training advice-beginner



rparedes

New Member
Jul 21, 2007
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I have been road biking for about three years. It started as a "fitness" thing since I can not run as much now but I got more into it and now I'm "hooked". I did my first century about 1 month ago; very hilly terrain and finished in 6.5 hours. I did fairly well until the last 20 miles, when I started to run out of steam and especially at the very last climb, 10% grade- 1/2 mile long, I BARELY managed to make it.
I can only ride three days per week and have decided I need a PLAN for my next century. Every article I've read requires more riding days combined with rest days. Since I can only ride on consecutive days (typically, Fri, Sat & Sun) I try to ride as long as I can. My typical ride is 30-40 miles and I try to do lots of hills; there is also a short, fast (for me anyway; average about 19 miles/hr) group ride on Saturday mornings (20 miles). During the off days I run, do yoga and do some weight work. Sometimes, if I'm lucky, I'm able to "sneak in" a short ride during the week.
I'm 56 years old and weight 168; 5-10 tall. (I know: could use loosing about 8 or 10 lbs)
My goal is to increase speed and try to finish in 6 hrs or less on my next century (about 2 months away)
My questions are:
Are they any training plans that only have 3 consecutive riding days?
Should I add interval training?
What's the best way to maximize the benefit of my 3-4 riding days?
What's the best way to increase pace for longer periods of time?

thanks in advance
 

Piotr

New Member
Jan 29, 2007
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rparedes said:
I have been road biking for about three years. It started as a "fitness" thing since I can not run as much now but I got more into it and now I'm "hooked". I did my first century about 1 month ago; very hilly terrain and finished in 6.5 hours. I did fairly well until the last 20 miles, when I started to run out of steam and especially at the very last climb, 10% grade- 1/2 mile long, I BARELY managed to make it.
I can only ride three days per week and have decided I need a PLAN for my next century. Every article I've read requires more riding days combined with rest days. Since I can only ride on consecutive days (typically, Fri, Sat & Sun) I try to ride as long as I can. My typical ride is 30-40 miles and I try to do lots of hills; there is also a short, fast (for me anyway; average about 19 miles/hr) group ride on Saturday mornings (20 miles). During the off days I run, do yoga and do some weight work. Sometimes, if I'm lucky, I'm able to "sneak in" a short ride during the week.
I'm 56 years old and weight 168; 5-10 tall. (I know: could use loosing about 8 or 10 lbs)
My goal is to increase speed and try to finish in 6 hrs or less on my next century (about 2 months away)
My questions are:
Are they any training plans that only have 3 consecutive riding days?
Should I add interval training?
What's the best way to maximize the benefit of my 3-4 riding days?
What's the best way to increase pace for longer periods of time?

thanks in advance

I think your best bet is to ride in L3 (zone 3) as much as possible and try to increase the time on the bike AT THAT LEVEL every weekend. I don't mean riding 5-6 hrs at L2 pace, but 2-3 hrs at L3 pace. It will teach your muscles to store and utilize fuel which is key to success in long rides. I can't emphasize enough the benefits of Sweet Spot Training (SST) for long term improvement in sustainable power. Since you only ride 3 days/week, being well rested before the event is unlikely to be an issue. Also, study up on proper nutrition. You can start here. Make sure to search this forum for any threads pertaining to centuries as I've seen quite a few in the past and they're full of good info.
 

daveryanwyoming

Well-Known Member
Oct 3, 2006
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+1 on Piotr's reply, do mid length rides at solid Tempo/SST intensity possibly including some pure Threshold work for sections along the way.

The biggest issue is your 3 consecutive day riding plan or more accurately the 4 consecutive days off the bike each week. A big part of fitness/adaptation is training frequency or how often you get a decent workout. It sounds like you use running and some yoga and weights on your non riding days, that's good news. Specifically I'd suggest organizing your week so you get some moderate to high end sustained cardiovascular work spread evenly throughout your week.

IOW, try to plan those runs to fill the gap between your bike sessions so that you don't have too many consecutive days without solid aerobic work and do those runs at Tempo or Threshold pace ideally for at least 20 sustained minutes and ideally half an hour or more at a solid running pace per workout.

If you can run two days a week in addition to your three cycling days I'd try to set it up so you have a three day riding block, an aerobic rest day, two running days (or maybe one run and one yoga day if it's of the more dynamic and aerobic variety, yoga varies...), another aerobic rest day and back to the three day cycling block.

Anyway, 3 consecutive days isn't ideal if it means 4 consecutive total rest days but you should be able to train nicely and see good gains as long as you bridge the training gap with some solid midweek aerobic work even if it can't be on the bike.

Good luck,
-Dave
 

dhk2

Well-Known Member
Aug 8, 2006
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Suggest you try to work in at least 2 or 3 rides of 65-70 miles before your next century. Wouldn't worry too much about intervals or speed; just get out a do some longer rides to get your body used to the distance.

During the event, start easy and save something for those last 20 miles. My experience has been that many riders go out too hard on big event rides, only to cramp or fade in the second half. Don't worry about your finish time; save that stuff for the future. Just concentrate on finishing strong, staying pain-free, and having fun. Besides, breaking 6 hours means a 17 mph average, which means you'll have to be cruising at least 18-20 on the flats......pretty decent for even veteran 56 yr old riders on a hilly course.