What is a realistic "base" for me?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Gingerbread Man, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. Gingerbread Man

    Gingerbread Man New Member

    Jul 30, 2007
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    I am a 41 yr old newbie who has been cycling for about 8 months on a MTB with slicks around the Wiltshire (UK) countryside. In the last few days I bought an old Giant TCR (2002) which I love.

    On the MTB I got up to about 30-40 miles per week. A couple of weeks ago I rode 43 miles in 3hrs 20mins (avg speed 13mph) and a more pacy ride of 15.4 miles in one hour.

    I want to work towards completing my "base" training.

    Aged 41, now on a road bike, what would be reasonable criteria for me to meet in order to conclude I have completed my "base training" ?
    * able to ride 50 miles at an easy pace
    * doing 100 miles per week
    * average speed 18mph on a flat, 1 hour ride

    These are my ideas to help provoke advice but I really dont know what I should be aiming for, other than longer and faster (which doesnt help me much!).

    I dont get to ride at the weekends but I do get Mon to Thu evenings free since I work away and I can also do the 18 mile commute to work (if that helps with my training?). I plan to roll up for a 16mph, 2 hr club ride next week (for the first time) however the mid-week club rides will stop in the next few weeks anyway - leaving me solo again.

    Any input welcome.



  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

    Oct 3, 2006
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    What are your cycling goals? For instance are you after general recreation and fitness or perhaps you want to do organized day tours and things like century rides or charity rides (e.g. 50 to 100 miles with food stops along the way) or do you have an interest in competing in some form of cycling?

    The answers to those questions (and they may change over time) helps define 'base' training. IOW, base training for a racer basically is a foundation of endurance and aerobic fitness (sustainable power) that represents a foundation on top of which race specific fitness like hard short intervals and sprinting is added. For a fitness oriented cyclist all riding may be considered 'base' as it's just getting on the bike and challenging your body to adapt to longer and or quicker riding but there's no point in the year where you'd necessarily switch to things like gut busting one minute hill repeats or structured sprint workouts. Similar story for someone interested in one day sportifs and century rides though they may do some specific hill work or other things to address the challenges of longer days in the saddle.

    So basically figure out what you'd like to get out of cycling and it'll help you figure out what you need to put into it.

    But as a starter, do what you've described. Ride more, ride higher paces (for sustained efforts of 10 to fifteen minutes or more as opposed to short crazy hard make ya puke style work) on days when you feel good or have some nice open roads to work with and your basic fitness will improve which hopefully is one of your goals regardless of where else you'd like to take your cycling.

    Good luck,