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1 month to prepare for a road cycling challenge: what are your recommendations?

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1 month to prepare for a road cycling challenge: what are your recommendations?

Old 08-18-21, 06:51 AM
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1 month to prepare for a road cycling challenge: what are your recommendations?

Hi,

my work company plans to organize a cycling challenge which consists in different routes up to 200km in distance. It's taking place next month so I have 5 weeks in front of me to prepare. I'm a full beginner in road cycling even if I have a pretty good physical condition. What would be a realistic goal of distance considering I could train 3 times a week until then?

Do you have any general recommendations to prepare myself the best way possible even in this short period of time? Are there electronic devices you think are mandatory to monitor my progression/ physical condition?

My road bikes are endurance oriented (Trek Domane AL2 and Triban RC520 Disc) so they should do the trick. Both are new, I'm coming from mountain biking and planned to use the Trek for nice roads and sunny days (25mm tires, 2x8 Claris groupset, brake pads) and the Triban (28mm tires, 2x11 105 groupset, disc brakes) for gnarlier roads and/or bad weather. Converting it for gravel later is also an option. For now I've no idea which one to choose, what do you think?

Many thanks,
Eric

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Old 08-18-21, 06:55 AM
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Start riding as much as you can.
Commute to work.
Leave one bike at work to ride on your lunch time.
Get up 2 hours before work and ride.
Get some Bright Lights and ride some at night.
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Old 08-18-21, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Start riding as much as you can.
Commute to work.
Leave one bike at work to ride on your lunch time.
Get up 2 hours before work and ride.
Get some Bright Lights and ride some at night.
Is it a rule to ride as much as possible before an event? Or should I focus my preparation on my general physical condition? I hesitate between focusing 100% on cycling for the 5 next weeks (the event takes place 26/09) and mixing things up with swimming and bodybuilding.

I have powerful lights already . I use them in the daylight also. My cycling clothes are very bright (neon orange and white) so it should help for the safety in the dark.
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Old 08-18-21, 08:10 AM
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You are The Motor of the Bike.
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Old 08-18-21, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Pulse_ View Post
Is it a rule to ride as much as possible before an event? Or should I focus my preparation on my general physical condition? I hesitate between focusing 100% on cycling for the 5 next weeks (the event takes place 26/09) and mixing things up with swimming and bodybuilding.

I have powerful lights already . I use them in the daylight also. My cycling clothes are very bright (neon orange and white) so it should help for the safety in the dark.
Rhetorical question in an attempt for you to see the idea we are conveying to you: Would you ever prepare for a new bodybuilding personal best or something like the 1000 pound club by instead going out and riding a bicycle?

Of course not. So we can't apply the same logic to preparing to ride a bike 200km.

1. Research if the work event has other options than 200km. Usually they have a short, middle, and long distance for such things. Choose the short or the middle. You simply do not have the time to prepare for the 200km and also expect to enjoy doing so. Enjoyment on this venture should factor into the decision making also.

2. Even if trying to throw riding volume at the problem, you have to ramp your increase in volume. Or your body will not be capable of recovering, your progress will stall and possibly revert. By ramp, I mean something like try to ride a total of 6 hours the first week, then 8 the next, then 10 the next, then 12 the next. In the same thought process, taper the time duration per ride. Maybe do two a day earlier instead of all at once. Either way, that's a gross oversimplification of the concept of ramping training stress.

3. Eat at will while you do this. Your body will be fighting to recover adequately if you ignore the advice of maybe backing off of the 200km for a shorter part of the event. So it will need the nutrition.

4. The last person I know of that thought cross training more than riding the bike (or in general doing sport specific work) was that lady who thought she'd do all those Ironmans on her own back to back. She thought she was a crossfit champion who was awesome. She basically forced herself to continue with the triathlon challenge, then got rhabdo and seriously ill. The body rejected the stress.

Good luck.
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Old 08-18-21, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Rhetorical question in an attempt for you to see the idea we are conveying to you: Would you ever prepare for a new bodybuilding personal best or something like the 1000 pound club by instead going out and riding a bicycle?

