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Not long now... should probably start training...

JoeSoap76JoeSoap76 Posts: 109
Hi all,

I've only been commuting to work on the bike for the last three months... but something posessed me to sign up for a sponsored cycle at the beginning of September.

My commute is 7 miles each way and fairly flat but in just 7 weeks I need to do over 50 miles over some fairly (for me) significant hills.

So... what should I be doing? I'm a complete novice here so I'm not asking (unless I should be?) what to eat, wear, drink, etc... I think I need more basic help than that. Like, should I be aiming to do a 50-mile ride every weekend (plus the commute)? Maybe a mid-distance (20 miles?) ride at the weekend? Maybe just stick to the commute?

Any suggestions gratefully received :)

Posts

  • doyler78doyler78 Posts: 1,951
    Easiest way to get your mileage up will be to add some extra to your commute so say make the commute in or home 15 miles which will take you about twice as long and so should be achievable now after 3 months of solid commuting. You would only need to this once a week (mid week would be good). You will need to do a longer weekend ride just to get yourself used riding longer and to work out what energy drinks and food works best for you.

    See how your 15 miler on your commute goes and if it is was comfortable enough aim for 20 miles on the weekend. You have enough weeks to build you so you can start at 20 then go 25 then 30 say every other week. If you can do a 30-35 mile ride before your event you will be good for the 50 on the day however if you training is going well don't be afraid to add a few extra miles but don't over do it and make sure you have 1 or 2 rest days (one completely off the bike and the other a very easy cycle commute and I mean easy - you will feel as though you are not going anywhere but this is important in allowing your body the time it needs to adapt to the increased workload and to give it chance to grow stronger.
  • m0scsm0scs Posts: 196
    I did my first sponsered bike ride, Norwich 50 a couple of months ago.

    I gradually increased mileage to get myself ready doing 25 30 and 40 mile rides before the event.

    I had never thought about nutrition on a ride before but was recommended to take a couple of energy bars and a gel. I was glad I did as these were all consumed en route.

    I also purchased a Camelbak rucksac with drink bladder and used this throughout the ride although there are regular drinks stops enroute. I found that I consumed all 3 litres during my ride plus another water bottle.

    Good Luck Im sure you will enjoy it.
    Specialised Epic MTB on slicks.
    SPD clipless pedals: FCN 7
  • JoeSoap76JoeSoap76 Posts: 109
    Thanks Doyler - you know, I hadn't thought of that (adding to the commute). I don't know why, but it just seemed like a static 7-miles. I'm away to add an extra half-dozen more for the way home tomorrow. :)

    And thanks also to you M0scs. This is also an organised event with - I'm told - a lot of water stops on the route so hopefully my 2 water bottles will be enough. Good tip on the grub though - I wouldn't have thought to take anything. :)
  • gtr martgtr mart Posts: 176
    gels and bars - particularly carb gels when you know there is a big hill coming and some caffeine ones for when your lagging on a hill and need an instant hit.

    If you can avoid carrying anything on your back you will have all the more an enjoyable experiance - that said having a camel back makes carrying spares much easier.

    50 miles is not that hard. when training, try and get some hills in and avoid dropping into your granny ring for as long as possible - then when you come to abig hill on the event and you have a granny ring it will seem easy.

    if you did nothing you would get round the 50 miles - it would just hurt and take w while.
    I dont think you need to panic about getting into a massive training regime - unless that seems like fun - but increasing your commute as suggested and maybe trying to fit in a few longer weekend rides - that get gradually bigger, should be a fairly relaxing and enjoyable way of getting yourself ready.

    good slick / road tyres at the highest possible pressure will also help.

    Remember, keep your head up, look around and enjoy it!
  • a_n_ta_n_t Posts: 2,011
    gtr mart wrote:
    if you did nothing you would get round the 50 miles - it would just hurt and take w while.
    I dont think you need to panic about getting into a massive training regime


    exactly! hundreds of people will have done the recent manchester > blackpool [60 miles] without any training.
    Manchester wheelers

    PB's
    10m 20:21 2014
    25m 53:18 20:13
    50m 1:57:12 2013
    100m Yeah right.
  • gtr martgtr mart Posts: 176
    I did a BHF 40 mile ride recently. I didn't really know what to expect and just thought pace myself. I did it with a buddy who was riding an MTB and we managed it in 2.45 which we were really pleased with. They were saying if you intend to complete in under 2.30 then you should start with the elite riders which again pleased me to have come so close. perhaps with more of a push I could have done that.

