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  1. #1
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    Newb needs to get in shape for a 500 mile ride

    Hey, I'm coming back from a torn tendon and i need to get in shape for a 500 mile ride. We'll be averaging about 25 mph. I'm riding a Trek 7300FX(hybrid). Right now i can hold about 15-17 mph for 40 miles(thats the farthest i've ever ridden). I need to know what kind of training i need to do. The only grade on the trail that i know of is 13%.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twistedkosher
    Hey, I'm coming back from a torn tendon and i need to get in shape for a 500 mile ride. We'll be averaging about 25 mph. I'm riding a Trek 7300FX(hybrid). Right now i can hold about 15-17 mph for 40 miles(thats the farthest i've ever ridden). I need to know what kind of training i need to do. The only grade on the trail that i know of is 13%.
    at the risk of nibbling on troll bait: 25 mph total average time on a 500 mile ride is rather ... ambitious. is there a typo in here or is there something missing in your information?

    like, perhaps, the fact that you'll be on motor scooters?

    (fwiw, most of the first finishers in a 600k (375 mile) brevet tend to average around 15-17 mph total time, moving average might be a little higher, but it won't be even close to 20mph )

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    Say, spokenword? I'm looking for advice too. I have a date with a supermodel coming up, and I weigh 300 pounds and have a serious acne problem. What can I do to loose the weight by Friday, and clear up my complexion? (I only have the one arm, so can't apply topical creams to the left side of my face.)

    Thanks in advance!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours
    Say, spokenword? I'm looking for advice too. I have a date with a supermodel coming up, and I weigh 300 pounds and have a serious acne problem. What can I do to loose the weight by Friday, and clear up my complexion? (I only have the one arm, so can't apply topical creams to the left side of my face.)

    Thanks in advance!
    oh that's easy, 6j. convert to hinduism, shoot yourself in the face and hope for the best from reincarnation.

    though, to paraphrase Richard, if you've already got a date then that's half the battle right there!

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    Lol!

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    shows how much i know, 25 mph sounded right to me. If it's not thats right thats fine. Then i guess i need advice on how to train for a 500 mph ride at an avg of 15-17 mph.

    p.s. I was sincere in my desire to ride at that pace(500 miles 25mph avg) I didn't know that that was beyond normal. BTW i'm not a troll, just not very knowledgable of the limits of human capability.
    Last edited by twistedkosher; 07-10-07 at 08:48 PM.

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    Senior Member john bono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twistedkosher
    shows how much i know, 25 mph sounded right to me. If it's not thats right thats fine. Then i guess i need advice on how to train for a 500 mph ride at an avg of 15-17 mph.
    What your average speed will depend greatly on your terrain, your bike, and your condition. For example, as a borderline uberclyde(290 lbs), I will only average about 10-12 mph through the hills of CT doing a century on my road bike. However, put me down in Savannah, GA, and I'll average 18+ mph. If you are only averaging 16 mph now, averaging 25mph for a 100 mile ride will be a pretty tall order to accomplish this season.
    Ride a bike. It makes your legs stringy, and less tasty to our Kanamit friends.[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    not this season next summer, forgot to add that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twistedkosher
    shows how much i know, 25 mph sounded right to me. If it's not thats right thats fine. Then i guess i need advice on how to train for a 500 mph ride at an avg of 15-17 mph.
    ok ... sorry, if we came off a bit mean. sometimes, people tend to post stuff to get folks riled up with claims of exaggerated abilities and your post unfortunately fell into that stereotype.

    to your question, we need some clarifying information.

    a) how soon is this ride of yours?
    b) how many days are you planning on taking to finish riding 500 miles?
    c) will you be self-supported or will you have someone around to help with mechanical problems and transport any gear?
    d) what's the point of your ride (tour? endurance event with specific time requirements? doing it just because you can?)

    but, the short answer to your question is: 40 miles is not enough. you need to go further and you need to go often.

    essentially, for long distances on a bike, your training is not just physical conditioning (is my body strong /hard enough to ride x miles in y speed) but also mental, mechanical and nutritional. In general, if you can do 40 miles right now, you should try to do 60. After you do 60, try 80. After 80, try a 100. After you do a 100, your body is able to do 500 -- given certain amounts of willpower, digestive health and a lack of catastrophic mechanical problems with your bike.

