Cycling Training Routine

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Pazzo, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. Pazzo

    Pazzo New Member

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    Hey Guys,

    I am new to cycling (about a month and a half in now) and I am really starting to enjoy it! I've always loved riding my bike so I fixe amy old bike up and I'm getting back in the groove. Now that I am taking it more seriously, I realize that I need to get myself a training routine that consists of cycling outside, going to the gym for fitness and figuring out a healthy eating pattern all geared towards cycling.

    I'm not really sure where to start, although I have been reading some books at Barnes & Nobles about cycling and have checked out the forums but haven't found the information I am looking for. If you'd like, share your training schedule as well, which might help me better understand how to build one for myself. I've been going to the gym now and getting in shape for about 6-7 months now too so I am already in somewhat of shape.

    Thanks!
     
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  2. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    You're starting the way you should be starting...reading! and keep reading and reading and reading, this is a sport that you will never stop learning, so keep reading. And don't forget there's a wealth of info on the internet too.

    Let's get the easy part out of the way first, and that's food. Unless you're racing you don't need expensive food or expensive bike shop boutique bars and mixes. Gatorade diluted 50% works just as good as the expensive drinks at the LBS (Local Bike Shop). In fact I drank Gatorade diluted 50% when I use to race at the Cat 3 level and never needed anything expensive to drink. You can get the big can of Gatorade powder at Walmart for cheap costing you about 10 cents per bottle instead of $1.50 to $2.50 per bottle and you don't get anything special for that money that Gatorade doesn't provide. There's other good drinks too like V8 juice, and Ovaltine,

    The same is with LBS food, you can get Met-Rx Big 100 bars at Walmart that pack a lot of protein for about 1/2 th cost of stuff you get at the LBS. If you're a good baker you can even make your own for less. Food wise just use common sense and eat a well balance meal. If you know you're going on a long ride say tomorrow then for the evening before the ride eat more carbo and drink 1 or 2 glasses of 100% Gatorade. Then the next day start your day with a full glass of 100 Gatorade and a high protein food like eggs.

    There is a bit of science behind the temperature of the drink you carry so you can either cool down or warm up your core. But when you get to that point as to what temperature your drinks should be at when it hot outside re-post and we'll discuss it then. In the meantime you might want to invest in a couple of Polar 24oz insulated bottles so you can be prepared.

    Some people might go into more detail then I did about the food and drink but really it's not all that difficult unless you begin to race on the serious side and not for fun.

    Training wise I'm not sure what your goals are, you didn't mention any. If your goals are to ride long distances like 50 to 100 miles and want to train for that then here's a good way to do that; this involves a training schedule you may want to look at; see: http://www.kintera.org/htmlcontent.asp?cid=54755 Notice they start you out with really easy miles, DO NOT exceed those recommendations, the program is designed not to burn you out and to reduce the chances of injury. If you're an older guy, like me, I'm 58, and the first week looks daunting to you all you have to do is to add 2 to 3 weeks ahead of week one and divide each day by 10% for the new 3rd week; 20% for the new 2nd week and 40% for the new first week; thus the schedule's marked first week is really the 4th week. I hope that made sense, if not re-post.

    Here's a web site that has quite a discussion on how to prepare for a century ride; see: http://www.ultracycling.com/sections/articles/

    Also there's some more detail that after you do your first century ride on how to complete your second century faster by incorporating interval training. Also for better performance on the bike you need to strengthen your core muscles; here's a starter site: http://munfitnessblog.com/abs-workout-1-bicycle-maneuver-or-bicycle-crunches/
     
  3. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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  4. Pazzo

    Pazzo New Member

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    Wow you guys are so helpful this rocks! Thanks for the information and the links.

    As far as food goes, I am trying to be as smart as I can. I love to cook and I eat a lot of fish and chicken (meat every now and then) I eat a lot of pasta/rice and I realize I need to incorporate more vegetables, fruit and salad into my diet. What are some foods I should enjoy before, during and after a bike ride? I am watching my portion size and making sure I don't over eat. I am also drinking a lot of water each day. What do you guys think of protein shakes (or just water and protein mixed in a bottle?) Should I do them in the morning, mid day or at night?

