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Reply To: Newbie help!!!

mentor58, January 30, 2012 at 4:27 pm

mjd1221 said: <<Snip>>  You can enjoy the ride more if you put the miles “in the bank.” Best wishes for safe and happy training.

Amen to that.  Believe it or not, those little 10 – 20 miles rides in the training schedule make a HUGE difference at the end.  One of the things that happens over time is a basic change in how your muscles process energy. (yes, gross oversimplfication, but close enough).   Ride, ride and ride some more.  You will get more out of 4 rides each week that are 1 hour long than 1 ride a week that’s 4 hours.  Your best benefits come from 1 or 2 longer rides (ideally on back to back days, that really stimulates the muscles), and a couple of shorter rides, maybe at a slightly quicker pace during the week.  Those help build speed, and speed translates into more miles with less efforts. 

Hill training is important, I live in a very flat part of TN, so I either have to hunt down hills, or fake it by dropping into a higher gear, dropping my cadence a bit and using that to simulate a hill.  Riding into good headwinds is also a good hill substitute.
I’ve looked at the training plan listed on the RAGBRAI site, and I really like it.  It’s nice in that it does have weeks where it backs the intensity off a bit, that is important to prevent over training, and you will be amazed how much of a difference it makes.  I know that it is now the key part of my training plan for the new year. (which starts this week btw)
Steve

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