first post -- so first, 'hello' -- then advice sought on sensible goals

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by itazura, Jun 3, 2003.

  1. itazura

    itazura New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2003
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is my first visit and post, so hello. After quickly scanning a number of threads, I was impressed with the level of advice and participation found on this forum. Hopefully I can squeeze out a few more words of wisdom.

    I have just (re)taken up cycling after a few too many years of being quite out of shape. I used to ride regularly about 15 years ago, but exercise just hasn't been part of my routine for a few years and the pounds (not the monetary kind) have piled up. With the goal of getting into better shape and maybe losing a bit of weight, I've dusted off my old touring bike and started taking it out on some tentative rides.

    But I am impatient; I want to achieve everything right away. I've only been riding now for about 2 or 3 weeks....trying to get out at least 3 or 4 days per week, but I'm already frustrated by the fact that I've not lost weight and still struggle through almost every ride (in addition to impatience, I also seem to suffer from an inability to take it easy when I ride...I always want to push as hard as I can, so I'm usually at or near my limit).

    I'm hoping that for motivational purposes more than anything, I might get some sound advice about a reasonable time frame to focus on and a realistic series of goals I might might try to set for myself in terms of, for instance, length, speed and frequency of rides....weight loss....etc.

    To give you a sense of what I'm doing now, I'm mainly riding a 15 mile route that is basically flat but has a few very mild hills. It's an out and back type route, so there is often a headwind for either the coming or the going. After maybe 10 or 12 rides on this route, I seem to be able to average around 16mph (up from 14mph or so on my first couple rides). Once or twice per week I've been doing a longer route -- about 30 miles -- with a lot more (short) hills. On that ride, I seem to average about 14.5 to 15mph. I'm riding what I guess would be considered a fairly hefty touring bike with a rack, pump, cheapo panniers, etc. (ie, not a thoroughbred).

    If by the end of the summer (northern hemisphere here) I could do the 30 mile ride without my legs feeling like rubber....maybe get in a couple 50 mile rides without feeling like it was overdoing it....improve my average speeds a couple mph....and lose, say, 10 pounds, I would be thrilled.

    Any advice on how best to get there? Or, for that matter, whether these are realistic goals? I've never tried seriously "training" on a bike. Even when I used to ride a lot years ago, it was to commute and otherwise just to enjoy the ride. So intervals, heart rates, and RPM's are not things I've thought about thus far. And, as I said, exercise just hasn't been a part of my routine for years, so I'm not starting out very fit.

    Thanks for you insights,
    Itazura
     
    Tags:


  2. J-MAT

    J-MAT New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Messages:
    331
    Likes Received:
    0
    itazura:

    Feels good to be back in the saddle doesn't it???

    Sometimes you don't know how good it feels to ride until you take some years off, gain a bunch of weight and feel like crap. One day you wake up, say "no more," dust off your old bike and pump up the tires. Welcome back to the cycling world!!!

    I think you already have the answers to accomplish your near-term goals. You have started slowly, and have gradually gotten faster, and once or twice a week, you are doing longer rides. Basically, this is a very good program for you right now. One or two long rides a week benefit all riders from recreational riders to professionals.

    Weight goes on a lot easier than it comes off. This is mostly due to evolution where thousands of years ago we might not eat anything for days until we found some more food. Someone invented grocery stores and it's been downhill ever since!!!

    It's good that you like to push, just don't overdo it. Knee injuries are the biggest problem with coming back/beginning riding and wanting to go fast. You muscles will be ready for more before your tendons and ligaments will be. At the first sign of knee pain or discomfort, back off. This means slowing down on the flats, no climbing, no sprinting, and no time trialing.

    There are abut 3500 calories in a pound of fat. If you could cut out just 500 calories a day from your diet, that is a pound of fat every week. In one year, that's 52 pounds of fat loss!!! Of course, you will burn calories on the bike as well. You can still eat, drink, and be merry, just be smart about it. Cut out a beer or soda here, a cookie there, maybe get a burger without cheese, etc. The more decadent the food is, the more calorically dense it will be. Eat thin-crust pizza instead of thick-crust pizza. Eat what you normally eat, but cut the portion by 1/3 or 1/2. There are many strategies to lose weight without starving yourself or eating food you can't stand.

    50 miles should be no problem for you at all. Consistency is most important, especially when trying to get back into the swing of things. Get into a regular schedlue, and stick to your workouts. If the weather is bad, ride a trainer indoors.

    After a few more weeks of regular riding increase your mileage. Do your 15 mile rides during the week and assuming you are riding long on the weekends, do 25 miles on Saturday and 40 on Sunday instead of 30 miles both days. After a few weeks, stay at 25 miles on Saturday and bump it up to 45 on Sunday. Once you get to 50 miles on Sunday, gradually bump up Saturday's miles to 30-35-40-etc. If you have any pain or problems, back off the miles until you feel good again.

    If you stick with it, you should lose all the weight you need to. It just takes some time. As far as sensible goals go, If you like riding, find a riding buddy and plan on finishing a century (100 miles) next year!!!

    Good luck!!!
     
  3. itazura

    itazura New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2003
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you for the very thoughtful reply. Good to get some confirmation that the sort of riding I've been doing is not too far off the mark. So far, no knee or other joint pain....just tired quads. I'll keep at it, and maybe lay off the pizza a bit, too. :D
     
Loading...
Loading...