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Thread: Cycle Distance Targets

  1. #1

    Cycle Distance Targets

    Hi,

    I am pretty new to cycling, having not really ridden since I was 15......and that I can tell you is over 30 years ago.


    I bought myself a Hybrid bike (Giant Tough Road SLR) and have been enjoying a few shortish rides on nearby canal tow paths and other semi tarmac surfaces. Mainly flat(ish) rides with a couple of short, steep inclines to murder my legs.

    So far doing about 10-20 miles at a time.

    What is a reasonable weekly target for both distance and speed to aim for. Most web sites that I have found seem to concentrate on full road riding.


    Jon

  2. #2
    Proper cyclists target hours not miles. You can't compare miles in say flat Essex with hilly Cornwall or miles on a 26lb nobby tyred bike to a 13lb bike with latex tubes and race tyres.

    Your target should be what you feel you need or desire, not dictated by somebody else. That said I'd have thought you might want to do at least 4 hours a week for fitness/weight loss, maybe 8-10 if you're a keen cyclist and 20+ if you're very serious or a pro!

  3. #3
    Thanks for the response, had not thought of it that way.

    I am already doing the 4 hours comfortably, so will try and build up a little from there. Not sure I am losing weight, or even getting overly fit, but it is quite nice to see a little bit of the countryside.

  4. #4
    Journeyman Hark1812's Avatar
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    If you haven't already done so sign up to a tracking app like strava that way you can see your progress mapped out and improve upon average speed, segment times etc on your more regular routes

    I use it all the time and find it invaluable as a training aid


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  5. #5
    Master
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    I am 62 now and went back to Cycling about 3 years ago I now do about 100 miles a week average. My Hybrid I use mostly summer soft trails canals with a few hills. Winter I get on the road bike I live 640 feet above sea level and generally decent and climb 400 feet a few times in a 20 mile ride. Just do what you can, and if it hurts a tad when you get back all well and good.

  6. #6
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    I took up cycling in earnest at the beginning of 2015 after being a very occasional cyclist, and started doing about 30 or 40 miles a week. I'm 55. These days I aim for 300 a month and usually do considerably more (more than 500 in both April and May this year). I'm not really interested in speed. I sometimes do push it a bit to see how fast I can get round a particular route, but that's rare. I don't enjoy it so much when I'm exerting myself.

    I did a couple of longer rides last month, both in excess of 70 miles. I set myself the task of cycling to all of Leicestershire's neighbouring counties and back from my garage door, and only have Northamptonshire left to do.

  7. #7
    Master PipPip's Avatar
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    I try to do 4-5 hours of intervals on the turbo trainer in the week and weather and time permitting 3 to 4 hours minimum on the road at weekends, longer if I can. I do the occasional 80-100 mile sportive for a bit of a challenge. Speed depends. I tend to average around 18 mph on my own if training, 16-17mph if just out for a nice ride without worrying about speed and 15-16 mph when riding socially with mates. I used to do 15mph on long rides (over 50 miles) but this has increased a lot this year after a winter of turbo training - did the Velothon Wales 87 miles at 17.7mph average a couple of weeks ago. Strava, Trainer Road or Zwift and a turbo trainer are your friends if you want to improve.

  8. #8
    Wow, will really need to up my game !

    Currently the things that are limiting me are

    Sore Backside if I do too much and particularly if I do sequential days. A gel saddle has helped as does padded shorts, but still an irritation.
    Same as above for Quad stiffness if I do sequential days. Again improving, but I feel like it limits my distance.
    A general health issue which is causing me to have days when i can't do it at all.

    While I can't do anything about the later, I would appreciate any pearls of wisdom on the first two

    Jon

  9. #9
    Master PipPip's Avatar
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    Good quality bib shorts like Assos along with their chamois cream will help move the pain from your backside to your wallet.

  10. #10
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    Ditch the gel and get a proper hard saddle. Its sore the first few days then your perineum gets used to it.
    The quads will follow.
    Last edited by Josh B; 3rd June 2016 at 00:15.

  11. #11
    I suppose it depends what you're trying to achieve. That's the first thing to decide before considering targets. If it's just health and fitness, there's no need to do any more distance than you're doing on each ride. Just aim to do it faster. Like most things in life, it's very easy to lose perspective with cycling. Many people aim to go further and further without stopping to consider why they're doing it. Given that any health and fitness benefits are achieved well within an hour on the bike, anything else has to be for another purpose.

