ms 150-first timer

Old 02-15-15, 05:24 PM
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tss08
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ms 150-first timer

I am participating in the Houston to Austin MS 150 for the first time and I am actually very nervous. I am looking for some tips/advice/suggestions on training! I am a pretty slow rider averaging at 12-14mph so that is stressing me out as well.

I started training in late January and I typically go for a ride on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Tuesdays & Thursdays- Anywhere between 10-20 miles working on speed. Intervals-riding hard for three minutes, slowing down for three minutes, etc.

Saturdays- Long steady rides 20+ miles (I am trying to increase distance every week on these)

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I work out at the gym with some cardio and then squats, lunges, abs and some back strengthening.


I switched to clipless recently and wow what a difference! Anyway, any advice would be greatly appreciated! Not quite sure WHAT I should be doing at the gym to prepare Thanks!
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Old 02-15-15, 09:39 PM
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Keep up what your doing currently and you'll be just fine. Remember you can always SAG a few rest stops and also rest for as long as you want at them. It's not a race and there will be tons of people taking it slow.

Don't stress. You'll be fine. Last year was our first and we did just fine. I trained on my own like you, not nearly as much as I should have but I made it without a problem. My wife did it almost cold turkey because she was working on her thesis.
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Old 02-15-15, 09:47 PM
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If you stress too much you won't have fun!

There's an MS150 thread towards the top of this forum too
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Old 02-16-15, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by tss08 View Post
I am participating in the Houston to Austin MS 150 for the first time and I am actually very nervous. I am looking for some tips/advice/suggestions on training! I am a pretty slow rider averaging at 12-14mph so that is stressing me out as well.

I started training in late January and I typically go for a ride on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Tuesdays & Thursdays- Anywhere between 10-20 miles working on speed. Intervals-riding hard for three minutes, slowing down for three minutes, etc.

Saturdays- Long steady rides 20+ miles (I am trying to increase distance every week on these)

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I work out at the gym with some cardio and then squats, lunges, abs and some back strengthening.


I switched to clipless recently and wow what a difference! Anyway, any advice would be greatly appreciated! Not quite sure WHAT I should be doing at the gym to prepare Thanks!

With that training regime, you'll be more than ready.

A good tip that helped me realize I can make it was this; know your personal limits and keep yourself rested/hydrated/energized enough to where you can always do another 8-10 miles.

Training is great to get in better shape, but the most important thing you should be taking from it is learning your body, how it reacts to different levels of activity, and how to keep yourself fed and hydrated. If you can do that, you will be absolutely fine.

If you were to set a training goal, be able to do 60% of one day's worth of distance. If you plan to do the 100 mile Day 1 route, be able to do 60 miles. If you plan to do the Rhodes/Katy start (83 miles), be able to 50 miles. Don't worry about pace, just get that distance under your belt and you'll be fine.

Trust me, all that anxiety will go away once you get on the road to start off Day 1.
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Old 02-16-15, 11:13 AM
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First of all, as somebody who has MS, thanks for riding and raising money! With that said, your current training plan sounds like a good one. One thing I would try to do if you are not already is get out and ride in some group rides to get used to being around other riders on the road. There are lots of paid group rides with support and rest stops, or you can go out with somebody like the Northwest Cycling Club Zube Park rides on Saturday mornings. Something else you can do that has worked well for me is take spinning classes if they are offered by your gym. I work too late usually to get much riding time before or after work during the week, but I go to spinning classes a couple of times per week and have now started teaching them at our gym as well. For me, the spinning classes (especially profiles involving shorter high intensity interval sets) really helped me prepare for the short rolling hills between Houston and Austin. The key to being ready for most of the hills you will see is not to be able to ride huge power numbers for 5-10 minutes, but instead to be able to go hard for 1-3 mins while climbing, then to be able to recover in 30-45 seconds so you are ready when the next hill starts. Short duration high intensity intervals repeated multiple times with short rest in between will help train you to recover more quickly. Something like 90 secs at 85-90%, 30 secs recovery x 6-8 per set with 2-3 minutes of recovery in between sets.

One thing you should watch out for with as often as it sounds like you are working out is that you don't overtrain and prevent your body from recovering. Also, realize that once you have developed a cardiovascular fitness base, the rest of the key to surviving your first one is just overcoming the aches, pains, chafing, etc. that come from being on the bike for that long of a time. The only way to get ready for that is to spend lots of time on the bike. Even with all that, it will still hurt when you climb on the bike for the beginning of day two. Make sure you take extra cash and get your name on the list for a massage as soon as you get to Lagrange on day one. Don't dally before heading to the shower trucks either. The longer you wait, the longer the lines will be. Also, now is the time to be experimenting with what works for you nutritionally and hydration-wise. Keep in mind that as it gets warmer, your hydration needs will increase. If you find yourself uncomfortable reaching down to get your bottles and take a drink while riding around other riders, consider using a camelback. But most of all, don't try a bunch of new foods on the day of the ride, and don't stuff yourself the night before. Once you find what works during your training, stick with it.

