increasing distance

iandennis Posts: 238
edited April 2012 in Road beginners
What's a sensible weekly increase for training rides ?

I started with 30 miles last week, not too much as I do 24 miles a day when I cycle to work three days of the week.

Today I did 40 miles and don't feel any worse for wear, but should i increase to 50 miles next week, or go for a smaller increase.

Bike is set up via BG fit and fine, no pains etc and all my kit seems to function fine so its purely a physical increase.

I'm aiming to be able to do 100 miles by June/July and appreciate that I will need to start looking at nutrition soon.

Finding routes is pretty easy - all backroads with some decent hills and little in the way of traffic (at least there wasn't much at 7am this morning).



  • See how you feel on the day, if you feel you are capable of 50 then go for it. Always good to reach a milestone :D
    10 mile TT pb - 20:56 R10/17
    25 - 53:07 R25/7
    Now using strava
  • desweller
    desweller Posts: 5,175
    It's pretty hard to do a jump that results in any real danger, i.e. you'll probably be able to get home even if you bonk. Unless you do something mental like go from 50mi to 200mi in one week. I'd go for a bigger increase myself; set yourself a target route that scares you a little bit, the sense of achievement from getting to the end will be all the greater.
    - - - - - - - - - -
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  • springtide9
    springtide9 Posts: 1,731
    I tend to find that increasing that increasing the distances isn't really a problem as long as you drop your speed... so if you plan on a very big ride compared to previous rides, just slow down and you'll be fine.

    Think on longer rides fuel is the main issue... just make sure you eat and drink enough. Note that after a while on the longer rides, you'll get to know your body to know how much to eat and drink... until then, either 'play safe' (eat/drink a little more) or if do push it, try and stay close-ish to home (so have an easy option to get home)

    Think of it like walking/running... most moderately fit people can walk 10 miles; but not many could run it without training.
  • BobScarle
    BobScarle Posts: 282
    If you can ride 40 miles without a problem then 50 should not be too bad. Go for the increased distance and try to ride it 2 or 3 times so you get comfortable, then increase again by another 5 to 10 miles. On a long ride you will need to eat and drink plenty, especially in the warmer weather. Whilst you are out on your training runs, experiment with food and drink to see what suits you. Don't forget that you will probably need to refill drinks bottles, maybe several times, so think about energy drinks in tablets or powder form that you can carry.
  • The 'experts' claim you should increase in 10% increments.
    'I started with nothing and still have most of it left.'
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    I think the 10% rule applies only to running - where impact takes much more out of the body.

    If 40 was fine for you I'd say 50 wouldn't be a problem. Just remember to eat and drink.
  • marcusjb
    marcusjb Posts: 2,412
    cougie wrote:
    I think the 10% rule applies only to running - where impact takes much more out of the body.

    If 40 was fine for you I'd say 50 wouldn't be a problem. Just remember to eat and drink.

    I'd agree with that. Increases of 30-50% haven't worried me in the past.

    Increasing distances is more about learning how to look after yourself than anything else. Making sure you eat and drink properly etc.

    Take it steady - don't attack every hill, use downhills to recover etc.

    At the end of each ride, think about which bits hurt - and then try adjusting your bike, so they don't hurt next time!

    But certainly an increase from 40 to 50 shouldn't cause you too many troubles as long as you are sensible. I'd even suggest 60 would be a good target.
  • marcusjb
    marcusjb Posts: 2,412
    And another thing - riding bigger distances isn't the only training you should do for riding bigger distances!

    Do some shorter rides as well - with higher intensity. 15-20 miles (let's say) riding at a much higher intensity.

    You can also use a local hill and do some interval work on it.

    Both of these should have more of an impact on fitness than riding at lower intensity for longer - this will then, in turn, make riding those longer distances easier.

    Most of my real training is between and hour and two hours - either on the turbo trainer or timed, high intensity laps around Richmond Park. I'll ride longer events once or twice a month, building throughout the season. But most of the useful training is these shorter rides.

    I'm no racing whippet - more interested in long-distance riding than outright speed - but more speed does help quite a bit.
  • iandennis
    iandennis Posts: 238
    Thanks All,

    I think 50 is the next big step and then after that increase steadily. I will be looking at how I fuel up for longer riders and what suits.

    For shorter training I do 12 mile "fast" routes to work and back. However I'm on the tricross for a commuter and not my road bike. Still a combination of the both should give me what I'm looking for in terms of training. As the evenings get brighter i will also start looking at increasing the "home" distance.

    There is a big climb on the way into work and home again, but its a busy road and I probably need to find somewhere else for interval training.