I have been riding regularly for awhile, mostly morning "exercise" rides of 10-25 miles 4-6 days a week. Then on weekends doing a longer ride of 25-30 miles or so. This spring I lengthened my weekend rides to 30-40 miles. I rode my first 80 mile century in early June on my mtb w/knobbies. My time was 5:39.
I did fine except for some leg cramps late in the ride. However I noticed my knees began to get sore from 40 miles on or so (just after the length of my longest training ride). After the ride I put 100psi slicks on my bike. My knees were a little sore but were about back to normal within a week. I adjusted my training rides to be a bit more flat so I could concentrate on spinning more. Normally, since I don't have much time to ride on weekday mornings I make my rides very hilly so I can get a good workout in. I'm a "stand & climb everything" kind of guy typically anyways. I also again lengthened my weekend ride to 50-70 miles.
Yesterday I completed my first 100 mile century in nearly 20 years !! My time was 6:43.
Again I felt fine except for my knees from about 40-50 miles on. The pain I get is on the outside of the knees, more on the left yesterday, and actually more on the right the first century, go figure ? The pain comes from spinning, no matter what cadence I use although higher is slightly more comfortable. Towards the end of the ride I was standing and climbing nearly every bump in the road in order to avoid having to spin against any resistance. Someone gave me an Aleve at one of the rest stops at 80 miles and that helped alot.
My question is this. We're now half way through the Summer.
I have a 75 miler planned for August 6th. http://www.tourofthelitchfieldhills.com/
I would like to try Greylock 100 miler the following week. http://www.berkshirecycling.org/rides/greylock.php
And the pinnicle of my cycling season will be the Deerfield Dirt Road Randonee on August 26th.
109 miles, 11.3K of climbing, 70% on dirt (town maintained dirt roads)
How should I approach and/or alter my training towards these rides ?
I am willing to shorten or cancel any but the Deerfield ride if I have to.
Do I need to have more frequent long spinning rides ? Rest more ?
I should mention that I do weights (leg extensions, etc.) twice a week, nothing crazy but I am consistent.
My bike position is fine and nothing else seems to bother me until I get beyond 40 miles or so.
I don't want to do any lasting damage to my knees as this is my first season doing centuries again and I am still only a young pup @ 43 yrs old.