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Old 10-27-08, 12:35 PM   #1
smurf hunter
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Training Suggestions for Next Summer's Ambitions

In summer 2009 I plan to ride a one day STP (200 miles) , and a couple weeks later ride the RAMROD (~150 miles of 10K feet). This is pretty ambitious on my part, but I've done 2 day STP twice and handful of hilly century rides as well. I also have several months to get my stuff together.

I commute to work by bike. In the summer months, I will ride the full 26 miles each way 2-3 times each week. This time of year I take the train at least part of the way, as I'm slower on the "wet" bike in the dark. My typical winter day is more like 15-20 miles.

So if I'm only getting 75 miles a week between now and February, but then start doubling that in March will that suffice for the sort of goals I'm targetting?

Obviously, in early spring onward I will do some serious weekend rides - most all hilly 50-100 miles.

I'm really wondering what contribution my base commuting might have toward my training goals.

Thoughts?

Thanks
-Sean
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Old 10-27-08, 01:00 PM   #2
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Given your schedule, I'd suggest some longer rides on weekend as much as is practical. Start with 40-50 mile rides, and work up to 75+ as the time draws nearer.

fwiw - I'm in a similar position. I've not been getting in the riding I'd like to, but am committing myself to 200K, 300K and 400K rides next spring.
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Old 10-27-08, 02:53 PM   #3
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Interval training is your friend. It's the most effective way to build up your endurance, especially given limited time.

Winter speed isn't the critical component; it's effort. That said, a lot of riders use the winter to maintain (or build) their base, so the key component is not to lose your fitness during the winter months -- either by cycling or going to the gym.

Gearing up for serious training starting in March ought to give you enough time to get ready.
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Old 10-27-08, 03:09 PM   #4
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you should check out some of the cascade weekly rides, if you haven't already. they have some slow/medium/fast groups you can ride with, some of which are training for STP & Ramrod specifically.

i think as long as you up the mileage in the spring, you should be fine!

for STP you can certainly get by with just doing commute miles, and maybe some on the weekends. (that's what i do generally).

for Ramrod training, definitely do some climbing practice, e.g. Cougar Mountain or a pass or two. Ramrod's climbs are long-ish (8-10 miles), but not really all that steep. it's a great ride! i did it for the first time this year, starting/ending in seattle.
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Old 10-27-08, 03:13 PM   #5
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Given your schedule, I'd suggest some longer rides on weekend as much as is practical. Start with 40-50 mile rides, and work up to 75+ as the time draws nearer.

fwiw - I'm in a similar position. I've not been getting in the riding I'd like to, but am committing myself to 200K, 300K and 400K rides next spring.
Besides the less than ideal weather, I've got young kids at home (both under 5) and try to make the most of my weekend time with the family.
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Old 10-27-08, 04:36 PM   #6
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This brings up an interesting question about training and family time? How do people balance big miles/km's with having a family. I,m trying to sort it out myself.

As for training for the two events I would think you should be good if you work on your base all winter and gardually build up your long rides.
Hill training will also do wonders for you in a two fold way. as you do more hill work you become more effiecent at climbing. It will also make you stronger in general in the flats.
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Old 10-27-08, 04:55 PM   #7
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I'm really wondering what contribution my base commuting might have toward my training goals.
Oh for sure. There a tremendous difference between doing 75 miles a week and doing nothing at all. Just as there' s quite a difference between doing 75 and 150 per week.

While it's tough to find interesting ways to remain totally fit in the winter, three or four half-hour sessions on a trainer can give anyone a "leg up" on spring training. Your commute is almost as good.
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Old 10-27-08, 09:33 PM   #8
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Besides the less than ideal weather, I've got young kids at home (both under 5) and try to make the most of my weekend time with the family.
Things are a bit different when the youngest is 17. Balance in life is very hard when the children aren't old enough to drive. IMO, you're doing the right thing to spend the time with your family.
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Old 10-27-08, 09:58 PM   #9
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Thanks for the encouragement everyone. I'll keep on the 75 base commuting miles and try to sneak in 30 milers a few times each month until spring time.
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Old 10-28-08, 07:06 AM   #10
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Try waking up early and going for a ride, returning and doing family stuff when they're just waking up.

Or on the reverse, invest in a nice lighting system and go for night rides.
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Old 11-02-08, 07:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smurf hunter View Post
I commute to work by bike. In the summer months, I will ride the full 26 miles each way 2-3 times each week. This time of year I take the train at least part of the way, as I'm slower on the "wet" bike in the dark. My typical winter day is more like 15-20 miles...

I'm really wondering what contribution my base commuting might have toward my training goals.
15-20 each way can help significantly, but you definitely don't want to rely too heavily on that. When you commute, how do you ride? If you treat it like a training ride, you'll get more out of it than you will if you just pedal.

If you do 75 miles/week until March and then double that, I think you'll be fine. As others have suggested, intervals are a good idea.
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Old 11-02-08, 03:49 PM   #12
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Besides the less than ideal weather, I've got young kids at home (both under 5) and try to make the most of my weekend time with the family.

Life is about choices.

With a dramatic change in my life (new job), I can't commute year round like I did previously. So now it's into work early, home before 5 pm. Dinner and out for a night time loops around the local MUP. I'll get some good rides in on the weekends, weather permitting. Come April I'll start commuting again, 40 mile round trips.
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