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  1. #1
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    Today was my first ride

    I'm 64, ran marathons at a pace just under four hours 12 years ago, had foot surgery twice and have decided it's time to get back in shape. I'm six feet and weighed 220 two months ago, now 207 after some work on an elliptical trainer and eating better. I bought a new Specialized Allez road bike the other day and, before riding it, made a goal of riding 50 miles on my birthday in August. Today was the first ride and it was harder than I expected. I was hoping for ten miles at 12mph and ended up doing only 7 miles at 10.6 mph. I'm not discouraged by that because I can remember how hard it was when I started running. I'm hoping some of you who have been through this can tell me if my goal is still reachable or if I should make another goal.

  2. #2
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    The wisest counsel comes from DnvrFox: measure your rides in smiles per miles.

    This sport is harder than it looks. You're athletic so you'll do well but don't rush it.

  3. #3
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    Good for you, I am 66 and started riding about a year ago. Bought a trek mountain bike and a couple of months ago, on the mtn bike I rode my age.
    so stick with it ride as much as you can, it just keeps getting better.
    I like the quote, measure your ride in smiles not miles.
    good luck

  4. #4
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mexipat View Post
    I'm 64, ran marathons at a pace just under four hours 12 years ago, had foot surgery twice and have decided it's time to get back in shape.
    I had to give up marathon running a bit earlier than you did. Of the guys I used to run with, every one has been injured. When the orthopedics doctor told me what kind of surgery was necessary to fix my ankles I told him "That's a cure for somebody who can't walk, not for somebody who can't run." I'm thinking all that pavement pounding isn't good for you.

    Bicycling is better so long as you avoid getting hit by cars.

  5. #5
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I had to give up running when I was 34. And still get knee problems if I am not carefull. Not on the bike though. Cycling will get you fit- or keep the fitness you still have but it does take time to adapt.

    And sorry to disapoint but birthday rides are longer than 50 miles at your age so get out on the bike instead of sitting at the computer. One thing about it though- Your Ride your age ride will also be a metric century so two birds with one stone.

    Next to disapoint is that you have failed on two criteria for this forum. No white garage door with your bike parked in front of it- and you haven't told us what PIE you had on the ride. And no questions about what saddle to buy? or what are best- Bibs or Shorts? Dare say this will be corrected in the next month or so.

    Well done on taking the step to get fit in a sensible way and hope you enjoy the next month- the hardest month you will spend on a bike.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Welcome. Yes, your goal is worth going after. Ride lots (frequently), build on each ride just a little bit, and give yourself a rest day each week. You've run marathons so you know how this goes. And, despite what our British brethren might say, 50 miles is a respectable birthday ride.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

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    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Yes, you can reach 50 miles (and hundreds of smiles) in August, easily. You will progress much faster than you think.

    I started in about March, 11 years ago. By the middle of June that year I rode 350 miles of Colorado passes in a 7 day tour. One of those days was 90 miles over 2 passes.


    One thing I have noticed is that many folks who don't ride for smiles, at least some of the time, don't last too long.

    Mostly, have fun.

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    Lots of good stuff here and I appreciate it. I'm on board with Ride for Smiles. I tend to enjoy the long slow training. In deference to our British members, I'm thinking this year 65 kilometers might be just the thing.

  9. #9
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    The key for you right now might be to pick your routes that have mostly a tailwind!!

  10. #10
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Not going to say-"If you put enough effort into it"- but all you have to do is ride often- get used to the feel of it- adjust the damn thing to fit you better- and before you know it- the miles will soon pass by.

    You have a certain amount of "Fitness" from running but that means nothing. Cycling will find muscles for you that you never realised existed- but that is just you using muscles that Running does not exercise. But that fitness you have will soon be adapted for use on a Bike.

    That is why I say the first month will be the worst. Saddle to get used to- or Butt pain to get used to. Thighs and calf muscles being used in a different way- and upper body strength to be found. Doesn't take long though before this cycling thing is not too bad. Distance will go up- Speed will go up and was that a hill I just climbed or just a slope?

