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143 Miles Advice Please

davidefernandesdavidefernandes Posts: 54
edited June 2013 in Road beginners
Hi, I'm quite new to road biking, after a bit of advice.

I'm pretty healthy and fit , have cycled between 20&40 miles for the past 4 weekends building up slowly to the latter. I'm looking to cycle 143 miles in September. Any advice on building up my distance, should I just keep adding 5/10 miles to my distance each time I go out?

Also, may be a silly question, but I find it hard to keep a slow pace, I seem unable to cycle slower than 18 mph on average. I did my 40 miler in just over 2 hours, but whilst I was going round I thought I was going pretty slow! Any suggestions to help, or is it just a case of make myself cycle slower?

Any help would be appreciated!
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  • BrakelessBrakeless Posts: 865
    Slowly increase your distance and eat lots. What feels fine at 40 miles may feel very different after 100. Whether its you body - stomach, legs, back, even hands from being on the bars for a longer time. You need to know what you are able to eat, some people can hardly touch solids after 4 or 5 hours in the saddle whilst others could happily eat a roast dinner. You may find that your comfy shoes aren't so comfy after all, there's loads that 'could' happen and affect your ride. The only way to find out is get out there.
  • saprkzzsaprkzz Posts: 592
    The targets for me used to increase in 20's, so getting from 40 to 60, and then from 60 to 80.

    The difference from riding from 40 to 80 is massive so your going to have to prepare your self both phyiscally and mentally for 143.

    I havent done any rides over 75 since December and I did 117 on Sunday, found it pretty easy, and managed to keep 19mph average over the distance so was a nice steady pace.
    For me it was about getting the food and drink right for the ride, and also the week leading up to it. You have plenty of time to train for it.
  • saprkzz - so did you do a few 40's then step up to 60? nothing in between?

    Brakeless, for the distances I've cycled so far, I can eat straight after, not a huge meal however, just sandwiches and meat.
  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    What brakeless says about what feels fine at 40 miles may well feel different at 100 is very true.

    As you go up distances, then things you may have found comfortable before, may start to niggle - and certainly food can become an issue. Stomach issues (particularly not being able to eat) are closely linked to hydration in my experiences. Drink plenty and the stomach will keep working for days on end of riding long distances - get even a little dehydrated and the stomach can go on strike. I have found Nuun tablets very helpful in keeping me drinking and avoiding cramps.

    Move around on the bike - use different hand positions, get out of the saddle (even if you don't need to - i.e. on the flat). Don't attack hills as much as you would like to - sit down and stay at a comfortable heart rate.

    From my own experiences, I'd say a step up in distance of around 30-40% is nothing to be scared about. Learning to pace yourself is hard, just take it steady and don't shoot your bolt in the first half. I used to be regularly ride shorter distances at 20mph averages - but, unless you are supremely fit and strong, most people will not be able to keep that up for 143 miles - and I am now travelling at under 15mph moving average (but can ride quite a long way for several days in a row like that!). On the whole, pacing yourself will become more second nature as you go up the distances - it will probably involve a painful lesson of sitting at the side of the road after xxx miles, completely and utterly %^&*ed and not knowing how on earth you are going to ride the rest of the way!

    At the end of each ride, have a think about the bits that hurt - and look to make them not hurt next time (adjust saddle or whatever).

    Best of luck - 143 miles is a good distance.
  • Jim CJim C Posts: 333
    Good advice from Marcus.
    Only thing I would add, is to break it down on the day. Treat it as 3x 40 or 50 mile rides. U know U can ride that distance. Ideally U ll have a feed stop, audax stylee, atthe end of each stage. Gives U something to look forward to. Scrambled egg on toast, or beans, or both, is good. And tea
    jc
  • marylogicmarylogic Posts: 355
    I have recently discovered that I seem to have 2 cycling modes - the "all out" short runs which are up to 2 hours at up to 15mph (yes :oops: although in my defence it is hilly here) and the slower "energy conservation" rides which are more like 12mph.

    When I'm on longer runs I'm much less likely to power over hills and more likely just to change down gears and spin up them. I also pay much more attention to eating and drinking.

    If you're into gadgets a heart rate monitor can give you an idea of how hard you are pushing and whether you need to peg back a bit. Speed is not so good as too many other variables - hills, headwinds etc.
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    Also, may be a silly question, but I find it hard to keep a slow pace, I seem unable to cycle slower than 18 mph on average. I did my 40 miler in just over 2 hours, but whilst I was going round I thought I was going pretty slow! Any suggestions to help, or is it just a case of make myself cycle slower?

    Any help would be appreciated!

