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Thread: Realistic goal?

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    Realistic goal?

    OK, let me start out with some background.

    I'm 32 years old, about 5'9 and weigh about 240 pounds. Not in the best of shape, to be sure. My lifestyle up until recently has been pretty sedentary (I'm a cube rat in an engineering firm).

    A few months ago, I picked up a decent road bike (Spec. Allez Elite Double) and put a few miles on before winter set in. Once the snow and ice hit, I slacked pretty bad on riding, but then I picked up a trainer so now I'm riding more again (25 to 35 minutes a day, 4 or 5 days a week).

    And now for the original point of this post - I am planning to ride the next MS-150 in the Kansas City area, which is September 8th and 9th of 2008. Is it realistic to think that this is actually going to happen, or should I train some more and catch next years ride? Once I get used to the saddle time, I'm going to start riding more (both more time on the bike and more days of the week).


    I know the MS-150 isn't a race, but I also don't want to be the last one done...
    Call me Fred, call me Clyde
    I just like to ride...

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    On the big ring deanp's Avatar
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    No, it is not unrealistic. Once the weather is comfortable for you you will be surprised how quickly your range increases. Plan towards riding a few similar distances in the preceding month. The MS rides are well supported which makes a big difference.

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    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Doesn't sound unrealistic to me at all. Just put some time in the saddle and you will be amazed at how much easier it gets putting the longer miles in. Good luck to you and keep us posted.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

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    You will do fine.

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    Cries on hills supton's Avatar
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    Sounds like me. 31, 5'8". Was up to 196 a few years ago, down to 180-183 (depends when I measure), but used to be 150. My goal is to get back to 150 sometime this year. I'd like to do a century, but I'd be happy with a lower weight and doing 50 mile rides for fun.

    I've been using a heart rate monitor (HRM) to monitor my progress. I don't expect the kcal reading to be correct; but it's fun writing it down each day that I biked for x minutes and burned y calories. I figure, if I burn more than 4k kcal's per week, and eat modestly, at some point my weight has to go down.

    I also try to use the HRM to ride better. I'm aiming for 2 hours, each day, on weekends but at like 130-140 HR. Mon/Wen/Fri is supposed to be 30 min where I alternate between 150 and something higher -- in an attempt to push myself. It's taken a few weeks to slowly get here.

    I really like having the trainer in the basement, in front of the TV.
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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    You might want to check out some training programs and make sure that you have enough time available to devote to training. Time seems to be the limiting factor for many people.

    (Disclaimer--I've never done a 150 mile ride, so I'm no expert!)


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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    Quote Originally Posted by supton View Post
    I really like having the trainer in the basement, in front of the TV.
    you and me both man. heck, the only time i watch any TV any more is on the trainer. too busy with wife and kids to watch more than that.

    i don't have a HRM, but right now, i'm riding 25 or more minutes, big ring small cog, at the second hardest setting on my trainer, and averaging over 20 mph the whole time.


    and i know...trainer miles =/= real miles, but it's a start.

    ideally, i would just like to get under 210 pounds or so (i'm pretty large-framed) but down to a much healthier BFC. i don't much care how much i weigh, if my BFC is good i'll be happy.
    Call me Fred, call me Clyde
    I just like to ride...

  8. #8
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Ah, getting used to the saddle time. The best for me is to be on the bike consistently. IOW, better to ride 30 minutes a day than 2.5 hours only on Sunday. Which is what you're doing. Of course you also need the long ride, but work up to it. You may want to change saddles at some point. Most bikes come with a cheapy saddle because they know that no matter what they put on, many people won't like it. So start by slowly working up to a 150 mile week. Then try to ride a couple of centuries.

    Machka has good starter info at: http://www.machka.net/century.htm
    She's probably sick of posting it, so I'll help her out.

    Here's a 10-week schedule for working up to it, but you should add some extra distance for your event:
    http://www.planetpedal.com/goals/cen..._schedule.html
    Also, 10 weeks is really optimistic. You're starting about the right time.

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    calculate how much time you have to ride, how much you plan on getting in during the week (i'd say at least 15mi a day - with a rest day before you push it on the weekends) then take the next couple of days light rides at a slow pace before you push again to recover. Then try pushing an extra 3-5 miles every weekend. Remember that the real long ms 150 trip is not a race and you can take however long you need to recover afterwards as well. Don't push yourself too hard and overreach/train though.

