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Did I do too much riding?

Old 10-15-23, 01:53 PM
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Did I do too much riding?

I haven't ridden as much as I should this year. Several long layoffs for health issues. I did a 65 mile charity ride this past Saturday and I started off pretty decent, but about 50 miles into the ride I fell off the back of the group I was with and finished the remainder on my own. I was showing signs of tiring at just 40 miles into the ride. Though the speed of the group wasn't anything excessive for what I've ridden with in the past. I did manage to finish with a time of 3:46 which shows how much riding in the group helps. As my previous 42.1 mile ride took me 2:41

I did have to waste some energy bridging a gap between the group I was in and the group I let go out in front. The group I was with I found out too late was only doing the 44 mile ride. But I didn't think I worked that hard and took 10 or 12 miles to slowly catch the straggler's of their group just as they got to a rest stop.

I had increased my weekly mileage that same week to having done 110 miles in the prior 8 days. With a 42 mile ride on the Thursday before the Saturday ride. Prior to that week, most of my weekly milage had been 22 - 66 miles depending on whether I was able to get 1 ride or 3 rides that week.

Can I say that it was that 42 mile ride on Thursday with not enough rest between that humbled me, or am I just a wuss and don't ride enough period?!

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Old 10-15-23, 02:30 PM
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Set your "ego" aside, and ride your bike as you please and at your own comfort and enjoyment. Do not compete with the cars passing by. Do not compete with the blokes younger than yourself. And do not compete with the blokes fitter than yourself.

If your "ego" is hindering your ability to ride with a group of riders, ride the bike alone at your own schedule, pace, and time. Take it easy, man.
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Old 10-15-23, 03:05 PM
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Helpful as the response above was, I'll add that fatigue from ramping up the miles in the weeks before was almost undoubtedly the main factor. Taper your mileage and effort down for at least a week or so before the next such event, with a day or two off each week.
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Old 10-15-23, 03:58 PM
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I lose my endurance stamina if I'm not doing longer rides at least twice a week. Lately my rides have been averaging between 27 and 37 miles. Last week I decided to go a bit further and do a 50 mile round trip and boy was I surprised how those extra miles took their toll. Regardless of anyone's fitness level I think there's nothing that can substitute doing those longer training miles.
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Old 10-15-23, 05:29 PM
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Yep, just a wuss. I say that affectionately. I know you're old like me and that probably would have killed me. I average 125 miles/week now but a 35 mile ride knocks me for a loop. Actually, anything over 25 non-stop and I'm struggling. You done good.
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Old 10-15-23, 05:44 PM
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Sounds like you simply ramped up the mileage too much in the week leading up to your event.
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Old 10-16-23, 11:18 AM
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You didn't ride enough, soon enough.

You don't get much fitness by ramping up mileage the week before an event. In fact, the usual strategy for a tough event is to taper off in the week prior.
You would have benefitted more from enhanced effort 2-5 weeks before.

That first response you got to this thread was unhelpful and imperious, but it's not completely wrong to suggest that you consider it as having 40 good miles of a group ride and then some character building afterwards.
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Old 10-16-23, 12:22 PM
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I'm not tore up about it. I feel I did good for what it was and I wasn't the last person in nor do I suffer from a bruised ego. Although I will jest about that and feign much grief about it! <grin> Most of the people in the group were my age and even above. More than a few of them were also regretting doing the 65 mile ride. The majority of the younger riders <50 where actually doing the shorter distance rides. <sad>

The 42 mile ride I'd done on Thursday was planned to be done on Wednesday. However it rained Wednesday. If I'd gotten those two days off the bike prior to the 65 miler I think I would have faired better. Although I was ramping up the miles on terrain that even when I'm going easy will keep me on just below my lactate threshold for about 50% of the time of the ride.

September was a low month for cycling. I only got in 112 miles the entire month. Most of it the last 2 weeks of the month. I'm also probably 1000 miles less than I normally am at this point of time. But even for the 62 mile ride back in May, I finished that with no issue and was ready to ride again just a few hours later. And I'd be very embarrassed to tell you how little mileage I rode the months prior to that ride. This ride I wasn't. And maybe that's what has surprised me more than anything. Compared to the ride in may, this ride is more challenging with the hills and has 2300' of gain vs 1000 ft for the ride in May.

