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  1. #1
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    How much riding should I do a week?

    Hi group:

    Perhaps this is a no brainer of a question but I'll leave that up to you to decide. I recently started riding (Trek 7300) again with a goal of losing significant weight. My current weight is 240 and would like to get down to 175. I have reduced my caloric intake to 1,200 - 1,500 and have been riding everyday. I've been riding 10 miles (avg 50min) M,W,F,S and 18 miles (avg 1:30hr) on T,T,S. My average speed is around 11.7 miles on slightly hilly terrain.

    Is the above a smart approach to losing weight? Would it make more sense to ride 18 miles M,W,F,S, and rest on T,T,S? Should I concentrate on increasing my overall speed or work on increasing my distance? I know a bunch of newbie questions! I'll appreciate any insight anyone can provide; what works for you?


    Peace

    Rich
    Last edited by Itchhhh; 05-09-11 at 01:31 PM.

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Kick your rides up to 25-30 miles.
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  3. #3
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    You should ride as much as you can, until you're not having fun. When you aren't having fun, stop riding.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Clifton gave you the right answer, in post #3. If you're not having fun, you're going to get burned out sooner or later. Riding will become a chore, then other obligations will begin to trump it, and soon you won't be riding much at all. That's bad because cycling is a lot of fun, but also because you burn a lot of calories on a bike; 1/3 to 1/2 more than in a kayak, for example.

    If you're only eating 1,200 to 1,500 kCal per day, this might become a problem. You're burning something like 600 per hour on the bike. It sounds like you might wind up bonking (hitting the wall) a lot ... and your body might decide you're starving, and hold on to as many as it can. You should ideally be at about a 1,000 kCal per day deficit.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  5. #5
    Am I evil? I am Man!!! Mr Sinister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    Kick your rides up to 25-30 miles.

    The other days I'd do at either 15 too (3 days 25-30 and 3 days 15). Plus give yourself 1 full day of rest. This is what I'd do. I also give myself rest when my legs feel like they need it. Do not over do it.

    But this is just my way.
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  6. #6
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    OP is riding to loose weight.

    Riding will get you looking and feeling good.

    Less calorie intake will cause your weight loss.

    Have fun with it.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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  7. #7
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    I need to ask this are you a guy or a gal. A guy with that calorie intake with that much riding you will will feel miserable very shortly. If your a gal are you petite? Small boned? Do you also do other kinds of exercise? The calorie intake is just minimal really. If your always exhausted I would up the calories slightly. Take it from someone who has been there.
    Ok name is Rich ...your a guy LOL
    Thats way to few calories for you fella. Women eat that to stay small. Please do not starve yourself as you will hate bike riding and then you will stop posting here.
    Last edited by she; 05-09-11 at 01:20 PM. Reason: didn't see name

  8. #8
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Ride as much as your schedule, and current fitness level allows, and make sure you have recovery time figured in as well. Then, as a general goal, try to up your weekly mileage total about 5% to 10% each week.
    Craig in Indy

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    Thanks for everybodies input. For those of you in the process of shedding weight, I would be curious to know how many rest days you have in a week?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Seve's Avatar
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    This is a pretty good guide, if you haven't seen it before, it may be worth a read.

    http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/pdf/adultguide.pdf

    IMO you want to take at least 1 to 2 days off per week. This helps many guard against exercise becoming "work like" .

  11. #11
    Senior Member exile's Avatar
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    How long have you been on your current program of riding every day? How long have you been on your current diet? How much weight have you lost? Basically if it ain't broke, then don't fix it.

    If your goal is to lose weight, then its a combination of exercise, diet, & recovery. Or in other words, a lifestyle. If you hit a plateau then try manipulating one of the variables and see what happens.

    If you are riding 7 days a week, then your body really doesn't have a chance to recover. Try riding fewer days, but with greater intensity on the days that you do ride.

    What is your diet? How have you manipulated the calories, timing, and/or macro & micro nutritional profile? How have you been feeling?
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  12. #12
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    I take about 2-3 days a week off, depending on the whims of the weather and my schedule, but not all of my "active" days are spent on the bike. I also walk, jog and do resistance training.
    Craig in Indy

  13. #13
    Senior Member JohnA42's Avatar
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    Don't turn it into rocket surgery, just get out there and have fun. If you're riding too much, you'll know it. Like Clifton said, ride until it isn't fun any more.

    As far as rest days, I don't plan any, but the weather -- and the rest of my life -- sometimes plan them for me.

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    You will definately lose weight like this, but in my opinion, you are eating too little. The other thing is that you are probably heading for a nasty case of burn-out. I started out like you are now, but I got torched after about 3 months. I dreaded getting on the bike. I took 2 weeks off, started doing ciruit training on MWF and riding between 15-30 miles on TTS. On Sunday, I rest. I didn't lose weight as fast like this, but I love riding again. I have been doing this routine for 12 months and have lost 58 pounds.

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    I feel like I lose more weight with longer rides (~2hrs) than with shorter (~1hr) rides. I try to ride 5-6 days/week. If I ride six days a week, at least one of those rides is at a more mellow "active recovery" type of pace.

  16. #16
    Senior Member ErickSaint's Avatar
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    I have been back into it for just over a month now. I have been trying to ride at least 10 miles a day. The weather here in Milwaukee has been been deciding my rest days, it's like Seattle here lately.

