Newbie without a clue! Please can you help?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by elswhere15, Mar 13, 2005.

  1. elswhere15

    elswhere15 New Member

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    I'm at best a fair weather cyclist, using my (very ancient!) bike to get around eg to work etc during the summer months. At most I only did maybe 5-6 miles a day and am known for going to great lengths to avoid going up hill! To cut a long story short last year I was challenged to take part in a 57 mile charity bike ride - I refused because I didn't feel I'd be able to complete it, but promised I would do it next (ie this) year. Being a woman of my word I now really need to start thinking about getting ready for this, for me, very long and hilly ride.

    I'm hoping that someone at this site may be offer some advice for the best way for me to train etc for this ride and any general info for a relatively new cyclist would be very gratefully received. I have until early July to prepare, but haven't been out on the bike at all since probably late September.

    I have always really enjoyed the (flat!) cycling I've done and am hoping that this will be a good way for me to get into it properly.

    Tks:)
     
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  2. RobinfromBoston

    RobinfromBoston New Member

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    Hi elswhere15!

    Well, congrats on being a woman of your word. Fifty seven miles may seem a long way when you are used to riding 5 or 6 miles BUT it can be done. The only advice I have to offer you is to get out there and ride as soon as possible. If the weather makes it impossible, (and you don't have one already), pick up a mag trainer so you can begin training indoors. Once outdoors, begin to slowly increase your mileage; if you haven't done 5 or 6 miles in a while, this would be a good place to begin. Ride as often as possible and increase your distance to maybe 10 miles before the end of the month. Ride this way until you feel comfortable doing an easy 10, then jump to 15 if you feel o.k....you don't want to push yourself so hard that you get discouraged, only hard enough to get to a point where you can easily do at least 40 prior to the ride. Be sure to eat correctly, drink plenty of water before, during, and after all rides, and stretch pre and post rides. Most importantly, commit yourself to finishing the ride. A good seventy percent of finishing a ride begins in your head!!! Oh, and have fun! Best of luck and ride safely.

    Robin
     
  3. sparkywowo

    sparkywowo New Member

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    1) Do you like cycling? I don't see the point of training for a 57 mile ride if you don't really like it.
    2) If you do like cycling sounds like you need to get a better bike and some decent equipment so you can ride comfortably.
    3) What kind of shape are you in? If you are fit, a 57 mile ride is doable, but, if you are not fit, you should shoot for a lower target this year and make the 57 miler in 2006. You will spend 4-5 hours (probably) on your bike to ride this distance.

    Good Luck!
     
  4. elswhere15

    elswhere15 New Member

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    Hi - In answer to sparkywowo's questions:

    I have enjoyed the cycling I've done up to now, and am kind of on the market for a new hobby that'll get me out and about a bit more. This being a charity ride is doubly good motivation for me to give it a go.

    You're right I probably do! A friend has agreed to have a look at/service my current bike. At the moment I'm thinking I'd prefer to 'outgrow' this bike and then replace it with one to 'grow into' once I have a better idea what I'm doing! No doubt there'll be another 'Newbie without clue' post coming up in the equipment threads...

    I'm not super fit by any stretches but I'm not overweight or anything. I do Yoga and I tend to find I can cycle on the flat without any trouble and wouldn't find hours of flat cycling too daunting (saddle and 'next day ache' aside!) but I do really feel the inclines.

    Thanks Robin for your suggestions esp. re: what I should be aiming for. I appreciate the comments about 70% being in the head... what I lack in fitness and experience I make up in sheer bloodymindedness;) I'm not interested in 'racing' I just want to finish having enjoyed the ride with a sense of acheivement and not swearing blind I'll never ride again!

    Thanks again for the info & encouragement...
     
  5. stuart smith

    stuart smith New Member

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    Just quickly you mentioned you ride to work? This is a good way to get ready for your ride. If possible, gradually stretch you ride to work so it takes about an hour. That way you can get in two good rides a day. One to work and one on the way home. Once you can do this comfortably then very very gradually increase the intensity but only do this every second day so you have a rest ride inbetween. Doesnt sound like much but in 6-7 weeks you will really notice the difference. Im not an expert but it worked really well for me. Hope it helps.

    Cheers
     
  6. OCRoadie

    OCRoadie New Member

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    You have plenty of time to train and be ready for 57 miles by July. It will probably be much easier than you can imagine right now. As some others said, ride as much as you can (at least a couple of days a week preferably more, weather and your life permitting). Start off with your 5-6 mile rides and try to increase your distance by about 10-15% each week. You can find a myriad of training advice on this forum and other places, but as a newcomer, you probaably don't care about heart rates, intervals, power output etc....My best advice would be to buy a good pair of shorts (and don't be embarrased to use them) and gloves. A sore butt is probably one the first things that turns people away from cycling. A good pair of shorts can go a long way, maybe some of the other female riders out here can make a reccomendation. Take the time to learn a little about nutrition and hydration that relate to cycling. Find some others that are planning to do the same charity ride and train with them. Congradulations on your commitment and good luck:)
     
  7. coolworx

    coolworx New Member

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    Hello Elswhere15!

