Becoming a more serious rider

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by acciaio, Jul 27, 2007.

  1. acciaio

    acciaio New Member

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    Hi all,

    I was just introduced to this site today, so please forgive me if I ask some questions that have already been answered before. I will continue to read posts as they all include valuable information.

    So, to give some background about me. I started cycling about 2 years ago, but wasn't anything serious. Last year, I had set out some basic goals for me to achieve which made cycling all that more enjoyable. One was do 1000 miles within 2 months, another to learn more "trails" around my area, etc etc.

    This year, after taking a huge hiatus in the winter, I have decided that I would like to really do better and possibly do a race before the season ends. What I have been doing on a fairly regular basis is doing 20-25 miles during the weekdays, and then a longer ride of 40+ on Saturday and taking Sunday as a rest day.

    My rides do include hills, but nothing overly intense. The ride on Saturday is usually with a group and we average between 18-20 in the start and then typically pick it up to 20-24 on the return leg.

    I'm picking up a garmin GPS to help keep track of my progress, but for now, I can't really tell you how I am performing over time. The only main thing that I've been keeping track of, so far, is just my milage per day and overall total.

    Anyway...

    So based on my milage that I'm currently doing, what advice would anyone have to someone looking to become more serious? I saw a post eariler about riding more hours/day, but I'm not sure that I have the time to do this unless I do a ride in the morning before work and then one after work. With that being said, I know that I'm probably not eating the right foods, either. When I was doing rides before work, I would feel fine during the day, but would typically feel very tired when 8/9pm comes around. Is this typical?

    And the last thing on my mind... I don't feel sore after a long or a fast ride. For example, when lifting weights, my arms or legs would feel sore the next day. With cycling, that never happens, although they burn during the ride at times :) Does this mean that I'm not doing something right?

    Sorry for the mass of questions. Thanks!
     
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  2. iliveonnitro

    iliveonnitro New Member

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    If your only goal is to enter a race then just enter a race -- you'll be fine and might get more motivated. Everything else you've asked is pretty typical of cycling.

    To give you an idea, I'm a mediocre cat4 and I ride 8-12hrs/wk (150-200mi).
     
  3. YMCA

    YMCA New Member

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    Aren't you supposed to feel tired around 8-9pm and go to sleep. That's a good thing!

    I say search out fater riders if you want to get faster. A decent group of cat1-2-3's will bring your speed up just by following a quick paceline for a few weeks. Simple as that.
     
  4. acciaio

    acciaio New Member

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    I guess so, but recently graduating, I feel like I used to stay up much longer. Anyway, thanks for the suggestions. YMCA, definitely a good tip on riding with other groups. I'm not sure how it's been in your experiences, but do you find that those riders are welcoming of a "new-comer"? I'm not all that concerned if I drop, but would they want someone tagging along who may not be up to caliber?



     
  5. YMCA

    YMCA New Member

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    The only thing that counts at "A" rides, is that you can handle your bike in a group and play by that groups rules. Doesn't matter if you can't handle the pace and get dropped. Nobody cares about that, just understand technique and such.

    Where do you live? An urban area with lots of riders or a rural one with just a couple? Good to find the rides that do plenty of sections over 30mph and have cruising pacelines of 25+mph. it may seem fast at first, but what seems fast today, is usually moderate the next.
     
  6. acciaio

    acciaio New Member

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    I do live in a rural area with a good number of clubs, but I'm stuck on trying to find the right club for me. Although, I guess I could join the one that my bike shop sponsors. They are to have a good cat 3-5 support and they also have several cat 1 riders.

    30mph sounds like a killer, but I suppose that when you're drafting it's a tad easier. What I lack is the proper group riding techniques for advanced riders. The group I currently ride with is at a slower pace and not very competitive. I do know for a fact that the faster groups attack a lot and are extremely competitive when it comes to "training" rides.
     
  7. YMCA

    YMCA New Member

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    You want to become "a more serious rider", so go to the groups that are more "serious". Doesn't mean they aren't having fun, or aren't welcoming to new riders, it's just that they want to go fast and get faster. Can't get better riding the same old paces, with the same ol' group, so search out your local "A" rides and join in.
     
  8. Roy.C

    Roy.C New Member

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    Why not start doing time trials? You don't have to worry about cycling in a group and you can measure yourself against others in the club. Also, you will be able to monitor your progress by comparing results over the weeks. Finally, it will also give you a good hard workout!
    Unless you get bitten by the TT bug, you don't need to spend any extra money or worry about being super-aero; you are racing against yourself!
     
  9. acciaio

    acciaio New Member

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    Roy, also a good idea. Now that I have finally gotten my hands on an Edge GPS device, I can better track how I'm doing and ghosting other rides. I guess this is why I liked track and field when I was in HS -- competing against yourself.

    @YMCA
    Good point. I have just heard that around here, sometimes these groups get a little cocky and don't really care for newbies to join them. I'm sure, however, there is a group that does go out and doesn't care, i just have to find it.
     
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