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  1. #1
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    3 weeks to train for 80 miles? not enough? (Moderate winter fitness level)

    I'd like to do an 80 mile event 3 weeks from now.
    I ride 30 on the weekends and one or two 20 milers during the week. I feel that due to winter I'm not in that great of a position and my 35 miles of keeping up with the weekend groups pace leaves me drained. I've been doing some trainer rides, and more weight work now.

    Summer sees me at 100 mi/week or more and I felt good at 50 mile Sat rides this past summer.


    Q: What should I do to ramp up to an 80 mile event three weeks from now?

    I don't want to over-do it but I know mentally I'll push myself to finish if possible. I need to do some LSD rides and take care to not chase or increase the tempo uselessly like I do on my group rides.

    Q: How should I structure my time starting now? Ride 4 steady days and one long day? Two long days 3 recovery days? Add 10 miles every 3rd day? etc?
    My blog about rides, bikes and builds: ridesgoneby.blogspot.com

  2. #2
    Senior Member JimF22003's Avatar
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    For me, that would depend on the terrain. If you have a moderately well developed base level of fitness, you can go a long way on the flat stuff just by pacing yourself, and taking breaks as necessary. You don't have as much control over your level of output on the hilly stuff. For you, probably the best thing would be to work back up to the 50-60 mile range, and then take a good day or two off before your event to recharge the batteries a little.
    2009 Cervelo R3SL TdF Edition, Ultegra Di2
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  3. #3
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    I've signed up now, it's for charity so I will aim to finish but not feel bad if I make it to 60 and have an empty tank.
    I do want to finish it though, I hate to quit.

    I'll start ramping it up now. Pacing is certainly important as that is my issue on Sat rides, going full on just to get the workout.

    Any suggestions other than "ride lots"? I've got to get my calendar and make a detailed plan.
    I will do more commuting to work 9 miles each way and extend the ride home to 15-20 miles for a 25-30 total.
    2 days on one day rest? 3 days on, one rest?
    My blog about rides, bikes and builds: ridesgoneby.blogspot.com

  4. #4
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    First of all ... you're riding 2-3 times a week right now (a 30 mile ride on the weekend, and one or two 20 mile rides during the week) ... is that correct? If so, start riding more during the week and lengthen your weekend ride.

    Try something like riding 20-30 miles or so a day, 4 days a week, and then do a longer ride on the weekend ... maybe go for a 50 mile ride this weekend.

    Have a read over my century tips article here ... it has a bit of a training schedule, although with only three weeks to go, you don't really have time for that.
    http://www.machka.net/articles/century.htm

  5. #5
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    Good info on your site, thanks. So you think keeping my rear rack bag on is the best idea? Food and tools in there?
    I'm going on a 44 mile organized ride Sat, maybe I'll add a few more to it and will hit the trainer again tonight. It's been raining cats and dogs here, amazingly.
    My blog about rides, bikes and builds: ridesgoneby.blogspot.com

  6. #6
    Senior Member MorganRaider's Avatar
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    I would not exceed a 10 % increase week-week. Going over that will risks injury. Your longest, most recent ride is 30 miles. 3 wks is not enough time to work up to 80 and not exceed the 10 % rule. I would ask yourself is it worth it to be off your bike 3-6 wks after the event, recovering from injury ?

  7. #7
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MorganRaider View Post
    I would not exceed a 10 % increase week-week. Going over that will risks injury. Your longest, most recent ride is 30 miles. 3 wks is not enough time to work up to 80 and not exceed the 10 % rule. I would ask yourself is it worth it to be off your bike 3-6 wks after the event, recovering from injury ?
    The 10% thing is a good guideline, but if randonneurs followed it, we would never get up to the 1200K randonnee distance!!

    When I first started randonneuring I did a 200K, then two weeks later a 300K, then two weeks later a 400K, then two weeks later a 600K. That's not a nice 10% progression, but it was fine.

    If you're going to progress faster than the 10% guideline, there are a few things to keep in mind:

    1) Make sure your bicycle fits. This is very important. If your bicycle doesn't fit, you will risk injury.
    2) Ride at a relaxed pace. Take it easy out there. Don't ride with the fast people and burn yourself out, just ride casually and stop to take photos and breaks and things.
    3) Eat and drink regularly.

    If the OP can ride 40-50 miles this weekend, 50-60 miles next weekend ... and increase the number of days he rides 20-30 miles in between ... he should be able to handle 80 miles.

  8. #8
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice from everyone. Tomorrow i'll ride my own pace and make a point to eat periodically, drink consistently and I'll do around 45-50. I ripped along last weekend for 35mi but only had water. I'm sure I'll do 45 at an easy pace.
    My blog about rides, bikes and builds: ridesgoneby.blogspot.com

  9. #9
    Pat
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    I don't know what your schedule is.

    One rule of thumb is to do a training ride that is 70% of the target ride. So according to that notion, doing 50 miles is your target for an 80 miler. It sounds as if you are doing that already.