Of course not. So we can't apply the same logic to preparing to ride a bike 200km.

1. Research if the work event has other options than 200km. Usually they have a short, middle, and long distance for such things. Choose the short or the middle. You simply do not have the time to prepare for the 200km and also expect to enjoy doing so. Enjoyment on this venture should factor into the decision making also.

2. Even if trying to throw riding volume at the problem, you have to ramp your increase in volume. Or your body will not be capable of recovering, your progress will stall and possibly revert. By ramp, I mean something like try to ride a total of 6 hours the first week, then 8 the next, then 10 the next, then 12 the next. In the same thought process, taper the time duration per ride. Maybe do two a day earlier instead of all at once. Either way, that's a gross oversimplification of the concept of ramping training stress.

3. Eat at will while you do this. Your body will be fighting to recover adequately if you ignore the advice of maybe backing off of the 200km for a shorter part of the event. So it will need the nutrition.

4. The last person I know of that thought cross training more than riding the bike (or in general doing sport specific work) was that lady who thought she'd do all those Ironmans on her own back to back. She thought she was a crossfit champion who was awesome. She basically forced herself to continue with the triathlon challenge, then got rhabdo and seriously ill. The body rejected the stress.

Good luck.
Thanks for your insight. Bodybuilding has helped me gain muscle mass and eventually avoid injuries in many sports, I see it as a preparation. I'm not talking about powerlifting but about complementing cycling. I understand your reasoning but by experience I would not apply this reasoning with bodybuilding.

1. Exactly, that's why I asked for the distance you would find more realistic in my first post. 200km would be the longest ride but there will be shorter distances, Most of my collegues don't practice sports as intensively as I do.
2.Ok, I'll ride more and more with the time left and follow the methodology you mentioned.
3. I lack knowledge in nutrition, I'll take a look in the dedicated section in this forum and online, youtube etc.. Typically I have no idea what amount of water + solid food I should take with me for let's say a 100km ride.
4. Ok for very specific sports but bodybuilding can be beneficial to any sport. I have had great results:
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Old 08-18-21, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
You are The Motor of the Bike.
Exactly, that's why my money goes in training and food first before my equipement (except for safety). All my bikes are entry level bikes. I'm the bottleneck.
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Old 08-18-21, 10:15 AM
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As burnthesheep says, ride your bike. In the things-which-can-go-wrong category . . .

1) Over or under hydration during rides
2) Fueling (food) during rides, either too much or too little
3) Saddle/butt issues
4) Overdoing it during your prep period.


Only experience can address numbers 1, 2, and 3, see below for #4. To decrease the possibility of nos. 1-3 becoming a show-stopper, I suggest doing one long ride on the weekend. So if you want your total weekly ride time to be 6 hours, do 3 one-hour rides and one 3 hour ride. On the long ride, what I did when I was starting serious bike training was to ride away from home until I was tired, then ride back. Take some pickle juice along in case of cramps.

You asked about instrumentation. You spent some money on 2 new bikes, so I would guess that you expect your new biking hobby to be a long-term thing. If so, I suggest getting some sort of a Garmin GPS device, and one which shows cadence. You'll appreciate knowing how far you've gone and the Garmin transfers easily from bike to bike. The idea of watching cadence is that you will be shooting for a pedaling cadence about ~90 on the flat, and 70-85 when climbing. You might find that a little difficult to begin with, but work on it as it's very important for endurance.

For the "overdoing it" thing, I suggest getting a Garmin heart rate transmitter. To start with, on the bike concentrate on your breathing rate and just observe your heart rate until you get a good sense of how long you can hold whatever heart rate. The idea is that for long rides you can limit your top heart rate to reduce the chance of getting exhausted. The other thing you can do with heart rate is to take your resting heart rate every morning. If it jumps up by 6-8 beats over your usual, you need a day or two off the bike to recover.

As you ride over the next few weeks, you'll have a better idea of what distance you can reasonably do. I also suggest doing one of the shorter distances, not the 200k. It'll probably take you some weeks just to be able to ride 50 miles. That's about the distance at which things start going wrong for the beginning rider. In the general advice category, the rule is "see hill, ride up it." Cycling is all about riding up hills. Why? Because it's hard.

