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Riding Days..Rest Days

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Riding Days..Rest Days

Old 11-30-08, 12:09 PM
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Riding Days..Rest Days

I need to know how to ride longer and faster. I am slower than 75% of cyclists. I would like to ride more but I always feel like I need rest days. I usually take 2-3 days off for every day that I ride. Is this normal ? Is it too much rest ? Should I be riding more often ?
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Old 11-30-08, 12:11 PM
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You can accelerate fitness gains by recovering, and resting, actively and smartly.

Instead of taking days off the bike, why not pursue active recovery in the form of very easy recovery rides?

Also, this book is worth checking out if you're serious about becoming a stronger cyclist:


It's available at REI and most good bike shops.
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Old 11-30-08, 12:11 PM
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Yes. Ride more. Take a day off for every 3-4 days you ride. Ride longer, harder, faster, do intervals, do hills, and come back with your results in 3 months.
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Old 11-30-08, 12:11 PM
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That seems like too much rest. You need to ride more to get faster, but you need to ride more in the right ways.

Sounds like you need a good training book. I recommend The Cyclist's Training Bible by Joe Friel.
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Old 11-30-08, 12:20 PM
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i'll check out that book.
also, how important do you think the "recovery" drinks are and stuff like that ?
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Old 11-30-08, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by SunFlower View Post
i'll check out that book.
also, how important do you think the "recovery" drinks are and stuff like that ?
I'm a user of Hammer Nutrition's "Recoverite". It works really well for me, but your mileage may vary as each person's body is different.

I only use the stuff after very hard workouts or races, though.
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Old 11-30-08, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by SunFlower View Post
I am slower than 75% of cyclists.
How did you come up with this number?

Originally Posted by SunFlower View Post
I usually take 2-3 days off for every day that I ride. Is this normal ?
No.

How long have you been riding?
Are you planning to race?
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Old 11-30-08, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by SunFlower View Post
i'll check out that book.
also, how important do you think the "recovery" drinks are and stuff like that ?
It depends on the ride. Seriously, if you're not working hard there's no real point in recovery drinks. Too often people get caught up in the "oh wow, I need a recovery ride because I just did a 90 minute ride" but in reality they never pushed themselves hard enough to warrant it.

But, if you've just finished a hard (interval session), or long (2.5+ hours) ride, then a recovery drink might be useful. I usually drink a whey supplement to add some protein back into my system, others just drink a nice cold glass of chocolate milk.

As for your original question about how to get faster, the only real answer is ride lots and ride harder. If you're only riding 2 days a week, you're probably not going to get much faster unless you're going so hard on each ride that you have to be picked up off the floor with a shovel after.

FWIW, I try to ride 5 days a week, minimum of 4. The format is basically T/H short but hard (~90 minutes), W "Active Recovery" (easy, 60 minutes), Sa/Sun longer / moderate pace with some tempo. I'll sometimes forego one of the weekend rides to do things with the family/around the house/etc. If nothing else, it's a starting point.

good luck.
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Old 11-30-08, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by SunFlower View Post
I need to know how to ride longer and faster. I am slower than 75% of cyclists. I would like to ride more but I always feel like I need rest days. I usually take 2-3 days off for every day that I ride. Is this normal ? Is it too much rest ? Should I be riding more often ?
If you're just getting into cycling I'd just focus on riding and monitoring your progress, make sure you're enjoying it too because that will motivate you to ride more. With every ride you're gradually improving your fitness but if you're interested in a more focus and regimented work out then the recommendations bdcheung made are the way to go.
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Old 11-30-08, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by ljrichar View Post
How did you come up with this number?


No.

How long have you been riding?
Are you planning to race?

I have been riding with some effort now for about 12 months. The last 4-5 months I have been puttin in alot of effort ( for me). I have made tremendous gains but the gains have come from a starting point of about ZERO.
This month of Novemeber I am going to set my all time record for miles in a month. It will be 126 miles. Here are my last 12 months mile totals :

January - 9.77 miles
February - 30 miles
March - 25 miles
April - 38 miles
May - 8 miles (doctors orders not to ride)
June - 41 miles
July - 97 miles
August - 50 miles
September - 75 miles
October - 79 miles
Novemeber - 126 miles
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Old 11-30-08, 01:28 PM
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That is pretty low mileage even for a Rec rider. Do you have some medical issues? You would definitely see gains if you just upped your mileage, ie ride lots. The first few years don't over think it. Find faster riders, try to hang on. Repeat until this is easy. Next, find faster riders, try to hang on. Repeat until this is easy. You get my drift. It shouldn't be rocket science. Well, not until you start racing and posting your Powertap graphs from WKO but there are people here to help with that.
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Old 11-30-08, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by SunFlower View Post
I have been riding with some effort now for about 12 months. The last 4-5 months I have been puttin in alot of effort ( for me). I have made tremendous gains but the gains have come from a starting point of about ZERO.
This month of Novemeber I am going to set my all time record for miles in a month. It will be 126 miles. Here are my last 12 months mile totals :

January - 9.77 miles
February - 30 miles
March - 25 miles
April - 38 miles
May - 8 miles (doctors orders not to ride)
June - 41 miles
July - 97 miles
August - 50 miles
September - 75 miles
October - 79 miles
Novemeber - 126 miles

If you're experiencing medical difficulties, that's not a bad first year of cycling ... but if you're healthy, you can do A LOT more than that.

