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  1. #1
    Senior Member Blue_Bulldog's Avatar
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    Training for my first 50 mi ride.

    I just joined BikeForums, because I have begun training for my very first 50 mi ride. I've never ridden that distance before, and it's my goal for the summer. I'm transitioning from a not very active lifestyle to serious training.

    I know the obvious, stuff like "ride a lot", but what are some hints and advice some of the more experienced riders can give me? Good diets? Strength building exercises? Stuff like that. Looking to get on a pretty strict regimen, and I have nothing but time to train... the problem is, I don't know where to start.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Senior Member longbeachgary's Avatar
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    Stick to the basics. Ride to increase your miles. I'm not sure how much time you have but you can increase slowly if you have some time. Eat right but ride, ride, ride. If you are able to 25 or 30 miles now, 50 is not that big a jump. You don't even have to have done 50 before the ride.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Blue_Bulldog's Avatar
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    I'm topping out at about 15 mi or so now, give or take. 17mi is my best so far. What would be some mileage increments you'd suggest? And is there any benefit to the idea of "staggering" my workouts? Long, short, long, short?

  4. #4
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    If you have plenty of time, then getting fit enough to ride 50 miles is easy. Ride 10 hours per week. I'm guessing that amounts to five of your 17 mile rides. Stick with the ten hours, but shift the time around so you have two three-hour rides, a two-hour ride and two one-hour rides. Make the one-hour rides a bit more intense than the longer ones, so you are breathing a bit harder while doing them. Within a month your three-hour rides will be taking you forty miles.

    After that you can start thinking about "training".
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Blue_Bulldog's Avatar
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    Good lord, I read too fast. At first I thought you had said 10 hours a DAY. I was like, woah cowboy!

    I have the 10 hours a week. Everyone keeps saying 50 mi is easy... but maybe it just seems daunting to me, since its a huge number. If you guys are right, it sounds like I'm in for a surprise....

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    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Further is easy. Faster is hard. It's when you want to ride the 50 miles in closer to two hours than three that you need to get serious about intensity.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  7. #7
    Senior Member longbeachgary's Avatar
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    If you can do 15 then you can do 25. Do 25 for a while and then jump to 30 or 35. Do that a few times and ride your 50 ride.

  8. #8
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    All I can offer is evidence that it can be done. I will be riding my first metric this Saturday. I have over a half dozen fifty mile rides in the last year and a half. When I started almost three years ago a five mile flat commute was a struggle. My progress has been slower than you are looking at, but I am a fifty something Clyde.
    Last edited by CommuteCommando; 05-28-13 at 08:56 PM.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  9. #9
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    I wouldn't worry about how many miles you do in a day; focus on the time you spend in the saddle. Shoot for a 1 hour ride 3x to 4x times a week with longer rides (1 and 1/2 to 2 hours on the weekend). Build up from there. It's all about time in the saddle. Your legs and rear end will come around.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    Add no more than about 10% a week both to your total riding time and the length of your longest ride. But of course pay attention to your body- if you're getting run down, take a few days off. If you're feeling awesome, do a little more.

    When I came back to cycling after being sedentary I was in poor shape. I'd been a racer in my 20s. I did some weight lifting in addition to cycling. I don't think that the added strength helped my cycling much but it did help over all strength. And working on leg exercises strenghtened the muscles around my knees. I have had knee problems in the past. I beleive that helped me avoid them this time even though I was in poor condition. I also could not handle riding more than about three times a week so a couple gym days kept me active and got me in the the habit of doing something almost every day.

    My first 50 mile ride after I came back was really rough. My friend had to pull for the last 20 miles while I drafted. But I made it.

    Since then I have done more centuries and 200ks than I can count, 9 Death Rides, 5 Everest Challenges and lots of other races.

    Good luck and have fun.

  11. #11
    Senior Member longbeachgary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    Add no more than about 10% a week both to your total riding time and the length of your longest ride. But of course pay attention to your body- if you're getting run down, take a few days off. If you're feeling awesome, do a little more.

