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  1. #1
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Completing two centuries about 10 weeks apart- feasible from a training perspective?

    Hi all,

    Newby lady cyclist here, fairly clueless. I am planning on riding the Palm Springs Century Feb 8 and am reasonably confident I can do it. I started training 12 weeks ahead of the event, mostly with distance-type endurance rides. At the time I started that training, Id been off anything strenuous for about 8-10 weeks and over this past year had put on about 1800 base miles after starting cycling in March. I've completed a metric century organized ride at 14.7 mph but I rarely ride that distance that fast. I recently bought the TimeCrunched Cyclist and began that 12 week program (intervals plus endurance rides). I will be 8 weeks into it at the time of the Palm Springs Century. At this point, I am routinely riding 100+ mi per week.

    My real goal was to try to ride the Wildflower Century in late April, which is much more challenging, with 6000 feet of climbing. Now reading about the basics of training, I'm not sure if maybe the timing between these two events is bad training-wise. Maybe I should forget the Wildflower?

    Option 1: Finish the 12 week TimeCrunched Cyclist program after the Palm Springs Century, which would be early March. Take a couple of weeks off and then work on climbing for about a month before the Wildflower.

    Option 2: Stop the TimeCrunched Cyclist program at the time of the Palm Springs Century, then start a second abbreviated interval-based program about 3 weeks before the event, working on climbing during Feb & Mar. This will give me 12 weeks off between interval-based training programs, but I'm not sure if 3 weeks of intervals before the second event makes any sense.

    Option 3: Forget the Wildflower entirely, which I'm ok with if necessary. I can always try it next year.

    Thanks,
    H

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    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    I'd go with Option 2.
    You should be ok.

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    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    I would go for longer rides for the saddle time.

    Work up to 75 mile rides and keep doing them.
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  4. #4
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    You don't sound clueless to me, just not a lot of experience in training for distance events yet.

    The Palm Spring Century (PSC) doesn't list total climbing. You could plot the route on ridewithgps.com and then take about 80% of what the software says for total ascent. That'll give you a better comparison of energy consumption between the two rides.

    PSC is on a Saturday. The week before, spin easy on Monday. Tuesday, ride for 1 hour with 3 max effort 1 minute intervals. Wednesday, same but 2 intervals. Thursday same but 1 interval. Friday off. Go to bed very early Thursday night and get up Friday at the same time you will Saturday.

    Don't take any time off between events. After PSC, take one day off and then do easy rides for 2 days. Then you can go back into regular training. You'll have completed 7-8 weeks of TCC, with 9 weeks of good training time between events. You could pick up TCC in week 3 or 4 and do it to completion. You could also do a modified version of that, substituting long climbing rides for some of the TCC workouts the whole way through. Just try to put in about the same minutes of high end work per week that the plan has. You can do more easy work than the plan has.

    My practice between rides like that would be to put in a long ride with lots of climbing once/week, say starting at 50 miles and working up to 80 miles over the weeks available. The last weekend, cut it back to 60 miles and ride the hills more moderately. Otherwise, ride them as hard as you can and still finish the ride. Push the edge of that. During the week, try to do intervals on Thursday if you can. Otherwise just put in one easy day and the rest moderate. Build up the miles. Mileage=strength. IME I can ride a distance = weekly mileage and finish. To finish a century fast, double that. After 200 miles/week, percentage increase in fitness and endurance is very slight if you go hard on a long ride once/week.

    Another week's recipe is one day do ~25 miles of speed intervals. Another day, do ~30 miles of hill repeats. Then one long ride on the weekend as above. That's all you really need to do once you've established base fitness, which you will have done after PSC.

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    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    My understanding is that the Palm Springs Century is about 3000 ft of climbing but nothing steep or onerous. My "normal" 50 mi ride would include about 2000 ft of climbing, so I think the Palm Springs climbing is a non-issue- or at least that is my plan. I hear the wind can sometimes be an issue in Palm Springs, though. A headwind and a hill are pretty much the same thing (or at least I think of them as the same) except that you can see the end of the hill. So I get that effort-wise, the Palm Springs Century could be more challenging than it might appear on paper. Since I live in a pretty similar climate/terrain/degree of windiness, I just make a point of not avoiding the wind unless dangerous. Ten miles uphill into a headwind is not fun, but its good to experience what that is like. "Stay Calm and Pedal On."

