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delaney09delaney09 Posts: 19
I'm fairly new to this cycling game. I got my first road bike back in April. I'm currently cycling about 65 miles a week and my legs are done in. I stretch for 10 minutes after every ride and have a recovery drink after long rides. I am in good shape as I climb also. Currently sitting with about 11% bodyfat.

My question to you fine folk is how do you manage to ride over 100 -150 miles each week and still keep up your strength?


  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Build up with time and listen to your body. Recovery is important. You can't expect to be smashing it when you've only been doing a sport for a few months.

    How often do you ride and what distances and efforts ?
  • MishMash95MishMash95 Posts: 104
    I used to have the same issue, however after a year of riding, it got significantly better, to the point where I can happily do 10-12 hours of riding (approx 300km depending on terrain) a week and recover enough for high quality intervals. I think the first step is just to keep riding, and eventually your base fitness goes up enabling you to ride more, however its also very easy to make the mistake of getting into a rhythm of going too hard once you are at that point.

    I started training in March 2017, and had really quick gains going from a position you are in now to being able to handle decent volume, long rides and tough workouts, but from around september to February of 2018, I spent months in this zone where I was just not really getting better and generally too fatigued to do hard workouts.

    Long story short, it turns out that I was doing far too much riding at tempo, the sort of "happy hard" as they call it, where you feel like you are pushing, but its neither hard enough to yield improvement, nor light enough that you can ride a super high volume. You end up just tiring yourself out, without stressing your systems, equally making it impossible to do real hard intervals.
    Since I started alternating my training between easy endurance rides (2-3 hours zone 2) and interval sessions twice a week, my rate of improvement has sky-rocketed.

    If I knew what I know now when I started, I probably would have adapted my training to be more along the lines of this:

    1) When starting, you are going to get fatigued anyway because the relative riding intensity is always going to be high, that is, if you live in an area with hills (like I did), no matter the hill, it is going to force you to go hard.
    Therefore, at the start, don't worry about volume, but focus on QUALITY and RECOVERY. That is, try having a decent bit of intensity in your rides, whether it be a few hills, or just general hard riding (the details don't matter too much at the start, and can suck the fun out). Then after the session, just focus on recovering well between rides. Trying to ride when you are tired, no matter how fit you are just slows your recovery and reduces your ability to make big gains through quality training.
    -- For me, I needed a lot of recovery at the start and used to do 1 day on 2 days off, though i'd often ride twice over the weekend, but do two shorter rides instead of one long ride, as this can have the same effect. (so i used to ride wednesday, saturday and sunday) -- sometimes mixing in super easy recovery rides where I could (generally in the form of riding into town)
    -- I did this for around 3-4 months and it brought my FTP from 170w (never tested at the start, but guessing off of local segment times) to 250w (tested august)

    2) When you are at a point where you can ride up smaller hills without completely blowing your doors off and are able to keep your efforts under control on a longer ride, this is when I found you could really kick up the volume. The main thing here though is to try and alternate between hard and easy rides. Too much moderate/hard riding can easily throw you into a fatigue abyss and even if you aren't objectively over-training, you can end up just never quite feeling fresh.

    Having "easy" rides does feel very odd, and tbh, its quite a mental game to force yourself to go easier. Zone 2 can feel like the pace you could sustain for hours and hours and hours, and so intuitively, it doesn't feel like its doing much, but it really does help. It took me far too long to accept that, but once I started seeing the improvements in my top end from just being generally more fresh, I was hooked :)

    3) It starts getting really fun when you can still go decently fast on an endurance/zone 2 ride. That's about where I am now, and it feels great :D It also means that you have more options as far as club rides are concerned. In the past, club rides were part of the problem for me, as they'd be too hard to fit into my schedule, yet i'd do them anyway and get stuck back in that fatigue trap. Now I feel that I have more options and can use club rides for both my endurance rides and my hard training rides!

    Good luck with your journey! Most importantly, don't worry about what other people are doing and just enjoy riding, you'll soon learn to listen to your body, unless you've taken loads of time off, you'll know when you aren't feeling ready for another ride. Even when you get a bit more fitness, you suddenly just start comparing yourself to the guys above. I'm now at that position where i'm looking and thinking how on earth all these people manage 15-20 hours a week xD
  • bucklesbuckles Posts: 694
    The title of your thread is 'Recovery', which is highly dependent upon and mostly occurs during sleep, yet you don't even mention sleep once.

    Go to bed early. Try sleeping for longer, and make sure it's good quality sleep.

    Sleep will have an infinitely bigger effect on recovery than whatever 'recovery drink' you've been drinking.

    There is no magic shortcut to recovery or increased performance. You can't buy your way to those things. Unfortunately for sports nutrition companies that market their mixtures of maltodextrin and whey, sleep is free.
    25% off your first MyProtein order: sign up via ... EE-R29Y&li or use my referral code LEE-R29Y
  • Recovery speed improves with fitness which allows athletes to train more frequently and/or harder which translates to more miles per week.

    Additionally, as you get stronger, you will be producing more watts which translates to more speed which translates to more miles.

    Lastly, you will also get more efficient with how you ride such as pacing and how you take specific hills especially "bumps" that, if taken correctly, you can fly over by maintaining momentum, etc.

    My current focus on recovery has lead me indoors where I can more accurately monitor the relationship between effort and power to gain insight into fitness, fatigue and endurance.
  • Dm2309Dm2309 Posts: 6
    Second the advice above,

    sleep is important as is calorie intake, if your in a significant deficit your body is going to struggle, more food will help.has your diet changed since starting to cycle more
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