    When I came back to cycling after being sedentary I was in poor shape. I'd been a racer in my 20s. I did some weight lifting in addition to cycling. I don't think that the added strength helped my cycling much but it did help over all strength. And working on leg exercises strenghtened the muscles around my knees. I have had knee problems in the past. I beleive that helped me avoid them this time even though I was in poor condition. I also could not handle riding more than about three times a week so a couple gym days kept me active and got me in the the habit of doing something almost every day.

    My first 50 mile ride after I came back was really rough. My friend had to pull for the last 20 miles while I drafted. But I made it.

    Since then I have done more centuries and 200ks than I can count, 9 Death Rides, 5 Everest Challenges and lots of other races.

    Good luck and have fun.
    Great story Dude. I hope that OP finds inspiration in it.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Rider98Glide's Avatar
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    MY first ride of the year was a couple of weeks ago. It was the longest I had ever done at 34 miles. Road the Katy from Clinton to Windsor and back. Even ate a dip cone when I got to Windsor. I wanted to go for a motorcycle ride but MY TRI WIFE said lets go on a bike ride instead. I didn't break any speed records but I did it no problem. Before that as in last year I just rode an 11 mile route pretty regular. OK, I say all that to make my point of don't worry about endurance as far as being able to finish goes if you are doing 7-12 miles pretty regular. What you need to train is your butt to be able to sit that long in the saddle....OUCH!!! BTW-Just got done doing 6 miles of hills in 90 degree heat today and it felt great.
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  13. #13
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    Getting a HR monitor was helpful to me. I didn't realize i could pedal at less then full intensity, which initially led to a lot of pedal, pedal, coasting. It wasn't until i got the HR monitor that I gained some consistency and was able to then add on the miles.

  14. #14
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I will also say that your first 50 mile ride will not be "easy." It's going to hurt. The biggest difference in going to longer single rides is that you will have to fuel and hydrate during the ride. The usual recommendation is one bottle/hour and 50g of carbs/hour. You probably won't need to go through that much of either food or water, but that's a guideline.

    The second biggest difference is getting your butt used to it. Riding more frequently is the best method. Also get in the habit of standing from time to time until your butt feels OK again.

  15. #15
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    That's really cool to hear that you want to start training and ride 50mi this summer! I actually started in April this year of "serious training" and my goal is like yours, but 100mi. Anyways, I am now up to 200 miles at least a week, just did 320mi this week actually. What you gotta do is be consistent. That is like THE number one aspect of training and getting better. You have to have the frequency and high volume, but keep intensity low. I like to ride 6 days a week, having one full day off for a mental rest day, one day a recovery day, one day long, one day hills (the only intensity of the whole week, maybe 1-2 hours), and three days medium distance rides, having one of those be faster than usual pace.

    So kind of base your training off of that, because that is working for me and I went from casually riding around last year to starting in April and already up to 200 miles a week!

    Another thing is diet. Personally, I am eating a high carb low fat cooked vegan diet with high amounts of raw fruit and vegetables. People are going to get kind of stiff or personal or what have you on this topic. Whether you choose to eat meat or not, that is totally up to you. But I think we can all agree on reducing dairy consumption is healthy and increasing fruit and vegetable consumption is healthy. Just make sure you eat a lot of carbs and keep the fat low. The fat you eat is the fat you wear

    "It doesn't get easier. You just go faster." One of my favourite quotes! Live by this. Have fun man thats the main thing. You gotta love the sport to really thrive. Read the books, read the forums, ask questions, get beat by the others on the road, laugh, experience a fall, and have fun!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    I will also say that your first 50 mile ride will not be "easy." It's going to hurt. The biggest difference in going to longer single rides is that you will have to fuel and hydrate during the ride. The usual recommendation is one bottle/hour and 50g of carbs/hour. You probably won't need to go through that much of either food or water, but that's a guideline.

    The second biggest difference is getting your butt used to it. Riding more frequently is the best method. Also get in the habit of standing from time to time until your butt feels OK again.
    really great tips, but I tend to recommend, and this works great for me and many others, 1g of carb/kg of body weight/hr of riding. OP, try both and just see what works for you. Just experiment!

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