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  1. #1
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    Distance just starting out??

    I made my introduction here http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...om-St-Louis-MO but in summary I have lost 170 lbs in the last three years by running but my old man knees said no more and surgeon said get a bike. I am wondering a good starting distance. As a point of refernece I was running 5k 4-5 times a week in about 33 min(when I started at 450lbs it took a hour to waklk 1/3 of a mile with numerous park bench rest stops) Anyway I'm picking my bike up Wednesday and was thinking 10 miles might be a good starting place. Any good advise will be valued!!

    Thanks Jerry

  2. #2
    Just Keep Pedaling Beachgrad05's Avatar
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    Welcome and very awesome job on weight loss!

    I cannot answer your question but others may have some advice
    Move along....nothing to see here....anymore.

  3. #3
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    If you are fit from running, the limiting factor will not be your endurance but your comfort on the bike. You need to make sure that you have it set up properly - saddle at the appropriate height, and adjusted properly fore and aft, etc. The ideal is to have a professional fit it for you - your local bike shop may be able to arrange this. As a minimum they should be able to get it set up so it is close to being right.

    The initial hurdle to overcome is saddle soreness. You need to be sitting with your weight on the wide part of the saddle (not the nose) and resting on your sit bones, not the soft tissue between your legs. If you get that right, you'll still be sore for a while but the "sit-bone ache" disappears after a week or so of riding. During that week, limit your rides to about a half-hour a day. Once your backside is getting used to it, increase the time and distance to whatever you feel comfortable with. Cycling is much easier on the joints than running, and rides can vary from the equivalent of a slow walk to a full-on sprint, so how far and fast you can go is dependent on the intensity you choose for a particular day.

    If you are used to doing 33 minute 5ks you'll quickly be able to build up speed and distance on a bike. Get used to using the gears. For a given speed, using a high gear and pedalling slowly is much harder on the legs (and knees) than choosing a lower gear and pedalling faster - using a higher cadence, in cyclists' jargon - so do the latter. It's also a better cardio workout if you do this. Most will recommend a cadence of around 90 rpm but don't sweat the numbers, just use the gears so you can maintain your speed with a fairly light pressure on the pedals.

    Hope this helps. The most important first step is to get someone who knows what they are doing to set up the bike for you.
    Last edited by chasm54; 08-14-12 at 01:47 AM.

  4. #4
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    Thanks, I am purchasing through my LBS and they are going to adjust it for me. I'm just excited to get back outside exercising, the stationary bike makes me want to lick a light socket.

  5. #5
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    Well done on your weight loss so far!
    If your running plan involved 33minutes, 4-5 times a week,
    Start there for biking.
    Get time in the saddle, and the distance will increase with bicycle fitness.
    Do what you can to make the rides enjoyable.
    vary the route,
    change destinations,
    try some longer rides on weekends... not more than an hour to start.
    My favorite ride is 9 miles in 45 minutes, a half hour coffee break, then 45 minute ride home.

    Good Luck, and stick with your weight loss program.
    You are an inspiration to us all.
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  6. #6
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    Hey thanks, I also quit a 3 pack a day cigarette habit in 2007(that added the last 80 lbs).

  7. #7
    Senior Member Zoxe's Avatar
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    I agree with skilsaw - that's a good approach.

    Rule of thumb I've read a few times on BF.net has been 10% per week. Whatever you start at, you should try to increase 10% per week until you get to the mileage per week that you're after.

    Coworker of mine is a lifelong runner and recently made the switch to bikes because of his knees. He was a little shocked that he couldn't just pick up the bike and ride like crazy. He's very cardio-fit, but the muscles are different enough to require some retraining.

    Most new bikers are going to start at 1-2 miles, but you're probably fitter than most. Personally, I would do a 3-4mi shakedown ride, check out the new bike, play with all the gadgets, and see how you feel. Then adjust accordingly. If you can double it, or triple it, that's wonderful. But not a big deal if you need to stick around 4 or 5 miles the first week or so ... mileage will come very quickly as you make the transition from runner to biker.

  8. #8
    Pedal Pusher/Pundit mcrow's Avatar
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    hard to tell where to start. I started doing a few 5 milers because of saddle soreness. Eventually it got better and I was doing 8 milers. Then I got a pair of these: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o00_s00_i00

    With these on I can ride until my legs fall off, which is upwards of 20 miles after riding for about a month 2-4x per week. Most of my rides now are ~12-15 miles (on a MTB) and I commute 6 miles round trip to work every day.

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    Don't worry about distance.
    Ride uphill and/or into the wind until something starts to hurt and then take it easy on the way back.
    KHS Flite 500. Redline Metro Sport. 90s Schwinn Sidewinder SS.

  10. #10
    Pedal Pusher/Pundit mcrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PartsMan View Post
    Don't worry about distance.
    Ride uphill and/or into the wind until something starts to hurt and then take it easy on the way back.
    More than likely it will be your ass the first few times out.

  11. #11
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    5 miles at one time.

    Rest then do another 5 if you feel like it.

    Get some bike shorts (no seams)with chamois.
    Last edited by 10 Wheels; 08-14-12 at 08:13 AM.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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  12. #12
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    33min 5k... well.. I know I can't run a 33 min 5k even on a treadmill... but I can hop on a bike and ride 50-100 miles at a time.. The first time I went out on my bike (45lbs ago) I went for a 'short' 10 mile ride and at mile 7.5 thought I was going to DIE.. now 50-60 mile rides are no problem.. but I still can't run.

    It has already been said to get fitted.. I would have to add to get a GOOD pair of bike shorts, they make a huge difference, not in the butt comfort but in the chafing..