I'll probably just file this away as not enough steady miles prior to the ride. Ramping up to that mileage too fast after only doing 90 minute rides for most all the summer. And perhaps not getting enough rest days prior for the physical condition I'm currently in. I can't really seem to point the finger at any one particular of those. Even if I had the extra day of rest, I suspect I still will have fallen off the back of the group at some point prior to the finish.
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Old 10-16-23, 03:30 PM
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Sounds perfect to me. Learning to suffer is an important part of endurance riding. It's amazing what one can do even though . . . With the group I used to try to ride with, my legs usually started to hurt a bit about 25% into the ride, At 50% I was pretty tired. By the finish I would have been having trouble walking. That's what it took for me to get fit. Early on in the pre-season, I'd be cramping on the final, always steep, climb. Or maybe having a pre-bonk well off the back with another 20 miles or so to go. So many energy and power production systems to stimulate. It's all good. I think learning to suffer doesn't get enough attention in the community. That's where the big gains are. That said, one has to recover properly and know what that feels like, also knowing what it feels like when one should just turn around and go home before one over-reaches. I notice I'm fit if my HR to power ration doesn't vary much over the course of a long ride or on a long strenuous climb. I don't bother much with FTP. That's all well and good, but finishing strong on a long tough ride feels great.
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Old 10-16-23, 04:39 PM
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In addition to the other responses, It is entirely possible you simply didn't fuel enough. Longer rides sap your body's glucose reserves, and when they get low, everything gets hard. Try to consume high carbohydrate drinks, foods, and gels throughout your ride. You can dig into the science, and debate over how many g/hr, which forms work best, or the specific schedule of fueling, but the crux of the matter is that if you are eating or drinking something high in carbohydrate throughout your ride, you'll be able to perform better and you will recover faster.
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Old 10-17-23, 09:01 AM
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I'll have to keep riding some longer rides and see if they get easier. Otherwise I might be slightly worried about some other health issues other than just being over the edge of 65yo. My legs were stiffening at 56 miles and to me that implies that I may not be moving CO2 out and O2 in as well as I should. But that might also be just my current physical condition.

I think I fueled and hydrated well enough. I consumed about a 1000 Calories in the 3˝ bottles I used. Not including the small snacks at the rest stops I ate. It was a cool day and not a lot of sweating. Perhaps I overhydrated some. I actually don't like cool days. I always seem to do better in my stats when the temps are around 85° and even higher.
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Old 10-17-23, 09:20 PM
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Honestly, it just sounds like you are deeply undertrained.

it's not that you should do more longer rides. You need to do more total volume - By your description, you've been riding about 100 miles a month, and that's just not enough to build the fitness you need for a 65 mile ride.

Yes, do some longer rides, but more importantly, ride more regularly. 15-30 miles a few times a week, longer once a week.
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Old 10-18-23, 03:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
My legs were stiffening at 56 miles and to me that implies that I may not be moving CO2 out and O2 in as well as I should.
I’m no expert, but I very much doubt that your stiff legs had anything to do with CO2. Probably just a lack of general conditioning and muscle fatigue from over-reaching in the previous week.
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Old 10-18-23, 08:09 AM
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O2 is needed to allow the energy conversion processes in our muscles. CO2 is produced as a result of energy being converted/produced by our muscles.

But most definitely yes, If I'd had better general conditioning and preparation along with rest prior to the ride, the transport mechanisms in the muscles and body will have been better tuned to get rid of the CO2.
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Old 10-18-23, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
But most definitely yes, If I'd had better general conditioning and preparation along with rest prior to the ride, the transport mechanisms in the muscles and body will have been better tuned to get rid of the CO2.
Yeah, more conditioning means faster clearing of the bad stuff from muscles, and less muscle fatigue.

But apparently, it's not CO₂ accumulation that causes fatigue. It's those pesky "ions", maybe:

Fatigue may occur as the result of accumulation of hydrogen ions, inorganic phosphate, substrate depletion, and alterations in calcium ion function.
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Old 10-18-23, 09:09 AM
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CO2 is not the issue. Lactic acid, maybe.

But invoking the chemical details is entirely beside the point.
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Old 10-18-23, 09:57 AM
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I can agree that CO2 isn't the thing that is absolutely responsible for the feeling I was getting in my legs. However not being able to eliminate the CO2 will cause those processes that produce and clear those things from my muscles to slow. Ones lung capacity to bring in O2 and get rid of CO2 is a major factor in the making of muscle energy and eliminating the unwanted byproducts.
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Old 10-18-23, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
I'll have to keep riding some longer rides and see if they get easier. Otherwise I might be slightly worried about some other health issues other than just being over the edge of 65yo. My legs were stiffening at 56 miles and to me that implies that I may not be moving CO2 out and O2 in as well as I should. But that might also be just my current physical condition.

I think I fueled and hydrated well enough. I consumed about a 1000 Calories in the 3˝ bottles I used. Not including the small snacks at the rest stops I ate. It was a cool day and not a lot of sweating. Perhaps I overhydrated some. I actually don't like cool days. I always seem to do better in my stats when the temps are around 85° and even higher.
CO2 excess is called acidosis. I have an issue with that, don't know why, but after a long really hard ride, say 60 miles with a lot of Z4 and some Z5 time, I'll pant for a while. Panting is not lack of oxygen, it's too much CO2. Doesn't seem to matter how conditioned I am although of course being able to ride that long and hard means my conditioning is pretty darn good.

Anyway, as others have said, that's hardly the issue. If you had been riding 100 miles/week for several weeks, I don't think you would have had that problem. Not stiffening anyway, more likely just the legs feeling a little tired, which one ignores. 65 is no big deal. My wife and I rode RAMROD on our tandem when we were 134 y.o. and we're not anything like the better riders of our age group. We just like to ride.

