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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 02-28-14, 02:02 PM   #1
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Riding For Max Calorie Burn

I will be working towards my long distance ride goals as well but a fair amount of my rides will be to burn as much calories as I can. It is one of my goals and therefore I enjoy it.

Max Calorie Burn includes the residual effect of an increased metabolism, recovery, etc. For today's purposes let's use a comparison of a 10 and 25 mile ride.

Pretend the 25 mile ride is at your cruising speed. The total burn (exercise, recovery, etc) is XX.

Now let's go to 10 mile ride but after your warmup you do high intensity intervals. Just pound it for a few minutes or a small stretch. Then do a recovery period then pound it again. The total burn (exercise, recovery, etc) is YY.

In your opinion which is better? Some would say "Whatever gets you out a riding!". Sure, but if I'm willing to do either what is the most benefit for calorie burn?

Thoughts? Am I making a fair comparison? Wrong thinking? On the right track?
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Old 02-28-14, 02:15 PM   #2
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Try both, LSD( long slow distance 4-6 hours) and intervals. I use telephone poles for markers. Pedal max for 6 telephone poles and wind down for 6. For max calorie burn, try mountain biking. A full body workout.
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Old 02-28-14, 02:22 PM   #3
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Try both, LSD( long slow distance 4-6 hours) and intervals. I use telephone poles for markers. Pedal max for 6 telephone poles and wind down for 6. For max calorie burn, try mountain biking. A full body workout.
For evening rides I can take the time to do a moderate 25 miler. That is 2 hours door to door. No mountain biking in darker hours of course. With that in mind I'm looking to make my evening rides as effective as possible. I know that if I did a 10 miler and did intervals in time I could do a 12 miler with intervals, etc. Can't to that everyday but with the times I can get out I want to do as much good as possible.

On my weekend long rides I'm going to work on pure distance. I've got a 100 miler and a 200 miler at the end of 2014 and want to work towards that as well. I know that if I do shorter distance intervals that will help the longer rides, etc.
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Old 02-28-14, 02:31 PM   #4
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200 miles in one day? Good luck with that. How is your bike fit and cadence? You will really get to know the little things that are off on an all day ride. For me the only thing to prep for long ride is to do long rides. I commute , mt bike and tour. All help. For a 100 miler, you should at least get an 80 miler in sometime beforehand. Pay attention to hydration and fuel. I like real food like sandwiches and bananas as well as bars and drinks.
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Old 02-28-14, 02:53 PM   #5
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Calories burned = work done. Whichever required more work will have burned more calories and odds are good that it was the 25 miler.

Here's a short loop around my neighborhood that I did at a pretty good clip (not fast but working hard) http://www.strava.com/activities/116400956 and that works out to 512 calories for 8.8 miles. Avg Hr 143

Same general route with my son the preceding Monday (minus the big hill) http://www.strava.com/activities/114124409 and it was only 310 calories. Avg HR was 111, so I was barely working. (I have a power meter so those numbers are pretty reliable)

Almost the exact same length of time between the two rides, and granted, they were short, but I think it's pretty clear that if I went for an easy ride that was twice as long, it would burn more calories, but not 2x.

The answer is clear - go for a hard 25 miler.
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Old 02-28-14, 03:07 PM   #6
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200 miles in one day? Good luck with that. How is your bike fit and cadence? You will really get to know the little things that are off on an all day ride. For me the only thing to prep for long ride is to do long rides. I commute , mt bike and tour. All help. For a 100 miler, you should at least get an 80 miler in sometime beforehand. Pay attention to hydration and fuel. I like real food like sandwiches and bananas as well as bars and drinks.
I have a new bike fit (just a few weeks ago) and so far I'm liking it. As for the 200 miles who knows if I will accomplish that? I will have my wife drop me off 200 miles (by bike path or friendly roads) and I'll take however long to make it home. If I have to lay on a picnic table for an hour just to ride 10 more miles then lay in a ditch to ride 10 more miles, etc. that's what I'm to do. I'm more doing it as a test of my mind as anything.