And no, don't waste your energy doing bodybuilding. Ride your bike. Bodybuilding is an anaerobic sport. Cycling is an aerobic endurance sport. Neither of those two words feature in bodybuilding. When you start reaching your limit in speed and endurance after a couple of years of intensive cycling, that's when gym work can come in handy. Not now. I do advocate somewhat specialized strength work for experienced riders, especially older riders.
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Old 08-18-21, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
As burnthesheep says, ride your bike. In the things-which-can-go-wrong category . . .

1) Over or under hydration during rides
2) Fueling (food) during rides, either too much or too little
3) Saddle/butt issues
4) Overdoing it during your prep period.


Only experience can address numbers 1, 2, and 3, see below for #4. To decrease the possibility of nos. 1-3 becoming a show-stopper, I suggest doing one long ride on the weekend. So if you want your total weekly ride time to be 6 hours, do 3 one-hour rides and one 3 hour ride. On the long ride, what I did when I was starting serious bike training was to ride away from home until I was tired, then ride back. Take some pickle juice along in case of cramps.

You asked about instrumentation. You spent some money on 2 new bikes, so I would guess that you expect your new biking hobby to be a long-term thing. If so, I suggest getting some sort of a Garmin GPS device, and one which shows cadence. You'll appreciate knowing how far you've gone and the Garmin transfers easily from bike to bike. The idea of watching cadence is that you will be shooting for a pedaling cadence about ~90 on the flat, and 70-85 when climbing. You might find that a little difficult to begin with, but work on it as it's very important for endurance.

For the "overdoing it" thing, I suggest getting a Garmin heart rate transmitter. To start with, on the bike concentrate on your breathing rate and just observe your heart rate until you get a good sense of how long you can hold whatever heart rate. The idea is that for long rides you can limit your top heart rate to reduce the chance of getting exhausted. The other thing you can do with heart rate is to take your resting heart rate every morning. If it jumps up by 6-8 beats over your usual, you need a day or two off the bike to recover.

As you ride over the next few weeks, you'll have a better idea of what distance you can reasonably do. I also suggest doing one of the shorter distances, not the 200k. It'll probably take you some weeks just to be able to ride 50 miles. That's about the distance at which things start going wrong for the beginning rider. In the general advice category, the rule is "see hill, ride up it." Cycling is all about riding up hills. Why? Because it's hard.

And no, don't waste your energy doing bodybuilding. Ride your bike. Bodybuilding is an anaerobic sport. Cycling is an aerobic endurance sport. Neither of those two words feature in bodybuilding. When you start reaching your limit in speed and endurance after a couple of years of intensive cycling, that's when gym work can come in handy. Not now. I do advocate somewhat specialized strength work for experienced riders, especially older riders.
Ok I take good notes of this. What is considered "old" in cycling? I'm 37. I'll start this evening, the bike is ready
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Old 08-18-21, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Pulse_ View Post
Ok I take good notes of this. What is considered "old" in cycling? I'm 37. I'll start this evening, the bike is ready
You go, kid! I'm 76 which is getting toward the upper limit for endurance cycling. I ride fine, but recovery is becoming a problem, making it hard to get in good enough shape to do hard rides. I'm in the gym for an hour 2 days/week, try to get about 10 hours of training per week. We have an event ride here with 150+ miles and 9,000'. The oldest rider I've seen complete this ride was 80. Right now I'm training with my wife for our annual 10-day backpack. We ride a tandem.
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Old 08-18-21, 10:56 AM
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What's the farthest you can ride now?
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Old 08-18-21, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
What's the farthest you can ride now?
I have no idea (no device whatsoever) but I can ride for several hours. I'll need to buy a smartphone holder. I don't have the habit to check for the distance, heartrate etc.. Do you think a smartphone will be sufficient or a GPS for sports is necessary?
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Old 08-18-21, 11:36 AM
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Several hours is good. Saddle time is key, and you'll want to ramp up gradually to your target distance. Personally, I use a barebones Garmin. I prefer to keep my phone in my pocket. Saves the battery, safer in a fall, etc. But obviously lots of riders use them, that's why they sell the phone mounts. And even without a device, you can just pick a destination, check the distance on a map or mapping app, and ride there.
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Old 08-18-21, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
You go, kid! I'm 76 which is getting toward the upper limit for endurance cycling. I ride fine, but recovery is becoming a problem, making it hard to get in good enough shape to do hard rides. I'm in the gym for an hour 2 days/week, try to get about 10 hours of training per week. We have an event ride here with 150+ miles and 9,000'. The oldest rider I've seen complete this ride was 80. Right now I'm training with my wife for our annual 10-day backpack. We ride a tandem.
Nice, you have all my respect! Tandem is great. My mother is technically blind (she can see shapes and distinguish light though) and is riding a tandem too. She lives in southern France, near the Mont Ventoux . Sharing bike cycling is a great adventure, I just wished road cycling was safer though. I like the sensations, I just had a 2 hours ride near Brussels but it's tricky with 25mm wide tires and the gaps in the rails (tramways). In the wet it's almost mission impossible not to slide on them, I've got to find better spots to ride even if I can go as fast as cars. Luckily I live near a big park and there is a large road around it where there are no cars. I mean never. It's about 3km long I would say and I can do the "circle" as many times I want. And the road is perfect. Your rythm is impressive, I'm convinced there is no age to do sports. We need to adapt for sure but there is always a gap for improvement

