Need Advice Badly



Eager Rider

New Member
Apr 8, 2007
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Hello,
Some background information first, i am 16 going on 17 years old 6 foot and weight 260 lbs. mostly in my upper body which for a guy can be very imbarresing. I have tried many diets and exercising routines in the past but never could find the motivation to stick with it, till now. I really would like to lose a lot of weight and i really enjoy riding my New Giant OCR2 road bike. i have owned it about 4-5 weeks and have rode every single day cept for one day when it was raining first starting off at about 5-6 miles a day at about 30 min to what is now about 17-18 miles at 1hour and 12min avg. every day i look at the scale and i do not see the weight droping at all some days it jumps up to 265 and then back down to 260. i have never been one to care what i weight, only how i look and atm that is bad.

Questions i have.....
1) Am i riding enough? (Days,Time Intervals, Distance?)
2) i usually eat a big meal at noonish and once more about 7 to 8 Pm (Bad?) usually no snack in between.
3)shouldn't after 5 weeks of riding i see something happening beside the endurence level i have gained?

Plz give me some advice and anything that can help me...my ultimate goal is to lose weight the eventually join a race team i really enjoy road riding

,Thanks
 
If your ultimate goal is to lose weight and become good enough to be asked to join a team, the main thing you have to do is ride your bike a whole lot. One of the most important things you can do is to join a group of other riders of similar ages and interests. A group will keep you motivated to put in the hard miles, and if you put in the miles, you will lose weight, and you will get better.

There's no big secret except that you must stay motivated. Training plans come and training plans go and you can still continue to improve, but if you lose motivation, it's all over.
 
Eager Rider said:
Hello,
Some background information first, i am 16 going on 17 years old 6 foot and weight 260 lbs. mostly in my upper body which for a guy can be very imbarresing. I have tried many diets and exercising routines in the past but never could find the motivation to stick with it, till now. I really would like to lose a lot of weight and i really enjoy riding my New Giant OCR2 road bike. i have owned it about 4-5 weeks and have rode every single day cept for one day when it was raining first starting off at about 5-6 miles a day at about 30 min to what is now about 17-18 miles at 1hour and 12min avg. every day i look at the scale and i do not see the weight droping at all some days it jumps up to 265 and then back down to 260. i have never been one to care what i weight, only how i look and atm that is bad.

Questions i have.....
1) Am i riding enough? (Days,Time Intervals, Distance?)
2) i usually eat a big meal at noonish and once more about 7 to 8 Pm (Bad?) usually no snack in between.
3)shouldn't after 5 weeks of riding i see something happening beside the endurence level i have gained?

Plz give me some advice and anything that can help me...my ultimate goal is to lose weight the eventually join a race team i really enjoy road riding

,Thanks
If you can talk to a doctor first.

Depending on your previous activity levely you may or may not be riding enough. The important thing is you appear to be riding longer as time goes by. That is a good thing.

Try and do a mix of longer rides at a good tempo and shorter rides at a much harder tempo. And some short easy rides to recover.

Five weeks may or may not be enough time. One thing to remember is you are probaby putting on muscle weight. The better thing to do is look in a mirror and see how your body looks now (or five weeks ago would be better) and keep track of that. With time you will see it firming up. Given your current weight you will start to loose weight. If you were lighter you would have the potential to gain weight as your percentage of body fat went down.

The key to loosing weight is to make sure you burn more calories than you take in. So if you currently eat 5000 calories at lunch and another 1000 calories at 7-8 pm you need to work off 6000 calories. Then there are discussions of what to eat and when. This is one train of thought. Lets say you want to eat 2500 calories a day. I would try and get that out of three to four small meals. And also watch what you eat. If you are limiting yourself to 2500 calories and trying to work it off you will need to be more efficient in what you eat.

Besides biking there are a lot of additional things you can do to help. When you park your car (assuming you drive) park at the far end of the parking lot and walk to the door. Take stairs when possible. If you are on an esclator, walk up and do not just ride. Basically do as much work as you can when ever you can.

Hopefully more people will chime in with what to eat and other ways. Remember there are several ways to accomplish the same thing.

Keep to your goal, keep motivated, and you will see it come off. You can do it.
 
Eager Rider said:
Hello,
Some background information first, i am 16 going on 17 years old 6 foot and weight 260 lbs. mostly in my upper body which for a guy can be very imbarresing. I have tried many diets and exercising routines in the past but never could find the motivation to stick with it, till now. I really would like to lose a lot of weight and i really enjoy riding my New Giant OCR2 road bike. i have owned it about 4-5 weeks and have rode every single day cept for one day when it was raining first starting off at about 5-6 miles a day at about 30 min to what is now about 17-18 miles at 1hour and 12min avg. every day i look at the scale and i do not see the weight droping at all some days it jumps up to 265 and then back down to 260. i have never been one to care what i weight, only how i look and atm that is bad.

