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  1. #1
    Old Cyclist
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    Slower on 2nd day back to back

    I've put in a bit over 57 miles in the last two days -- 32 yesterday and 25 today. Yesterday my average pace was the highest this year on that route (no wind to speak of, just gentle rollers and no real hills) in bright sunshine, 43 degrees. Today I was determined to pass 300 miles for the year to date, so I went out again. My pace ended up about 1 mph slower than the last time I rode the loop. Today's ride was my hilly route with a little over 1300' of climbing under grey skies, 40 degrees. I can definitely feel the difference when I ride with a day or more of rest in between and when I do back to back days. It's mostly manifested by using lower gears on the hills. I'd like to feel as strong on the second day as the first, but that may not happen. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    What kind of speeds are you talking about? 1 mph is more significant if it's 10 and 11 versus say 15 and 16. In any case there are a lot of things that could be in play... nutrition for one. Ever tried Sportlegs?

    It could also just be random variation.

    Thought two: you must ride those distances (i.e. times) back to back more often to get the endurance type adaptation you want. At first you will be tired in the second, third, fourth days of riding when training for that.
    Last edited by billydonn; 02-28-09 at 06:45 PM.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    I agree that day to day variations can easily account for this. I haven't been able to do much distance for the last month as I've been recovering from whiplash. I headed out yesterday on a solo ride and did 30 miles and felt pretty good. Today I headed out with my wife and although we went a bit slower (my dear wife's pace is a bit slower than my normal pace), we ended up doing 35 miles. I felt really strong at the end of the ride which really surprised me. How did you feel the second day?

  4. #4
    Old Cyclist
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    Quote Originally Posted by billydonn View Post
    What kind of speeds are you talking about? 1 mph is more significant if it's 10 and 11 versus say 15 and 16. In any case there are a lot of things that could be in play... nutrition for one. Ever tried Sportlegs?
    Friday: 32.14 miles, avg 16.8, mostly flat with gentle rollers
    Saturday: 25.63 miles, avg 15.2, 1300' gain (and loss)
    Sunday: 27.66 miles, avg 15.3, mostly flat with gentle rollers, headwind

    I almost never eat on a ride under 35 miles, just drink water (but not on Friday when I forgot my bottle on the counter by the door). I often ride early afternoon after lunch and sometimes have a big handful of nuts before I head out. Then fruit & nuts for a snack when I get home.

    I guess I'd like to see a slow but steady speed increase over time, but it doesn't necessarily work out that way for me. Not a big deal, just what I'm experiencing. Tomorrow should be a day off (it's probably going to rain anyway).

  5. #5
    Senior Member Old School's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Turner View Post
    Friday: 32.14 miles, avg 16.8, mostly flat with gentle rollers
    Saturday: 25.63 miles, avg 15.2, 1300' gain (and loss)
    Sunday: 27.66 miles, avg 15.3, mostly flat with gentle rollers, headwind
    Dude, you are an animal! Those are very respectable mileages and times. Nicely done -- take the day off!
    Last edited by Old School; 03-02-09 at 01:53 PM.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW! WHAT A RIDE!"

  6. #6
    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
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    It's a complicated equation, i.e. you just never know. On Sat. I rode 44 miles with 5,200 feet of climbing, but a slow average of 12.4. Then Sun. on the club ride, I started out trying to keep up with the fast guys, and ended up dropping all but two of them!

    Ave. on Sun. was 17.8 with 1,650 feet of climbing, but only 38 miles. Plus, the legs were feeling good, even on the climbs. So that's why I say, you just never know.

    Rick / OCRR

  7. #7
    Senior Member Timtruro's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Old School;8454083]
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Turner View Post
    Friday: 32.14 miles, avg 16.8, mostly flat with gentle rollers
    Saturday: 25.63 miles, avg 15.2, 1300' gain (and loss)
    Sunday: 27.66 miles, avg 15.3, mostly flat with gentle rollers, headwind
    QUOTE]

    Dude, you are an animal! Those are very respectable mileages and times. Nicely done -- take the day off!
    DITTO, nothing to complain about given those speeds, distances and conditions. Don't worry, be happy
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  8. #8
    Senior Member az_cyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick@OCRR View Post
    It's a complicated equation, i.e. you just never know. On Sat. I rode 44 miles with 5,200 feet of climbing, but a slow average of 12.4. Then Sun. on the club ride, I started out trying to keep up with the fast guys, and ended up dropping all but two of them!

    Ave. on Sun. was 17.8 with 1,650 feet of climbing, but only 38 miles. Plus, the legs were feeling good, even on the climbs. So that's why I say, you just never know.

    Rick / OCRR
    I agree. You could also factor in the rest you got, time of day, were you riding into the wind, etc. There are times I ride faster on the second day than on the first. But, although I was slower yesterday than I wanted to be (15.8 mph for 36.3 miles, computer runs continuously until it is stopped) it was a great day and I enjoyed the ride.

  9. #9
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Looks normal to me. Hills and wind will always slow you down. You had hills on Saturday and wind on Sunday.

    Last year at Hilly Hundred we got Sportlegs in our registration packets. I usually ride pretty hard, so it's common to be a bit sore for the second day. It seemed to keep me from getting sore, but it didn't help with the outta gas situation.

  10. #10
    Senior Member one_beatnik's Avatar
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    My speeds are never consistent from day to day. One day I average 12 on my commute, the next 15. Of course I don't care unless I'm late leaving home. I tend to have a higher average going home than coming to work...I'm not sure what that means except that my killer hill is coming. Unless you're training for a race situation, it doesn't really matter. I like keeping track, but that's just an obsessive/compulsive thing.
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  11. #11
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    too much thinking, too much analysis. If you could go faster every day than the day before, all of us would set personal records every time we go out the door. If you slump for a week, maybe something's wrong, but otherwise just go ride the bike.

  12. #12
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
    too much thinking, too much analysis. If you could go faster every day than the day before, all of us would set personal records every time we go out the door. If you slump for a week, maybe something's wrong, but otherwise just go ride the bike.
    I agree. You have to look at the long term trend. Day-to-day there can be lots of variations for a variety of reasons.

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  13. #13
    Old Cyclist
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    Yeah, I've probably been overanalyzing and excessively competitive with myself. Friday was faster after a day off; yesterday was slower because of wind and being cautious with slush on the road in places. Or looking to see what's started blooming along the road (willows and hazelnuts).

  14. #14
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    In weight training you take 2 days off, so lift Monday & Thursday. Could never do 2 days in a row, or if you did - the full session would be meaningless. The rest period is when the muscle grows. I suspect if this is the beginning of the season for you - you would be best to take at least 2 days off in between rides until you get up to speed. I know cycling is different that weight training, and we need to ride on consecutive days.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  15. #15
    Flying Under the Radar X-LinkedRider's Avatar
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    Yes, no rest takes its toll on you. For a while anyways. Try touring for over a month and after the first week or two, you become oblivious to the way you feel. Smile hard, pedal harder.
    12' SuperiorLite SL Pro w/ Sram Rival | 10' SuperiorLite SL Club w/ Sram Force | 06' Giant FCR (Dropbar) w/ Shimano 5700 | 10' GT Avalanche 3.0 Disc

  16. #16
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    I might also suggest drinking liquid protein - to help fight against eating our own muscle tissue.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

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    There is nothing like hills and headwinds to humble your average times.

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