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my first half century.(6 posts)

my first half century.nn23
May 29, 2001 5:24 PM
Well actually it was 46 miles. But for me it's pretty close, considering the fact that before a took up cycling (a month ago), the max I ever did in one day was 10 miles.

Now although I feel that I am ramping up on distances pretty well, I wonder if I should concentrate more on distance and stamina or speed and strength for now. Your inputs appreciated. My aim is to be able to complete atleast one century this season.

My ride stats were something like this

Total time between start and finish: 5 hrs 20 mins

During this I had two major rest breaks. 1st break was an 1 hr 30 mins break for lunch+sightseeing and another 30 break at the 34 mile mark.

Total riding time = 3 hrs 20 mins

For a ride like this how does one calculate average speed? Calculating on 3:20 seems like cheating, but on the other hand I know I could easily make do with a 45-60 mins of lesser 'break' time.

Regardless of stats one thing I *did* learn (during the last 5 miles) was how much faster I could go and that too be expending less energy by simply concentrating on my pedling to achieve a more circular motion rather than an up-down thrust action.

You bet I'll post again on my first century (hopefully shortly).
re: my first half century.Dave Hickey
May 29, 2001 6:58 PM
Congrates on your 50 miler. When most people talk about average speed, they are calculating "moving" time only. Most people use cycle computers for average speed. Cycle computers only work when the bike is moving. That said, go ahead and calculate your average speed based on 3:20. Now that you've made 50, your next goal should be a metric century(100k or 62 miles).
re: my first half century.CyclingWolf
May 29, 2001 9:45 PM
You replied to my post concerning my solo century below asking about my time. Dave is correct I use a CatEye Enduro 2 computer (Speed, Time, Average Speed, etc, etc) and my century was a total of 6hrs 15 min. average 16.5 mph. Like I mentioned about 25 miles of it was in a heavy terrentual downpour however mostly flat road which I averaged 19-21 mph, a good 25 miles fighting a strong headwind which kept me at or below 15-16 mph, also to mention the first 25 miles was leisurely stroll (I had not really planned to do the century in the beginning) so rolled at an average of 18-20. Then at the 90 mile mark I started hitting the wall which kept me at about 17-18 no matter how hard I tried. So all in all my next one I am sure will be faster with a higher average speed.

I am involved with cycling for the fitness aspect for the time being my equipment you would think I was preparing for the Tdf (Grin) just like to be prepared. I started cycling last year weighed around 220 lbs and after my century I weighed 181 (Big Grin) but pushing to hit 175 by the end of this summer. Then do weight training through the winter and just maybe start racing next year I will be 35.

Just keep logging the miles, I don't think I would have reached 50 miles if I had not done 20 to 30 35-40 milers. I also ride Mtn. Bike for conditioning as well.

Keep up the great riding and keep sharing, helps us all!!!

Cycling yours,

I did it a lot more conservativelyterry b
May 30, 2001 9:03 AM
I started road cycling a little less than 3 years ago and I took a very conservative approach to building my distance capability. While I was in reasonable condition from mountain biking, I did not have the stamina to do long road rides at (what I considered) a good pace. For the first year, I gradually worked up to what I call a "baseline ride" of about 30 miles. When I was able to ride that with an average of 18-20 mph regardless of conditions and without breaks, I took it up to 35-40 on average (second season.) This year, I have moved up to a 40-50 baseline with a lot of shorter riders thrown in. I can now easily do 50 in 2.5 hours with no breaks. This past weekend I did my first solo century - 6 hours on the dot for riding time with an additional 45 minutes lost to 2 breaks (10-15 minutes) and time sitting at stoplights. I probably could have done a bit better had the last two hours not been ridden at 95-100F. Without knowing your age or your capacity for building your conditioning, my advice to you is to take it slowly on building your distances and not rush to 100 miles. 3:20 is a good time for 50, but you did take some significant breaks. If you merely want to hit 100 miles and don't care if how long it takes, then it does not really matter how you work yourself up to it. Personally, I set a goal of 6 hours and made sure I was physically capable of hitting it. (Knowing full well that 6 hours is not world class by a long shot, but for an mid-40;s guy with a very full life it's a reasonable challenge)
re: my first half century.MeDotOrg
May 30, 2001 9:40 AM
I'll take the last part of your post first. You've got the the right idea: Don't push the pedals, spin the crank. Your power stroke is similar to the action you make to scrape dog sh*t off the bottom of your shoe. Keep your motion smooth, and your RPMs up.

As far as long or short rides, mix it up! Go really fast on 20 mile rides, and dial back a little on the longer ones. As you get stronger, start going a little faster on what will eventually become your middle distance rides (40-60 miles). Pretty soon you'll be up to doing Centuries.

The important thing is to keep it fun, so you keep doing it. As your rides get longer, nutrition and hydration become more and more important. Get some Endurox/Cytomax/Hammergel stuff and sip throughout your ride. The way I think of it, you expend energy gradually, you should replentish gradually.
re: my first half century.mr_spin
May 30, 2001 5:15 PM
Not bad for your experience level. You've got plenty of time over the summer to get in long rides for training for a century.

One piece of advice: when doing a century, don't stop so long at rest stops. 30 minutes is too long (and 1 1/2 hours is WAY too long), unless you have other priorities (e.g., flirting with someone or waiting for a significant other). The longer you stop, the harder it is to start up again. You want to keep your "systems" running as much as possible. Fill your bottles, grab some food, pee, get going.