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Advice on increasing distance?

nicubenicube Posts: 175
edited February 2015 in Road beginners
Hi, I'm quite new to road cycling, since August 2014, I've cycled for years but commuting on an MTB. Now I'm getting right into road cycling I want to increase my distances, even in the current climate I'm getting out for an hour and doing a route that's 16 miles a couple of times a week, my commute is only 7 miles return and I want to regularly do 30 miles plus, the most I've done so far is 24 miles in 90 minutes but I was shattered ( and both my elbows hurt for some reason) what's the best advice you can give for fueling a ride, sweets or gels or something and anything I might have overlooked?

I hope this makes sense? :)

Thanks in advance
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Posts

  • Just build the miles. As for eating, you probably don't need to worry about it too much under a couple of hours during the ride itself. But if you feel hungry a banana s great - eat a bit at a time. Or, frankly, anything that you like. Once you start to do even longer rides, then it makes sense to focus a little more on what you are eating.

    The elbows thing might be the fit of the bike (too stretched out or whatever). It might just be that you aren't used to it.

    Ultimately, nothing beats hours in the saddle. Don't worry about speed for now and certainly don't push too hard at the start. And friends says a minute at the start is worth 3 minutes at the end - he's spot-on
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • nicubenicube Posts: 175
    Thanks for that. I always seem to average 16mph no matter where I go, it is quite hilly up here, is that a fair average speed to begin with?
    LOOK 795 Aerolight Dura ace Di2
    LOOK 675 Dura ace mechanical
    LOOK 595 105
    Cinelli Zydeco
  • Don't worry about the speed for now either. That will come with time. I'd start by building distance so that you can do 40-50 miles. Then start to build speed - typically by intervals or similar. It'll then start coming together.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • nicubenicube Posts: 175
    Cheers ;)
    LOOK 795 Aerolight Dura ace Di2
    LOOK 675 Dura ace mechanical
    LOOK 595 105
    Cinelli Zydeco
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    If you just keeping going you will build the fitness you need. Once you can do about 20 miles , 40 miles is no real problem just take it a bit easier until you get used to it. 16mph average speed in winter on hilly roads is good going. Just don't forget to have rest days to let your body recover and build fitness.

    Generally most people will last 2 hours without eating but it depends how your own body reacts. I just take water and museli bars with me on hard rides over 2 hours and it works fine for me. In the summer you just need to take on more water than in the winter.
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    nicube wrote:
    Thanks for that. I always seem to average 16mph no matter where I go, it is quite hilly up here, is that a fair average speed to begin with?
    That's a very decent average speed for hilly terrain on a solo ride, but nothing wrong about easing off a bit speed wise and going a bit further.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 52,516 Lives Here
    Pretty much as these guys have said.

    Best way to cycle further is to, erm, cycle further ;).

    Only other piece of advice, and it's not all that important, is just to take it easier in the first half hour/hour or so while you still feel fresh.

    I found it was quite easy when I was less experienced to really give it the beans because I felt great and it was a speed I could hold for 20-30 mins and found the slower pace a little frustrating. You pay for those efforts later on when you're tired, so keep an eye on it.
  • woolwichwoolwich Posts: 298
    I think the above from Rich is incredibly important.
    It is so much more rewarding/confidence inspiring and plain fun to go out steady for the first half or so and come back in feeling strong and full of the joys. Than to go out fast, fade and roll in feeling broken.
    Also you are far more likely to want to do it again.
    Mud to Mudguards. The Art of framebuilding.
    http://locksidebikes.co.uk/
  • good advice on here so I will just echo those saying eat what you want (jelly babies for me) and cycle more. Time is an issue for everybody so why not increase the length of your commute.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    As above, increase the length of your rides progressively and don't obsess about speed. 16 mph is pretty good for hilly terrain anyway. Treat the first 20 - 30 mins as a gentle warm up and you'll find you can go a lot further. If you're going to be out for longer than a couple of hours, start eating and drinking little and often. I favour fig rolls and jelly babies since they are a) easy to fish out of a jersey pocket and b) yummy.
  • crikeycrikey Posts: 362
    If you want a challenge, get the train with your bike to a place as far away from home as you'd like to ride, then go out with no money, just the train ticket.

    In these days of risk-averse, mobile phoney, OMG-ey nonsense, I'm sure no one would ever bother, but if the only way you can get home is to ride, you ride.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    If you're elbows are hurting, either you're gripping the bars too tight or there's something wrong with your position.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • nicubenicube Posts: 175
    Thanks for all the advice guys, much appreciated :wink:
    Monty Dog wrote:
    If you're elbows are hurting, either you're gripping the bars too tight or there's something wrong with your position.


    I hear you Monty, I've tried a few things and anything past an hour really seems to make my elbows really ache! I barely hold the bars, ride on the hoods mainly but try and move my hold to the drops and the straight part of the bars as much as possible!

