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  1. #1
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    Training for a 50 mile ride - from nothing

    My brother and I made an agreement. I am going to run in the Warrior Dash he's been doing the last couple years, and he agreed to do 1/2 of a ride I plan to do in May (I'm gonna do the century, he's gonna do the 1/2)

    Sound feasable? My brother isn't really the most active person, he could definitely be in better shape, maybe 6'2/240#.

    Aside from just getting him to get on the bike and start getting those muscles used to it, does 3.5 months sound too soon to get him to do the ride? I already know he's not going to ride with my group, as we'll probably average 19-20, i don't expect him to be at that level, but i might know some people doing it that he could get in with.

    The ride for the first 50 is flat to slightly downhill. there are a few small hills after the halfway point, but nothing he'd hit. I dont think he's worried about getting any times in, but at the same time, i want him to be able to keep a reasonable enough speed that he can ride in a group and enjoy some benefits of drafting to save some of his energy.

  2. #2
    Senior Member canyoneagle's Avatar
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    If he was ever active or athletic in the past, it will be easier for him to turn the corner towards getting back in shape than if he has no history of exercise.
    If he has no history of being athletic, I would at least suggest a physical - he may be biting off more than he can chew (moreso the warrior dash than the half century IMO). Otherwise, IMO he should spend a few weeks at the gym on something benign like the elliptical trainer to wake his heart up gently, perhaps a beginner's group class for flexibility and getting his body sense back.
    If he's doing okay, get him out on the bike for a gentle 7-10 miles and see how he feels. Does he already have a bike that fits?
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  3. #3
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    Hmmm. 6'2", 240#? How old and with what kind of health history?

    He can do it if he works steadily between now and then to build up the miles. But the question is whether he will put in the training to make is a safe ride for someone in his condition.

  4. #4
    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    240 ish last spring early, never riden since I was a kid, did a metric in 3 months. Should not be an issue for him at all if he trains.

  5. #5
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    he's 26. he doesn't have his own bike, and no intentions of getting one, but i've got my old 2011 56cm CAAD8 he's gonna ride.

    i wouldnt say he was ever athletic. never played sports in school. i've been trying to coax him into coming to our group trainer rides just to get an idea of what to expect. not to do intervals and such with us, but just to get used to the seating position, legs moving like they haven't for a while.

    the problem i think im gonna face most is that here, we wont have warm days until mid march, maybe later, and so far, he hasn't been interested in the indoor rides.

    i know he does have a gym membership. maybe i'll get onto his for a few months ($9-10) and get in with him to work on some things to get him ready.

  6. #6
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    If he's anything of a runner it's pretty easy to adapt to cycling. Does doing the warrior dash every year count? I have no idea what that entails other than the obstacles. If he's not, well, get him running now till the weather warms up. A 56 is probably going to feel a little cramped for him though. Any kind of fitness will benefit him of course.

  7. #7
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    He's not even a runner except for a couple of these warrior 5ks a year, and i could be wrong, but i doubt theres much running going on during those. Lol.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator BillyD's Avatar
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    He has to be interested in doing the 50 to pull it off . . . if one isn't interested in it how is one supposed to push oneself through those miles? 50 miles might not sound like a lot to us, but to a non-cyclist 50 miles is one helluva feat, mentally as well as physically.
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    He's gotta get used to a road bike, period. This is probably the hardest part he'll have to adapt to assuming he does a bit of sports/athletics.

    Remember the first time you got in one - wrists were hurting, back was killing, neck was tense. IF he can't hop on the bike now then May's too soon. He has to be on the bike now getting used to the ride. That 1/2 century will be brutal if he's only used to stationary trainers at the gym. It's way too different - road feel and wind play a big role.

    After that you gotta teach him how to stay hydrated and gearing so he can conserve his energy.

    Goodluck in training your brother.

  10. #10
    or tarckeemoon, depending marqueemoon's Avatar
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    I think it's totally doable, but I think you should be willing to hang back and pace him as needed on the ride depending on how his preparation goes.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by marqueemoon View Post
    I think it's totally doable, but I think you should be willing to hang back and pace him as needed on the ride depending on how his preparation goes.
    This...he's gonna need some support out there, and not just 'hoping' he'll catch on with a group to pace him.

  12. #12
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    if you live in an area that's relatively flat he could be ready inside of two months. from nothing I was able to hit 30 mile rides by the end of my first month. I had previously been an athlete (in my teens/20's) and did not do a whole lot after those days, took up cycling at 42yrs old, did 30 mile rides after a month. for the record, when I started riding i was 6-1 about 230ish, so yes, he should easily be able to do this. and as mentioned, the hardest part is getting used to the bike, his sit bones are gonna have to adjust and you'll probably have to tweak the fit on the bike to help him out. he should plan 2.5-3hrs for a 50 mile ride, make sure your route passes by some places he can break or stop for water/food/bathroom if he needs.
    "You should never point a loaded *** at anyone. This is not a hard and fast rule, however. A hard and fast rule is that you should never, ever, point an unloaded *** at anyone." --P.J. O'Rourke

  13. #13
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    26 year old in good health could walk out today and do 50 miles if you gave them long enough. It wouldn't be pleasant however.