    My goals for riding are probably generic, like any new beginning. I want to increase my strength, stamina and endurance. I want to drop down to around 10-12% body fat by the summer (currently at 18%) and continue to drop throughout the rest of the year. By June I would like to be able to ride my first 50 and also upgrade to an actual road bike. By the end of the year I would like to complete a century. What are some of your goals? (This might help me think outside of the box)

    Some more questions I have:
    - What kind of gym exercises do cyclists do? Obviously it's not body building so I shouldn't be too worried about how much I can bench press and bulk up in muscle but I would assume that I would want to more-so tone up and get fit. Road cycling is about being skinny, tone and aerodynamic right?

    - What is the deal with rest? I'm assuming I should get minimum 8 hours a night for my body to recover from the training but is it good to take naps during the day, or even right after training to help with the recovery process?

    - Cycling classes are good to attend right? I went to my first one on Sunday morning and it kicked my ass, but in a good way. It was a lot of fun and I want to start to incorporate it into my training.

    Thanks!
     
  5. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I think I mentioned in my previous post that the evening before a long ride load up on carbos; the morning of the ride eat protein. If you're only doing short rides of less then 35 miles total, the food thing is not all that important, in other words just eat whatever you want.

    I'm an totally against buying protein shakes and other "performance" drinks from any Bike retailer! It's entirely a rip off unless you're a pro racer, but then you get what you need for free anyways. Protein shakes won't do anything, you can get those cheap protein drinks from Walmart and drink those immediately after, within 15 minutes of stopping, a strenious ride, but for low mile rides it won't do you a bit of good. Also expensive bike boutique drinks at Local Bike Shops (LBS's) is a waste of money, Gatorade or Poweraid will do the same thing and for far less money. Only thing with using Gatoraide or Poweaid is to dilute the stuff by 50% for you during ride drinks; but drink a full glass before and after a ride especially long hot rides.

    You're going to get some here to disagree with me, and that's ok, I use to race at the CAT 3 level and never bought into the expensive bike boutique stuff, in fact I knew a coach who didn't either, and a RAAM captain that won the 4 person race in 2001; but today is all about getting the cyclist to spend lots of money, for nothing more then pschological gain! Because after all if you're spending a great deal of money for bike boutique drinks and bars, and the store salesperson says it works, then by golly it must be working. The only thing the RAAM team drank was Gatorade and Cytomax Recovery after each 20 minute ride...but they were in a very strenous race, otherwise they drink the Cytomax on their regular rides!! Anyway it's up to you, if you're wealthy and like to spend money thinking you might gain something then do it!

    Gym exercises, like I posted earlier you don't want to bulk if you want to concentrate on cycling and be faster at it. If you want an all around conditioning program and want some bulk and don't really want to be faster on the bike then you can bulk up to a medium degree it you choose. But if cycling is you're main thing then tone up in the gym with lighter weights and a lot of reps. A lot of this stuff, if not all of it can be done at the house saving you money from expensive gym memberships. Remember when working out do not rest between sets for more then one minute; So see these sites: http://munfitnessblog.com/abs-workout-1-bicycle-maneuver-or-bicycle-crunches/ ; http://www.cptips.com/weights.htm ; http://www.livestrong.com/video/5189-lance-armstrongs-strength-training-workout/ ; http://www.roble.net/marquis/weights ; http://www.livestrong.com/slideshow/552225-the-29-hardest-ab-exercises/?utm_source=articlebottom&utm_medium=1#slide-1

    Here's more on interval training on the bike: http://www.cptips.com/intervl.htm ; Also see this site and click on articles on the left column; see: http://www.ultracycling.com/training/centuries2.html

    Something's come up, I have to go quickly, post again for more questions.
     
  6. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    Fruits and vegetables are part of keeping a healthy immune system. Intense cycling workouts can temporarily compromise this state until the body has had a chance to repair and recover making it even more important to eat well. Someone who rides moderately or jogs a few times a week is likely to spend more of their week with a stronger immune system overall than someone who is trying to force adaptive changes. I feel most out of wack when I start doing short intervals in the weeks leading up to a race as I'm tapering. I don't usually eat much different than riding when not but I usually drink more fluids. On hard riding days I'll make sure to have some kind of glycogen replacement drink within 30 minutes of finishing the ride (Gatorade, some carb drink, heck even a can of Coke if that's all there is). I just try to keep a tasty balanced diet a fact of life.

