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  1. #1
    Junior Member roadrayge's Avatar
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    How do i train for a 50 mile race?

    undefined
    Hi everyone,
    I've started to take biking a bit more serious lately, especially because of my health. I'm 24, 5'8" and weigh 220 lbs. I've only been biking for about 2 weeks on a really old SR racing bike (currently saving for something lighter, something around $600-800, what should i get?) and i put in about 50 miles a week with moderate intensity ( 14 mph). My goal is to loose about 40 lbs for a race that's going to take place in September of 2006, and of course build up the necessary requirements to be able to finish fairly well this race.
    How should i train for this? Are 50 miles a week enough?

    Thanks to all who reply.

  2. #2
    Meow! my58vw's Avatar
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    Ok, long term goals...

    Well right now your best training tip is to just get out and ride, put in good base miles and loose weight. You need to be able to do a training ride on 50 miles before attempting a 50 mile race. I would sugest a book, "cyclist training bible", by friel for good information.

    Good Luck...
    Just your average club rider... :)

  3. #3
    Zen Cyclist jslopez's Avatar
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    Agree with MY58. Get the miles in first then think about intensity. You will soon find that 50 miles a ride will be a "short" ride. but in the mean time take things in stride and just go at your own pace.

    While I'm no racer, I just started riding about a year ago and got a road bike last September (basicaly to commute to and from work). I got the bug and just kept riding and I've lost about 35 lbs., done 5 centuries and am kicking myself for now discovering cycling sooner.

    Check out the $700 bike thread in the road cycling section (The Under $700 Roadbike Thread) for bike recos.
    ZEN CYCLIST once again...

  4. #4
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    Very tough one. I am in somewhat of the same boat but am 35 yrs older than u. Some friends talked me into doing a 50 mile ride that is actually a race. I plan to ride 4 days a week. One day slow, one day intervals, one day long and one day fast and steady. I know there are a lot of programs and training plans, but am too old and stupid to follow one.

    Good luck on your race. Just starting is the most important thing, continuing is the next.

    I would recommend you wait at least 6 months before buying another bike.

    bakhurts.

  5. #5
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    Like you, I started training for health. I am 63, 6'1" and got my weight down from 240 to 195 lb.
    I do at least 18 miles/day in one hour on a 6 mile circular road in a park. There are some hills. This I do with a light road bike.
    On weekends I often do 100 miles/day on Wisconsin R to T. (unpaved with lots of bumps) I did the 100 miles in under 6 hr. with a Trek hybrid yesterday. My back and arms hurt from a past bike accident. The fully cushioned Trek with a sprung Brooks saddle protects me.
    A 24 year old probably does not need all that protection and you will save weight and money. I wrote all of this for "backhurts." I believe that you will get a good bike for $800. The joy of riding goes up with the better components such as Shimano XT.
    I hope this helps?

    As to racing, the guys in my Metropolitan area beat the hell out of this old dog. But what the hell?

  6. #6
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Stupid question: If you plan on doing only 50 miles a week (a reasonable distance for a day), why do you need to race? The point of a race is that when you come to the line you want to beat the other racers? Who are you going to beat on 50 miles a week? Why not just train for a "ride" - like a century rather than a race?

    Having said that, if you truly want to race, build up a base of a few thousand miles, and then get out and do some serious speed work. Specifics are almost irrelevant at this point because right now you just need to get out and ride! If you are truly serious about racing, there are many racers on this forum who will happily give you guidance - including myself.
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  7. #7
    Junior Member roadrayge's Avatar
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    Thanks to all of you guys who replied. I've started to build up my base miles, and today i went with my dad on a 10.5 mile ride, it was the first for me with some hills, i tought my head was going to explode! but i didn't quit on any of the hills, i did it with the granny gear but i didn't get of the bike. I tought that was good for my first time on hills, but now i know where i am in condition. I'll keep riding and building my base mileage like MY58VW suggested. And as for the bike, i'll wait till i loose atleast 20 lbs then i'll look for one around the $700 range. Thanks again and i'll keep posting how i'm doing.

  8. #8
    Meow! my58vw's Avatar
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    Use the new road bike purchace as a reward for losing the weight. You have the right idea, you can train for whatever you want, that is your choice. I can remember in September I was "training" to just move to the "B" ride with the local club, now I can lead the ride, but it was not until January/February that I was thinking about racing...

    A big accomplishment for myself was riding a metric century nonstop (i.e 62 miles with no rest stops). That is a very good goal as your road race will be simular to that. After you get there than upping the speed should be important. My 62 mile ride along relativly flat terrien was averaging about 20 MPH with a mild headwind and not pushing. You can get there... I would focus though on doing a few 60+ mile training rides before attempting this...

    BTW if I remember somewhere someone said for a road race your longest training ride should be something like the longest race of the season + 10%... that should give you an idea on pacing... group work is also a must...

    Good luck... we are with you the whole way!
    Just your average club rider... :)

  9. #9
    Junior Member roadrayge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skydive69
    Stupid question: If you plan on doing only 50 miles a week (a reasonable distance for a day), why do you need to race? The point of a race is that when you come to the line you want to beat the other racers? Who are you going to beat on 50 miles a week? Why not just train for a "ride" - like a century rather than a race?