    I've been cycling again for about 2 years now, and my view is that it's good, but you need to do other stuff as well. It's very limited in the muscles it utilises and as a result, people who get all their exercise from cycling tend to look pretty crap and don't have a great deal of transferable strength or fitness. What I'm saying is, don't get hung up on distance and hours on the bike, unless you want to compete or do something just for the hell of it. Use it as part of a wider programme.

  12. #12
    If you haven't already, sign up for Strava (free) and join the TZ-UK group https://www.strava.com/clubs/tz-uk-cycling-club

    You can see how you rate against the rest of us mortals, plus Josh and Andrew

    I cycle to a.) get somewhere, like the park, friends, office or shops or b.) err that's it. Which means the distance and speed varies but it doesn't feel like an exercise regime. Although not explicitly condoned, you can join Strava but not become a grim-faced Strava hound.

    On the backside issue, a hard saddle is usually better, paradoxically. The soft ones press on the, ahem, soft tissue which leads to numbness. I don't use cycling shorts (or any other racing-inspired garb or equipment) and have no issue on 100Km days with a simple Brooks. Someone wrote about their gel saddle to Brooks epiphany here.

    Paul

  13. #13
    Do what you enjoy doing and be happy.
    I recommend cycling in a group as well, it really helps me sometimes to be motivated to know that there are people on a Wed/Thu night that I can go with.
    I'm off the bike for 6 months because of a torn achilles tendon but before that I was commuting 2x a week (total 50 miles), hill climbing 2x a week (total 25 miles) and then 1 long 50 mile hill ride at the weekend, probably around 12hrs/wk.

  14. #14
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    When I was doing a lot more cycling (and just starting to try and get back into it again - MTB mostly) - I always followed the advice that it was best to not increase weekly time/miles by more than ~10%.

    I guess this is a useful general guide to stop you overdoing it and to assist building up gradually...

  15. #15
    Thanks all for your advice. I will join up to Strava and post my embarrassing efforts immediately :-)

    I will also re-fit the non-gel saddle and have a go. If it ruins my home life, I will blame you lot !

  16. #16
    Journeyman Hark1812's Avatar
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    Good luck! Let us know your user name and I'll add you on strava.



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  17. #17
    It would be nice to know who everybody is on the Strava TZ-UK club. It is obvious for many but for some I have never worked it out. I am 'Ian C'. My rides are pretty boring, 99% of them the same old commute so I usually upload those just once at the end of the week to avoid cluttering people's feeds

  18. #18
    Journeyman Hark1812's Avatar
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    Just had a look and there are loads of Ian C listed, what Les your location.
    I'm Gary Harkness. Feed should be quiet at the mo, still recovering from being hit by a car before christmas


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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Hark1812 View Post
    Just had a look and there are loads of Ian C listed


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    There's only one in our club!

  20. #20
    Journeyman Hark1812's Avatar
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    I only searched the name not the club. Schoolboy error


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  21. #21
    Journeyman Hark1812's Avatar
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    Joined and added you now!


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  22. #22
    Even uploaded some data... I am probably ranking very slightly above a corpse and just below a 2 year old, but it will get better :-)

    Thanks all

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by b11ocx View Post
    Hi,

    I am pretty new to cycling, having not really ridden since I was 15......and that I can tell you is over 30 years ago.


    I bought myself a Hybrid bike (Giant Tough Road SLR) and have been enjoying a few shortish rides on nearby canal tow paths and other semi tarmac surfaces. Mainly flat(ish) rides with a couple of short, steep inclines to murder my legs.

    So far doing about 10-20 miles at a time.

    What is a reasonable weekly target for both distance and speed to aim for. Most web sites that I have found seem to concentrate on full road riding.


    Jon
    How do you find the bike?

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Hark1812 View Post
    Joined and added you now!


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    I just looked at your profile, saw that shocking picture then went to the linked activity. Well, that's one way of bagging a bunch of KOMs

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by rdesouza View Post
    How do you find the bike?
    Very easy to ride. The gearset is pretty ideal for trail type of riding and particularly good for inclines.

    I have removed the front rack as that was overkill for my needs, but it feels very well screwed together and can't really fault it.

