Done my first 50 miler today, mixed feelings.

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andy46
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Done my first 50 miler today, mixed feelings.

Postby andy46 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:09 pm

I know it's not a big deal for some, but for others it is. Did my first 50 mile ride today (54.6 to be exact) I decided to push myself distance wise not speed as I seem to have fallen into a comfort zone doing 30-36 mile routes.

I didn't break any Strava records but I was enjoying being out on new roads with new scenery, then on my way home I picked up a road I know well and cycle regularly. I got to mile 47 and that was it, I had nothing left and the rest of the ride really wasn't enjoyable. I even cut the ride short by about 10 mile or so, as hills were like mountains and the way I planned to go had a couple of steep climbs.

So while I'm pleased to have got this milestone done, I'm left wondering if I bit off more than I could chew. I have been seriously starting to think about joining a club but after this morning, I don't know if I'm quite ready for that.

I know people make a big thing of average speed but is there a minimum distance you should be able to cover 'comfortably' when joining a club?

Thanks for reading.

Andy :)
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Lycra-Byka
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Re: Done my first 50 miler today, mixed feelings.

Postby Lycra-Byka » Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:21 pm

I ride 30miles normally and push to 50 every now and again.

Joined a club recently and we do 50 miles at 15mph ave. I find this too easy, although I'd do the same alone but the drafting effect from group riding makes it easy. It almost gives the feeling of being pulled along.

This is why I try the faster group tommorow 65 miles at 17mph ave..... What have I signed up for?!?!



Seriously just go for it you will be surprised. You'll wonder what you worried about, plus it's a laugh.

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andy46
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Re: Done my first 50 miler today, mixed feelings.

Postby andy46 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:33 pm

On my normal 36 mile loop I average between 15-16mph not that fast I know, but today at the end of the ride it came out at 13.8mph :oops:

Just don't want to turn up and look a bit daft :lol:
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farrina
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Re: Done my first 50 miler today, mixed feelings.

Postby farrina » Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:42 pm

Well done Andy!

Amongst those reading your post, hand on heart I think we all have been there and had similar thought. I recall fondly many years ago one of my cycling companions, severely " bonked" shakely pealing a banana on the bike and then throwing the banana over the hedge rather than the skin .....

I don't know how old you are and what your cycling targets are, but I would suggest that there are cycling clubs and groups within cycling clubs that cater for differing distances, pace and aspirations.

So the first thing I would do is decide what type of cycling appeals. It may be pottering down country lanes with frequent tea stops, a swift 4 hour blast or sportive/Audax type rides and then make contact with some local clubs in your area. Don't get " hung up" about whether you are good enough as if they are the type of club that you would really want to join they should be asking these type of questions and making sure they can accommodate your aspiration or pointing you in the direction of someone who can.

You might start of pottering and then become an Audax freak or a TT

As to your actual ride it sounds to me that you may have "bonked" and run low on energy. I would try reducing the mileage slightly and make sure you have plenty of food/drink to be eaten on the hoof next time. Also I am sure you are aware you can have good and bad days.

Personally I think you discover the inner self when you are far from home and knackered with no option but to carry on so well done on keeping going and welcome to the real world of cycling! It's not all like the cycling magazines that only ever show happy cyclists with bright skies and clean bikes/ clothing (and this with no mudguards).

Go for it .... If you are relatively new to the sport it's much more fun to be with fellow enthusiasts from whom you can learn and discuss rather than on your own.

Best wishes

Alan
Last edited by farrina on Sat Oct 06, 2012 13:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Done my first 50 miler today, mixed feelings.

Postby Stueys » Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:55 pm

Agree with the previous posters, sounds like you bonked. Well done on your first 50, you'll find you need to eat more as your fitness is improving as you'll be working harder. Keep at it, once you get that mileage under your belt you'll start to find your usual 20-30 miles circuit isn't enough. Keep pushing yourself but eat, aim for 60gms of carbs an hour as a good starting point at that distance.

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Re: Done my first 50 miler today, mixed feelings.

Postby Cleat Eastwood » Sat Oct 06, 2012 13:48 pm

You can't really do a new distance and not feel some effect - by definition your body wont be used to the effort. My first 50 I felt smegged and got cramps. Rest up and try and do a 40 miler - bet you any money you'll kick yourself for not trying for 50.

Your body will remember the effort. so well done.

Club rides can cover any distance so dont get too hung up on distance and time as the effect of riding in a group is so different to solo riding - the micro breaks last longer and the time and distance seem to fly by.
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andy46
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Re: Done my first 50 miler today, mixed feelings.

Postby andy46 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 14:43 pm

Thanks for the encouraging replys, as to some of the questions. I've only really been road cycling for about 16-17 months and just like other people it can be hard to find the time what with work and other commitments. I'm also 34 years old, so I have come into this later than I would have liked to, looking back I wish I'd started sooner :D

I thought I have "bonked" in the past, but nothing like today. I had a cup of coffee and a croissant before I set off and while I was out I almost drank 2 550ml bottles of water and eat a Mars bar and a bag of mini cheddars :oops:

I've got a lot to learn on fueling myself, on my other rides I've only took 1 bottle and no food and just had some toast or cereal when I got back.

As for the type of riding I want to do, I just enjoy being out on my bike preferably on quiet country roads. I have set myself a target for next year. I'd like to do the Durham Big Ride "The Beast" this is around 50 miles and takes in some big climbs. I'd also think about doing a sportive event, but I need to do some more work yet! :lol:
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Re: Done my first 50 miler today, mixed feelings.

