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Old 05-22-03, 10:04 PM   #1
smelly
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intense vs. long bike ride

I'm sure this question has been asked many times. Here it is, Whats better, a short intense ride, or a long relaxed ride?

I say a short intense bike ride, and I'll tell ya why. If I realy wanted to I could keep riding hours at a relaxed pace, but what good does that do?!!!!!! Insted I ride 25-30 miles, usually up hill in a MT bike on paved roads as hard as I can. Reason,.....I improve much better that way then doing one of those long old man with a Volvo wagon who lives in the woods bike rides.
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Old 05-22-03, 10:20 PM   #2
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I like LONG INTENSE rides myself, mainly coz my seat hurts my arse if I get too relaxed, and a short ride is too damn boring. A nice long ride >15 miles for me, at 90 RPM is what I personally try to achieve at least once a week.
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Old 05-22-03, 10:56 PM   #3
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Each type has its place...
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Old 05-22-03, 10:57 PM   #4
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Depends on your objectives(how you define better)as well as muscle fiber type and other factors but for overall fitness some of both would probably work best.Personally I lift weights for my intense training with an objective to build muscle size and strength and find weights more effective than intense cycling for this objective.As I have a fast metabolism and a relatively hard time adding muscle I do the cycling at a less intense pace to actually try to keep my metabolism under control so I can just lose fat while sparing muscle loss from the cycling.This way overall I get anaerobic and aerobic fitness benefits plus am able to add muscle while reducing bodyfat.It works for me.So your question is not really easy to answer without taking into account bodytype/metabolism/muscle fiber type/other training/individual objectives etc.

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Old 05-22-03, 11:02 PM   #5
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Each type has its place...
no need to say more.
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Old 05-23-03, 04:43 AM   #6
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RWTD is right. It depends on your objectives. Personally I indulge in both kinds of rides. I go for the short (40km or so) intense ones through the week, and the longer ones on the weekend. To be honest, I enjoy the long ones more because they seem to give me a bigger sense of achievement and I can indulge in a greater variety of scenery than on the short, sharp ones. However, I'd rather indulge in both.
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Old 05-23-03, 08:04 AM   #7
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My rides are the same but for distance,over 90 rpm and 12-25 miles.
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Old 05-23-03, 09:04 AM   #8
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I do short on the weekdays (40km max).

Long on the weekends (60 and over).

I want to ride fast for long, but since I can't do both, then I mix.....

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Old 05-23-03, 10:34 AM   #9
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I prefer long rides, but shorter rides have their place as well. One does not always have the willpower, time or body to do a long ride, and recovery time is longer as well. A long ride (centuries and beyond) pushes the limits of the mind more than the body. Long rides make shorter distances become even shorter, and one of my goals is to push the one-ride distance as far as I can. Shorter rides can be fun since it is possible to do spontaneous intervals on hills and to road signs, while longer rides demands greater conservativeness of one's energy.

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Old 05-23-03, 10:57 AM   #10
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I do short (more intense) rides during the week.
On weekends I try to go on longer rides. I wouldn't call them 'relaxed' - just paced. I try to keep the intensity up but stretch it out longer.

I think that I am psychologically a bike tourist, even though (so far) I havenít done many tours. There is some kind of mental/psychological healing that happens to me on a ride thatís over 4 hours long. I havenít had one of those rides in a couple of weeks. If I donít get one on a weekend soon, Iím going to have to play hokey during the week. I NEED MY FIX.
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Old 05-24-03, 02:21 AM   #11
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That is a question I think there is no clear answer to.

Intensity or longevity? hmmm.

Looking back over my log, whenever I did a century I found myself drained of energy and incentive for at least 3 days after the event.
Whereas doing a ride of about 50 miles, I have gone out the next day and completed a similar distance, so apart from the satisfaction of achieving a century ride, I have gained nothing...
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Old 05-24-03, 03:44 AM   #12
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It depends on your temperment, objectives, and so on.

A short intense ride will help your maximum speed and power assuming you have an adequate mileage base and most don't. Quite a few people get into short intense rides as a short cut to conditioning.