    If I had one minor concern is that if I progress to anything really rough then the lack of front suspension will be limiting....... but that is Hybrids... good in the middle but compromised at either end of the scale.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by b11ocx View Post
    if I progress to anything really rough then the lack of front suspension will be limiting....... but that is Hybrids... good in the middle but compromised at either end of the scale.
    Not necessarily You can find Chris on Strava too.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokyo Tokei View Post
    Not necessarily You can find Chris on Strava too.
    20km this week. Makes my off week look industrious!

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Tokyo Tokei View Post
    Not necessarily You can find Chris on Strava too.
    Interesting article. I use a Specialized Diverge on mild nobbly 35mm tyres for nearly all my riding. Last year I did the London to Brighton offroad ride and the London to Eastbourne offroad ride. Those rides include some pretty rough sections at times inc the Surrey Hills. I also have an MTB and a couple of other road bikes but could easily do most things on the Diverge.


  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by b11ocx View Post
    Very easy to ride. The gearset is pretty ideal for trail type of riding and particularly good for inclines.

    I have removed the front rack as that was overkill for my needs, but it feels very well screwed together and can't really fault it.

    If I had one minor concern is that if I progress to anything really rough then the lack of front suspension will be limiting....... but that is Hybrids... good in the middle but compromised at either end of the scale.

    so its pretty nice to ride on trails etc?

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Josh B View Post
    20km this week. Makes my off week look industrious!
    He's perhaps slacking a bit in his old age (49) but ... he was/is something of a legend
    Last edited by Tokyo Tokei; 3rd June 2016 at 15:39.

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by rdesouza View Post
    so its pretty nice to ride on trails etc?
    Massively better than a bike I bought (but had stolen) a couple of years ago which was a slightly more road centric Specialised.

    Most of my riding so far has been trail both Tarmac and gravel, tow path including cobbles and dirt but limited to two and three centimetre lumps and bumps. A few rutted surfaces but nothing has fazed it yet.

    The composite fork seems quite comfortable.

  32. #32
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by b11ocx View Post
    Massively better than a bike I bought (but had stolen) a couple of years ago which was a slightly more road centric Specialised.

    Most of my riding so far has been trail both Tarmac and gravel, tow path including cobbles and dirt but limited to two and three centimetre lumps and bumps. A few rutted surfaces but nothing has fazed it yet.

    The composite fork seems quite comfortable.
    great thanks, Im tempted. Looks nice..

  33. #33
    Master PipPip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcus fenix View Post
    It would be nice to know who everybody is on the Strava TZ-UK club. It is obvious for many but for some I have never worked it out. I am 'Ian C'. My rides are pretty boring, 99% of them the same old commute so I usually upload those just once at the end of the week to avoid cluttering people's feeds
    I am David Whiteman on Strava.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcus fenix View Post
    I just looked at your profile, saw that shocking picture then went to the linked activity. Well, that's one way of bagging a bunch of KOMs
    Not my best day I have to admit, hopefully the compo will pay for a nice new watch though! lol

    Regrettably all my KOM's were immediately removed from strava but nice while they lasted


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  35. #35
    I aim at 1500 miles a year on my mountain bike. Can't be doing with skinny-tired racing bike things. I managed about 1800 last year, doing less well this year due to the poorer weather but should go over 500 this weekend.

  36. #36
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    Why are cyclists so interested in miles and data. Yes there is satisfaction of 50 or a 100 miles. I get the feedback from my body, am I staying within myself, have I overdone it? Its you, the bike, the road and the weather. No need to let numbers spoil that.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
    Why are cyclists so interested in miles and data. Yes there is satisfaction of 50 or a 100 miles. I get the feedback from my body, am I staying within myself, have I overdone it? Its you, the bike, the road and the weather. No need to let numbers spoil that.
    I agree with you. So many people get all caught up in the data and competition between each other and the gear it just becomes a complete faff and a pretty joyless enterprise.

    I strava most of my rides (but not all) and will take a 20 second look to see the basic data afterwards but thats about it.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh B View Post
    I agree with you. So many people get all caught up in the data and competition between each other and the gear it just becomes a complete faff and a pretty joyless enterprise.

    I strava most of my rides (but not all) and will take a 20 second look to see the basic data afterwards but thats about it.
    The most important data to me is the weather forecast. Any possibility of rain and I'm going nowhere.

