Distance Training

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How Much Can I Realistically Improve at My Age?

This is a general question, but first a statement. Often, the physiology journals report of 12-week training periods with reports of X% improvement compared to the control group. Two years ago, I rode the same century as 5 years previously in 1.5 hours less time. I prepared for this century with much more early season leisurely riding. I would really like to do a 300 K or double century without being "wiped out" for the rest of the summer. How much improvement is realistic for me, a 60-year-old male; a person who only began cycling less than 10 years ago? 

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Is Retirement Dangerous to My Cycling?

Because of my work schedule, I have ridden sporadically for the last 20 years, logging about 1,500 miles annually and doing one or two centuries just for fun. Last winter I took early retirement and decided to devote full time to cycling. I rode 5,000 miles in 8 months and improved fast. But now I’m tired and can’t stand the thought of hammering with the young guys on another group ride. What happened? I thought hard work was supposed to make me better.

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The Incredible Cycling (and Running) Life of Ken Bonner

Editor's Note: RBR contributor Ken Bonner is a (former) marathon runner and renowned ultracyclist who holds the course record for the British Columbia Rocky Mountain 1200k and several UltraMarathon Cycling Association point-to-point records. Retired and living in Victoria, British Columbia, he rides about 18,000 miles a year. Ken's distance accomplishments are otherworldly, and he remains an amazing cyclist at age 74. Just for kicks, to celebrate turning 70, he rode more than 70 hours in 5 days – most of it in a cold rain. He slows down only when his grandkids get him sick!

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Gaining Weight on Long Rides

You rode 170 miles in 2 days at an average speed around 15 mph. You ate and drank just enough. You were excited about the opportunity to do consecutive long rides because you want to lose 10 pounds and certainly 170 miles would incinerate plenty of body fat. You weighed in at 205 pounds before the first ride. Then the morning after the second ride, you stepped on the scale expecting to have burned off 5 pounds of ugly fat. Oops! The scale says 208. You put on your glasses but the number is still there — yes, you gained 3 pounds instead of losing. What went wrong?

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How Can I Improve My Century Time by September?

I live in the Southeast and ride year-round. I'm 5-11 and 200 pounds. I recently completed a hilly century in a bit under 6 hours. I'm planning to ride another one in September and I want to go faster.

I don't have hills to train on but I do like to lift weights. I know I would climb better if I gained strength and lost weight. How should I use the next 4 months to peak in September? 

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How Can I Prepare for a Tough Century in 3 Weeks?

I'm training for an annual century called Blood, Sweat & Gears near Asheville, N.C. It has over 9,000 feet (2,700m) of climbing. As I write this, the event is only three weeks away. I've been commuting regularly (10 miles each way, with some tough little hills) and have ridden a long climb to Skyline Drive, hitting about 3,500 feet at the top, the last two weekends. I'll ride Massanutten Mountain for an 82-mile sufferfest this weekend. Is this enough, or should I try to get in more mileage on weekdays? When should I do my last long climbing ride before the event? Should I try to lose a few pounds? 

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