Questions i have.....
1) Am i riding enough? (Days,Time Intervals, Distance?)
2) i usually eat a big meal at noonish and once more about 7 to 8 Pm (Bad?) usually no snack in between.
3)shouldn't after 5 weeks of riding i see something happening beside the endurence level i have gained?

Plz give me some advice and anything that can help me...my ultimate goal is to lose weight the eventually join a race team i really enjoy road riding

,Thanks
It may sound crazy, but I think one technique that works for me and other heavy riders is to do a lot of uphill riding with the best technique and heart rate monitoring.
Eat earlier in the PM if you can.
Don't eat any large meals,,,, ride at lunch-time if you can and eat a small meal before/during/after the ride.
Eat fiber rich foods and drink lots of water. Avoid cafine and any soda.
 
Eager Rider said:
...i really enjoy riding my New Giant OCR2 road bike...
That is the single most important thing you posted. Finding an aerobic sport like cycling that you really love is great. Not everyone is so lucky to find something they really dig at an early age and cycling is something you can do the rest of your life. Good on ya for taking up cycling and sticking with it long enough to see improvement.
1) Am i riding enough? (Days,Time Intervals, Distance?)
Riding every day for the last 4 weeks with only one day off. Sounds like you're riding plenty of days. You could probably extend one or two of your days a bit over time until they're up to two or more hours. That will both burn calories and build a nice aerobic base. I don't know anything about the intervals you're currently doing, but for now focus on longer easier intervals in the fifteen to thirty minute range. These hardly sound like intervals to some folks but they're the key to building your aerobic fitness which is what everything else builds on. Pick a nice steady road, maybe a long climb and settle into a pace you can hold for those long intervals. You should feel pretty good for at least the first ten minutes but you should be working and it will add up by the end. What you want to avoid right now is the typical beginner's mistake of hammering hard sprints and minute long intervals that make ya wanna puke. They make you feel like you're doing good stuff but only train your anaerobic systems which burn very little fat and do almost nothing for your sustainable speed. Racer's do these as the icing on the cake to handle attacks and surges in the pace but only after they've built a strong aerobic engine. You need to focus on that engine first.
2) i usually eat a big meal at noonish and once more about 7 to 8 Pm (Bad?) usually no snack in between.
As other's pointed out above a lot of smaller meals is a much better deal than one or two big meals. Snacks as long as they are relatively healthy(like fruit) are a good idea since they hold the hunger at bay and help you to avoid really big meals later in the day. Eating earlier is a good suggestion but also make sure you eat something for breakfast every day. If you skip breakfast you get the double whammy. You'll tend to slow your resting metabolism which means you won't be burning as many calories doing your daily stuff off the bike and you'll tend to hit lunchtime much too hungry and eat way too much as a result. My wife's a dietician and her A-number-one advice to folks looking to lose weight is to make sure to eat breakfast.
3)shouldn't after 5 weeks of riding i see something happening beside the endurence level i have gained?
As other's have pointed out some of your weight may be transforming from fat to muscle and muscle actually weighs more than fat. That can mask things a bit on the scale. But focus on the positive side. You've gained endurance, sounds like you've gained speed, and you've found an aerobic sport you really like. There's probably more you can do in terms of what you eat, but you're off to a great start. Focus on getting faster and going further and you'll see changes.
Plz give me some advice and anything that can help me...my ultimate goal is to lose weight the eventually join a race team i really enjoy road riding...
I decided to drop weight when I pulled my racing license out of retirement last summer. I'd put on quite a bit over the years but being married to an RD I knew better than to try anything rash. I also just plain don't believe in most "diets" they tend to focus on short term results in exchange for long term health. I knew it was going to be more a matter of changing some habits as I ramped up my training on the bike.

