female beginner needs some basic advice



Arrghhh....I know...another beginner question!   ;) I read the previous post by another beginner asking about training...to which the reponse was, "Find a coach". I don't have the money for a coach and I am not training for a race, just for myself. So, I am looking for more layman's help. LOL

Well, here-a-goes...I bought my object of affection just 6 months ago.  And, I chickened out this winter and didn't ride.  I just started riding.  I have maybe 7 rides under my belt...seriously, we are talking virgin here.  Right now, I ride about 12 miles at about 15 mph on relatively flat surfaces and I strength train about 2 to 3 times a week.

I want to train, but these training books have me lost.

Anyone know if any sites out there that outline planned training schedules for women beginners?  My long term goal is to (obviously) increase my endurance, get more miles in, get more speed, not chicken out on hills.  My short term goal is to get to a twenty mile ride soon and eventually to 50 by the end of the summer.  Any suggestions?  If it helps, I am 23 and weigh about 100 lbs and my resting heart rate has always been high at about 78 bpm.

My equipment: Trek 2000 WSD

Thanks in advance for any help.
Ah, another lady to grace our site. Well, you're in luck, 'coz you'll get all your FAQ's answered right here. Welcome to cyclingforums.com!

There are a few sites out there that offer excellent training info. Here are some (click the link):

I'm sure our other members will add to this list. Good luck and remember to come back frequently and ASK QUESTIONS! ;)
use the 'search' feature of this website and type in 'training' all the topics with training advice should pop up. im sure there is good stuff there. if not just ask. one piece of advice though is start off easy ;) good luck
I second visiting Coach Carl's website. If your question's aren't answered there, then e-mail them to him. He responds pretty quickly.

I also suggest you read Serious Cycling by Dr. Edmund Burke. Just gotta love that book. Joe Friel's Cyclist's Training bible is pretty informative too....but I'm not into that kind of strctured training....maybe when I can spend more time training.

By the way, please do post a pic of your bike..preferably with you in it ;D
alteweg stop trying to pic up the chicks ;D this is a bike forum not a Match makers site ;) , so where is that pic ;) ::)
;D Nic, isn't it common practice to ask the newbies to post a pic of their bike? ;D

Oh Persistence, I couldn't help but notice that you are from Texas. Did you happen to join the Ride for the Roses a few days ago?
Persistence, you will probably notice that most training programs are target specific e.g. how to increase speed or how to climb better. You mention that you are a recreational rider and not interested in competition, but the nature of the sport is such that you will soon enough discover your weaknesses. Most recreational riders I know try and avoid climbs, but their goals are different from yours. You have an excellent bike and you have immediate and long-term goals. I would suggest that you start off by doing base rides. These rides will help you develop 'aerobic endurance'. Do your base rides once a week to start off with. Most important about base training is that you do not push yourself to exhaustion. Keep a steady spin at talking pace and ride out as far as you are use to (don't stand out of the saddle). Slowly start increasing your base ride distance as you progress from month to month. Use this time to get to know your bike and using the gears. Soon enough you'll be doing 50 mile base rides with ease.
Apart from the base rides, find yourself a nice hilly route and cycle it once a week. Ride easy on the flats and descents, but ride the climbs as fast as you can. Catch your breath back before doing the next climb along the route.

Remember: WARM UP before each ride by gently stretching your muscles and taking it easy for the first few minutes on the bike. After each ride, do a warm-down by stretching your muscles again.
Sorry about the delay in response....I didn't think I would get replies so quickly.

Altwegg: Unfortunately, I didn't make it to the Ride for Roses. It was in Austin and I was in Estes Park, Colorado at the time. I know...sucks. But, I was in the mountains...fair trade to me.

Thanks for the advice Vo2, I will certainly use it. And, that is pretty much what I do now. Good news, though. I took a 12 mile ride on a some rather hilly roads today. It was hot, humid, and I got quite a nasty little burn. But, I took it on an 18 mph average. And, the darn thing was uphill into the wind the whole way back. Don't you just love it! And, Vo2, I may be recreational now, but I can see this growing into an obsession. Next purchase? clip-less shoes and arrow bars...LOL Okay, maybe not immediately.

I will check out the coaching links. My other goal that I didn't mention is to get my resting heart rate down. It is has been a problem for me for years and I know it will only get worse as I get older and gain weight (God forbid!). So, I think the base ride suggestion will help that out.

As for Altwegg and Nicholas: Do I have to take my helmet off in my picture? LOL

I might also check out that "Bible" book that you referred to Altwegg. I actually need a structured training program, otherwise I will not stick with it and consequently not get any better and my friends will continue to "take it easy" on me. Geez, that sucks the worst, I think. Charity rides for the newbie.