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does it matter?

Old 07-09-15, 03:57 PM
  #1  
Hosscooper
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does it matter?

So I make it a habit of ridding farther one day a week than my normal 4 miles a day. I noticed something this past time I rode longer. I had a better rhythm by the end of the ride than when I rode my normal shorter distance. Now I guess that could be because of the terrain, but most everything around here is flat no matter which way I go. So that made me wonder if perhaps longer rides, but less frequent might be better than shorter rides more often? Or perhaps longer rides as a general rule vs shorter ones? Curious of y'alls thoughts. This is kind of a fitness question but I'm a (super?) clyde so and a beginner so I thought I'd ask here.
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Old 07-09-15, 05:27 PM
  #2  
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Mix it up, but there's something to be said for both daily activity AND longer rides. Daily rides of an hour and maybe 2-3 hours on Saturday and Sunday would be splendid. Make it happen.
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Old 07-09-15, 06:14 PM
  #3  
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Whatever your mileage, ride daily if you can. Methinks you have the right approach already. Shorter/normal regular rides and push it one or a couple of times a week. Betting you'll find regular daily distance preference getting longer. Also, taking a sometimes day off if you just don't feel like it is not a bad thing....don't turn riding into a must do chore.
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Old 07-09-15, 08:03 PM
  #4  
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I was never a "super clyde" but I've lost about 60 pounds from my heaviest weight of about 265-270 pounds. So here's my 2 cents...

Thinking back to when I actually started riding again after a 25 year layoff, I began with 2 rides on back-to-back days followed by a no-ride day and worked my way up to 6 rides a week. I didn't ever ride twice a day though some people do an early morning and late afternoon/early evening ride. My rides where I deliberately increased distance were, on average, every fourth or sixth ride, so about once a week. Too early in my fitness progression, I tried a couple of "Ride a Century in X weeks" plans I found online, but did so with negative results [I got discouraged] and ended up modifying one of those plans with an eye to a shorter distance, 25 miles I think. Once I could do 25 miles, then I switched to one of those Ride a Century plans. The basic idea was simple - build up some base mileage, increase the ride distance no more than 10% per week and you should see progress in distance ridden per ride, speed, fitness (including being able to breathe easier with the same physical effort) and confidence.

I will say, just to make a full disclosure, I live in the New Orleans area. There are NO hills, none. So I was riding on totally flat terrain. It does make a difference.

I didn't REALLY see measurable results in my fitness or weight loss progress until I was able to ride 10 miles @ 12mph without stopping. Now, that's neither chickenfeed nor Superman in terms of exercise (I started at a measly 2 miles distance making me think I was having a heart attack). What it was was that I know that my fitness made I-can-feel-it progress after I reached that point.

From that point onward:
1. I no longer felt all-but-dead after 99% of my rides though I did have one significant incident of bonking and/or heat injury on a hot and very humid day.
2. I found that I could ride increasingly further than that at about that speed and do so without worrying about dying on the bike.
3, I wasn't so hungry/energy-depleted afterward that I neutralized any weight-loss from the ride with an after-ride snack/meal.

YMMV but my lesson-learned was that I really did have to mentally push myself to reach that point (from where I started at least). Once I got there, my confidence increased, I generally felt better overall and I was encouraged about continuing.

For ME, goal setting was an absolute necessity. If I didn't have a specific goal in mind for an entire week's riding, I found I just wasted my time (even if the goal was just to get outside and move the pedals in a circle). My goals were basically: 10, 25 and 50 mile rides prior to beginning to think about getting into randonneuring and riding brevets which I've done off and on for a couple years now.

Aside: I didn't pay much attention to speed at first, I just wanted to finish rides. Then, the weather became a factor - I wanted to get out of the heat and humidity, so I consciously rode a bit faster. My spin rate/pedal speed picked up naturally - from a slow and ponderous mash-them-pedals 45-50 rpm to a "natural" 85rpm. (I did get it to 100rpm for about 6 months but that rate doesn't feel natural to me and I've returned to ~85rpm for most of my riding).

Since my first 25 mile ride, I've had major ups (including completing a 150 mile ride) and downs (losing motivation multiple times and having my weight loss plateau and then rebound upwards for a bit). I've been thru multiple bikes, 2 trikes and eventually a couple recumbent bikes. I finally found what works for me...

It's all in my head - both pluses and minuses.

Hope this has been somewhat helpful.

