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  1. #1
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    Prepping for a 60 mile ride in 8 weeks. Please advise on my training schedule.

    So there's a 'Tour of Richmond' on Oct 5th here in VA that I want to prep for. I'm not trying to get 1st place, but I want to use this event to give me a goal to shoot for, meaning I want to be able to do 60 miles without collapsing. In the 6 years of owning a road bike, I'm lucky to get 500 miles a year. With a family (2 and 4yr old), it's very difficult to get the saddle time I need while keeping the peace at home. I always feel guilty when I'm out for 3 hours while my wife is home with the kids. I work 40hrs a week and she's part-time, so she's with the kids a LOT more than I am. Having said that, I can comfortably be on the saddle for a total of about 6 hours a week.
    Something like:
    Tuesday: 12 miles
    Thursday: 30 miles
    Saturday: 40 miles

    I can add 45min of gym cardio as well. Given this info, do you think it's enough training to comfortably do a 60 mile ride without too much fatigue? I hope this isn't too general of a question.

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    don't misunderestimate me BoSoxYacht's Avatar
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    If your Saturday ride doesn't take every last bit of energy to complete, you should be fine.

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    if you can somehow find a group to ride with on the saturday ride, that would be beneficial, as well. you could develop your drafting techniques, and perhaps meet riders in the group who have also committed (or will be inspired to) the 60 mile ride you're planning. 60 with a group or even just one companion is much better than 60 alone.

    good luck.

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    - Forward: This post is not meant to slander in any way -

    My work Schedule: 50+ hrs a week
    Wife's work Schedule: 40 hrs a week

    3 kids: 4yo, 2.5yo, 4mo

    Best monthly distance: 512mi
    Best week time on bike: ~10 hrs.

    My wife LOVES that I ride because of the health, and despite me breaking my clavicle in march she is still a full supporter. Last month I had a low because we moved, other than that... IF there is a serous desire to ride, time can be found. Find a way to swing it that she sees how awesome it is.

    ON TOPIC: if you can already ride 40 on Saturdays, 60 should be just fine. Perhaps take some shotbloks or stingers ever hour or so that you're on the bike.
    I HEARD YOU'RE IDEA'S AND THEIR DEFINATELY GOOD.
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    That's enough time and mileage. Add some interval work into the shorter rides and you'll be fine
    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.

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    Senior Member megalowmatt's Avatar
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    Not sure if your area is hilly but try to match the altitude gain of the 60-mile ride (at least proportionally) on your training rides. I would try to do at least one 50-mile ride before the big one but that's just me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyBoyAz View Post
    - Forward: This post is not meant to slander in any way -
    IF there is a serous desire to ride, time can be found.
    You're right. And I'm still working the days out to see where else I can achieve this. My wife fully supports me, which helps big time. She has a lot of patience, but some days the 2yr old boy can really be...'a boy'. My daughter is an angel and very easy, but my son is wide open and needs that interaction every second of the day. So when I mentioned "to keep the peace", I meant I need to give mommy some down time while I entertain him.

    I appreciate everyone chiming in. I honestly feel like I can be in better shape by October, given the scenario. It's exciting and motivating to actually have a goal for once.

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    Quote Originally Posted by megalowmatt View Post
    Not sure if your area is hilly but try to match the altitude gain of the 60-mile ride (at least proportionally) on your training rides. I would try to do at least one 50-mile ride before the big one but that's just me.
    Very much so. I live in the middle of the Blue Ridge mountains. Richmond should be very forgiving with the hills. I do plan on a 60 miler by October. Thanks!

  9. #9
    You rode how far??? GamecockTaco's Avatar
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    not sure how early your son gets up, but for my normal Saturday ride, I've already been on the bike for close to an hour before the kids even get up. That way a 4 hour ride only seems like a 3 hour one to mommy as far as the watching goes.... just a thought.

    good luck and 60 shouldn't be an issue if you're already doing 40s.

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    Voice of the Industry Campag4life's Avatar
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    My advice is...don't overthink it really. 60 miles with your prep is no big deal. Now maybe averaging 21mph for those 60 miles without a paceline maybe a big deal for most of us. ...but taking speed out of the equation...no prob.

