Introduction and questions.

Discussion in 'Clydesdales 200lb / 90kg + riders' started by DeadLights, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. DeadLights

    DeadLights New Member

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    I recently bought myself a Trek 1.1 to get in shape. Got myself some decent shoes, clip less pedals, and a computer to track how far I have gone and calories burned.

    I'm 31 years old. 5'10" 250lbs and really out of shape. Decided it was time to get myself back into shape so I can hopefully enjoy a long life.

    I'm looking for tips from other people on what you did to start off getting in shape. I live in a pretty hilly area. I ride for about 15 minutes before I feel like I"m going to die. The hills really whip me.

    I know in time it will get better, but I feel like I'm not doing too much good for weight loss currently, because I can not go very far before I'm out of breath with legs that feel like they have been set on fire!

    Any tips, methods or helpful hints you may have for someone just starting out? I'm really excited about getting started, but very upset with letting myself get this out of shape. I used to mt. bike a few years ago and it's frustrating not being able to start out riding with the stamina and power I once had. :(
     
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  2. Paul Schmidt

    Paul Schmidt New Member

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    Yeah, there are a bunch of things to remember, first is that you didn't get to 250lbs in a day, so you can't expect to fix it in a day. You need to train, and there are 2 kinds of training to do. Before doing any of that though, you should talk to your doctor, tell them your going to do some bike riding, get a complete physical to rule out any show stoppers. If there are show stoppers, get those taken care of first.

    Sounds like hills are an issue, nothing makes climbing easier, then lots of climbing, find a hill you can't quite get up in your lowest gear, make sure that at least once a week, you tackle that hill, before long you are getting up it, by the end of summer, you do a ride where you climb that hill and get to the end and think "what happened to that hill?". The other issue is distance, if you can only do 15 minutes, do 15 minutes, just do that 15 minutes at least 4 times a week, when the 15 minutes doesn't leave you feeling ready to die, then shoot for 20, it does not matter if you make the 20 minutes, if you have only been able to ride 15 minutes and you try for 20, 16 minutes is NOT a failure, it's a victory, because you have gone from only 15 minutes to 16 minutes, learn to savour these small victories.

    Few people lose weight cycling, it's too efficient, you need to determine your BMR -- this is the amount of energy it takes to keep you alive, lying on the sofa. Shoot for that as your diet limit, use activity to create a deficit, walking and swimming are both good, and the investment is small in either case. What you do is alternate, cycling one day, walking or swimming the next, before long you will notice the weight coming off. At the same time, with everything you eat, read the ingredients list, skip anything that contains stuff you can't pronounce. If you see High Fructose Corn Syrup, it's a sugar, it's in a lot of processed foods, it's toxic to weight loss, avoid it at all costs.
     
  3. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    First off I would recommend you get a physical exam. Tell your doctor your goal and make sure you have no underlying conditions that would prevent your from taking on a physical regime.

    Take your time go out and ride on a fixed schedule daily or every other day and stick to it.

    Monitor your intake of food and adjust downward slowly.

    Go for your ride shortly before meal time this way you can help eliminate bing eating between meals caused by the added exercise.

    Lastly if the terain in you area is overly difficult for you at this time you may want to look into getting a trainer. You can put your bike on the trainer and warm up easily for ten to fifteen minutes before you hit the road. This will definetly help increase your time in the saddle.
     
  4. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    I think a normal beginner mistake is to try to go too hard all the time. If weight loss and fitness are your primary goals, you will benefit more by going longer at a lower intensity. As your fitness and skill improve, the hard stuff will become easier and more enjoyable. The more you enjoy getting out on the bike, the more likely it will become part of your lifestyle.

    I remember that for years I though that bicycling was all about leg strength and that it was macho to ride in the highest gear all of the time - don't do that. Look up the efficiency tips in some of the other posts. Mashing the gears will likely burn out your legs and hurt your knees long before your cardiovascular system gets stressed. Work on pedaling with an even, smooth rhythm. Most experienced cyclist recommend having a cadence above 80rpm which may feel strange to a beginner cyclist, but over time it becomes natural and is much more sustainable and effective than mashing at a high gear.

    If you can, find a group to ride with once in a while, its motivating and the challenge will only make you a better cyclist.
     
  5. BHOFM

    BHOFM Active Member

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    Every thing in the above post!

    When I started riding last May five miles in five hours was
    the norm. The first time I did ten miles I was close to Walmart,
    where I got the bike, my strongest ugh was to return the bike
    and walk home!

    Now, nearly a year later, seventy pounds lighter, forty to
    eighty miles a day, five to six hours, is the norm.

    It just takes time. And my main rule,, Shift down, go farther faster!
     
  6. DeadLights

    DeadLights New Member

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    Thanks for all the tips. I did talk to my doctor. After I told him that I can do 40 minutes to an hour on an Elliptical, his response was, "if you were going to die you would have done it then." That's professional, eh? ;) I see his point though. I have been doing that for the past few weeks, so apparently my heart can handle the stress.

    I think my plan will be to continue doing cardio exercises at the gym and riding bikes on the weekend. That should help get my cardio in shape and drop the weight.
     