  17. #17
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    Itchhhh: Eat at least 1800 C a day. Less than that has no benefit as your metabolsim slows down too much. Think long term. Get some muscle confusion going. Basiclly without realizing it you get very efficent doing one thing. Right now you want to be inefficent. Try to hold yourself back so that an active lifestyle become a habit not a job.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Chaco's Avatar
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    If you want your muscles to wither, keep doing what you're doing. 1200 to 1500 calories a day for a man is way too low, whether you're riding or not.

    But if you are riding, and if you're stressing your quads and your calf muscles, you need to give them something to grow on. Also, the premise of riding to lose weight is faulty to begin with. Yes, exercise will help your weight loss, but what you eat is 80% of the equation.

    IMO, you'll be a lot better off losing 2 to 4 pounds a month than trying to take it off more quickly. Modify your lifestyle permanently. You probably took a few years to put on the weight; don't be afraid to take a few years to take it off.

    Also, I would investigate some of the low carb approaches. You may find they're not for you, but at least you should be aware of them.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itchhhh View Post
    Thanks for everybodies input. For those of you in the process of shedding weight, I would be curious to know how many rest days you have in a week?
    I ride five days a week for 45 minutes to an hour. The other two days I walk for the same time. Personally I found riding seven days a week was causing my legs to hurt and riding to be uncomfortable.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    You should ride as much as you can, until you're not having fun. When you aren't having fun, stop riding.
    +1.

    My weekly riding ranges from zero miles to 350. Depends on what I want to do.

  21. #21
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    I ride 5 days a week. Typically this is what how I schedule my rides and I have lost weight in the process;

    Monday - 40 Miles - High Cadence - Average 90-95 - Solo ride average 15.5-16 MPH
    Tuesday - Slower ride for 24 miles - Average cadence 60-70 - Do a lot of drills, one legged pedaling etc... Average speed 14-15 - Solo ride
    Wednesday - Same as Monday
    Thursday - Hill ride. - Go 26 miles focusing on Keeping heart rate 165-175 - solo ride
    Friday - off
    Saturday or Sunday (usually Saturday) 65 miles at a relaxed pace. Stop more often, a nice fun ride. - Group ride

    Good luck and have fun
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  22. #22
    Member RonE's Avatar
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    I used to think that a KCal was a KCal, but no more. I started commuting to and from work by bicycle about two years ago, and now bike a 35 mile round trip on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at an average speed of 15-18MPH. I needed the day of rest between rides.

    I lost 20lbs very quickly, but sat at 250lbs for about a year before finally starting to lose a little more weight again. My calorie intake did not really change much over the whole time span. My body hit that plateau and for whatever reason managed to adjust how it used the calories so that it could stay right where it was comfortable.

    I am finally on my way down again, but the turn has involved doing some other kinds of exercise (mainly walking and some upper body workouts) in addition to biking. I also started sprinting short distances during my bike commute.

    So, do not get discouraged if the weight does not melt off. Just keep up the biking and maybe try some other exercises.
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    Well I've managed to lose 23lbs and have gone from a high of 255lbs down to 232lbs. I've been hovering around 232lbs now for a few days so I'll assume the easy part is over. From a mental point of view, I'd really like to hit that 229lbl mark soon I'm keeping myself motivaed by trying on those 36 x32 jeans and although I could probably put them on now, I'm gonna wait until they fit perfectly I'm hoping another 30lbs by the end of the summer is an attanable goal. I can't wait until I weigh 199lbs and wearing 34 x32 jeans again.

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    Hey mate. You need at least two days of recovery per week to let the muscles rest and rebuild. Pounding each day of the week will lead to injury and burnout because there is no recovery for the muscles.

    Also you should think about upping the calories a bit. You are close to starvation levels with the lower number. Calculate your basal caloric needs (what you need to just maintain weight) with the exercise level you are engaged factored in then cut that number by between 500 and 1000 per day. That will mean 1-2 lbs of weight loss per week which is a healthy rate to loose it. There are plenty of calculators on the Internet to calculate it for you.

    Personally I alternate on a 4/5 schedule. 4 days riding 3 days rest then the next week 5 days riding 2 days rest. Two of the days are what I call "dirty name" rides (don't want to use bad language) and are hill rides. The other 2-3 are endurance/cardio rides for longer distances. I use the dirty names to build my leg muscles back up though I also spend allot of the time spinning which is cardio. The endurance rides are longer between 16 and 20 miles right now and I am building them up to 50 gradually while my endurance builds.

    My dirty name rides are fixed routes but my endurance rides are my "fun" rides. I make sure at least one of them on the 4 day and two on the 5 day are either destination or sight seeing rides.

    For example my destination rides will be to meet my wife and child at a coffee shop or restaurant we like and either drive home together or I ride home. Or I will ride to a local park where my son wants to play and then go home in the car. Alternately I will run errands on the bike instead of driving. For example last week I went to the doctor for a blood test, hit the phone store to return something, had a light lunch (rest break), hit the chemist for a prescription, and then headed home. A nice ride but with a purpose.

    Also remember that muscles weigh more than fat so you may see a shrinking waist but not see it on the scale. Something to keep in mind.

  25. #25
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    How old are you? How tall? Do you have an idea of your resting metabolic rate? You are not getting enough calories unless you are really, really short. I am 56 years old, a woman, 4'11" and am eating roughly 1200 a day to lose weight. I ride my bike about 100 miles a month, not near as much as you. Even so, I am losing weight at probably the max that I should, around a pound a week and decreasing slightly as I get to a lower weight.

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