Here's the big things that helped me:
  • Eat breakfast every day and keep it reasonably healthy. I usually eat a high fiber cereal with yogurt, or sometimes oatmeal with walnuts and some brown sugar. Once in a while it's eggs but I skip the bacon these days. I always try to make sure it has a bit of protein to last me through the morning.
  • Drink lots of water throughout the day. This helps me avoid soft drinks and juices I don't really need but it also helps keep me hydrated from my cycling which is perhaps more important.
  • Watch portion sizes. I still basically eat the same things at lunch and dinner but I start by eating a bit less than I think I want. If I'm still hungry after five or ten minutes I eat some more. The key is not to put it on the plate, once it's there I'll eat it whether I'm really hungry or not. I've cut way back on burgers. Not because they're so bad in themselves, I just don't have the willpower to eat a burger without fries :) I still have one occasionally but not very often anymore.
  • Eat something after every training ride. Ideally this should be fairly high in carbs to refuel your glycogen stores. The first half hour after a ride is the very best time to refuel your glycogen. After that critical half hour it takes a lot longer to get the carbs where you need them. If it's been a fairly short or easy session I might just have a bananna, after a longer ride it's usually a fruit smoothy with some yogurt and maybe some recovery drink like Metabolol mixed in. The key is to always eat something right after you finish your ride, you're eating for your next training session.
  • Make snacks a bit healthier. Sure I still eat chips, but I try to satisfy afternoon hunger with and orange or apple or bananna first. Sometimes that just doesn't get the job done and then I have some chips or nuts or something but I try to think about it without just diving into the cookies or crackers first.
Anyway I decided I needed to drop weight last August after I'd ridden enough to remind me how much I missed racing. I've dropped almost 40 pounds in that time and am very near my best racing weight from 20 years ago and going faster than I can remember(too bad I didn't have a power meter back in the day for comparisons). My first master's race is a couple of weeks off but I feel better prepared than I could have imagined six months ago. We'll see.....

Good luck and don't get discouraged time is on your side if you stick with it,
-Dave
 
Thanks, one more question which is better for loseing weight (remember i can usually only ride once a day with school and work) longer rides at a slower pace or shorter rides at a faster pace?
 
Eager Rider said:
Thanks, one more question which is better for loseing weight (remember i can usually only ride once a day with school and work) longer rides at a slower pace or shorter rides at a faster pace?
Oh, the age old debate.... You burn a higher percentage of fat vs. glycogen(carbs) at lower intensities. That leads a lot of diet professionals to advise keeping things easy and staying in "the fat burning range" but you actually burn a greater number of calories and even a greater number of fat calories by working out harder. There really is no "fat burning range" you burn a higher percentage of fat at lower intensities but continue to burn some as long as you stay aerobic.

Here's an example, according to NutriStrategy a 195 pound cyclist will burn approximately 531 Calories per hour riding at 10-12 mph. Assuming 90% of that is fat that means he'd burn ~ 478 fat Calories per hour.

If that same cyclist rides 16 to 19 mph the same chart shows him burning 1062 Calories per hour. Assuming he's only burning 50% fat and 50% glycogen at this higher intensity he's now burning ~ 531 fat Calories per hour. And for someone with an interest in race fitness he'd be working in the prime aerobic building L3/L4 zones so there's greater fitness benefit in addition to burning fat.

Anyway if you only have an hour or so to ride, do a fair amount of it in the upper aerobic levels. That means steady deep breathing, the feeling that you're doing some work but not so hard that you're gasping for air, feel like you're going to retch or totally blow up on your rides. IOW do steady tempo and harder rides, but keep them aerobic as much as you can. You'll burn plenty of fat that way and more importantly you'll gain aerobic fitness which will help you go longer and faster and burn even more on those days when you have time for longer rides. Take some days easy to let your body recover but don't get trapped into the thinking that you have to go slow everyday to burn fat.

Another strategy I use when trying to lose weight is to try to replace no more than half the Calories I burned during a ride. IOW if I estimate I burned 1500 Calories on a two hour ride I'll try to replace 700 or less. A lot of folks start riding and fall into the trap of thinking they can eat anything after a ride since they worked so hard but I know I've still got to watch my intake or I'll put on pounds. This is especially true if you only ride for an hour or so. You can easily burn 1000 Calories an hour on the bike but it's just as easy to put all that back on and more with a stop at a fast food joint. A Quarter Pounder w/ Cheese and Large Fries is 1070 Calories without any drink or anything else. So you've still gotta watch what goes in.

-Dave
 
what cadence is Endurance riding, Tempo Riding, and Recovery Riding and if you do not have a cadence counter how can you tell your cadence?
 
