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  1. #1
    actin' the foo ragboy's Avatar
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    how much training for noob

    I've never toured on a bike, but this summer plan to go on a group ride (not a race) over 5 days going about 60 miles each day. I have been commuting to work 12 miles round trip for the last six months (60 miles a week).

    How much more training do you recommend? I'm trying to guage how much more I need to train other than my daily commute.
    Last edited by ragboy; 01-18-07 at 09:21 PM.

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Start increasing your mileage by about 10% per week.

    And don't forget to ride with your bicycle loaded like it will be for the tour for at least some of your rides (like maybe once a week). That way you can get used to the handling, and get familiar with what you're bringing. You might also want to do a weekend tour or two as test runs.

  3. #3
    actin' the foo ragboy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply Machka -- I forgot to mention -- I won't have to worry about carrying more than a trunk bag as the event is fully SAGGED. (It's not really pure touring per se, but this was as close of a forum as there is to post in here). I'm just concerned about mileage. Not sure how my 12 miles a day would train me to handle 60 (or so) a day.

    I'll probably try a few 20-30 mile rides and see how those go.

  4. #4
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Well, your 12 miles a day is all right, but I think you'd feel much more comfortable if you increased that distance ... and if you increased it gradually ... which is why I suggested 10% per week. That's a pretty common recommendation.

    You're doing 60 miles a week now, so next week, go for 66. Continue to do your 12 mile rides on 4 days, but try an 18 mile ride on the 5th day. If that feels all right, go for 72 miles the following week ... do 3 days of 12 miles and 2 days of 18 miles. That sort of thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragboy
    Thanks for the reply Machka -- I forgot to mention -- I won't have to worry about carrying more than a trunk bag as the event is fully SAGGED. (It's not really pure touring per se, but this was as close of a forum as there is to post in here). I'm just concerned about mileage. Not sure how my 12 miles a day would train me to handle 60 (or so) a day.

    I'll probably try a few 20-30 mile rides and see how those go.
    I'd take the above advice. A 60 mile ride will be twice the distance of your longest ride. You'll be tired, your legs will be sore, and your performace will really suffer after consecutive 60 mile days (assuming 30 miles was your longest and you're only riding 60-80 mi/week. That doesn't sound like much fun to me. Put in some saddle time now and enjoy the trip. Why not find a nice route that you enjoy riding and just call it "riding" rather than "training"??

  6. #6
    Older I get, Better I was velonomad's Avatar
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    When you are" training" remember the group tour is likely going to stop every hour or two. so your training doesn't have be 60 miles of non stop riding. Break it into 4, 15 mile rides with a 5-10 minute break in between each.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Prodigy4299's Avatar
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    I agree with Machka in that I wouldn't worry about riding more than 30 miles now.

    The longest one day riding I did before my first tour was 75 km and on the tour I had a 125km day. Was I tired? Yes. Did my legs hurt? Yes. But I don't think I would have been any more prepared by riding that distance 2-3 times ahead of time.

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    I think the big issue is terrain. I used to comute about your distance, maybe a little further, in Toronto every day. It was a bobsled run down Yonge Street every morning arriving relatively fresh, and an uphill slog back home. Nothing heroic at all, but would certainly prepair one to be better than the average bear on the average sagged tour. So what is your terrain like for your current ride vs. your tour?

    The only other thing is how competitive the guys you are going with are. There is a guy in my neighbourhood who is about 20 years older than me, 6'6", and has been racing for ever. He and his mates toured across Canada two summers ago with a sag wagon. Give me another 20 years and I may catch up with him...

  9. #9
    actin' the foo ragboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1
    So what is your terrain like for your current ride vs. your tour?
    My commute is all flat. I'm not sure about the terrain for the tour yet -- I'm sure it will have a few rolling hills, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1
    The only other thing is how competitive the guys you are going with are.
    From what I know, not very competitive -- it's billed as a relaxing tour, NON competitive. Judging by the pictures I've seen of past tours, it's very NON competitive.

    Thanks for all your replies -- it is helpful.

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    I would recommend continuing commuting, and then on the weekend doing a longer ride. Keep increasing the distance of your weekend ride until you can do 60 miles comfortably.