    Will share with you a quick thing about distance. I rode a century this year with almost no miles under my belt in the spring and didn't do much riding at all over the winter. Riding distance is partly mental. Plus, you have to pace yourself.

    Last year I thought I was riding a fair amount and was doing two 60 milers a week or so...and some shorter stuff inbetween. A guy caught my wheel from behind on an old yellow De Rosa and then we struck up a conversation and he was a hell of a nice guy and looked to be very fit and not young either...strong and lean and no fat. He asked where I was going and I said I was riding out to join my group ride and he asked if he could join us and I said sure. As we rode our speed picked up and I noticed he had 'easy speed'...explosive and able to keep pace and chat while riding at 20mph.
    We joined the ride and headed out and speed picked up and the guy started to pull for the group...and then just took off. I tried to stay with the guy and I'm no slouch but was riding ridiculously fast and he dropped me. I admit to being humbled by this experience because I had been riding a fair amount. So we hooked back up after we had made a lap around the lake and the guy was waiting for us. After the ride we were riding home...about 20 more miles and we hooked up with a couple of his racer buddies on the way back and they didn't ride anywhere near as fast as this guy. So...we got to talking about distance. I told him I was riding about 150 miles a week or so and asked him how far he rode. I wasn't ready for the answer. He said, he would routinely leave his home with a lot of food in his jersey and multiple water bottles without a given game plan. He would just ride and look down at his odometer and she he was at mile 80 or so and many times ride 100-120 miles a day. I asked him about a typical week and he said 300 miles. The guy routinely rode back to back centuries...sometimes very fast and training with the fastest guys he could find to ride with. As mentioned I was humbled as he was not a young man though a bit younger than me. He was just incredibly strong and will say again, a hell of nice guy.
    Have fun...there are many levels out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
    My advice is...don't overthink it really. 60 miles with your prep is no big deal. Now maybe averaging 21mph for those 60 miles without a paceline maybe a big deal for most of us. ...but taking speed out of the equation...no prob.

    Will share with you a quick thing about distance. I rode a century this year with almost no miles under my belt in the spring and didn't do much riding at all over the winter. Riding distance is partly mental. Plus, you have to pace yourself.
    This is a huge point and one that many people overlook. Due to having an infant again and schedule craziness, I'm on pace for my lowest mileage total ever this year since getting back into cycling in 2008. But I did a 35-mile club ride yesterday with a fair amount of climbing with no issues this weekend, which may end up being my longest ride before a scheduled century later this month. Despite all the worry and hoopla over training, sometimes you'll find yourself in a situation where even if you're not as ready as you want to be, you just have to get out there and give it a go. Odds are, as long as you stay mentally focused and hydrated, you'll be fine!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
    My advice is...don't overthink it really. 60 miles with your prep is no big deal. Now maybe averaging 21mph for those 60 miles without a paceline maybe a big deal for most of us. ...but taking speed out of the equation...no prob.

    Will share with you a quick thing about distance. I rode a century this year with almost no miles under my belt in the spring and didn't do much riding at all over the winter. Riding distance is partly mental. Plus, you have to pace yourself.