    There are far more knowledgeable posters that can give you advice regarding training (I work out with weights, so what the hell do I know?? {inside Cyclingforums joke})

    But the advice I can give you is this:

    Get a good mirror. (I use a mirrycle, myself)
    Listen to your favorite tunes.
    Get a heart rate monitor (cheapy Polar is fine), and use THAT as the guide to your progress.
    Learn your gear ratios, and spin.
    Seek out hills.

    Also, make sure you LIKE YOUR BIKE. It should fit you like a glove. If you feel uncomfortable at all, it may mean adjusting seat height/setback, width of the handlebars, position of the brake levers on the handlebars - or splurging for a new steed altogether!
     
  8. sparkywowo

    sparkywowo New Member

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    I think the most underrated pieces of equipment are gloves and a seat. If your seat is uncomfortable, or your hands start getting numb, it will ruin your day. Definitely don't skimp on these items.

    :) Mark.
     
  9. leegregory

    leegregory New Member

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    Hello Elswhere15, it would'nt happen to be the Manchester - Blackpool ride by any chance?
     
  10. nav310

    nav310 New Member

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    Here's a little personal tale to perhaps give you some inspiration. Every year for the past 10 years + I have said..."I'm in the worst shape of my life." A few weeks ago, I decided to buy a bike and start riding. The first time I got on the bike (about 1 1/2 miles), I got lightheaded and felt sick. The second time, I went about 4-5 miles and I almost passed out. A few days later, I went 17 miles, without much difficulty (at 11 miles an hour). And only 1 1/2 weeks after I started cycling, I did the LA Marathon bike ride (22 miles) at an average of 16 miles an hour, and still had enough energy to walk/jog about 8 miles afterwards. It is amazing how fast your body adjusts. If my experience is any indication...just ride. You will do great.
     
  11. elswhere15

    elswhere15 New Member

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    Almost! Liverpool - Chester ...
     
  12. elswhere15

    elswhere15 New Member

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    Fantastic - well done you :) and thanks
     
  13. elswhere15

    elswhere15 New Member

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    Thanks everyone for your suggestions and advice. I'm feeling much more confident about my chances now! I'll be breaking the bike out for work next week & who knows - maybe I'll even be taking the oft avoided hilly route soon after ;)
     
  14. nav310

    nav310 New Member

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    By the way, I tried to do some hills yesterday...OUCH! I was given some good advice by a triathlete friend of mine, when I was trying to get ready for the 22 mile ride. He told me to stretch, stretch, streach, and to eat and drink as much as I could leading up to the event. Also, the weekend before is when he and I did the 17 mile ride, and I did nothing after that, just to let my body rest. It worked great. Not only was my body well rested, I also had the confidence that I could do 22, because I had done 17. Also, if you can, find a friend to ride with who is more advanced than you. Your friend will push you and keep you inspired. Best of luck.
     
  15. sparkywowo

    sparkywowo New Member

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    There's a book that is pretty decent (in my mind) called "The Complete Book of Long Distance Cycling: Build the Strength, Skills and Confidence to Ride as Far as you Want" by Burke and Pavelka (Bicycling Magazine). It is aimed at recreational riders (not race riders or competitive athletes). Page 122 is a layout of "Training for 50 miles", which, is a 6-12 week programme. Pages 8-10 describe how to use your Heart Rate Monitor for Training. These two sections, plus p. 126 "Nutritional Adjustments" provide core knowledge. I really like this book, and find it indespensible.
     
  16. nav310

    nav310 New Member

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    This newbie certainly appreciates your assistance. Can't wait to get the book.
     
  17. elswhere15

    elswhere15 New Member

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    Not been about for a bit - damn this working for a living! Managed to get the bike out yesterday for the first time, literally dusted it off... but managed to go better than I thought I would, about 13.5 miles, I think I averaged about 11 miles an hour (using the bit of string on a map technique!). Essentially flat with v v gentle inclines/declines (guess you chaps wouldn't even notice them!) just doing laps & I felt OK afterwards, so am quite pleased but still a very long way to go. Weather's looking a bit rubbish this aft, but think I'll go out anyway, perhaps the threat of rain wil help speed it up a bit;)

    Going to give that book a go as well - I hope you're on commission!
     
  18. sparkywowo

    sparkywowo New Member

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    The weather has finally improved to decent here, and I am starting to get outside regularly (vs riding the stationary bike). Hope all of you are finding the time to ride! :)
    --Mark.
     
  19. elswhere15

    elswhere15 New Member

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    Yup, Spring is in the air - hurrah - am def. a sunshine girl! Been back on the commute to work for a couple of weeks and feeling good for it - so nice to be out and about again & looking foward to stretching it out a bit more too. Hope everyone else enjoying the improved weather :)

     
  20. RobinfromBoston

    RobinfromBoston New Member

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    Elswhere15,

    Good to hear that you're going strong, girl! Good luck and keep us posted!

    Robin M.
     
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