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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 07-21-06, 04:30 PM   #1
donrhummy
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Which is better for training for 100+ miles rides...?

Which do you think will be better for training for 100+ mile rides (and why):

1. Ride 100+ miles once a week, with 1-2 other shorter rides during the week.
or
2. Ride 30 miles (or some other short distance -- 40, 50, whatever, you name it) every day of the week
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Old 07-21-06, 05:34 PM   #2
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It depends whether you are comfortable on your bike. Short and fast helps you finish long rides within time but are no good if you get a sore neck/back/bum/etc three hours down the road. You'll never find that out when training and will perform poorly in your chosen 100+ mile event,
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Old 07-21-06, 06:02 PM   #3
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go with the first choice. I do that all the time.
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Old 07-21-06, 06:33 PM   #4
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Of the two choices, only number two would support continuous improvement of both speed and endurance. This of course assumes - that at least one day is absolutlely easy riding, and that one other is at very, very low intensity.

Of course, you could do all kinds of differing types of workouts, within the once weekly 100 miler in the number one scenario. But taking four rest days, or four non-training days per week would not support improvement for a very long time. (unless you're starting from no fitness at all)
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Old 07-22-06, 01:50 PM   #5
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I try to mix in high intensity workouts with medium intensity workouts and time off the bike.

My favorite is to do a 100 mile ride with five 2 mile intervels. Does wonders for speed and endurance.
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Old 07-23-06, 01:52 PM   #6
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One longer ride with a shorter rides mixed in is a better choice, IMO.

Where you have specific training to do (tempo, intervals, etc...), you generally won't be working hard for more than an hour or so, but you will work hard enough that you need time for recovery. That recovery might be a very light recovery ride (about an hour or so at a low heart rate), but riding hard during that time will compromise improvement.

The distance you need to ride on your long ride depends on what you're planning on doing. It needs to be long enough to get you to the pace and food/hydration plan that you'll use, but I'm not sure you need 100+ miles.
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Old 07-23-06, 04:40 PM   #7
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If you are already capable of 100+ mile rides, then doing one each week should be sufficient to keep your fitness up.

However, if you want to improve your average speed on your century rides, doing shorter rides at higher intensity will pay off.
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Old 07-23-06, 07:56 PM   #8
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Believe #1 is best, with the long ride at an easy pace (< 80% max HR) and those other (2-4 / week) shorter rides at higher intensity with more speed, intervals, hills, etc.
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Old 07-23-06, 09:43 PM   #9
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If I had to pick between those two exact choices, I'd go with choice #2. But fortunately, in my world, I don't have to pick between those two exact choices.

Personally, my choice would be to mix it up a bit to include:

-- a day off
-- a short, easy, recovery ride
-- a day of intervals or hill climbing (something high intensity)
-- a day where I ride mid-length distance (30-40 miles) at a reasonably brisk pace
-- a day where I ride a long(ish) distance (100 kms+)
-- and a couple other days where I might repeat a couple of the above mentioned ride types.

I rarely do more than two centuries a month (unless it happens that I have a series of brevets on subsequent weekends ... which usually happens in May up here in Canada). I usually aim to ride something around 100 kms (60 miles) on one weekend ... and then the next weekend might be a bit more endurance-oriented where I might do a century, a brevet, back-to-back centuries, a double century or something like that. Then, depending on how I feel, I might do a 100 km ride on the next weekend or next two weekends ..... and then another have endurance weekend.

I personally find riding a century or longer every single weekend to be too tiring, and it diminishes my enthusiasm for cycling. I'll do that for May to get my brevets in, but after that, I ease off a bit.
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Old 07-24-06, 10:13 AM   #10
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I'd pick #2, particularly if you already have the conditioning to do 100 miles. My training schedule is three rides a week between 35 and 60 miles. Usually I do shorter rides, bringing my weekly total to 100 to 125 miles. This year I am training less and riding better. The training rides aren't even that structured. I just ride the bike. Centuries are easy for me, and I am even getting better at finishing double centuries in good shape.

Part of this is not burning out. Having not done long training rides increases my enthusiasm for doing a day long event. Often in a double century the mental challenges I face in the second 100 miles are as big as the physical challenges.
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Old 07-24-06, 10:18 AM   #11
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You need to do a combination of both. However, choice number two can be better if you ride on "tired" legs. When you ride a 50mi ride on day 1, and then ride 50mi on day two it is as thoguh you have ridden a "longer equavalent distance" on day 2 because your legs are damaged from the ride before. This is what marathon training is all about. You just need to make sure that when you do that final ride, you give yourself a day or two of pure recovery befor riding the 100+ miles. This will be your fatsest route to improving, and healthy continuous improvement.
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Old 07-24-06, 11:47 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the great replies! Very interesting to see the wide variance of training types used to achieve the same results. I'm sure there's no "one way" to do it and everyone's responses show that. Personally, I'm not 100% decided in which is a better choice yet. I have felt that i make better progress in my distance capabilities doing the one long ride a week with only 1-2 intensity rides a week than the other one, but I haven't experimented quite enough to satisfy my belief that I know the "answer" for me.
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