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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 08-16-13, 06:29 PM   #1
Mycoalson
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Lsd.

When I was at WIU in the mid 80's a professor recommended LSD. He said it was the best thing in the world.

I currently am riding a Giant Revel 2 and am riding 210 miles per week. At one point I was simply riding with the goal of doing a Century or a 200K and although I've done neither yet, I found myself being more motivated by the challenge of a 1000 mile month. I'm not there yet..but continue to hold out hopes to do so before winter sets in, in Illinois.

I asked over on the, "Old Coot," forum, as I'll be celebrating my 51 pretty soon, but didn't really get much response, so I'm going to ask a basic question here:

Amongst distance riders or those with a goal similar to myself...what do you find to be the most comfortable level of handle bar height to seat height?

Currently, my bars are about an inch below the seat and I'm putting a new fork on the bike so as to eliminate the shocks, which I don't need given my riding conditions.

That tweak will allow me to make a choice regarding having the bars a bit higher whilst still using a relatively straight stem.

I should also point out I use trekking bars.

Any other tips are completely appreciated, but I should mention currently, my daily rides are only about 35 miles. I am capable of going further, but the shorter rides seem to add up to a better mileage over the month...hopefully, by increasing my riding time in the next month or so, by about a half an hour a day, I'll go over the 1000 mile month.


And therefore be able to truly appreciate the effects of Long Slow Distance(LSD).
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Old 08-16-13, 06:39 PM   #2
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And therefore be able to truly appreciate the effects of Long Slow Distance(LSD).
LSD is actually Long Steady Distance.
You're not on holiday, stopping to smell the flowers, but you're not trying to break any records either.
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Old 08-16-13, 06:45 PM   #3
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As far as I'm concerned LSD makes you one thing, a slow rider who can ride long distances (to some extent). Depends on what you want to do. If you want to be slow, then LSD is the right thing for you. If not, it's not. As far as steady goes, it depends on your definition of steady.
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Old 08-16-13, 06:51 PM   #4
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LSD is actually Long Steady Distance.
You're not on holiday, stopping to smell the flowers, but you're not trying to break any records either.
+1

Steady ... not slow.

Imagine the fastest speed you might steadily maintain over a 100 mile distance, without slowing down at the end because you're tired, and still having something in reserve so that you feel you could ride another 25 miles.



As for comfortable level of handle bar height to seat height ... I like mine about even, or with the handlebars slightly higher than the saddle.
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Old 08-16-13, 07:30 PM   #5
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What's been your longest ride so far? I wouldn't usually recommend it, but if you've been riding 210 miles per week for a while I bet you could tough out a century if you wanted to without any special training.
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Old 08-16-13, 07:39 PM   #6
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I've got to wonder, if we all said we used bars a foot below the saddle, is that what you'd do? Really, set stuff where it's comfortable for you, and if the rest of us sit bolt upright or hunched over like contortionists, it shouldn't really matter to you.
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Old 08-16-13, 09:00 PM   #7
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Well, some very interesting responses. 1) Steady sounds inherently better than slow. However, I think the prof was pointing out that to cover 100 miles your speed will be considerably less than if you wish to cover 30 miles.

2) I've ridden 75 miles in a day, two weeks in a row, as part of two separate 180 mile weeks.

3) I have a scientific nature, so I'm pretty willing to experiment with a lot of different ideas. So, although I'm willing to base things on my experience alone, I'm going to guess, a good old SWAG(Scientific Wild ### Guess) The experience of other riders, riders who've actually done more than I have, or are attempting the same thing I'm attempting, is going to be a valid source of information. In other words, someone out there probably has tried their bars a foot below the seat. I'm betting it didn't work out too well.

If I were just engaging in a WAG (wild ### Guess), I might try it down the street, just to see.

But, most folks who ride, depending on what they are doing, as a population, have a rough consensus as to what works and what doesn't. Many road riders seem to like their bars below the seat. Many tourers seem to advocate above. It is sounding like distance riders see even or slightly above.

