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Old 11-05-10, 06:29 PM   #1
Tall Cool One
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R.A.I.N. Ride Across Indiana Training

This is my first year as a cyclist. I have put in about 1800 road miles since March. My longest ride I did this summer was 65 miles.

My plan is to do the Hilly Hundred in the fall of 2011 and maybe try a century if I am feeling really good next summer. Then in either 2012 or 2013 (probably 2013), I am planning on attempting R.A.I.N. R.A.I.N. is a 160 mile ride through central Indiana from the Indiana/Illinois border to the Indiana/Ohio border.

I have some questions about how to go about training for an event like R.A.I.N. I'm not looking to race the event. I just want to be able to complete and enjoy the event.

How much weekly mileage should I work up to?

Also, is adding 10% per week the way to go?

How many centuries should I complete in the spring and early summer prior to the event in mid-July?
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Old 11-06-10, 01:45 PM   #2
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Well 160 miles is a bunch in a day. To do that, you need to be able to ride for LONG periods of time comfortably. You should also get to the point where a century is a pretty easy ride (just to give you an idea). You don't have to go that fast. They were talking about doing 14 mph in about 12 hours (on the bike). You will not be able to be ON THE BIKE the whole time. You will get off to relieve yourself, rest your contact points (feet, rear, and hands), eat, and refill on water.

You will need to do some LONG rides. After doing a certain distance, you will deplete your glycogen and be running on half power because you are burning fat. That slows you down and it also makes you feel kind of sluggish. It is a feeling you need to get comfortable with.
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Old 11-11-10, 06:59 PM   #3
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FWIW, I've attempted and finished RAIN twice.

I think you can go past the 10% guidline depending on how hard you ride. All advice is personal..but I went from 3000 mi one year to 6,000 the next with no problems.

I would agree that a century should be easy by the time you attempt RAIN. If you can ride a century one weekend and be able to ride another the next you'll be ok. You should be able to go 40 miles between stops on your centuries.
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Old 11-11-10, 07:57 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Tall Cool One View Post
How much weekly mileage should I work up to?
How much time to you have? The more hours the better.

Also, is adding 10% per week the way to go?
A few years ago when I started riding I went from 0 to 300km/wk within a month and continue to average roughly that amount with varying intensity. I think the 10% is probably more important for running. Cycling is easier on the body and provided you don't have any pain while cycling there's no reason not to ramp up faster than 10%/wk when you're starting from a low number.

How many centuries should I complete in the spring and early summer prior to the event in mid-July?
It depends how much you like riding centuries. Personally, I seldom ride more than 5 hrs but it's due to lack of interest rather than lack of fitness.
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Old 11-11-10, 08:29 PM   #5
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Part of your long distance training is learning how to take care of your body on a long ride. Knowing how much to drink and eat, and what to drink and eat, is as important IMO as being physically prepared to ride the distance. Everyone is different in this regard, and you have to learn what works for you.

You need to get to where you can not only finish a century, but you can finish a century without being dehydrated and out of gas. Otherwise that last 60 is going to be brutal if not impossible.

My rule of thumb to never do a ride that's more than 50% longer than anything you've previously finished comfortably. Another is don't go on a single ride that's longer than a typical week of training. So, don't do a century until you can do 66 easily, and don't do a century until you're regularly riding 100 miles a week. Rules of thumb, YMMV, etc. Listen to your body and don't make yourself miserable.

In the last year I went from a longest ride of 125 miles to a longest ride of 370 miles. Some of the above I learned the hard way
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Old 11-12-10, 11:37 AM   #6
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Learning to fuel your body during 160 miles is very important. Rain will more than likely be very hot, so having a plan for fueling yourself and practicing it in rides leading up will help a ton.
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Old 11-14-10, 10:53 AM   #7
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I am a 4 time RAIN finisher, best time was 2009 in 83rd place @ 7:38. I am riding centuries in March, which is easier to do here in NC than other locales. I also do interval training in Comp-U-Trainer classes during the winter, and ride in a local business park 2 nights a week during the winter with the crit riders for additional interval type training. 2012 will not be difficult for you to complete RAIN if you are building up your LD miles all along the way. I would suggest doing at least one century in May preceding the event, at least 2 in June, or 1 plus a double metric (120 mi.) and one early in July.

I'd try to get at least one 4 hour effort in on the weekends begining in March, when not riding in a measured 100 mi. or greater effort, just to get used to the saddle time (7+ hrs). Two efforts like that would be better. At least one interval type session during each week is also helpful, especially if you can do a club or group ride with riders faster than you, so as to get both the threshhold fitness and experience of riding in a group. Learning to hold a wheel is a valuable skill in a 160 mile ride!
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