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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 08-19-09, 07:52 PM   #1
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Getting winded

I have been riding all season, I am in great stength shape but at 251lbs I get winded still on a hard hill climb or a sprint finish. Should I Train shorter distance faster or longer distance in or to increase my endurance. Any help would be apreciated, I have been riding with thin people and I don't want them to be able to drop me. ECB1
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Old 08-19-09, 08:06 PM   #2
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Both of those activities require you to go anaerobic. Try adding hill intervals to your training. The way I used to do it was using a couple 1-2 minute long climbs on my regular route. Ride easy to the base of them, then push hard to the crest. If you use an HRM, you can watch your HR shoot right up. Let it drop back down about 30-40 bpm, and repeat.

You WILL get winded doing this, and that's the point - you're developing your capacity to keep pushing when your oxygen needs exceed your ability to suck in air and deliver it to the tissues.

Sprints, the skinny guys should have no advantage over you. Climbs? They're lifting about 70-100 lbs less than you, so you have to put out WAY more energy to keep pace with them.
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Old 08-19-09, 08:38 PM   #3
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I've been riding a couple of years now and I still get winded on hills and sprints. But, I'm doing them faster.
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Old 08-19-09, 08:42 PM   #4
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You'll also want to train your recovery duration and effort (speed).

F'r instance, do an interval with, say, 3-minutes recovery. Then do another with only 2 mins recovery, etc...decreasing your recovery time to less and less.

Also, train to recover at high speeds. F'r instance: interval speeds at 30mph+, but only allow yourself to recover at say 20mph. Then increase the recovery speed up to say 25mph.
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Old 08-19-09, 09:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by dbikingman View Post
I've been riding a couple of years now and I still get winded on hills and sprints. But, I'm doing them faster.
+1....although I hate to quote Greg Lemond, "it doesn't get easier, you just get faster"
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Old 08-20-09, 10:11 AM   #6
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I am very slow on the climb and ALWAYS get passed by some slightly-faster and much lighter bike buddies. It is extremely satisfying to catch and pass them when the terrain flattens out because I keep going hard while they slow their efforts too much at hilltop and don't have the conditioning to recover quickly.

Try to breathe deeply as you'll get more fresh air than you get with rapid but superficial panting. Focus on the deep exhale and the inhale will take care of itself. Establish a good breathing rhythm.

Riding with better riders will help you improve when you're up for a good training ride, especially if they are considering it more of a casual/social ride and will let you struggle but won't drop you. It's annoying if they are making conversational chit-chat while you're in a death struggle climbing; but it will distract you and make the miles go quicker. And there is always something you can learn from a better rider.
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Old 08-20-09, 11:53 AM   #7
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I can also get winded with nasty headwinds. There are stretches where windless I tend to go 15-16, but with a headwind, I struggle mightily to keep it at 13. All my weight seems to be from my chin to my waist, excluding my arms. Thinkikng of changing my nick to Spinnaker_Guy.

Just got on my Healthometer for the first time in ages... since I re-started biking in June I'm down about 10 pounds (226 today).
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Old 08-22-09, 02:46 AM   #8
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I hate hills but at the same time I love them. I do hill repeats when I am strpped for riding time and they will make you a faster climber but you will still be winded if aren't then you need to do the harder. If the guys you ride with are chit chatting while climbing they are just not going full out. I thought I was getting good at climbing as I was judging my progress by trying to out climb certian riders in my club. Well for two rides I beat this one guy pretty good and thought I was coming alonmg pretty good, mistake was of coarse he was not going full out. Last time I did that same hill took me 2k to catch the guy and the group, man I got owned on that hill.
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Old 08-22-09, 06:52 AM   #9
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Your cycling goals are in transition. As you have become more fit you are now finding challenges and setting performance goals rather than endurance or distance. This is a good thing.

The bad news is, it's gonna hurt in a good way. Intervals and hill repeats will get you there, but you have to dedicate yourself to them and remember to only do them one day a week when you start. The recovery time from serious interval efforts is important.
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