"You're doing it wrong"
I'm talking to myself here. I'm 58 and a n00b, having restarted riding my 2008 Trek 7100 late March. After a few weeks of riding 8-15 miles every few days, and a couple of 20-milers, I rode 34 miles in the Five Boro Bike Tour on May 2. It was hard, but it was a blast. The next day, brimming with enthusiasm, I signed up for the Montauk (metric) Century on May 16 and actually somehow completed it, feeling triumphant despite getting through it on brute force alone. (http://cihm.blogspot.com if you've got nothing but time on your hands.)
It's been 3 days and I'm still sore. I think I oughta back off for awhile and stick with 10-15 milers during the week and 20-25 once a weekend, until my conditioning matches my enthusiasm. I don't want it to stop being fun.
That's all. Thanks for letting me vent!
Sometimes you need to rest.
But when you come back, you are much stronger.
Ride slow, have fun
The metric was almost certainly a bit too early for you. IMO it would be wiser to lay a much better base before doing a ride like that one... to prevent injury for one thing. Lots and lots of 20-25 milers with a weekly longer ride would be my recommendation. But congratulations on the accomplishments so far... and don't bite off more than you can chew or, as you say, you will take the fun out of it.
+1 - slow easy rides for a few days then start pushing again. Don't stop riding, you may just need a few easy rides to help the recovery process. Also - look at Joe Friel's book "cycling past 50", it has a lot of good information although some sections are a bit tedious.
Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
What doesn't kill us makes us stronger - or maybe in this case, wiser. Congrats on the achievement, but your instincts are right. Build your base gradually and before very long you'll be riding centuries without too much suffering.
Sometimes brute force is all you got and what it takes.
Maybe I'm a masochist but I love the way my legs feel after I've pushed it. Might not like it while I'm doing it but starting with that shower afterwards through the next morning it's great.
I had picked up "Cycling Past 50" two weeks ago but I'm not reading it with the same abandon as I had been riding with. Instincts: slow buildup for the summer, maybe another metric in August or September, budget for a road bike next year. Thank you all!
I am not fit after the winter and I have been doing the occasional 20 miler to keep my hand in---till last Sunday and did a metric and payed for it by the end. Monday morning and before work I did a recovery ride. 10 miles at a low pace- with no effort and a high cadence. Just turning the pedals got the stiff muscles moving and no effort on them meant no further strain. Just wish I had stood up for the 10 miles as I can still feel the saddle 3 days later.(and that is without sitting on the bike)
If you finished a metric- you were ready to do one. The recovery ride the next day would have been a good idea but too late now. Just a couple of easy 20 milers and then start training for the Full Century ride- the 100 miler. Could be by the end of Summer.
Well you bit off a little too much. So what!?! You did it. Congratulations. Just get a bit more conditioning under your belt and you will do fine. But you know that. What good is life if we have to be sensible all the time?
Well, he took a bit of a risk and got away with it this time. Doesn't mean it was a really good idea though. He might complete a century unscathed without much training too... but I wouldn't recommend it.
Then again, I have always been the careful type.
Setting goals... the disease of modern life, successfully brainwashed into us at a young age with plenty of encouragement from the media, religions, education systems, etc. Ignore goals. Just ride the bike, at a pace that feels good over a long distance, and at a distance that doesn't make you have to stay off the bike many days just to recover. What's the point of riding if it beats you up like that? Better to ride more moderately but every day.
I get carried away myself sometimes, having to prove something... but after the fact, I find that I didn't enjoy those rides at all, and many times, I don't even remember going through places which I know I did.
If you have to picture yourself as some kind of Lance Armstrong look-alike, you're probably doing it wrong. Instead, try picturing yourself as riding a touring bike through the French countryside while smoking a pipe, Basque beret optional.
The racers are no example anyway. We don't have the drug and blood doping resources they do.
Ah relying on brute force. That is a fall back position when all else fails. But think, you are still young enough to use brute force rather than think, "do I have to do this?".
Congratulations on the ride--that's a big achievement for a newb.
Your fatigue is pretty normal, I think. I did my first century at age 44 when a friend called on a Friday night and asked me to ride with him the next morning. I was a casual cyclist, 20 to maybe 40 miles a week, with a lifetime long ride of 30 or so. I'd recently run a marathon, though, so I was in decent shape and agreed to go.
the first 75 miles went great. We just cruised along, not too fast, enjoying the scenery. By 80 I was completely hammered, barely able to move the pedals. I had a flat about there, something I can normally deal with in four or five minutes, and it took me almost half an hour to fix it. We struggled on somehow, finishing the hilly course in about eight hours, and I felt like absolute crap for two weeks. I had no energy, fell asleep at work, couldn't ride...
Ride more, building up slowly, take rest days now and then, stay hydrated all the time. You'll still feel like crap at the end of a century, but not as MUCH like it.
Don't forget to massage those legs down after a hard workout! This makes a world of difference on how you will feel the next day -- especially for the athlete over 40. You'll be surprised when you notice that you don't have 'rubber legs' or even worse, 'burning legs.'
I tend to over simplify things a bit and I'm certainly not a physical trainer, in fact I know between little and nothing about training.
My attitude towards cycling is quite simply....If it feels good, do it! If it's fun then you're doing it correctly!
No matter how much or how little you ride, if you stay at it long enough it becomes second nature and seemingly effortless for longer and longer stretches.
Of course the above is just the thoughts of a lone wanderer just toolin' on down the road....
@MickE: Early in April I took a fairly long ride and decided to treat myself to lunch at Cheesecake Factory. Parked the car, got out and nearly fell on my a**! I had rubber legs like never before (or since). I laughed it off and had a nice lunch. Maybe it was the 20 minutes between the end of the ride and getting to the restaurant - enough time to stiffen up in a driving position. I will take your advice on massaging my legs from now on.
csi56: I know all a bout the 'rubber leg' problem--at least I USED to. After reading Friel's and a couple other books on long distance cycling, I got into better nutrition. Not a big meal overhaul, but eating enough while riding, making SURE I was getting enough electrolytes to replace what I sweat out, and IMHO the MOST important thing--getting a high carb/protein drink in me WITHIN the first 30 minutes after a hard effort.
I did a full century in early May, and even though the first 60mi or so were into a 18-25mph headwind, made it in 9hr 10min overall--about 7hr 40min riding time. Unlike a similar century a couple years earlier (before the better nutrition), I had no 'rubber legs' and was able to start riding a couple days later. Still had a bit of 'sore butt', of course!