New to cycling

by Gary Booker   June 4, 2013  

Hi guys, I'm relatively new to cycling as I never learnt as a kid due to knee problems, any advice on training or how to build up my legs and endurance?

13 user comments

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I think this might be relevant: http://road.cc/content/blog/75721-riding-your-bike-and-training-are-two-...

Or try a cocktail of HGH and EPO. Wink

posted by ped [190 posts]
4th June 2013 - 9:06

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Im not so sure that that link is at all relevant the guy is new and looking for endurance.

Regular miles. Ride as much as you can sustain week in week out, ease off for a few days every few weeks . When you are starting out it is simple as that. Just watch out for niggles in your knees, it IS possible to do too much to early so build up volume over a month or two. Saddle height is important to get right so if you are not sure get a bit of advice from a local bike shop. I would start on flat pedals for a few months, it is just one less thing to worry about until you get into it.

Later on there is plenty of things to do, both in terms of getting fitter and getting good kit, but hours on the saddle will get you started. I would find a good local club too, in the future you may want to audax riding (like sportives but cheaper and better Big Grin ) or even time trials/road racing.

Once you are happy riding for two or three hours at a time and can ride a few times a week, post up again and you can think about how hard to ride.

posted by ilovemytinbred [164 posts]
4th June 2013 - 9:35

2 Likes

Thats brilliant advice, thank you!!! I'll look into it.

posted by Gary Booker [4 posts]
4th June 2013 - 10:16

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Where do you live and what do you ride? I hope you have some rolling country near you, Cheshire or Surrey maybe.

You will find lots of 'what bike' threads here with people trying to spend your money, it is possible to buy a certain level of speed but you have to work for the rest.

tips:
- Commute
- Set targets like Sportives, open to the public, you don't have to be fastest but gives you a training distance for weekend.
- Bike computer, speed/distance is all you need (no strava,no hrm/no power meter) Sustain 25kph; work up to 30kph and beyond slowly. You won't go faster every time.
-Log your distance and time; the only person you have to beat is yourself.


I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer, I spat out Plath and Pinter.

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posted by bikeboy76 [1705 posts]
4th June 2013 - 13:07

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By a cheap bike, spend the rest on beer, if you can't pedal fast just drink until it feels fast.

(This advice isn't entirely serious by the way)

posted by farrell [1873 posts]
4th June 2013 - 13:16

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Some good advice on here already. Something I would clarify is that you're looking for volume not speed for now. Don't worry about going fast, just keep gently building up the distance. That's not to say that every ride has to be super-long though. A few hours on a Sunday morning with a coffee stop halfway round, plus an hour or two on two days in the week will see you progressing nicely.

If you can afford it, and given that you have had knee issues previously, it would be worthwhile having a bike fit. They cost about £110 or so. Let us know your general location and someone may be able to suggest a suitable place.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3689 posts]
4th June 2013 - 14:09

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I live in the middle of nottinghamshire with the nearest countryside about 3 or 4 miles away.

posted by Gary Booker [4 posts]
4th June 2013 - 14:12

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Gary, snap! I am in Gunthorpe and only started cycling 18 months ago.

My advice would echo previous - take it easy, and just add a bit of distance every week, without worrying too much about speed.

find a cadence (how quickly you turn your pedals) that is comfortable without too much stress on the knees and try to stick with that as much as possible, if you are going up hills don't mash the pedals - stick with the easy cadence and change gears

have fun!

posted by themartincox [466 posts]
4th June 2013 - 22:25

1 Like

Stretch, stretch, stretch, stretch.... STRETCH before a ride!

[custom] '12 Cannondale CAAD10 - Rival

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posted by badkneestom [134 posts]
5th June 2013 - 1:45

1 Like

Good advice here - and remember to enjoy it! In terms of distance, add about 10% each time you go out and you'll soon stack up the miles without overstretching yourself. Once you've got some basic fitness start adding some mini-sprints for short bursts of power.

The Human Cyclist A blog. Try it, you might like it...

sm's picture

posted by sm [370 posts]
5th June 2013 - 7:44

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Hi. Gray Booker

Welcome to the world of cycling. On any type of cycling you need to start gradle by working from a foundation, You cannot build a wall without a foundation or it will claps, start from a basic point I do not know your fitness levels, so I will start at basics.

1.Find the right bike shop: The costumer – businesses relationship in cycling is very import, a good mechanic will explain about what the bike dose and fix’s it for you.

2.Fined an accredited cycling coach with lots of good feedback – these people can be a god send , the best coaching relationships are the ones where the coach can almost tell when a rider is tired, needs to be pushed or is keeping right on track with the goals they have in mind.

3.Find a cycling club-so about mid-march find club near you and contact the club secretary to get an idea of where the club's focus lies and how much this suits your aspirations. there is a huge amount of clubs that race and will drop you on the rides if you are not up to stand, so prepared to get dropped and abused, if you do not have the right bike or kit ( Do not by club kit or membership until you are settled in and feel welcome) . I have recently been abused in a cycling club for not riding with them , And not helping the club one is medical and the other is time .

This Is a tip from my coach for training
http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/article-detail.asp?articleid=1671

posted by Ashleyhoaken [37 posts]
5th June 2013 - 9:12

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Gary Booker wrote:
I live in the middle of nottinghamshire with the nearest countryside about 3 or 4 miles away.

Well I don't know the area, but notice that Specialized will be opening a Concept Store in Nottingham. I suggest getting some miles in for now and see how you feel, because your body changes as you progress. You'll start to get a feel for if/what aches and pains you get, over what distances etc. That way, if/when you decide to get a bike fit, you can go to them with x knee pain, y back ache or whatever, and they'll be in a better position to assist.

Have to say I disagree with one of the above comments though. Stretching after a ride is good, but I don't think stretching beforehand is the right thing to do. Just make sure to take it easy for the first 20 mins so that you're warmed up.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3689 posts]
5th June 2013 - 9:53

1 Like

notfastenough wrote:
Have to say I disagree with one of the above comments though. Stretching after a ride is good, but I don't think stretching beforehand is the right thing to do. Just make sure to take it easy for the first 20 mins so that you're warmed up.

+1. Stretching before exercise is counterproductive.

Just enjoy riding and build up the distance. If you can, find a club or group who ride at an appropriate pace. And wear padded shorts, your arse will be very grateful.

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posted by Simon E [2337 posts]
5th June 2013 - 12:45

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