    H

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I'd do both. You can do centuries a week apart ... you can do back-to-back centuries (one on Saturday, one on Sunday). They aren't like marathons where you want to have a bit of recovery time in between because they take that much out of you.

    10 weeks is lots of time to recover and build back up again.

    In fact, doing the first century in February would be great practice for doing the second century ... if you made any mistakes (nutrition, pacing, etc.) you could fix them in time for the second century.

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    Senior Member downtube42's Avatar
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    Unless you have any issues from the ride - like chafing or tendinitis - there's no need to take time off. Otherwise a few days of easy riding and get right back to it. In the first century you may learn some things about eating, hydration, fit, and pacing that will make the second ride easier even if the course is more difficult. It's not all in your head, but a lot of it is.
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    How should I feel after the Time Crunched Cyclist "endurance" intervals? I'm in week two of the century training program and earlier this week my task was to ride three intervals of 8 mins at HR of 160, 4 min rest. I did that on the trainer, with some easy spinning, total ride time about 65 min. It felt really easy and I didn't feel any effect throughout the day (legs not tired). Today I decided to do four of those intervals and I felt good at the end of the fourth so I rode a fifth interval. I don't feel particularly taxed right now either. Aren't intervals supposed to kick my butt? Or is that normal because these are not all-out-efforts intervals (those start next week)? It's entirely possible my test was bad (the one he has you ride to figure out your heart rate targets- it was really windy the day I rode it and I was tired from a long ride the day before. I plan on riding another test tomorrow if I don't feel too much effect of today's intervals). Am I doing this wrong some how?



    Thanks,
    H

  9. #9
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    This is what I'd do. I'd try the TCTP aimed specifically for the Palms Springs Century. I'd take 6 weeks "off", meaning riding same volume low intensity stuff. That should give you plenty of time to recover if you're fairly young and/or in pretty decent shape to begin with.

    Then crank it up again for the Wildflower. I bet you could do it.

    I'm reading the TTC right now but have never actually done it. My informal goal is to try to do three pretty tough centuries this year. I could give you better advice this time next year.

  10. #10
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
    How should I feel after the Time Crunched Cyclist "endurance" intervals? I'm in week two of the century training program and earlier this week my task was to ride three intervals of 8 mins at HR of 160, 4 min rest. I did that on the trainer, with some easy spinning, total ride time about 65 min. It felt really easy and I didn't feel any effect throughout the day (legs not tired). Today I decided to do four of those intervals and I felt good at the end of the fourth so I rode a fifth interval. I don't feel particularly taxed right now either. Aren't intervals supposed to kick my butt? Or is that normal because these are not all-out-efforts intervals (those start next week)? It's entirely possible my test was bad (the one he has you ride to figure out your heart rate targets- it was really windy the day I rode it and I was tired from a long ride the day before. I plan on riding another test tomorrow if I don't feel too much effect of today's intervals). Am I doing this wrong some how?

    Thanks,
    H
    I don't think they should feel that easy. I reviewed my copy ('09) of the TCC. It's a good book, good program. There are some tricksie things with the numbers, which I'll discuss later. I think it's mostly a matter of your first test being inaccurate. If you are well rested, your new test should be better. I like 2 days of rest or at least easy riding before a test.

    Be sure to go very hard in your test. It is possible to go very, very hard for only 8 minutes. First of all, you have to already know about how hard, i.e. leg effort, it's supposed to feel. It takes a few tests before you really get that. When I do one of these, it takes maybe 3 minutes of steady effort to ramp up into the anaerobic zone, maybe 5% above my LT, which I already know or think I know. Then I hold that effort, panting hard, until the last 2 minutes, when I ramp it up considerably. The last minute I go really hard, like I'm leading out my sprinter. You should hit very close to your MHR at the end of the test. Going very hard at the end averages your low HR at the beginning of the test, so you might come out somewhat over LT. Maybe. I do these indoors on my rollers to eliminate environmental issues. I then take my average as my LT, rather than being 10% over, because my HR runs lower indoors than outdoors, and for other reasons I'll explain shortly.

