newbie intro and questions

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by jmitro, May 27, 2011.

  1. jmitro

    jmitro New Member

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    Hey guys,
    I'm enthusiastic to get back into cycling and reignite the passion for cycling I had as a teenager (back when Greg Lemond was winning; should give you an idea of my age LOL).
    Ran mid- to long-distance track events in college..... 1500m, 5000m etc. Then the usual story.....started a career, job, family, gained 30 pounds, etc etc.

    Now at age 39 I'm trying to get back in shape, and cycling is a good way to do it. Bought a Bianchi C2C road bike (love it!). I have a few questions for you experienced riders:

    1. My ride time is limited to 30-60 minutes in the early morning before work. A bit longer on the weekend. Assuming I get some base conditioning, what recommendations do you have for riding goals? Shoot for target heartrate? Distance? Time? Interval training? My long term goals are to lose 20 pounds, feel better about myself, sleep better, and get healthy. Competition is a distant thought.
    2. My local terrain is mostly flat/ slight grades (1-2%). What cadence is generally considered acceptable? 70? 80? 90? At this early stage (riding for 10 days now, longest ride 1 hour at 15mph) my legs get fatigued pushing too big a gear at less than 80rpm.
    3. Any suggestions to keep my fingers from getting numb after 30 minutes, or keep my elbows from getting stiff/tender?

    thanks!!


    gratuitous bike photo:
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Old did you say? I was racing Cat 3 when Merckx was racing in the latter half of his racing days! Sooooooooo your not old...yet!!

    Nice looking bike by the way, congrats on a great purchase; you chose well grasshopper!

    You gave a bunch of targets but you didn't give us what you want to accomplish. As a basic accomplishment I would say being able to ride a century would be a great start...not necessarily racing a century just completing one on your own or with some buds. 20 pounds of weight loss is not much, just don't to it fast by trying to starve yourself and ride at the same time...it won't work. So I would recommend doing a simple schedule that will put you on pace to do a 100 mile ride. The site I'm going to give you you can alter the schedule to better fit your fitness level so don't freak out if it looks too advance. Please see: http://www.kintera.org/htmlcontent.asp?cid=54755 OR: http://www.cyclewyoming.org/training.htm

    Here's a site that helps you prepare for century with what to look for (ideas) in workouts, nutrition etc. Please see http://www.ultracycling.com/training/century.html

    About those ride schedules. When I say alter I mean you can make the plan longer by 1 or more weeks to suit your needs if you think it's too aggressive, you then just adjust the miles every week, starting with the first week, so that by the end of the extended plan you created you come to same miles as the last week of the schedule. If you don't understand this just post up here and tell me how much more time you need and I can figure it for you, but it's relatively easy to do. If you have no intentions of doing 100 miles then maybe 50 or 75 and you can stop where the schedule leads you to that distance.
     
  3. bronson

    bronson New Member

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    hi, just keep it on a slow pace at the beginning thought it depends how your body response to the fatigue. just dont try to push it further, to avoid too much muscle pains or even injuries . i say keep it steady for a week then bring your routine to a step higher for another week then a step higher for another week, in that case your body will not be in too much change. just a recommendation not saying im correct but i do this and it seems effective.
     
  4. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    numb hands - move your hands around. The numbness tends to go away as you get in shape - or maybe as you get used to moving them a bit.
    stiff elbows - keep them bent a bit.

    Maybe you have too much weight on your hands.

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    If you are getting tired from the current cadence, shift sown a gear and try a slightly higher cadence. Don't keep it in the same gear and increase your cadence. You will just get more tired.

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    Find a weekend group and ride with them. It makes for a different ride.

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    The bike is nice.
     
  5. bronson

    bronson New Member

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    it really depends on how much your physic can handle... for example: 1st week = 3km everyday, 2nd week = 5km... an so on... its really up to you... i am suggesting this because if you push your self hard enough you might get a lot of muscle pains and worst is injury... we dont want that to happen... really it depends on how your body reacts.
     
  6. jmitro

    jmitro New Member

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    Hey guys, thanks for the responses!
    It's been over 4 weeks of riding now, I've lost close to 10 pounds, I've put about 300 miles on the bike, and I'm comfortable riding 19-20 miles at 16-17mph.

    I've discovered, as mentioned, that moving my hands around will reduce the numbness.

    Initially my goals were to lose weight and "get in shape" but as I progress, I'm really starting to think about some rides as Froze mentioned. Our local club has a ride coming up in the next few months.

    Regarding cadence....I feel like the best cadence for me is around 80-90rpm. That's where I'm not just "spinning my wheels" but I'm not fatiguing by pushing too high a gear. Is this the general consensus?
     
  7. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Cadence is a personal thing believe it or not, your body settles into a comfort cadence. Lance was the king of high cad and was comfortable doing it that way, but most are not, and your cad sounds good to me-that's where I'm at.
     
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