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Lizzie will ride free
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Hey gang, another question. I'm training for RAMROD (Ride Around Mount Rainier One Day) this year, and I need some advice from you. The ride is about 155 miles with 10000 feet of climbing. My goal is to finish; I'm not trying for any speed records here.

A little background. I'm 41, 5' 11", and 170 pounds. I'm still losing some weight and should be 160-165 by the ride. I was once a very active rider, but I was off the bike for years. Last year I got back on and did 3-4K miles wth a few centuries. I've been building up to between 120 and 220 miles per week this year, and I'll admit because of the long distance it's not too intense, but I have been riding tough hills too. I've been swimming a couple of nights a week too, but nothing hard.

I've been sorting out eating and staying hydrated on longer rides. (Thanks to some of you and the search function) I have the luxury of being able to get out a bunch each week if I need to, and I'm afraid I might be overdoing it. The ride isn't until July 27th. I'm also going to ride Seattle to Portland in one day (205 miles) on July 15th. The only other rides I have commited to are 100 miles on June 18 and a tough climbing "Tour de Blast" on June 24h.

Last Sunday I did 100 miles with about 5000 feet of climing, and I felt great until 95, and sort of bonked, but no big deal. So in other words, I'm tired after 100, but it's not too hard.

I read everything I could find on the site about overtraining. I have none of the symptoms yet, but it's early in the year.

Anyway, can you give me some advice on how to build up miles, taper to a peak, and not peak in June? Can you point me to a good book or two? How many days off / week would you think? Should I do speed work on shorter days?
 

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I do similar sorts of rides to what you're planning (Death Ride, hilly 200k cenuries, etc). I raced in my late 20s/early 30s, quit riding, and started again at age 40. I'm 45 now.

My training now is kind of unstructured. I don't do intervals or speed work or sprints, since that's what burnt me out on racing. Endurance rides don't really require speed work anyhow. I do endurance rides and lots of climbing. This year I've been doing some hard group rides. I may do some climbing intervals if I enjoy them. But only as long as it is fun.

I plan for an "easy week" about once a month. That may coincide with business travel or a rainy week or a crisis at work, or I may just sleep late a few mornings. I'll ride some, but worry even less about "training". I'll also take a day off if I feel tired. Sometimes in the morning I won't really want to go for a ride. If I get out and after a while I'm still feeling tired and not enjoying the ride, that's probably a sign that I need a day's rest.

I average 5 days a week riding, which doesn't sound like much when you look at Friel's book or anyone's training books. But they usually have you doing a day or two "active rest". I don't do those rides. While I don't doubt the value of active rest rides, I think they're worth less than endurance pace or above rides, and I only have a certain amount of time for riding.
 
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