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Thread: Need Advice

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    SoCal
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    39

    Need Advice

    Hi, I am in need of advice. I have hired a cycling coach, as I want to take a fully supported cycling tour next year where the mileage is approx. 60 miles per day for five days. I know I need to increase my mileage/time in the saddle, however, he is recommending that I think about purchasing a power meter. I'm not interested in racing but I do use a HR monitor--note I am not a spring chicken. I will admit that although my body LOOKS like a 65 year old woman, my mind is of that of a 30 year old (as far as what I think I am capable of on my bike--if this makes sense). I guess what I'm struggling with is, yes, I love competing (mostly with myself, i.e., always wanting to beat my PR in Strava or wanting to obtain a QOM in my age group), but I don't know if I truly "need" a power meter at my age. My mind keeps colliding with "thinking" 30 years old vs "being" 65. I have a lot of respect for those (in the blog) opinions, and geez, I really need it now. This is something that has been toying with my mind for several days now, and I need to quiet it down. Thanks for any help.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    Traveling Nomad
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    6,664
    No one "needs" a power meter. I've done a couple of comparable tours to what you are planning, and I am not sure anyone (except maybe pro racers) had even heard of power meters back then. Sure, I guess they can help you become a stronger rider, but if you just want to increase endurance to enjoy your tour, the best way is just to get out and ride! Gradually increase your mileage and add back-to-back days. You have to toughen up your saddle area as well as your quads and other cycling muscles (core, etc.) If the tour will be hilly, you need to do hill work. It's really quite simple and no special tools are required unless you enjoy such gadgets.

    Good luck and have fun!
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,143
    Personally, I agree with Emily. I have done 3 tours with Trek Travel (that's who you mentioned in another post), and even on the intermediate tours, there was a wide range of speed. You don't have to ride together as a group on a tour. You can ride alone, or with other like minded people. While you do need to be able to ride 60 miles a day for 5 days, I would consider the level of trip, and the expectations for this. I am not a data geek; I used a HR monitor when I first started riding and all I found out was my HR is always higher than expected. I do better using RPE. Your coach needs to understand you are a recreational rider, you are not competing. If he is good, he will make a plan for you, based on this and the type of tour you are taking.
    I am about to do a trip in northern Spain. I have barely trained or ridden the # of miles I usually have at this time of the year, for a couple of reasons. But, I know I can do it... I will suffer a bit, but it's a tour. I am there to see stuff. I've done enough of these trips to know that you miss a lot, if you only concentrate on the riding.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
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    1,204
    A power meter isn't necessary. It does give you more data to use in setting goals in the training for your ride though….since you’ve gotten a coach is a training plan being worked out? The data from a power meter can show things (especially weaknesses) that can help in the zone training that builds strength/endurance. It may just be what the coach likes to have to work out a plan, which is what a good cycling coach would do. I'd talk about it with the coach.

    Sometimes a well thought out training plan can give more motivation and self-challenge (regardless of age) too but as Emily wrote you can also just do rides that mimic the type of riding on the tour. Your coach should be able to guide you into a type of work-rest ratio that just works for that too. Does the tour have elevation maps of each days ride you can get?....or even daily route maps that you can use mapmyride to get elevations.


    Hoping whatever kind of training you do leads to a great time on the tour!!!!!....which tour?
    Last edited by rebeccaC; 06-23-2017 at 09:12 AM.
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    2,608
    I've ridden many 100 milers and many over that distance in a day. Some back to back, others were "fun rides". And I've never owned a power meter or power tap yet I was on par with a male co-worker who was younger and used powertap for his training.

    If you want to absolutely hit your maximum performance, then it might be worth it. But personally, I would have to agree with Emily. Start riding a terrain (up and down the hills) that is similar to the tour ride. At our age, ahem I'm up there too..., rest day is extremely important! When young you could over do it and bounce back in a day or two but when we get older, we just don't bounce back so quick. o listen carefully to your body. There are days when you just don't want to ride. It's okay to break from a training schedule. Your body may be telling you that it needs a break.

    One thing people forget is your diet. Eat a really healthy balanced diet. I still don't drink typical carbonated drink e.g. CocaCola, instead drink OJ, fruit juice, lots of plain WATER. OKay so I'll admit I drink too much Chai Latte and home made ginger beer naturally carbonated with plain old sugar.

    suggest you look into some high end sport drink NO GATORADE and the like but a real sport drink or mix. Don't expect to lose weight though...

    Yesterday's menu:
    brekkie: miso soup with tofu and scallion; chai latte
    Lunch: vegetable stir fry; tea
    din din: braised burdock root with carrots with bit of meat (gobo kinpira). lots of water

    Drank lots of water and unsweetened tea.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,143
    Yes, nutrition is important and it took me years to figure certain aspects of that out. What I know is that when I am doing the kind of riding a tour requires, I am ravenous and, while I do eat healthily, I eat a lot more, and I am often adding in snacks and desserts. The only sports mix I use is Skratch, and Nuun tabs for days a little less intense. Food on rides is either a Lara Bar or real food. And Shot Blocks when I am about to lose it!
    I am 63 and I do need more rest days. I have to be careful about other sports and how they will affect my legs, if I have a lot of cycling coming up. I stretch twice a day and use the foam roller daily. And getting enough sleep, too. I always have problems the first few days of a tour, in that we get there ahead, I am eating and drinking like I am on vacation, then hard riding, often in hot weather, a bad combo for me. You would think I would have learned, but each one of those things by itself isn't a problem, and I do tend to have a low threshold for stomach distress, heat, and really intense endurance efforts, when combined. So, as we leave tonight for an 8 day tour in Spain, I am hoping I can control myself. It's not going to be hot, so that will make a difference.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
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    2011 Guru Praemio
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