They say a good rule of thumb when working up to a long distance ride, is to ride in a week the number of miles you plan to do in a day. This morning I looked at my wall calendar (which now resembles a numerology chart) and realised that I've ridden around 200 miles over the past week, Saturday to Friday, distributed over the seven days as 16-60-0-0-24-40-60.
Today I feel all right. A little beat up, but no more than usual. Still, I am not convinced that doing this milage over the course of multiple days means that I can ride even 100 miles in one go. After a 60 mile day I am depleted to the point that in the end I cannot imagine being in the saddle a second longer.
And I take too many breaks. For instance, yesterday's milage was divided into: 8 easy miles alone/ break/ 20 hilly miles with a fast partner/ lunch break/ 24 hilly miles with a fast partner/ break/ 8 easy miles alone. Is it even fair to call that a 60 mile ride? The longest I've done so far in a group without breaks has been a measly 35 miles.
I don't like the idea of "training," and prefer to think of these rides as preparation. I never want to get to the point where I hate being on the bike and have to force myself to ride. What I like about the past week is that I've managed to not only put in 200 miles, but to feel good about it. What I don't like, is the limit I am sensing: After 60 miles I just don't feel that those remaining 40 are in me.
How do you prepare for long distance rides? Is it normal to feel a daily milage ceiling past which you can't seem to advance?