Good luck, and once again, thanks for riding!
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Old 02-16-15, 02:04 PM
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Thanks

Originally Posted by the sci guy View Post
Keep up what your doing currently and you'll be just fine. Remember you can always SAG a few rest stops and also rest for as long as you want at them. It's not a race and there will be tons of people taking it slow.

Don't stress. You'll be fine. Last year was our first and we did just fine. I trained on my own like you, not nearly as much as I should have but I made it without a problem. My wife did it almost cold turkey because she was working on her thesis.


Thank you! This did help & I guess I'll just have to find some more self confidence
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Old 02-16-15, 02:07 PM
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Of course! Anything to help


Thank you for all of the tips! I think I will take your advice and instead of gym workouts perhaps I will replace that with spin classes. Perhaps I will work on mostly core strengthening and the spin/ride the rest of the time. I was really nervous but all your tips are very helpful

How many times have you done the MS 150 and are you participating again?
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Old 02-16-15, 02:08 PM
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You're right!

Too much stress = no fun!


I am going to start doing spin classes hopefully two or three times a week now
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Old 02-16-15, 02:22 PM
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I have ridden in 10 MS150s and this year will be my 11th. I did the San Antonio to Corpus Christi ride 4 times (2005-2008) before they changed the route to stay closer to San Antonio. The other 6 have been Houston to Austin MS150s (2009-2014). I had what turned out to be my first MS symptoms (sudden hearing loss) in 2004, but wasn't diagnosed until 2006, after I had already ridden the MS150 twice. The other advice I will give you echoes some of what was said above...and that is to have fun with it. Go out and ride with others when you get the chance, but don't let yourself get pushed too hard such that it starts to feel like a weekly death march to go riding. Take the time to stop and snap a picture of the cool things you see on the road, enjoy talking to others around you, etc. All the distractions will make the miles just fly by much more quickly than if you ride alone all the time. I know people that have gotten really wound up and upset at themselves if they don't make their training goals on any given week...like having to cut a ride short due to a mechanical or conditions that were too cold/wet/windy. Keep in mind as you train that the purpose behind the suffering during your training is so that you can relax and just have fun on the weekend of the ride. All the really hard work is done by then, and all you need to do is enjoy the ride.
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Old 02-16-15, 09:43 PM
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As everyone has said, you are definitely on the right path. There are several MS150 training rides that you can sign up for. Not only are they good to get the distance training, they will get you comfortable riding in groups. They do cost money of course (but they are supported rides) so if you are on a budget, maybe only sign up for one or two and space out your training rides accordingly. Assuming you are in Houston, you might want to sign up for a ride with some hills. The Chappell Hills ride - Head for the Hills on March 28th is a good one.
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Old 02-17-15, 09:05 AM
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Here's the list of recommended rides from the MS150 website: 2015 BP MS 150: 2015 Recommended Rides - National MS Society

A lot of the t-shirt rides you've heard mentioned are on that list. They're usually $30-40 a pop depending on when you sign up, but it's worth it, and they are a lot of fun.
Like I said, I'm looking forward to this year's Tour de Houston a lot. Had a great time last year despite the rain. I'm skipping Bluebonnet Express though this year. But will probably do the Gran Fondo up in Woodlands. Oh and definitely do Bike for Mike (after the 150).
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Old 02-17-15, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by the sci guy View Post
Like I said, I'm looking forward to this year's Tour de Houston a lot. Had a great time last year despite the rain. I'm skipping Bluebonnet Express though this year. But will probably do the Gran Fondo up in Woodlands. Oh and definitely do Bike for Mike (after the 150).
Eeek... my memories of the Tour de Houston are not that fond. Lots of newbies riding all over the road ("passing on your left" seemed to be a foreign concept). Rain. LOTS of people going down. I nearly lost it once myself. I will probably skip it.

I just saw that the Gran Fondo in the Woodlands has been cancelled.
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Old 02-17-15, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by rpecot View Post
Eeek... my memories of the Tour de Houston are not that fond. Lots of newbies riding all over the road ("passing on your left" seemed to be a foreign concept). Rain. LOTS of people going down. I nearly lost it once myself. I will probably skip it.