I just have a question for everybody. I feeel great everywhere but there is one spot where I feel a tension: in the lower part of the back of my neck:


Do you have any idea if this is due to a bad positioning? I can find relief when I tuck my head inside my shoulders (chin against my torso) but then I don't see the road anymore.. which isn't practical to see around me

Don't worry the picture isn't me for now I still have my skin

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Old 08-18-21, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Pulse_ View Post
Nice, you have all my respect! Tandem is great. My mother is technically blind (she can see shapes and distinguish light though) and is riding a tandem too. She lives in southern France, near the Mont Ventoux . Sharing bike cycling is a great adventure, I just wished road cycling was safer though. I like the sensations, I just had a 2 hours ride near Brussels but it's tricky with 25mm wide tires and the gaps in the rails (tramways). In the wet it's almost mission impossible not to slide on them, I've got to find better spots to ride even if I can go as fast as cars. Luckily I live near a big park and there is a large road around it where there are no cars. I mean never. It's about 3km long I would say and I can do the "circle" as many times I want. And the road is perfect. Your rythm is impressive, I'm convinced there is no age to do sports. We need to adapt for sure but there is always a gap for improvement

I just have a question for everybody. I feeel great everywhere but there is one spot where I feel a tension: in the lower part of the back of my neck:
Do you have any idea if this is due to a bad positioning? I can find relief when I tuck my head inside my shoulders (chin against my torso) but then I don't see the road anymore.. which isn't practical to see around me

Don't worry the picture isn't me for now I still have my skin
Maybe roll your pelvis forward and straighten your upper back, see: https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycl...discovery.html
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Old 08-18-21, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Maybe roll your pelvis forward and straighten your upper back, see: https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycl...discovery.html
This thread is extreeeeemely interesting, many thanks!

Do you guys have a recommendation for a cycling GPS that would be suitable for MTB also? With a .. let's say 200$ budget.
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Old 08-18-21, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Pulse_ View Post
This thread is extreeeeemely interesting, many thanks!