    I used to body build as a teenager, I have some residual muscle mass that just decided to stick around after I stopped with the weights a few decades ago. However I like many other cyclists don't touch a weight in the interest of becoming a better cyclist or bike racer. My vanity has me doing a couple weeks of push ups and pull ups before bikini season but as I get older even that seems less important. But seriously, forgetting the crunches, core strength is a good thing to have as a cyclist. I have found the old 'plank' and 'side plank' to suffice, and I actually do a combo slow pushup type plank which covers most of my bases, both aesthetic and functional.

    If you ride more than 10 hours a week I would recommend adding 30 mins a night of sleep on top of the recommended 8 hour especially on your harder days. Naps never hurt, but I keep mine to 45 minutes or so and make sure it's before 3pm so as not to interfere with any regular sleep patterns (otherwise I'd rather just go to bed a little early). I don't usually nap unless it's interval day, and that's usually because if I'm lying on the couch after 2(3x2min at VO2) I can't help but nod off. Ultimately your body will tell you what it needs. In last years Tour, Contador proclaimed he was going to go to sleep a half hour early each night and by the end of the Tour he would have a full night's sleep over everyone else. However someone apparently forgot to tell Evans. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif
     
  7. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    ^^^^ I agree with DanFoz. If you're not in shape and push yourself to hard to quickly you could subject your immune system to stresses it's not use to and could get sick easier because the immune system is weakened a bit due to over exertion. But eventually, if you work up slowly, the immune system is able to keep up and gets stronger along with your body.

    Actually the sleep comment is a personal adaptation of one's own body to exercise. In my case the more I do cardo (cycling) type of workout the less sleep my body requires. When I ride everyday for at least 15 miles a day with longer over 75 mile ride on a weekend day, my sleep goes from 6 to 6.5 hours average in the winter when my cycling time is a lot lower to 5 to 5.5 hours in the summer. My body just naturally awakens after those hours are spent sleeping. Maybe if I did weight lifting program to add bulk that would change? I don't know because I don't do that. My body has never required much sleep, in fact when I use to race at the CAT 3 level I got about 4.5 to 5 hours a sleep a night...of course I was in my late 20's and early 30's when that happened, I'm now 58.

    So I think you should listen to your body. Your body will wake up by itself when enough sleep has occurred, and if that's 8 hours or 5 hours or whatever then so be it. Another important thing is that you go to bed within a half an hour every night of the same time, in other words try to go to bed at the same time every night and that includes weekends.

    And yes, attending cycling classes is a great idea for someone who wants to maximize their training, so is joining a cycling club. A club helps you ride with other people who are faster then you but it helps push you to do better that a lot of people are unable to do riding by themselves.
     
  8. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    There are a lot of different people who post here. They all train different becasue they have different desires and experiences. You need to tell us what you want to accomplish and where you currently are.

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    Unless you are riding more than 2 hours at a time you do not need to worry about food or drink while riding, you will eat and drink as much as you need in your regular meals. If you are riding over 2 hours at a time, eat and drink as needed. Water, pop, candybars are all cheap sources of what you need.

    Unless you are riding hard more than 20 hours a week you will not need to worry about your immune system.

    Junk food on rides is OK. You should be getting all of your nutritional needs from your regular meals.

    ---

    I tend to carry 2 water bottles filled with gatorade. Dilluted about 3 parts water and 1 part gatorade. I buy the powder and mix it myself. In the summer the 2 bottles with frequent partial filling with water lasts me 5-6 hours. I don't depend on the gatorade to supply any nutrition.

    On rides over 3 hours I stop every 25-33 miles for a quart of chocolate milk - 800 calories. That provides enough calories to make me happy.

    I meet my nutritional needs by eating the same breakfast and lunch everyday. I get a variety of dinners. (When I leave home for a couple weeks, I don't pay too much attention to what I eat.

    I tend to ride outdoors any day the temperature is over 40 degrees. I tend to ride from 11am until 3 or 4pm. When the temperatures are below 40, I tend to ride on my trainer for an hour or so at a much higher effort.
     
