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  1. #1
    squatchy
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    Can I get some training advice please

    Hi all.

    My lady friend and I just signed up for our"biggest ride to date" and I'm somewhat scarred. I have done some centuries this past year and lots of somewhat shorter rides. We ride some sixty mile rides and lots of forty's. We climb a lot as well.

    This past year was our first year. We're both mid fifties. Anyway,, for us, we signed to ride a really long ride with major climbing. The ride is 230 miles long, and has 16,500 ft of elevation gain and includes many climbs at elevations as high as 11,500 ft. http://www.deathridetour.com/about.php

    To make it even more of a challenge it's in early June. Living in Colorado the winters keep us indoors a good bit, even when it's warm out the mountain climbs are icy and have a good bit of gravel spread on the road. Needless to say an indoor trainer will be a big part of this winters training for this ride.

    I'm unsure if I should spend most of my time riding intervals above lactate threshold, and just try to get longish road rides when the weather would permits. Or what. I suppose I should also do squats ect to build up my leg strength as well.

    Can any of you give me some advise please?


    Thanks

    Ryan
    Last edited by unterhausen; 11-23-12 at 08:43 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Commodus's Avatar
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    On a trainer, I would stick to intervals. Surely no one has the mental fortitude to do long rides on a trainer? Come spring, mix it up with one interval day per week, and various longer distances throughout. Take a day or two off per week, and taper towards the event.

    I am actually just coming on to leg presses and squats and things in the gym, and I like it a lot. I feel a lot stronger when sprinting and climbing out of the saddle. I do a lot of one-legged presses, and I feel like it helps stabilize the pelvic area during these hard efforts, so I can put down more power. But, this really isn't necessary or relevant for doing a long ride like this.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Remember that this is a tour, so to speak, and you're doing the ride over a three day period (80+/- miles per day) so I think what you are talking about for training is fine. If you were doing it in one day it would be a completely different animal. Are you and your lady friend doing it on singles or a tandem? I'm sure if you're worried she probalby is too. As long as you're comfortable doing back to back long days you'll be fine.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Commodus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
    Remember that this is a tour, so to speak, and you're doing the ride over a three day period (80+/- miles per day) so I think what you are talking about for training is fine. If you were doing it in one day it would be a completely different animal. Are you and your lady friend doing it on singles or a tandem? I'm sure if you're worried she probalby is too. As long as you're comfortable doing back to back long days you'll be fine.
    ah...hahaha. Yea okay ignore my post. I didn't realize this was a three day event!

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    If you have good basic fitness, it will be enough. But there are other things that affect your enjoyment of the ride and how you feel by the third day. One way or another, you need to learn how to get into a comfortable, sustainable groove on the long climbs. You need to learn how to eat and drink and pace yourself, and you need to make sure that your bike is well-fitted and comfortable. A lot of that is more knowledge and experience than fitness, but you will only get it by doing more longer rides. Probably any reasonable training activity you do over the winter will be enough, and start riding outside as soon as you can. If you can get out for at least one or two rides of 60-80 mi beforehand and focus not on just finishing or finishing fast, but on finishing feeling good, that will do a lot for your confidence level.
    You can make it, and you can make it and feel good. But nothing can convince you of that the way getting out on more longer rides can.

  6. #6
    Senior Member chriskmurray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Commodus View Post
    Surely no one has the mental fortitude to do long rides on a trainer?
    There are some crazies out there that compete in this... http://www.ultracycling.com/sections...itions/indoor/

  7. #7
    squatchy
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    My concern is riding the third day. The climb is tough and being on the third day it just makes me wonder. If it was only the first two days I know both of us would be fine. Here's the profile on the link.

    http://www.deathridetour.com/about.php

  8. #8
    Senior Member Steamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squatchy View Post
    My concern is riding the third day. The climb is tough and being on the third day it just makes me wonder. If it was only the first two days I know both of us would be fine. Here's the profile on the link.

    http://www.deathridetour.com/about.php
    It's not a race. Sucess would be to climb it without walking or suffering too much, correct?

    Use low gears. Get them if you don't now, and have the discipline to use them.

  9. #9
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Arnie Baker has a book about events like this here:
    http://www.arniebakercycling.com/books/b_ace.htm

    IIRC, for gearing he recommends a triple and a 12-34 or 11-34 cassette. Thing to do is keep the cadence up, leg effort down.

