Will 2 rides a week through the winter get me in shape for the spring?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Jab1111, Oct 20, 2005.

  1. Jab1111

    Jab1111 New Member

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    Hello everyone, this is my very first post. I just signed up and love this site for all of the info it provides for us novice riders. I am a 24 year old looking to get in shape through cycling. My goal is to loose weight and eventually participate in road races. I have always been a rec. rider doing about 30-80 miles a week. In these short rides I have always been a pretty strong sprinter and short puller and I will not claim anything more than that. In fact I really struggle in a high speed paceline(24+). I believe that the only thing that keeps me hanging on is my strong legs from a previous football kicking background. As soon as the terrain points up I might aswell hang it up.

    I live in central NC and we have pretty mild winters compared to the north. My question is: Will it be possible to get in shape and loose at least 15-20 pounds from now till spring only doing two rides a week? I work a Mon-Fri 9-6 job and do not have any daylight to train on the bike. I have been committed to running a couple miles 3-4 times a week, plus some weight training in the gym. I am not obssesed with obtaining the ultimate cycling body (im currently 5'8 190lbs), but I do want to become a strong rider who is no longer intimidated to ride with the local bike club.

    I am willing to spend several hours on the bike on the weekend (Sat-Sun) but I am afraid that this is not enough. I would greatly appreciate any feed back or training tips you guys might be able to offer. I thank you in advance!:D
     
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  2. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    2 rides a week aren't the best way to spend your time. If you can do short but intense intervals a couple of times during the week and a longer ride or two on the weekends you'd get much better results.
     
  3. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    If you can do a couple runs during the week, and then 2 cycling session on the weekends you'll make good progress. Agree with Dr. M that you'll want to spend some of your ride time on intervals or hilly terrain. Even with all that, you'll still need to watch your diet if you want to lose 15 pounds by Spring. You can do it. Good luck!
     
  4. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    If you're serious about competing in road races you can ditch the gym time (and running) and focus on cycling. Resistance training will cut into your body's recouperative abilities big time.

    Instead of making monthly payments to a fitness center buy a decent trainer and set it up in front of a TV so you can get in some miles during the week since it's too dark after work to ride. If you're stuck in a contract then your stuck. There isn't much you can really do about it. But seriously, if you're working hard at it the weights will drain away energy that can be used for cycling.
     
  5. Don Shipp

    Don Shipp New Member

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    There will be people who can't get the miles in over winter, for whatever reason, but do have gym membership. Given these two constraints, what can they do at the gym that will maintain fitness levels without being counter-productive?
     
  6. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    If their gym has a stationary bike that would work. Perhaps a stair climber. But weights won't really help. Not for endurance road racing. Wrong fibers/energy systems being worked.
     
  7. sparkywowo

    sparkywowo New Member

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    That's what I am going to do. I can take about 60-75 minutes maximum on the trainer due to boredom. But, I can concentrate and work at a very consistent level when I want to maintain a high heart rate. For 5 outdoor/indoor sessions per week, a goal would be 1 long ride, 1 hard ride, 1 easy ride, 2 regular rides. You can do the long ride and 1 regular ride outside, and the other 3 on the trainer. I am also going to shoot for 3x 20 minutes per week with weights (upper body only) doing lower weight and high reps. More than 20 minutes gets too hard to stick with for me.
     
  8. Powderfinger

    Powderfinger New Member

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    I've read all the stuff about how lifting is counterproductive for producing results on the bike, but in my subjective experience this has not been true.

    I've found that doing some quick circuit workouts that include back extensions, sit ups, hip flexors, shoulders, squats, etc has made me feel stronger overall and more stable on the bike. It's not like doing calf raises makes it easier to peddle, but I think that firming yourself up and losing a few pounds of fat can be done in the gym with a relatively small committment of time.
     
  9. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    If you've read all the stuff, then you know that there are cited circumstances where lifting can help, instances where it won't hurt, and instances where it will hurt cycling performance. Having read all the stuff, you also know that those performance gains/losses are *relative to a dedicated cycle training regiment of equal time investment*, so I'm not telling you anything new here.


