Training Tips for a Novice

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Gweilo_uk, Apr 17, 2006.

  1. Gweilo_uk

    Gweilo_uk New Member

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    This question has probably been asked before, however nothing ventured nothing gained.

    I'm about to ride in the London - Brighton charity day and was wondering what the advice would be on A) A general training regeme to follow to prepare for 86.4km, and b) A more general training plan aimed at XC riding.

    At present I'm putting in 20km/day on an exercise bike and doing two 21.km (Hilly and very muddy) cross country rides a week. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    I'm also told that the correct saddle hight should allow my leg to fully extend when the heel is on the peddle. Is this correct?
     
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  2. atomicrc11

    atomicrc11 New Member

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    Generally for saddle height that is a good measurement, but everyone is different so that may not work for you.

    As for training, you should work up to longer rides that 20km if your goal is an 80km ride. Make sure you are resting yourself so that you don't start being counter productive. Increase your time spent on the bike by about a percentage each week, say 10%. You will eventually get to your goal. If you can work up to about 3/4 of the distance you will be riding, and you pace yourself the day of the ride you should make it. However, I would recommed you work up to riding at least 90% of the distance in one day before taking part in your ride.
     
  3. Gweilo_uk

    Gweilo_uk New Member

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    Thanks for the advice and I will be following that plan, seems a lot more structured than my "add a couple of Km's each week theory".

    With regard to resting you may have answered a question I didnt ask, I have been finding that rather than geting easier the riding was getting harder due to muscle fatige setting in much earler. What would you recommend as a rest period between rides?
     
  4. K50

    K50 New Member

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    Generally, your longest ride EACH WEEK should be as long as the longest event you are training for...So in other words, if you want to do an 80km ride in one day, you should be able to do that at the very least one day a week. 80km is pretty long for an amateur, so this is going to take some time. You will definitely need to be doing far more than 20km a day. You should ride about 5 days a week, with 2 days off with nothing, and maybe one of the other fives days a week you ride with very light spinning. On your average ride, anywhere from 30-50km should be good. 20km is far too short to train for an endurance event. For most guys, that would take far less than an hour to do, while your 80km ride might take you 4 hours at your current pace. Regardless of distance, 1-3 hours a day would be good to ride at...An average of 7-10 hours a week or so. That's just the basic. You don't HAVE to be able to do an 80km ride at least once a week if you want...That's only if you want to finish before everybody else. You could easily get away with riding a 50km ride once a week and still be able to pull off an 80km ride if it's not very hilly terrain. Once you break a 2 or 3 hour ride, it's not a lot harder to keep going unless it's a tough ride. Just pace it easily, and remember to eat something along the way on long rides.

    Hope that helps.
     
  5. dm69

    dm69 New Member

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    Training tip for a novice- Dont believe everything you read on an internet forum :D
     
  6. K50

    K50 New Member

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    I don't get why that keeps getting posted so frequently. Most of the guys here race and have a pretty good idea how to train. So, I think most guys actually know what they're talking about.
     
  7. adam 57

    adam 57 New Member

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    K50, I'm sure your training schedule is spot on if the objective is an 80km race but the event that Gweilo UK is training for is a charity ride not a race.

    Gweilo UK, if you want to be one of the first to get to Brighton, then step up the training big time. If you simply want to complete the ride in a reasonable time and enjoy rather than suffer the experience rather then you need do a lot less.

    Try searching here or Googling for "training for a century" for training plans for first timers for 100 mile events, then scale down the regime accordingly for your distance.

    Also, the exercise bike and the cross country rides will get you fitter, maybe fit enough, but ideally your training should be specific to the event you are aiming for. Assuming the ride is mainly on the road, this would mean training by riding a bike on the road, not in a gym or a forest.

    Good luck and have fun.
     
  8. sparkywowo

    sparkywowo New Member

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    1) Be consistent, do the best you can to ride 3-4 times a week, and HAVE FUN.

    2) Make one ride long, two rides moderate, and one ride short and fast.

    3) Increase the length of the long ride but don't fiddle with the others too much right now.

    Let's say your moderate rides are 25-30km, your long is 40+ km, and your short is 20 km. Once a week ride 20 km at a fast pace, twice a week ride 30 km at your normal pace, and once a week ride 40 km at your normal pace. Increase the long ride 10% or so from one week to the next. 40 km first week, 45 km second week, 50 km third week, .... Just use your own judgement if this is too long/short and adjust. Or, if the 40 km is hard, ride it as is for 4-6 weeks before starting to increase.

    Once your long ride starts to exceed 50 km, you will have to pay more attention to hydration and nutrition. Figure about a liter of water per 15 km, and about 200 calories (kcals) per 15 km (from sports drink, cookies, fig bars, whatever.)

    The first couple of weeks might be discouraging, but, if you keep riding regularly, you should start to see real improvement by 6-8 weeks.


    Good Luck!


    One simple way to get your saddle set is the way you mention, leg extended with heel on pedal. I find this is a little too high myself. But, it is probably correct within about 1/2 cm. If you experience knee discomfort, experiment a bit with the saddle height and placement of foot on pedal. Movement of just a couple of mm can make a profound improvement.
     
  9. Gweilo_uk

    Gweilo_uk New Member

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    Thanks for the responses guys, I am reading these posts (believe it or not) and am digesting and applying the suggestions and am begining to see an improvement already. I cranked up the distance this weekend by more or less double, and was pleasantly surprised by the results, I was expecting to suffer big time the following day but only had a relatiovely low level of aching in the quads and will be doing the distance again tomorrow.

