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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently took up road biking again after a ten year hiatus. This is more for fitness than anything else, but I love biking. I've been back on the road for almost two months now, but I'm having trouble adding more rides per week. As of now I ride every third day, so I ride Wed/Thu and Sat/Sun. My normal route is 10 miles on a bike path. On the weekends I can do longer, this past Sunday I did 16 miles.

The problem is I need about three days to get my legs back. I was a sprinter for eight years and ran 7-8 miles a day after college. This was 20 years ago. I'm trying to work up for a 33 mile ride, but I can't seem to get enough miles in per week.

Thoughts on how to increase my miles considering the time needed for my body to recover? Feedback appreciated.
 

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Keep riding, and gradually increase miles per ride. If you're riding all out, you might consider riding a little slower until you get your cycling legs under you. Good luck in your endeavors.
 

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I've got nothing positive to add...just posting to get this thread subscribed :)

I'm in a similar boat - getting more into road biking than I have in the past. I'm used to 10-15 mile rides, and was thrilled with the 22 miler that I did with the LBS, but the distance was a touch long for me...I was pooped at the end.

Anyway, carry on...
 

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Is it possible to commute to work on your bike? I get in 33 miles a day that I'd otherwise be spending crammed onto a metro train for two hours a day. I've got two kids who do sports, so my weekends are usually pretty shot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Slow down? I can't imagine anyone needing three days to recover from 10 miles unless they sprint the entire distance.
When I ride I tend to go for time. I was an athlete for a very long time and am a competitive person myself. Even after college I was running 7-8 miles per day, each day trying to beat my PB. Thanks for the suggestion of a slower pace. In essence, yes I'm pretty much trying to go for time each ride.

Riding distance is about pace. Anyone of moderate physical ability should be able to ride 50-100mi so long as they don't ride too fast.
I need to disagree on this. A normal person cannot ride 50 to 100 miles. That's insane to even state this. In my twenties I was doing 20-30 miles rides and I was in the best shape of my life. Also, not everyone has the time to ride 50 to 100 miles. Not sure what advice you're attempting to give here...

Is it possible to commute to work on your bike? I get in 33 miles a day that I'd otherwise be spending crammed onto a metro train for two hours a day. I've got two kids who do sports, so my weekends are usually pretty shot.
Can't commute. I own two businesses and half the time I wear dress attire. Also, I drive around (Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland) regularly for meetings, etc. Cycling doesn't fit. I have kids also, but I usually crave out an hour on the weekend to ride. This past Sunday I did 16.4 miles in an hour. Luckily, this route was mostly flat roads.

My two thoughts were:

1. Lower the mileage per ride (or pace). This would add another ride into the week.
2. Keep on the two rides per week and slowly increase the distance.
 

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I need to disagree on this. A normal person cannot ride 50 to 100 miles. That's insane to even state this. In my twenties I was doing 20-30 miles rides and I was in the best shape of my life. Also, not everyone has the time to ride 50 to 100 miles. Not sure what advice you're attempting to give here...
Totally disagree. Anyone with any modicum of fitness can go out and ride a bike 3-4 hours. Sure, they're going to probably be uncomfortable and yeah, they'll probably be tired at the end, but it's really not saying much to go ride 4 hours at 15 mph. I have seen multiple people do that (and longer) with hardly any riding.

Like I said before, mental determination. And when you're getting longer like that, fueling. Eat and drink and eat and drink some more.

Your mentality is holding you back right now. "Best shape of your life" riding 20-30 miles is a strange statement. Running 8 miles a day is far more impressive. That would have you in far better shape in my opinion.
 

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I need to disagree on this. A normal person cannot ride 50 to 100 miles. That's insane to even state this. In my twenties I was doing 20-30 miles rides and I was in the best shape of my life.
I'm pretty normal, although at 190 lbs 5'11" I'm a bit heavy for a road biker. I can ride 50 miles off the couch each spring, have ridden 100-130 mile tours once per year for many years, and have done a few 50 mile MTB races. I'm just a "front of the middle" of the pack rider. Nothing insane about it.

I would think a 16 mph pace shouldn't be too hard to maintain for longer distances. Maybe you're overestimating your body's "need" for recovery? Punish those quads a bit more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Slow down? I can't imagine anyone needing three days to recover from 10 miles unless they sprint the entire distance.
Riding distance is about pace. Anyone of moderate physical ability should be able to ride 50-100mi so long as they don't ride too fast.
Is it possible to commute to work on your bike? I get in 33 miles a day that I'd otherwise be spending crammed onto a metro train for two hours a day. I've got two kids who do sports, so my weekends are usually pretty shot.
Totally disagree. Anyone with any modicum of fitness can go out and ride a bike 3-4 hours. Sure, they're going to probably be uncomfortable and yeah, they'll probably be tired at the end, but it's really not saying much to go ride 4 hours at 15 mph. I have seen multiple people do that (and longer) with hardly any riding.

Like I said before, mental determination. And when you're getting longer like that, fueling. Eat and drink and eat and drink some more.