I appreciate your input. And I won't do something I find uncomfortable or unlikely. Is that a sufficient response as to why I sought your opinion? I am grateful you took the time to answer.
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Old 08-16-13, 09:48 PM   #8
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I've done 1000 mile months many times and for me it's usually a couple 35 mile rides during the week, a Tuesday night century and a long ride on the weekend. For me, it's the quality of time on the bike, not the quantity of time.
Your bars should be where they are most comfortable. I change mine depending on what I'm doing, between 3" below the seat to close to level. Just remember, if you are sitting very upright you are pushing a lot of wind. That's going to mean you are going to go slower which means you will take longer to do that 1000miles in a month.
Just for reference, 1000 miles at 20mph is around 50hrs on the bike. 1000miles at 15mph is around 67 hours on the bike and at 10mph it's 100 hours. Plan your time accordingly.
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Old 08-16-13, 09:53 PM   #9
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When I ran cross-country in high school, "LSD" definitely stood for "long slow distance", the idea being that these were the runs for recovery and overall CV fitness -- am I wrong that emphasizing the "steady" part rather than a particular speed is more of a recent thing?
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Old 08-16-13, 09:57 PM   #10
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I've done 1000 mile months many times and for me it's usually a couple 35 mile rides during the week, a Tuesday night century and a long ride on the weekend. For me, it's the quality of time on the bike, not the quantity of time.
Your bars should be where they are most comfortable. I change mine depending on what I'm doing, between 3" below the seat to close to level. Just remember, if you are sitting very upright you are pushing a lot of wind. That's going to mean you are going to go slower which means you will take longer to do that 1000miles in a month.
Just for reference, 1000 miles at 20mph is around 50hrs on the bike. 1000miles at 15mph is around 67 hours on the bike and at 10mph it's 100 hours. Plan your time accordingly.

I appreciate your advice. MY current tendency to keep the rides around thirty five miles is an attempt to create a baseline, which will allow me to see 35 miles as a short or normal ride.

My hope would be that after a couple of weeks of this or a month, (times getting short in my part of the country..winter) I would be able to much more easily make longer rides(perhaps a century) with the light days being 35 milers.

On the down side, even at 50 I'm pretty much a newbie. I'm just now seeing speeds at 16 mph or so(generally a little over or a little under). I very much believe my speed will increase, but acknowledge it certainly contributes to a variety of forms of fatigue.
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Old 08-16-13, 10:46 PM   #11
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...On the down side, even at 50 I'm pretty much a newbie. I'm just now seeing speeds at 16 mph or so(generally a little over or a little under). I very much believe my speed will increase, but acknowledge it certainly contributes to a variety of forms of fatigue.
I'm 52 so I know where you're coming from. Speed will only really come if you work at it. Just riding won't make you faster. For what you are talking about, you don't need to be racer fast but probably want to be averaging at least 15+mph on your 35mile rides or you're going to be spending a lot of time trying to reach your goal. Whatever you do, have fun with it. If it becomes a chore you won't be finishing, that's for sure!
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Old 08-16-13, 10:55 PM   #12
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LSD in horse training is long slow distance. With the concept being that it is interspersed with fast, hard work.

Now back in the 70s, I recall a few LSD rides at night, but of course that's another matter entirely.
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Old 08-17-13, 02:01 AM   #13
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When I ran cross-country in high school, "LSD" definitely stood for "long slow distance", the idea being that these were the runs for recovery and overall CV fitness -- am I wrong that emphasizing the "steady" part rather than a particular speed is more of a recent thing?

It is possibly more recent ... I've heard it used over the past 10-15 years.

It's possible "steady" is used instead of "slow" is because long slow distance doesn't really accomplish much. Anyone could get out there and ride at 8 km/h for 50 km ... but it wouldn't do much for endurance, strength or fitness.

But 'the fastest speed you might steadily maintain over a 100 mile distance, without slowing down at the end because you're tired, and still having something in reserve so that you feel you could ride another 25 miles' means that you are putting in a bit of an effort, and can increase your endurance and fitness.

And it might take you a few long rides to find your fastest speed that you can maintain for a long distance.
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Old 08-17-13, 04:26 AM   #14
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Any other tips are completely appreciated, but I should mention currently, my daily rides are only about 35 miles. I am capable of going further, but the shorter rides seem to add up to a better mileage over the month...hopefully, by increasing my riding time in the next month or so, by about a half an hour a day, I'll go over the 1000 mile month.
There are so many things - so many "different ways of thinking" about this challenge - that the most important advice will be the turns on the "light-bulb" in you head.

Ok - you say your "scientific" - must I say you mean you are "analytical?"

I happened to ride 1100 miles during July - and this was the first time I had gone over 1000 miles in a month for over a year..... The two things that stood out - one I needed to realize I was taking time from family and others - and two I was lucky because I good weather this year.....