    Dear me, as someone who is struggling to break out of 11mph averages to 12mph the constant reading of peoples average speeds makes me sad :(:p
  • paul2718paul2718 Posts: 471
    143 miles is a long way. I don't think you need to build up to it in small increments though. You can 'get away with it' up to 60 or so miles but at 100 you have to consider fuelling, and once you are tired it is getting too late. So I would plan some long 90-100 mile rides, think about food and drink, and take it easy to start with.

    It sounds like this may be an organised sort of ride, so perhaps feedstops are provided. If it is ad hoc then some forethought about when you are going to stop, and what you are going to buy/beg is worthwhile. I rode about 145 miles one Sunday last summer and while I'd sorted out a route I planned to stop whenever I saw somewhere convenient and I left it a bit late, it was a warm day, and the last 50 miles were quite painful, although a late stop for chocolate milk helped a bit.

    http://app.strava.com/activities/14155746

    The 5300 Calories figure is about right, it's worth thinking about what that means in terms of your daily food consumption.

    I'm going to repeat that ride this summer, and do it better this time.

    Paul
  • CalpolCalpol Posts: 1,039
    Some good advice on here already. No doubt Grill will be along soon to add the take of a superior cycling being to matters. I like the advice to break it into 3 sections perhaps punctuated by a 20 minute break to eat, stretch etc. If you can get used to riding 80+ miles then it will surely help. In my limited experience you cannot shortcut "miles in your legs". Are you going to be solo riding this distance? riding with someone else makes a big difference. It sounds a long way but you have plenty time to prepare. good luck
  • marylogicmarylogic Posts: 355
    Dear me, as someone who is struggling to break out of 11mph averages to 12mph the constant reading of peoples average speeds makes me sad :(:p

    Don't be sad, join the audax gang!

    I only manage the higher speeds at full on effort, for longer runs I'm similar speed to you.

    I used to fret about my average speed and worry if I would manage sportives without getting swept up by the broomwagon. Audax minimum speeds are 15kph - so a little under 10mph

    And cake stops are compulsory :D
  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    Breaking it up into smaller sections is very important mentally. Good advice. You probably want to ride around 40-50 miles before a bit of a sit down and a cake. Forget about the total distance you have left to ride - you only ever have (let's say) "35 miles to go until the cafe". It is hard psychologically to ride for many hours and still have 100-odd miles to go (or even worse when you are riding a multi-day audax and still have 8 or 900 km to go after day 1!). Before you know it, you've ridden a few of these chunks and, what do you know, you are home!

    Yep - I would agree with joining the audax gang for sure - base distance is 200km (125 miles). Plenty of great 200s in the calendar.
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    @marylogic and others... Flat out here over short distances is now up to 15 and cruising is 12 and I'm finding I can keep this up for a long time. Recent first 100 was up the loire valley from Nantes to saumur, was pretty flat and surprisingly easy at 12.3 average. Longest previously was 66 last year. Had some wrist and shoulder pain but legs were fine and ready to go again the next day
  • marylogicmarylogic Posts: 355
    I'm sure "discovering" the drops has helped me - I need to change up a gear every time I use them.

    Good work on the 100. I'm sure I would be suffering more from liver pain if I went cycling in the Loire Valley :lol:

    On a more serious note I have it in my head that the energy conservation mode is all about using fat as an energy source and saving the glycogen for the stiff climbs.
  • TheSmithersTheSmithers Posts: 291
    Also, may be a silly question, but I find it hard to keep a slow pace, I seem unable to cycle slower than 18 mph on average. I did my 40 miler in just over 2 hours, but whilst I was going round I thought I was going pretty slow! Any suggestions to help, or is it just a case of make myself cycle slower?
    saprkzz wrote:
    I havent done any rides over 75 since December and I did 117 on Sunday, found it pretty easy, and managed to keep 19mph average over the distance so was a nice steady pace.

    Seriously? :?
  • thefdthefd Posts: 1,021
    Also, may be a silly question, but I find it hard to keep a slow pace, I seem unable to cycle slower than 18 mph on average. I did my 40 miler in just over 2 hours, but whilst I was going round I thought I was going pretty slow! Any suggestions to help, or is it just a case of make myself cycle slower?
    saprkzz wrote:
    I havent done any rides over 75 since December and I did 117 on Sunday, found it pretty easy, and managed to keep 19mph average over the distance so was a nice steady pace.

    Seriously? :?
    Can we see some of your Strava rides. This seems rather like trolling! To say "I'm unable to go slower than 18mph on my rides" is a little strange!!
    2017 - Caadx
    2016 - Cervelo R3
    2013 - R872
    2010 - Spesh Tarmac
  • TheSmithersTheSmithers Posts: 291
    Even more strange to brag about such feats in the Beginners forum.