    Having said that, if you truly want to race, build up a base of a few thousand miles, and then get out and do some serious speed work. Specifics are almost irrelevant at this point because right now you just need to get out and ride! If you are truly serious about racing, there are many racers on this forum who will happily give you guidance - including myself.
    Not a stupid question, i've started doing 10 miles a day about 3 weeks ago, now i'm up to almost 100 miles a week, there has been improvement. Remember that i've just been biking one month! And i don't plan to win the race, i just want to do it, something "wrong" with that?
    Thanks for your advice.

  10. #10
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadrayge
    Not a stupid question, i've started doing 10 miles a day about 3 weeks ago, now i'm up to almost 100 miles a week, there has been improvement. Remember that i've just been biking one month! And i don't plan to win the race, i just want to do it, something "wrong" with that?
    Thanks for your advice.
    No indeed, nothing is wrong with that. I guess I am so used to being around highly competitive people who come to win - not participate. My (probably very distorted) mentality says that a sliver medal means that you have lost. I'm not even interested in just making the podium - I want gold! If someone beats me, they are going to have to withstand more pain than I. In my last time trial competition, I averaged 97% of my maximum heart rate (182 is my MHR), and that is a very painful experience. Because of that pain, and because of putting in over 200 miles a week of very intense training, I currently have the top 10K time trial time in the country for my age group. One of the problems with just "participating" is that you cannot even measure yourself against yourself. Road races vary considerably in speed depending on the mood of the peloton, and time trials are run on different courses, different terrain and different wind conditions. Again, however, if simply the experience of racing is what you seek that is certainly easily accomplished. If making the podium is what you seek, lots of hard work and pain lie ahead! And in regards to just biking one month, you will find that you might progress rather rapidly. I won gold at the Florida Senior Games with just 11 months of total (very intense) riding/training.
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  11. #11
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    Ride, then ride faster, then ride even faster

  12. #12
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    Skydive, You da man,
    How old are you?

  13. #13
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babysaph
    Skydive, You da man,
    How old are you?
    A geriatric 65!
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

  14. #14
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    Don't get the new bike yet. Congratulations on your work. It's good to see you have long and short term goals. I started riding again about 5 years ago. I was 6'2" 240 lbs. I bought a new bike and had resigned myself to the fact that I was sure I'd always be over 200 lbs.

    It took over a year, but I have now ended up at a stable 185 lbs. I didn't do any "training", just riding. I went on the often overlooked eat-less-move-more diet.

    I wish that I hadn't bought the new bike so soon. What I needed and wanted at the time is no longer appropriate for the way I ride now (no longer need components that support 240lbs!).

    As for the training, I agree with the others. Just put on miles. Be consistent.

  15. #15
    Junior Member roadrayge's Avatar
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    I've just been riding with no focused goal, but to put on miles, i've noticed a difference in my legs already, they don't get as tired as they used to 4 weeks ago. But i'm going to take a week of because i'm sick right now. Then i'll start again with the pedaling. I'm not going to get a new bike right now, i bought a cool used one for $250. The frame is a Panasonic (kinda heavy) but the rest of the components seem to be of good quality. The bike feels really good, so i should just focus on "eat-less-move-more diet".
    I don't know if it's normal but i've noticed that whenever i start to workout, in about a months time i always get sick, what the hell? I'll get over it soon and i'll get back on the bike. Laters!

  16. #16
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    I've run into the get-sick-take-it-easy--don't-go-back-trap. Take it easy, but jump back on! Allez!!!!!!

  17. #17
    Junior Member roadrayge's Avatar
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    So is it normal to get sick after the first few weeks of riding??

  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadrayge
    So is it normal to get sick after the first few weeks of riding??
    I would not accept getting sick as a given. The "eat less, move more diet" is too simplistic. You may be robbing your system of needed vitamins and minerals.

    A better diet is "eat high value, move a lot diet." I admit, that this takes money for high nutrition food (non processed and cut the junk food) and it takes much time for intense exercise. You will not get sick if you do that. You will loose weight rather slowly. Perhaps only one or two pounds every couple of weeks. But you will have lots of energy and be healthy.

  19. #19
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    I live in Chula Vista and would love to ride and train with you. I've done 3 24 hour mountain bike races and could show you how to gain fittness without getting hurt. the main thing is start at a slow steady pace build up some miles in the legs before you start to hammer out the rides.
    drop me a email and I'll take you out on a ride.

    wingman115@cox.net

  20. #20
    Veni, Vidi, Vomiti SteveE's Avatar
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    This is kinda simplistic, but if you want to do a 50-mile race then you'd better be able to complete a 75-mile fast training ride.
    "Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ...'holy *****...what a ride!'"

  21. #21
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    This thread has some great posts, but I would like to get in my 2 cents.

    I like the suggestions of start with whatever you can handle, then go and have fun doing it. The extra distance will come as you look for more places to go. I started only doing about 10 miles on the local mountain bike trails, then eventually started taking on bigger hills, then moved to trying road riding, and now cover 50 miles just for a weekend social ride with the local club. If you are not going to do a larger ride until next year, don't worry about anything else except enjoying the ride.

    When it comes to races, you can be a competitor like Skydive69, or you can be like me who is simply out to see what I can accomplish. That is simply personal preference. I enjoy organized events because of the atmosphere and riding with large groups is a totally unique experience. Races here at least have different classes and the best riders like Skydive should be out in front, I don't want to hold them up.

    As for the bike, my favorite saying is that the most important part of the bike is the nut on the seat.
    I have seen around here somewhere a quote from Eddy Merkx "don't get upgrades, get up grades". Best advice around, but new toys have their own appeal.

    In short: GO FOR IT!!!!
    He's not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy!

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