Today’s question is about jumping up from a 15 mile to a 45 mile ride, with a week’s notice, and no time to work your way up…

Hi Levi – I just started biking somewhat regularly a month or so ago. Been doing up to about an hour (15-18 miles) or 1.5 hrs of riding on mostly flat but some climbs. Right now I feel no soreness after my rides. Am I at risk of injury by trying a 45 mi ride in a week? what can/should I do to prep?

Thanks,
Regular Ryder

Hi Ryder,

Jumping up to a 45 mile ride so soon is a stretch, but certainly doable. If you’re young or at least have no history of knee issues or other medical problems, I don’t see why you couldn’t do the ride. I’ve seen it done before with no dire consequences.

I remember when I rode with a friend of mine in high school. One Monday he came in to class and started bragging about how he did a 52 mile ride on Saturday. I’m pretty sure he had been riding for over a month, but the distance was a pretty big jump. And he was riding a mountain bike. And it was hilly terrain.

So if you’re doing alright so far, and have some general fitness, I’m betting you can do the long ride.*

There’s not much you can do to prep this week. You could try a 25-30 mile ride during the week as a lead up to the 45 miler, but you don’t want to do too much or you risk being tired for the big day.

What you should focus on is riding well during the big ride itself.

You want to ride at a pace you can hold for the distance. Preferably, do the first 25 miles a little slower than you think you can, just to be safe. Then if you feel good, you could ride a little faster the second half.

And be sure to eat and drink during the ride. You don’t want to screw up the ride by running low on calories. (Check my articles for tips on eating during rides and what to eat before a ride.

And of course, have fun!

*Caution: Only you can know for sure if you are ready.

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