    The mental stuff just comes with doing a lot of hours on a bike; and also doing a lot of hard hours ... riding at night, in bad weather and other adverse conditions. You have no control over what your environment will be like on long rides. A forecast for good weather in the area where you spend your first 100 miles might lead into a rainstorm after 200. You have to accept that and deal with it; and part of that just comes from riding all the time. If you guys are planning on riding at night, then definitely train for that above all others.

    Nutrition is important because it's directly related to your endurance. Your body is an engine and it needs a constant stream of fuel. Basically, you need about 250 - 300 calories per hour that you'll be riding (basically one Clif Bar or six Fig Newtons) in addition to water and electrolytes. Again, you need to ride far distances to suss this stuff out. If you're only doing 40 miles (and at a 15 mph average) you're only on a bike for 2.5 hours. Your lunch will fill that caloric need and you can get through any 2.5 hr ride with a light snack. It's when you get to more than 5 hours on a bike that the importance of eating properly starts to become apparent.

    Mechanicals are pretty obvious. Know how to do basic field work. Fix a flat. Fix a broken spoken. Fix a broken chain. Know how to do it all in the rain. Know how to do it at night. If you're riding unsupported, an unfortunate mechanical problem can render all of your training for naught. You need to know how to work on your bike when you're dozens of miles from the nearest shop or friendly garage.

    Of course, the importance of all of this can change depending on how intense you plan on doing the ride. if you're doing it as a tour and wanting to take your time, then the nutritional and mental stuff gets to be less important; and the amount of training you need decreases. More than a few people have started cross-country tours without having ridden more than 40 miles in their entire life. They just train up to distances as they continue through the tour. if you have specific time/speed goals that you need to hit (and it sounds like you're not sure) then it becomes more important to train up to those goals before the event starts.

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    The ride is next summer, we will take about a week or a little less, it's only me and a friend (no car to ferry stuff out to us), were doing it because we love biking and we want to see the country. anything else you need to know. oh yea were also doing a shorter 60 mile trip this summert and hopefully an 80 and 100 mile trip a little later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twistedkosher
    shows how much i know, 25 mph sounded right to me. If it's not thats right thats fine. Then i guess i need advice on how to train for a 500 mph ride at an avg of 15-17 mph.

    p.s. I was sincere in my desire to ride at that pace(500 miles 25mph avg) I didn't know that that was beyond normal. BTW i'm not a troll, just not very knowledgable of the limits of human capability.
    no problem. I am also compelled to point out that a 15mph average pace on distances of greater than 200 miles is also within the realm of human capability, but it's a highly rareified realm. As I said, in my first response to you, the fastest folks on a 375 mile ride usually average 15-17, and these people are almost inhumanly swift. Most of the rest of us get along in the 10-12 range. Regardless of your level of fitness, your average speed will always drop off as you go further, and you will probably find that while you might be able to maintain a 15 mph average on a 40 mile ride, it will become increasingly difficult to keep that up at 80 or 120.

    There are a few reasons for this: For one,, your body is using up calories faster than your stomach can provide replacement. With hard effort, you will probably be burning 600-800 calories per hour of cycling, but your stomach can only process between 250 - 300. The remaining deficit is made up of your body tapping into energy reserves in your glycogen and your muscles. That means that you will progressively get weaker and more tired as you go further.

    So, if you want to hit 15-17, you need to get your average 40 mile ride speed up to more than 20 mph, so that as you get tired, you'll fall closer to 15. Unfortunately, it's difficult to do that on a hybrid as the aerodynamics work against you and because of air friction, it's will be more difficult to maintain a high speed. Essentially air drag increases as your speed increases. So you will wind up doing more work to go from 18 to 20 mph than if you were going from 15 to 17.

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    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    dream on . . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by twistedkosher
    The ride is next summer, we will take about a week or a little less, it's only me and a friend (no car to ferry stuff out to us), were doing it because we love biking and we want to see the country. anything else you need to know. oh yea were also doing a shorter 60 mile trip this summert and hopefully an 80 and 100 mile trip a little later.
    oh, a week? hell, in that case, yeah, don't worry about it. Do a 100 mile ride, and you'll be fine. If you arent used to multi-day riding, then do that, too. Maybe do, like, a couple of 60s on back-to-back days, just to get your body used to doing some distances with a bit of sleep in between.

