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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 10-31-08, 01:58 PM   #1
wowoah
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How to train for a 220 mi ride in one year!

Hey everyone! I've had my new road bike (Specialized Allez Triple) for two months now and my cousin just invited me to go with him on a 220 mile, 3-day ride down the California coast around August next year. I need tips on how to train for this!

I bike to work (3-4 mi) every day and go on occasional 15 mi rides on the weekends. I'm in okay shape (hit the gym 3-4 times a week), but I'm sure I'll need plenty of work to get to this point.

I'd love to hear any of your ideas on how to train for my first long bike ride. Any websites or book recommendations would be welcome, as well as personal tips. Thanks so much!!
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Old 10-31-08, 03:34 PM   #2
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The only thing that will get you in shape for riding long distances is, well, riding long distances. Ride 25 miles on a weekend starting 2 months before the ride, then add 5-15 miles each week, until you are up to 75 or so. If you ride everyday and work out as you say, then you will be just fine.

220 miles over 3 days really isn't that far. May sound like a long way, but that is only 73 miles a day average. The actual ride will likely be much more relaxing and enjoyable than a 75 mile training ride anyway.
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Old 10-31-08, 03:51 PM   #3
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220 miles over three days isn't a lot of riding.

Now if you're used to only doing 30-35 miles a week, 220 miles might seem like a lot, but if the ride is in a year's time you've got lots of time to build up.

Start by increasing your weekly distance by about 10%. So if you did 30 miles this week ... aim for 33-35 miles next week. Next week, increase it by another 10%. The following week, increase it by another 10%. The fourth week, remain at the same point or drop the distance back a little bit to get some rest. Also any time you're really struggling, take it easy. Then start increasing again on the 5th week, 6th week, 7th week ... and take it a bit easier on the 8th week.

Don't forget to take at least one day each week off ... and by summer you'll be riding centuries. Then that 73 mile a day ride will seem like nothing.
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Old 11-02-08, 07:18 PM   #4
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you have a long time to get in shape... I rmeembre my first long ride-- I went from Gettysburg, PA to Windsor, Ontario - roughly 1500 miles in 2 1/2 weeks on almost no training. The first day I did 35 miles and was exhausted... it got easier as i rode. Back when I did this (1972) there were not many cyclists on the roads-- Whenever I saw one, I would stop and talk to them (rarely did I see more than one at a time). On one occasion, one guy was so tired of riding alone that he back-tracked and rode with me for 2 days... How things have changed. Also, there were no bike paths back then. It was all roads--- share with the semis and traffic. It was dicey going through Toronto-- I had to do a short stretch on an interstate-- no fun at all... but it was a great trip.

You should have no trouble getting ready for your ride-- Follow Machka's advice and you will be set.

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Old 11-03-08, 06:25 AM   #5
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Do you know which part of the Californian coast you will be riding? There is different terrain along the very long coastline.
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Old 11-03-08, 10:03 PM   #6
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Here is a training schedule for doing that distance in 2 days (or one)
http://www.cascade.org/EandR/stp/stp_mileage.cfm
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Old 11-05-08, 02:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka View Post
220 miles over three days isn't a lot of riding.

Now if you're used to only doing 30-35 miles a week, 220 miles might seem like a lot, but if the ride is in a year's time you've got lots of time to build up.

Start by increasing your weekly distance by about 10%. So if you did 30 miles this week ... aim for 33-35 miles next week. Next week, increase it by another 10%. The following week, increase it by another 10%. The fourth week, remain at the same point or drop the distance back a little bit to get some rest. Also any time you're really struggling, take it easy. Then start increasing again on the 5th week, 6th week, 7th week ... and take it a bit easier on the 8th week.

Don't forget to take at least one day each week off ... and by summer you'll be riding centuries. Then that 73 mile a day ride will seem like nothing.
Machka may be right (In fact she is) -except for one point. The body and stamina can be built up to that milage with a training programme- but there is one thing you have to get right before you even attempt this ride.


