Absolute Beginner

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Dram, Jul 14, 2003.

  1. Dram

    Dram New Member

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    Hello everyone,

    Wasn't sure where to post this, so the general forum seemed a likely place.

    As the title says, I'm an absolute beginner to cycling. I have decided to start riding in an effort to gain fitness and lose (a lot of) weight. My experience to riding is limited to a couple of laps around the block with the kids, but I would like to get a little more serious and start riding some distance and maybe one day race.

    Let me see....I'm 32, 183cm tall, weigh over 110kg :eek: and have a very low fitness level. I own a rather cheap and nasty mountain bike (which will have to do for now due to $$$$) and a helmet. I hope to be able to buy a reasonable road bike one day to get a little more serious.

    But now for the questions...

    * What sort of training would you recommend I start on? Riding a set distance and trying to better my times? Wieght training?

    * What equipment would you recommend as essential for a beginner? (other than my bike and helmet)

    *If I did happen to come into some money, what sort of bike would you recommend for beginners? (up to Aus$1000) and would a used bike be better value for money for a beginner?


    I really have let my fitness go in the last couple of years, kids take up so much time, and I'm very keen to get back into some regular training.

    I'd appreciate any advice.

    Cheers.
     
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  2. lindakka

    lindakka New Member

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    Hello Dram,
    I am not a beginner anymore - but this is just my second summer riding - so I can't give you a lot of techie information, just what I found useful when I began riding.

    I bought my bike (Trek hybrid) summer '02 to help myself recover from an 8 month illness. My physical problem was the opposite of yours - profound weight loss, but I knew biking would help strengthen my body, build up my muscles, increase my metabolism and generally help my body heal. I think in losing weight you are also going through a long time of healing and biking, if done wisely, will be very good.

    My first rides were slow and exhausting, a couples miles at a time. My appetite returned and I was astounded the day I hit 6 miles without a problem. By the end of last summer, after spending the previous spring and winter bed-ridden, I was doing 12 miles 5 days a week, as fast as I could pedal in whatever weather we had here on the east coast , US. I used light weights to help build my upper body (5-8 lb).

    I haven't invested in any fancy equipment other than my bike, helmet, gloves and some cold weather clothes. Biking clothes are bought at extreme sales at the end of season. I prefer to spend my extra money (what little is there) on really great food, organic produce, etc. to keep strong for biking.

    Hope this gives you some encouragement. Enjoy your bike. The workout will change you.

    Blessings - Lindakka
     
  3. Skunk

    Skunk New Member

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    I started cycling last summer and through building up to about 150 kilometres per week, work is about 12k each way, I have lost 2 1/2 stones - about 15-20 kilos. I had a huge beer pot and that has nearly disappeared.
    I just built up over time, starting off with 5/10 mile journeys. A few months ago 20 miles seemed a marathon but i now do double that at a quicker speed and get up hills that used to seem daunting.
    If you're just wanting to lose weight and get a bit fitter, then I'd suggest by starting easy and build it up over time, I found that i was pushing myself to higher ave speeds and bigger hills, longer distances almost naturally.
    But I don't know about racing. I'm 42 started cycling at 41 so have no (de)illusions adout that.
     
  4. Seecyd

    Seecyd New Member

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    1) Make sure you set some realistic goals for yourself.
    2) Keep a record of what you do so you can see the progress. You can also measure the progress by measuring yourself, waist, upper arms, chest, legs. Don't get on the scale.
    3) Try some other types of fitness such as swimming, or walking as well. I've read that if you do about 20-30 mins. 3 times a week at 70-80 % of heart rate you will burn fat. Walking is good for that. You don't need to be panting and sweating to lose the fat.
    4) Watch what you eat and drink. Drink water.
    5) Even if you don't see any immediate results. DON'T GIVE UP! It takes time for your body to adjust to your new fitness routine.
    6) Make appointments with yourself to do these things. You wouldn't cancel out on a business appointment. So, you should do/feel the same with your personal health.
    7) If you start off with a certain distance, increase it by not more than 10 %, whenever you feel you can move forward.
    8) Think Positive!
     
  5. Dram

    Dram New Member

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    Hi, thanks for your replies.

    I finally got to it and went for my first ride yesterday and then again today. I have found myself a nice little street circuit of about 10km (6 miles?) with a smallish hill (feels like a mountain to me!).

    First day took me quite a while, about 60 minutes with plenty of stops. Today took about 40 mins with only 2 stops. My butt hurts like hell and my legs are the same, but I feel great (mentally).

    I found that my bike needs a little work, gears, brakes, etc need looking at, so that will keep me busy too.

