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  1. #1
    E. Peterbus Unum
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    Establishing a stronger base set of miles

    To ensure I don't highjack Machka's post on brevets, I wanted to start a new post (per the great suggestions) on some training tips for me.

    My desire is to join the Houston randoneering club and do some brevet series (or permanents). So...I have a lot of training to do over the winter!

    Here is what I do now and the issues I have faced:

    - Commute 25 miles roundtrip 3-5 days per week (Flat East Texas roads). Avg speed for commute: 16-17 mph
    - Ride 50 miles almost every Saturday morning. Avg speed for ride: 16-17 mph
    - Sunday - rest

    I have noticed, due to the training I do above, that when I hit about 60 miles, my body starts to wonder what the heck I am doing and why I haven't stopped

    So, I recognize the need to increase my Saturday rides to help build up endurance. But -- what about speed? Do I work on speed instead (during commute rides or the Saturday rides) to try and improve my overall average speed? Is the speed range I have now good for brevets and just work on endurance?

    Again...this has become my favorite subforum!!! I look forward to your input!

    Chris

    OH...forgot to mention the bike I ride. My current bike is an 02 Fuji Ace (steel). I will be picking up a restored Novara Randonee this weekend (steel as well!).

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I wouldn't worry about speed at this point. Your current speed range is fine for now. Instead I would work on gradually increasing your endurance on Saturdays.

    Then I'd pick one or two days per week and work on speed on those days.

  3. #3
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Since you are doing the commutes anyways use them for speed workouts (once or twice a week) and also for easy recovery days. Wear a HRM so you'll stick within the correct effort range for the type of ride you are doing.

    Definitely slowly increase the long ride distance on weekends. Once you can do a 100miles without issue maybe start riding the following day (once a month?), starting small and working up till you are doing 100miles on back to back days. You'll have to take your rest/recovery days in the week.

    Also do some night rides and some rain rides. Ride as many hills as you can find. On your long rides start trying out the food/drink plan you'll use on your brevets. Ride with your full randoneering load during your long rides.

    There are some articles on this page as well as some books you might be interested in at the bottom:

    http://www.randonneurs.bc.ca/toolbox/toolbox.html

    safe riding,

    Vik
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  4. #4
    E. Peterbus Unum
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    These are great points. One thing I noted about my commuting is that it made my rides expect a break about every 12 miles (12.5 miles to the office, 8 hr shift, 12.5 miles ride home). I have started to incorporate a non-stop 50 mile ride to keep my body used to riding and refueling on the road and building a better endurance.

    vik....guess I need to go out and get a HRM. Hey......and Christmas is right around the corner. And I like the idea of rides on both weekend days with more recovery on the weekdays (my bicycle backup is a Harley!).

    Thanks again!

    Chris

  5. #5
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    You could also add miles on some of your commutes.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

    - Will Rogers

  6. #6
    Member chrispatoz's Avatar
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    Hi

    good topic TXBiker.... I too am building to some events next year and related question for those with some experience... I am aware of how events are timed but I too do most of my training in relatively flat country ... what sort of speeds do I need to be aiming for in preparation?
    Chris
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  7. #7
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrispatoz
    Hi

    good topic TXBiker.... I too am building to some events next year and related question for those with some experience... I am aware of how events are timed but I too do most of my training in relatively flat country ... what sort of speeds do I need to be aiming for in preparation?
    The minimum speed on brevets (600K and less) is 15 km/h (~ 9 mph) including all breaks. If you plan to include about 2 hours of breaks on a 200K, then your riding speed should be about 17.4 km/h (10.4 mph) or more.

    The minimum speed on longer randonnees (1000K, 1200K, and 1400K) is less. The 1000K and 1200K have average speeds of about 13.3 km/h, the 1400K is less that that. Now those average speeds aren't quite as simple as that because I believe you have to maintain the 15 km/h up to the 600K point, and then the average speed drops off after that. Also on these rides, you'll likely want to sleep somewhere along the way, so you've got to take longer breaks into consideration.

  8. #8
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TxBiker

    vik....guess I need to go out and get a HRM. Hey......and Christmas is right around the corner.
    Thanks again!

    Chris
    Chris - unless you want a pimped out HRM you can get away with a very basic cheap one. All it really needs is:

    - stop watch
    - max & min HR zone alarm
    - record max & avg HR

    This $49.99 Polar from Nashbar will do the trick:

    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...and%3A%20Polar

    You can buy or make (pipe insulation) a bike mount for easy viewing. Polar also makes a CS100 wireless bike computer w/ HR - $69.99 @ Nashbar. I wouldn't use this as my only bike computer for brevets (its a little unreliable), but it would be fine as a back up to your regular bike computer.

    If you run or row the watch style are nice because you can take 'em with you.
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  9. #9
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    Two thoughts:

    1) What are you eating? If you aren't eating well, you can run out of energy.
    2) You are likely riding too fast. Try riding more slowly on your long rides.
    Eric

    2005 Trek 5.2 Madone, Red with Yellow Flames (Beauty)
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    Read my cycling blog at http://riderx.info/blogs/riderx
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  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    txbiker -- my training regimen was pretty similar to yours: 28-30 mile round trip work commute 3-4 days per week + a long ride on saturdays. I decided in Jan '06 to do my first brevet series, commuted year round, but only started working in long training rides in March. Every long ride that I did was about 10 to 20 miles longer than the last one (30 > 50 > 70 > 80 > 100). I did my first 200K in May and completed the 600K in July. So, yeah, year round commuting plus two months of 'real' training went into my first year of randoneering. It's totally feasible and doesn't really require that much planning.

    I think that you should set yourself a goal to do a century about a month before you do a brevet. Work up the mileage gradually, and remember to eat and hydrate properly. It doesn't sound like you're getting in the calories that you need to keep on going (50 miles is about when I bonk if I just go without food) and you need to eat to go further. Aim for 300 calories every hour.

    also, imho, you do need to work on some speed -- mostly because you are doing flat miles, and getting yourself faster will build up the strength that you need for the climbing involved with brevets. Keep in mind -- 3000 ft. of climbing per 100k distance. That can be a significant amount of climbing for someone who's just used to riding on flats. Do intervals on a couple of your commutes. Look for highway overpasses and hit those when you can if you don't have natural elevation.

    finally, and I only say this because I suspect that you may be overplanning this ventures -- when you start seriously considering your first brevet, just think of the 200K and focus on what you're going to do to complete that. Don't think of the 300, 400 or anything else until the first one is done. Working your way up to a 750 mile ride can seem daunting when you're only doing 1/25 that distance now, but every long ride is all about breaking things down to small, manageable pieces and getting through it one segment at a time. Focus on your 200, complete your 200, focus on your 300, complete your 300. Next thing you know, you'll be doing a 1200k and looking back in wonder at the days when a century seemed epic.

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