I'm a newbie aiming to do 100 miles and need some advice

amcycling
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I'm a newbie aiming to do 100 miles and need some advice

Postby amcycling » 22 Sep 2016, 10:10am

Hi all,

I like a challenge and have set myself the 100 mile goal. I looked at this training guide for advice: http://www.bicycling.com/training/fitness/100-mile-goal. This starts off the preparation on week one with a person being able to do around 13 mph for around two hours. I went cycling yesterday night and just about managed to do just under 10 mph average for around 25 mins only! Any pointers on how to get to the base level the article starts off with? How long will it take? I want to set myself a realistic target.

My background: When I was a kid (30+ years ago) I learnt to ride but never had my own bike so never really rode a bike. I am so new to riding that I am doing some basic drills such as riding slowly, riding in a straight line, emergency stops etc. Also, I'm more of a short burst of power person not endurance. I do weight training, am quite muscular and have more-than-is-healthy body fat %. In summary not the perfect endurance cyclist!

Thanks for any help you can provide.

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Paulatic
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Re: I'm a newbie aiming to do 100 miles and need some advice

Postby Paulatic » 22 Sep 2016, 11:08am

I would say don't get bogged down with reading training plans and target speeds. Just go out and ride your bike when you can and enjoy it.
An example I can give. A number of years ago a couple aged around the 60 mark bought a couple of Raleigh pioneer bikes and began coming out on Discovery rides through winter and early Spring ( 10 or 12 miles ) our CTC club did then.
They then, in the summer, came out on some of the longer 30 or 40 mile rides. They enjoyed it and felt they were doing really well. End of July they turned up for a ride and set off with us all. They hadn't noticed on the ride programme it was a century ride. :) We took our time, stopped when we had the opportunity and they got round. Their elation was priceless as they never in the world thought they could ride 45 yet alone 100 miles.
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Re: I'm a newbie aiming to do 100 miles and need some advice

Postby Vorpal » 22 Sep 2016, 11:17am

Ride your bike as often as you can. Use it for shopping, commuting, running errands, and whatever else you can.

If you can't do that, you do need to get out and ride it several times a week and include some longer rides.

The training plan you linked to is pretty good and if you can get to the point that you can follow it at 10 mph, you will soon improve your speed.

As above, riding with others can help, and don't worry too much about your speed. It will come with miles.
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NUKe
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Re: I'm a newbie aiming to do 100 miles and need some advice

Postby NUKe » 22 Sep 2016, 11:22am

agree with Paulatic don't get hung up on training plans. they are built for athletic types

Just build slowly you've done a 20 mile ride, so next time try a bit further, Pace your self to do the distance. make sure you have enough to eat and drink. set your own goals.

why not join your local CTC group rides, they will have rides for all levels of riders and its much easier to ride in group.

Learn to use gears correctly, you should have fairly even cadence( pedal revolutions per min) whether going uphill, downhill or on the flat, ride at the point where it feels effort less if you feel like you are pushing too hard use a lower gear, If your legs re spinning too fast use a higher gear. The old adage was if you can ride 5 miles you can ride 50 just need to pace yourself correctly
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Re: I'm a newbie aiming to do 100 miles and need some advice

Postby PH » 22 Sep 2016, 12:58pm

Vorpal wrote: and don't worry too much about your speed. It will come with miles.

Or it might not. I do plenty of 100+ mile rides both solo and with a CTC group or Audax friends and we rarely average 13mph for anything like 2 hours.
I can't open the linked training plan from this computer, but my experience shows 13mph for 2 hours isn't needed at any point, let alone a starting one.
Training for speed and distance are different. If you want to build up both, it might be a better plan to work on the speed you want to achieve and gradually increase the distance at that speed, I’m in the process of doing just that. Training for distance is simpler, make sure you're comfortable and just ride more.
Agree with everyone who suggests riding in a group, and this sort of riding ( Lots of miles without being too concerned with speed) is IME just what CTC groups do best. I rode Derby to Skegness last Saturday, 105 miles, with CTC Derby & Burton, I think 5 riders hadn't done 100 miles before, 1 hadn't ridden more than 25 miles six months ago, all got there fine and most importantly enjoyed it, average speed – don’t know, don’t care.

