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Riding 5 miles a day for 30 days

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Riding 5 miles a day for 30 days

Old 04-03-10, 11:29 AM
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Riding 5 miles a day for 30 days

My plan is to ride my bike 5 miles a day 30 days and so far I have done 2 of those days. My question is what will the benefits of this be? Will it increase my strength or muscle mass?
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Old 04-03-10, 11:35 AM
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Good to have a goal, but I think after 30 days of this, you might begin to think your goal wasn't ambitious enough. I think you should increase your mileage so that by day 30, maybe you do 15 miles. A 5 mile bike ride really isn't much. Not knocking you and if you're just starting out, that's awesome but I still think you'll increase your fitness pretty quickly by day 30 and will be able to do more. Also, don't forget to take a day off here and there to let your body recover.
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Old 04-03-10, 11:37 AM
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Yeah, I do near 40 miles 4 times a week, sometimes I do more but days off are needed to recover. I agree with coopperhed, a few more miles will do better but remember to take your days off
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Old 04-03-10, 11:39 AM
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5 miles isn't very much. It should take you 20 minutes to complete. That's about how much my commute is.

Doing some kind of exercise for half an hour every day is good for the body, but I don't think you would gain much fitness. I don't think it will increase your strength or muscle mass very much unless did really short intervals or something. But I doubt it.
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Old 04-03-10, 11:43 AM
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5 miles a day is a pretty basic short commute and can easily be done in less than 20 minutes. A lot of people do that simply getting around to work/school/the store. You should do at least 10 miles a day to get a meaningful workout.
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Old 04-03-10, 11:50 AM
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I started riding a mountain bike, around 5-10 miles a day. What it did more than anything in 30 days was just get me toned up where I could ride a lot better. But I've gradually gotten better, gotten faster, and now riding 20 or 30 miles a day isn't anything. Just keep at it.

If you find yourself speeding up, consider changing your goal from 5 miles to 30 minutes or whatever time you can spare. If you're riding to or from work where it's a set distance, start looking for scenic routes to keep you riding longer.
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Old 04-03-10, 11:52 AM
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Thanks for all the tips guys. Another question I have is how are you supposed to know how long you're riding?
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Old 04-03-10, 11:54 AM
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Have fun
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Old 04-03-10, 12:01 PM
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Is this a good site for mapping rides?
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Old 04-03-10, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by JPhelps
Thanks for all the tips guys. Another question I have is how are you supposed to know how long you're riding?
I'm not really sure what you're asking exactly. You can ride however long or far you want. I just guessed that 5 miles takes 20 minutes because that means you'd be averaging 15mph. Average mph doesn't really mean much because there are so many things that can change like terrain, wind, how you feel, etc...

I usually pick a nice route and go on it. My hardest rides are probably the ones that last two hours, but we only went 25 miles as opposed to the ones lasting the same amount of time, but we went 40 miles.
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Old 04-03-10, 12:06 PM
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I'm not sure... I've heard that mapmyride is a good site. You could ask your local bike shops if they know of any good routes or if you have a local cycling club or website ask them for advice.
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Old 04-03-10, 12:46 PM
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Copperhead's comment is dead on. For starting out, 5 miles is great. And it's great that you're even beginning to cycle! On the other hand, give some thought to increasing your mileage. By day 30, try 15 or 20 miles. The great thing about cycling is it teaches you just how adaptive the body can be. Assuming your mind is committed to it, your body will strengthen rather quickly.

Good for you!
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Old 04-03-10, 12:56 PM
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Actually all you have to do is follow the schedule I posted below and modify it by adding 4 weeks at the beginning with 2 miles being your first week on the easy and 3 on the pace and 3 on brisk and 5 on Sat; then the 2nd week go to 3 miles on the easy, 4 on pace and 4 on brisk and 10 on Sat; then the 3rd week go to 4 on easy, 5 on pace and 6 on brisk with 15 on Sat; then on the 4th week go to 5 on easy 6 on pace and 7 on brisk and 15 on Sat.