    Also you can up your training distances by more than 10% per week. As long as you do not feel as if you are pushing too much as far as your training. As long as you are reasonably comfortable and recover by the next day, you can increase your training levels pretty quickly. But that assumes that you can listen to your body. If you are a "no pain, no gain" person, well it is better to be more conservative.

    I think just increasing your distanced some and you should do fine. The major thing about doing a long distance is not to push over your capacity. You need to cruise a bit slower on long rides. Also stopping every now and then to relieve your contact points, snack and relieve yourself is a good idea. You don't want to stop for long though.

  10. #10
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    Did 46 or 47 today. I forgot to turn on my computer again for one leg of the ride. I split one powerade between two larger bottles and topped with water. Took 4 fig newtons as well. Tried to steadily drink every 10 min or so, eat one every 10 miles or so and try stopping for a stretch.
    It started about 38 degrees and warmed to 45 or so.
    I stopped briefly at 10 miles, then at 25 stopped at a coffee shop where I waited too long and got cold.
    Then only one brief stop for hamstring cramps up a grade.

    Club ride didn't happen so I rode solo but met up with a guy and we chatted/rode for about 16 of the miles. I learned a few things:
    1. I wish I did better.
    2. I drank both bottles + one with refilled water.
    3. I lost 4 lb over the ride, before peeing.
    4. I need to drink more.
    5. I pushed it a little bit harder when I was chatting and riding, not slow and steady and I paid for it in the end.
    6. I started getting a hamstring cramp after 36 miles on an uphill stretch.
    7. I needed more food, perhaps need a honey/gu shot or jelly beans for a faster jolt.
    8. Maybe I should not have dilluted the powerade, but kept it stronger for more cramp protection?
    9. My butt, heartrate and lungs felt fine, but my legs were dead with Lactic Acid feel.
    10. I may add some motivating music to get my mind off my legs.

    Certainly boring information but this will be my first attempt at this distance. Hey, maybe I'll do the century they have in March the day after my birthday.
    My blog about rides, bikes and builds: ridesgoneby.blogspot.com

  11. #11
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    Just to catalog my efforts. I definitely did not know how to hydrate/feed on the 45 mile ride.
    I did a 63 mile last weekend, had enough to drink, maybe could use more, and ate much more/better.
    I felt great the whole ride, was not ravenous at the end and felt like I could keep going the whole 80 that day.
    I feel much better about the event now. I've been riding two to three times during the week, 20 -30 miles and Sat long (70 this week) and Sun a recovery 20 miler. Feel good buut need to make sure i drink enough and get good calories in.

    Question for anyone reading:
    How do you count commuting miles if done at a hard pace? 9.5 miles each way Am and PM. Do you consider them 19 miles for the day or should I add more on the back end every day?
    My blog about rides, bikes and builds: ridesgoneby.blogspot.com

  12. #12
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Yes, 9.5 miles *2 is 19 miles for the day. But on a couple days each week, you could definitely add a bit more to that.

  13. #13
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    Yeah, I am doing 30s during the week but my commute gives me ~20 so I've been trying to get what daylight I can.

    I was feeling like calling it 19 for the day wasn't accurate because of splitting up the ride time.
    My blog about rides, bikes and builds: ridesgoneby.blogspot.com

  14. #14
    Pat
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    I agree with Machka. Miles are miles. Two 10 mile commutes is 20. If you can not get in miles on a bike, any aerobic exercise that uses your legs will substitute pretty well for part of your training. It can be stair climbers, brisk walks around the neighborhood, eliptical etc.

    I used to ride with a mail man and he walked his route. So he had a 30 hour base of exercise BEFORE he started with his training. He would go and do hard cycling each day to sort of top off. He was really, really strong.

  15. #15
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    69 miles this Sunday felt ok, needed to drink more than I did near the end. Sure was boring there at the end as I rode a familiar road and was solo.

    Saturday's 1.5 hour trainer ride primed my butt for Sunday and I was a little more sore than typical. I noticed it more.
    Easy trainer ride today to recover and move blood, then tues and Wed longer trainer rides, take thurs Friday off. Do a little 20 minute spin on Friday and rest for Saturday.
    My blog about rides, bikes and builds: ridesgoneby.blogspot.com

  16. #16
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    Well, It worked just fine. 81 miles today. I got a bottle behind on water/electrolytes early (distracted in first 20 miles I guess) and played catch up the rest of the time. Probably ate too much and was trying to make up for lost water which doesn't really work out too well. I had a few bouts with some mild cramping ( or as I say complaining muscles) but got through it. Took care of myself and made it to the end.
    The course was way more hilly that anticipated and windy. 6000+ feet of elevation gain, much of it in the middle and end when you're tired. I rode my vintage but only had a 42 tooth small chainring and boy did I want a 39! Uphill, headwind, 42-27 for a long distance newbie like me meant lots of pain and slow mashing.

    Conquered it though.
    My blog about rides, bikes and builds: ridesgoneby.blogspot.com

  17. #17
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    congrats!
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

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