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I could use some help making a training plan

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So, I used to bike ALL the time when I was a kid.  However, as I grew up and discovered video games, I lost perspective on keeping a balance between being sedentary and active.


I'm out of shape presently but working towards losing some weight.  I've recently starting cycling again, and while the first two rides were really tough (I learned my legs were not nearly as strong as they used to be), I've noticed some immensely fast gains in my strength.  Cycling coupled with a better diet has greatly improved my feeling of well-being and I've become addicted to cycling lately.


A good friend and coworker suggested Tour de Lions, a charity ride put together by a local grocery store.  Proceeds go to the Children's Hospital in Richmond Virginia.  They offer a 10, 30, 50, and 100 mile course.  The race is August 24th, and you have 8 hours to complete the distance of your choice.


So, the most I've cycled at this point is 21 miles, this past weekend.  However, my coworker is riding the 50 mile course, and I'd really love to be able to ride it as well.  I have a little less than 8 weeks, and I'm trying to figure out if I can formulate a training plan to get me in shape to complete this quest.  Can someone offer some suggestions as far as making a plan?  I'm trying to create something like C25K, where I can make a plan and follow it.  


Here is some information to help:

- I work Monday-Friday, 8-5.  I am a student as well, and have class Tuesday and Thursday nights.

- I am able to cycle Saturdays and Sundays with no major restrictions.

- I can cycle Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, anytime after 6.

- I live in the suburbs slightly north of Richmond, VA.  I have ridden primarily on residential roads in subdivisions.

- I have a mountain bike with huge mountain bike treads.  My friend/coworker is going to help me replace the tires soon to help me ride on roads a little better (I'm a noob when it comes to bike hardware in general).  Getting a new bike is not really an option before the race.


If someone could help me make a plan to help me succeed, I'd be greatly appreciative :)




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Hey there,


Here's an article with some basic advice for riding a century, but it could easily be adapted to training for a ride of any length. 




Also, most of these rides are organized in such a way that it isn't a big deal to decide on a shorter route the day of. Just listen to your body, have fun, and remember that you can do this!

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That's great!  A very good read, it gave me some perspective and definitely makes me feel like I can do it.  I think I will make Sundays my "level-up" days... go a little further than I have before on Sundays.  I will be using Wednesdays and Fridays to work on general performance - taking hills, practicing gearshifts, general endurance and strength training on the cycle.  

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The other thing to keep in mind is that 8 hours is a good long time to do 50 miles.  I'm not suggesting you do take that long, but if you need it, you've got it.  Take it in stages with some rest every once in a while if you need to. If you're not in shape for it, it just becomes an exercise in managing pain, which is something to just get used to if you want to stay active; and if you can pull it off, you'll feel great about it.  You'll be knocking out centuries in no time.

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I use the ride as much as I can training plan. :P


It's tough to really bike with a normal work schedule during the week so I typically try to get out for an hour or two as many weeknights as I can then go for a longer ride on the weekend.  Throw in intervals and hills if you don't have the time for a longer ride during the week.

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