1000 calories in that time should have been more than enough.
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Old 10-18-23, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
I can agree that CO2 isn't the thing that is absolutely responsible for the feeling I was getting in my legs. However not being able to eliminate the CO2 will cause those processes that produce and clear those things from my muscles to slow. Ones lung capacity to bring in O2 and get rid of CO2 is a major factor in the making of muscle energy and eliminating the unwanted byproducts.
Just stop. This doesn't even make it to the level of pseudoscience.
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Old 10-19-23, 10:40 AM
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I'm a little surprised at the blow back I'm getting about making the statement that my legs were feeling like stumps and wondered if I wasn't blowing off CO2 efficiently. Would it have been better if I said that I wondered if I wasn't breathing in enough oxygen?

O2 in and CO2 out go hand in hand for most of the bodies processes. Stop one or both and those processes quickly become inefficient or halt. Just try to hold your breath for 20 seconds as you do a short 4% grade at 20 plus mph. I will have taken at least 10 to 14 breaths in that amount of time and effort.

Lactic acid buildup was mentioned. Though that's been claimed in some studies not to be the actual culprit of pain or cramping. But lactic acid buildup in the muscles is taken care of by blood moving O2 in and CO2 out of the muscles as well as all the other required things. The Krebs cycle shows that CO2 is a byproduct of turning glucose into energy. So to let that build up would likely be a bad thing.

Maybe some of you that I was claiming some magical and detrimental property to CO2. I wasn't. Mainly I was just musing that maybe my lungs aren't in all that great of a shape. Though my doctors don't find them bad. I've grown up with friends and family that smoked heavily so I was always getting second hand smoke from birth, and I've also worked in some pretty dusty environments that do give me cause to worry about cancer and silicosis.

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Old 10-19-23, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
I'm a little surprised at the blow back I'm getting about making the statement that my legs were feeling like stumps and wondered if I wasn't blowing off CO2 efficiently. Would it have been better if I said that I wondered if I wasn't breathing in enough oxygen?

Most people wouldn’t associate stiffening legs toward the end of a ride with poor aerobic conditioning.
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Old 10-22-23, 11:26 AM
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Conditioning that matters is 4 to 6 weeks prior to the event. You were woefully short. As the event approaches, one tapers longer distance and adds short high power efforts that maintain aerobic condition but top up anaerobic capability. On event day, you want to go in with both aerobic and anaerobic capability. This is especially true if you are riding with a group. I suspect there were some accelerations, small power climbs and etc that burned your matches and created fatigue. Once that happens, it is hard to "stay in" the group. I understand this was a group of your peers but I find it hard to believe that the terrain and the wind did not provide some tougher sections where your peers were in shape to handle it and you were not.

The next time, plan farther in advance and put in the endurance rides required for the anticipated distance and pace, taper and add in power intervals but not too much before the event.
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Old 10-22-23, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
I'm a little surprised at the blow back I'm getting about making the statement that my legs were feeling like stumps and wondered if I wasn't blowing off CO2 efficiently. Would it have been better if I said that I wondered if I wasn't breathing in enough oxygen?

O2 in and CO2 out go hand in hand for most of the bodies processes. Stop one or both and those processes quickly become inefficient or halt. Just try to hold your breath for 20 seconds as you do a short 4% grade at 20 plus mph. I will have taken at least 10 to 14 breaths in that amount of time and effort.

Lactic acid buildup was mentioned. Though that's been claimed in some studies not to be the actual culprit of pain or cramping. But lactic acid buildup in the muscles is taken care of by blood moving O2 in and CO2 out of the muscles as well as all the other required things. The Krebs cycle shows that CO2 is a byproduct of turning glucose into energy. So to let that build up would likely be a bad thing.

Maybe some of you that I was claiming some magical and detrimental property to CO2. I wasn't. Mainly I was just musing that maybe my lungs aren't in all that great of a shape. Though my doctors don't find them bad. I've grown up with friends and family that smoked heavily so I was always getting second hand smoke from birth, and I've also worked in some pretty dusty environments that do give me cause to worry about cancer and silicosis.
The problem is that you are associating your deficiency on that ride to your aerobic capacity, when it was the conditioning of your muscles that was insufficient.

Your emphasis on O2 (product) and CO2 (reactant) causing muscle fatigue is misdirected, but you are apparently determined to believe in these fictions. There's not much the rest of us can do but to repeat that you need to ride more.
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Old 10-22-23, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan
The problem is that you are associating your deficiency on that ride to your aerobic capacity, when it was the conditioning of your muscles that was insufficient.

Your emphasis on O2 (product) and CO2 (reactant) causing muscle fatigue is misdirected, but you are apparently determined to believe in these fictions. There's not much the rest of us can do but to repeat that you need to ride more.
Absolutely, we should all just ride more!
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