The Butt- Or rather the interface of the saddle and the butt. I can do milage in one day and no problems. I can do long offroad rides up to 14 hours and no problem- but it has taken a lot of searching to find the saddle so that I could get on a bike on the 2nd- or the 3rd day- without a lot of pain.

And the bike set up is just as important. Won't say get a professional fit- but do get the right size frame- Get the crank length right- get the bars that fit your body---And so on. And then you won't be worrying about a 220 mile ride over 3 days. You will be if the hands get numb after 50 miles- or the back starts aching.

So get riding and get adjusting.
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Old 11-05-08, 03:16 PM   #8
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Won't say get a professional fit- but do get the right size frame- Get the crank length right- get the bars that fit your body---And so on.
I've been a proponent of pro bike fitting since I did one before buying my distance bike earlier this year. I've never been this comfortable on any bicycle before.

While a professional fitting isn't necessary, it makes the component selection and adjustment tweaking process a lot simpler.
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Old 11-05-08, 08:40 PM   #9
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Machka may be right (In fact she is) -except for one point. The body and stamina can be built up to that milage with a training programme- but there is one thing you have to get right before you even attempt this ride.


The Butt- Or rather the interface of the saddle and the butt. I can do milage in one day and no problems. I can do long offroad rides up to 14 hours and no problem- but it has taken a lot of searching to find the saddle so that I could get on a bike on the 2nd- or the 3rd day- without a lot of pain.

And the bike set up is just as important. Won't say get a professional fit- but do get the right size frame- Get the crank length right- get the bars that fit your body---And so on. And then you won't be worrying about a 220 mile ride over 3 days. You will be if the hands get numb after 50 miles- or the back starts aching.

So get riding and get adjusting.

See ... I've never really had a problem with butt pain. IMO if you've got your bicycle set up correctly, you greatly reduce the chances of butt pain. Then, if you get a saddle that fits your sit bones, the chances of butt pain diminishes again.
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Old 11-06-08, 01:05 PM   #10
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One thing you want to watch is if you live in a flat place, and the ride is in a hilly spot, it could eat your lunch. Otherwise, work up to it, and should be no problem. Issues like seat comfort will make themselves evident when you make an occasional 40 or 50 mile day, or else shouldn't be a problem.

Watch for the charity rides in your area- a good time to get out and ride some longer distances without it seeming like training.
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Old 11-14-08, 07:00 PM   #11
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This ought to do it. At the bottom of the page there is a training plan for doing 200 miles over 2 days. If you follow this plan you should have every reasonable expectation of being able to do a 220 mile ride over 3 days AND be happy about it.
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Old 11-15-08, 08:07 AM   #12
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I'd love to hear any of your ideas on how to train for my first long bike ride.
You don't.

Either you like to ride bikes or you don't. If you like to ride, then you'll be riding enough before hand to enjoy the trip. If you don't like riding, why spend time "training" for something you don't like to do any way?

Training involves exercising at uncomfortable effort levels - that's hardly necessary to prepare you for your trip.
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Old 12-02-08, 05:45 AM   #13
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^
I'm not sure if 220miles over 3 days really needs any training, either. If you do 15-30 miles each week, as you say, that's more than enough imo. If you want, then just try to go a bit harder and faster sometimes on your normal commute, but I wouldn't bother until like a month before your ride. I think anyone who does a daily commute of a few miles, and is free from relevant medical problems, could do the ride you're talking about very easily.
As someone mentioned, though, the terrain would make a difference. Do you know the route yet?
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Old 12-02-08, 05:52 AM   #14
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Two weeks ago I was able to ride 456 miles on five rides.
Learn to stand up and pedal. It gives your sore butt a rest.
Learn to eat and drink while riding.
220 miles is about 17 hours of riding.
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Old 12-02-08, 08:27 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by wowoah View Post
Hey everyone! I've had my new road bike (Specialized Allez Triple) for two months now and my cousin just invited me to go with him on a 220 mile, 3-day ride down the California coast around August next year. I need tips on how to train for this!