    I was getting backache too but seem to have solved that by levelling the saddle which I had pointing up!
    LOOK 795 Aerolight Dura ace Di2
    LOOK 675 Dura ace mechanical
    LOOK 595 105
    Cinelli Zydeco
  • navrig2navrig2 Posts: 1,588
    As well as gradually increasing your route distance you should vary its profile so go different ways or revers your preferred route from time to time.
  • nicubenicube Posts: 175
    Did a new route yesterday, 20 miles with some decent climbs in 72 mins and claimed off feeling really fresh compared to past rides, had a new jacket and gloves on keeping me toasty warm so I wonder if it's been the temperature causing some of my aches and pains :?
    LOOK 795 Aerolight Dura ace Di2
    LOOK 675 Dura ace mechanical
    LOOK 595 105
    Cinelli Zydeco
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    Could be. I definitely feel stiffer and less energetic when I'm a little cool on a ride, even if I'm not actually uncomfortably cold.
  • I'm no expert but a couple of things have helped me. Firstly i have found a doorstep route of 35 miles that i use as a stock route but can add to or bail out if need be. Gives me a goal and the chance for variety. See if you have SUSTRANS routes near you that you can put together? I also like to vary how I train from time to time so I have a 5 mile loop that i do alternately at high cadence and hard gearing. I've also got a quite big hill that i can just cycle to and go up and down 5-10 times in different gears. I learnt from running that variety keeps the muscles thinking and working so they get better. I carry two bottles on a big ride, one with water and one with some electrolyte. II try not to eat too much. Whatever you do just enjoy. If you enjoy you work more and feel better.....:)
  • nicube wrote:
    Thanks for that. I always seem to average 16mph no matter where I go, it is quite hilly up here, is that a fair average speed to begin with?

    Absolutely yes. I've been riding a couple of years now and generally average 15mph even when I'm on the top of my form.

    There's really no secret to building the distance other than riding gradually further each time, which does mean you'll be tired at the end but that's good ;). The only thing is that after around 2 hours you're going to start to eat something to keep you going while you're out, in fact if you know you're going to be going beyond the two hours it's wise to start eating something at the 90 minute mark, then little and often after that. But your range will increase with practice, good luck :)
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    If I'm planning to be out for more than a couple of hours I'll start taking a little nibble of something after 30 mins and every half hour thereafter.
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    keef66 wrote:
    If I'm planning to be out for more than a couple of hours I'll start taking a little nibble of something after 30 mins and every half hour thereafter.
    Ditto for really long ones.
    If it's going to be 2-3hrs I don't find it that critical to start early but if it's going to be 3hrs+ definitely try to fuel as you go rather than waiting until you've expended most of your initial reserves.
  • nicubenicube Posts: 175
    nicube wrote:
    Thanks for that. I always seem to average 16mph no matter where I go, it is quite hilly up here, is that a fair average speed to begin with?

    Absolutely yes. I've been riding a couple of years now and generally average 15mph even when I'm on the top of my form.

    There's really no secret to building the distance other than riding gradually further each time, which does mean you'll be tired at the end but that's good ;). The only thing is that after around 2 hours you're going to start to eat something to keep you going while you're out, in fact if you know you're going to be going beyond the two hours it's wise to start eating something at the 90 minute mark, then little and often after that. But your range will increase with practice, good luck :)

    Great advice thanks, looks like you only live a couple of mile from me, I'm in Houghton :P
    LOOK 795 Aerolight Dura ace Di2
    LOOK 675 Dura ace mechanical
    LOOK 595 105
    Cinelli Zydeco
  • In that case search for Cestria Cycling Club on facebook. They are holding a beginners steady ride down to Hardwick Park next Sunday 22nd Feb. Would be ideal for you.

    https://www.facebook.com/events/1532588537029381/
  • nicubenicube Posts: 175
    Thanks for that Mark, I must say I'm tempted, cheers
    LOOK 795 Aerolight Dura ace Di2
    LOOK 675 Dura ace mechanical
    LOOK 595 105
    Cinelli Zydeco
  • nicube wrote:
    Thanks for that Mark, I must say I'm tempted, cheers

    Good to hear. Chester le Street isn't far for the start and you don't have to go back there the finish. And cake at Hardwick Park is always nice
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    nicube wrote:
    Did a new route yesterday, 20 miles with some decent climbs in 72 mins and claimed off feeling really fresh compared to past rides, had a new jacket and gloves on keeping me toasty warm so I wonder if it's been the temperature causing some of my aches and pains :?

    It can be since I hit forty I have to keep my knees warm or they get a little sore after long rides in freezing temperatures with just shorts on.
  • nicubenicube Posts: 175
    nicube wrote:
    Thanks for that Mark, I must say I'm tempted, cheers

    Good to hear. Chester le Street isn't far for the start and you don't have to go back there the finish. And cake at Hardwick Park is always nice

    I've dropped them a line on their website as I'm not on Facebook just incase it's restricted to numbers :)

    Thanks again Mark, looking forward to it
    LOOK 795 Aerolight Dura ace Di2
    LOOK 675 Dura ace mechanical
    LOOK 595 105
    Cinelli Zydeco
  • There's no restriction. I'm not sure if that email is monitored or who it goes to. If you want you can PM me on here if you want more details etc.
  • nicubenicube Posts: 175
    I've replied to your message Mark, thanks.
    LOOK 795 Aerolight Dura ace Di2
    LOOK 675 Dura ace mechanical
    LOOK 595 105
    Cinelli Zydeco
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