Assuming you want to work up to 100 miles on a Saturday someday that is! You be surprised how well you can do this if you follow the schedule and not give up.

https://www.maccfund.org/trek100/riders/train.pdf
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Old 04-03-10, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Copperhed51
Good to have a goal, but I think after 30 days of this, you might begin to think your goal wasn't ambitious enough. I think you should increase your mileage so that by day 30, maybe you do 15 miles. A 5 mile bike ride really isn't much. Not knocking you and if you're just starting out, that's awesome but I still think you'll increase your fitness pretty quickly by day 30 and will be able to do more. Also, don't forget to take a day off here and there to let your body recover.
if i remember my beginning days, he will not need to change his goals. he will naturally ride further and further as he enjoys the ride and will not want to stop after just 5 miles.

I'll bet my left nut that by day 10 he will be going 10 miles with a great big grin on his face.
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Old 04-03-10, 01:29 PM
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What everybody else said, pretty much, with an additional word of encouragement: Good for you for setting a goal.
A year ago I would probably have echoed the posts that urged you to do more. Five miles really isn't much distance on a bike, at least on the flat. You'll burn a few calories and gain a little cardio fitness, but not a lot (I do think 15mph is an optimistic speed for a new rider, btw).
Several months ago, though, I developed a medical condition that's kept me off the bike. Details don't matter; the point is that I went from being a 150 mi/wk. rider to zero. I was able to start riding again just a few days ago, and an 8-mile loop i didn't even really consider to be exercise has been pretty tough for me. Improvement will come, and I'm happy to be out there at all, but it's given me new appreciation for beginners. If five miles is what you think you can do, do the five miles. Give it six weeks, I think--for me, at least, it takes that long to get back into the habit. When you think you can do six miles, or 10, do that. And you might mix things up a little, changing routes or doing four miles one day, eight the next, take a day off, then try a new route. Makes things more interesting and helps you stick with it.
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Old 04-03-10, 02:36 PM
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If you want to talk about basic cardio fitness, do it by time, not by mileage. It takes at least 20 minutes to get into "cardio mode" (for lack of the real term), and if you're only measuring mileage, you'll soon get fast enough to complete the distance before that twenty minutes is up.

Plan to ride 30 minutes at a time. Ride out for 15 minutes and turn around. If you're slow and you don't go far, then you're slow and can't go far -- no big deal. The point is to do it for half an hour. As the days go on, you'll end up farther and farther away when you hit the 15-minute mark, but the key is that you're still getting that minimum of 30 minutes each time.
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Old 04-03-10, 03:57 PM
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And for short duration cycling, no coasting, keep pedaling to get the max out of your workout.
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Old 04-03-10, 04:12 PM
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I'd set a progressive and moderately aggressive goal. Say, add a mile per ride. It's not that hard to go a mile on a decent bike, and you should be able to do that. Start with 5 and work your way up. By the end, you'll be riding 30 miles and probably feeling about the same as you did after the first 5-mile ride. It may not be realistic to ride every day and, as others have pointed out--that's OK.

I was just looking at my records from when I bought my first road bike. My first ride was 25 miles. 18 rides (about 2 months) later, I did my first century. Each ride was hard, but the 100-miler wasn't that much harder than my first run. On any ride, be sure to get enough liquids before, during and after the ride, and eat something like peanut butter that packs an energy-inducing punch. Just don't pig out before a ride--especially not in the hour preceding that ride.
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Old 04-03-10, 04:20 PM
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Five miles isn't much, but do it every day and it will add up.
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Old 04-03-10, 04:24 PM
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i remember feeling really excited hitting 15 miles for the first time.
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Old 04-03-10, 04:24 PM
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Would it surprise the OP to learn that 6,000-12,000 miles on the road bike annually is rather routine for many BF regulars? 5 miles per day is better than none, but you might not really see any real benefits from cycling until you start riding 20 miles 4+ times weekly. Regardless, welcome to the sport, welcome to BF, and bear in mind that the ball busting here can be rather relentless. Don't let it phase you. Just ride your bike.
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Old 04-03-10, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by JPhelps
My plan is to ride my bike 5 miles a day 30 days and so far I have done 2 of those days. ...
Congrats, if you keep it up you'll get better in time!

Wish I had done 5 miles today, with taxes to complete looks like any mileage will occur at only after 10pm in the basement today...that too on a rare warm sunny Saturday...sucks.
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Old 04-03-10, 04:45 PM
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...

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Old 04-03-10, 04:46 PM
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Troll much?
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Old 04-03-10, 05:23 PM
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5 miles a day is a good goal. throw in lots of sprints to increase fitness.
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