Newbie - Training for 15 mile race

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Rawhide, Aug 11, 2004.

  1. Rawhide

    Rawhide New Member

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    Hi All,

    1st time poster and I don't even own a bike (yet).

    Thinking of doing my first Tri (sprint) in exactly one month. The cycle leg is 15 miles. In general, this should not be a problem, but want to ensure I don't embarrass myself.

    Once I buy a bike (this weekend), I need to get in some miles and apply some formal training before the race.

    Of course, I have no clue as to what to do to train, other than go out at least 15 miles a few times so I can get used to the distance.

    Is there anything in particular I should do, not do, and or focus on ?

    I don't want to under or over train as I only have a month to go and need to use my time wisely. Some general questions are:

    How long should my rides be and at what pace/rpms ?

    How often should I ride per week ?

    As an FYI, I'm a 40 y/o male weighing 220lbs. I run between 20 & 30 miles per week, with an avergae run being 5 miles in about 50 minutes. I also do intervals and some tempo runs.

    I am truly clueless as to how to prepare for the cycle portion of the event, other than to just get some time on the bike and some miles under me.

    Any suggestions/schedules would be appreciated. Thanks
     
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  2. jon_stewart

    jon_stewart New Member

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    Sorry Rawhide, This is totally OT


    Hey everybody, at least he's not trying for the Athens Olympics!:D
     
  3. sparkywowo

    sparkywowo New Member

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    I can give you my 2 cents, but, it would be easier if you answer a few questions:
    1) Do you live in the city or country? Do you have a good place to ride 5-10 miles, 10-20 miles?
    2) Is it hilly?
    3) How much $$ do you expect to spend on a bike?
    4) How much $$ do you expect to spend on accessories: helmet, gloves, shorts, goggles/glasses, shoes, fix-a-flat and tools, water bottle, speedometer, heart rate monitor...? You are going to have to budget at least $100 for this kind of stuff.
    5) How often do you see yourself riding during the next month, the rest of the year, and the next year and a half? For example, 30 miles a week and increasing thereafter /or/ 30 miles a week, take the winter off and then decide whether or not to restart.
    6) Do you want to do the TRI for the challenge of completing it or to really try to hit a personal best? I would go for comfort and practicality over performance features on a bike. What is your take on it?
    7) How tall are you?
     
  4. Rawhide

    Rawhide New Member

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    Hi & Thanks for the reply-

    I'll answer your questions in the order they are posted:

    1 & 2 )I live in the country & have no problem getting out 26 miles plus on routes that have numerous, moderately inclined hills of different lengths. The only thing holding me back from doing a 50 mile+ ride is my physical limitations
    (lack of cycling endurance)

    3) I'll end up spending about $1,500 for a bike ( I found a new 2002 Cannondale R2000IS at a well known bike shop that I'm being fitted for today )

    4) I'll end up spending another $400 - $500 on peddles, shoes, computerw/cadence counter& speed/miles, H20 racks,helmet, tools,

    5) For the rest of this year, I hope to ride about 30 - 50 miles per week until the snows flies, then more when next spring rolls around.

    6) I want to doa TRI for the challenge and to get a bench mark for my next Tri - I am getting bored with just running and need to cross train. I have found that registering for an event drives me to train harder and more regularly. Besides, anybody can runa road race, but it takes balls to enter and complete a TRI.

    7) I am 5'9", a reletively solid 220lbs, striving to get to 200lbs - 210lbs by xmas.

     
  5. sparkywowo

    sparkywowo New Member

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    Looks like you have all the equipment + place to ride covered pretty well.

    This is just my opinion from my own riding, which is more for fitness than for competition, but, I think it is pretty sensible.

    1) Look online and find some information on how your bike is supposed to be fitted. The shop will get you the proper frame size, and crank length for your height. But, you will need to fine tune things after you start riding. 1/4" in seat height can make a noticeable difference in comfort. Make sure the seat is comfortable to your tastes. And, don't underestimate a well padded pair of gloves. Initially you won't be on your bike hours a day. However, a sore butt or numb hands aren't pleasant. You may also need to slightly adjust the cleats on your shoes.

    2) I think the main thing you should do for starters is "learn how to shift". Do not just put it into a high gear and start pounding away trying to ride as fast as possible. Since you will have Cadence on your computer, shoot for 90-100 rpm on the flat and +60 rpm on the hills. Say you are riding a flat section at 90 rpm and the road starts to slope up gently, shift to the next lower gear to keep your cadence up. Although your speed will drop, you should be working at about the same intensity. Shift frequently as needed. Also, learn to notice the following when you're in the opposite scenario, the road starts to slope down gently (or you are increasing your speed). Shift to the next higher gear as you start to pick up speed, but since your cadence will now drop slightly, back off just a bit and smoothly apply pressure to keep increasing your speed.

    3) Try riding 10 miles more-or-less non stop at an easy to moderate pace (60-70% of Maximum Heart Rate, not breathing hard). Give it a spin this distance at least twice a week, but don't go crazy and start trying to ride 20 or 30 miles every day. Depending on how bumpy the road is you can feel woozy from the pounding. If it is easy for you, keep to 10 miles but pick up the pace a bit. If it is hard, drop back to 8 miles. Shoot for 100 miles under your belt in the next 3 weeks, while getting used to being on your bike, shifting, and fine tuning your fit.

    Be sure to learn how to fix a flat tire just in case. Have fun. Watch out for dogs! And after gaining experience over the next month or so, you will be confident to do more. Best of Luck.
     
  6. Rawhide

    Rawhide New Member

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    Thanks very much for the input - I really appreciate it.
     
  7. sparkywowo

    sparkywowo New Member

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    Howdy,
    So did you get a chance to ride over the weekend?
     
  8. Rawhide

    Rawhide New Member

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    Yes,

    I made my first ride on my new bike on Saturday (a Specialized Allez).

    What a great experience ! As an FYI, this was not a "training" ride, but rather just a recreational spin to get to know the bike. Took my wife along for a neighborhood tour - she rode her mountain bike and struggled to keep up :).

    We went just over 10 miles, and it was great. Stopped at the 1/2 way point for a beer at a freinds house, and then on home.

    I will likely ride hard tonight to get my 1st real bike workout in. Thanks for the inquiry !


     
  9. MaxPrime

    MaxPrime New Member

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    I started out with an Allez as well - good choice!
     
  10. coolworx

    coolworx New Member

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    I believe that qualifies as spousal abuse in some uber-liberal enclaves.

    Plus, if you really want to train for this event, YOU should be riding the fat-tyred, cro-moly Armored Personnel Carrier, so that your speed demon will feel all the lighter on raceday
     
  11. sparkywowo

    sparkywowo New Member

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    Howdy,
    Hope you are still with the program!~
    I have been looking around and haven't had much luck finding a book on training that suits me until yesterday...
    "Fitness Cycling" by Carmichael and Burke.
    You can get it at the library and take a look.
    Has: fitting your bike, stretching, heart zone delineated workouts, and sample regimens. Nice little book, not technical, and certainly written for those who want to ride for fitness without devoting their life to cycling.
    --Mark.
     
  12. Rawhide

    Rawhide New Member

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    Hi,

    Yup, I'm still here. As a matter of fact, my race is tomorrow ! I'm doing a sprint Triathlon, and the cycle leg is a VERY hilly 15 miles.

    I'm very excited - can't wait to see how I react and to see what I have "under the hood". Rode the course twice, once very leasurely, and once with moderate effort. The 2nd time it took me 53 minutes. Hoping to get down to the mid 40's when we race.

    I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks for the feedback.


     
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