So I'm thinking about long distance cycling.

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Al3xx, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. Al3xx

    Al3xx New Member

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    So I've seen a lot about distance cycling and I've been thinking about starting myself. I am 18 and love to ride my Fixie(not a hipster) and want to start taking longer and longer bike rides. I'm hoping to be able to buy a bike that is more suitable for long distances. In the next 5-10 years I also want to ride it the Great Divide Tour. It's about 2,700 miles. My question is what should I do, or not do, to help myself be able to take on such tasks? I've never risen more than 10 miles on my bike but want to be able to ride about 50. If you have any advice I would greatly appreciate it.
     
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  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Basically ride a lot as in ride as many days a week as you can even if some of those are just easy rides getting around town and such. Try to cover more distance or cover the same distance faster on days when you feel good, take it easy or take a complete day off on days when you don't feel good. When you do go faster focus on steady pacing above your comfort zone but not gut busting short sprints, IOW get yourself breathing deeply and steadily at a pace that takes concentration to maintain but doesn't totally trash you or leave you gasping in a few minutes. Don't ride hard like that every day, save it for the days you feel really good and not more than a few times per week.

    That's pretty much it, that and stick with it for months and or years don't get frustrated if the results don't come real quickly as this stuff takes time.

    You can ride like that on your fixie if you carry a patch kit and some water and maybe food and some cash in your pockets to grab a bite to eat while out on longer rides. Sure you can open up more varied terrain on a bike with a range of useable gears but start with the bike you have and build from there.

    Good luck,
    -Dave
     
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  3. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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    its good to start thinking in terms of hours instead of miles, 2 hours is a good workout in general, you will get a grasp of how many hours takes you to ride a given mileage in a specific terrain, like totally flat, flat with a couple of hills in between, straight forward climbing, etc so then you can divide those 2700 miles into a daily schedule where you will know how many hours you need to spend on the saddle every day, and if you had done it in training then you can do it in the actual race/tour of the grand divide !
     
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  4. Hillrider

    Hillrider Banned

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    You need proper sleep nutrition and motivation
     
  5. Al3xx

    Al3xx New Member

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    Thanks guys for the advice. It helps a lot!
     
  6. Al3xx

    Al3xx New Member

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    I was also wondering. What do you guys like to wear when you are 'training' and what do you guys eat and drink before, during, and after?
     
  7. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    I wear comfortable cycling clothes which basically means shorts that have a chamois to increase saddle comfort and reduce the incidence of saddle sores. I usually wear lycra cycling shorts but also have some MTB style shorts that look pretty normal but have a built in chamois that works for more casual riding. I also tend to wear cycling jerseys that breathe well and don't get soaked with sweat like a cotton t-shirt would and have pockets in the back to hold my wallet, some food, perhaps a lightweight rain shell during questionable weather.

    What to eat before, during and after is a huge topic but on the bike eat what you like and hopefully eat things that are pretty easy to digest at least if you're riding hard. IOW, heavy foods may not go down so well as you're slugging up a big climb in the hot sun so pick stuff you can actually eat while working relatively hard. That could be fresh fruit like bananas or oranges, it could be dried fruit like figs or even fig newtons, it could be commercial energy foods like Powerbars, Shot Blocks, GU or any of the numerous other stuff sold for just his purpose. And definitely carry water or drinks like Gatorade, Cytomax, Iced Tea with sugar or any other drinks that will help you stay hydrated and ideally supply some electrolytes though that's less important if you're also eating while riding.

    Overall diet is a huge topic, but minimize junk food and eat enough to fuel your cycling. Make sure you eat when you get back from longer or harder rides. That first half hour after getting off the bike is a very smart time to eat and drink a bit as your body will use those calories very well post ride. Typical post ride refueling is something like low fat chocolate milk, a fruit smoothie with some protein powder or yogurt added, some fruit and maybe a sandwich or other quick meals that are easy to digest and have a lot of carbs with some protein.

    But a lot of that advice is fine tuning. Start by just riding on a daily basis and stretching some rides when you can.

    -Dave
     
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  8. Hillrider

    Hillrider Banned

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    I like to wear knee length shorts that are loose and boxer. if im shaffing i move stuff around, also i jack up the shorts and its freeing.

    I typically eat porridge as soon as i wake up, then i will have some bacon and some pancakes. digest, go ride. this gives tons of energy for the days ride.

    I fill a water bottle 500 ml of water in that and always use a hydration pack with another 1 L or so of cold water in it. The hydration pack keep upper body strength good to some limited degree and allows drinking water spur of the moment like before and on a hill. water is a source of energy in cycling to me.
    once my supply runs out its time to stop at a store and grab a gatorade this provides simple carbs to end the bike with energy and also starts replenishing spent carbohydrates.

    once i am home its a race to shower and then immediately some simple/complex carbs incorporating bread, a protien shake usually, a piece of fruit. light stretching to keep knots from forming anywhere.

    i look over my bike and think about any issues that i experienced on the ride and how to overcome them and fix any problems, i find it best and motivating to do this after the ride so i dont forget any of them.

    after, usually i incorporate some spinach (vitamin A) some more protiens like fish or chicken with some bread. some fruits and vegetables. maybe a vitamin pill and some milk, before bed its yogourt. ALso my favorite is some dried peas and some lentils boiled up in a soupish form, i eat that stuff plain or with some pepper in it, soup form with bread. that stuffs wonder food, its like vegetables protien and antioxidents all in one and it even tastes good and i look forward to my bowl of gruel, i eat this stuff as snacks whenever i feel my body needs food.