    And, of course, learn basic bike mechani stuff if you don't know it already.

  14. #14
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    So let me summarize here ...

    You are doing a 500 mile ride spread out over a week. So that's approx. 70 to 100 miles a day or so.

    Your longest distance is currently 40 miles in one day. You should have no trouble with a 70 mile day. Keep gradually increasing your weekly distance by about 10% per week, and increase your long day by about 10% as well. So if you're doing 100 miles a week right now, next week ride 110. If you did 40 miles this past Saturday, ride 44 miles this coming Saturday.

    I always find it amusing when riders want to do longer distances, and the first thing they talk about is NOT building up to the distance, but rather about the speed at which they want to do the distance. If you are planning to race, focussing on the speed is fine, but if you want to ride long distances, focus on being able to ride the distance. Don't worry about the speed. The speed can come later.

    It is no wonder that people here assumed you were a troll!! You don't know if you can even cover the distance yet. You are riding a hybrid. Your current speed over 40 miles is 15-17 mph ...... and in one year's time you want to average 25 mph over a distance that is twice the distance you've ever done??? Right!!

    First focus on the distance. Then once you feel more comfortable riding your daily distances, build up your strength and speed. If you increase your average mph by 2 or 3 mph, consider yourself fortunate.

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    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    I need to know what kind of training i need to do.
    Riding your bike a lot will help prepare you for riding your bike a lot.......

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium
    Riding your bike a lot will help prepare you for riding your bike a lot.......
    I hadn't thought of that, you must be some sort of cycling expert!

    I already ride my bike as much as i can, 40 miles every other day.

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    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    If you are doing 15-17 mph average for 40 miles every other day, then you are in good position to do this trip. You already have good general fitness. You need to work on gradually increasing your distance so you can do a 100 mile ride once a week. This is within your grasp. Take one day a week (usually Saturday is best) and start doing longer and longer routes. Don't worry about speed. Concentrate on distance. Ride shorter distances during the week.

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    I hadn't thought of that, you must be some sort of cycling expert!
    He is, intentionally or not, paraphrasing the greatest "cycling expert" of all time, Eddy Merckx. When asked by a reporter "How does one become a great champion?" he replied "Ride lots."

    IMO your goal should be to finish the ride. Training to this goal really is about "riding lots". If 40 miles every other day is all you can manage due to time constraints, then there is no point to this thread as you are already doing everything you can. If, on the other hand, 40 miles every other day is all you can manage due to physical limitations, then you need to A) ride more often than every other day, and B) increase your total distances by about 10% each week.

  19. #19
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    Your longest distance is currently 40 miles in one day. You should have no trouble with a 70 mile day. Keep gradually increasing your weekly distance by about 10% per week, and increase your long day by about 10% as well. So if you're doing 100 miles a week right now, next week ride 110. If you did 40 miles this past Saturday, ride 44 miles this coming Saturday.....

    ....First focus on the distance. Then once you feel more comfortable riding your daily distances, build up your strength and speed. If you increase your average mph by 2 or 3 mph, consider yourself fortunate.
    I think anyone who can ride 40 miles at one go can easily jump up to 100, though not at a 40 mile pace. Considering that the OP is going for a week long event, he further needs to get to the point that he can ride these distances without the need for recovery in between. There is a huge difference between riding alternate days and riding every day.

    I agree that the focus needs to be on distance rather than the speed. No insult twistedkosher, but I think you really need to readjust your goals. I think that you can easily be in shape for a 500 mile week long event in a year. However, the chances of completing it over 20mph are nil. Depending on your condition, a 15 mph average (including stops) might be attainable.

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    I think anyone who can ride 40 miles at one go can easily jump up to 100, though not at a 40 mile pace.
    I'll cheerfully disagree with that one. Personally, if my condition is such that a 40 mile ride is a workout for me, 100 would be a death march. And if it takes me a day to recover from a 40, back to back (to back to back to back) 100s would be on the cusp of physical impossibility -- and miles removed from anything resembling "fun".