  11. #11
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by velonomad
    When you are" training" remember the group tour is likely going to stop every hour or two. so your training doesn't have be 60 miles of non stop riding. Break it into 4, 15 mile rides with a 5-10 minute break in between each.
    The best way to do this is with a countdown timer on a watch. I have an Timex Ironman that has several countdown timers on it (really good science watch too. It comes in handy for timing experiments ). I can set each timer for a specific amount of time. When I tour solo, I tend to push myself way to fast and far between snacks and end up bonking pretty bad by the end of the day. I set my timers to 1 hour (ride time) with a 5 minute break, then another hour with a 15 minute break - at which time I eat. It would work well for breaking up a 60 mile ride also.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member rockindude24's Avatar
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    I was a noob to cycling last summer. Didn't get most of my equipment till mid summer since I am a poor college student still, but went on a few long rides. My girlfriend and I went on a two day ride totalling 130 miles. First day wasn't bad, but we were sore most of the night, but didn't feel bad the next day. Second day on the way home was pretty grueling, but that was because we didn't go through any towns for about 50 miles to refill on water. That was my big problem, lack of water because it was hot too. Having plenty of food for fuel and water was the main thing that I learned about on that trip. As for training. I went on a bunch of 20-25 mile trips, a few 30+ mile trips and one 50 mile trip. I felt that was adequate training for the 2 day trip, but I don't know how I would have held up over 5 days. I suppose with enough fuel, we would have been alright, but hard to tell. Everybody is different, but my big tip is to stay hydrated as I found out!!

  13. #13
    actin' the foo ragboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul2
    I would recommend continuing commuting, and then on the weekend doing a longer ride. Keep increasing the distance of your weekend ride until you can do 60 miles comfortably.
    This sounds like a good plan. After reading these posts, I hope I didn't get myself over my head, but I'll never know if touring is for me until I try it, right?

    thanks for everyone's input!

  14. #14
    It's as easy as riding a dannwilliams's Avatar
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    I did a supported tour two years ago, my first big multi-day ride, and I had the same reservations as you. I was riding one long group ride a week, 30 - 40 miles, and rode two or three more times a week 25 - 30 miles, usually 100 miles or so. I am in my forties and had no problem. You have all day to do the 60 miles, so break it down and you can ride a leisurely pace for 6 - 8 hours, stop and see the sights and make new friends all day, and still make it to the next stop before dinner. Relax, you'll do fine!
    "It doesn't get easier, you just go faster."

  15. #15
    actin' the foo ragboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dannwilliams
    I did a supported tour two years ago, my first big multi-day ride, and I had the same reservations as you. I was riding one long group ride a week, 30 - 40 miles, and rode two or three more times a week 25 - 30 miles, usually 100 miles or so. I am in my forties and had no problem. You have all day to do the 60 miles, so break it down and you can ride a leisurely pace for 6 - 8 hours, stop and see the sights and make new friends all day, and still make it to the next stop before dinner. Relax, you'll do fine!
    Dannwilliams -- just the words I needed to hear! I am 40 and am in good shape, so glad to hear your words!

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    Your going to be totaly fine. If anything, but it's a good thing, this should be a breaze for you. I used to cycle a lot about 20 years ago, but since moving to the suburbs everything in my area is for cars. Years go by when I cycle about 20 miles total, just tooling around for the kids. I don't do any other kind of activty. After injuring one leg to the point where I have about 50% strength, no ankle flexion and that foot is not on straight, I was looking for an exercise I could do to keep the weight off. Seemed like the ideal was recumbent cycling. That didn't work out, so two falls ago I just decided to do a 1000 mile loaded tour on a conventional bike. I had done some MTB touring 15-20 years ago, so I had a lot of what I needed. I really didn't know what was going to happen. All I did was start out slow the first few days, and the whole thing just unfolded. It is after all the single most efficient form of transportation known to "man".

  17. #17
    Very Senior Member MikeR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul2
    I would recommend continuing commuting, and then on the weekend doing a longer ride. Keep increasing the distance of your weekend ride until you can do 60 miles comfortably.
    +1
    Plus make your increases about 10%-15% more each time. When you get up to 40 or 50 miles, try doing 2 big rides - over 2 consecutive days.
    It's better to cycle through life than to drive by it.

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