    And it will not be long before the body can take a bit of effort being put into it. That is when you will be on the way to that 50 mile- Metric century or the Climb up the hills for a bit of a change. Just don't be shocked when you realise how quickly you have changed from being a Runner- to a cyclist. And to give you an idea- A running marathon is about the same effort and Time as a Metric century is to a cyclist.
    Last edited by stapfam; 06-06-09 at 04:32 PM.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  11. #11
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Go for it. My wife and I bracket your age. and hadn't ridden for 20 years until we started again last August. We rode 55 miles maybe four months after starting. Wasn't fast, but we finished and felt great afterwards. My last marathon would have been over 20 years ago. Glad I stopped when I did 'cause my knees seem to be in reasonable shape for someone my age. Thank goodness in the intervening years my weight only crept up to 220 or so (I'm 6'). Down to 207 and dropping I hope. Bicycling is the best recreation we've done together in the last 20 years. We bought a tandem and now riding together really has new meaning.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    A running marathon is about the same effort and Time as a Metric century is to a cyclist.

    That's good info. It took me a year or two to get up to a marathon. This should be about the same?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    I was forced to give up running due to one really bad ankle. My background in T & F was the decathlon. Cycling for the past 12 years has been my only way to get an endurance workout in. I did a cycling workout today and the mileage total ended up being 64 miles. During my competition days in college and after getting into the 10 K running craze in the 80's, I've never been able to run more than 11 miles in one sitting. For some equating a marathon to riding 100 miles is the same, for me running a marathon would have been a near death experience, whereas riding 100 miles just takes 5.5 hours of riding with some buddies and committing a Saturday AM. Everyone responds to cycling a little differently. Good luck, you will see vast improvement every week, just keep at it and realize there will be some bumps in the road.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
    Good luck, you will see vast improvement every week, just keep at it and realize there will be some bumps in the road.
    Thanks. I'll be ok with the bumps in the road. If nothing else, running did that for me.

  15. #15
    Pat
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    One thing I have noticed is that many folks who don't ride for smiles, at least some of the time, don't last too long.

    Mostly, have fun.
    I would second that one. I have known many grim cyclists. Everytime I see them on the bike, they are "no pain, no gain" and grimly beating themselves up. Sometimes, with enough masochism, they can keep it up for a few years. But even masochism only lasts so long. About 10 years ago, I rode a bunch of fast rides with a group who were really competitive and they were all about the same age. I am just about the only one left. But then again, I like cycling. I think their motivation was mainly competition.

    Pat

  16. #16
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Another "yes" vote here. Just ride, ride ride and fifty miles will be easily done by August unless you insist on riding up mountains.
    George
    Laissez les bon temps rouler

  17. #17
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    Good to see you getting in to riding. My advice is to build up miles steadily...About 10% per week. Don't worry about speed...That will come naturally. And rest up between long rides. And, the smiles are important.

  18. #18
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    No hills down here in South Florida except for the bridges over the interstate and over the Intracoastal.

    I rode a nice pleasant 10 miles this AM and am taking you advice. Just build miles and get comfy for a month. Today, I really enjoyed it. My butt did not.

  19. #19
    Fraser Valley Dave
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    You prepared your body for marathon running, you know what to expect, that there will be set-backs during your progress, as others have said, enjoy the experience and you'll be surprised how soon your body will adjust and how far you can go. A friend of mine was a runner, decided he would like to go with me on a 1500 mile ride. He practiced with me a few weeks and noticed right away that his running muscles weren't the same as those needed for cycling. Didn't take very long to adjust and he completed the ride although he suffered saddle, knee, and achiles pain a bit. He thoroughly enjoyed the trip enough that he practiced some more and then rode down the alaskan hwy. with me 2 years later without the pains of the first trip. What I'm trying to say is, as long as you are smiling and enjoying the experience, you'll put the discomfort at the back of your mind, relish in your achievements, how far you can go, and how much you can see while riding a bike compared with speeding along in a car. Both of us are not spring chickens either. I'm 63 now, and starting to ride again after 2 years off from cancer problems. I'm taking it easy and it is coming back. I'm looking forward to enjoying the long rides again soon. Reaching for goals, challenging yourself, makes it all worthwhile.

  20. #20
    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
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    Yes, yur goal is reachable. Consistency is important, and be happy. RIde for fun, the miles will add up. You after a month or so, start adding some intervals (high intensity short duration, multiple repeats) and some low cadence high gear streght work. You will improve rapidly. Also, listen to your body and rest if you need to.
    Recycle, Reclaim, Reuse and Repair
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