  10. #10
    Look 555 fledgling catherine96821's Avatar
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    Wow, great thread. Nice links

    I am not heavy just very weak. So...I can empathize.
    Good luck to you!
    from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Thanks CFB.

    And I'll just add ... start building up the distance of your weekly "long ride" by about 10% per week. Build up for 3 weeks, and on the 4th week take it back a week or so to allow your body to rest, then continue building.

    You'll be fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    Ah, getting used to the saddle time. The best for me is to be on the bike consistently. IOW, better to ride 30 minutes a day than 2.5 hours only on Sunday. Which is what you're doing. Of course you also need the long ride, but work up to it. You may want to change saddles at some point. Most bikes come with a cheapy saddle because they know that no matter what they put on, many people won't like it. So start by slowly working up to a 150 mile week. Then try to ride a couple of centuries.

    Machka has good starter info at: http://www.machka.net/century.htm
    She's probably sick of posting it, so I'll help her out.

    Here's a 10-week schedule for working up to it, but you should add some extra distance for your event:
    http://www.planetpedal.com/goals/cen..._schedule.html
    Also, 10 weeks is really optimistic. You're starting about the right time.
    and see, part of my problem now is that i just can't make myself stay on the bike more than about 30 minutes. i don't know if it's a bad seat-to-butt fit, or if i'm just that un-used to sitting on something that narrow (my office chair is nice and cushy )

    if the feel of things doesn't improve, at what point should i give up on the seat and go get a new one? and will my LBS let me test-ride them?

    i'm sure there's a ton of threads on here about choosing the right seat, so i won't ask.
    Call me Fred, call me Clyde
    I just like to ride...

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    Quote Originally Posted by deanp View Post
    No, it is not unrealistic. Once the weather is comfortable for you you will be surprised how quickly your range increases. Plan towards riding a few similar distances in the preceding month. The MS rides are well supported which makes a big difference.
    hey deanp - are you still in the KC area? i'm just over in midtown/westport. strange, small world this whole internet thing
    Call me Fred, call me Clyde
    I just like to ride...

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    With a decent amount of training, you could be ready in June, and September should be pretty easy to do.

    For what you want to do and where you are fitness-wise, distance is more important than speed. Over time, you will want to slowly work up to rides that are 2-3 hours of length. If you can do that 2-3 times a length, that will get you most of the way there.

    You will also need some longer rides (say, 4-5 hours) and learn what to eat/drink while you ride.

    I also recommend some good shorts (very important on longer rides), and you may also consider clipless pedals and shoes if you think you're going to keep doing this. A saddle that works well for you (you may have to try several), and a bike fit are also great, but probably not required for the ride.

    If it's especially hilly (and it probably is *to you* if you are just getting into riding), we can give you some tips on that, but I wouldn't worry about that until May or so.
    Eric

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    as for shorts, right now i've got a pair of cannondale bib nickers that seem to work fairly well.

    pedals - i think i'll stick with my clips for now. maybe later i'll upgrade to clipless. but the other side of that is once nicer weather gets here, i'll be commuting to work and back on my bike, and don't want the hassle (yet) of dealing with KC drivers and clipless pedals.

    my bike is a close fit, i think. i'm about 5'8 or 5'9, about 33" inseam (actual, not pants) and riding a 53 or 54 cm specialized frame. once i give up on my current (stock) seat, i'l talk to one of the two LBS's near me about doing a bike fitment and working as much as possible with what i've got.
    Call me Fred, call me Clyde
    I just like to ride...

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlwarriner View Post
    and see, part of my problem now is that i just can't make myself stay on the bike more than about 30 minutes. i don't know if it's a bad seat-to-butt fit, or if i'm just that un-used to sitting on something that narrow (my office chair is nice and cushy )

    if the feel of things doesn't improve, at what point should i give up on the seat and go get a new one? and will my LBS let me test-ride them?

    i'm sure there's a ton of threads on here about choosing the right seat, so i won't ask.
    You can't stay on ANY bike for more than about 30 minutes ... or are you talking about indoor bicycles (your trainer, a stat bike, etc.)?