OK - here's what comes to mind - and I'm analytical ----

1 - are the tires and other bike features maximized for distance?
2 - realize this is not really a training or physical issue - it is "time management task" - ask yourself how to make time for short trips that add "bonus miles" for the day
3 - when you go for it - get "ahead of your goal" by riding the first few days at 35-40 miles...... then "calculate average miles per day needed" and ride one or two extra miles

I start out the month needing the "33 miles - but by the time the 20th or 21st - I was only needing 20-25 miles per day.
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Old 08-17-13, 09:15 AM   #15
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When I ran cross-country in high school, "LSD" definitely stood for "long slow distance", the idea being that these were the runs for recovery and overall CV fitness -- am I wrong that emphasizing the "steady" part rather than a particular speed is more of a recent thing?
Yup, and it was clear even then that the only thing that LSD was good for was running long distances slowly. Speed work---intervals and fartleck on a golf course---was part of every serious runner's training.
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Old 08-17-13, 02:05 PM   #16
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Yup, and it was clear even then that the only thing that LSD was good for was running long distances slowly. Speed work---intervals and fartleck on a golf course---was part of every serious runner's training.
As I recall from my running days in the '90s, LSD (which was definitely Long Slow Distance) was intended for beginners and intermediate runners who wanted to work up to long-distance events (10K to the marathon). I encountered it via Jeff Galloway, who promoted it as part of a training plan for running distance events, along with speedwork and hill training. I don't know anyone who suggested LSD alone. Galloway encouraged runners to do LSD runs that were substantially longer than the event itself, to build an aerobic base and endurance, and to do some long intervals somewhat above race pace (as well as much faster intervals); the idea was that in the race itself, you'd be pushing yourself a lot faster than on the LSD runs, but the speedwork would have prepared you for it.

"Slow" meant 1-3 mph slower than the event speed, by the way, so a runner aiming for a sub-3-hour marathon (6:52 pace, or 8.73 mph) would do long "slow" runs at a pace from 7:46-10:25. In that respect, it really meant the same as what some posters above meant by "steady." I was never a fast runner, but got to the point where I could run for an hour at a 7:15 pace. When I could do that, 8:15 definitely seemed slow.
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Old 08-17-13, 03:07 PM   #17
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In the '70s, it was definitely called "long slow distance." I don't think there is anything wrong with riding long distances at a comfortable pace. The thing is, if you want to go faster, you have to ride faster. And that means not riding at a comfortable pace.

I can ride 100 miles at my 30 mile pace, it's not that hard. I have resolved to increase my max speed, it's not fast enough at this point. Ok, so my sprinting speed is pretty good, I mean my constant max speed.
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Old 08-17-13, 03:11 PM   #18
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There are so many things - so many "different ways of thinking" about this challenge - that the most important advice will be the turns on the "light-bulb" in you head.

Ok - you say your "scientific" - must I say you mean you are "analytical?"

I happened to ride 1100 miles during July - and this was the first time I had gone over 1000 miles in a month for over a year..... The two things that stood out - one I needed to realize I was taking time from family and others - and two I was lucky because I good weather this year.....

OK - here's what comes to mind - and I'm analytical ----

1 - are the tires and other bike features maximized for distance?
2 - realize this is not really a training or physical issue - it is "time management task" - ask yourself how to make time for short trips that add "bonus miles" for the day
3 - when you go for it - get "ahead of your goal" by riding the first few days at 35-40 miles...... then "calculate average miles per day needed" and ride one or two extra miles

I start out the month needing the "33 miles - but by the time the 20th or 21st - I was only needing 20-25 miles per day.

The advice is very greatly appreciated. The irony is I'm hoping to get in 1000 "work out miles." I just checked my odometer and realized that the bike computer I bought at the beginning of June has 2016 miles on it. It would seem I've probably not actually done a 1000 mile month yet, but if I count all riding I'm a hell of a lot closer than I thought.

Yes, my intention was to point out I am in fact analytical. The only reason for the term scientific was to introduce the acronyms SWAG and WAG. If it helps ENTP on Meyers Briggs.

I'm assuming when you say, "Richard Cranium," you mean Dick Head.
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Old 08-17-13, 04:48 PM   #19
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Long steady distances are the best thing... for what?

You may find them enjoyable, and good for recuperation. But it isn't the best way to improve your performance.
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Old 08-17-13, 07:21 PM   #20
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Long steady distances are the best thing... for what?

You may find them enjoyable, and good for recuperation. But it isn't the best way to improve your performance.
"Performance" is made up of several things, one of which is endurance. Long steady distances help build endurance.