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Re: I'm a newbie aiming to do 100 miles and need some advice

Postby Vorpal » 22 Sep 2016, 1:30pm

Some improvements in speed will come with fitness. Not huge improvements, admittedly, but improvements, nonetheless.

I found, for example, that the first time I did my current commute, it took me about an hour and 10 minutes to go to work and slightly under an hour back home again. My work is 10 miles and 1000ish feet climbing (work is a bit more than 900 feet higher elevation than home). I was already moderately fit, but I wasn't used to so much climbing. When I had been doing it every day for 2 months, It usually took me about 50 minutes, and my fastest time was 48 minutes to work and 33 minutes back home.

I'm slower in the winter, and I don't do it every day, so by spring, I'm usually back up to about an hour to work, and 45 minutes back home again.

If I wanted to increase my average to 18 mph, I would have to train especially to improve my speed. But to go from 10 mph to 13 mainly requires that I improve my fitness. It does mean that I work a bit; pedalling hard enough to work up a sweat. It doesn't mean sprinting everywhere.

With a route like a commute, familiarity also helps improve average speed, and unfamiliarity with a route will generally reduce average speed.

I have not, by the way, ever raced nor trained especially to improve my speed.

But I generally agree that it isn't necessary to be able to go 13 mph in order to complete a 100 mile ride, or a training plan.
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amcycling
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Re: I'm a newbie aiming to do 100 miles and need some advice

Postby amcycling » 22 Sep 2016, 3:25pm

Wow, thanks all for such a quick response. I was a bit nervous posting here but you've all been very kind.

I'm super enthused to just crack on and give it a go without worrying too much. Thanks for the help (and confidence boost)!

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Re: I'm a newbie aiming to do 100 miles and need some advice

Postby mjr » 22 Sep 2016, 3:44pm

NUKe wrote:why not join your local CTC group rides, they will have rides for all levels of riders and its much easier to ride in group.

CTC groups vary. All of the rides near me are at one pace, which is slightly too fast for me. It doesn't matter because there are other groups in the area - at least two faster and two slower that I know about.

To the OP: do you have a particular 100 mile ride in mind? Does it have any constraints? The group I ride with is mostly 10mph and if you were riding with this and starting now, I'd suggest doing a few of the very short rides (we have a monthly one-hour ride and a sporadic pedal-and-chat programme), then some of the 20-30 mile short day trips (generally two hours cycling before lunch, an hour or so for lunch, then an hour or so back to the start), then as many of the winter rides as you can (even the longest will probably not be more than 40 miles because it gets dark early), then try a "metric century" (62.5 miles) as soon as one appears on the schedule and you feel ready for it, then one of the few "imperial century" rides next summer. There seems to be two or three of each type of century each year, sometimes just the group, sometimes a few of the group going to do some sportive or audax. The last one was done last weekend at slightly over 11mph because it was very flat. I missed it because I'd been ill - instead I rode 9 miles to the shops and back, wheezing along at 9mph :lol:

I know there are some similar groups around. Sometimes they're CTC, sometimes not. You may need to mix and match group rides to build the distances up because often groups get stuck in ruts, doing similar length rides at similar speeds every week.
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amcycling
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Re: I'm a newbie aiming to do 100 miles and need some advice

Postby amcycling » 22 Sep 2016, 4:09pm

mjr wrote:do you have a particular 100 mile ride in mind? Does it have any constraints?


Hadn't really thought that far ahead! You make a very good point, I didn't have a specific route in mind, I thought I'd tackle that when I got comfortable enough. I'm not part of any club yet but I certainly will look some up around my area now. Thanks.

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Re: I'm a newbie aiming to do 100 miles and need some advice

Postby mjr » 22 Sep 2016, 4:19pm

amcycling wrote:Hadn't really thought that far ahead! You make a very good point, I didn't have a specific route in mind, I thought I'd tackle that when I got comfortable enough. I'm not part of any club yet but I certainly will look some up around my area now. Thanks.