Postby butcher of bakersfield » Sat Oct 06, 2012 17:52 pm

Make sure you take something to munch on during a longer ride. I usually pack a banana and some Soreen. Maybe some Jelly babies too if it's a really long one. Or of course you can go with more conventional energy bars or Gels. I never leave for a long ride without my supplies. And Porridge before I go for a slow release of energy.

That said, I felt a pretty drained after a 65 miler today. Sometimes you just have off days.

I done 'The Beast' this year, and that was my first Sportive type event. I'm not sure if it's because I was pacing myself a bit faster than normal, but man, it was tough! I was surprised. Great event though. Loads of participants. Really enjoyed it. You should definitely do it.

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Re: Done my first 50 miler today, mixed feelings.

Postby KINGGARY » Sat Oct 06, 2012 18:06 pm

When I first started I used to feel like the at about the 40 mile mark.
Some of it was fitness and not completing enough endurance rides to train my body to burn a higher percentage of fats than carbs but mainly it was simply down to not consuming enough on rides.
I have learnt since and gone on to complete many long rides, only experiencing this again rarely.
I now eat and drink regularly when riding and pay no attention to what everyone else does, some people I ride with can seem to cycle all day on fresh air, but I need carbs it's as simple as that.

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Re: Done my first 50 miler today, mixed feelings.

Postby Mikey23 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 19:34 pm

sounds like you did ok. if you arent used to doing those sort of distances then you are going to get tired. you dont say how hilly your course was, what was you average speed and what were the weather conditions like. you might have bonked so a little extra nutrition and hydration might be sensible next time

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Re: Done my first 50 miler today, mixed feelings.

Postby ALIHISGREAT » Sat Oct 06, 2012 20:00 pm

You were always going to be slow doing your first 50... that's just the way it is.. but work in longer rides into your regime and you'll reap the rewards.

Also Club runs are generally easy as you're in a group.. so expect to cover more distance, at a better pace than you usually do.

Having said that obviously you do need a certain level of fitness. One of my Local clubs recommends 40 miles at 15mph average as a rough guide.. (although that is in Cambridgeshire where the hills are non-existent.)

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Re: Done my first 50 miler today, mixed feelings.

Postby Mikey41 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 20:13 pm

andy46 wrote:I didn't break any Strava records but I was enjoying being out on new roads with new scenery, then on my way home I picked up a road I know well and cycle regularly. I got to mile 47 and that was it, I had nothing left and the rest of the ride really wasn't enjoyable. I even cut the ride short by about 10 mile or so, as hills were like mountains and the way I planned to go had a couple of steep climbs.

Exactly this happened to me today. I had planned to do about 25miles, but took a wrong turn (or two) and ended up at 34miles. Over the last 8 miles I got off and pushed up the steep stuff, and got back by just coasting the downhills and trying to keep it spinning along.

I have a long way to go yet.
Last edited by Mikey41 on Sat Oct 06, 2012 21:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Done my first 50 miler today, mixed feelings.

Postby Wacky Racer » Sat Oct 06, 2012 20:33 pm

I find that riding alone can be tough sometimes. I always find it easier to do longer distances when I'm with someone, or in a group, because you have other distractions than aching legs, sore feet, or just plain old fatigue.
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andy46
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Re: Done my first 50 miler today, mixed feelings.

Postby andy46 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 20:59 pm

Mikey23 wrote:sounds like you did ok. if you arent used to doing those sort of distances then you are going to get tired. you dont say how hilly your course was, what was you average speed and what were the weather conditions like. you might have bonked so a little extra nutrition and hydration might be sensible next time


My average was 13.8 mph where on my other rides I'm between 15-16mph weather was mainly dry but cold and a bit windy in places as I was out at 6am. Here's the ride on Strava.... please be kind :lol:

http://www.strava.com/runs/24128869?ref=nf
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BobScarle
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Re: Done my first 50 miler today, mixed feelings.

Postby BobScarle » Sat Oct 06, 2012 21:31 pm

Firstly well done on achieving a notable milestone. 50 miles is no mean feat.

Couple of things from your post that come to mind. Eating a Mars Bar may well have contributed to you bonking. A big sugar hit followed by an even bigger low. You would far better taking something that releases energy slower, like flapjacks, fig rolls or maybe an energy bar.

Clubs generally have a few rides going out, various distances and speeds. The ride I go on will cover anywhere between 40 and 65 miles at an average speed of 13 to 16 MPH. This will vary depending on conditions, riders and route. As an example, today's ride was only 42 miles in length but included several quite hard climbs. The club run other rides from flat out training runs to leisurely paced "Touring" rides.

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Re: Done my first 50 miler today, mixed feelings.

Postby TakeTurns » Sat Oct 06, 2012 22:51 pm

Good job on passing 50miles, pretty good results by the looks of the Strava stats too!

Now that you've stepped out of your comfort zone, your body will try to adapt to it. Also known as physical fitness improvement. However you have to keep up the mileage. I'd say 40-45 is good for a couple weeks to come. Remember rest days are important and the best way at your stage would be to have an easy/hard/easy/hard/easy/easy ride combination (may not be in that particular order).

In terms of 'bonking'. If you keep your body topped up with the nutrients it needs to help keep you running, it'll help to prolong fatigue. So getting the right amount of carbs/fluids is important.

Lastly, clubs always welcome people to come along to a club ride in order to get to know the club better before they commit to joining. Club rides are usually split into groups ability wise. This may vary however depending on the club size. My club for example will have an 'Average pace' group and a 'Fast pace' group. Once again, this information can be acquired by a test ride, checking out their website or sending an email.


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