Eager Rider said:
what cadence is Endurance riding, Tempo Riding, and Recovery Riding and if you do not have a cadence counter how can you tell your cadence?
Cadence isn't the issue, it's effort or intensity. You can slog away in a big gear at a low cadence and work hard or you can spin a smaller gear fast and work hard. The point is the effort you put out. Here's a very rough set of guidelines based on perceived effort:
  • Recovery or L1 in Coggan's power terminology. Very easy effort with little to no pedal pressure, very comfortable and easy to hold a lengthy conversation. Really only useful for warming up, cooling down, rest between harder intervals and on the bike rest days where you want to stay loose and burn a few Calories.
  • Endurance or L2. Easy all day effort, comfortable pace where conversation is still pretty easy, pedal pressure may go up a bit, you might work a bit harder on hills or into headwinds but this is a pace you could sustain for hours.
  • Tempo or L3. Fast steady efforts that you can sustain for an hour or more without feeling totally wiped out. It takes some concentration to stay at this level or you'll tend to slip back down to all day pace but breathing is still fairly easy and you can hold conversations with some effort and maybe short sentences. This usually feels like comfortable fast riding to me, I know I'm moving along at a good clip but I don't feel like I'm going to blow. I often hold this pace for an hour to an hour and a half nonstop on suitable country roads that don't have a lot of stop signs. I have to shift way down on long hills to stay in this zone but unless the hill is really steep I can just cruise along at L3.
  • FTP or L4. This is hard aerobic work near your best one hour pace. I generally work this in the 15 to 30 minute intervals described above. My breathing is deep and steady and it's hard to say more than a word or two at a time. I can still get a drink from my water bottle but it takes some effort. My legs are feeling the effort and it would be real easy to slack off into easier levels unless I stay focused but I can usually go at least 10 minutes and usually try for 20 or more in each interval. I rest for 5 to 10 minutes between L4 efforts but that's as much mental as physical. When I work the high end of this level I'm very happy to hit the 20 minute mark and take a rest. This is very hard steady work but it really pays off in huge ways in terms of sustainable power and speed. It's a bit easier mentally to do this kind of work on a long steady climb.
  • VO2 Max or L5. This is the top end of your aerobic systems and is really hard work. These intervals can last 3 to 8 minutes but I rarely last longer than 5 minutes. My breathing is out of control and ragged by the end of these intervals and on those times I manage to go 6 or 7 minutes I usually feel like I'm going to lose my lunch. Conversation is impossible as is taking a drink from my bottle. This is really hard but still aerobic or you won't be able to last 5 minutes. The first 2 minutes doesn't hurt too much but it catches up with you fast. These are also easier on shorter steeper hills.
  • Anaerobic Capacity or L6. These are brutal 1 to 2 minute full on intervals. These really hurt and take a lot of motivation. Luckily I only do these for the last few weeks before big competitions and during years I didn't race I never did these at all unless they just happened during a fast ride. These won't really burn fat or get you fit for long distances but they help racers hold on for really short full out efforts.
  • Neuromuscular Power or L7. These are full out 5 to 20 second sprints or standing starts where it's all about huge power and speed. This is for sprinting and rapid accelerations but does nothing for sustainable speed. These don't really burn fat either since they're totally anaerobic and rely on the body's small stores of phosphocreatine.
Anyway given your stated goals of getting fitter, faster and lighter and with an eye towards racing someday I'd concentrate on the first 4 levels with a lot of that at levels 2 and 3 transitioning to more L4 as the fitness comes on.

Getting back to cadence, most new cyclists don't realize they can spin a bit faster and use their gears a bit more effectively with some concentration. Learning that you can use less force and last a bit longer by spinning from 80 to 90 rpm is useful but it shouldn't be the main focus of your training. It's still worth your time to pay some attention to cadence and it can help pass the time on those longer L2 rides. Just strap a wristwatch to your bars and count the number of times one of your pedals comes around. You can count for a full minute or you can count for shorter periods and do some quick math in your head. One easy way is to count the pedal revolutions for 6 seconds and just add a zero. So 8 revolutions in 6 seconds is 80 rpm. Or count for fifteen seconds and multiply by 4, I bet you get the idea..... It's not that I totally ignore cadence I believe being able to spin fast is a good thing, it's just that cadence alone doesn't determine training level. It's power output or effort that determines which systems you're exercising.

Hope that helps,
Dave
 
You have lots of good advice here. I used to be about 235 when I started riding again in my late 30s. I used to ride a lot in my late teens early 20s. When I started riding again it was frustrating for me at first as well. I assumed falsly that just riding lots was going to drop the pounds. Unfortunatley if you are like me, when I excercise and get hungry, I eat, sometime a lot. If you do this you will transform your body somewhat, but you will not lose a lot of weight.

Bottom line, you have to manage your diet as well as ride lots. The keys are not to eat ANY large meals at all, and to limit what and how much you eat past afternoon time. When you get into longer rides (3+ hours) you will find that even if you eat a large meal within the hour after you finish, you will be hungry again within the next couple of hours. It is much better to eat smaller meals and more often than to eat single large meals.

Good luck.
 
One thing I always reccommend to people when they are trying to lose weight is to begin keeping a food log. Get a notebook and right down everything you eat and drink for each day. This will give you a good idea about how many calories you are consuming and then you can adjust your diet to meet your goals.