    You can verify your 8 minute test LT by hitting a long hill and climbing for 20 minutes after an hour of riding. If you blow up, you're over for sure. If you have something left, you're under.

    Now for the confusing part. Books like these attempt to be one-size-fits-all. However everyone is different, especially in their ability to recover, and the biggest problem that uncoached athletes have is overtraining. "Overreaching" is the start of overtraining. Thus TCC pitches the training effort a little low to avoid that as much as is reasonable.

    He says your test should be ~10% higher than your LT. Take me for example, though my numbers will be lower than yours because I am older. I use a 10 minute test rather than 8, but no difference really. I test at about 149. If that were 10% over, my LTHR would be 135. That's ridiculous. I can climb at 149 for about 20 minutes. I can climb for well over an hour at 142, maybe higher. At 135, I can do multiple pass climbs of over an hour each and have enough left to TT to the finish. I'll sometimes finish a 3 hour group ride with an average HR of 137. BTW, my MHR is about 164, so the LTHR that I use is about 91% of MHR.

    Anyway, what I do is base my zones off that 149 and watch closely for overreaching. Thus I'd do SS intervals at ~142-145 or 95%-97% of 149. This works for me. Again, he says I would do them at 137-142, (.92-.95 * 149) which is a little low IMO, but more importantly over what he would take for my LTHR.

    You'll know you're overreaching if you can't hit your numbers when you do intervals, but you could hit them in previous sessions. Or if your morning resting heart rate goes up by 6-8 beats. If that happens, take a couple days off or easy days and then try to hit your numbers again. The thing is, you want to walk that knife-edge to get maximum training benefit.

    When you do your 3 X 8 SS, you should be breathing fast and deep, some short of maximum fast and deep, which is in turn some short of panting. Hopefully this doesn't make it even more confusing.
    Last edited by Carbonfiberboy; 12-26-13 at 06:55 PM. Reason: Fixed some numbers

  11. #11
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Ok, well I actually can feel my legs today. Not super-sore, but I can tell I did something yesterday. I think the next order of business is to just repeat the test. I didn't yet have my *brand-new-freakin-awesome-Christmas-present* trainer yet when I did the first test. It will be way easier to do the test on the trainer, I think, not having to deal with uncontrollable factors like the wind.

    Im not going to do the test today, since my legs are not rested. I can move my schedule around a little and do the test Tuesday, I think. The question is do I skip Sundays short ride to give me a better test? The current plan is 66 mi Sat, 20-30 mi Sun, Yoga Mon, trainer intervals Tues. I can skip Sundays ride and move the Tuesday intervals to Wed. I kind of hate to lose the Sun ride, but if it'll give me a better test, I'll do it. If I'm going to do these interval rides, I want to do it right and maximize the return on my effort.

    So what do you think, skip Sunday, yay or nay?

    H

  12. #12
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    If you're aiming to ride a century, you need the saddle time. There's nothing wrong with doing 66 mi on Saturday, 20-30 mi on Sunday, yoga on Mon, and trainer intervals on Tuesday.

    Keep the Sunday ride.

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    How long have you been riding and how many miles do you have under your belt?

    From what I've heard in the Southern California forum (on this site) the Palm Springs Century is pretty flat for this region. There's a recent thread in there about that century that you can go read. The other century with 6000 feet of climbing is going to be a lot more challenging. Although the 10 weeks in-between the two centuries is a total non-issue. That's two and a half months in which you have an enormous amount of time to recover and/or continue training. You don't mention if you're wanting to do more of a solo ride with a certain average speed in mind. If you draft most of the way it will be much easier than sitting out in the wind the whole time. Obviously drafting doesn't do you a a whole lot good when you're crawling up a hill at <10mph.
    Last edited by Dunbar; 12-27-13 at 06:05 PM.