    If you can keep a sustained run for 30 min I would guess that 10 miles would be no problem a few times a week until your sit bones get used to the pressure.. and riding 'light' holding most of your body weight on your feet not your butt helps a LOT, just put pressure on your feet enough to lighten the pressure, not so much to lift you out of the seat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scpd755 View Post
    the stationary bike makes me want to lick a light socket.
    EXCACTLY! how I feel about my trainer..

    YMMV

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevinvin View Post
    If you can keep a sustained run for 30 min I would guess that 10 miles would be no problem a few times a week until your sit bones get used to the pressure.. and riding 'light' holding most of your body weight on your feet not your butt helps a LOT, just put pressure on your feet enough to lighten the pressure, not so much to lift you out of the seat.
    I second this. You will find that the faster your cadence, the more heavily you tend to sit on your seat, keep a good bit of pressure on the pedals and you should find this will help you ride "light" on the saddle.

    Good luck with your riding. I also used to be a runner, turned cyclist due to knee problems! I now really enjoy my time on the bike.
    Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out.*~Robert Collier

  14. #14
    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    I came from running.

    I think you will quickly find you need to ride an hour to get anywhere near the exercise value of running.

    On top of that, getting that time on the bike, will speed your comfort level as well.

    I would shoot for that if your parts can take it

  15. #15
    Senior Member SeanBlader's Avatar
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    SCPD755, your limiting factor will be breaking in your seat, not your saddle, but your interface with it. In a nutshell your butt is going to hurt. I'm on my fifth day in a row riding and it's just starting to get better. Every day has been 20 to 25 minutes and I was almost looking for an excuse yesterday to not go, but instead I got out and yeah, it hurt, but not so much that I'm ready to quit, it's just annoying. Today it seems like it's not as bad, so we'll see how my ride works out this evening.

    So for the first week or two you're not going to get your challenge and fitness goals in, but you also don't want to overdo it on the saddle so much that day 2 has you regretting the purchase. Take it slow at first. I'd go for ten minutes out and ten minutes back. And see how your sit bones are doing. You don't want to be an hour away from home and realize your ass hurts so much you'd rather be running. Don't worry about your range yet, just worry about your comfort and keep in mind the fact that this is something you want to make maintainable over the long haul. In a few weeks you can add duration to your rides and then you'll start approaching your fitness challenge level.

  16. #16
    Pedal Pusher/Pundit mcrow's Avatar
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    Basically, ride until you are too butthurt to ride more.

  17. #17
    got the climbing bug jsigone's Avatar
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    my first road ride, my friends drag me on a 56 mile ride.....hope you don't have those type of friends

  18. #18
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    Congrats on the weight loss...and welcome the the forum.

    Also, congrats and thank you for quitting smoking. I just finished a year of chemo and can not begin to tell you how glad I am that you chose to reduce your risk of walking down the same path. Mine was not from smoking, but still....chemo is chemo...and it all sucks (though better than the alternative!)

    I would not focus on mileage, but time, instead. The longer you're on the bike, the better. Start with the most you can without hurting yourself (other than your butt...that's going to hurt at first, but will go away).

    Also, do you have an iPhone or Android? If so, I recommend using MapMyRide or Strava (or one of a few others) to track your workouts. The GPS will keep track of where you've been, distance, time, etc. It's amazing how fast the numbers add up. Bigger yet, I am a goal-driven person. I set a goal and watch the numbers on the website. If they're not adding up fast enough, it drives me to ride more.
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  19. #19
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    My advice is different.
    On the first day, ride a lot less than you think you can.
    That will give you a much better idea what to do on the second day.

    I think too many people overextend themselves on the first day and are so miserable the second day, they park the bike for good.

  20. #20
    Senior Member volosong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PartsMan View Post
    Don't worry about distance.
    Ride uphill and/or into the wind until something starts to hurt and then take it easy on the way back.
    I was thinking this same thing. Ten miles would be fine, but try to "front load it". Meaning, start out riding into the wind or riding uphill first. Assuming you don't get too saddle-sore, then you'll have a much easier time on the return ride. Conversely, if you ride the easy part first, (with the wind, downhill), and you reached your limit...then you'll have a difficult time getting back home or back to the car.
    Deut 6:5

    ---

    "Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is 'never get involved in a land war in Asia'".
    - Vizzini during his "battle of wits" with the Man in Black

  21. #21
    Senior Member mdphoto's Avatar
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    Everyone has provided some good sound advise so there is not much that can be added. Getting a quality pair of bike shorts and also a nice set up cycling gloves will be a tremendous help in elevating some of the areas that will be tender at first. Start slow and work your way up to more milage.

    Congrats on the weight loss.
    Mike

  22. #22
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcrow View Post
    hard to tell where to start. I started doing a few 5 milers because of saddle soreness. Eventually it got better and I was doing 8 milers.
    That's a pretty decent starting point. If seat and hand comfort isn't an issue, you'll get up to much more than that pretty quickly. If comfort is a problem, you can look into bike shorts but you may also want to look into different saddles. At this point, I pretty much put a Brooks leather saddle on everything I ride. It sounds kind of snooty, but I can comfortably ride 30-40-50 miles on a Brooks in street clothes. Also, if hand pain or numbness becomes an issue, you can look into handlebar position, handlebar styles, cycling gloves, etc., to alleviate the discomfort.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  23. #23
    Senior Member Black wallnut's Avatar
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    Rule of thumb is twice to three times the distance/time cycling to running. So if you are running a half hour you'll need to pedal an hour to an hour and a half to get the same workout that you would running. You'll also be using different muscles riding a bike.


    Mark

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