  10. #10
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    That climb is not that hard, it's just high. You have all day to do it. You'll be fine. And I live in the Front Range too, there's no reason you can ride outside all winter.

    On a separate note, what a stunningly bad web site!
    ...

  11. #11
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    If I may suggest it, if the weather doesn't allow riding, consider hiking or snowshoeing for a major workout. It's not identical to cycling, but works some of the same muscles.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  12. #12
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    I did this ride last year - and you'll be fine. Most important tip-ride earlier than the "group" start, as they start too late. The later the start, the stronger the wind you have to deal with-and it's plenty strong already. Get the massages post ride, and be sure to stay hydrated at all time (post ride as well). Day 3 does have some steeps, but nothing more than High Grade, and certainly less than SuperFlagstaff. It's more mental fatigue that kicks in-after 2 days I was ready to go home, and I highly recommend books on tape to cope. The ride is fun, extremely beautiful-and well supported. PM me if you want more deets.

  13. #13
    squatchy
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    Hi Crockett

    I don't have enough post to contact you yet as I need to have 50. Can you go to my profile and send me a note with your e-mail or phone number. I would like to chat a bit and possibly make a new riding friend.

    Thanks

    Ryan

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    Quote Originally Posted by squatchy View Post
    Hi Crockett

    I don't have enough post to contact you yet as I need to have 50. Can you go to my profile and send me a note with your e-mail or phone number. I would like to chat a bit and possibly make a new riding friend.

    Thanks

    Ryan
    Done!

  15. #15
    Commuter & cyclotourist brianogilvie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chriskmurray View Post
    There are some crazies out there that compete in this... http://www.ultracycling.com/sections...itions/indoor/
    And the current leader did a 28-hour indoor ride earlier this month!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by chriskmurray View Post
    There are some crazies out there that compete in this... http://www.ultracycling.com/sections...itions/indoor/
    There are stories of the Russian and German coaches making their teams ride all out on trainers for 4-7 hrs either facing a brick wall or in a completely dark room. the goal wasn't training the legs... it was training for mental toughness!

    Personally, I'd rather ride a 200k in minus 5 degree Colorado weather conditions than spend 7 hrs on a trainer (but you've gotta do what you've gotta do....)

    Ryan: if you want help preparing for long rides check out Colorado randonneuring (rmccrides.com)- lots of helpful and experienced folks and great ideas for long distance training routes.

    good luck
    Last edited by Sekhem; 12-05-12 at 12:33 PM.

  17. #17
    squatchy
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    So I have been riding some "personal best" rides to get a starting number to compare to over the winter. I rode 55 miles the other day in 3 hours and 4 mins. I wasn't totally shot out at the end either. I did find I had to concentrate to try and push the entire time. There were times in the last third that I would have slowed some had I not paid attention to trying to keep a pace. The last three rides I did at this distance on the flats were all about the same speed.

    On another note I did do a climb on Sunday and found that after 1.5 hours riding in the high end of HR zone 4, I started to fade. It was terribly cold and I never did warm up during the entire ride. I'm not sure how much the cold affected me. The climbing ride was the equivalent of one third of the first day on this death ride I signed for. I have some work to do lol

  18. #18
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squatchy View Post
    So I have been riding some "personal best" rides to get a starting number to compare to over the winter. I rode 55 miles the other day in 3 hours and 4 mins. I wasn't totally shot out at the end either. I did find I had to concentrate to try and push the entire time. There were times in the last third that I would have slowed some had I not paid attention to trying to keep a pace. The last three rides I did at this distance on the flats were all about the same speed.

    On another note I did do a climb on Sunday and found that after 1.5 hours riding in the high end of HR zone 4, I started to fade. It was terribly cold and I never did warm up during the entire ride. I'm not sure how much the cold affected me. The climbing ride was the equivalent of one third of the first day on this death ride I signed for. I have some work to do lol
    Well, yah! 1.5 hrs. of Z4 is enough to fade most anyone. Your task in training is to get up to 1500'/hour in zone 3. That involves getting your power up, weight down, all of those, and increasing your endurance. Hill repeats, mostly on the trainer, I guess for now. Hopefully you have some altitude tracking device to tell you how you are doing when you get outside. You should have been sweating a little on the climb, whatever the temperature. You should have to unzip on climbs in the winter, then zip up on the descents. Warmer clothes.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    Well, yah! 1.5 hrs. of Z4 is enough to fade most anyone. Your task in training is to get up to 1500'/hour in zone 3.
    Is that 1500 feet/hour? That's extremely slow. In my experience, long climbs at 1800-2200 feet/hour in organized centuries consistently put me in the slowest 10-20% of the field. I'd need 2500 to finish in the middle of the pack. Even if the climbing is slower at Colorado altitudes, 1500'/hour would still be way below the intensity you need to achieve.