You can cycle 5-6 days a week without overdoing it. It is good to take 1-2 days a week off for rest because rest is important, but I'd definitely recommend getting out there and riding much more often than you do.

The general recommendation for new riders who don't ride a lot is to build up by about 10% per week. So right now you're doing about 30 miles a week ... next week aim for about 33 miles. The week after aim for 37 miles ... the next week aim for 41 miles ... and the fourth week do 41 miles again, if you're feeling comfortable with that amount or drop it back to 37. Your fourth week can be a bit of a rest week. Then start building again to the eighth week when you'll take it a little easier. And so on.

By summer (or are you in summer right now?) you should be ready to do something like riding a century!
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Old 11-30-08, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by SunFlower View Post
I have been riding with some effort now for about 12 months. The last 4-5 months I have been puttin in alot of effort ( for me). I have made tremendous gains but the gains have come from a starting point of about ZERO.
This month of Novemeber I am going to set my all time record for miles in a month. It will be 126 miles. Here are my last 12 months mile totals :

January - 9.77 miles
February - 30 miles
March - 25 miles
April - 38 miles
May - 8 miles (doctors orders not to ride)
June - 41 miles
July - 97 miles
August - 50 miles
September - 75 miles
October - 79 miles
Novemeber - 126 miles
Don't worry about supplements now. You need to get your mileage way up. Talk to your physician about your goals and intentions, then start riding more. A lot more. Your monthly totals aren't even big weekly totals for serious recreational riders.
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Old 12-01-08, 09:12 PM
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Well? Did you start the month with a ride?
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Old 12-01-08, 10:42 PM
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to all the people who think their expensive cycling specific recovery mix is actually doing something special.. look at the stars like eddy merckx who just ate a bunch of ham sandwhiches whilst pedaling... or that star who recovered with a pheasant and some champagne.. it's all mental!
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Old 12-01-08, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by SunFlower View Post
January - 9.77 miles
February - 30 miles
March - 25 miles
April - 38 miles
May - 8 miles (doctors orders not to ride)
June - 41 miles
July - 97 miles
August - 50 miles
September - 75 miles
October - 79 miles
Novemeber - 126 miles
I rode more than that in October alone... with a broken collarbone

You aren't going to see much improvement riding so infrequently.
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Old 12-01-08, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by deadly downtube View Post
to all the people who think their expensive cycling specific recovery mix is actually doing something special.. look at the stars like eddy merckx who just ate a bunch of ham sandwhiches whilst pedaling... or that star who recovered with a pheasant and some champagne.. it's all mental!
For me, "recovery drinks" are just convenience, not magic. I'd love to sit down to a a pheasant and champagne when I get back to work after a hard lunch ride, but I don't think my employer would appreciate it. I used my lunch to ride I can't take another lunch break to eat. I have to have something fast and easy with optimal nutrition that will maximize the recovery from my workout, and they fit the bill well enough.
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Old 12-01-08, 11:20 PM
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You really need to up your base miles. I would focus on saddle time. Set some goals like 50 miles a week then 75 then 100. This will build your base aerobic system to support faster and stronger training routines later. Then when the time is right you can make big improvements by adding intervals, climbing and recovery specific rides.

I have been riding 10 years and average 5000 miles a year. I reached a point where I was not improving at all. I focused 2 days a week on pure climbing efforts, 2 days really fast group ride (for motivation and to keep me honest) and 1 day of intervals. I would usually ride 3 days and rest a day. I had big improvement for that concentrated effort.

Good Luck,

Phil
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Old 12-01-08, 11:26 PM
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believe it or not, right now i feel kinda worn out. i have my first cyclocross race on dec 14th and i decided to only ride 2 or 3 times before that race and then start my endurance and mile building after the race. i am planning on doing 50-75 miles a week or slow-moderate pace flat riding. i guess maybe 2-3 months of that should be a good base to then start throwing in tougher stuff.
but hey, i have noticed my legs getting bigger and more ripped. hoo raw !
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Old 12-01-08, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by SunFlower View Post
I have been riding with some effort now for about 12 months. The last 4-5 months I have been puttin in alot of effort ( for me). I have made tremendous gains but the gains have come from a starting point of about ZERO.
This month of Novemeber I am going to set my all time record for miles in a month. It will be 126 miles. Here are my last 12 months mile totals
Your join date says March 2006. Were you not cycling when you joined Bike Forums? Or did you stop cycling at some point?
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Old 12-01-08, 11:33 PM
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yea your right. It is not how you perform but how you look good doing it.

I can't play golf but I sure look good doing it.
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Old 12-02-08, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Nachoman View Post
Your join date says March 2006. Were you not cycling when you joined Bike Forums? Or did you stop cycling at some point?
Sunflower is a troll. Does nothing but post asinine threads and responses.
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Old 12-02-08, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by MitchellH View Post
Sunflower is a troll. Does nothing but post asinine threads and responses.
Well, this one certainly fits the description.
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Old 12-02-08, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by SunFlower View Post
i have my first cyclocross race on dec 14th and i decided to only ride 2 or 3 times before that race
Not to sound like a jerk but good luck with that.
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Old 12-02-08, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by MitchellH View Post
Sunflower is a troll. Does nothing but post asinine threads and responses.
Yes, very likely. This is what I was thinking on the "I dropped a mountain bike" thread, which everybody was taking so damn seriously...
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