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Getting in shape for a long ride

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Getting in shape for a long ride

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Old 03-07-17, 07:41 AM
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Getting in shape for a long ride

My mileage goes way down in the winter. I don't like gyms and my work out consists of my commute which is not too long but I never skip it. That gets me right around 35 miles a week.

In three months, I am doing RASDAK which has some long days and begins June 4. The total mileage will be in the neighborhood of 500 miles. RASDak | Ride Across South Dakota

The old rule of thumb I used back when I raced was that you stayed in the small chain ring for the first 1,000 miles. That's what other people who were good racers told me. I have no idea whether that's an old wive's tale or not but it served me well. I'll get a 1,000 miles plus (exclusive of commuting miles) under my belt before the ride.

Those are all pretty much LSD miles and the MUPs I ride on are pretty flat (there are a few rollers on my basic training ride). Is there something you would do differently to get ready for this? What about using a heart rate monitor to ensure that you get your heart rate up at least once a week? Other than ride lots, what would you do to get in shape for a long ride like this? I find that my butt gets tired of being on the saddle right around the 4th day or so on a tour like this.
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Old 03-07-17, 08:14 AM
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I too primarily use the small chain ring as a means of working up to the level needed to maintain a respectable speed for a longer duration. I have added an inexpensive HRM to my indoor workouts on a stationary bike this winter. This is the first season I discovered that the Keiser bikes provide a fairly valid road bike experience.


The HRM has taught me what a vigorous workout means. I had not been training to a high enough rate or longer time prior to the HRM. Given that I have seen improvement in the amount of time I can exercise in a higher zone I expect there to be gains in my Spring/Summer rides.
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Old 03-07-17, 08:21 AM
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Do you also have a computer with heart rate and cadence data? These devices provide critical information. Please see the data I get from every ride: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1593614173

I use heart rate and cadence as a slave driver while riding. The data display on the computer helps to keep the tempo in the zone. My heart rate target range is 140 to 155bpm, but I like to exceed 160bpm once on every ride. My cadence range is 88 to 102 rpm, but I m try to spin faster for several minutes every ride. These parameters, along with distance goals, help to guide my fitness routine.
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Old 03-07-17, 08:42 AM
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Endurance, Power & Speed are still the fitness pyramid to build for effective cycling.

Staying with Old School methods building base miles on restricted gears for Endurance and working cadence drills for technique, hill repeats for Power and intervals, sprints & time trials for Speed in a structured event targeted program still works. Back to the basic you used while racing "back when", 'eh?

"Fast After 50" by Friel is well worth reading to develop a more modern structured program w/ data capture that is time & results effective w/ an emphasis on good recovery as well as hard work.

Sounds like Fun?

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Old 03-07-17, 10:54 AM
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I ignore which chainring I'm "supposed" to be in and just ride my bike. I keep the effort where I want it, and therefore my desired cadence will determine which gear and thus which ring I have to be in. I don't coast unless I'm over about 40 mph. I pedal all the time. As has been said, effort and cadence, effort and cadence. You can get effort either by your breathing or an HRM or a PM.

You'll be averaging over 70 miles/day for 7 days in a row. Therefore your most important goals in training will be to work up to riding long consecutive days on the weekends and doing other training during the week. Several weeks of 200 or so miles/week with some midweek intervals will help a lot.
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Old 03-07-17, 11:22 AM
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Sounds like a fun trip! Doesn't look like a lot of climbing? Lots of little climbs and rollers can add up if it has those.
Yes, ride as much as you can and then taper off before the event. You can train by pushing harder on flat ground for extended periods, watts are watts whether you are pointed uphill or not. Member merlinextraligh lives in Florida and he trained for the Everest Challenge without climbing much before the event.
Long days in the saddle get to me, too. The worst day for me seems to be the third day. I've used Vaseline Intensive Care lotion with aloe, works great. Carried a tube of it across the U.S. years ago.
Another thing that helps is switching shorts from one type to another. Different brands fit differently and switching from day to day can help.
I'm sure you know this but I learned to go my own pace on tours. On a century it's fun to try and keep up or blow yourself up and limp to the finish but on a multi-day ride I have payed for these antics. Trying to stay with someone who is even a little faster will add up quickly on multiple days. It's best for me to resist and just cruise my own (low) speed.
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Old 03-07-17, 12:34 PM
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Whoa! I had a look at your route. I passed through much of it on my X-country ride.

From what I recall, you aren't gonna see a lot of hills, but you might get a lot of wind. I guess what I would suggest is coming as close to what you are going to do on the ride itself. Train to the point where you can ride consecutive weekend days 70+ miles in reasonable comfort. When you get to the century day, you'll likely be able to suck it up and go a bit longer.

I don't do HR monitors or anything like that. But if you want to improve your conditioning quickly, intervals are the best, IMHO. Go at it hard for 5 minutes or so, then back off. Lather rinse, repeat.

BTW, it's too bad you're only passing through Interior instead of spending some time there. Interior is the location of the "Wagon Wheel Bar" just off the main road. That's the place where I rode "Radar" the steer INSIDE the bar itself.

Radar's owner (Donnie) has since passed away and I'm sure Radar has too ... but it's worth a look. Especially if you find yourself thirsty.



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Old 03-07-17, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
Whoa! I had a look at your route. I passed through much of it on my X-country ride.

From what I recall, you aren't gonna see a lot of hills, but you might get a lot of wind. I guess what I would suggest is coming as close to what you are going to do on the ride itself. Train to the point where you can ride consecutive weekend days 70+ miles in reasonable comfort. When you get to the century day, you'll likely be able to suck it up and go a bit longer.

I don't do HR monitors or anything like that. But if you want to improve your conditioning quickly, intervals are the best, IMHO. Go at it hard for 5 minutes or so, then back off. Lather rinse, repeat.

BTW, it's too bad you're only passing through Interior instead of spending some time there. Interior is the location of the "Wagon Wheel Bar" just off the main road. That's the place where I rode "Radar" the steer INSIDE the bar itself.

Radar's owner (Donnie) has since passed away and I'm sure Radar has too ... but it's worth a look. Especially if you find yourself thirsty.



I may have to do a detour off the route to check this out!
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Old 03-07-17, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
I may have to do a detour off the route to check this out!
Don't forget Scenic, SD! You could have bought the whole kit-n-kaboodle for a song some time ago:

Longhorn Saloon - South Dakota town for sale: $800,000 - Pictures - CBS News
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