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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 03-01-14, 09:33 PM   #1
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Disadvantaged by indoor training?

I am currently working towards completing my first century ride this spring. I'm recently new to biking, last year my typical rides were 25-30miles but since the winter I've been riding only 15-20 a few times a week on my recumbent styled exercise bike mainly with my work commute which is short.

All though Ohios spring looks to be greater then 8 weeks away I have been using a 8 week century guide found on a article to keep me focused and upping my ride lengths from the causal shorter rides I've been doing. But I worry its not enough, everything I read stresses most important issue is saddle time, which isn't possible atm and this trainer is no where near similar as it has a huge seating area. Not to mention the more low profile of seat/pedal I worrying myself up about nothing? It'll atleast train my legs and heart to keep pumping for longer periods of time right?
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Old 03-01-14, 10:47 PM   #2
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It's hard to say about the legs. I read that when riders switch from upright bikes to recumbent (on the road) bikes, there is a considerably time where they're building up new muscle. In your case, that might relate to the type of indoor training you're doing, not the fact that you're doing it.

Two other issues come up. One is that if you actually ride outside, you get more used to dealing with wind, hills, hot, cold, etc. Part of that is mental, part of that is physical. The other issue is motivation. I have zero desire to do any kind of indoor riding, so it'd be hard for me to get in enough time doing it.

Do people riding trainers ever ride "into the wind" for 4 hours at 12 mph? Just wondering, as that's a part of it.
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Old 03-02-14, 03:44 AM   #3
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1. What's the longest ride you've done (inside or out) in the last couple months?

2. What kind of workout do you do on your recumbent stationary bike? Cadence? Difficulty level? Do you do intervals?

3. Can you join a spinning class ... once or twice a week? A spinning class would put you on a indoor bike that is probably a lot closer to the type of bicycle you'll use on the randonnees, and a good spinning class will give you a really good workout.

4. Can you ride outside? I'd recommend getting outside as often as you can.
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Old 03-02-14, 04:06 PM   #4
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Good for you for working hard through the winter - it's no fun and it takes real dedication.

Do you mean 15-20 "miles" on your indoor recumbent? All "miles" on indoor machines are fictitious, so I take that to mean about 1 hour/day.

I spent several winters doing about 1 hour/day, 6 days a week on indoor machines, including a lot of time on recumbents and lots and lots of intervals. The kept my cardio up and my weight down, but when spring came and I hit the road, I was always shocked at how much fitness I had lost compared to the previous fall.

As Machka hinted, you need some long rides under your belt before your century - at least in the 50-60 mile range.

Also, as Machka said, get outside as soon as you can. Don't tell me that it's still winter in Ohio in March, 2014 - I live in Minnesota. If your regular bike is too precious, get yourself an old beater and some warm clothes and ride. Ride on trails if the winter roads are too scary.
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Old 03-02-14, 05:23 PM   #5
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If you want to ride your bike long distances outdoors, but can't due to weather, ride your bike a lot indoors on a trainer or rollers. Yes, it makes a heckuva difference. You don't really have to ride outside at all. You just have to simulate it indoors. That means the whole gamut of endurance rides, intervals, etc., but done on a trainer. Say 8-9 hours/week. And this must be done on the same bike, or a bike with exactly the same saddle and fit as your century ride. Because you can't ride hills or upwind indoors, you must do endurance rides of at least 1.5 hours, plus intervals, ranging from sets of 15 minute intervals at LT to say sets of 5-8 minute anaerobic intervals. As said above, ignore the miles and just do the hours.

My wife and I just completed a century yesterday having done essentially nothing for the last month other than ride indoors, ski, and snowshoe.

The above is conditioned on your knowing how to eat, hydrate, and pace yourself on a long ride. My wife and I have done many long rides.
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Old 03-02-14, 10:17 PM   #6
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When is the century ride? You should be comfortable doing 50-60 mile rides well before the 100 mile ride, and build up to at least a 70 mile ride a week or so before the 100 miler. Is there going to be enough time?
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