Training

by seabass89   September 23, 2011  

The spring 2011 is what I belive is a turning stone in my life: I got bit by the bike bug!

I've started cycling anywhere, anytime. I usually want to cover at least - bare minimum 60miles a week (gotta start somwhere)and thats going fine.

But I wonder, whats a good way to exersice so become a good cyclist? I confess I am not very fit, and my problem is not "producing 10 more watts" but just having the endurance to finish a 100km - period. I am lean (140lbs at 6 foot) and young (22) so there is certainly time and room for improvement.

So whats the best way to improve my "base fitness" - just to have a name for it. Should I just put in long trips in the saddle, or do other activities such as jogging, rowing, and maybe some light weightlifting (I wouldn't want to get much heavier). All in all I guess I need to improve my heart endurance, lung capacity, and muscle endurance.

If I do this! Then its time to invest in a roadbike/cyclocross, and put the ol' 17lbs MTB in the garage for roadtrips!

Cheerios!

10 user comments

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Cycling is all about heart and lungs. The way to improve them is long slow distance miles. By which I mean as many miles as you can at just under 80% of your maximum. Which for you would be about 150 beats per minute. I use a pulse meter with an alarm to warn me I am going too hard. I love eyeballs out legs burning training but too much = sore legs, low motivation and injury. But you need to find what works for you. Try as many training plans as possible and keep a note of your performance this will tell you which work! I have a training route to asses my performance. I time myself on regular basis (but never more than twice a month) that tells me how I am doing. The length and terrain of a timed training route will depend on your target events. Most important; find good local club!

posted by SideBurn [838 posts]
23rd September 2011 - 10:06

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What would you say one gains by joining a local club?

posted by Sascha [8 posts]
23rd September 2011 - 11:06

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Advice and support from others on club runs, the chance to go out on long planned rides at a steady pace with people who know where they're going and how to pace themselves, and the chance of a tow when you get tired.

Stewie

posted by stewieatb [298 posts]
23rd September 2011 - 11:27

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Would agree with Stewie. Had some great times in my local club (Farnborough & Camberly CC) There was a huge amount of knowledge and experience and a huge range of abilities. Some 'club runs' were just all out races and I am more proud of my 'results' in these than some results in races. We did 'chain gang' rides, club races, longer steady rides as well as social events. We used to enter events as a group and share the transport costs as well as riding as a team. Have many happy memories and stories; many of those stories are based on the truth! Finding a local club that suits you is an important first step as an enthusiastic rider; cannot recomend it enough.

posted by SideBurn [838 posts]
23rd September 2011 - 14:06

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Oh, cycling club is a good idea! I'd be worried if I could keep up though Big Grin

Now I just need to get off my 17lbs MTB and get myself a road bike or cyclocross.. probably the latter with some spare slicks

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posted by seabass89 [235 posts]
23rd September 2011 - 18:18

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Cyclo cross bikes are great; I ride a cyclo cross as an everyday bike with several pairs of wheels. The best part is riding off road and hearing, 'He's riding a road bike!' very versatile. Cyclo cross racing is good fun as well.

posted by SideBurn [838 posts]
23rd September 2011 - 20:19

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The best way to become a fitter cyclist is to cycle more. Other activities will never 'train' your muscles to do pedalling better than pedalling itself (though by all means do other sports if you wish).

However, I disagree with SideBurn about only doing long, slow rides. That's good up to a point but won't tax your heart & lungs to the same extent as a harder hilly ride where you attack the climbs and rest in between (intervals).

Club runs, regular group rides and so on are a good way to get you out, particularly for those not so keen on riding very far on their own. Daily commuting is another way to 'get the miles in', particularly if you have a longer route you can do 2 or 3 times a week.

Eat appropriately. Don't scoff everything you can just because you're exercising but equally you need adequate food to fuel your riding as well as the rest of your life. Cake is fab and a key element of a cyclist's diet Wink but a healthy diet is best.

There is lots of advice on the internet, you can scour the Training and Nutrition articles in Bikeradar's Fitness section and the overwhelming flood of discussion in the same site's Training forum. Also http://cyclinginfo.co.uk/blog/ has plenty of useful articles too. Samantha Stear's Fuelling Fitness for Sports Performance is a clear, straightforward and sensible book on nutrition (I paid £2 on ebay). Nicole Cooke's Cycle for Life covers many areas and is not intimidating for new cyclists.

You can get fit on a any bike but a reasonable road or 'cross bike that fits you with some clip-in SPD pedals and cycle-specific clothing (especially padded shorts) would be more enjoyable for long rides as well as getting you further for the same effort - especially uphill. At your age you have plenty of scope to improve; the key factor will be desire - how much work do you want to do?

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posted by Simon E [2008 posts]
23rd September 2011 - 23:26

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I was not suggesting that you should only do long slow rides; 80% of your maximum is not slow! What I am saying is that intense training should be based on plenty of more steady training.

posted by SideBurn [838 posts]
24th September 2011 - 14:10

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Fair enough, thanks SideBurn.

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posted by Simon E [2008 posts]
24th September 2011 - 17:12

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Slow rides.. Noted - My problem is that I get impatient (hehe)

During the winter though I don't have a bike. I study in a city and I've allready gotten 2 (lousy) bikes stolen, so I gave up on that.

I exersise in a gym though 4 times a week with about 30minutes of jogging and 30 minutes on a trainer "bike" with some intervals. If I do more I get immensly bored. And then I do some light weight many repeats weightlifing for my legs and core afterwards, so I guess it adds up to about 6 hours a week. Its not a lot, but hey, I am not a pro either..

Just as a fun fact I saw Thor Hushovds training diary from a week in december 2010. He cycled 30 hours a week, 1000km and NEVER went over Zone 3 of 6. Max HR 164. Interesting read!

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posted by seabass89 [235 posts]
24th September 2011 - 18:58

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