Long rides are great for building endurance, aerobic conditioning and burning fat and also seeing scenery.
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Old 05-24-03, 03:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by willic
Looking back over my log, whenever I did a century I found myself drained of energy and incentive for at least 3 days after the event.
Whereas doing a ride of about 50 miles, I have gone out the next day and completed a similar distance, so apart from the satisfaction of achieving a century ride, I have gained nothing...
I think the question that arises here is how did you go after the three days of soreness following the century? I know that when I've done stupidly long rides and felt sore for a day or two afterward, I've always started to get the benefit of it as the soreness went away.
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Old 05-24-03, 06:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by smelly
If I realy wanted to I could keep riding hours at a relaxed pace, but what good does that do?!!!!!!
Well, folks in the T&N forum would tell you that's the best way to burn fat. I've even suggested the controversial position that it's a good way to condition your body to use fat as an energy source, if it's not used to doing so (it's easier just to eat).

And then there's the aesthetic thing. Hammering up a hill at a heart rate of 173 bpm, you might miss the deer and her fawn peeking at you from the woods.

It's all good.
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Old 05-24-03, 06:34 AM   #15
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Whats short and whats long?Its all different for most of us.I read the ideal cadance is 90-100.I read that the higher the cadance is better for burning fat and keeping in good shape.Isnt it better to keep that heart rate up for the ride?
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Old 06-01-12, 08:37 PM   #16
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To the people who take long rides, how long is long? I rode a total of about 30 miles today (not all at once) and my thighs are kind of tired. Then again, I've only had my bike a few weeks. Is that good?
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Old 06-01-12, 08:41 PM   #17
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To the people who take long rides, how long is long? I rode a total of about 30 miles today (not all at once) and my thighs are kind of tired. Then again, I've only had my bike a few weeks. Is that good?
75-100 miles is long for me.

If you had fun, it was a good ride.
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Old 06-01-12, 10:24 PM   #18
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Or a long ride with some intense bits scattered about.
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Old 06-02-12, 12:09 AM   #19
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Both will build you up or tear you down depending on how you do them. Training for this will give you a chance to do intense long rides. http://www.the508.com/
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Old 06-02-12, 12:52 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPeezyWeezy View Post
To the people who take long rides, how long is long? I rode a total of about 30 miles today (not all at once) and my thighs are kind of tired. Then again, I've only had my bike a few weeks. Is that good?

This thread is a real "blast from the past"! 9 years old!!


It probably would have been better to start a new thread for this question. However, since we're here ...


In answer to the question ... 100 km is the gate at the end of the driveway to where long distance cycling lives. 100 miles (161 km) is the door to long distance cycling house.

30 miles after only a few weeks of cycling is just fine.
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Old 06-02-12, 01:58 AM   #21
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My favorite are 30-50 mile rides. 2-4 hours. It's definitely best to mix it up, get out of the comfort zone, spice things up. So i'll do climbs till im pooped.
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Old 06-02-12, 08:34 AM   #22
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My favorite rides span several months, through several countries.
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Old 06-02-12, 08:42 AM   #23
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I love fast 20's and 30's with a good mix of hills. That's where I train. Then there is the 16mi sprint with minimal hills (still puts me in the granny gear but are not tall hills).

Once a week I'll toss in a medium distance for spinning and saddle time (50-60+mi).

Hey, whatever spins the crank. Just ride.
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Old 06-02-12, 09:20 AM   #24
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usually up hill in a MT bike on paved roads as hard as I can................... Reason,.....I improve much better that way then doing one of those long old man with a Volvo wagon who lives in the woods bike rides.
Sorry man but riding an MTB up paved road is pretty much an old man ride in a Vovlo wagon. Take your MTB up some dirt trail with 20% grades where it was meant to ride. Talking trash while riding MTB on paved roads, that is OLD MAN Volvo material!


081909G by gulpxtreme, on Flickr

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Old 06-02-12, 12:03 PM   #25
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Longer rides may be better for physical conditioning than short fast rides. Also, I've read that marathon runners develop "chaperone proteins" which provide substantial health benefits. Don't know if sprinters develop the same benefits.

I usually ride 15 miles a day during the week, and 25-30 a day on weekends. All rides are at a moderate pace with a short "all-out" sprint section of a half mile or so.

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