    I think we're all agreed that worrying about speed at this point -- let alone world class averages like 25 mph -- is pointless, but in his shoes I'd be worried about even completing his event without first spending a lot of effort on adapting to daily efforts and longer distances.

  21. #21
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twistedkosher
    I already ride my bike as much as i can, 40 miles every other day.
    Be aware that by cycling standards, this is not much. There were a few months this year after I switched jobs when I was only able to put 100-150 miles a week. Consequently, I'm in the worst shape I've been in for years.

    Just this month, I got hooked up with a 44 mile bike commute that I can enjoy 3 times a week and I now have the opportunity to ride much further on weekends. Although I can do my commute at an average speed of over 20mph (with average luck at the stoplights, slightly slower if luck is bad), I think of that riding as maintaining my base -- i.e. it is not training for a big ride.

    The people who can maintain those insane speeds REALLY ride lots and they are born with more ability than the vast majority of other people.

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    When I first started racing, back before disk wheels and aero bars -- in other words, on bikes a lot like what we ride for LD -- we were happy to go more than a few minutes under an hour for a 25 mile time trial. I might be able to maintain 25 mph for 30 minutes or so these days, (300 miles/week, no speedwork) but I'd have to call 911 afterwards.

    I was present when Mike Secrest set a 24 hour world record at the old Olympic velodrome in Carson. IIRC that was in the neighborhood of 500 miles at about 22 mph, and he was using an aero helmet, disk wheels, and a condom catheter with a pee bottle attached to the bike.

  23. #23
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    I did over 500 miles in a week having done a couple centuries earlier that season and built up to 40 -50 miles four or five times a week for the preceeding three weeks. The important thing is build a up a good base but don't increase your weekly milage by more than 10% of the preceeding week.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Fonk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours
    I'll cheerfully disagree with that one. Personally, if my condition is such that a 40 mile ride is a workout for me, 100 would be a death march. And if it takes me a day to recover from a 40, back to back (to back to back to back) 100s would be on the cusp of physical impossibility -- and miles removed from anything resembling "fun".

    I think we're all agreed that worrying about speed at this point -- let alone world class averages like 25 mph -- is pointless, but in his shoes I'd be worried about even completing his event without first spending a lot of effort on adapting to daily efforts and longer distances.
    Actually, the common knowledge I've read in several books is that a person can do a long ride of approximately 3 times what they normally (and consistently) train. Thus, if you do 35-mile rides regularly in training, you can plan on riding a century with no problem. Will you ride it fast and pain-free? Probably not, but you can do it.

    When I first started cycling, I didn't know what I was doing, and agreed to do a 75-mile charity event w/ a friend of mine, doing a 65-mile (organized) ride the week before the main event. I just started training a mere two weeks before the event, and was only doing 15-mile rides. That 65-mile event HURT, and I slept for 3 hours immediately afterwards, just crashed from exhaustion, but I did it. And the next week I did the 75-miler in the mountains. It hurt, too, but less than the first one. After that, I started to realize what was really needed, and started doing real training. And my longer distance rides and tours have been more enjoyable as a result. Still, I didn't have to start out w/ long distance to jump into long distance; it just would have been better if I had.

    A lot of it is mental...
    "The only opponent is within."

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    So these are the constructive things i've taken away from this thread.

    "You need to work on gradually increasing your distance so you can do a 100 mile ride once a week. This is within your grasp. Take one day a week (usually Saturday is best) and start doing longer and longer routes"

    "I agree that the focus needs to be on distance rather than the speed."

    "Keep gradually increasing your weekly distance by about 10% per week, and increase your long day by about 10% as well. So if you're doing 100 miles a week right now, next week ride 110. If you did 40 miles this past Saturday, ride 44 miles this coming Saturday."

    "With hard effort, you will probably be burning 600-800 calories per hour of cycling, but your stomach can only process between 250 - 300. The remaining deficit is made up of your body tapping into energy reserves in your glycogen and your muscles. That means that you will progressively get weaker and more tired as you go further."

    That and everything spokenword said. Is there anything else i should know about? From what i've read here i'm lead to believe that the only type of excercise i should do is riding my butt off everyday, Is that correct?

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