Long Distance training help?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Mantana, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. Mantana

    Mantana New Member

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    Im pretty new to the road biking world, I started riding at the beginning of last summer, but I have done a lot of mountain biking, anyway

    Im planning a multi-state biking trip in august and Im am looking for tips on how to train to get me in the best condition sot it in the next 3 1/2 months, any workout routines or past experiences would be greatly appreciated
     
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  2. jpr95

    jpr95 Active Member

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    Lots of miles.

    You're not training for a race, so you don't need all the technical training stuff. Just ride until you can sustain 10-15 MPH for up to 6-8 hours at a time. If you don't have much time during the week, you can do shorter rides (1-1.5 hours), but push yourself a little more, then on the weekends, ride a little easier, but for much greater times/distances.

    Jason
     
  3. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Mantana, Do you have any details on the bike trip that you'll be taking? Stuff like average miles per day, what type of terrain etc etc would be handy. The traditional approach is to go out and ride for many hours, often at a fairly easy pace. While this does get you used to sitting in the saddle for many hours and burns through a bunch of calories it doesn't really illicit any big training adaptations. I'm assuming at this point that you can ride your bike for at least an hour with no difficulty. If this isn't the case then let us know. Find a pace that will require concentration to maintain and requires some noticeable effort - something where a conversation is somewhat difficult but not impossible and start out at around 90 minutes and take it from there. If 90 minutes is easy then try 2 hours. Depending on how you're fixed for time you can either go longer at the same effort or faster for the same time as fitness improves - or mix up the sessions and have some 3 hour ones and some slightly faster 2 hour ones. During all this you'll need to take on food and liquids during the ride. Food wise, carbohydrate rich foods and maybe some protein with some water or electrolyte drink or you could just use a drink such as Hammer Perpetuem which will take care of your needs in one go. Follow the directions on the side of the container and Do Not try to replace all the calories at fluids that you lose while on the bike otherwise you will be having much fun sitting on the toilet mid ride. 250kcals per hour would be a reasonable maximum figure. Follow the guidelines for the product and maybe try a little less. You'll know during training if you went too low but if you cut back and it still works then you might have reduced the chance of stomach issues like bloating and gas or worse. If it's an organized bike tour, see if you can find out what drinks/food will be provided ahead of time and use the same brand if possible. If it's a self organized trip then at least that part will be easy ;) If the trip includes some long days 6+ hours then make sure you do one or two rides of similar length, not so much for training but mainly to check for other issues that may arise for being on a bike that long. Sometimes simple things that work ok for 2 hours don't work so great for an all day ride. Sore hands, hot feet, saddle/shorts issues and that you food/drink intake is OK but isn't going to cause gastric distress. If you start of at 7am and you're still riding in the heat of the day at 4pm and you're really tired then things can get gnarly. It's good to find these thing out near the solitude of your own home and not in the middle of nowhere, 20 miles from a bathroom...
     
  4. Mantana

    Mantana New Member

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    Thanks for the imput, the trip is going to start in montana and end in southern california so the terrain is going to be a mixture of mountains and flat ground, high and low elevation. I wanted to average at least 100 miles per day, so I was planning on doing longer (6-8 hour) flat road some days mixed with a few shorter but more vertical moutian rides other days.
     
  5. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    A hundred mile per day average is a pretty aggressive goal even if you're fully sagged and traveling unloaded. If you're traveling self contained with loaded touring bikes that's an extremely aggressive target and probably too aggressive unless you regularly ride those kind of daily distances now. A day or two averaging 100 miles per day wipes out a lot of folks but a couple of weeks of that is some huge riding.

    Regardless of your pacing plan, ride a lot as in five or six days per week. Challenge yourself to go longer on some days and go faster on other days but focus on sustained sections of faster riding. IOW, don't go out and sprint or try to make yourself puke for a couple of minutes here and there, just try on your better days to roll a bit faster and hold that higher but not maximal effort for longer times. Try to do a lot of your fastest days at a pace where talking in more than two or three word sentences would be difficult but not at such a high intensity that you're gasping or your breathing becomes ragged or hard to control. So basically brisk and focused but not crazy fast.

    Do that kind of riding on whatever terrain you have including long open flat roads, rolling terrain and big steady climbs and your cycling fitness will improve.

    -Dave
     
  6. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Do you have a route planned?
     
  7. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    I think you really need to do at least one 100 mile day carrying whatever you intend to take on your trip. Sooner rather than later.

    You might find out that your time/distance estimates are unrealistic.

    Yes, I did multi day 100/day trips self supported when I was young. I understand it can be done. But if you have to ask questions, you are not ready for the effort.you think you want to do.
     
  8. Mantana

    Mantana New Member

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    I have a general Idea for I route from MT to Seattle area and then just ride the coast down

    An Old Guy- I understand 100 miles may have been an overstatement and i have averaged my trip out to around 50 a day to make it on time, thanks for the reality check

    I've been riding around 55 miles a day/ 4 days a week (unloaded) for the past few weeks, so I guess I was just looking into things I should be focusing on right now to help prepare.
     
  9. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    The advice thus far has been very good.

    The difficult part with regard to these trips is recovery. The better you recover, the easier your trip will be. If you're going to cycle on average 50 miles per day, you need to be able to recover
    each day for 20 days (assuming that you want to get this trip finished in the minimum time).

    So you need to get your body acclimatised both to expending energy for a prolonged period of days and you need to get your body conditioned to sitting there on a bike for 20 days.

    Hours on the bike is probably the only surefire way to achieve both objectives.

    Good luck!
     
  10. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    If you are doing 55 miles a day 4 days a week, I expect you are in good enough condition to do your ride. You will "ride into condition" during your trip - you will get stronger as you go.

    At 55 miles a day you already have experience in what foods and drinks you like.

    I would like to add one suggestion: try to get used to riding picking up food and drink at the types of stores you expect to find along your route. I have become used to cooling off with the hoses at gas stations or houses, filling my water bottles at sinks in convenience stores, and enjoying chocolate milk and the occasional doughnut. Nutrition can wait for sit down meals.
     
  11. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    If you're planning on sticking to the coastal areas of California then it shouldn't be all that hot when you roll through in a few months but trek about 40 miles inland, especially in the Sacramento and San Joaquim valleys and you'll be feeling the heat. Mid July through the end of September, 100+F days are not uncommon and that kind of heat for weeks at a time are not unheard of either.

    Staying coastal will mean that you'll miss out on some of the best places the State has to offer for cycling roads. The roads around the Napa valley are ace, as are the roads around Lake Tahoe and the eastern Sierras south of Tahoe on 395 and the big mountain passes such as Monitor and Ebbetts, Sonora, Tioga (which will get you across the hills into Yosemite and the central valley area) are just breathtaking in more ways than one and the traffic is very light.
     
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