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Training Regimen Opinions for New 56 year old

Old 08-23-11, 09:00 AM
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triggerracing
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Training Regimen Opinions for New 56 year old

I started running about 3 months ago and got cocky about halfway thru an online training program, upped my mileage too fast and sustained an overuse achilles tendon injury. I'm now in rehab and making good progress. I got the go ahead from my doctor and therapist to train on my bike until I can get back to running.

Now that I've been riding my bike for a couple of weeks, I'm finding this very appealing so I've started training for the 36 mile option at the Tupelo Fall Century on October 1st. I know this doesn't give me much time to get prepared so I've worked out a program of riding three days a week, Monday Wednesday and Friday. The first week on Monday and Wednesday I ride 4 miles and on Friday 5 miles. I'll then increase these distances 10 to 15 percent each week for the 6 weeks leading up to the race.

While this won't put me anywhere close to the 36 miles by the time Oct 1 gets here, this is not a race, so I plan to just take it easy and try to finish the ride no matter how long it takes. But I would like to be respectable, ie. not finish after dark, so was wondering what your opinions are on my training plan. I'm not having any issues with soreness on my rest days so I don't think I'm overdoing it on my ride days. But I did learn my lesson as far as overuse. Is three days a week a good start and do you think I should up it to maybe 4 days say in week 3 or so. Any suggestions appreciated.
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Old 08-23-11, 09:10 AM
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What is your general fitness level?

I think it is quite possible, assuming you are basically in shape, not at 350 lbs or something like that.

4 miles and 5 miles are very, very short rides, and you should be able to increase to 10 or 15 pretty quickly.

Pay attention to what your body is telling you, and have a rest day every few days.

Good luck, and mostly, have fun.
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Old 08-23-11, 09:16 AM
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Training? Ride a lot and have fun. You get better at it and go farther more often.
Don't need no stinking training.

Marc
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Old 08-23-11, 09:19 AM
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I have found it's easier to increase distance on a bike because you don't have as much stress on your joints like you do with running. You can probably increase your riding distance more than 15% without any problems. Like DnvrFox said, pay attention to what your body is telling you and go from there.
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Old 08-23-11, 09:28 AM
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At the risk of coaching you into killing yourself, I think you're not pushing yourself hard enough to accomplish much. But then, I have no idea what your physical condition is going in... All I know is what works for me. I'm not a natural athlete, but I've always tried to maintain a moderate fitness level by jogging, hiking, walking. So when I started riding (this spring), maybe I had a little jump start. I started with 15 mile rides in the flatlands on a 28-year-old gaspipe beast - the first few times this seemed like a daunting challenge going in, but in no time it started to seem easier and I was pushing harder. Two principles I've always adhered to: "no pain no gain", and don't "train" every day. Unless I'm just tooling around on the bike, I put at least a day off between anything that would, for me, be hard rides. So anyway... five months into what I call "serious" riding, I routinely ride 50-plus miles in the heat of the day holding 16+ mph pace. Now mind you, I had to push to get there, because like I said, I'm not a natural athlete. Your body will tell you how much it can tolerate. Respect your doctor's opinion (but don't just take it without question), and learn about nutrition and hydration which are probably the most important elements of successful training.
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Old 08-23-11, 09:29 AM
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Thanks for the quick replies, my general fitness level I would say is good. I'm around 215 pounds, 5'10". I was wondering if the 4 miles was kind of short, reading what some of you are riding, although I know you've been doing it for a while. My gps tells me my average speed is nearly 10 mph. I realize this is probably too slow also. So should I maybe try to ride more days or increase the distance at the same speed or maybe increase the speed as this same distance and gradually increase the distance. Trust me, at the first sign of pain or injury I will back off, the achilles tendon running injury taught me a lesson.
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Old 08-23-11, 09:31 AM
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Also, I should say I am riding a hard tail mountain bike on a waterway levee road, surface is loose slag pebbles with ruts worn in by service vehicles.
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Old 08-23-11, 09:34 AM
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Ride lots.
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Old 08-23-11, 09:40 AM
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One thing that I feel is very important is to make sure you keep your rpm levels at at least 75 or 80 (85to 95 is better),will keep some of the strain from legs,Joints etc...
Bud
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Old 08-23-11, 09:47 AM
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Thank you for using the word "regimen" instead of "regime."