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    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    If you're aiming to ride a century, you need the saddle time. There's nothing wrong with doing 66 mi on Saturday, 20-30 mi on Sunday, yoga on Mon, and trainer intervals on Tuesday.

    Keep the Sunday ride.
    I can't do the test Tuesday and the intervals, I wont have enough time before work and I expect too crazy of a day to do them after work. I can push the intervals to Wed and do Sat long ride, Sun short ride, Mon yoga, Tues test, Wed & Thur trainer intervals and then Fri swim or off. Wed/Thurs back to back interval days is not ideal but doable.

    I'd rather keep the Sunday ride if possible, it's going to be a really nice weekend.

    H

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    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
    How long have you been riding and how many miles do you have under your belt?

    From what I've heard in the Southern California forum (on this site) the Palm Springs Century is pretty flat for this region. There's a recent thread in there about that century that you can go read. The other century with 6000 feet of climbing is going to be a lot more challenging. Although the 10 weeks in-between the two centuries is a total non-issue. That's two and a half months in which you have an enormous amount of time to recover and/or continue training. You don't mention if you're wanting to do more of a solo ride with a certain average speed in mind. If you draft most of the way it will be much easier than sitting out in the wind the whole time. Obviously drafting doesn't do you a a whole lot good when you're crawling up a hill at <10mph.
    As I mentioned in the first post, I started cycling last March. I have ridden about 2200 mi so far and by the time of the Palm Springs Century will be around 2800-3000 mi.

    I like the idea of doing the ride solo but I realize that may not be easy/realistic. And anyway I have managed to convince three other people to do the Palm Springs Century. One will ride a similar pace as me and we will probably ride together the entire ride. The other two I only know professionally. I don't know much about their cycling abilities but I think they are well beyond mine. So we could be a group of four or just a pair.

    The reason I was asking about the 10 week timeframe between events is that the Time Crunched Cyclist book makes the point that one rides an interval training program for 12 weeks, then your peak riding as a consequence of the interval program is for the ensuing 4-5 weeks. The author advises against starting another interval training program for 12 weeks from the first. So I was thinking at the time of the Wildflower that I'd maybe be waning in abilities, rather than peaking.

    H

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
    I can't do the test Tuesday and the intervals, I wont have enough time before work and I expect too crazy of a day to do them after work. I can push the intervals to Wed and do Sat long ride, Sun short ride, Mon yoga, Tues test, Wed & Thur trainer intervals and then Fri swim or off. Wed/Thurs back to back interval days is not ideal but doable.

    I'd rather keep the Sunday ride if possible, it's going to be a really nice weekend.

    H
    Keep the Sunday ride ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
    The reason I was asking about the 10 week timeframe between events is that the Time Crunched Cyclist book makes the point that one rides an interval training program for 12 weeks, then your peak riding as a consequence of the interval program is for the ensuing 4-5 weeks.
    I haven't read the book but doesn't he advise that you just ride (and avoid structured training) for the first year? If you're going to aim to peak during a century I would definitely aim to peak for the second century w/ 6k feet of climbing. The Palm Springs Century doesn't sound all that difficult and should be pretty easy if you keep riding 100+ miles per week. You probably want to start doing some climbing on a regular basis as well. I'd probably shoot for 5-6k feet of climbing per week in the two months leading up to the second century.

  18. #18
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
    I haven't read the book but doesn't he advise that you just ride (and avoid structured training) for the first year? If you're going to aim to peak during a century I would definitely aim to peak for the second century w/ 6k feet of climbing. The Palm Springs Century doesn't sound all that difficult and should be pretty easy if you keep riding 100+ miles per week. You probably want to start doing some climbing on a regular basis as well. I'd probably shoot for 5-6k feet of climbing per week in the two months leading up to the second century.
    Good lord! I hope the book doesn't say not to train at all for the first year, if it does I didn't notice that but would have ignored the recommendation anyway. In going back to take a look at the book, though, I did notice that the author advocates 4-6 weeks off between interval programs, not 12 as I mistakenly stated above.

