it but the last 5 miles or so will be hard.
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Old 05-15-08, 11:44 AM   #12
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Just do some longer rides to get the hang of it. Be sure to drink plenty of water and on a ride over 40 miles, you might want to eat a light snack like a banana (or something that you consider more yummy).
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Old 05-15-08, 12:31 PM   #13
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+1 to all the great advice given here : too much worrying, recovery riding, continuing improvement over time etc etc....it is all very true. 14-15 mph is a fine average over varying terrain and would mean @4 hours saddle time for 60 miles.
Only thing I might add, if you are concerned, is to make sure that you are healthy enough overall to engage in strenuous activity. You didn't mention how long you've been riding or if you are overweight, high b.p. those sorts of things. If you're doctor says your c.v. is up to it then i would have only one last suggestion:
HTFU !
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Old 05-15-08, 01:31 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the good advice, it probably is more a confidence issue than anything else. I used to run a lot and increasing distance gradually (not more than10% per week) seemed to work. The comment about mentally being tired after 20, and changing the mind set for 60, makes sense as well, as does starting slow on a 60 miler, sensing how I feel etc. I think I also have to ride more frequently as someone else mentioned, to build the stamina.

Years ago (was it really 35 yrs?), my wife and I did 120mi. in two days, it was supposed to be 60 the first day, and 60 the next. However we felt good after the first 60 and did 90 the first day and 30 the next. It felt great and I want to feel that way again with this one.

Will heed all the advice and take a camera as people seem to love the pics. THANKS ALL.
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Old 05-15-08, 01:37 PM   #15
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+1 to all the great advice given here : too much worrying, recovery riding, continuing improvement over time etc etc....it is all very true. 14-15 mph is a fine average over varying terrain and would mean @4 hours saddle time for 60 miles.
Only thing I might add, if you are concerned, is to make sure that you are healthy enough overall to engage in strenuous activity. You didn't mention how long you've been riding or if you are overweight, high b.p. those sorts of things. If you're doctor says your c.v. is up to it then i would have only one last suggestion:
HTFU !
Not in bad shape now, working out 5-6 days per week since November. 5'9" and 180lbs now. blood pressure ok, dropped my cholesterolby 70 pts. eating right, getting sleep etc. Doing a lot of cross training, running, eliptical, weights etc.

I think you hit it. I am going to HTFU.................AND WILL LET YOU KNOW AFTER 60 MI.
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Old 05-15-08, 01:41 PM   #16
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Keep in mind that for every 50+er who qualifies for the TdF after three months of cycling, there are 10-20 of us who are thrilled to be able to ride 30 miles at 14 MPH after 3 years.
And adults of any age who regularly ride their 30 miles (or less) at 14 mph (or slower) are, at least in the United States, elite cyclists compared with huge majority who primarily ride the couch.
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Old 05-15-08, 01:58 PM   #17
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And adults of any age who regularly ride their 30 miles (or less) at 14 mph (or slower) are, at least in the United States, elite cyclists compared with huge majority who primarily ride the couch.
How fast do those who ride couches go?

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Old 05-15-08, 02:08 PM   #18
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At least they have their helmets on in case of a couch crash.................
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Old 05-15-08, 02:19 PM   #19
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At least they have their helmets on in case of a couch crash.................

And they won't fall over if their pedal doesn't release.
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Old 05-15-08, 02:31 PM   #20
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It does not matter how fast you are on a bike- speed will only come with practice- but if you are planning a step up from 20 to 60 miles- Speed is not going to be your main concern.

My average ride speed is not much higher than yours. I do a 30 to 40 mile ride at an average of 14mph. That takes in a few hills and on a circular course- I always get a head and a tailwind. Recently I did an organised 40 miler at an average of 16mph. That puts me at a 60 miler in 4 hours. But it wouldn't. Those few extra miles would take at least 1 mph off me so I would probably do a 60 in 4 1/2 hours. And that would always depend on weather conditions and the number of hills involved- and the number of corners and road traffic.

So my suggestion is that you try a couple of training rides. Get a route planned that involves hills for around 15 miles. Do that as an evening ride say on a Tuesday. Then Thursday a flatter course of around 15 miles again and do it with a bit of "Extra" speed. Then at the weekend- go out for a 30 mile ride. 3 rides a week in other words. Within a few weeks- up the weekend ride to 40. With the evening rides aswell- you will find the rides getting easier and faster. And if you can do 40 miles and still mow the lawn afterwards- You are ready for a 60.
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Old 05-15-08, 04:17 PM   #21
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+1 with the +10%/week. Make sure you include rest days and easy days and back off for a week if the increase is getting too much.

Don't worry about speed (unless you want to but the training is different than for Long Distance). 14.5 mph is already a good speed for long distance solo in mixed terrain with realistic winds. The accepted main training specific to long distance is to do LSD...Since this is the 50+ forum I better spell that out: LSD = Long Steady Distance. That means long rides at a steady, sustainable pace. For this purpose I use a heart monitor and target a heart rate I know will carry me through to the end without blowing up (bonking) at the 80% distance. I maintain this HR from begining to end (it goes higher for extremely tough hills but not over a certain limit). Ironically, longer rides (>80 miles) will see me start off slower than a short ride < 20miles.

There is also the question of sustained hydration and nourishment for longer rides and also comfort. There is a Long Distance forum here from which I have learned a lot. You might ask over there (although for them Long Distance starts at a Metric or even an Imperial Century).
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Old 05-16-08, 04:45 AM   #22
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You're worrying too much.
You are probably right, just haven't done a long ride like that in many years, I need to enjoy the ride more and obsess less.
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Old 05-16-08, 05:08 AM   #23
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I'll have to disagree on speed. One of the most effective ways to get more endurance is to start putting in higher stress intervals on shorter rides. When I was seriously training, I used a loosely structured pattern of rides each week to get in shape. This worked very well, not that other systems wouldn't. The benefit was that I built endurance while not spending gobs and gobs of hours on the bike. 45 minute rides mostly

Day 1: 3 sprints, hard
Day 2: 2 or 3 5 minute intervals
Day 3: Rolling mellow road ride, easy (semi-rest)
Day 4: Hard short road ride (15 minute warmup, 20 minutes of hills, 10 minute cool down minimum)
Day 5: Longer medium road ride (90 minutes, some hills)
Day 6: Weekend long ride, 2 to 4 hours, hills and some sprints, whatever it takes to get really worn out.
Day 7: Rest thoroughly.

This type of work really increases duration. I was busy and hardly ever got to ride more than 90 minutes. But I could drop into a metric century any time after a rest or semi-rest day without noticing the additional miles. I could probably have done a regular century after any rest day without noticing anything. Just backing off on the power output gave me all the endurance I could want.

Previously I'd just ridden longer. I slowly slowly got more endurance, but still couldn't handle the shock and trauma of hard conditions on long rides.
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Old 05-16-08, 05:31 AM   #24
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Building speed AND endurance in running is similar to what is described, a combination of LSD and intervals at higher speeds on different days. I think I am letting the looming big 60 (age, not distance) weigh on me a little too much. I am concerned that the mind is willing but the body may be weak. Thanks for all the advice.
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Old 05-16-08, 08:33 AM   #25
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I can understand being a little concerned about whether you can do it or not. We may often bite off more than we can chew, especially after spending too much time on Bike Forums, where everyone is riding impressive mileage every single day of the week, and adding a couple of centuries or a pro race on the weekend. Yeah right!

Have you considered mapping out a loop route (with multiple laps) that doesn't take you so far from home that you couldn't ride back if you had too. Might be a good idea the first time at least.
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