Do you guys have a recommendation for a cycling GPS that would be suitable for MTB also? With a .. let's say 200$ budget.
This little gadget is under your budget and is still made: https://www.amazon.com/CAT-EYE-Padro...dp/B0192JHV0Q/
I think it needs an extra sensor for cadence.
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Old 08-18-21, 09:02 PM
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From dealing with other people, if you're already in decent shape you can probably go out and ride 2-3 hours and cover 30-40 miles. If you're in really good shape I don't doubt that you can go out and cover more like 40-50 miles in closer to 2.5-4 hours. I've met plenty of healthy people for whom this was easily the case. What people lose sight of that requires strength training is the level of fatigue that starts to set in after that, in decent shape the first 20 miles go by nicely, the next ten are more tiring and the legs start feeling dead at 30 particularly when you haven't learned to pace yourself. Same with being in really good shape, 30 miles isn't a lot but by 50 the arms are getting tired, the but is getting sore and your legs aren't used to churning out the miles as the mind starts to wonder when it will be over.
This is why people are recommending miles on the bike and looking at a shorter distance if available. Your legs aren't used to the long term sustained effort that you're going to ask of them, you're talking about 130 miles, assuming rolling terrain your average if good, and you're not a racer from what I can read with real experience, will be 15mph at the upper end giving you a good 9.5 hours of riding if this is a one day ride, don't be surprised by 12mph average and closer to 11 hours of riding. Stops will be added in and required for drinks, snacks, and bio-breaks and add to the weariness of getting back on the bike. That's a lot of hours training your muscles to just function and the gym won't help that much, it'll make you stronger but you need endurance.
Personally I would try to get out for 25 mile rides 3 days a week for the first week and try to do 40 miles on the weekend in a single ride. Use it to see how you feel and how you recover. The second week I'd try for 3 30 mile rides and a 60 mile ride on the weekend. 3rd week try for 35 mile rides 3x and go for a 75 mile ride, see what recovery feels like. Week 4 stick with the 35 miles and maybe see if 40 is doable, and try for 90 miles on the weekend. Final week do a couple of 40 mile days and nothing for 3 days till the ride. I'm not a trainer but this is what I would try to do, more than that would be hard to schedule and pushing harder is liable to hurt you. If you can't do the final 90 mile ride you have no chance on 130, if you can make it but suffer you'll possibly make 130 but expect to suffer more and if you can easily do it you'll ace 130mi. A month though isn't the best time frame but good luck.
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Old 08-19-21, 03:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth View Post
From dealing with other people, if you're already in decent shape you can probably go out and ride 2-3 hours and cover 30-40 miles. If you're in really good shape I don't doubt that you can go out and cover more like 40-50 miles in closer to 2.5-4 hours. I've met plenty of healthy people for whom this was easily the case. What people lose sight of that requires strength training is the level of fatigue that starts to set in after that, in decent shape the first 20 miles go by nicely, the next ten are more tiring and the legs start feeling dead at 30 particularly when you haven't learned to pace yourself. Same with being in really good shape, 30 miles isn't a lot but by 50 the arms are getting tired, the but is getting sore and your legs aren't used to churning out the miles as the mind starts to wonder when it will be over.
This is why people are recommending miles on the bike and looking at a shorter distance if available. Your legs aren't used to the long term sustained effort that you're going to ask of them, you're talking about 130 miles, assuming rolling terrain your average if good, and you're not a racer from what I can read with real experience, will be 15mph at the upper end giving you a good 9.5 hours of riding if this is a one day ride, don't be surprised by 12mph average and closer to 11 hours of riding. Stops will be added in and required for drinks, snacks, and bio-breaks and add to the weariness of getting back on the bike. That's a lot of hours training your muscles to just function and the gym won't help that much, it'll make you stronger but you need endurance.
Personally I would try to get out for 25 mile rides 3 days a week for the first week and try to do 40 miles on the weekend in a single ride. Use it to see how you feel and how you recover. The second week I'd try for 3 30 mile rides and a 60 mile ride on the weekend. 3rd week try for 35 mile rides 3x and go for a 75 mile ride, see what recovery feels like. Week 4 stick with the 35 miles and maybe see if 40 is doable, and try for 90 miles on the weekend. Final week do a couple of 40 mile days and nothing for 3 days till the ride. I'm not a trainer but this is what I would try to do, more than that would be hard to schedule and pushing harder is liable to hurt you. If you can't do the final 90 mile ride you have no chance on 130, if you can make it but suffer you'll possibly make 130 but expect to suffer more and if you can easily do it you'll ace 130mi. A month though isn't the best time frame but good luck.
Many thanks for taking the time to go in details! I don't need to do 130miles, there will be shorter routes. My goal right now is to know how to train progressively and with a method that makes sense to determine a realistic distance to ride the 26/09. Which is exactly what you proposed ; Is a rest day necessary between rides or "the more I ride the better it is"?

