Training Tuesday

As I train to be able to make a full century ride twice a week beginning on, or near, the first of the year, here is where I’ll update my progress every week on Training Tuesday.

I’m feeling healthy again, so that has me feeling positive, but I’ve been overestimating my mileage due to some incorrect mile markers, so I also feel behind before I’ve even started. Last week, according to Google maps, I rode 50 miles, a mark I thought I had made 2 weeks ago. 50 miles a week is a benchmark for me. I read that insurance companies give a discount on life/health insurance to people who ride that far. So, it’s a general lifetime goal for me to never fall below that. Not for the discount, but because actuaries think and know things. I felt pretty good when I learned about the discount because I thought I was riding that far, but first one thing and then a shifted commitment and if you’re not keeping up with actual mileage, it’s easy to lose track of actual miles. Google maps sent me a message about my cycling at the end of the year last year though. I was stunned. Google told me my real miles and, it was more than most people ride, but less than I thought.

Now I’m looking to leave 50 miles a week in the dust. Flat tires, or minor emergencies, weather and childcare obligations that won’t always line up properly and any number of other things can cause me missed goals. If I can get my target number of miles in two rides instead of three, it will be easier to stay on target, and it line things up closer to how rides need to be when I make the official recorded video start. So, as I try to balance needs and goals, I’m working toward fewer rides for longer times. Last week my longest ride was 20 miles. Today, I rode 24 miles. If I can get in a 26 mile ride later in the week, I’ll have moved last week’s mileage into two days instead of three. Then if I can get in a third ride whatever mileage I make will be an increase in weekly mileage and to some extent gravy.

I started my original calculations at 61 miles for the first week based on where I was before the pandemic. Maybe I’m too lazy to do the math again, maybe it’s psychological, but that’s the official starting point I want to keep. With that starting point, training up at 10% mileage increase per week because that is the recommended max, I should be ready to do the stretch goal distances in 16 weeks. That will be the first full week in December giving me almost 3 weeks for a buffer before the new year. With winter and holidays and family time, I’m nervous about only having a 3 week buffer. I remember how hard we pushed in the end last time we worked up to a century. There’s no real reason it needs to be a January 1st start, but it seems fitting for the year of Silver Comet Centuries to coincide with a calendar year

So,well see how it goes, and I’ll see you here next Tuesday, and I hope I’ll be telling you I did 61 miles in two long and one short ride.

Training Schedule

Since we made the commitment to get back ot on the trail, riding the Greenway, or a small segment of the Silver Comet for the primary goal has become, once again, a piece of cake. So, no training is necessary for the primary goal.

Stretch Training Plan

We’re going to train for the stretch goal while we are waiting to find out if either plan makes. There is no down side to that, and it helps us to remain flexible. It also gives us the motivation to increase our mileage. The stretch plan includes all of the Silver Comet and Chief Ladiga Trails weekly, so, building up our mileage to be able to full century rides is necessary. In fact, the stretch goal would be to do the Silver Comet and Chief Ladiga in both directions with an overnight in the middle, so two centuries a week is the ultimate goal. If conditions allow, the two short rides (on the Greenway for variety) will still be be filmed. If the crowds and conditions remain risky, we’ll assess the value of filming mid week “recovery” rides. The full plan with all three trails is 250+ miles per week. There are plans to expand the Silver Comet Trail to meet the Beltline and we will ride as much of the trail as is complete, so over time the ride may increase.

I thought I had reached 50 miles a week before I actually did. There are some mile markers in one area of the trail that are ordered correctly. Current level of riding is now approaching 60 miles though. Physically I’m feeling good again.

To reach stretch level cycling distances, we’ll increase mileage at the recommended rate of 10% per week, filming to work out the kinks as we go.

So, rounding up to whole numbers, here is the plan we will meet begining next week.

Week 1. 61

Week 2, 67.

Week 3, 74.

Week 4, 82 miles

Week 5, 90 miles.

Week 6, 99 miles.

Week 7, 109.

Week 8, 120 miles.

Week 9,  132 miles.

Week 10, 145 miles.

Week 11, 160 miles.

Week 12, 176 miles.

Week 13, 193 miles.

Week 14, 213 miles.

Week 15, 234 miles.

Week 16, 257.

If we were able to start on Aug 15 and train for 16 weeks without weather, health or emergency setbacks, we would be doing full mileage by the time we are moving into the holidays. There will be setbacks though, There will be weather holds and I will take off for family time too. So, it seems like a good plan for the official start date for full filming would be to make coincide with the calendar year.