    With 14 weeks, its not ambitious at all to do 50 miles, assuming that he's willing to ride some between now and then. Ride 4 times a week. First week 5 miles Tuesday and Thursday, Saturday, with a 10 mile ride on Sunday.

    Repeat, adding a couple of miles to each ride each week. Within 2 months, he should easily be doing 25-30 miles for his long ride. From there doing 50 is not a stretch.

    After the first two months, add some intensity to 1 or 2 of the workouts, either actual intervals, or just sprinting for city limit signs, or ridining one block easy, one block hard, that sort of thing.

    This isn't rocket surgery.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Nachoman's Avatar
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    I say easy as long as he takes it real slow and remembers to stand out of the saddle regularly to make sure his butt doesn't get too sore.
    .
    .

    Two wheels good. Four wheels bad.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyD View Post
    He has to be interested in doing the 50 to pull it off . . . if one isn't interested in it how is one supposed to push oneself through those miles? 50 miles might not sound like a lot to us, but to a non-cyclist 50 miles is one helluva feat, mentally as well as physically.
    People who aren't cyclists are shocked when I only do 5 miles, like going out for coffee and back. And speaking of 'back,' people who aren't cyclists think road bikes are torture machines.

    BillyD is right.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  16. #16
    Bridge Burner RollCNY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evan938 View Post
    he's 26. he doesn't have his own bike, and no intentions of getting one, but i've got my old 2011 56cm CAAD8 he's gonna ride.
    Not for nothing, but I'm 6'3", and wouldn't do 50 miles on a 56cm CAAD frame. Isn't this too small? To have an inexperienced rider on a frame too small isn't a very nice thing to do.

    And as to how much training, he could do it cold, if he wanted to. It is all about desire for a one time 50 mile effort.

  17. #17
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    I agree with the consensus above, he can definitely go from 0 to 50 in 12 weeks. Heck, he could go from 0 to 100 in 12 weeks.

    One thing to add: 6' 2" at 240 lbs officially puts him into "overweight" territory, so he should get a physical first, especially if he hasn't gotten one recently. He should be good to go, but better to be sure of it first.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Beneficial Ear's Avatar
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    I've wasted much of my life coaxing people into working hard and doing whats good for them - often while ignoring my own needs. In this time I've realized its best to just do what I want to do and so long as they are off my toes - allow others the same privilege... be it family or whoever.

    If he wants it, he'll make it happen.
    >>>goal - 25 miles in one hour<<<

  19. #19
    Senior Member mpath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    People who aren't cyclists are shocked when I only do 5 miles, like going out for coffee and back. And speaking of 'back,' people who aren't cyclists think road bikes are torture machines.

    BillyD is right.
    Gee, that's a short run for me. If it's to cycle, it's not worth the effort to put on all my gear and junk. That said, kudos to all those that simply get out there no matter the distance.

  20. #20
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evan938 View Post
    I already know he's not going to ride with my group, as we'll probably average 19-20, i don't expect him to be at that level, but i might know some people doing it that he could get in with.
    I like this part... Hey bro, glad you're doing the ride with us, but we're going to drop you like a bad habit in the first 100 yards. Good luck! Hope you know how to change a flat!

    How are you going to ruthlessly mock him to inspire him to finish if you are way ahead? Makes no sense.

  21. #21
    Senior Member mpath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    I like this part... Hey bro, glad you're doing the ride with us, but we're going to drop you like a bad habit in the first 100 yards. Good luck! Hope you know how to change a flat!

    How are you going to ruthlessly mock him to inspire him to finish if you are way ahead? Makes no sense.
    +1. How that does song go...."he ain't heavy, he's my brother"?

    OP....if it were me, I'd ride with my bro instead of your pace group; they would/should understand, or it's time to find a new group. Were you that fast when you started? Probably not.

  22. #22
    Senior Member hsh101's Avatar
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    Agree with the others here, about this being a mental as well as a physical issue. First off, I would suggest that you cut back from the century to the 50-miler, and ride side-by-side with him. Seeing you fly out the starting gate, leaving him in the distance, will be very demotivating. Strike up conversations during the ride, check his condition constantly. Offer words of encouragement when he looks like he needs them, and offer suggestions when it looks like he needs them (especially nutrition and hydration, but to a lesser extent hand position, gearing, cadence etc).

    Get him out on the road bike as often as he can, to get a feel for it. Supplement with indoor spinning miles, but get him plenty of seat time on the roads, on the bike he's planning on riding. Dial in that position as best you can, especially as a 56 seems small for him.

    Not sure of your motivation for wanting him to do this (think about that as well), but keep in mind what his motivation is... and work towards that. This should ultimately be a fun experience for him!

  23. #23
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Definitely very doable. I think you should hang with your bro on the big day -- sometimes, it's more about the company than the ride itself. Break wind for him to reduce the amount of work he does...

  24. #24
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    People who aren't cyclists are shocked when I only do 5 miles, like going out for coffee and back.
    Sometime back, they had an article in the local paper about some people who did a 5 mile ride. I'm in favor of that -- gets more people in the sport.

    I was dismayed by the mention of "carbo loading" in the interview.

  25. #25
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    Great friendly pragmatic advice given here. What a great web site.

    See this thing through and good luck.

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