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Training for a half-century on different bikes

Old 10-29-19, 07:48 PM
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FloridaDave
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Training for a half-century on different bikes

After extended time of recovery from shoulder surgery and a rib-breaking bike accident, I am targeting a 50 mile ride in 5 months, and want to train for it. I'm using a training plan that I have previously (and successfully) used to prepare for centuries.

Here's the thing -- I plan to ride different bikes during the training period. I'll ride my road bike for my long rides and for some interval training, but for my shorter days, I want to ride my mountain bike to the gym and do weight training. These rides will be in the 10-15 mile range, and I don't expect much from them other than logging miles and time with my butt on the saddle. Fortunately living in Fla. gives me year-round riding, but on the days of bad weather I might opt to put in some stationary bike time (at the gym).

The goal is 4-5 rides per week of increasing length, with 1-2 of those rides being on the mountain bike (or worst case stationary bike), and combining not-too-fast riding with moderate weight training on those mountain bike days.

OBTW I'm mid-60s, so heroic training is, I'm afraid, a thing of the past. Thoughts about this plan???
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Old 10-29-19, 10:11 PM
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Sounds fine. You only need to ride ~75 miles/week total for several weeks in a row to have a fine 50 miler.
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Old 10-30-19, 10:56 AM
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Sounds like a plan. If you can ride 30 miles regularly, you should be able to do 50 on a special day. Good luck!
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Old 10-30-19, 11:22 AM
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As long as you're comfortable enough on your event-day bike to do the full 50, then it shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 10-30-19, 08:40 PM
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Should be fine. Go for it. Any training with adequate rest and diet will help toward that goal. Emphasis on rest. At age 62 I don't ride as often. I aim for 3-4 rides a week, and also walk and exercise at home. Occasionally I'll take short rides for errands so technically I might ride every day. But I don't do more than 3-4 workout rides of any distance and speed.

I had a similar goal after some health setbacks in 2017-2018. I resumed cycling in 2015 after a long hiatus and it took a long time to get back into shape. I rode a century in November 2017 and planned to do a few more in 2018. But I was hit by a car, breaking and dislocating my shoulder and re-injuring an old neck injury from being hit by a car in 2001. Then when the ER did neck X-rays they discovered I had thyroid cancer (short version -- they actually found an odd lump and multiple other tests and biopsies confirmed cancer).

So 2018 was a recovery year. Most of my rides were 10-30 miles, with a few of 40-60 miles.

2019 was a slow start. Lots of setbacks getting my endocrine system back into shape. There were some entire months in 2018-'19 when I could hardly ride at all due to lack of energy from low thyroid.

And I was back in the gym for physical therapy. The PT clinic was a 6 mile round trip and I usually took my hybrid instead of the road bike.

But I've ridden several fairly fast rides of 30-60 miles. By August I was adding miles after some 30-40 mile group rides, and doing more in the range of 50-75 miles.

By the end of September I rode a solo century, also impromptu. It started as a morning group ride of around 40 miles, and after lunch I felt like continuing so I finished with just over 100 miles.

I planned to do a century a month but I'll probably miss October -- hectic schedule and a pesky sinus infection the past couple of weeks. I'll make up for it in November.


Beyond 50 miles or so it's mostly a mental game. Pacing is important. Rest and stretch as often as needed. Most folks I know who ride solo and group centuries a few times a year don't do it in one session without a rest break. Most take at least two or three rest breaks, sometimes more toward the end of the ride.

I usually set a goal of finishing a full century within 12 hours. For me, there's a time range between getting enough rest breaks and simply losing interest because it takes too long. I'll probably shoot for an 8-10 hour time frame next time.

I also found it helped to ride in more or less one direction away from home before turning around at the halfway point. If I stayed too close to home I'd be tempted to quit and take a nap. So when I tackled half centuries or metric centuries I'd ride 25-30 miles away from home toward a semi-rural area popular with many cyclists, rest for about 15 minutes, then head home. Worked out fine that way, although there were some hot summer days with temps in the 100s when I took more frequent and longer rest breaks.

And for emergency bailouts I have Uber and Lyft apps on my smart phone. Friends offered to pick me up if necessary but I'd rather not impose. And it hasn't been necessary so far.

Last edited by canklecat; 10-30-19 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 11-01-19, 04:01 PM
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Thanks for the update canklecat! I guess as we move through our 60s we're going to have some setbacks. Sounds like you've done really well. My bike accident was self-inflected -- riding through a narrow gate too fast and catching my handlebars on the side of it. Oh well, two broken ribs and two dislocated fingers later I'm back on the bike, but haven't been motivated to do much other some uninspired riding. I bought a mountain bike so I could vary my rides and that has helped. But I wanted some goal focus, thus the 50 miler. If it goes well I may find a metric century to do, but I don't know if I have the stamina to train for and remain fit for centuries.
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