Advice for a Clyde...
I don't know what put this in my head, but I am considering doing a 200k next summer. I a. About 5'7 and currently 280's(down from 440's). Last two months have logged about 500 miles, including my longest to date of 65(in 7 hours). I also currently ride a hybrid with bar ends, and a new bike is not an option right now.
Is this realistic? I would be looking at a June event, in similar terrain that I live around. I am hoping to keep riding this winter, but will also be joining a gym. Any specific advice? Training plans you might recommend? Feel free to tell me if you think this not a good idea...
I appreciate your time,
All up to you really. I've got a friend who went from zero to century in a year and had to have lost over 100lbs in the process.
Hardest part is having enough time in the saddle to get there. I'd like to do a century next year but I can only get one, maybe two rides in a week at this point so I take the progress I can make.
If you can make the effort, you will hit your goal. Good luck with it too.
ever since 2007, RUSA has put an emphasis on climbing. So you will find that most brevets have a lot of climbing. If you can keep your 65 mile pace up for another 65 miles, you can finish a 200k in the time limit. I have weighed as much as 210 when randonneuring, and while I'm on the slower end of the scale, I have never really had much problem finishing. However, as a climber, I'm a good descender. I would like to get faster, so my main training plan is to lose weight. At my age, it's a lot easier than building muscle.
You don't have to do a lot of distance training to become a good distance rider. Just enough that you are used to taking long rides. If you can build up to being able to ride 60 miles in good form, you can probably go as far as your mental state will allow. So that should be your goal. Stick to 20 to 35 mile rides until that becomes a non-event. Regular (daily is good) rides of 20 miles or so will really help with weight loss as well.
We don't know enough about you to make predictions, but it is a reasonable goal, especially if you can find a flat-ish route.
Sure, it's realistic. I was in a similar position a year ago - longest ride of about 75 miles. Also in the clyde/athena division, at 5'5" and around 215#. Did my first 200K this June. I did my second 200K the next month, and my 3rd a month after that -- with the 3rd one having almost 9K feet of climbing.
One difference: I do have an actual road bike, and while I have a hybrid I love for short rides, at about 50 miles it goes from a joy to excruciating. But as long as you're comfortable on the bike for long periods of time and can hold the required event pace (brevet pace if this is a brevet, whatever the closing times/sag wagon sweep are if it's not), you can get there on anything. And 65 miles in 7 hours if that includes stops is just barely behind brevet pace -- a little bit of speed work and maybe some lighter tires if possible should do the trick.
I think it's realistic, but if your 65-mile ride involved 7 hours of riding time, you might finish the 200K outside the time limit. (If it was total elapsed time, including breaks, you should be fine.) It would probably be a good idea to work on your speed.
I'd advise a combination of increasingly long, relatively slow weekend rides as you approach the event, combined with interval training to improve your power output. I did some high-intensity interval training in the winter and early spring and definitely noticed results on my longer rides. If you join a gym that has spin classes, you might give them a try.
The two books that I've found most useful are Joe Friel, The Cyclist's Training Bible, and Chris Carmichael and Jim Rutberg, The Time-Crunched Cyclist. The latter has a 12-week training plan that requires 6-7 hours per week.
Seconding antimonysarah about the tires. I'd look into relatively wide, supple tires: Panaracer Pasela 35mm tires are nice; the Grand Bois Cypres 30mm are even nicer but maybe a little skinny at your weight. Schwalbe Kojaks have a good reputation, too. Bicycle Quarterly's tests indicated that in real-world riding, tires with light, supple sidewalls outperformed more rigid ones.
Thanks, the 7 hour included almost the entire time, minus a lunch break(took a bit longer than I needed but was sucked into facebook). I will look into both of those books, and am hoping to do some spin classes this winter at the gym. Right now I am riding on some schwable marathon GG 700cx28mm, and have thought about going back to a wider tire.
Originally Posted by brianogilvie
Given that it's a year off, sure, it's realistic. But I think as you get closer, you'll have a lot better idea of how reasonable it is.
At 5'-7 and 280, I think it would be a major challenge to accomplish. So when June rolls around, make sure you don't still weigh 280. Keep working on that.
