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Old 06-12-11, 08:00 AM   #1
jlstrat
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metric century at 50 plus

I'm almost 55 and ride long distances regularly. I rode the Tour de Cure yesterday for a total of 67 miles, including a 5 mile steady climb. My actual riding time ended up at a little over 5 hours, and I can't seem to go beneath that time, which is certainly better than my first metric C three years ago. I did take it easy this week, but I also ended up nailing a BIG pothole straight on and busting a spoke (luckily my LBS did an emergency fix for me), which rattled my body pretty hard. I did have the intuition to stand, so I didn't take a shot to the groin. Maybe I should shed some weight, do some better training... Any ideas or suggestions?
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Old 06-12-11, 08:29 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by jlstrat View Post
I'm almost 55 and ride long distances regularly. I rode the Tour de Cure yesterday for a total of 67 miles, including a 5 mile steady climb. My actual riding time ended up at a little over 5 hours, and I can't seem to go beneath that time, which is certainly better than my first metric C three years ago. I did take it easy this week, but I also ended up nailing a BIG pothole straight on and busting a spoke (luckily my LBS did an emergency fix for me), which rattled my body pretty hard. I did have the intuition to stand, so I didn't take a shot to the groin. Maybe I should shed some weight, do some better training... Any ideas or suggestions?
Welcome to the 50+ forum.

I'm not quite sure what your complaint is?

You did a respectable metric - are you wanting to go faster? Complete it in less time?

If so, there are a whole lot of folks who will give you good advice on interval training, endurance, etc. Also, there are a lot of 50+ threads already around on the topic. You might do a search.
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Old 06-12-11, 08:38 AM   #3
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"Long Distance Cycling" by Matheny and Burke is a good book on training for centuries and longer rides.
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Old 06-12-11, 09:04 AM   #4
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A 13 mph pace on a hilly metric century is a solid pace.
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Old 06-12-11, 10:12 AM   #5
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Maybe I should shed some weight, do some better training.
Good advice for most of us I'd think.
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Old 06-12-11, 10:12 AM   #6
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That time is pretty darn good considering it's your first in three years. I just finished a 50K this morning in 2:04 but it was a flat ride and I did a longer than normal cool-down period. My cool-down periods are normally 1 mile long at 12 to 14 mph. If I had to do a 5 mile climb I'd still be riding and probably needing an ambulance waiting for me at the end of the climb. We don't have anything like that in the part of Florida where I live. I have to travel about 40 to 50 miles north of me to get to the hills. And what we call hills are referred to by others as bumps. They aren't very big, but most of them are pretty steep.
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Old 06-12-11, 10:19 AM   #7
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Glad you enjoyed it. Long rides are about pacing and taking the proper breaks. I stop every now and then to air out my contact points, relieve myself (if necessary), get more water, and perhaps eat a snack.
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Old 06-12-11, 01:46 PM   #8
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For me, weight directly correlates to speed. Weight goes up, times go up. Weight comes down, times come down.
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Old 06-12-11, 02:27 PM   #9
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62 in 4 hours for me,and that was flat as a pancake.Plus you had some other stuff to deal with,that is not a bad ride in my book.
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Old 06-12-11, 02:56 PM   #10
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First Metric is a milestone. My favourite one is no longer run but I did it for 7 years and that included the last one held. In Theory not a hard one but two long climbs and a lot of up and down. First one was done in 5hrs 45 minutes but the ride had a compulsory 30 minute break at the top of the long climb at the midway point. That was for Lunch that was provided in the $10 entry. You needed an hour to get over that lunch

So any metric done around 5 hours is good providing it does not include Lunch.

Just cheat next time and find one of those flat rides that other 50+ers seem to.
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Old 06-12-11, 03:50 PM   #11
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Thanks for the many helpful replies. I always get lots of help form this site!
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Old 06-12-11, 05:01 PM   #12
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Congratulations on that milestone.

I myself have been in the 60+ domain for more than a decade now.
I finished a very challenging metric today in the MS ride for CT. The ride took me a little over 4 hours; but I was drafting behind my son for this ride. That serves as assistance and a lot of encouragement.

Yes losing weight is a significant contributor if there is any ascent. I still have another 20# that I should lose.

The bigger key for me is keeping a solid fast cadence so that my knees do not have reason to give out on me. That is I keep a cadence in the 85 - 95 range.

The biggest key is getting out there and continue to train - intervals are necessary; albeit - no fun.
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Old 06-12-11, 05:24 PM   #13
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I'll be the first to admit that my own 100K time at the Indy TdC was due entirely to two factors: riding in pace lines for about half of my 25 laps, and the fact that the track is pretty darned flat. If I'd been on my own, on a hilly road course, my time probably would have doubled.
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Old 06-12-11, 05:40 PM   #14
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First of all: Congratulations! Next: Only you can tell is you need to lose weight or not. Sure less body weight is means less for the legs to move. But, strength and fitness is far more important than raw weight.

To me what is important is to have fun. Part of that fun is getting in the best physical and mental shape I can. Also, to keep in mind that there will always be people who are faster, and slower; etc. So what is important is to be as good as you can be while still having a life.
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Old 06-12-11, 07:10 PM   #15
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Also, to keep in mind that there will always be people who are faster, and slower
Gotta go with what HawkOwl said here. No matter how hard you try, you are never gonna beat the 20 and 30 year old riders. My cycling team is made up of 18 riders with me being the oldest at 64. There are three in their 50's and the rest are in their 20's and 30's. I can out-ride the 50 year olds on most days, but can't come close to keeping up with the younger ones for more than a few miles, especially when they show off and want to kick it in high gear. I have, however, passed many younger riders on some of my rides so that makes me feel good.

I train for my rides every time I go and ride but the only person that I really try and beat is me. Sometimes I do and other times I don't. But I have fun and enjoy each ride, regardless.
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Old 06-12-11, 08:14 PM   #16
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Losing weight and doing training rides with faster riders than me generally helps me with overall performance.
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Old 06-12-11, 08:30 PM   #17
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You said you can't seem to get any improvement in time for the metric. You also say you have improved from three years ago. Seems like you are improving to me, but it takes time - sometimes multiple seasons. How often do you ride that ride, if you are comparing times to other metric rides it's like apples to oranges, they may be very different rides (easier or harder). So with that said, pick some courses you know and do regularly. Record those rides accurately and religiously. Over time you will get a feel about how well you are doing. If you want to get faster, put together a training program, does not have to be sophisticated, but you should be consistent with it. I started with a couple of Joe Friel's books, they were insightful and I put together a program from them. I have since moved on but they worked well for the first couple of years.
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Old 06-12-11, 08:57 PM   #18
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Average speed can be very deceptive. Stoplights and stop signs can really eat into an average. My wife and I did 40 miles yesterday on our tandem. Other than two shortish climbs we were never under 17-20 mph in a straight line, but there were numerous slowdowns for the aforementioned stop lights/stop signs and very sharp turns on a MUP. Our resulting average speed: 15.6 mph - just goes to show.
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Old 06-13-11, 05:01 AM   #19
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It sounds like a pretty respectable ride, but if you are overweight then slimming down will definitely help your climbing.

If you were to tense your muscles and jump up and down, would any loose flesh on your belly, arms or legs wobble? If the answer is 'no' then you are probably a sensible weight already. If the answer is 'yes', then lose weight until you are no longer flabby! Just make sure that it is fat that you lose, not muscle.
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