Other benefits of long steady distances:
-- getting to know your nutritional needs over long distances. Nutritional needs differ between a 2 hour ride and a 6 hour ride.
-- getting to know your bicycle, especially the fit.
-- getting to know the area where you live ... exploring the countryside. This can put you in a good mental frame of mind and can make you aware of your surroundings which can be beneficial when trying to follow a cue sheet in a new area.
-- releasing the stresses of the week. Again ... good mental frame of mind.
-- being able to be by yourself in nature for long periods of time.

It's not all about speed and strength.


That said, I wouldn't suggest doing long steady distance all the time ... mix it up with some hill repeats, intervals, and other speed work now and then.

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Old 08-18-13, 05:00 AM   #21
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"Performance" is made up of several things, one of which is endurance. Long steady distances help build endurance.
"Long slow distance" doesn't refer to occasionally doing long rides at a moderate pace. It's a training method developed in the late 1960s, where you run/cycle long distances at low efforts, e.g. slow enough to hold a normal conversation.

As far as I know, interval training is a superior method both for building endurance and increasing speed. With LSD, you'll plateau fairly quickly. Thus, the only way that LSD is the "best in the world" is if you don't like to push yourself, or are not interested in improving your performance.

If that's how you like to ride, that's great. You'll get most of the health benefits just by being active, and cycling doesn't have to be about "getting faster" for everyone. But as a training method, it isn't very effective (afaik).


Quote:
- getting to know your nutritional needs over long distances... etc
All of those are beneficial. None of them are mutually exclusive with an interval-based training program.
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Old 08-18-13, 05:04 AM   #22
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Amongst distance riders or those with a goal similar to myself...what do you find to be the most comfortable level of handle bar height to seat height?
That's only part of the equation. You also have to consider the reach, i.e. how far away the saddle is from the handlebars.

If you're not concerned with speed, you have the option to sit more upright. While this can be more relaxed in some respects, it can also put a little more strain on your lower back.

However, if you're riding high volumes and something doesn't feel right, I recommend you get a pro fit. Just be clear about your goals, and they should set you up correctly.
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Old 08-18-13, 05:16 AM   #23
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"Long slow distance" doesn't refer to occasionally doing long rides at a moderate pace. It's a training method developed in the late 1960s, where you run/cycle long distances at low efforts, e.g. slow enough to hold a normal conversation.
These days, 40 years later, long steady distance is more of a 2-3 day a week thing designed to increase endurance, saddle time, cycling enjoyment, etc.

That way the remaining 2-3 days a week can be for speed and strength work.

Variety being the spice of life and all.
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Old 08-18-13, 06:54 AM   #24
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These days, 40 years later, long steady distance is more of a 2-3 day a week thing designed to increase endurance, saddle time, cycling enjoyment, etc.

That way the remaining 2-3 days a week can be for speed and strength work.

Variety being the spice of life and all.
For those of us of a certain age making the transition to longer distances Lsd can be the key to building the base miles essential to injury prevention as we add speed & hill work to the mix.

"Best thing in the world"? From a training perspective it's an essential element but one can't forget the simple childish pleasure of going for a nice long bicycle ride in the country. It's certainly a flavor in the spice of life.

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Old 08-18-13, 05:58 PM   #25
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Well, I took a bit of advice and didn't stick strictly to the 35 mile thing. The last 4 days have been 35-36-42-40. I'm going to go a couple more days before a "rest" day. Those two rides should be at least 35 each, which will put me over my goal for the week.

Having said that, when i got home today my pinky and ring fingers on both hands were a bit tingly. This was the reason I started asking about bar height anyway. It is also the first time in the last four rides it has been an issue.

As is, I'm going to stop by the LBS tomorrow to see if my Surly 1x1's are in. My plan is to swap forks to get rid of the stock "shocks" on my bike. This is important for two reasons: 1) I'm standing on the pedals more and even adjusted as stiff as possible I'm seeing a pretty significant pogo effect...thus I'm losing energy when I try to really hit it. 2) With new forks I should be able to try giving myself a bit more height on the bars...to see how it works.

As is, I've looked at my bike and it appears as if my bars are currently about 2" below my seat.

I also appreciate the advice regarding the various parts of fit. A) I've waggled my bars(they are butterfly bars) at different angles to find what works best. B) I've tried different stem lengths. C) I most recently changed the tilt to my seat.

These various tweaks seem to be helping to improve performance as well as my feel on the bike.
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