    I suffer from 'too good a bike to get wet' syndrome.

  39. #39
    Master PipPip's Avatar
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    Cycle Distance Targets

    I like Strava as the data helps me to train and improve. I don't really look at others data or stress about it. It's just good to know whether you are improving. In my case its not aimless improvement. I am climbing Mount Ventoux at the end of July and know I need to be in good shape for that. But then again, I'm accountant so I can't pretend that I don't enjoy data!!

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
    The most important data to me is the weather forecast. Any possibility of rain and I'm going nowhere.

    I suffer from 'too good a bike to get wet' syndrome.
    Funnily enough my Supersix evo works in the wet. As did my Madone, De Rosa and Alan!

  41. #41
    Journeyman Hark1812's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
    Why are cyclists so interested in miles and data. Yes there is satisfaction of 50 or a 100 miles. I get the feedback from my body, am I staying within myself, have I overdone it? Its you, the bike, the road and the weather. No need to let numbers spoil that.
    If you cycle for pure enjoyment then I agree strava and the contemporary apps are not really necessary.

    For those of us who want to improve our fitness and performance strava is a great tool and to me being able to see my progress is part and parcel of the enjoyment.


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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by PipPip View Post
    I like Strava as the data helps me to train and improve. I don't really look at others data or stress about it. It's just good to know whether you are improving. In my case its not aimless improvement. I am climbing Mount Ventoux at the end of July and know I need to be in good shape for that. But then again, I'm accountant so I can't pretend that I don't enjoy data!!
    I'm doing Ventoux x3 for the second time 2 weeks tomorrow. This time I'm using the Strava premium fitness and freshness scores to monitor fitness and fatigue, be interesting to see if it works!

  43. #43
    Master PipPip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maris View Post
    I'm doing Ventoux x3 for the second time 2 weeks tomorrow. This time I'm using the Strava premium fitness and freshness scores to monitor fitness and fatigue, be interesting to see if it works!
    Respect to you, 3 times in a day is hardcore. I'll stick to once! Will be doing Gorges de la Nesque and a few other nice rides in the area in the same week. I will need to be fit as I'm cycling with my wife who gets segment KOMs on Zwift/Strava and competes in triathlons.

  44. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
    Why are cyclists so interested in miles and data. Yes there is satisfaction of 50 or a 100 miles. I get the feedback from my body, am I staying within myself, have I overdone it? Its you, the bike, the road and the weather. No need to let numbers spoil that.
    I struggle for motivation. I'd happily grab the car keys to go shopping, when I equally well have the time and weather to do the 15 mile (quite pleasant) round trip to the shops on my bike. It's a little bit of depression, and the problem with depression (for me) is that it stops me doing exactly the sort of thing I should be doing to come out of it :(

    The 'annual mileage' target is a long-term satisfaction that I've found can get me out of the car and help me fight the depression, get some exercise, lose some weight, save some fuel, meet nice people along the way, enjoy the view, etc.

    Data? Yes, it's good for me.

  45. #45
    Master stoneyloon's Avatar
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    I'm Adam Gray on Strava (and in real life!), never seem to be top with distance in the club Strava league but there or thereabouts with climbing. It is a bit bumpy up here....

  46. #46
    Master
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    Ok, I have also joined Strava (Tom White). And the TZ-UK 'club'.

    Feel free to add me and watch from a distance the trials and tribulations of a once "transwales" mountain biker, with a rubbish back as he attempts to get back into regular biking after a 5-6 year lay off....

    BE NICE :)

    (Poured myself into my lycra last week. I look like a giant easter egg) :)

  47. #47
    Lycra is the work of the devil. It makes perfectly normal shaped blokes look like Bernard Manning. Just imagine what it does to real fatties like me !

  48. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by b11ocx View Post
    Lycra is the work of the devil. It makes perfectly normal shaped blokes look like Bernard Manning. Just imagine what it does to real fatties like me !
    Perfect for ladies though. Well, most of them.

  49. #49
    Master
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    I've always found lycra (bib) shorts really comfortable though.

    Will just have to be happy sporting the giant Easter Egg look :)

  50. #50
    on the other hand, I have never liked bib shorts and just wear cycling shorts with mtb baggies.

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