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Old 08-23-11, 09:53 AM
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If it were me & I felt fairly fit, I think I would try to see if I could manage a 10 mile ride & see how that feels. If that goes fine then I would try 12. Find out how far you can go and still feel farily well. You will probably be a little sore since riding uses your muscles differently than running, but that's to be expected. Then add 10-15% at a time. I think 3 days a week is plenty, I wouldn't do more than 4.
What is your pace? At 12.5 mph you should be able to finish that distance in 4 hours or less, including rest stops. If you get your overall distance up to about 25 miles you shouldn't have any trouble doing the distance at the event. And remember you can always go farther & faster at an event than you might normally do otherwise.
Good luck! keep us posted on how it's going.
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Old 08-23-11, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by triggerracing
Thanks for the quick replies, my general fitness level I would say is good. I'm around 215 pounds, 5'10". I was wondering if the 4 miles was kind of short, reading what some of you are riding, although I know you've been doing it for a while. My gps tells me my average speed is nearly 10 mph. I realize this is probably too slow also. So should I maybe try to ride more days or increase the distance at the same speed or maybe increase the speed as this same distance and gradually increase the distance. Trust me, at the first sign of pain or injury I will back off, the achilles tendon running injury taught me a lesson.
I’m about your size & age and I also think you can progress quickly. I would ride 10 miles a day twice a week plus one 20 mile day. I would increase the distance of the ride by 15% a week for the next 8 weeks.

Week one: 2x10 miles & 1X20 miles.
Week two: 2x11.5 miles & 1X23 miles.
Week three: 2x13 miles & 1X26 miles.
Week four: 2x15 miles & 1X30 miles
Week five: 2x17.5 miles & 1X35 miles.
Week six: 2x20 miles & 1X40 miles.
Week seven: 2x23 miles & 1X46 miles.
Week eight: 2x26 miles & 1X52 miles.

I also expect that your 10 mph pace will increase to 14 mph over the next 8 weeks. Traveling twice the distance will only require 50% more time.

I would also consider touring tires for your bike if you bike now has knobby MTB tires, something like this: https://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_ti...s/marathon_420 .

Enjoy!

Last edited by Barrettscv; 08-23-11 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 08-23-11, 10:01 AM
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Since you are used to training, choose a loop route that stays pretty close to home, and ride it, with a cadence that feels fast for you, until you feel exhausted. Use that as your base distance, and increase from there.
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Old 08-23-11, 10:03 AM
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Concur with received wisdom so far -- you can probably ride longer and/or more often without much additional risk. That road, though, sounds like a good one for mountain biking (in Mississippi), so don't worry too much about mileage and speed.

For the day of the big ride, I'd suggest you get some slick tires without the knobs. Do your last couple of rides on roads or streets, so the gravel doesn't chew up the new tires. You'll probably speed up 30-50% just with the tire and road surface change, and quite possibly find you can go an additional 30-50% distance over what you're used to. Then you can go get the Staples big red button and say, "That was easy!"
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Old 08-23-11, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv
I’m about your size & age and I also think you can progress quickly. I would ride 10 miles a day twice a week plus one 20 mile day. I would increase the distance of the ride by 15% a week for the next 8 weeks.

Week one: 2x10 miles & 1X20 miles.
Week two: 2x11.5 miles & 1X23 miles.
Week three: 2x13 miles & 1X26 miles.
Week four: 2x15 miles & 1X30 miles
Week five: 2x17.5 miles & 1X35 miles.
Week six: 2x20 miles & 1X40 miles.
Week seven: 2x23 miles & 1X46 miles.
Week eight: 2x26 miles & 1X52 miles.

I also expect that your 10 mph pace will increase to 14 mph over the next 8 weeks. Traveling twice the distance will only require 50% more time.

I would also consider touring tires for your bike if you bike now has knobby MTB tires, something like this: https://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_ti...s/marathon_420 .

Enjoy!
Wow, lot's of good advice. I think I am going to try to go to a smooth surface since that is what the 36 mile route will be. Was mainly using the levee road because there is no traffic and I didn't feel comfortable being a new rider out in traffic. But the approach road to the waterway is paved and is about 2 miles so I will use that tomorrow and try a longer distance. It has very little traffic so should work out good. I do have knobbys on the bike but will air them up close to max PSI, maybe that will help. I do plan on having the LBS install more streetable tires before the 36 mile run if I don't find a good used road bike before then. I do like my little Specialized Hardrock but not really a good road bike.
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Old 08-23-11, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by triggerracing
Wow, lot's of good advice. I think I am going to try to go to a smooth surface since that is what the 36 mile route will be. Was mainly using the levee road because there is no traffic and I didn't feel comfortable being a new rider out in traffic. But the approach road to the waterway is paved and is about 2 miles so I will use that tomorrow and try a longer distance. It has very little traffic so should work out good. I do have knobbys on the bike but will air them up close to max PSI, maybe that will help. I do plan on having the LBS install more streetable tires before the 36 mile run if I don't find a good used road bike before then. I do like my little Specialized Hardrock but not really a good road bike.
If the the Hardrock fits well, stay with it. If you need a different bike, make the transition soon. Road bikes have advantages, but be sure the bike you are going to use fits well.
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Old 08-23-11, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by triggerracing
Also, I should say I am riding a hard tail mountain bike on a waterway levee road, surface is loose slag pebbles with ruts worn in by service vehicles.

I'm guessing that 5 miles of that surface is like 15 miles on the road! At least!

1.4 or 1.5 inch slick (no tread) tires at 60-80 psi worked for me when I was riding a mountain bike on the road. It's more efficient and has better grip on the corners, too.