    I started training Nov 17 and lost a week due to a death in the family. I've ridden 500 miles and climbed 16000 feet in the 4.5 weeks I've trained thus far. I'm still ramping up the distance and elevation. However my first priority now is meeting the distance goals. I was planning on really pushing the climbing after the Palm Springs ride.

    H

  19. #19
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Yeah, ride Sunday, but take it a little easy. Test Tuesday. With your stats, that'll be fine. You're just starting to hit your stride. Last Sunday, I spent 1:45 sub and supra threshold, on a 3 hour ride. Yesterday (Friday), I took it easier and only did 58 minutes sub and supra. Sunday, I'll do another hard group ride, then I'll take it easier all week.

    Do you know how to watch for overreaching?
    Last edited by Carbonfiberboy; 12-28-13 at 11:09 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    Do you know how to watch for overreaching?
    Yes, I think so, but my biggest danger would be being in denial over it. I can be too task-oriented at times. However, I think my personal life schedule somewhat precludes over-training as I am typically off the bike two-three days a week. Yoga one day for sure and I'd like to swim a mile once a week (the pool has been closed for re-plastering though, so I havent been swimming for awhile, who knew plaster takes so long to cure?). So right now the schedule I've settled into is: Monday yoga, Tuesday intervals, Wed off, Thursday intervals, Fri Swim (in theory but in reality it has been a second day off for the past month), Sat long ride, Sun medium ride. Yoga is non-negotiable (I just got a series of private yoga sessions as a Christmas gift and we are doing an intentionally cycling-complementary practice) but swimming is negotiable and I could maybe add another ride on Friday. However I am at my best with a long ride if I haven't ridden the day before. I'm not sure that a Friday ride would not be counter-productive. Friday-Sat-Sun are my days off, though, and I can spend any amt of time riding those days.

    I get about 30 miles and 2.5 hours saddle time on the trainer per week. The long rides for the time being will be 5+ hours 70-100 mi. The medium rides can be whatever. Sat I rode a personal best distance 67 mi and was pretty wiped. Sun I was a sore (but not too bad) and still went out for a little ride to see how it went. Fifteen minutes into the ride I was no longer sore and I wound up riding 37 miles- very easy miles, though. It was insanely windy and I could not stay in zone 1 100% of the time but I did manage to stay there 95% of the time with only a few spikes to zone 2, and nothing more intense than that. It felt like a good ride and I was not tired or sore the rest of the day. Total hours on the bike last week was about 11.

    Say next week, I went with intervals 30 mi, long ride 73 mi, medium ride 40 mi- for a weekly total of 143 mi. Does that seem like too much or little? I could then progress 30+80+44 = 154 mi, then 30+97+50 = 177 mi, that will leave me three weeks before the event and I could do something like 30+65+65 = 155ish for 2 weeks, then maybe shift the week around- do less intense interval sessions Mon & Wed, take off Tues and Thurs and do yoga Fri before the actual organized century ride on Sat. I would love to get to 200 mi per week, but don't think it's possible without another day on the bike.

    Well that was a very long-winded reply, but I think my basic question is: should I try to get one more day of cycling into the mix? My primary goal right now is to ride the Palm Springs Century well- which means I enjoy it, am fairly comfortable & happy enough at the end. I'd love to do it at a 14+ mph pace but that part is less important. I could possibly move yoga to Tuesday (not sure instructor can do that day)- then a possible schedule would be Mon intervals, Tues yoga, Wed Interval, Thurs off, Fri long ride, Sat medium easy ride, Sun- some other ride but probably nothing too intense if I want to ride an interval session the next am and get the most out of it. If it is substantially better to ride the extra day, I can drop the swim for the immediate future and try to juggle the schedule.

    H

  21. #21
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
    <snip>
    Well that was a very long-winded reply, but I think my basic question is: should I try to get one more day of cycling into the mix? My primary goal right now is to ride the Palm Springs Century well- which means I enjoy it, am fairly comfortable & happy enough at the end. I'd love to do it at a 14+ mph pace but that part is less important. I could possibly move yoga to Tuesday (not sure instructor can do that day)- then a possible schedule would be Mon intervals, Tues yoga, Wed Interval, Thurs off, Fri long ride, Sat medium easy ride, Sun- some other ride but probably nothing too intense if I want to ride an interval session the next am and get the most out of it. If it is substantially better to ride the extra day, I can drop the swim for the immediate future and try to juggle the schedule.