It's fine to decide which 100 mile ride when you get to it, whether it's a route or a group ride (and not all cycling groups are clubs, by the way), but a lot of the advice online will be aimed at people preparing for something like Ride London which has a minimum speed or you get removed from the course or at least don't get to the finish line before it closes so no certificate/medal/photo/food/whatever.

At the other extreme, the group I usually ride with stopped at a cafe, a pub and a pie shop during the 100 mile ride...
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Re: I'm a newbie aiming to do 100 miles and need some advice

Postby PH » 22 Sep 2016, 5:43pm

amcycling wrote: I'm not part of any club yet but I certainly will look some up around my area now. Thanks.

if you say what area that is, someone could probably point you in the right direction.

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Re: I'm a newbie aiming to do 100 miles and need some advice

Postby anniesboy » 22 Sep 2016, 7:15pm

Dont get hung up on speed,build up your distance gradually,maybe by increasing your max.distance by 10% at a time.

In the past I rode many Audax rides even completing 600k on one event.

Ride at your speed dont try to keep up with faster people,eat before your hungry drink before your dry.

In June this year I completed the Oxrforshire Tri Vets ride of 100 miles.It was far from easy for me see viewtopic.php?f=49&t=92670&start=15

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Re: I'm a newbie aiming to do 100 miles and need some advice

Postby thirdcrank » 22 Sep 2016, 9:14pm

I'd agree with those who have suggested that to begin with, just get out on your bike as often as you can. I think an important point is that you need to enjoy your cycling. I'm not saying that cycling is enjoyable all the time, but the reason most of us are on here is because we enjoy it (most of the time.) That even applies to those of us like me who would fail an audition for Snow White because we are too grumpy.

It's now getting what's referred to around here as "very back-endish." Autumn is upon us, cycling mags are printing reviews of bike lamps etc. As the weather gets worse it's easy to find excuses for leaving the bike in the shed. Days off the bike can run into weeks and months and in no time at all, you are back at square one.

Keeping a note of your weekly mileage may help - so long as there is something to record. Another perennial in cycling mags is the mileage chart, usually printed in time for the New Year when the Resolutions are fresh and the weather is rotten. There are also apps to do it in the modern, paperless manner. Another idea might be a diary recording not only your rides, but also why you didn't go out on a particular day. I'd not suggest being foolhardy in, say icy conditions, but if you find page after page of weather-related reasons for not riding, it may be that you don't enjoy it.

If you do get a few miles in, I'm sure you will be soon taking100 mile rides in your stride. :D

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Re: I'm a newbie aiming to do 100 miles and need some advice

Postby horizon » 22 Sep 2016, 10:19pm

Vorpal wrote:Ride your bike as often as you can. Use it for shopping, commuting, running errands, and whatever else you can.



I would imagine that that would be a very good thing for the OP in any case (and for half the population if not more) but does it cut the mustard if you really need/want to do 100 miles and it take you less than a week? I'm only picking up on what people have written over the years - if you want to progress, then you have to push things a bit harder/faster/longer. And if you are doing that then nipping to the shops on the bike isn't that significant.

Just a passing thought really.
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Re: I'm a newbie aiming to do 100 miles and need some advice

Postby Vorpal » 23 Sep 2016, 12:01am

horizon wrote:
Vorpal wrote:Ride your bike as often as you can. Use it for shopping, commuting, running errands, and whatever else you can.



I would imagine that that would be a very good thing for the OP in any case (and for half the population if not more) but does it cut the mustard if you really need/want to do 100 miles and it take you less than a week? I'm only picking up on what people have written over the years - if you want to progress, then you have to push things a bit harder/faster/longer. And if you are doing that then nipping to the shops on the bike isn't that significant.

Just a passing thought really.

Nipping to the shops isn't much when you're planning a hundred miler, but doing all, or even most, of your utility cycling by bicycle adds up pretty quickly, and it adds to fitness. I also said that the training plan he had linked to was pretty good.

He won't get up to 100 miles with shopping alone. I was recommding utility cycling in addition to his training. & leisure rides
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