I bike to work (3-4 mi) every day and go on occasional 15 mi rides on the weekends. I'm in okay shape (hit the gym 3-4 times a week), but I'm sure I'll need plenty of work to get to this point.

I'd love to hear any of your ideas on how to train for my first long bike ride. Any websites or book recommendations would be welcome, as well as personal tips. Thanks so much!!
August... no problem. Here's what I'd do assuming you have little mileage base:

Build a big base this winter - lots of long steady distance work - inside or out.
Work on your core and flexibility. Dial in saddle, bars, etc. Learn what hurts and why and address it.
You can keep on the 'gym' - but I wouldn't be doing body builder routines... general strength and such is OK - esp core, lower back, legs, etc. Swimming is a great way to kick start your cardio and develop overall muscle tone. Practice bike skills - handling, 1 legged pedaling (in a trainer), rollers, no-hands, drinking on the bike, looking over your shoulder without swerving, taking clothes on and off, eating, etc. Get all this stuff down so its second nature - it will make your longer rides far more comfortable.

In the spring start adding some intensity - hills or a faster paced group ride. Maybe once a week, with recovery between the intensity and a long ride on the weekend (starting with 20-30 miles and working up to a century). Drop the strength / gym down to 'maintenance' work.

Late summer start shortening bike time but upping intensity. Keep 1 long ride per week.
Taper for a week or two before your ride - taking it easy, packing, checking your bike and gear.

A suggested mileage ramp up is 10% per week... but it really varies by rider depending on how fit you are and how your body takes to the bike. Dial in your fit over the winter building your base. The bigger the base - the higher your pyramid... so don't rush the intensity until you have a large endurance base to build on.

220 over three days is not much for most folks on the LD forum... most folks here can knock this out in a long day.

Good luck!

And I agree with the above posts... once you get up to 100 miles a so a week you really won't need much more... but the above will get you prepped to ride long distances in single days.
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Old 12-02-08, 01:22 PM   #16
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You have plenty of time to prepare. Lots of good advice here. Just ride progressively longer training rides and you'll soon have a clearer picture of what 220 miles over 3 days will require. It's not a difficult ride, for a fit rider, even with a lot of climbing.
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Old 12-02-08, 07:44 PM   #17
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It's been some time since wowoah has posted. I wonder, sometimes, what happens to these one-post wonders, and why they never come back to report in how they're doing.
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Old 12-03-08, 08:41 AM   #18
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It's been some time since wowoah has posted. I wonder, sometimes, what happens to these one-post wonders, and why they never come back to report in how they're doing.
Probably for a lot of the same reasons that average people don't want to ride with us. Cycling 100 miles in a day is beyond the comprehension of most people... so they certainly get freaked out when they realize that a century is basically a starting point for many LD riders...
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Old 12-03-08, 12:48 PM   #19
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It's been some time since wowoah has posted. I wonder, sometimes, what happens to these one-post wonders, and why they never come back to report in how they're doing.

Ditto. I think sometimes, it's a specific problem they're looking to solve, once it's solved, that's all they needed, which is fine. I eat every day, but don't hang out on Eating Forums, either.
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Old 12-06-08, 04:26 PM   #20
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Either you like to ride - or you don't.
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Old 12-10-08, 04:26 PM   #21
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Either you like to ride - or you don't.
exactly.....

the annoying thing for me was that he never posted where the ride was specifically./.....220 miles on the central cali coast is a humdinger!!!!! not to be entered into lightly...
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Old 12-10-08, 10:24 PM   #22
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That's 350 kilometres ... with three days to cover it. Not a big deal in any territory.

Experienced LD riders know that. It may seem intimidating to someone new to the sport.

All we can say is: ride some more; see how it feels. If you like how it feels, ride some more.
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Old 12-17-08, 04:29 AM   #23
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well you have plenty of time to prepare. key early on is to get plenty of base miles in. Once Feb comes you should start thinking about some more specific training, throw in a few intervals etc to give your speed/climbing a boost.
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