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am i hurting myself?(2 posts)

am i hurting myself?jbw
Mar 4, 2002 11:47 AM
so... trying to get in shape so i can keep up with local club ride. just got into road biking a year or so ago. didn't realize how slow i was until i rode with the group.

my current plan is as follows: during the week, ride maybe 2 mornings before work. 25-30 miles. good climbs medium intensity. might throw in a night mtb. ride if i have the time. i also play basketball one morning a week (pretty intense for about 1 1/4 hours).

sat. i usually ride mtn one day with my wife. 1 1/2 hours to two hours.

Sunday is where my questions are. I do the group ride and end up killing myself. did 60 miles yesterday with some grueling hills. can't keep up, but each week i think i get dropped later and later, so hopefully i'm making progress. it's always the climbs where i get dropped. any thoughts?

thx, jb
Mar 14, 2002 5:25 PM
Part of the problem is that your hardest ride is also your longest ride. You're sort of screwed before you even start. You need to incorporate in your training rides that are longer, but slower as well as faster, but shorter. You need to push yourself harder and more frequently. Your situation is not unlike running some easy 5K jogs then wondering why you get blown out on a 10K race. A riding buddy that is of slightly better ability would be a real asset for you - having someone raise the bar a little bit each time is a good thing. Going until you blow and hoping you get in better shape isn't a very succesful strategy. When was the last time you rode a century?

Question is how hard and how effectively are you training to get faster? Go for a little bit easier group ride if that's possible. By throwing yourself in the deep end and going 'til you blow you're doing things the hard way. Not that there's really and easy way. I think that you would be well served by getting a heart rate monitor and doing intervals once a week, say on Tuesday. 10 or 20 cycles up a hill for 2 min. at AT then repeat once the HR has come down to something like 60% of AT. Then a long ride on Thu. for a distance longer than the group ride by 20% to 50%. Getting some easy rides in between - always looking to alternate easy-hard rides.. You have to look at the Sunday ride as your "test" and the rest of your rides as your training.

Also take a look at your nutrition - you should think about having some "go juice" in your bottle and use the recovery stuff afterwards. make sure you stretch - you're going to need it. Having GU or something along similar is also important.