  7. frbock

    frbock New Member

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    I used to go like a nut in the spring, and having an 18 year old body, it took to it quickly. When I was in my late 40's and early 50's, I tried the same thing. It didn't work, I burned out quickly, etc. and stopped doing it.So, I went and took my trip computer, and set it for average mph. I found that if I kept the speed down around 10mph, I could do 15 miles without batting an eye. I was sore the next day, but, I did it. A couple more runs at snails pace, and the muscles and veins were starting to work. At that point, I could start bringing the speed up again. I also got to the point where 30 mile rides were pretty easy.
     
  8. doctorold

    doctorold Member

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    I have lost 60 lbs. Most of it was done by cycling. Some it was lost by the dreadmill during winter months and various other crosstraining efforts. But I got started when I had my knee scoped and the surgeon did not prescribe any physical therapy. He told me to get on my bike and ride. I started off riding 5-7 miles and slowly built up more and more. There's no rocket science to this. Ride often and slowly progress. Stamina will come. Work on your diet. You don't have to eat like a bird or deprive yourself. But take a good look at the stuff you eat and be smart. I lost my 60 in the first fifteen months. I have kept it off by riding! I just completed my first metric century this past weekend. And today I rode 21 miles and told me wife, "now what...that was easy" and I was pushing it!
     
  9. SquareOne

    SquareOne New Member

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    What's up my man? Congrats on being a big dude on a bike! It's been my drug of choice for fitness since I decided to change the way I was living. Just for reference, I feel your pain. Jan 17th, 2011 I was a whopping 363lbs at 31 years old! I've doubled in weight since my 18th bday. Disgusting. I decided that I was over it, I want to live a long life and with my newborn son it was time to make a change! I changed the way I was eating using a great calorie counting app (pm me for the name - I'm new to the forum and don't want to break any rules). I needed something to do for exercise, so I dusted off the P90X dvd I bought a year ago (and never used) and I bought a Canondale CAAD9. Since then I've lost 48lbs and I'm fighting to get to that 50 mark this week! The year goal is 100lbs. I just want to let you know that with the right amount of self educating, proper eating and hard work, you can and will get there!

    Since your question was about cycling, let me tell you a brief bit about my cycling journey. Each week, I ride 1-4 nights out of the week for VERY short rides (currently 10-15 miles) and I ride a LONG (long for me) ride with my group of friends on Sundays (45-50 miles)

    This is how it started:
    Week 1 - I rode for 15 minutes, 2x on weeknights and 1 longer ride on Sunday, it took me about an hour (at that time a long ride was about 10 miles).

    I did the same for two weeks.

    The third week I bumped it up to 1/2 hour (2x weeknights) and 15 miles on the Sunday ride.

    The fourth week I did an hour (2x weeknights) and my first 20 mile race/ride!

    I slowly increased the Sunday ride by 5-10 miles each week. The weekday rides have increased in distance naturally, but I keep them to about an hour a night (1-4x each week).

    My Sunday ride is currently at 50 miles in about 3.5-4 hours. Back in Jan, I thought that a 20 mile ride was rediculous! Now I'm doing 50 and a century is on the list in October!

    My best advise is do just a little bit more than what your body tells you to do. Just a little. Pushing that little bit goes a long way and helps you move towards an increase the next week. Us big-guys, have given in to complacency. We've become lazy. But there's still a fit guy under all of this. He's really easy to find once you get the eating under control and keep moving! Consult with your physician, blah, blah, blah. Listen to your body. That's the one thing the Dr. can't do without having electrodes, scans and schematics of your body. If you feel like you need to stop, stop! If you think you can push a little longer, go for it! Find some friends to join in the fun, the motivation, support and comraderie all go a LONG WAY! Learn your bike well, listen to your body, take breaks, push hard, but gradually increase and most of all enjoy the ride!
     
  10. Poose

    Poose New Member

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    Just an observation:

    Other than being slightly taller than you (and a good 15 years older) I come from a slightly embarrasing aspect-the reason for my renewed interest in cycling has nothing to do with the health benefits-more that I'm a lazy bastard and hate walking.

    See, for the next 5 months I have to park my motorcycles, and hoof (or pedal) it for legal reasons...grmbl...In the first three weeks I walked-and promptly lost almost 8 kilos with no other changes. I was shocked.

    So yes, I agree with others-cycling is almost too efficient to loose weight-walking seems to work better. Wierd.

    The only way to make this work long-term is to make things harder:

    Choose a longer path-even going out of the way to stretch things...
    Pedal faster. Enerygy requirements go up at the square of your speed-a 25% increase in speed doubles energy consumption due to wind resistance...
    Walk once in a while-remember that a long walk is but a short ride...
    Don't give up...

    And yeah-I hate hills too.

    I'm assuming that you're not commuting-and can change your route?

    Pick a spot that's flat-and stay there 'til you either get better-or bored.

    Move outwards as your ability (and wind) improves.

    Ocassionally-find the biggest hill you can and just start climbing-even if you know you won't make it-hang in there for as long as you can. Scream when you stop, and make an oath to kill this beast...

    In short-just keep doing it. It will get easier as your weight comes down-and your strength improves. But if doing something now sucks-don't do that. Do something more fun-but at least do something...as long as you keep pushing yourself to do better.
     
  11. cloudhead

    cloudhead New Member

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    Hi there,

    I just took it slow and added a couple miles of riding a week. It might not seem like much, but over the long run, it's quite a bit. I burned out on my first ride in 20 years after about 6 miles. I kept adding 1 mile to the distance and rode a few times each week that way.
     
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