    O and the most important. You have to lift some weights for upper body strength maintenance, this means different things to different people. I like to lift heavy one day or light and lots of reps another, whatever i am feeling that day and what feels good. Its essential in cycling otherwise you lose upper body strength because of the nature of cycling on your whole body, its almost like the muscle building and maintenance of your lower body robs your upper body so you got to do it to keep it.
     
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  9. Al3xx

    Al3xx New Member

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    So I've been doing good. About 1 hour rides every day or so. My bake land handle it (that's what I get for getting a cheap bike) but I'm working on getting a mult-geared road bike in the next month or so so that will be good. Just want to thank everyone for the advice. It's helped a lot! I hope you all the best on your cycled adventures!
     
  10. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    What Dave said...

    There's two ways to help skin this cat. You need to ride further and you need to ride faster. At the end of the day you need to do both. Don't just concentrate on riding at 15 mph for 7 hours, spend at least an hour per week where you're balls to the wall and riding at the limit. Eventually this will help "pull up" your cruising speed. There's a lot written about 20 minute intervals.

    Andy Coggan wrote a great PowerPoint presentation about pursuit training. Google it. Apart from the final month or two of specific pursuit training you'd do well following a similar schedule. When you get a couple of years under your belt, distance just becomes a matter of what percentage of your 1 and 2 hour "power" you can ride at for a given number of hours. If you can't do 22 mph for an hour, you're not going to be cruising at 20mph all day on the road. That 'power' will translate to the Great Divide too if you're doing the MTB ride.

    As crazy as it may sound for someone with a fixie - I'd make your next purchases a road bike that fits and a power meter. The bike doesn't need to be anything fancy. Fit is key - not the machine itself. The Power Meter - as long as it's a reputable brand it's all good, PowerTap, Quark, SRM....
     
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  11. Al3xx

    Al3xx New Member

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    I know it's been a little while but it's time for an update. I have a new bike. It's a mountain bike but it feels pretty comfortable to ride say 10, 15 miles. I have fit the bike and it feels really good. I've started riding say 5 miles at about 90% this last week at a pretty decent heat ratio and it's already getting easier. Last week I went on what I call a long bike ride. It was about 23 miles and here is a link to the overview of the ride. http://www.mapmyride.com/workout/386635965 It felt good but there was a large hill towards the end and it killed me. I had to get off my bike and walk because I couldn't go any ferther. Granted I only drank about 40oz of water which is not what I needed for the ride. Is there anything that I can do to help me get over those hills and still have some power to keep going?
     
  12. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Ride more hills.
     
  13. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    Quote: Originally Posted by Al3xx .

    It's a mountain bike but it feels pretty comfortable to ride say 10, 15 miles.

    It felt good but there was a large hill towards the end and it killed me. I had to get off my bike and walk because I couldn't go any ferther.

    Most of riding is showing up.

    Lower gears and more time on the bike will help with the hills. If you walk some now or on your long ride, so be it. It gets the job done.

    Hard efforts are good only in that they condition your heart. That is where your power comes from. If you want to train effectively, keep your heart rate up. Go out and do the same hill again it will be easier.

    ---

    You want to do a 2700 mile bike ride. That is a good ride. 54 50 mile days. But after a couple days, you will have nothing to do but ride. You will be doing 10-12 hours on your bike. Eating and sleeping the rest of the time. And you will be enjoying it.

    A lot of people just start a ride like this and get themselves in shape during the ride.
     
  14. Al3xx

    Al3xx New Member

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    Th las for the advice. It will definable help. Funny little story. A little while ago I was riding home from a friends house on my mountain bike and it has been raining for the last week. But earlier it was pouring. I have not gone all out lately and when I did I hit some puddles and started to hydroplane a little. It was quite fun. I don't know if this has happened to any of you but it was quite an adventure.
     
  15. Al3xx

    Al3xx New Member

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    So I'm doing pretty well. I was able to ride 14mph for an hour with hills and such but I have some problems. First, when I ride one of my knees make a side to side motion. When ever the pedal is at the climax, my knee goes in and when I push it down it goes out. Second I was wondering if upstanding to SPD pedals would be good for a mountain bike. I've looked and I'm thinking about going with the Forté Campus Pedals SKU #00-1473. They are Single side Spd with a platform on the other. If you have any advise that would be nice.
     
  16. serhiypopoff

    serhiypopoff Member

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    Long distances are very good for cleaning your body by nature elements. Why not ? I did it several times. So good fillings after the event! Especially in a day after a finish. Here's a link to complete report for 1772 km long randonne Uzhhorod-Kyiv-Uzhhorod, 26-31 macrh 2018. Ukraine. http://peloton.com.ua/forum/blog.php?u=113&b=2068
     
  17. DenisP

    DenisP Member

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    Well the obvious answer is ride your bike, then continue riding, and once you think you're done riding, ride some more.

    The key to any form of endurance training is maintaining a constant level of physical effort over an extended period of time--I mean, that's what endurance essentially is. Once you feel too comfortable at a certain level, it's time to level up and make things difficult again.

    One thing I do have to say though is you should probably check with a physician first before getting into any sort of intensive endurance training. A underlying heart condition can prove to be extremely dangerous, if not fatal, under the strain of endurance training, so you should make sure you're in healthy condition before getting into it.
     
  18. reighn

    reighn Member

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    I think just ride your bike everyday, and condition your self for a year. Well, you're young and I know it's easy for you to do that goal. Proper exercise and diet also will help a lot. Develop your cardio, don't use any vices.
     
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