    Tha main point is, we averages something like 15mph and we bombed past virtually everyone. And I mean bombed. I had to keep checking my speed as was worried was pushing too hard.

    In the end we only got overtaken by 1 person which who was whippit like other than massive legs and on a top of the range Cannondale. Go figure. When riding with non elites you will be fine.
  • m0scsm0scs Posts: 196
    I found the same with the Norwich 50.

    I averaged 15 miles per hour and it took 3 hours 12 mins on MTB with slicks. I was surprised that I was passing most people at that speed but as others have said alot of people will only do one charity event and dont train at all, they are not intersted in their time just that they enjoy their day out.

    Me, I just want to do it as fast as I could.

    As I said in my ealier post I bought a Camalbak and whilst this is great it will give you a back ache if your not used to wearing it. If you can avoid better to take bottles and stash things in rear pockets or underseat bag.

    Which event are you doing?
    Specialised Epic MTB on slicks.
    SPD clipless pedals: FCN 7
  • JoeSoap76JoeSoap76 Posts: 109
    doyler78 wrote:
    Easiest way to get your mileage up will be to add some extra to your commute so say make the commute in or home 15 miles which will take you about twice as long and so should be achievable now after 3 months of solid commuting.
    Wish I'd thought of that before now! The 7 miles each way was starting to feel a little repetitive. I did the usual route this morning (just pushed a little harder and did near-record time), but this evening I took a slight detour and did 15 (with the first five on a near constant cimb). Loved every mile! :D
  • JoeSoap76JoeSoap76 Posts: 109
    m0scs wrote:
    Which event are you doing?
    It's Pedal for Scotland. Really looking forward to it - want to push myself and see what time I can get.
  • downfaderdownfader Posts: 3,686
    Crikey! Good luck Joe!! Havent got any advice as I'm not that kind of cyclist unfortunately but hope you do well! :D
  • unclemalcunclemalc Posts: 563
    :D
    I did one of these last May. I turned up with a road bike kitted out with a 52/39 chainset and a 12-25 cassette. Then I find out the course was set by a well-known MTBer. I was faced with my very own Paris-Roubaix ! It was great fun - fantastic countryside, extremely variable roads/tracks, rapidly wearing brakes and a variety of company - speed merchants, sloggers, born-again bikers etc. Good weather helped.
    This was 65 miles and far further than what I normally did as 'training'. It also included some reasonably horrible hill sections which killed me in the morning and resulted in a bit of 'pushing' in the afternoon.
    I realised that up until then I had generally been pissing about as a rider. So I resolved to i) go farther out (for more miles in the legs) when training; ii) go more slowly (I tend to 'blast' from beginning to end) and use the rest position in the middle of the bars, rather than always be on the hoods; iii) seriously work out hydration and nutrition when on the bike (I used to have 1 bottle of water - that was it...and I sweat like a b----d).
    So now I am doing double the milage, 3-4 times a week with rest days, I take 50:50 apple juice/water with a touch of both salt (sodium) and 'low-salt' (potassium) added - 2 bottles, I used Boots-own dextrose+Vit C tabs as a boost. If I am out even further, say at the w/e, then I take a couple of Tracker bars or a fruit bar.
    As regards kit, I changed to a 50/34 chainset. This meant that for my speed and cadence I was no longer 'double-shifting' all the time and could use the outer ring all day until I get to something seriously sloping, where I nowI have 2 extra bottom gears to help.
    For the record, I am 53, top-heavy and no longer eating bread and dripping before I go out...
    If you are doing the Stratford run in September, I am on the cheap Bianchi, in a blue jersey! See you there and good luck
    Spring!
    Singlespeeds in town rule.
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