I've never cycled in a cold climate, so I can't really say how reasonable it is to ride all winter. But when we lived in northern Colorado, it seemed that when the first 1/2" of snow fell in September or October, all the mountain bikers put their bikes up and you didn't see 'em again until next spring. But then I also read of some people that ride through the winter up there. And I recently got acquainted with a lady that rode year-round in Minneapolis. And I see online of other people out riding their Mukluks in the snow. So one lesson is: Be very careful assuming when you can't ride- you may be short changing yourself. If you can't ride, do long walks or runs or snowshoe or ski or whatever it takes to get off the sofa. Edit: Just to expand on that thought, around here, it's mostly too hot, too cold, too rainy, too windy, or too dark to ride- and the way you ride is by getting out anyway. It's sort of a mental trap to look for "good" days to ride, because you eliminate nearly all of them and wind up back on the sofa if you don't watch it. Logging miles on www.bikejournal.com helps keep me motivated.
Be aware that if you're slower than the average rider, you will likely find yourself riding that 200k solo. Which is okay, but it's a different experience from doing a charity ride.
As you have opportunity next spring, do some longer rides- 100k, 100 miles. If you can ride a 100 miles and aren't in a state of collapse, a 200k on similar terrain should work okay.
My natural inclination is to avoid hills because they're harder. If you want to get better at hills, don't avoid them, seek them out.
About winter training, a lot of cyclists cross train using different sports, such as cross country skiing or running to retain their fitness. So don't sweat it if you can't cycle easily in winter where you live.
I am lucky, around here we can ride through December, January and February too (except maybe for a week of snow at the most). We just can't go up into the higher mountains any more when there's snow up there.
I went from a maximum of 50 km (30 mls) to a century distance in about 4 months. About a month later I did my first 200+ km, another 2 months later my first 300 km.
I also think that you can do it. Just be sure to ride as often as you can leading up to the event. And just take the ride easy. The point is to finish, so don't get bogged down with time limits. Just try for the distance!
The GLR rides around Delavan are pretty flat. I imagine you'd be doing that?
Yes that is the one I was thinking of doing.
Yes, your goal is realistic. Keep riding! Some really good advice already, I'll just add a few things.
Particularly for long rides it often isn't feasible to train with increasingly longer rides because you just don't have the time. One solution people mentioned is "interval training". Basically, you can do this by incorporating increased effort into the rides you have the time to do: ride some hills, go as fast as you can for 5 or 10 minutes at a time, stuff like that. Work these kinds of things into your training rides gradually, give your body time to build the strength and don't overdo it.
+1 on the suggestion to get some wider tires like 35mm Panaracer Paselas, assuming your bike can fit them.
Don't worry about your bike being a hybrid instead of a road bike. The most important thing is that you are comfortable on your bike.
Keep riding and you'll do fine. Check out the "tips" section on the GLR website too.
Originally Posted by IAMAMRA
I'm not sure intervals promote endurance (they do promote speed). But if you can do 75 mi, you're pretty much there.
Marathons are excellent, but very slow, tires. I'd second trying some wide Kojaks or Marathon Racers. A wide supple tire generally rolls easier than a narrow supple tire- and a lot easier than a stiff tire like a Marathon.
Tires: the faster teams over on the tandem forum are running either Michelin PRO4 Endurance in 25c (measures 28mm) or Schwalbe Ultremo ZX in 28c at ~110 lbs. for a team weight similar to yours. These are fast, proven tires for your weight. Tires make a big difference on a brevet.
My training for rando always involves hills, the more the better. At least 50'/mile. On rides up to about 4 hours, you should be able to ride every hill hard: breathing hard, just below panting. If you can't, train until you can. This works just fine for interval training and does have a huge effect on endurance.
Winter: You're in Wisconsin, which means you're going to have to ride a trainer or rollers with resistance all winter. This is a must do.
Training plans: Here are some posts I've made about my winter training, which has been very effective. You do this, you won't have a problem with a 200:
This winter I'm also using Core Advantage, a book with Tom Danielson. It's been great. Subtle but effective.
Of course you're using good quality cycling shoes with clipless pedals, good quality cycling shorts and other clothing.
The difference between riding 65m and 120m is more than the arithmetic 55m addition. I can think of a few solo centuries where things just seemed to go to he// after the 80m mark. I'd advise getting a couple 100m rides under your belt, then you will have built your base and confidence. As unterhausen suggested, hills change everything. If this 200K has hills on the route, you need to factor that into your training, seriously. As far as tires and wheels, I'd say light is the priority, I've pushed 2.0 slicks on a 26" rim through a century, but I'd much prefer being on a fast, light tire and I'd keep my bike as light as possible. No bags, backpacks or other nonsense. And, you might want to set a goal for your weight as well. It could be the difference between an 8 hour pleasure ride and a 12 hour sufferfest.
You can absolutely do it, but your prep and strategy needs to be correct.