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Old 08-19-04, 12:46 PM   #1
robgreen
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newbie question -- "cramming" for a Century ride, any suggestions?

Okay, so after 20-odd years of not cycling, I got the bug again after watching the Tour de France. I went out an picked up an entry level road bike (stay cheap in case the enthusiasm wears off in a few months) and I am thinking of entering one of the short (20 or 25 mile) legs of the local Century Ride at the end of September.

I took the bike out for the first spin on Sunday and did about 30 minutes of moderate hill climb (200 or 300 vertical feet rise over 1.5 to 2 miles) before I was beat. Average speed was about 13 mph, with 8 or 9 on the uphill grade.

Any suggestions for the best approach to training for this? By "best" I mean, what do you suggest will be the most productive use of the next 4 weeks to help me succeed on this ride? Oh, and if you're riding the Honolulu Century ride, you can wave on the way by as you drop me =-)

Thanks!

Rob
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Old 08-19-04, 01:24 PM   #2
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I'm in just about the same position, but a month out -- (re)started riding on my 10-year-old Specialized Rockhopper in the middle of July (prompted partly by the TdF and partly by my four-year-old who wanted to get a Tag-a-Long).

Most of my rides have been going up 4% to 6% grades on the Salt Lake City "benches", and your description of speed, etc., sounds very similar to what I've been doing.

My advice would be to just keep at it. As opposed to jogging, I find it has been easier to go biking two or three days in a row, even before getting totally in shape. Just keep going, and keep doing the hills.

And after a month, I can definitely take the hills much better (maybe not a lot faster, but definitely more steadily and confidently), and I managed 18 miles in a one-hour flat ride yesterday morning. You should be able to handle a 25-miler in four weeks.
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Old 08-19-04, 02:09 PM   #3
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Just keep riding. If you are getting tired, you are getting a workout.
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Old 08-19-04, 02:46 PM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback & advice. I guess you and I are in similar situations, Steve. Most of the rides right near my home are moderately to very hilly, although I am still exploring the routes. I haven't been able to get a "real" ride in since Sunday due to getting home after dark, but I did take a quick spin to the gym on the old hardtail and got 40 mins spinning on the exercise bike there at 85-95 RPM. According to the exercise bike, I was doing about 90-100 watts and I went 12-ish "miles", but that was much easier than the real thing! I think the actual Century route is a bit nmore flat than where I am training, though.

I did end up with some saddle soreness this morning, though! I guess we'll just have to stick with it and do the best we can, but I am starting to feel like at least the 25 is attainable!
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Old 08-19-04, 03:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robgreen

Most of the rides right near my home are moderately to very hilly, although I am still exploring the routes. I haven't been able to get a "real" ride in since Sunday due to getting home after dark,
Hills are your friends. If you can get good at going up hills, flat is easy, and downhill - well, what can I say!

You will make 25 miles, no problem! Between now and the end of September it will be like falling off of a log. Truly. I speak from experience, and I am a whole lot older than you. Just go out and ride, increasing distance periodically.

You are right, the exercise bike at they gym is a LOT different than real riding.

Have fun.
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Old 08-19-04, 08:24 PM   #6
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Just try to ride regularly. My wife and I really just started (beyond the occasional ride with the kids) about a month ago. For the first couple of weeks we were getting a ride in the morning, starting at like 4 miles. Then there was the 7 mile ride that would be every third day with a day off. In other words (ince I know I hosed that description) we did 2 short rides, the 7 mile, then a day off. Rinse and repeat. That alsted a couple weeks, but the first few days were rough on the butt, and we got sore in the thighs, but we stuck with it and enjoyed the day off.

Fast forward, and the trouble now is that the "long" ride is now a short ride and we have a hard time finding a route that we can do in the morning that's any kind of workout. Last night we did 32 miles.

I have found for myself that I am better off riding some every day taking myself to the point of being just a little sore, than trying to reach further where I have to take every other day off to recover. I've been frankly amazed at how much my possible distance has increased in a short time, and how much further I can go before my butt gets sore.
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