Your mentality is holding you back right now. "Best shape of your life" riding 20-30 miles is a strange statement. Running 8 miles a day is far more impressive. That would have you in far better shape in my opinion.
You've seen people who don't regularly ride bike 4 hours straight? I can't imagine this. Are you referring to casual riding on flat land and stopping off and on? Or, riding at a decent pace without stopping? Perhaps it's the way I approach riding. I don't casually ride. Every time I ride it's to beat my last best time. I climb hills as fast as possible and if I ever do stop it's due to a red light or stop sign (when they're there). One of my regular routes has ten climbs. I can't see someone who doesn't ride doing my route for four hours. They'd cramp up halfway up the hill or just stall (I've seen riders stall on these climbs).

As far as running goes I can't do it anymore due to injuries. If I could run I would - trust me. But, I'm not allowed (literally) to run anymore. That's why I'm road biking again. I'm trying to get my miles up but after each ride my legs are sore within 2-3 hours.

I think the issue is my pace. Perhaps I need to stop thinking of riding as a race and focus on pace.
 

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You rode 16.4 miles in an hour and it takes your legs 3 days to recover. If that is in fact true you have then you have to be really out of shape. So that being said and as others have said SLOW down and get acclimated to riding. If you were a sprinter years ago then you know you can't be at peak performance without working up to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You rode 16.4 miles in an hour and it takes your legs 3 days to recover. If that is in fact true you have then you have to be really out of shape. So that being said and as others have said SLOW down and get acclimated to riding. If you were a sprinter years ago then you know you can't be at peak performance without working up to it.
Good point. I'm not in great shape yet. As I said I've returned to biking two months ago after a ten year hiatus. Perhaps I'm expecting too much of myself. Yes, 16.4 miles took me an hour. I thought it was a decent considering the terrain. I'll focus on my pace more and work up to longer miles.

Thanks for the feedback!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Slow down? I can't imagine anyone needing three days to recover from 10 miles unless they sprint the entire distance.
Riding distance is about pace. Anyone of moderate physical ability should be able to ride 50-100mi so long as they don't ride too fast.
Is it possible to commute to work on your bike? I get in 33 miles a day that I'd otherwise be spending crammed onto a metro train for two hours a day. I've got two kids who do sports, so my weekends are usually pretty shot.
Just go out and do it. 33 miles should require nothing more than a little mental determination with your background.
I signed up for a 33 miler for late August. Looking forward to it. I haven't ridden in a group in 20 years. The last two months I just ride by myself.
 

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Totally disagree. Anyone with any modicum of fitness can go out and ride a bike 3-4 hours. Sure, they're going to probably be uncomfortable and yeah, they'll probably be tired at the end, but it's really not saying much to go ride 4 hours at 15 mph. I have seen multiple people do that (and longer) with hardly any riding.

Like I said before, mental determination. And when you're getting longer like that, fueling. Eat and drink and eat and drink some more.

Your mentality is holding you back right now. "Best shape of your life" riding 20-30 miles is a strange statement. Running 8 miles a day is far more impressive. That would have you in far better shape in my opinion.

I bet the vast majority of "people" can't ride a bike for 3-4 hours let alone "anyone" with a small amount of fitness as you reference. Seeing multiple people do it is a long ways from anyone.
 

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I need to disagree on this. A normal person cannot ride 50 to 100 miles. That's insane to even state this. In my twenties I was doing 20-30 miles rides and I was in the best shape of my life. Also, not everyone has the time to ride 50 to 100 miles. Not sure what advice you're attempting to give here...
Disagree all you want. But you're wrong. I see it ALL THE TIME. Go do any big charity ride. There's always people doing them who hardly ride bikes yet go do 50-100mi.

I did a ride with about 100 disabled veterans this year. 140mi in two days. Many hardly ride bikes. Some didn't know how to shift. Many overweight and out of shape. Some we on HAND CYCLES because they didn't have legs. Every single one finished the ride.

So no it's not insane to state this.


You've seen people who don't regularly ride bike 4 hours straight? I can't imagine this. Are you referring to casual riding on flat land and stopping off and on? Or, riding at a decent pace without stopping? Perhaps it's the way I approach riding. I don't casually ride. Every time I ride it's to beat my last best time. I climb hills as fast as possible and if I ever do stop it's due to a red light or stop sign (when they're there).
Hello.... you're not paying attention. You've just admitted... you don't know how to pace yourself. Which is what everyone has been saying. You're riding too hard which is why you can't ride farther.
 

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I bet the vast majority of "people" can't ride a bike for 3-4 hours let alone "anyone" with a small amount of fitness as you reference. Seeing multiple people do it is a long ways from anyone.
Sure, because the vast majority of people don't have a modicum of fitness.

Anything else you need clarification on?
 

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Disagree all you want. But you're wrong. I see it ALL THE TIME. Go do any big charity ride. There's always people doing them who hardly ride bikes yet go do 50-100mi.
Indeed. I know a guy who led a "training group" of people who decided to do a charity century. So they "trained" for six weeks, doing like a 2 hour, then 3 hour, then 4 hour ride to build up. Basically all of their weekly riding was done in one or two days. And they managed just fine. Slowly, likely quite painfully towards the end, but completed.

And that was a "training group". Seen quite a few people not too fussed with even bothering with that.
 

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Nailed it.

You can do it, just slow down. Just like running.
I was in same boat in April. I am also of the same mental attitude. I get a little pissy if I'm not at or beating my average time for the same ride.

What helped me was finding a good cadence and focusing on keeping that cadence. While not far, I squeeze 22-24 mile 430am ride before work. Any fatigue is from the 430 am time not from multiple days of 22-24 miles.
 
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