Last edited by dual650c; 07-09-15 at 08:12 PM. Reason: Added: I've even tried the indoor trainer route a couple times. Shrug. Some days I want to ride but not go outside.
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Old 07-09-15, 08:39 PM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
Mix it up, but there's something to be said for both daily activity AND longer rides. Daily rides of an hour and maybe 2-3 hours on Saturday and Sunday would be splendid. Make it happen.
This is the approach I would use right now for you. Right now I get the best results when I 'train' meaning intervals one day, recovery the next, increase pace next time and moderate pace ride on the weekend.

Right now betting out there consistently is most important. When you got that down then vary it.
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Old 07-09-15, 09:08 PM
  #6  
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Riding 4 miles is great training for a 3-mile ride. If you want to ride farther than 3 miles then you should concentrate on longer rides, IMHO.
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Old 07-09-15, 11:05 PM
  #7  
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I find that long rides (100+ miles) are great for building endurance.

Even the occaionsional 100 mile ride is probably better than ten - 10 mile rides.

Of course, I'm now experimenting with doing the shorter rides faster, so that may also be of benefit.
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Old 07-09-15, 11:17 PM
  #8  
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When I 1st started cycling a two mile ride was exhausting. As I grew fitter I rode further and longer and before long it took the two miles before I really warmed-up. Now-a-days... it can take as long as 8 miles or more than 30 minutes before I feel warmed-up and hitting my stride.

Just keep riding.
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Old 07-10-15, 06:19 AM
  #9  
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Factor in intensity as well as distance. Long steady distance (I'm talking 2-3 hours) mixd with shorter, more intense efforts.
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Old 07-10-15, 08:57 AM
  #10  
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Nothing wrong with riding hard or long one day, then taking it easy the next. When I first started out I was doing 1 mile rides every other day, that eventually got boring and I moved up to 2 miles..then 5.. 10..during the week and a 25-30 mile ride on the weekend. With time and better fitness, I am now capable of riding 25-30 miles during the week and somewhere between 40-65 miles on the weekends. I tend to take Sundays and Wednesdays off to rest / recover(started doing this when Wednesdays were my mandatory OT days at work, it was too dark to ride outside and I was too tired to suffer on the stationary bike).
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Old 07-10-15, 09:00 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
Factor in intensity as well as distance. Long steady distance (I'm talking 2-3 hours) mixd with shorter, more intense efforts.
Agreed... OP should think about turning it up couple notches now an then...
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Old 07-10-15, 09:01 AM
  #12  
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My best advice: Don't over think it. Don't get so much into training-think that you start to think that hopping on your bike for a half mile ride to the corner store isn't enough and therefore you don't do it. If you start thinking of riding purely in terms of fitness or purely as part of a workout routine, it becomes just that and after awhile you will lose interest. The long rides are good, they build endurance, but sometimes the short rides can be just as awesome - whether or not they are as effective doesn't matter, if you can just love the ride that's the kind of thing that will keep you doing it for years. As Grant Peterson would say, just ride.
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Old 07-10-15, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Hosscooper View Post
So I make it a habit of ridding farther one day a week than my normal 4 miles a day. I noticed something this past time I rode longer. I had a better rhythm by the end of the ride than when I rode my normal shorter distance. Now I guess that could be because of the terrain, but most everything around here is flat no matter which way I go. So that made me wonder if perhaps longer rides, but less frequent might be better than shorter rides more often? Or perhaps longer rides as a general rule vs shorter ones? Curious of y'alls thoughts. This is kind of a fitness question but I'm a (super?) clyde so and a beginner so I thought I'd ask here.
Longer rides are better. You need time to warm up, and more time will improve your aerobic fitness.

Consistency is better. To over-simplify you can exercise more intensely when the total time is split over more days, and by applying continuous stress you can delay deep recovery so you get more adaptation when you let up.

1 hour a day is about the minimum for decent fitness. 2 hours on week days plus double that on Saturday or Sunday is better.

You'll probably want to meet goals, like riding to the next city or finishing an organized ride. With less fitness you can still do that - either ride slower which lets you go farther, or take extra rest days (off the bike or riding much slower) before and after. That can double or even quadruple your distance as long as you don't have fit issues that show up with more time in the saddle, drink enough, and eat enough.

Gradually increase your riding, where about 10% per week is a rule of thumb.

Just ride for now. Once you have a reasonable average (maybe six hours or 90 miles a week) get more formal with a training plan to provide variety and make you faster.

While it takes time and patience, it's not hard to go from 25 miles a week to 200+. In better shape your sleep is more restful, you need less (I need 1-1.5 hours less than I was a more sessile person), and have more time for things like riding so it's not a big dent in your schedule.