    H
    I think you're doing it exactly right now. The Sunday easy ride is correct. IME taking Friday off is also good. You need it to recover and add glycogen. You mileage sounds perfect. You might surprise yourself with your speed on the century. Are your Saturday rides group rides? If not, is that a possibility? Being comfortable and safe in a group is important on an event ride. Then you can use other folks to help you get up the road. If a Saturday group ride is not the length you want, you can break off near the end and put in extra miles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    I think you're doing it exactly right now. The Sunday easy ride is correct. IME taking Friday off is also good. You need it to recover and add glycogen. You mileage sounds perfect. You might surprise yourself with your speed on the century. Are your Saturday rides group rides? If not, is that a possibility? Being comfortable and safe in a group is important on an event ride. Then you can use other folks to help you get up the road. If a Saturday group ride is not the length you want, you can break off near the end and put in extra miles.
    No, I'm not doing any group rides. Everyone here on these boards seems to really think I should be doing this but I'm resistant because I feel like it will create pacing problems. I'm slow and I pretty much have to ride a slow pace (13-13.5 mph) to make my distance on the long rides. The chances that I find a group ride that rides my distance at my pace seems remote. Shorter rides will be at a faster pace and if I ride a 15 mph pace early I won't make my distance (and I can't ride a 17-18 mph pace at all except maybe a flat ride for an hour or so). If I don't make my distance, I will not be prepared for the next week and I don't really have much room in the schedule for more than one failed effort.

    I also can see as they ride by that most of these groups are made up of men. I read the posts here on this forum from men and so much of it is oozing testosterone- beating someone else, being faster than someone else, sprinting to the finish, the other guy is fat, etc. I have zero interest in any of that, I really could not care less how I am relative to anyone else, just how I am today relative to last week, last month, last year. Obviously not every group ride is like that but I don't have tons of time to try out different groups.

    I will be riding the Palm Springs century with a few friends. Two will ride a much faster pace & I doubt I'll see much of them. The other will probably ride my pace the entire time. We are used to riding together, so that will be a little something.

    I know I need to solve this group ride thing eventually, but I'm not sure I'll be able to before the Palm Springs ride. There's only so much I can work on at once. I totally believe that group rides are important, I just am having trouble prioritizing them over the distance goals. I really hope this is not a huge mistake, but my instincts tell me the time is not right for group rides.

    H

  23. #23
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
    No, I'm not doing any group rides. Everyone here on these boards seems to really think I should be doing this but I'm resistant because I feel like it will create pacing problems. I'm slow and I pretty much have to ride a slow pace (13-13.5 mph) to make my distance on the long rides. The chances that I find a group ride that rides my distance at my pace seems remote. Shorter rides will be at a faster pace and if I ride a 15 mph pace early I won't make my distance (and I can't ride a 17-18 mph pace at all except maybe a flat ride for an hour or so). If I don't make my distance, I will not be prepared for the next week and I don't really have much room in the schedule for more than one failed effort.

    I also can see as they ride by that most of these groups are made up of men. I read the posts here on this forum from men and so much of it is oozing testosterone- beating someone else, being faster than someone else, sprinting to the finish, the other guy is fat, etc. I have zero interest in any of that, I really could not care less how I am relative to anyone else, just how I am today relative to last week, last month, last year. Obviously not every group ride is like that but I don't have tons of time to try out different groups.

    I will be riding the Palm Springs century with a few friends. Two will ride a much faster pace & I doubt I'll see much of them. The other will probably ride my pace the entire time. We are used to riding together, so that will be a little something.

    I know I need to solve this group ride thing eventually, but I'm not sure I'll be able to before the Palm Springs ride. There's only so much I can work on at once. I totally believe that group rides are important, I just am having trouble prioritizing them over the distance goals. I really hope this is not a huge mistake, but my instincts tell me the time is not right for group rides.