    Last year I thought I was riding a fair amount and was doing two 60 milers a week or so...and some shorter stuff inbetween. A guy caught my wheel from behind on an old yellow De Rosa and then we struck up a conversation and he was a hell of a nice guy and looked to be very fit and not young either...strong and lean and no fat. He asked where I was going and I said I was riding out to join my group ride and he asked if he could join us and I said sure. As we rode our speed picked up and I noticed he had 'easy speed'...explosive and able to keep pace and chat while riding at 20mph.
    We joined the ride and headed out and speed picked up and the guy started to pull for the group...and then just took off. I tried to stay with the guy and I'm no slouch but was riding ridiculously fast and he dropped me. I admit to being humbled by this experience because I had been riding a fair amount. So we hooked back up after we had made a lap around the lake and the guy was waiting for us. After the ride we were riding home...about 20 more miles and we hooked up with a couple of his racer buddies on the way back and they didn't ride anywhere near as fast as this guy. So...we got to talking about distance. I told him I was riding about 150 miles a week or so and asked him how far he rode. I wasn't ready for the answer. He said, he would routinely leave his home with a lot of food in his jersey and multiple water bottles without a given game plan. He would just ride and look down at his odometer and she he was at mile 80 or so and many times ride 100-120 miles a day. I asked him about a typical week and he said 300 miles. The guy routinely rode back to back centuries...sometimes very fast and training with the fastest guys he could find to ride with. As mentioned I was humbled as he was not a young man though a bit younger than me. He was just incredibly strong and will say again, a hell of nice guy.
    Have fun...there are many levels out there.
    Very inspiring. Thanks for sharing that story.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafzali View Post
    This is a huge point and one that many people overlook. Due to having an infant again and schedule craziness, I'm on pace for my lowest mileage total ever this year since getting back into cycling in 2008. But I did a 35-mile club ride yesterday with a fair amount of climbing with no issues this weekend, which may end up being my longest ride before a scheduled century later this month. Despite all the worry and hoopla over training, sometimes you'll find yourself in a situation where even if you're not as ready as you want to be, you just have to get out there and give it a go. Odds are, as long as you stay mentally focused and hydrated, you'll be fine!
    I guess I'm making this a big deal because I've never prepped for an event before. I've always ridden when it has been convenient. My rides are so far apart that I never improve and my body doesn't get conditioned. It's as if I'm a new rider every time I'm on the bike. Since last weekend I've covered over 100 miles. So I'm off to a great start and I want to continue the momentum until October. I'm tracking my HR, Avg spd, etc in hopes to see improvements and keep me motivated. I want to make this a big deal so I can push myself more than I've ever had. Thanks for the comment!

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    Quote Originally Posted by diggy488 View Post
    I guess I'm making this a big deal because I've never prepped for an event before. I've always ridden when it has been convenient. My rides are so far apart that I never improve and my body doesn't get conditioned. It's as if I'm a new rider every time I'm on the bike. Since last weekend I've covered over 100 miles. So I'm off to a great start and I want to continue the momentum until October. I'm tracking my HR, Avg spd, etc in hopes to see improvements and keep me motivated. I want to make this a big deal so I can push myself more than I've ever had. Thanks for the comment!
    I would say you are already doing fine, distance-wise. I would focus on interval workouts. Do 5x5 minutes with 2 minutes rest, with the goal of making your last interval as hard as your first. Doesn't take long -- less than an hour including a nice warmup and cooldown -- but you will ride more efficiently, and therefore your 60 mile ride will take less time.

    On the ride itself, eat a meal 3 hrs beforehand and consume about 300 calories an hour and you won't bonk.

  15. #15
    Senior Member goose70's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diggy488 View Post
    I guess I'm making this a big deal because I've never prepped for an event before. I've always ridden when it has been convenient. My rides are so far apart that I never improve and my body doesn't get conditioned. It's as if I'm a new rider every time I'm on the bike. Since last weekend I've covered over 100 miles. So I'm off to a great start and I want to continue the momentum until October. I'm tracking my HR, Avg spd, etc in hopes to see improvements and keep me motivated. I want to make this a big deal so I can push myself more than I've ever had. Thanks for the comment!
    You refer to this as an “event,” even mention the notion of placing in it, and you own a performance-oriented bike, all of which signal that you’re a goal-oriented person who is at least exploring the opportunity to become a bit more involved in cycling.

    If I’m correct in the above assumption, then my advice is to try a training program geared towards athletes with very limited time. As other folks noted, you do not need such a program to complete your upcoming 60-miler. However, rides such as these do become more enjoyable the more physically prepared you are.

    Training also lends structure and purpose to your riding, which for some of us makes the sport more rewarding. This may also lead to more “serious” riding, be it racing, randonneuring or simply entering more non-competitive events….all of which can be done effectively on 5-6 hours of training per week, not even counting “off” weeks scattered as necessary. As others have said, you will likely find the time if you have the will (it will be mostly pre-dawn rides if your schedule is anything like mine).

    In terms of what to do right now, focus less on miles and more on effort. That’s where intervals come in. To make this as simple as possible for the time-being, a couple days per week, carve out 15-minutes of your ride to go all-out for 30-second bursts (hardest gear you can turn at 95 rpm), then rest-30 seconds, and so on for five minutes, then rest five minutes, then repeat the set. The remainder of your ride can be a relaxing cool-down. Even 2-3 weeks incorporating this will get you noticeable endurance (yes, endurance) improvements when your 60-miler comes around.