I weighed over 205 pounds at 25 miles a week in 2013, but had no middle-age spread left at 138 when I was riding 150 in 2015.
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Old 07-10-15, 01:28 PM
  #14  
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Just my 1/2 cent. My regular daily ride is 9-13 miles depending on rout and that is about 60 minutes of riding. Do this as much as schedule allows during the week. I never ride Saturday and Sunday I ride with a group that does a minimum of 20 miles usually 25ish. 30lbs ago the 10 was pretty tough on me. Then I got "better". Now the long ride is fun but was really hard at first. Its my favorite ride of the week.

Keep at it mix it up...life is too short to be boring.
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Old 07-10-15, 02:45 PM
  #15  
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It all depends on what "fits" really :-). But stacking days side by side is better if you are trying to reach a monthly goal, because weather and responsibilities can steal a day from you...so if you ride every OTHER day then you will end up with more days riding. Weather and responsibilities stole FOUR days from me this week :-(.

Bill
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Old 07-10-15, 05:50 PM
  #16  
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I started at 202 pounds, waist was 38", height, 5'11" with High BP, taking two med's for It, and bad cholesterol numbers.

After two years of hard work I am holding at 174 pounds, my waist Is now 34" and my cholesterol Is just In the green by two digits last check.
No more blood pressure med's but am struggling to stay In the green here.
I bounce just Into pre-hypertension numbers now and then but In the green more than out. I am 56 years old now.

Dropping the weight was all about diet changes, actually a diet overhaul from the ground up.
It was hard work at first but not now. I find maintaining my current weight easy and I do not go hungry.

I cut out ALL the fast foods, the processed foods I cut to the minimum but still I feel I eat what I like, I graze five or six times a day.
I cut cokes/Pepsi's down to ONE 12oz can a week, maybe, if that. I've cut my sugar Intake in half, need to do better with this still...
Sodium was hard to deal with, still a struggle but cut by two thirds I think...

My primary riding is single track mountain biking and This very Intense workout has given me back a strong body and powerful lungs, I feel 30 again, really !

I ride My Recumbent during the work week one day and my Folding bike when I can, also about one work day, mostly.
My week day rides are short and fast, 8 to 12 miles, no more. I got some free weights and a total gym to focus on problem area's.

My total burn down mountain bike rides happen nearly every Saturday and or Sunday. I really kill it on these rides.
Most are just under 15 miles but they are extreme as I can make them.
People ask how far I ride and I tell them I ride 100 ounces, that's how much water I carry

What I found to be true for me was simple.
My Formula:
To loose weight I had to changing my eating habits drastically.
We cannot ride off fat, we must eat better.

To get stronger and get a leaner toned body, to gain muscle mass I had to crank down hard and really work.
The Old saying Is still true, 'No Pain, No Gain'

It was the little things,
Proper hydration,
Stretching only warmed up muscles, never stretch cold.
I ride two miles of dirt/sand roads then stop and stretch out.

I highly recommend chasing younger more fit riders every chance you get.
It's really a trip, you fall in behind them and they pull away and are gone,,,,,,,,
Then one day you fall In behind them, they don't pull away so fast,,
Later, they look back and see you, they need to down shift or stand on the pedals to pull away....

One day they try to get away from you and It takes longer than before but before these younger stronger riders leave you behind you
ride right up behind them for 50 yards of single track and stick to them like a bad penney

Been there done that

Death Stalks us all, I'm gonna make him work hard to get me..

Ok I'm done.
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Old 07-10-15, 08:24 PM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by Hosscooper View Post
So I make it a habit of ridding farther one day a week than my normal 4 miles a day. I noticed something this past time I rode longer. I had a better rhythm by the end of the ride than when I rode my normal shorter distance. Now I guess that could be because of the terrain, but most everything around here is flat no matter which way I go. So that made me wonder if perhaps longer rides, but less frequent might be better than shorter rides more often? Or perhaps longer rides as a general rule vs shorter ones? Curious of y'alls thoughts. This is kind of a fitness question but I'm a (super?) clyde so and a beginner so I thought I'd ask here.
My first 4 or 5 miles are almost always harder than the next 20 or so. It's clear to me that my body needs a few minutes to warm up and develop a nice breathing rhythm.

It's basically, 15 minutes of "Gee I am tired today, maybe I should have drove," followed by an hour to an hour and a half of "Man, this is awesome, I could ride all day," ending with about 15 minutes of, "Damn, I sure do wish this ride was over."
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