Do you have general recommendations concerning my nutrition? Just to let you know I'm tall (6'2) and light (72kg) and my endurance is quite good in other sports (mtb, running, rowing).
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Old 08-19-21, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Pulse_ View Post
Nice, you have all my respect! Tandem is great. My mother is technically blind (she can see shapes and distinguish light though) and is riding a tandem too. She lives in southern France, near the Mont Ventoux . Sharing bike cycling is a great adventure, I just wished road cycling was safer though. I like the sensations, I just had a 2 hours ride near Brussels but it's tricky with 25mm wide tires and the gaps in the rails (tramways). In the wet it's almost mission impossible not to slide on them, I've got to find better spots to ride even if I can go as fast as cars. Luckily I live near a big park and there is a large road around it where there are no cars. I mean never. It's about 3km long I would say and I can do the "circle" as many times I want. And the road is perfect. Your rythm is impressive, I'm convinced there is no age to do sports. We need to adapt for sure but there is always a gap for improvement

I just have a question for everybody. I feeel great everywhere but there is one spot where I feel a tension: in the lower part of the back of my neck:


Do you have any idea if this is due to a bad positioning? I can find relief when I tuck my head inside my shoulders (chin against my torso) but then I don't see the road anymore.. which isn't practical to see around me

Don't worry the picture isn't me for now I still have my skin
I assume the tension/discomfort you describe is only on the bike, but when you get off it subsides. If that's the case, that discomfort you feel will eventually go away, it is because your position on the road bike is new. Also, I assume you are referring to the road in Bois de la Cambre park. That is a good place to ride without cars. But you are also not too far from the canal that runs toward Charleroi, there is a very nice path along the canal that is car free and has minimal road crossings, though it is very flat. Also, head west to Flanders, many bike paths along the roads that direction.

Originally Posted by Pulse_ View Post
Many thanks for taking the time to go in details! I don't need to do 130miles, there will be shorter routes. My goal right now is to know how to train progressively and with a method that makes sense to determine a realistic distance to ride the 26/09. Which is exactly what you proposed ; Is a rest day necessary between rides or "the more I ride the better it is"?

Do you have general recommendations concerning my nutrition? Just to let you know I'm tall (6'2) and light (72kg) and my endurance is quite good in other sports (mtb, running, rowing).
My personal rules on rest days....almost never. I jest. I will take rest days after long gravel races, or particularly huge rides (Saturday I will ride 175km to the coast, Sunday I will either ride at a very low power or not at all, for instance). As for nutrition, just eat healthy foods, avoid processed ones. I personally try to get a balance of protein : carbohydrates and starches : good fats and oils that is roughly 40 : 20 : 40 percentage. I am not rigid on this, it's just a goal.
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Old 08-19-21, 09:30 AM
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The weekend before the Event, try to do a reasonably long ride as a test. Try to do one long ride each week. Maybe 3 hours then 4 hours and then 5 hours or something like that. This is a pretty aggressive progression but it sounds like you are athletic and this might be fine. If you were a couch potato, it would be impossible.

To have a chance at 200km, you should be able to do about 130 km (65%) on that preceding weekend. A more reasonable target might be 100km and then do an Event distance more like 140-150km. That would be a "stretch" goal in my mind.
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Old 08-20-21, 05:16 AM
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Regarding nutrition, you can just eat normally before the ride, the question becomes what to eat during the ride.

It depends a lot on how fast you are going relative to your limit. For very hard rides, you need to eat lots of sugars during the ride to sustain that intensity for longer periods. If you go just a bit slower you can do with much less sugars as you are relying more on fat, which primarily comes from what is already in storage.