    Eventually I will increase the distance I ride, but for now 10km is plenty. Anyone offer any suggestions as to a reasonable time a begginner might aim to complete 10km in? When I should step up in distance?

    Thanks.
     
  6. lindakka

    lindakka New Member

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  7. lindakka

    lindakka New Member

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    Good for you Dram!! Six weeks from now that smallish hill won't seem like anything. Continue to work slowly - no need to injure muscles just to prove yourself. Take a day or two off from biking every week and do something else. You may want to consider a new saddle if yours continues to abuse your bum and/or get some padded shorts. Rather than thinking of how fast you're completing your 10 km, consider for now how you feel each time you complete the distance. Your body will let you know when to push and when to extend the distance. Keep spinning!
    Lindakka
     
  8. Geonz

    Geonz New Member

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    If your butt is hurting and your legs too, there might be some adjusting of seat height, as well as gears & brakes. You would be amazed at how much stronger you can get instantly tweaking up the seat if that's what's needed.
    My favourite practice route is riding out to a four-mile square and going around it and coming back. First time I 'added distance" was to just go up the first half of the first mile and coast down and head back. I always figured that if I could go a little further *or* a little faster, I was making progress -- and that I didn't have to make progress all the time. Some rides are just to go out and move some and not prove or improve anything because some days are like that. In my experience, the less I obsess about whether I"m getting better fast enough or not, the more fun I have, so the more I do it... so I get stronger faster. (And don't do it every day -- some days are just for letting legs, heart & body rest.)
    Sounds like you're doing great - keep on truckin :)
     
  9. coolworx

    coolworx New Member

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    One more thing Dram... Very Important!

    Invest about $30US in a heart rate monitor. At 32 you should be shooting for around 125 beats per minute to start out, and then build up to about 145-150.

    And don't forget the other two sides of the weight loss/health triangle - quality sleep and diet.
     
  10. Dram

    Dram New Member

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    Thanks very much for your comments.
     
  11. marion

    marion New Member

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    Hi Dram, I was the same my 2nd investment was a pari of bike pants to save my ass!!! he he he anyway i started off riding 5km flat then slowly built up now i can ride 30 km easy peasy and i can run 5kms easy this is only over a period of 6 months i usually ride every second day, jog every other and am now swimming , if you want to loose weight eat healthy im totally organic no processed food all fresh!!!!!!!lots of fruit and lots of waterif your excersising alot you should look at some supplements like magnesium, multivitamin and amino acids this helps your body lotssssss us oldies can do this!! cheering and remember slow and steady wins the race to start with dont kill yourself by going to hard too soon you'll just injure yourself
     
  12. oneradtec

    oneradtec New Member

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    Hello...

    It sounds as if you may be doing most of your riding on the road...which would suggest a need for a quality road bike. You can get a very good one for the price that you suggested if you do your due diligence. I would suggest that you go with a used bike. I could take that amount of money and get a much better quality 2nd hand bike as opposed to buying new in the shop. There are many people out there whom trade out of bikes too often which will work to your advantge. I recently bought a Ciocc road bike on ebay for around 800 US dollars. It was in excellent condition with columbus steel frame and full Dura Ace 8 speed. What a find. It has a beautiful pink to yellow fade paint job and chromed stays and fork. A real traditional Italian bike that should last for years of training, racing, club rides and centuries. I bet you could take your budget and do as well or better than I did. Check ebay and all the shops in the area. Look for Shimano 105 or Ultegra components which give great performance for the price. I would suggest a nice light steel frame, aluminum, or even carbon. Aluminum frames can be very harsh and stiff if you buy them without carbon seat stays. If the aluminum frame doesn't have carbon stays...then make sure the frame atleast has bent or hourglass shaped stays...which will go a long way to soften the ride. Harsh aluminum frames without the carbon or hourglass stays can wreak havoc on your real wheel as well. You will have to replace a busted spoke from time to time. The ride quality of your frame will become more and more paramount as your rides increase in kilometers and duration. Anyway...be patient and take your time finding that bike...and certainly you will eventually find just the right one at a great price. I am amazed at some of the quality rides on ebay selling at a very good bargain. You will pay a premium at the local bike shops. Most shops however do have a selection of used bikes. Before you even begin to look...make sure you know every detail regarding your optimal bike fit. Do this before you do anything else. Get a bike fit test done at a shop and write down the optimal measurements. It's vital that you buy a proper fitting bicycle frame. Do not cheat on this detail! By the way.


     
  13. robroy

    robroy New Member

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    Hi Dram....bike nicks for sure they are well and truly worth it. If you take the bike path out to Palmerston it is a good flat ride (arent all rides in Darwin flat)....only problem is during the dry it gets a bit windy but just think of the return leg. Good luck
     
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