    ....and you're saying that that time spent in the gym did more for your cycling performance than spending an equal amount of time doing bike-specific training? If not, then how does any of this refute all the stuff you read about lifting - as you state above?
     
  10. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    My opinion is most cyclists overtrain anyway. I'm one of those rare individuals who follows Roger Bannister's philosophy and Roger Bannister happens to be the first man to ever break the sub 4 minute mile.
    Bannister trained sometimes only 1 hour in all weathers but he trained hard.
    So, this is my advice to you:
    When you get on the bike, mean business when you ride. Intensify your training. Climb the biggest hills you can locate and sprint up them repeatedly (once you build your fitness). Ride in a group if possible.
    In some ways I agree with Dr Morbius that winter gym work may be counterproductive for you at this stage since I'm assuming you don't object to getting wet, riding in sleet and wind e.t.c. Gyms are for sissies in the winter and, as you say, you don't have time.
    As for intensity, don't be fooled. A lot of cyclists may ride for a long time but they're not necessarily riding hard for a long time. 2 hours of hard, hilly riding and sprinting should be enough for anyone, twice a week to at least keep in shape.

     
  11. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    I agree with you and also with Dr M. You're both right. Yes, I like to do gym work myself but, yes, Dr M is saying the original poster has limited time and needs to focus on his cycling.
    To do gym work as a substitute for winter bike training won't help the poster as nothing can substitute being out on the road building endurance.
    I do think gym work is O.K. myself but I don't think we should all park our bikes in the garage when it rains and rush to the gym. Myself I'll hopefully be out on my bike in rain, wind and hail this winter. :p


     
  12. I like chrome

    I like chrome New Member

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  13. JTE83

    JTE83 Member

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    Ever since I got hired on a FT job for the past 6 weeks I have done between 27 to 70 miles or 1:38 to 4 hrs of ride time per week and my speed (avg speed per HR) has not suffered badly. I am scaling down my training for winter because of burnout, and I've done 2968.7 miles this year. I'm planning to do the minimum workout that will keep my speed. I'm not a talented biker and I finished last in the last criterium I was in - so as for me I'm not motivated to train for racing anymore. Just to be fast for general transportation is good for me.
     
  14. Jab1111

    Jab1111 New Member

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    Hello Everyone,

    I just wanted to say thank you for all the great advise. I will definately be purchasing a set of rollers to do indoor training during the week and tough out the cold on the weekends. I have another question, most of you mention to skip the gym work and concentrate on the bike. What do you guys think about doing upper body work outs in the gym and let the bike take care of my legs and lungs? You guys also mention the fact that gym work takes away to much time for recovery. Will an upper body recovery period affect me on the bike? Once again I thank you ahead of time.:D
     
  15. Jab1111

    Jab1111 New Member

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    Hello Zach,

    I just moved to Raleigh, and thanks for the link I will definately check it out!!

    Armando
     
  16. Don Shipp

    Don Shipp New Member

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    Upper body work in the gym will not do much to help your cycling, but will be good for keeping your general fitness level up over winter and you will look better than cyclists who don't do this.
     
  17. SquadraOvest

    SquadraOvest New Member

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    This is horrible advice for a newbie who has time to train. This is, however, a great way to plateau quickly and never really get any faster.
     
  18. SCDETAILER

    SCDETAILER New Member

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    There is an article in the new Velonews where a professional women cyclist tells about her weight training program. I know that alot of guys and gals who cycle, weight train, but do the lifting to strengthen the legs and core area. I do not think that weight training for strength in those regions would detrimental to anyones cycling. There are numerous books out there about weight training and cycling, to tell someone that they should just ride the bike will burn them out more than doing a mix. Put all of your time on the bike when the weather starts to get better, after the first of the year. I live in SC, so yes we do not have really bad winters, but it does get cold, and that can be a tough time to get out and bust a lung trying to do intervals all winter long. I would concentrate time on the bike with long rides, not snail pace, but moderate fat burning tempo. I usually ride 3.5 to 4 hours on Sundays, and then 1.5 to 2 on Tuesday and Thursday outside during the winter. During the spring and summer, and mostly the fall here, I ride at least 5 days a week and never hit the gym.
     
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