This is something that you can figure out as you slowly increase the length of your training rides. You can take for example two bottles with you, one bottle with regular water and in the other bottle you do water with 100g of table sugar, 1-2 g of salt and 1g of citric acid or enough lemon juice to make it palatable. During the ride you can alternate between the 2 bottles depending on if you need energy or just water. If you need more sugars you can then pack some bars or gels, but just this one bottle will probably take you a long way.
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Old 08-20-21, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
I assume the tension/discomfort you describe is only on the bike, but when you get off it subsides. If that's the case, that discomfort you feel will eventually go away, it is because your position on the road bike is new. Also, I assume you are referring to the road in Bois de la Cambre park. That is a good place to ride without cars. But you are also not too far from the canal that runs toward Charleroi, there is a very nice path along the canal that is car free and has minimal road crossings, though it is very flat. Also, head west to Flanders, many bike paths along the roads that direction.



My personal rules on rest days....almost never. I jest. I will take rest days after long gravel races, or particularly huge rides (Saturday I will ride 175km to the coast, Sunday I will either ride at a very low power or not at all, for instance). As for nutrition, just eat healthy foods, avoid processed ones. I personally try to get a balance of protein : carbohydrates and starches : good fats and oils that is roughly 40 : 20 : 40 percentage. I am not rigid on this, it's just a goal.
The pain goes away, it's just a discomfort when I ride. Right now I use a Decathlon helmet which isn't very light and as you know already I am in the process of getting a lighter model, which should help. Yes, it's the road in Bois de la Cambre. I'll try the path along the canal, thanks for sharing .. I'm looking for safe roads around Uccle which is where I live. I could take my car and go to a better place but it's less convenient than just taking the bike and ride from home..

You would advice no rest days even for a beginner? In other sports I have no rule, I just train and adapt to my sensations. Sometimes I'm tired but it gets better during the training. So unless I feel a pain that isn't related with my muscles I don't necessary rest. I'm not in the same shape as before Covid though.. I did less sports last months so I need to regain endurance and strength.

Generally speaking I don't eat processed food. I cook every time. I need to eat more vegetables but I don't know if it's important in cycling.
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Old 08-20-21, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_pedro View Post
Regarding nutrition, you can just eat normally before the ride, the question becomes what to eat during the ride.

It depends a lot on how fast you are going relative to your limit. For very hard rides, you need to eat lots of sugars during the ride to sustain that intensity for longer periods. If you go just a bit slower you can do with much less sugars as you are relying more on fat, which primarily comes from what is already in storage.

This is something that you can figure out as you slowly increase the length of your training rides. You can take for example two bottles with you, one bottle with regular water and in the other bottle you do water with 100g of table sugar, 1-2 g of salt and 1g of citric acid or enough lemon juice to make it palatable. During the ride you can alternate between the 2 bottles depending on if you need energy or just water. If you need more sugars you can then pack some bars or gels, but just this one bottle will probably take you a long way.
I'll do so, many thanks for the recipe .
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Old 08-20-21, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Pulse_ View Post
I have no idea (no device whatsoever) but I can ride for several hours. I'll need to buy a smartphone holder. I don't have the habit to check for the distance, heartrate etc.. Do you think a smartphone will be sufficient or a GPS for sports is necessary?
You can get an app... I think Ride With GPS is still free. Just turn it on and throw the phone in your backpack. Strava should also allow basic riding tracking.

Originally Posted by Pulse_ View Post
Many thanks for taking the time to go in details! I don't need to do 130miles, there will be shorter routes
You'll do well if you have a goal.

"Century" (100 miles) is a common distance.
"Metric Century" (100 km) is also popular.

For training.
Perhaps try bike commuting as frequently as possible/practical. It can be an easy way to rack up some training distance.

If you can do some 50 mile training rides, perhaps with a few of the biggest hills you can find, then you'll be golden.

Watch the speed on your tacking app.

If you are riding at < 10 MPH, then 100 miles is a long ride.
If you can do 13-15 MPH for a longer ride, you'll be OK.
16 to 20 MPH and you'll be doing very well.

Cheep department store speedometers can be handy for tracking speed and distance.
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