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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Mileage and Cadence

    Hi guys, Nic here again with a couple questions on Mileage and Cadence

    So, first off, I ride ALOT. 300+ miles a week avg. I was wondering whether doing all these miles would hurt? Since it's my first year, I'm really just trying to get alot of miles under my belt. Never the less, most of my rides are hard rides of 50-60 miles with the occasion century thrown in sometime during the week. I do get my recovery in, don't you worry, but my question is, is it alright that I am riding all these hard miles when my races are only 30ish miles? I mean, I find the races to be easier and easier with all the miles, but I'm just trying to get opinions.

    Onto cadence:

    I spin ALOT. I very rarely push a hard gear where my cadence drops below 70, yet alot of people say that i 'spin too much'. Is this true and is spinning alot a bad thing? If it is, why so because aren't junior gears supposed to "force juniors to focus on spinning the gears and reduce the risk of leg injury" (usacycling.com)?

  2. #2
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    How old are you?

    If you're getting down into the 70s then you're using a good range of cadence. Spinning isn't bad at all, it's just that many racers (myself included) push too much. When I was in Belgium for a 3 week racing trip I was astounded at how fast everyone pedaled, at least what I could see until I got shelled.
    "...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson

  3. #3
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    I'm 16 and I usually keep my cadence above 90, if not above 100. I just don't like the way if feels to push a gear, unless I'm sprinting for the line, and even then, the cadence is still high. I know cadence is important, and that is why I work on it. I'm more concerned on my mileage however.

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    I'd worry about too much mileage only if your racing starts to get stale. When I went over a certain number of miles (I was 18 at the time) I finished just one of about 45 races. I was just too fatigued and lacked any snap. Cutting my mileage by 40-50% turned my racing around but it took me a year to realize this.

    90-100 rpm is about normal. When you get over about 105-110 rpm it starts to get less efficient, or so I've been told. I had a hard time averaging 120 rpm for an hour, which translates to actually pedaling at 125-130 rpm most of the time. Now I can't imagine doing much more than 110 rpm or so, and 100 rpm avg is really good for me. This means actually pedaling at 105-110 rpm, since the avg rpm takes zero and low rpm into account.

    I am a big believer in big miles when you can do it. You fatigue more than normal and you end up becoming a smoother pedaler through necessity. At the end of a 100 mile ride you won't have the energy to pedal really inefficiently all the time. My best years I did massive miles in the off season, JRA type, and this allowed me to race more frequently during the season. This in turn (I think) allowed me to ride harder and therefore increase the effective training cycles of breaking down and recovering. During the season I trained less and raced more.

    Finally there are other reasons to go out riding. If riding is a good stress reliever, if it lets you relax, then it's not a bad thing to go riding. Riding, when I was in the 12-17 age, was my way of being on my own.
    "...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson

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    Quote Originally Posted by roadboy97 View Post
    I'm 16 and I usually keep my cadence above 90, if not above 100. I just don't like the way if feels to push a gear, unless I'm sprinting for the line, and even then, the cadence is still high. I know cadence is important, and that is why I work on it. I'm more concerned on my mileage however.
    Check out Taylor Phinney's stats. ToC, winning stage, he did 100 rpm for the 25km (also 31 mph but whatever).
    Tour of California Stage 5

    In his Dubai TT he did 99 rpm as well.
    Taylor Triumphs in Dubai TT

    You can look through some of those posts to see what the pros are doing.
    "...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson

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    Thanks. Those guys are awesome. Guess I'll start trying to avg like 110 or so to give me a little room, but it is kind of hard to do so in crits (since that is the only race they have here in Texas after March or so.) Thanks for the insight though.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadboy97 View Post
    Thanks. Those guys are awesome. Guess I'll start trying to avg like 110 or so to give me a little room, but it is kind of hard to do so in crits (since that is the only race they have here in Texas after March or so.) Thanks for the insight though.
    I'm a parent of a 16 year old racer.
    The things we noticed that improved things a lot.

    -Increase sleep. Go for 10 hours. Better add naps. You are doing 300 miles a week. So if you are not sleeping 10 hours, trade off.
    -Weights. Most junior races are short. Many boil down to power.
    -Cut mileage. At this age. Worlds was 70 miles, Nationals <50. So many miles does increase endurance, but may take from speed.
    -Find friends to ride with and race with. That makes it all easier.

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