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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 06-09-13, 07:37 AM   #1
SecondChildhood
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Suggestions and opinions welcome

First off, I'm a noob. I got back into biking (bent triking, actually) after a 30-year absence. I'm 56, out of shape (now, anyway) and plan on starting out slowly. In my youth, I did a 50+ mile ride that I wasn't ready for, and it put me off long trips for quite a while.

The plan is to gradually increase my mileage, about a mile a day per week, until I can get up to either 20 or 25 miles per day. I'll trike 6 days a week, weather permitting, with one day off to give me a break from the routine and keep it from becoming a daily chore. The long range goal in about four years is a coast-to-coast trip. The idea of doing centuries or anything close to it is rather intimidating right now, so I plan on keeping it to around 50 miles a day. Originally, I figured on continuing to increase the weekly mileage by around two miles a week until I could reach 300 miles per week, but this would require me to average 50 miles a day towards the end. The theory was that if I'm used do doing 50 miles a day, six days a week, anyway, I should have no problem doing the exact same thing on a coast-to-coast trip. However, the time requirement to do this is not compatible with working a full-time job.

I'm now thinking about working up to 25 miles a day for four days during the week, and bumping up my weekend rides by a mile a day-- 26 miles Saturday, 27 miles Sunday, rest Monday, 25 miles Tuesday through Friday, 28 miles Saturday, 29 miles Sunday-- until I can achieve 50 mile rides, or maybe even those elusive centuries, which would give me the sought-after 300 miles a week. I'm hoping when the time comes for the coast-to-coast, I'd then be able to jump right in and do the 50 mile rides consistently on a daily basis (still taking rest days, of course).

I've briefly looked over some suggestions on other threads, and this seems to be at odds with the idea of doing a recovery ride after a long one. Maybe I should plan on a 25 mile ride on Mondays, following my "new highest mileage ever" Sundays, then off on Tuesdays.

Any major flaws with this plan for training?
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Old 06-09-13, 08:47 AM   #2
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You might be overthinking this a little. Your basic plan of riding consistently 6 days a week is good. As for the time/mileage for those rides, let your body decide. If you put together a rigid plan at the beginning and have trouble you could get discouraged. On the other hand, it's quite possible you'll find you can ride farther than your original plan dictated. Don't feel obligated to ride the same pace for every ride. If you're feeling tired it's still good to ride, just go easier and shorter.

Iif you work your way up to riding 25 miles/day for 6 days a week you should have no problem riding 50 on a Sat. A conservative rule of thumb is to limit weekly mileage increases to 10%.
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Old 06-09-13, 03:53 PM   #3
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+1 to not having a rigid training plan and not doing the same ride every day. Go ride for fun.
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Old 06-09-13, 04:07 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
You might be overthinking this a little. Your basic plan of riding consistently 6 days a week is good. As for the time/mileage for those rides, let your body decide. If you put together a rigid plan at the beginning and have trouble you could get discouraged. On the other hand, it's quite possible you'll find you can ride farther than your original plan dictated. Don't feel obligated to ride the same pace for every ride. If you're feeling tired it's still good to ride, just go easier and shorter.

Iif you work your way up to riding 25 miles/day for 6 days a week you should have no problem riding 50 on a Sat. A conservative rule of thumb is to limit weekly mileage increases to 10%.
Thanks for the reply. I know it seems like I've put too much thought into this, but that's just how I like to do things. I really don't want to push too hard and overdo, so I'm content to take things nice and slow for a while. I don't worry about my pace, I just look at the computer to see how far I've gone. So far, it's exciting to just get a little farther than I did the day before. Glad to hear I you think I should be able to ramp up to higher mileage on weekends (when time permits) if I get used to 25 miles a day.

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+1 to not having a rigid training plan and not doing the same ride every day. Go ride for fun.
Also thanks for taking the time to respond. I ride a different direction every day-- rotate the choice of direction to go every time I reach an intersection. First time go straight, next time I get to that intersection go left, next time go right. When it becomes possible to ride around a country block, I do that. Never the same ride twice! With the way I like to go about things, I'm having a blast!
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Old 06-09-13, 05:52 PM   #5
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With the way I like to go about things, I'm having a blast!
When you feel that you are not having a blast and that it is becoming a chore, don't be afraid take a few days or even a week off. The break gets you away from the routine, and refreshes both your body and mind.
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Old 06-09-13, 08:17 PM   #6
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By same ride I didn't mean the same route, although varying that is good too. I meant the length and intensity of the ride.

For now it doesn't make that much difference but as you get fitter you should do rides of varying intensity.
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Old 06-09-13, 08:27 PM   #7
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Listen to Eric's advice. Once you get a few miles in, a "harder" or "difficult" day is taxing and tires your system. If you put too many of them together without rest, or easy recovery days, your body never rebuilds and you tear yourself down. Not only will you be physically fatigued, you will be mentally exhausted as well.
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Old 06-10-13, 05:17 AM   #8
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Again, thanks for the responses.
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
When you feel that you are not having a blast and that it is becoming a chore, don't be afraid take a few days or even a week off. The break gets you away from the routine, and refreshes both your body and mind.
There will be enough times when the real world will interfere with what will otherwise become a rigorous schedule. Still, I'll take your advice and lay out a week if I ever feel like, "Ah, crap. I havta get on the damn trike again today." That'll probably come up more during the winter when I'm on the trainer.

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Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
By same ride I didn't mean the same route, although varying that is good too. I meant the length and intensity of the ride.

For now it doesn't make that much difference but as you get fitter you should do rides of varying intensity.
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Listen to Eric's advice. Once you get a few miles in, a "harder" or "difficult" day is taxing and tires your system. If you put too many of them together without rest, or easy recovery days, your body never rebuilds and you tear yourself down. Not only will you be physically fatigued, you will be mentally exhausted as well.
I'm already starting to do this, maybe instinctively. Some days, I go out with the attitude, "Let's see if I can set a new record for average speed." Other days, I say, "I'm gonna just enjoy the ride and only look at the computer to see when it's time to turn around." I'll see if I can work that into more of a formal routine. And I definitely will take a day off after longer rides.
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