    Good luck and enjoy the ride.

  16. #16
    Voice of the Industry Campag4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diggy488 View Post
    I guess I'm making this a big deal because I've never prepped for an event before. I've always ridden when it has been convenient. My rides are so far apart that I never improve and my body doesn't get conditioned. It's as if I'm a new rider every time I'm on the bike. Since last weekend I've covered over 100 miles. So I'm off to a great start and I want to continue the momentum until October. I'm tracking my HR, Avg spd, etc in hopes to see improvements and keep me motivated. I want to make this a big deal so I can push myself more than I've ever had. Thanks for the comment!
    There was an interesting program that caught my eye on cable the other evening. It was about cardio training and fitness. This probably should be a new thread...but suffice to say that not everybody responds the same way to training. Some guys show marked improvement and others not so much. In fact, aside from riding stronger this year according to my friends due to harder riding really and not many more miles, I believe I am one of those guys that don't improve dramatically to cardio training because I naturally have decent cardio....though likely not world class. My body type 'may' respond better to strength drills like intervals for example. Anyway, it was a provocative study showing the difference between different people in terms of their response to training.
    But I will say, a lot of cycling versus not much makes a big difference OP. If you start riding back to back 50 mile rides hard with guys that push you...your body will change and you will get faster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by diggy488 View Post
    I guess I'm making this a big deal because I've never prepped for an event before. I've always ridden when it has been convenient. My rides are so far apart that I never improve and my body doesn't get conditioned. It's as if I'm a new rider every time I'm on the bike. Since last weekend I've covered over 100 miles. So I'm off to a great start and I want to continue the momentum until October. I'm tracking my HR, Avg spd, etc in hopes to see improvements and keep me motivated. I want to make this a big deal so I can push myself more than I've ever had. Thanks for the comment!
    I agree with qualia8 on his observation. I think you're doing better than you think you are. This has been surprising to me too and I can't really explain it, but even with my reduced riding this year, I'm still hitting PRs on Strava for segments I've been doing for years. All I can chalk this up to is going out there when I can and doing the best I can at the time because it's all I can do right now.

    In your case if you're covering 100 miles in a weekend, you're doing pretty darn good. I've never subscribed to this "ride a century to train for a century" stuff. Success in a century (or any organized ride) is about the ability to properly fuel and stay mentally focused. Seems to me, you're already well on your way.

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    I appreciate everyone's encouragement!
    What adds to the excitement is that I don't do cardio on a regular basis...like NEVER. When I go to the gym, it's all weights, 4 times a week. I really need to keep cardio in my life, so I'm hoping this kicks off a new habit. I'm only 32 with borderline hypertension (138/80) with a family history, so lots of benefits to gain. Thanks again.

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    I think a 60 miler in your condition is not that big a deal. I just started riding last year (even though I'm in fairly good shape) and ended up doing my first century last fall after only about 600 miles on the bike total. This year I've been able to ride about the same amount but I don't ride nearly as often as I'd like to. But as long as you are in decent shape, you should be fine. The most I rode before my century was about 55 miles...

    Like anything else, if you track it, it will improve. So take note of what, how far, how fast, etc. And you should be fine...

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    Senior Member cderalow's Avatar
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    I rode a metric century earlier this summer with 0 preparation beyond a semi-routine (once or twice a week) ride my longest ride prior was around 20 miles.

    water, snacks & being prepared to just mentally tough it out was all it took me. correct fit is imperative.

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    I did the Tour of Richmond last year....if you're in decent shape, you'll be fine on the 60 mile route. I did the 100 mile route and it was one of the easier centuries I've done because it's pretty flat with no notable hills. Also, there are plenty of food stops, so you can stop and rest as needed. The other nice thing is that Richmonders seem to be total wimps when it comes to even the smallest of hills, so it's kind of an ego boost when you blow by people struggling to downshift and/or dropping their chains on little rollers.
    Cars man, whyyyyyy?!?!?!?!