    H
    Ooozing testosterone . . . don't some of us wish. There are whole threads on supplementing T. Of course you have a point.

    You betcha group rides create pacing problems. That's the whole idea! As it is said, we don't train in spite of the pain, we train because of the pain. Not that we like pain, but pain is inevitable. And as it is inevitable, we bank the pain because we'll need to make withdrawals later. I realize that's kind of a hard-ass view, but the women I ride with, and our group is about 50-50, also have come to that view. It's simply more fun to move the bike up the road. I say that you can have a license to fly, but you have to make installment payments.

    Have you mentioned what bike you are riding, what tires, what wheels, what gearing (front and back), techie stuff like that?

    The general program is to prioritize the distance goals. However and ahem and like that. There's this concept of arousal. Really. Like on the trainer or just going out for a ride by myself, I might have a hard time getting my HR over 142. It hurts and makes my legs feel tired. But put me on a long hill with a fast group on my wheel and I have no trouble hitting 160 and feeling great. Yes, it's all hormones, but not particularly testosterone. I can testify that women feel it just as much as men.

    When I was starting out trying to ride distance, I would ride away from home until I was exhausted and then ride back. That's the basic formula. Pushing you a little . . . find a group that's just a little faster than you are now when you're at full stretch, if you can. You want a group that you can at least still see ahead of you on a hill. They're the carrot. Ride their route until you've had enough and are getting dropped worse, then break off and finish out your planned distance. I say, if you can still walk when you're finished, you could have gone harder. This will teach you everything you need to know about nutrition, hydration, cramping (always bring Tums), bike handling, and everything else you'll need to know. Watch them closely. Do what they do. Stand when they stand, sit when they sit. Go hard when they surge, back off when they do. Look like they do, except wear brighter clothing. Stay at the back if they'll let you. Ask questions. Learn.

    The tactic is to hold the effort. Almost every group ride will climb like crazy and then back off when they crest. These aren't races, they're training rides. So when you crest and you're behind, you don't back off. You get them back and hold their wheel until the blood starts from your eyesockets. Never give up. If you do that, it'll get easier quite quickly.

    The big lesson is how to finish anyway. But be careful: it's addictive.

  24. #24
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    Ooozing testosterone . . . don't some of us wish. There are whole threads on supplementing T. Of course you have a point.

    You betcha group rides create pacing problems. That's the whole idea! As it is said, we don't train in spite of the pain, we train because of the pain. Not that we like pain, but pain is inevitable. And as it is inevitable, we bank the pain because we'll need to make withdrawals later. I realize that's kind of a hard-ass view, but the women I ride with, and our group is about 50-50, also have come to that view. It's simply more fun to move the bike up the road. I say that you can have a license to fly, but you have to make installment payments.

    Have you mentioned what bike you are riding, what tires, what wheels, what gearing (front and back), techie stuff like that?

    The general program is to prioritize the distance goals. However and ahem and like that. There's this concept of arousal. Really. Like on the trainer or just going out for a ride by myself, I might have a hard time getting my HR over 142. It hurts and makes my legs feel tired. But put me on a long hill with a fast group on my wheel and I have no trouble hitting 160 and feeling great. Yes, it's all hormones, but not particularly testosterone. I can testify that women feel it just as much as men.

    When I was starting out trying to ride distance, I would ride away from home until I was exhausted and then ride back. That's the basic formula. Pushing you a little . . . find a group that's just a little faster than you are now when you're at full stretch, if you can. You want a group that you can at least still see ahead of you on a hill. They're the carrot. Ride their route until you've had enough and are getting dropped worse, then break off and finish out your planned distance. I say, if you can still walk when you're finished, you could have gone harder. This will teach you everything you need to know about nutrition, hydration, cramping (always bring Tums), bike handling, and everything else you'll need to know. Watch them closely. Do what they do. Stand when they stand, sit when they sit. Go hard when they surge, back off when they do. Look like they do, except wear brighter clothing. Stay at the back if they'll let you. Ask questions. Learn.

