As of 2014, my best month was 803 miles, August of 2013 and I was only over 800 miles in a month one time. I may have broken that last year but I wasn’t tracking mileage so I can’t be certain. This year I smashed the 800 mile mark in three of four in-season months: 879, 850 and I’m over 910 miles so far in August (
sadly with rain in the forecast for today, I may not be able to break a thousand for the month now. I’m not going to ride in the rain and risk a cold right before my big tour next week – I’ll have to see how things work out… We got our ride in! Finished 10 minutes before it rained! 970 miles, I’ll hit 1,020 tomorrow – PERFECT!).
My best cycling bud, Mike, moved just two miles from my house last year and I had a feeling that was going to bode well for my mileage this year. I wasn’t mistaken.
Not only that, as if a gift from God, my wife and I started riding together on a regular basis. We’re up to four or five days a week now. There’s nothing better than getting fit and Sexy with your best friend, especially when that person also happens to be the woman you’re married to. She’s really taken it to the next level as a cyclist and is the talk of the Tuesday night advanced group.
Finally, I decided that all of that stuff about taking days off was hype. After all, if the pros can handle a three-week tour at speeds vastly greater than I’m willing to ride, why can’t I ride every day. Not only have I not suffered “dead legs”, they feel better this year than they did the last two. The trick has been embracing slower rides in lieu of days off – slower being about five or six miles per hour slower than my average when I’m giving it everything I’ve got. I’m a 22 mph average guy, so we’re talking 16-17 mph for an average on the slow days. The idea being that I knock off enough speed that “I’d be embarrassed to have my friends catch me riding that slow”. These slower rides aren’t without purpose though, just to crank up mileage. When you combine slower speeds and a normal cadence (80-90) on a bike ride, the end result is energizing the legs.
In any event, I read a post the other day that pointed to studies on how much is too much and I’m telling you right now, those who push for limiting how much cardiovascular activity one engages in are not going to like the results of that study. In fact, the results showed “the more, the merrier”, at least to an extent:
“Risk continued to drop with ever-increasing activity levels: 37% lower at two to three times the minimum guidelines and 39% lower at three to five times. But at that point – the equivalent of 450 to 750 minutes of moderate weekly activity – the association plateaued. There was no additional mortality benefit for even more exercise, but neither were there any negative associations.
Folks, 750 minutes of moderate weekly activity is 12-1/2 hours, just shy of two hours a day. Not only is that a lot, it’s fair to say that I am… (I’m trying to think of a politically flattering way to say this – in other words, say that I’m a bit of a cycling nut, but with positivity)… Uh, I am… enthusiastic about my penchant for cycling (yes! that’s it) and 750 minutes a week is actually quite close to my rarefied air, between 200 and 250 miles a week. I’ll take 40% less likely to die and the plateau and my daily miles. That’s like winning the lotto for a guy like me.
Now there’s no doubt that we have to be very careful with our passion for sport and one should always do their due diligence when it comes to their health and wellness. When we’re talking about exceptional levels of exercise there are risks. For cyclists, we have to watch bone density. Going out for a run every now and again helps negate that.
That said, the studies examined in the linked post show that, at least until the next study comes out, it’s all good. Go for your ride, baby. At least for now, you’re probably not going to get to “too much”, within reason of course. Chuckle.