    If you're talking about your usual outdoor bicycle, and if the problem is saddle pain ..... go get a better saddle right now. NOW is the time! The only type of saddle that requires a break-in period are solid leather saddles like Brooks saddles (which, incidentally, IMO, are the best saddles). If you're not ready to go Brooks yet, go to your LBS and start test riding saddles. A good LBS should give you at least a week to ride a saddle before you make your decision.

    While you're there, get them to set your bicycle up properly for you. It might not be a saddle issue, it might be a setup issue.

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    machka - right now, my indoor bike is my only bike, which will become my outdoor bike when the weather is nice

    and i don't know if it's the seat that's wrong, or if i'm just that out of shape for riding. and cheap as it may sound, i'd hate to drop the $$ on a new seat when i just needed to get used to this one.
    Call me Fred, call me Clyde
    I just like to ride...

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    On the big ring deanp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlwarriner View Post
    hey deanp - are you still in the KC area? i'm just over in midtown/westport. strange, small world this whole internet thing

    I'm in Lenexa and do most of my riding out in western Johnson county.

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Yes, same advice as Machka, go get a new saddle now. It probably won't be your last one, either. It's not your butt, it's the saddle and possibly bike position. Bend over and stick your hand down through your crotch and push up hard on your butt right about where you think your hips are. You'll find two bony protrusions called ischial tuberosities. When you are sitting on the saddle properly, these are the main points of contact. You definitely do not want the tissues between these points supporting your weight.

    Even if your saddle is perfect and supports your weight in the right spot, it takes a bit of getting used to. What happens is that sitting on your ischial tuberosities compresses the tissue that covers them. This reduces the blood flow to that tissue, which one perceives as pain. After conditioning, that tissue becomes used to the reduced blood flow and stops hurting. This conditioning shouldn't take more than a couple of weeks to begin with, and continues to improve to allow longer saddle times.

    If you feel numbness between your legs, that's not what I'm talking about, and that won't go away with conditioning, but will only get worse. That's a saddle or saddle adjustment problem. Don't let that continue.

    You want surprisingly little padding on a saddle. Less is generally better than more, because less padding concentrates the weight in a smaller area. Thus less of you is touching the saddle, and less of you is subject to friction, cutting off of blood flow, etc.

    Besides the Brooks that Machka suggests, you might try a Specialized Avatar, which comes in different widths. Your bike shop will measure your butt to find the right width.

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    the pain or discomfort seems to be getting less with each subsequent ride. so there's that at least.

    i'll definitely take the bike into a shop for a fit, perhaps they can advise me on a seat change if necessary. both of the close-by LBS's have a good reputation as far as i've heard. i've shopped in both, but only had any work done in one of them. and that was before i left the dark side (MTB).
    Call me Fred, call me Clyde
    I just like to ride...

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    Quote Originally Posted by deanp View Post
    I'm in Lenexa and do most of my riding out in western Johnson county.
    i'm in midtown, and do most of my riding in the basement

    these KC drivers are nuts.
    Call me Fred, call me Clyde
    I just like to ride...

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    On the big ring deanp's Avatar
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    I can't ride inside. I've managed to get in 375 miles outside this month. You can do it, dress accordingly and get out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deanp View Post
    I can't ride inside. I've managed to get in 375 miles outside this month. You can do it, dress accordingly and get out there.
    it's not the weather that scares me...it's the cagers
    Call me Fred, call me Clyde
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    well, the butt-to-seat tolerance is improving, as is my stamina. i did 35 minutes tonight, at 20+ mph on the trainer, with five one-minute sprints at 30+ mph.

    not bad for a fat guy...

    (at least i think so)
    Call me Fred, call me Clyde
    I just like to ride...

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    I'll give the obvious advice, also, that I don't think anyone else has. If you've been pretty sedantary for a while and are pretty much deconditioned, it might not hurt to see your doctor just to make sure he's OK with the amount of exercise you are considering. Understand that no doctor in the world is going to tell you not to exercise, but you might run your plans by him and see what he says.

    Beyond that, you can absolutely make it. There is no substitute for time on the bike. The MS rides aren't a race. You just want to ensure that you can make 75 miles in a day and then go do it again the next day. The best way to do that is build up to it slowly in training. Ride every night, at least a little, if possible until you are able to do weekend rides of at least 75 miles. You can absolutely do it.

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