Distance Training

How to be "On Form" for a Big Event

I would like to do a century ride in about two weeks and have done some moderate base training but not as much as I'd like. I did a 77-mile ride three weeks ago and felt pretty good (average speed 14.5 mph). Did just a few rides in the meantime and rode 70 miles two days ago and did not feel very good (sore butt, wrists, tired quads). My average speed was 14 mph, with around 3,000 feet climbing. I did a hard 65-mile ride five days before, and a 90-minute commute two days prior and a swim the day prior. Now I would like to do a century in less than two weeks, and another century two weeks after that.

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Maintaining Form Despite Time Off the Bike

Last week I wrote about how Steve Koester could be on form for big events (two centuries two weeks apart in late June and early July). He also asked how to maintain his form for a future event despite a long backpacking trip and even more time off the bike. Many roadies have a similar situation. After training up and completing an event, how you do you maintain form despite a break in cycling for a two-week non-cycling vacation or a week-long business trip? What should any roadie, including Steve, do to be in shape for another event after a break from cycling?

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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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How Should You Train for a TdF Cycling Tour?

This summer, I took a bucket-list cycling trip to France to ride on many of the roads – including many of the most famous climbs – featured in the Tour de France. After my return, I've been asked about the trip, and my preparations for it, by many cycling friends. So I decided to write an article detailing a few tips you, too, might benefit from if you decide to check this or a similar ride off your own cycling bucket list.

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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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