How Little Can You Ride and Still Do Rando?

So far this year I have 1,107 km in perms and brevets under my belt.  I haven’t been doing much other riding this year.  My annual mileage so far is a meager 1,844 miles.  That makes my RUSA events 37% of my total mileage.  I’d like to ride more, but I simply haven’t been for a number of different personal reasons.

In any event, this situation pretty well cements my previously held positions that:

1 – you don’t have to be in very good shape to be a randonneur, at least not if your goals are as simple as completing 200Ks and 300Ks within the time limits (and having a good time in the process, too).  Only a basic level of fitness is required.

2 – it takes very little riding to maintain that basic level of fitness.  Riding once or twice a week does it for me.

Interesting, isn’t it?

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About rothrockcyrcle

I am an endurance cyclist always looking for new ways to maximize fun and minimize BS.
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4 Responses to How Little Can You Ride and Still Do Rando?

  1. SRU Ed Tech says:

    I’m sure being a bent rider helps a lot. It seems like much of what goes into preparing for the rando season isn’t just fitness, but conditioning your body to spend many hours on the bike. For example, even if I do maintain 60-80 miles a week over the winter, with lots of cross-training via running, during the first few long ride of the spring I usually get soreness in my neck and hands. Even if you’re fit, if you’re uncomfortable you’re going to be slow. But yeah, I agree that it doesn’t actually take a lot to maintain. I know it’s apples and oranges, but if I aggravate something or get bored and need to take time off from running, so long as I keep cycling I can usually pick up again up to 8 weeks right where I left off.

  2. Regarding the effect bents have on this phenomenon…. I have suspected what you said is true, and does make sense to me, but I haven’t ever really tried to do rando on an upright, so I wasn’t confident making such a statement, lacking that particular experience. It’s an interesting idea that most randos find it necessary to train relatively high miles to merely develop tolerance for sitting on the bike that long, and not so much for any additional fitness benefits. I have long suspected that aerobic fitness, and even metabolic fitness, can be primarily gained through short and intense riding. Once a person learns all they need to learn about pacing and fueling, etc. early in their rando career, all that is left is to have basic aerobic fitness and the ability to tolerate being on the bike a long time.

  3. Tom Rosenbauer says:

    90% of being a successful randonneur is mental. The other 10% is mental too 🙂
    -Tom Rosenbauer
    Eastern PA RBA

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