Beginning Distance

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by kana_marie, Mar 29, 2015.

  1. kana_marie

    kana_marie Member

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    I'm waiting on my own bike, and borrowing a friends bike in the mean time. It really isn't the most comfortable fit, but its better than nothing. I am out of shape and slightly over weight. That's why I'm doing this. Anyway, i rode 2 miles out and 2 miles in. I was winded but far from exhausted. How far is it safe to push myself? I don't want to take it too far and really hurt myself.
     
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  2. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    Might be time to map your heart rate. Only a good physician can tell you how far you can take it. I would suggest you getting a heart rate monitor and .establish a base line. Be patient, you can't do it in a day and be sure and have fun along the way.
     
  3. ABNPFDR

    ABNPFDR Member

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    Unless you are training for a race, or going uphill the whole time... You should not be winded. If you want to build fitness, you should be doing "zone 1" rides. The term stems from heart rate based training rides, but you don't need a heart rate monitor, you can base your ride off "perceived effort"

    You should be putting out as much effort as a slightly brisk walk. concentrate on a high cadence and don't worry about speed. After a few rides you should be able to go longer and longer. Eventually you will start to notice that youre not putting out any more effort, but you are going a little faster and faster. This is your cardio endurance getting stronger and stronger.

    Low effort workouts build cardio without activating appetite. Do this three times a week and watch your diet and the weight should fall off.

    Remember, cycling is a cardio workout, your heart does 95% of the work. If your legs are tired then your cadence is too low, switch to an easier gear and pedal faster. And weight loss is 95% what you eat (and how much) if you're hungry, you're losing weight. Lots of exercise, and high intensity exercise stimulates appetite. You might get fit but you often don't lose weight.
     
  4. Connie858

    Connie858 New Member

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    If you are unfit, slightly overweight and have not cycled for 7 years, you will be winded. You are not used to this form of exercise and as you state, the bike is not really suitable for you and probably quite heavy as well.

    Don't worry about heat rates and zones - that is not what you are after. You are not training for a race, you are trying to get fitter and enjoy yourself at the same time. It should not be a chore and it should be enjoyable.

    Get used to the distance you are doing right now and keep repeating it.
    Listen to your body. You will know when you are good to extend it.
    It may take you are few rides, it may take you a few weeks, but don't extend it until you feel ready and don't worry about how long it take. Everyone is different.

    I also know the challenge of returning to cycling after only 4 months off the bike, but I have had back surgery after a disc ruptured (5 months ago) leaving me with chronic pain and what is looking like permanent paralysis.
    I struggled with my very first ride back on the trike (I can no longer balance, or more accurately, no longer have the ability to stop without falling over when I do because neither leg will hold me!). I barely managed 4 miles as well and it exhausts me physically. It has taken me 4 weeks getting out roughly 6 times a week, but I can now manage 9 miles and have done one 10 mile ride which confirmed it was too much for me!

    You are going to have to listen to your body. Once you have some miles under your belt, you will find the miles get easier and the weight should come off, if you don't eat too much when you get home again! It is always the temptation! I'm now up to 140 miles on my trike and it is getting easier slowly.
     
  5. Collin045

    Collin045 New Member

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    Remember, cycling is a cardio workout, your heart does 95% of the work. If your legs are tired then your cadence is too low, switch to an easier gear and pedal faster. And weight loss is 95% what you eat (and how much) if you're hungry, you're losing weight. Lots of exercise, and high intensity exercise stimulates appetite. You might get fit but you often don't lose weight.
     
  6. Johnelliss

    Johnelliss New Member

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    Hello,

    I am new here and this is my first post. I agree with the above suggestion. Start cycling only after the advice of your physician.

    Thank You
    John
     
  7. allswl

    allswl New Member

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    I would suggest that you ride to raise you heart rate for the moment. With this in mind you ride so that instead of you being out of breath you are able to have a conversation. whereever you reach when that is the case you can turn back.
     
  8. vespid49

    vespid49 New Member

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    Take it slow starting out. What's important is getting into the groove and getting a good heart rate while exercising. The endurance improvements will stem from there. Either go slow for longer or do some other exercises to help both your legs and cardiovascular system to get up to the pace that you want to be cycling at.
     
  9. dc31

    dc31 New Member

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    Calculating a good beginner distance depends on the terrain, your physical condition, how heavy your bikes is, the speed you are cycling and a variety of other factors. I'd recommend cycling at least 30 minutes at whatever speed you wish. Make sure the seat is at an appropriate height as not to damage your knees.
     
  10. kylerlittle

    kylerlittle Member

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    I don't think you can find out that well on here. I suggest you to go to a doctor who is actually knowledgeable and can do testing because you don't know how it could affect your body.
     
  11. Eileen100

    Eileen100 New Member

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    Congratulations on your new journey! The best thing you can do is to listen to your body. There’s nothing like having the will and motivation and not being able to physically pull it off. If you’re on a friend’s bike and you are uncomfortable on the bike the best thing to do is to make sure that you feel comfortable on the bike and make sure your peddling properly this will help with your distance. As for how long you should go? I say start slow and work your way up to a solid routine also see your physician about approving your routine.
     
  12. 9lines

    9lines Member

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    You should not over exercise yourself. Shorter distances are best for beginners since you get to avoid muscle pains. You also get to monitor how your heart rate react to different exercise levels.
     
  13. kylerlittle

    kylerlittle Member

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    Absolutely. This is my experience as well. You have to also monitor your heart because it's important so you don't fall in the same thing I did, I became really ill due to bad moves.
     
  14. superbobby

    superbobby New Member

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    You need to pace yourself and adapt slowly especially if you are in bad shape. It may cause more harm than good.
     
  15. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    My beginning distance when I came from a sabbatical is 1 kilometer, no more than that. The limit of the distance is to protect my muscles from being pulled. Also, fatigued muscles give me cramps at night. It's not so good to wake up at midnight with a stiff leg. That limit I always observe for my own sake. But for men, I think the limit is more, can be 5 kilometers?
     
  16. jpwkeeper

    jpwkeeper Member

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    4 miles isn't bad if you're out of shape. I wouldn't worry about your weight; it's better to be in-shape and overweight than thin but unfit.

    I also wouldn't worry about hurting yourself if you follow the advice of the above posters about using easier gears and pedaling faster than you think feels right. A little winded, but your legs don't hurt, means you can slow your pace and recover your wind fairly quickly. Burning legs stay with you for a while, and cycling is oddly not about strengthening your legs (especially at first), so get that out of your head right from the start. Not all pain is gain and grinding those hard gears isn't helping you in the way you think it is helping you.

    I would personally not even get too winded for the first few weeks and let your body adapt to cycling first, but you can do so doing much longer distances than you think. Put your ego on the shelf. Do circuits rather then big out-and-backs until you get the feel for your optimal distance, but the bigger rides will let you enjoy different scenery. You'll be surprised how fast those 4 miles turn into 10 miles just because you want to ride somewhere else.

    If you really do over-extend and run out of energy, don't stop but instead ride much slower in your easiest gear (even if it feels ridiculous) to get back, and while doing so sit up, look around (oddly important), and breathe deep. If you're in the country or a park, try to smell the smells around you, flowers, trees, honeysuckle, etc. You'll find that the slow pedaling in a really easy gear will make you feel less tired faster than a complete stop will.
     
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