What's better one big one or two little ones?

Claud Roubaix
Claud Roubaix Posts: 76
edited August 2013 in Road beginners
Now you are reading on I shall be a little less cryptic.
I am now fairly comfortable with 25-30 mile training runs I am now planning my next runs.
So my question is am I better doing say 50 miles with a coffee or cake stop half way round or a 35-40 mile with no stop? Which is more appropriate for me developing my riding legs.


  • chrisaonabike
    chrisaonabike Posts: 1,914
    If you can already do 25-30, 35-40 will be easy.

    Do 50 miles with a stop for a while, then do it without stopping. These things are all relative - I started less than a year ago, and 50 miles seemed a long way, with 100 completely out of reach. Now I've done 100, 50 seems like no distance at all, and I'm looking for ways of packing more hills into the distances I do.

    I'm sure if you stick at it it will be the same for you.
    Is the gorilla tired yet?
  • Cheers mate. I know exactly what you mean 10 miles seemed a huge distance a month ago. .....
  • Gizmodo
    Gizmodo Posts: 1,928
    Personally I don't stop, I find it difficult to get the motivation to get moving again if I've sat around having a coffee. I would use a stop at the end of the ride as a motivation to complete the distance. Pick a cafe close to where you live and stop at the end - or just buy some cake in and have coffee at home when you return.

    But then we are all different.
  • If I stop for too long I tend to stiffen up which makes getting going again difficult: but as Gizmodo says we're all different so you might find stopping helps you.
  • mididoctors
    mididoctors Posts: 16,860
    AIUI do not stop for too long as you start to lose adaption benefits if you cool down relating to the ability to burn fat.

    quick coffee/tea and on 5 mins
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • smoggysteve
    smoggysteve Posts: 2,909
    You need to mix it up. Maybe do no more than one long run of over 80km a week and keep the rest to doing shorter faster runs. In other sports as well as cycling its been shown that you get more training benefit for doing shorter more intense exercise than doing one long slower paced session.

    I used to do a weekly ride of around 100km + going across the flat and over hills. Now, since I live in a flatter area, I do 4 or 5 shorter high intensity runs of around 45km with no break. I try and keep my pace high and cadence as constant as possible over the long flats where I can monitor it better.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    A 10 minute break mid-way with drink and refuel will likely have a more positive benefit that plodding-on at a steady pace, particularly as you need to train your body to adapt to prolonged exercise. Your objective should be to maintain the same pace at the end as you had at the start rather than 'die in a ditch' 10 miles from home.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • If you need to stop to drink and refuel you're doing something wrong - you should be eating and drinking little but often as you go. A five-ten minute break won't give you enough rest and recovery to go 50 instead of 40 miles, but I suppose it could have a mental benefit in terms of splitting up the ride. Personally I don't like stopping as it destroys my rhythm and normally makes me go slower.
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    As long as you're not talking about testicles, I'd say one big one is better than two small ones. But for a 50 miler I wouldn't plan a full-on meal break. I tend to snack and drink as I go, and on a 50 mile ride my only stops would be for a quick dart into a field for a pee, or a squint at the map if I'm lost.
  • giant_man
    giant_man Posts: 6,878
    I never stop unless I have to. Regarding the OP's initial question, a 40 miler with no stops is better imo
  • giant man wrote:
    I never stop unless I have to. Regarding the OP's initial question, a 40 miler with no stops is better imo

    Thank you for answering my original question. I was asking for me myself and I.
    Understandably more experienced riders will go longer and harder than I csn manage at this early stage.
    Those if you who can do longer rides without stopping I admire your ability but I was not asking what you do I was asking for advice for a beginner.

    Hence it being posted in Road Beginners!
  • PhunkyPhil
    PhunkyPhil Posts: 143
    I would do the 40 mile ride and not stop so your body doesn't cool down too much assuming you have taken on eaten and drunk enough upto that point. if you feel tired then by almeans stop but i would if you don't need to.
  • if I go for a ride I normally just keep goin until I get home unless i'm doing a sportive or charity cycle.

    I find it hard to get going again after a stop so that's my reasoning for keeping going.
    Lapierre Aircode 300
  • Tjgoodhew
    Tjgoodhew Posts: 628
    I was at a similar stage in my cycling career about 3/4 months back. I tried both and doing 30 with a half hour stop then doing a further 20 was awful. My legs turned to jelly and had no power at all for the last 20.

    Doing 40 with no stop felt much easier and altho i was starting to feel tired into the last 4/5 miles my average speed over the full ride was considerably higher than the ride with a long stop.

    My advice would be to do both. Some people seem to be able to stop and recover quickly whilst others prefer the rhythm of a consistant ride.

    I now see 40 miles as a short spin and will be tackling my first century in a couple of weeks and even for that i plan not to stop
    Cannondale Caad8
    Canyon Aeroad 8.0