As I posted elsewhere, I'm trying to bike to lose weight and improve cardiovascular health. I'm 33, 6'1", 294#. Been reading this forum voraciously, but am still not clear about what/how I should be doing to optimize the process. Any advice is appreciated.
I've been reading about interval training, and wanted to give that a try. So, yesterday morning, I jumped on the elliptical (easier to focus on tracking times on the machine than on the bike on the road) with the following plan: 5 min warm up, 10 min of alternating 1 min hard as I can and 1 min slow, then 5 min cooldown. Did the first min, no problem, hit about 150 bpm heartrate. Rested a minute (hr down around 135), did another minute hard, hit around 155bpm, felt like I was going to die. Rested a minute, could not increase speed at all, was barely staying on the machine. After about a minute more, was able to squeeze out another 30 sec of fast, then just did slow through the end.
Am I missing something in how I approach interval work? Is this just an issue of being out of shape, or is my approach wrong? Can someone recommend a good book/website that explains this (I'm quite willing to pay for a book, but I'm not interested in paying for a "training service") in detail? Most of the sites I've looked at have brief summaries and then require a subscription or membership in a "program" to get more details.
Same day, I went for a ride in the evening. Made about 10.5 miles (furthest I've done this year), and felt great. My HR was around 150-155bpm most of the ride, and I didn't feel particularly tired at the end (would have gone further, but it started to rain, heavily). Why is it that 150bpm was killing me on the elliptical, but was fine on the bike???
As to cadence, my cadence was typically 70-80 (avg cadence per computer was 75), but I tend to pedal in bursts - spin, spin, spin, coast. Spin, spin, spin, coast. Etc. Is this normal? Should I be spinning nonstop? Even with zero resistance, I can't really maintain constant spinning for very long. Is this just a practice/fitness issue?