For a mix of packed gravel and road, one of the tires with a solid center section and knobs on the sides will work, but you need to be more careful on sharp turns, since the knobs can swirm around.

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Old 08-23-11, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv
If the the Hardrock fits well, stay with it. If you need a different bike, make the transition soon. Road bikes have advantages, but be sure the bike you are going to use fits well.
That begs another question. Does the bike fit me? I bought it off Craigslist, got it at a great price and after having it tuned up, flat tire fixed, etc at LBS I've got less than $100 total in it. The LBS didn't offer to fit it and I didn't have the knowledge to ask at the time. The seat post has a sticker on it that says 19" and when I straddle the upper tube it barely touches my crotch, which is 30' inseam. When riding my arms are just slightly bent at elbows. I did have some hand numbness issues on the first couple of rides, but paying attention to relaxing my arms and hands has helped that tremendously. I don't really have any cramping etc issues I would imagine I would have if it wasn't pretty close to being fitted to me.
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Old 08-23-11, 11:00 AM
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A Hardrock that touches your crotch (even barely) when you stand over it is probably too big for you, since mountain bikes are typically sized smaller than road bikes for a given rider. But unless you plan to take it off road to do trails, it may not make much difference, as long as you can achieve a comfortable riding position on it.
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Old 08-23-11, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by triggerracing
That begs another question. Does the bike fit me? I bought it off Craigslist, got it at a great price and after having it tuned up, flat tire fixed, etc at LBS I've got less than $100 total in it. The LBS didn't offer to fit it and I didn't have the knowledge to ask at the time. The seat post has a sticker on it that says 19" and when I straddle the upper tube it barely touches my crotch, which is 30' inseam. When riding my arms are just slightly bent at elbows. I did have some hand numbness issues on the first couple of rides, but paying attention to relaxing my arms and hands has helped that tremendously. I don't really have any cramping etc issues I would imagine I would have if it wasn't pretty close to being fitted to me.
I would guess that it fits, but it's only a guess, no-one can really fit a bike over the web. I'm a lanky 5'11" and have a 20 inch Hybrid that fits well.

Your bike shop should be able to recommend a longer/shorter stem and might change handlebars to fine tune the fit. I would start by using some bar-ends like these: https://www.jensonusa.com/store/sub/1...-Bar+Ends.aspx

That might help a great deal.
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Old 08-23-11, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by CraigB
A Hardrock that touches your crotch (even barely) when you stand over it is probably too big for you, since mountain bikes are typically sized smaller than road bikes for a given rider. But unless you plan to take it off road to do trails, it may not make much difference, as long as you can achieve a comfortable riding position on it.
I do seem to remember reading somewhere that on MB's the optimal clearance was up to 4 inches, now that you mention it. But unless I have a seriously late mid-life crisis you won't be catching me blasting thru the woods. I'll stick to my two feet in hiking boots for that.

Well, guys, I again really appreciate all the feedback, keep it coming. I'm off for my afternoon nap, the pays not great but being retired does have it's advantages. I'll check back later this afternoon and will post how my ride goes tomorrow on the new surface and longer distance.
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Old 08-23-11, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by triggerracing
The seat post has a sticker on it that says 19" and when I straddle the upper tube it barely touches my crotch, which is 30' inseam. When riding my arms are just slightly bent at elbows. I did have some hand numbness issues on the first couple of rides, but paying attention to relaxing my arms and hands has helped that tremendously.
That sounds a little large for a MTB fit, but may be OK for road riding. That your elbows are slightly bent is a good sign. How tall are you? Is 30" your true inseam (floor to crotch) or your pants length?

As a reference point, I ride a 19" MTB. I am 6' with a 34" inseam (32" pants length).
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Old 08-23-11, 11:24 AM
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+1 on the bar ends

You're recovering from an injury... right. Keep this fun. Increase distance as it seems appropriate. A 19" MTB is OK for Light trails/Road use maybe a size too big for Challenging Trails. When the day for the 36 mile ride comes you'll know if you're ready.
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Old 08-23-11, 02:25 PM
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Sounds like you have enough sense to realise if you are doing too much. Get yourself a 5 mile circular route that is fairly flat from home. That should give you confidence in that you will never be far from home.

3 rides this week. You can do 5 miles so first ride to be two laps. Next ride two laps with a bit more speed. 3rd ride and 3 laps. In very short time you are doing 15 miles. When ready do 4 laps then 5. That should take you up to near the end of September and near the ride. If you can do 25- 35 is just a bit further.

Your main problem will be butt Ache and not much you can do about that except set up the saddle correctly and Ride. And the reason for a 5 mile loop? None really once you have got to 15 miles- but IF you overdo it- You will not be far from home for a coffee before you continue the ride.
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Old 08-23-11, 05:01 PM
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OK, you've already got a boatload of good advice. My question is how did'ya get to be a new 56 year old? Most of us over-50s here aren't exactly new.....
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