    Perhaps I could ask for some suggestions on footwear, I'm on flat pedals and the moment and am not sure about getting into clipless pedals yet, however wearing trainers (sneakers) seems to leave me with pain in the arches as I suspect the do not provide the support required for cycling. Is it possible therefore to buy cycling specific shoes without having to go for cleats and clipless pedals?
     
  10. K50

    K50 New Member

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    Yes, I've seen some cheap ones...There's the pedals that strap around your runners, and there's cheap cycling shoes that have a plastic piece on the sole that sticks to the pedal, but doesn't lock you in. Never used them, never seen them much, so I don't know how good they are.
    However, the sooner you try full out clipless and get used to them, the sooner you'll thank yourself for getting them. :p
     
  11. PartisanRanger

    PartisanRanger New Member

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    Agreed. It's sometimes a pain to make the commitment into getting clipless pedals/cycling shoes (my low-end MTB shoes + SPD pedals cost $135), but it's well worth it if you cycle regularly. I've noticed a large improvement in how much more efficiently I can climb by using these pedals since so little energy is lost between the pushing of my feet and the propulsion of my bike.
     
  12. sparkywowo

    sparkywowo New Member

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    I used to ride using Mountain Bike shoes without the cleats. These kind of shoes are fine on plain old platform type pedals without toe clips. There are also cycling sandals, which are fairly inexpensive. The stiffness of the sole is what is important, and biking shoes/sandals are more efficient and easier on your feet than regular old sneakers. You can easily get off your bike and walk around in mountain bike shoes or sandals that don't have the cleats on them.

    The sandals look just like sandals. The mountain bike shoes look like ugly rubber soled sneakers. Road bike shoes usually have a nylon top on a hard plastic sole.
     
  13. Sillyoldtwit

    Sillyoldtwit New Member

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    You are joking aren't you sparky. I do an 85km ride in the Japanese mountains every Sunday and in late Spring (now - 18C) I drink less than 1 litre total. I eat 2 bananas and 1 power bar. To follow your advice I would need to carry a small suitcase. :rolleyes: Maybe I drink too little but that's all I can handle, but 1 litre per 15km?!?!? 4 or 5 powerbars? I wouldn't need to eat for a week after that!
    And I would need a hosepipe permanently connected to the little boy's room.:D
     
  14. sparkywowo

    sparkywowo New Member

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    85 km, probably burns up 1500 kcals for me. I can run a deficit of about 1000 kcals, so I would bonk if I didn't eat anything.

    Well, that's what I do. I take two, 1 liter bottles, plan to fill them up again halfway, and I have a small rack and trunk, and it's got about 5 granola bars in it. Now when it is cool, I stop and water the trees. When it is around 35 C here in the summer, I sweat it all out.
     
  15. Sillyoldtwit

    Sillyoldtwit New Member

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    Yeah the summers get hot here too - 35c plus, but even then I only take 2 bottles and have never finished them.
    Incidentally 2 years ago I did a century (miles) had 1 banana before setting off 2 on the way and drank less than 3 litres. No powerbars nothing! I set off at 4 am because it was a bit cooler (26C) but when the sun came up the temp soon rose to 30C plus. The last 20 miles were hard in the searing heat but I didn't bonk. I wouldn't recommend anyone to do as I do, but there must be a happy medium between carrying 2 bottles and lugging a milk churn full of liquid.:D ;)
     
  16. Little Jackie

    Little Jackie New Member

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    How about building your general fitness by swimming and walking. I was sick last year for 3 months and then during my recovery time I had my bikes stolen. In Western Australia, I find it too hot to cycle during the summer months as a rule, so I found myself going swimming, decent distances 1 hour once or twice a week. (No bike rides longer than 10 km) 2weeks ago I went riding with some friends who cycle regularly. I was mostly able to keep up over 44km and still had more to give at the end!
    :) I am no spring chicken!
     
  17. mikesbytes

    mikesbytes New Member

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    Most serious riders are using cleated shoes and pedals. Once you have used them you will never go back. In UK, you can get them quite cheaply mail order from UK sites. If you are reluctant to step up to clipless, you could always get some toe clips, they will give you a small improvement in rotation efficiency and will position your feet better on the pedals.
     
  18. K50

    K50 New Member

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    I read in a health journal the recommended hydration intake is 1L/hour of water. This is how much the 'average' person sweats out in one hour.

    There may be an age difference between you and sparkywowo, which might make a difference with metabolism and stuff. Personally, I don't drink very much water, unless it's hot. If it's just an easy average ride during the week, maybe 700mL during the ride, and another 700mL through the evening of water and other stuff like milk and fruit juice. If it's hot out, like 30 celsius, then I'll definitely use a full L/hour if I'm pushing it. And I never eat on rides unless it's over two hours or really intense.
     
  19. Gweilo_uk

    Gweilo_uk New Member

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    Cleated shoes and New Pedals it is then :)

    Now here's a whole new can of worms I'm just starting to discover. The question of Hydration and Nutrition. I do at least manage to hydrate more or less propoerly when riding outside, based on the cunning purchase of a Camelbak with a 2l bladder. I base my drinking on little and often while riding rather than waiting until I'm gasping before taking a drink

    However the question of nutrition is a huge grey area for me. I need to drop about 10Kg's (or more) to get back to an idealish weight, however I have no desire to starve myself of the bits and pices I need to get to let me train. Are there any resources on the web or books that you would be inclined to recommend?
     
  20. mikesbytes

    mikesbytes New Member

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    Books will give you some good ideas, in the mean time, reduce your carb intake at night and increase your protein intake. Avoid hidden calories, such as beer, soft drinks, fruit juce, biscuits etc. Click on the link at the bottom of my post and set yourself up your own journal.
     
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