    To be fair, we don't know the nature of their rides. I did a 70 mile ride yesterday at an average pace of 16.7mph and it was bloody hard work! But it had over 5000 ft of climbing and was very windy. It could be their rides were table flat with a tail wind, but even then, I think most people on this site would not describe those sorts of average speeds for a sustained period of time as easy or steady.
  • Thanks everyone for the advice, will take notes from this and get a plan in place for training, stops and food intake. Appreciate all the help.

    Smithers & the FD, not bragging at all just stating a fact, cycling quick on a flat route is fairly easy, was asking about a longer distance as I know I won't be able to keep up 18mph over 143 miles. I don't use strava, I use Endomondo, can you view the below link? I have done a few others between 20 & 40 miles all around 18mph.

    http://www.endomondo.com/workouts/191802901/7606521
  • Don't think that link works for some reason. It's 39.09 miles, in 2 hrs and 4mins, 18.9 average, 2930 calories, it's mainly flat, got a couple of hills but nothing excessive at all.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I did 140 miles when I was 16. My training for it consisted of getting a good few 80 milers in - my thinking was that if I could do that then its less than double...

    Pacing and nutrition was the key for me - if you go off at 19mph you'll blow up massively. Take it steady and set your watch to beep every 20 mins or so so you can eat or drink. I'd get a bento box on the top tube that you can fill with food.

    I think you should be able to go up 10 miles or so per week. If it starts to get to be a bit of a stretch - have a repeat week of last weeks mileage.

    Faster shorter midweek rides should help too if you can get them in.
  • djm501djm501 Posts: 378
    40 miles at 18 mph average is believable - I did that at the weekend although it was my first time _ever_ in a year of cycling and my legs were dead afterwards. 100 miles at 19 mph - mmmm, not so much.

    I did a 107 mile sportive a few weeks back and the 'winner' managed in in just over 7 hours - that's 16 mph. OK it was hilly, but 19 mph average over 100 miles is pushing pro standards.
    (it took me 9 hours incidentally)
  • goffskigoffski Posts: 72
    There's some good average speeds here!

    I do a 20 mile loop 3 - 4 times a week, it's pretty flat and i average between 18 - 19 mph. Longer weekend rides up to 70ish miles i'm between 16.5 and 17.5 mph. Anything longer than that then i'm at 16.5 max. The longer rides do involve a few small climbs but nothing major, i just seem to slow down the further into the ride.

    I'm still trying my hardest to do the 20 mile loop in an hour but don't seem to be getting any faster.
  • saprkzzsaprkzz Posts: 592
    saprkzz - so did you do a few 40's then step up to 60? nothing in between?

    I do lots of different rides, so it hasnt been just down to stepping it up with nothing between. In the week I ride around the 30-40 miles a couple of times and at weekend, Saturday I will do approx 40-50, and then the long ride on Sunday which will be around 50-60. I do a long long distance ride around once a month, which will be 70ish and then throw in a 100 miler about 3-4 months apart, if that makes sense. :lol:

    @Thesmithers, there is no bragging intended, just trying to help someone that is planning a long ride, thats all.
    djm501 wrote:
    40 miles at 18 mph average is believable - I did that at the weekend although it was my first time _ever_ in a year of cycling and my legs were dead afterwards. 100 miles at 19 mph - mmmm, not so much.

    I did a 107 mile sportive a few weeks back and the 'winner' managed in in just over 7 hours - that's 16 mph. OK it was hilly, but 19 mph average over 100 miles is pushing pro standards.
    (it took me 9 hours incidentally)

    19mph is far from pro standards! and also I am certainly way off pro standards!.. The route os 117 i did isnt exaclty mountain ranges, we were only really tested on one section after 52 miles (White horse Hill, Uffington). Also our Ave speed would have been quicker, maybe 19.5ish, but one of us (out of 4) started to bonk so we were waiting to regroup quite a bit on the way home, unitl he said to leave him for the final 10 miles.

    I am not trolling! honest! :lol: just trying to answer what the OP was saying about his average speed and distance.

    I dont upload to Strava, but here is the garmin data ..... NOT EDITED!!! you will notice its a fairly flat route of only 2500ft of climbing which i am sure wouldnt be much of a challenge to hold a higher pace.

    Distance: 115.79 mi
    Elevation Gain: 2,507 ft
    Calories: 7,970 C
    Avg Temperature: 62.2 °F

    Details

    Timing
    Time: 6:23:43
    Moving Time: 6:05:30
    Avg Speed: 18.1 mph
    Avg Moving Speed: 19.0 mph
    Max Speed: 33.5 mph


    I did the same route in July 2012, adding on 5 miles at the end of the recent one.