    The tactic is to hold the effort. Almost every group ride will climb like crazy and then back off when they crest. These aren't races, they're training rides. So when you crest and you're behind, you don't back off. You get them back and hold their wheel until the blood starts from your eyesockets. Never give up. If you do that, it'll get easier quite quickly.

    The big lesson is how to finish anyway. But be careful: it's addictive.
    I have a Trek Lexa S. I didn't really overthink it when I bought the bike, I just googled "women's entry level road bikes" and got a list of prospects. I bought the bike at the first shop I went to because the guy was willing to sell it to me for $600, which was a good price. Mr. H thought I should shop around more, but I figured I really had no idea what I was looking for. My thinking was that I was better off just buying the cheapest decent bike I could find and then replacing it eventully if I liked cycling and when I had some idea what I as looking for. I still have the bike as I bought it from the shop, except I put Look brand plastic pedals on it. I haven't even ever had tuned it up (although I suppose I should probably do this now), not even a flat tire yet. I am very open to buying a new bike but I was thinking I would see how the Palm Springs ride went. I like the bike but sometimes wish I had more gears.

    My bike's specs (honestly I don't know what half of this means, I copied and pasted from the Trek website):

    Frameset
    Frame:100 Series Alpha Aluminum
    Fork: Trek carbon road, SpeedTrap compatible
    Size: 52 cm
    Frame fit: H3 WSD

    Wheels
    Wheels: Alloy hubs w/Bontrager Approved alloy rims
    Tires: Bontrager T1, 700x23c

    Drivetrain
    Shifters: Shimano Sora STI, 9 speed
    Front derailleur: Shimano Sora
    Rear derailleur: Shimano Sora
    Crank: FSA Vero, 50/34 (compact)
    Cassette: SRAM PG-950 11-28, 9 speed
    Pedals: Look plastic

    Components
    Saddle: Bontrager Affinity 1 WSD
    Seatpost: Bontrager SSR,12mm offset
    Handlebar: Bontrager Race VR-S, 31.8mm
    Stem: Bontrager SSR, 31.8mm, 10 degree
    Headset: 1-1/8" semi-cartridge bearings
    Brakeset: Alloy dual-pivot

    I'm still not sure about the group rides. My goal last Sat was 66 miles, I added mileage up a little wrong in my head and wound up riding 67.5. The last 4 miles were uphill with a headwind. I almost called Mr. SAG to come get me with a mile to go. I was really wiped out the rest of that day and then amazingly was pretty much fine the next day. I thought I had over-done things, so its not like I'm taking it totally easy. I did call one of the LBS today though. There's a slow approx 40 mi ride every Sat, the guy who answered the phone wasn't 100% sure of the pace but he thinks around 15 mph. So I am actually thinking about it. Maybe those last 2-3 weeks of training when (if?) I've hit the three target distances- 73, 80, then 97 mi.

    H

  25. #25
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
    <snip>
    I'm still not sure about the group rides. My goal last Sat was 66 miles, I added mileage up a little wrong in my head and wound up riding 67.5. The last 4 miles were uphill with a headwind. I almost called Mr. SAG to come get me with a mile to go. I was really wiped out the rest of that day and then amazingly was pretty much fine the next day. I thought I had over-done things, so its not like I'm taking it totally easy. I did call one of the LBS today though. There's a slow approx 40 mi ride every Sat, the guy who answered the phone wasn't 100% sure of the pace but he thinks around 15 mph. So I am actually thinking about it. Maybe those last 2-3 weeks of training when (if?) I've hit the three target distances- 73, 80, then 97 mi.

    H
    Ms. H, you have my respect. You do everything right. You might have been better off with the version with the triple up front, but what you bought is the most common gearing for your area. You'll probably grow into it. If you wanted lower gears, you could get a bigger cassette and a MTB rear derailleur. But with the amount of climbing you've done with your current setup, it's seems fine for you. Closer ratios are nice. You might someday want a carbon bike for a smoother ride, with Ultegra components because they shift well and are durable, but what you have is fine for the foreseeable future.

    I still recommend starting with the group ride ASAP if you can make the distance work for you, IOW it's someplace where you can conveniently take off to get more good miles. It takes more than 2-3 rides to get good at riding with others.

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