  9. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    Maybe to a point, but it I think it depends on the intensity. 80% of maxHR may be riding hard to some, to others 90+% maxHR is riding hard. I usually feel more tired after 12 minutes of VO2 work than I do after 3-4 hours of tempo. Multiply by 5: I HAVE done 15 hour weeks of tempo in the past, but confronted with 60 minutes of VO2, I just may cry. Those 60 minutes would physically damage my body more than those 15 hours.

    I would gander that anytime one is waking with an accelerated pulse rate their body is out of equilibrium and systems may be compromised.

    Hopefully though OP is just thinking about riding lots and having fun on the bike at this point.
     
  10. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    I think that is what he is doing.
     
  11. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    This statement confuses me. In the summer time with temps above 80 degrees, two 24 ounce bottles (the largest bike specific bottle is 28 ounce size, mine are the largest Polar bottle size of 24 ounce) will not last 5 to 6 hours in my experience with not only my self but slew of others. If you're taking two month fulls of liquid every 15 to 20 minutes those bottles will run out at around 1 3/4th hours for a two 24 ounce bottles, to 2 hours for two 28 ounce bottles; that's about 56 ounces every 2 hours. At your given rate you would have major problems with loss of fluid in the body and thus performance would be severely reduced and maybe even suffer a heat stroke. Now if you were talking of mild summer temps of around the low 70's then you would be alright with 2 bottles in 4 to 5 hours though 5 to 6 could be pushing it.

    Speaking of bottles. The reason I carry insulated Polar Bottles is because in the summer you need to lower your core body temperture to keep from overheating. A non insulated bottle even if froze solid before you leave will be warm within an hour and hot by the time you need to use it. Insulated bottles will keep the fluid cooler longer. In fact on longer 3 hour rides in the summer I will freeze one of my diluted Gatorade solid overnight (leave about 1 inch of space for expansion), then fill the 2nd bottle full of ice and put 3/4ths strength pre-chilled Gatorade in it (why 3/4ths instead of 1/2 strength because the melting ice will dilute it), then my 3rd bottle I put about 1/2 ice in and then 50% strength pre-chilled Gatorade. Obviously I drink starting with the my 3rd, by the time I get to the second bottle about an hour later is still real cold with ice that will last the hour I'm drinking from it, then by the time I get to the last bottle it's also real cold with slush that will last the 3rd hour.

    There are a couple of good insulated bottles on the market, which is the best? All I can say is that I used Polar bottles for years, their very well made, then last year I tried the Camel Bak Podium Ice (their best insulated bottle) because I really like their Camelbaks I use on the back when I ride even longer, so I tried their bottles...they were not near as good as the Polar's. The Camel back is made of softer plastic which didn't hold up long, plus it didn't keep the drink as cool as long as the Polar, AND the Camelbak is smaller at 21 ounce so I gave up 3 ounces per bottle. I went back to Polar. But I love Camelbak's hydration system and own their smallest 70oz Rogue model which I guess they no longer make that model but instead make one called the Consigliere that holds 70 ounces of fluid. I won't carry more then 70 ounces on my back because I don't want all that extra weight of the fluid on my back.

    Alternately you could stop at stores along the way to refill your bottles if you can't carry enough and don't want to carry more then two.
     
  12. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    This is true for most people, but the cost to have such a luxury is often times prohibited. But just to ride a bike for fun and fitness it's completely unnecessary to have a coach. If you can join a local LBS sponsored club which may cost you around $20 or so a year, that's all the training you really need if you really want to maximize your fitness level on the bike unless you decide to go into higher levels of racing then you may want to explore joining a team that has a coach. Or find a friend who has better riding performance levels then yourself and ride with him. I work, I've always worked, so for me to join a team, or ride with a friend is out of the question because my hours vary. So I have to self motivate myself to ride, could I ride better with another person who is better then I? Sure, but for right now I'm not racing so I'm doing just fine by myself.
     
  13. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    You need to read the whole sentence: "In the summer the 2 bottles with frequent partial filling with water lasts me 5-6 hours."

    The "refilling" part provides enough hydration. The "with water" indicates that calories are not needed.

    ----

    "partial refilling" because I fill the bottles before they are empty. I find that I like the taste of dilute Gatorade better than that of water.
     
  14. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    That was a case of me speed reading due to time constraints and missed reading the frequent refilling part. Thanks for clearing that up and I'm sorry I seemed rough with you.
     
  15. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    No problem.
     
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