  20. #20
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post
    Is that 1500 feet/hour? That's extremely slow. In my experience, long climbs at 1800-2200 feet/hour in organized centuries consistently put me in the slowest 10-20% of the field. I'd need 2500 to finish in the middle of the pack. Even if the climbing is slower at Colorado altitudes, 1500'/hour would still be way below the intensity you need to achieve.
    You're right. But that pace will allow the OP to finish the ride within the time limit (if there even is one). Faster of course would be better. If I'm not mistaken, a pace of 1750'/hr. will allow a rider to finish the Death Ride (Tour of the California Alps now) with all 5 passes within the time limit. Anyway, 16,500'/1500 = 11 hrs. of climbing spread over 3 days. This seems to me a very reasonable goal. No need to rush it. It's going to be a beautiful ride. The main thing on a long climb is to stay on the bike.

    BTW, I've finished RAMROD (154 miles, 10,000') in the top 10% and I've never climbed faster than 2200'/hr., usually around 2000' on multi-hour climbs. It isn't all in the climbing speed. Though I suppose at 154 miles there aren't as many racer boys as one sees in a California century.

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    OK, before everyone gets confused, there are two different Death Rides. The one in California (Tour of the California Alps) is 15,000' and 5 passes in one day. The one in Colorado is 16,500' in 3 days. The OP is preparing for the one in Colorado.

    1750'/hour might allow you to finish Tour of the California Alps within the 15-hour time limit, but it will be tight.

    Since the one in Colorado is a 3-day tour and you don't have to ride more than 70-80 miles on any day, I wouldn't expect time limits.

  22. #22
    squatchy
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    You are correct.

    There is no time limit. The ride is not equal days. Day one and three are shorter. 73, 111, and 48 miles, in that order. When I rode High Grade on Sunday I was riding 1800-1900ish and hour. Some of it was 8%, although I was slower in those steeper sections. I think it was 20 degrees and the wind was blowing pretty hard and we were in the shade so no sunshine. Yes I was WAY under dressed. Especially on the descent.

    So I have a question! Would I do better to ride as long as I can in Z4, or, better to do climbing intervals, or over/under's ?

  23. #23
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    About what climbing cadence were you spinning?

    The event is in early June. When can you reliably get out on the road?

    I can only tell you what I'd do, from my personal experience:
    Work on form on the rollers until early March. Form workouts would include high cadence drills, continuous, from 15' to 45', maybe a month of that, mostly Z2 - keep the HR down, low gears. Then one legged pedaling drills, 2' intervals on each leg, enough resistance to hurt, HR doesn't matter. Otherwise, ride mostly Z2 on the rollers, some Z3, maybe 30%, 1-1.5 hour sessions. Get out on the road when you can and just ride as far as you reasonably can, some hills, but no great climbing work.

    When you can get out on the road, do a hilly endurance ride once a week. Ride the hills about as specified below. Work up to a 100 mile weekend ride.
    2 weeks in March, 15'-20' LT intervals, say 2 or 3 X 15' X 10' twice a week, indoors or outdoors. Climbing cadence if you can.
    2 weeks in March, 2 weeks in April, low cadence climbing intervals, 50 cadence, zone 3, 2 or 3 X 10' X 10', twice a week, best outdoors. Don't do these if your knees hurt, do LT intervals instead.
    2 weeks in April, 2 weeks in May, more LT intervals.
    Last 2 weeks in May, anaerobic intervals, 2'-6' long.
    1st week in June, easy endurance rides.

    Insert a recovery week about every 4th week.
    The above is pretty old school, but it works. It's a sensible periodation, anyway, and it gives you some idea of what you can do when you're confined to the rollers or trainer.

    Once you can get outside, you can also do this thing: once a week 35 mi. speed work, once 25 mi. hill repeats, once 35 mi. recovery ride, once long hilly ride, 60-100 miles.

    The main idea is start off with form work, gradually increase the intensity and volume, don't burn yourself out.

    You say you're strong, so no weight work. Just work on weight loss.

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