Quality of miles vs. Quantity of miles

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Roy Keane, Aug 19, 2006.

  1. Roy Keane

    Roy Keane New Member

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    Hi everyone -

    On a long ride (for me, a long ride is 30 miles), I'll average between 14-15 MPH. 30 miles is my wall at the moment so, by the end, I'm out of gas on the way home (12-14 mph for the last 2 miles or so) - I've been experimenting with food/gels/drinks to try and improve this.

    Am I better off putting in the miles, no matter how slow they end up, or am I better off doing shorter rides at a higher average speed (say 16 mph), and not adding extra miles until I can maintain a higher average speed.

    PS - my goal right now is weight loss, if that makes an impact on your answer. I'm 208 lbs at the moment...500 bike miles ago, I was 240
     
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  2. Future-pro

    Future-pro New Member

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    I personally find that quality miles are better for the type of racing I do which are mainly time trials mostly 10 miles at the moment. A typical training ride for me would be around 22 miles averaging 19-20 mph for the first half then increasing my speed to 21-23 mph for the second half.
     
  3. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    For weight loss and general fitness, I'd say time in the saddle is definitely more important than the speed you travel. A couple 1 hr rides during the week, and 2-3 hour rides on the weekends will do the trick in a matter of months.

    It's preferable to simply slow down (or even take short, periodic breaks) before cutting the ride short.
     
  4. DennistheMennis

    DennistheMennis New Member

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    frenchyge is right on the money. Ideally you'll ride very long distances very slowly. That way your body can burn enough fat to keep up with your muscle's demands for energy. In the real world that's hard to do, because some grandma will pass you and your ego will take over... you get the idea!

    Since you run out of gas at 30 miles I'd guess you're not eating enough before/during the ride. Slow down if you want to ride longer, or eat enough to allow you to maintain the pace you want for the duration you want to ride. You might consider eating some good carbs before the ride; about 200g should do for your weight. Then keep drinking your energy drink instead of just water. The modest carbs may be just enough to allow you to keep burning almost only fat for a longer time.

    Or, just keep doing what you're doing. If speed doesn't matter then you're losing lots of weight already.
     
  5. Roy Keane

    Roy Keane New Member

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    Thanks everyone for your replies.

    I've had some good success, in terms of keeping my energy up for 30 miles, by changing the way I eat, as some have suggested. On a 30 mile ride, I'll eat a Cliff Bar 1/2 hour before I start, a packet of GU at 15 miles, and water or energy drink all the way through. So far, it has made a big difference in my ability to finish a lot stronger.
     
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