I just saw that the Gran Fondo in the Woodlands has been cancelled.
first: yeah it rained the entire way back last year, but it was no big deal for me. but having people who aren't spandexed tour de france roadies is what makes something like the tour de houston fun. city residents taking a tour of their city by bike with others. i love that.

second: wait, what?!
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Old 02-17-15, 12:51 PM
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Just looked at the website. Total bummer.
Looks like I'll have to pick up another ride somewhere then.
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Old 02-17-15, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by rpecot View Post
Eeek... my memories of the Tour de Houston are not that fond. Lots of newbies riding all over the road ("passing on your left" seemed to be a foreign concept). Rain. LOTS of people going down. I nearly lost it once myself. I will probably skip it.

I just saw that the Gran Fondo in the Woodlands has been cancelled.
Originally Posted by the sci guy View Post
first: yeah it rained the entire way back last year, but it was no big deal for me. but having people who aren't spandexed tour de france roadies is what makes something like the tour de houston fun. city residents taking a tour of their city by bike with others. i love that.

second: wait, what?!

I rode in the Tour de Houston last year as well.

I saw the aftermath of a few dozen crashes as well. Funny thing was I also saw several people begin to slip but catch themselves, and every single time it was when someone was riding over the painted lane markings on the road. I'm willing to be a vast majority of the crashes were due to people not staying off the paint in the wet.

Also, the "spandex wearing Tour de France roadies" were just as much if not more to blame for much of the madness on the road. I can't tell you how many times I saw people zipping to the left and right of slower riders instead of waiting for a safe place to pass on the left only. We were stuck in the middle of it all because we were faster than the cruisers but not as fast as the Tour wannabes.

We are doing the ride again, but at least this time we'll know what to expect.
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Old 02-18-15, 02:49 PM
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I'm dong my first MS150 this year as well. I just rode int eh the Humble Lions Club Bike Ride last weekend. It was my first group/charity ride and about 50 miles. I enjoyed the ride and was faster over the course of the 50 miles as I was over my solo 40 mile ride a week earlier. These training/t-shirt rides are great. Not only do you get practice riding in a group, but it is a good demonstration of how your training regimen is going.
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Old 02-18-15, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by msd3075 View Post
I rode in the Tour de Houston last year as well.

I saw the aftermath of a few dozen crashes as well. Funny thing was I also saw several people begin to slip but catch themselves, and every single time it was when someone was riding over the painted lane markings on the road. I'm willing to be a vast majority of the crashes were due to people not staying off the paint in the wet.

Also, the "spandex wearing Tour de France roadies" were just as much if not more to blame for much of the madness on the road. I can't tell you how many times I saw people zipping to the left and right of slower riders instead of waiting for a safe place to pass on the left only. We were stuck in the middle of it all because we were faster than the cruisers but not as fast as the Tour wannabes.

We are doing the ride again, but at least this time we'll know what to expect.
Yeah I hear ya about the wet paint. totally have had that happen before. Comes with experience to know to avoid it I guess.
And I totally agree about the hardcore roadies. They are always causing issues on EVERY ride I've ever been on. They just can't wait and swerve out into the road off the shoulder or the lane, heaven forbid they slow down and wait at a slightly slower pace until it's safe. etc.
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Old 02-18-15, 07:16 PM
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Tss08,

txags92 said
"One thing you should watch out for with as often as it sounds like you are working out is that you don't overtrain and prevent your body from recovering."

+1
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Old 02-18-15, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by the sci guy View Post
Oh and definitely do Bike for Mike (after the 150).
Bike for Mike is my favorite ride. The whole community supports that ride and provides all the goodies on and after the ride: ice cream and candies from the Sweet Tooth at rest stop 2, fruit smoothies from the Church at the last stop in Simonton, apertisers from Deckers, BBQs from Swining Doors, pizzas from Peperoni and adult beverages.
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Old 02-18-15, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by SAGit View Post
Bike for Mike is my favorite ride. The whole community supports that ride and provides all the goodies on and after the ride: ice cream and candies from the Sweet Tooth at rest stop 2, fruit smoothies from the Church at the last stop in Simonton, apertisers from Deckers, BBQs from Swining Doors, pizzas from Peperoni and adult beverages.
Sounds awesome. Can't wait. I worked the rest stop for one of our Ready2Roll rides (along with txags) and it was right in the small green area at the entrance to the lady's ranch/winery. She came over and chatted us up and she was great. So I told her I'd be there for Bike for Mike!
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Old 02-19-15, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by the sci guy View Post
Sounds awesome. Can't wait. I worked the rest stop for one of our Ready2Roll rides (along with txags) and it was right in the small green area at the entrance to the lady's ranch/winery. She came over and chatted us up and she was great. So I told her I'd be there for Bike for Mike!
There is a "Candy" ride on Sunday morning, March 8 headed by Bikebarn. The "Sweet Tooth Shop" is the starting location. The ride is free but you should go to the Bikebarn website to RSVP.

Btw, they have some great ice cream flavors; my favorite is the Key Lime Pie.
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