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    I'd say you were there unless the 60 mile ride has significantly more elevation gain than what you are currently riding. I just rode my first metric century at the end of July. In June I rode 9 rides for a total of 136 miles. July I rode another 9 rides for a total of 257 miles. Prior to the 62 mile ride I had never been on a ride over 34 miles. The route I was on had less elevation gain than the 33 mile route I was riding, so that helped me a bit. I was very pleased with being able to finish and my 15.8 mph average speed. Not to shabby for an overweight 44 yr old in my book.

    I would say ride at your pace and have fun. Make sure to hydrate and fuel along the way. I used Hammer Nutrition's Endurolytes Fizz, Perpetuem, Gel packs and Recoverite. They have a lot of good information on their web site. There are numerous alternatives to those, but that is what seems to work best for me.

    Good Luck!
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  23. #23
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    I think as stated above some HIT training on your short days would be great. Learn to eat and drink properly and that will also help a lot. Lastly,,,, you might consider trying to ride hard on your 60 mile Saturdays. Plan on not making any stops along the way. And try to ride a high pace the whole ride. Start slow enough that you can do better on your split comming home. Another approach is to ride what ever you think you can sustain for an hour (20mph) and then each Sauturday push your time at the previous pace by 15-20 mins or more if you can.
    You can easliy ride 60 with out stopping ,,, and if you ride hard on Saturdays the "event" with breaks will be easy.

    Tapper off about 10 days before and maybe the last 5-6 days only ride short easy rides every other day so you will do your event on real fresh legs. We're all different but I take 2,,, maybe 3 days off before I ride centuries or more and don't work to hard the entire week before as I mentioned above.

    You'll already do fine so don't worry and go have some fun. If it's not fun then why even do it LOL!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattFoley View Post
    I did the Tour of Richmond last year....if you're in decent shape, you'll be fine on the 60 mile route. I did the 100 mile route and it was one of the easier centuries I've done because it's pretty flat with no notable hills. Also, there are plenty of food stops, so you can stop and rest as needed. The other nice thing is that Richmonders seem to be total wimps when it comes to even the smallest of hills, so it's kind of an ego boost when you blow by people struggling to downshift and/or dropping their chains on little rollers.
    Thanks Matt. I was looking at last year's finishing times and it was all over the place. I'll be happy to land somewhere in the middle. I will take advantage of the stops, but just for a few minutes. I like the idea of coming from the mountains and putting that strength to my advantage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rover88 View Post
    I'd say you were there unless the 60 mile ride has significantly more elevation gain than what you are currently riding. I just rode my first metric century at the end of July. In June I rode 9 rides for a total of 136 miles. July I rode another 9 rides for a total of 257 miles. Prior to the 62 mile ride I had never been on a ride over 34 miles. The route I was on had less elevation gain than the 33 mile route I was riding, so that helped me a bit. I was very pleased with being able to finish and my 15.8 mph average speed. Not to shabby for an overweight 44 yr old in my book.

    I would say ride at your pace and have fun. Make sure to hydrate and fuel along the way. I used Hammer Nutrition's Endurolytes Fizz, Perpetuem, Gel packs and Recoverite. They have a lot of good information on their web site. There are numerous alternatives to those, but that is what seems to work best for me.

    Good Luck!
    Quote Originally Posted by squatchy View Post
    I think as stated above some HIT training on your short days would be great. Learn to eat and drink properly and that will also help a lot. Lastly,,,, you might consider trying to ride hard on your 60 mile Saturdays. Plan on not making any stops along the way. And try to ride a high pace the whole ride. Start slow enough that you can do better on your split comming home. Another approach is to ride what ever you think you can sustain for an hour (20mph) and then each Sauturday push your time at the previous pace by 15-20 mins or more if you can.
    You can easliy ride 60 with out stopping ,,, and if you ride hard on Saturdays the "event" with breaks will be easy.

    Tapper off about 10 days before and maybe the last 5-6 days only ride short easy rides every other day so you will do your event on real fresh legs. We're all different but I take 2,,, maybe 3 days off before I ride centuries or more and don't work to hard the entire week before as I mentioned above.

    You'll already do fine so don't worry and go have some fun. If it's not fun then why even do it LOL!!!

    Really great info here. My confidence has definitely risen today! Thanks, gentlemen.

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