    Distance: 110.54 mi
    Elevation Gain: 2,431 ft
    Calories: 7,400 C
    Avg Temperature: 58.9 °F

    Details

    Timing
    Time: 6:09:00
    Moving Time: 5:54:12
    Avg Speed: 18.0 mph
    Avg Moving Speed: 18.7 mph
    Max Speed: 35.9 mph

    I am talking about Average MOVING speed by the way, we were regrouping, had junctions and traffic lights and stopped for something to eat
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    An interesting thing with pacing and effort and using the bodies energy reserves is that a typical, trained person can store just under 2 hours worth of glycogen (stuff based on pure carbohydrate) in the muscles. So for the first 2 hours or so it's possible to work at a higher rate.

    After 2 hours the body has to use fat reserves.

    There are 3 problems with burning up all your glycogen in the first 2 hours

    1) Energy from fat can't be used at the same rate as glycogen energy. So your body won't be able to keep going at the same rate

    2) In order for the energy from fat to be generated a certain amount of glycogen is used. The body will convert a certain amount of the fat to glycogen to keep the process going but obviously that's a bit less for body fuel

    3) The brain requires a certain amount of glycogen to work properly. If you get really low on glycogen it's really a bit nasty

    So it is important to pace yourself. What I have found to be effective is to hold my rate of work down so I only have to breathe through my nose. The actual pace - once warmed up - isn't that much lower but it feels like a lot less energy is being used.

    Apologies to any Physiologists reading this. This is the moron bike rider version, not a text book :)
  • socistepsocistep Posts: 88
    Hello

    I started cycling last July but ramped it up from mid Jan when I got a road bike, my 'bread & butter' is my 70-80miles a week commuting/lunchtime rides, these are shorter distances but quite intense - I tend to ride in at 19/20mph (generally downhill) and home at 15-17mph (uphill) now and this has improved over the last few months.

    I then fit the longer rides in as and when I can, have done a couple of sportives at 85 & 100miles but nothing higher, both of those have averaged at 16mph which I was happy with, I found the first one (85miles) a lot harder though and the 2 main things I changed for the 2nd ride were

    - Pace myself better, I really struggled the 2nd half of the 85mile one after going out too fast, I was averaging 18.5mph after 46 miles and that then dropped down
    - Eat more on the go - 2nd sportive I made sure I was eating and drinking more often, little amounts

    I don't get chance to get out every weekend and do a longer ride with family commitments but I've been trying to build on what I've learnt so far, have a couple of sportives planned, 60miles and 104miles
  • Interesting reading chap/chapessess, I'm doing a 50 miler on saturday, from Sale, Manchester to Maghull in Liverpool, going a long route before getting onto the East lancs, should be quite interesting a ride. I'll post on here how I got on if anyone is interested to know, I'm hoping to take between 3 and 3.5 hours.
  • For a longer ride it's also worth making sure your contact points are sufficiently comfortable. Consider using quality bib shorts and chamois cream if you don't already do so.
  • djm501djm501 Posts: 378
    Fair enough saprkzz I suppose that ride is as flat as a pancake. My 18 mph was done over 40 miles with 2000 ft of climbing and that's about as flat as I can get it around here.
    http://app.strava.com/activities/56521145

    The sportive I was referring to above had 10,000 ft (or very very nearly at least) of climbing over 107 miles - I guess I just think that's typical as it's just what the terrain is like in Wales.
  • socistepsocistep Posts: 88
    I had a similar flat right recently which was great to ride, had been with the family on the coast for the weekend and got dropped off at Malton, sunny and calm and a bit of wind behind me meant I flew back averaging 18.4mph, particularly in the vale of york

    http://app.strava.com/activities/55166597
  • TheSmithersTheSmithers Posts: 291
    Kudos @socistep and @djm501! Great rides! :D

    This is my 70 miler from Monday. Not the sort of avg speed I would have liked, but thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless. My strategy was to take it easy during the first half of the ride, keep my avg around the high 16s to 17mph, then put the hammer down during the second half to bring it more into the high 17s or 18mph. Sadly, the wind had other ideas. It was so strong I just couldn't really get the speed up in the end. http://app.strava.com/activities/56563940

    I'm most proud of this ride, earlier this month http://app.strava.com/activities/53739363. Looking forward to quitting the smoking to see what difference that makes. :D
  • socistepsocistep Posts: 88
    Kudos @socistep and @djm501! Great rides! :D

    This is my 70 miler from Monday. Not the sort of avg speed I would have liked, but thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless. My strategy was to take it easy during the first half of the ride, keep my avg around the high 16s to 17mph, then put the hammer down during the second half to bring it more into the high 17s or 18mph. Sadly, the wind had other ideas. It was so strong I just couldn't really get the speed up in the end. http://app.strava.com/activities/56563940

    I'm most proud of this ride, earlier this month http://app.strava.com/activities/53739363. Looking forward to quitting the smoking to see what difference that makes. :D

    Great rides those two, well done!

    I've found its very hard to get a ride in without any sort of wind impact recently, the two sportives I have done both had a strong headwind for 40-50% of the ride which made it tough
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