Hello good fellows of the Bike Forum!
I realize some of the information I'm looking for is already within the forum, and I've spent a lot of time reading and learning from this valuable resource.
But I have a particular set of circumstances that I'm in need of help with, so I thought I'd take the liberty of opening up a new thread.
Some particulars -
I'm a 6' 4" male, 190lbs, age 51years 340 days
Important - for over a decade I've been borderline couch-potato, my weight towards the end of last year peaked at 280 lbs. So the biking has been the catalyst for a healthier me, and has served me well so far. I've also quit alcohol and I eat much healthier than I have in the past. Though I've in no way been on any kind of calorie-restrictive diet - I eat a LOT. (but good stuff, mostly).
The point is - I'm not, and never really have been, particularly fit. Though I feel better than I have in years, due to the regular exercise and weight loss, I'm still not in the same league as any of the spandex-clad beanpoles I encounter on my rides
I'm in my first Summer of 'serious' riding. I realize it's all relative and my idea of serious is probably most people's recreational, but I've been riding around 100 - 150 miles per week since May, and I've been pushing myself fairly hard within my own personal limits.
I've been struggling a little with some demons from the past. I've been on several weight gain/loss cycles throughout my adult life, but never anything this extreme or successful and never anything that's passed through the 3 month mark, as this has.
So I'm convinced that where I'm at now is a 'real' lifestyle change and not the crest of one of my historic loss cycles.
The point? I'm trying to keep myself motivated by setting myself goals and targets and tough challenges. It's working so far. My first accomplishment was riding a 40 mile trail. My next milestone was a 79 mile ride which included 20 miles of gravel trails. That was a particularly rewarding experience - I got stuck in a torrential rain/thunderstorm for 20 minutes, had 3 flats, had to walk 2 miles to a gas station to inflate my tire as I'd burned through two Co2 refills.....I arrived home after nine hours soaking wet and exhausted. I felt great! That was on 8/30 and I felt surprisingly good the day after, in fact I rode 30 miles the following day. But since then whenever I've ridden my legs have been uncharacteristically sore. I rode a 40 mile ride yesterday, on Sunday, and it felt like an 80 miler, rough on my legs, really rough. I may not have rested adequately from the 80 miler
Last week I signed up for a Century ride which takes place this coming Saturday. I must not fail (Please don't tell me that this is unrealistic, that's not going to help).
I'm looking for help with what I should do for the next 5 days insofar as exercise and riding is concerned. When I first contemplated riding a Century my thought was to push hard for a couple weeks leading up, and try to get a couple of 85 milers under my belt. Now I'm thinking it's too late for that and maybe I should give my legs a rest Monday/Tues/Wed then perhaps do a short/easy 10m on Thursday and Friday, just to stretch and keep nimble. But I'm not sure. The 40 I did yesterday (Sunday) was fine in the sense that I was breathing well and still has plenty of breath and energy, but my legs were toast.
So I'd really appreciate any thoughts on how to approach the next few days. Should I rest up, or should I be pushing hard in prep?
Here's my riding stats for the past couple weeks -
All of these stats are on a 29er MTB with knoblies, except the last 2 dates where I'd fitted road tires.
8/16 50.1m 13.6 average mph
8/18 18.3m 14.7 mph
8/20 17.8m 14.3 mph
8/21 11.7m 12.5 mph off-road
8/22 18.94m 15.1 mph
8/26 17.5m 11.6 mph off-road
8/27 26.7m 13.1 mph
8/28 17.3m 15.8 mph
8/30 79m 12.1 mph
8/31 30.2m 16.1 mph
9/2 21.48m 14.1 mph
9/5 20.37m 16.2 mph
9/6 41.4m 13.1 mph gravel trail / road
9/7 39.4m 14.1 mph
(looking at the above highlights the point that there haven't been many rest days. I need to go back to 8/10 where I took a 4 day break).
Many thanks in advance for any help getting through my next motivational challenge!