I have a plan to get to my 100 miler and that includes 40 milers, 62 milers, etc. and then a 200 mile weekend (three days) before seeing if it is even possible for me to do 200 miles in one outing.
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Old 02-28-14, 03:19 PM   #7
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I suspect there is a nearly proportional relationship between calories burned and heart rate. If you have a resting heart rate of 55, and rest all day long, a 170 lb person will burn 1800 cal/24 hr, or 75 cal per hour. if you double your HR to 110 for an hour, in and ideal case, you will burn 150 cal/hr., or 75 cal/hr over what you would burn at rest. On long rides I try to eat about 40-50 cal /hr and do not gain weight doing this, so I can't be to far off.
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Old 02-28-14, 03:30 PM   #8
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Good info in the long distance forum too.
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Old 02-28-14, 06:10 PM   #9
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Reading and research is pointing that the intervals are superior for calorie burn. Here is a representation of the information. I do know that research is dangerous as it depends on what information you come across.

Take a read...
http://www.builtlean.com/2013/04/01/...ing-zone-myth/
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Old 02-28-14, 06:11 PM   #10
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Good info in the long distance forum too.
Thanks. I'll go take a look. However before looking I'll say that this is more for my shorter outings.

Off I go to read the long distance forum.
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Old 02-28-14, 06:39 PM   #11
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For evening rides I can take the time to do a moderate 25 miler. That is 2 hours door to door. No mountain biking in darker hours of course. With that in mind I'm looking to make my evening rides as effective as possible. I know that if I did a 10 miler and did intervals in time I could do a 12 miler with intervals, etc. Can't to that everyday but with the times I can get out I want to do as much good as possible.

On my weekend long rides I'm going to work on pure distance. I've got a 100 miler and a 200 miler at the end of 2014 and want to work towards that as well. I know that if I do shorter distance intervals that will help the longer rides, etc.
There is a lot of Mountain biking after dark. Including all night races. I did some yesterday, on ice and snow. 29 F. The cold increases calorie burn too. Super bumpy ice with frozen ruts, 3" deep footprints in it, and high wind is a good workout. So is plowing through a few inches of snow while it's snowing. Very high calorie burn. !00% effort in some places.

Lots of calories burned in a very short distance, but, it takes longer to get ready and to undress, clean the bike, etc, after the ride. You may have to purchase new gear for riding below freezing and in the dark.
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Old 02-28-14, 09:37 PM   #12
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IPretend the 25 mile ride is at your cruising speed. The total burn (exercise, recovery, etc) is XX.

Now let's go to 10 mile ride but after your warmup you do high intensity intervals. Just pound it for a few minutes or a small stretch. Then do a recovery period then pound it again. The total burn (exercise, recovery, etc) is YY.

In your opinion which is better?
If you want to lose weight, you should be going as hard as you can, for as long as you can, as often as you can. If you don't feel like you're working hard, you're probably wasting your time on the bike.

I lost 50lbs back in 2007 or 2008. My workout strategy was basically: a 15-mile lunch ride 3-4 times a week going as fast as I could, combined with 1-2 longer (2+-hour) rides on the weekend. The weekend rides were still at a brisk pace, but I was usually trying to extend my distance, ride time, or elevation gain so I had to reduce my pace somewhat in order to be able to complete the ride. Still, whenever I did a route more than once I was always trying to beat my previous ride time.
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Old 02-28-14, 10:14 PM   #13
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If you want to lose weight, you should be going as hard as you can, for as long as you can, as often as you can. If you don't feel like you're working hard, you're probably wasting your time on the bike.

I lost 50lbs back in 2007 or 2008. My workout strategy was basically: a 15-mile lunch ride 3-4 times a week going as fast as I could, combined with 1-2 longer (2+-hour) rides on the weekend. The weekend rides were still at a brisk pace, but I was usually trying to extend my distance, ride time, or elevation gain so I had to reduce my pace somewhat in order to be able to complete the ride. Still, whenever I did a route more than once I was always trying to beat my previous ride time.
I think my strategy will be similar. For my weekday exercise rides my "go as hard as I can" will probably "how many all-out intervals can I do in the time I have to do them". I know if I just warmup and go as hard as I can the ride will be short (by comparison) but if I do bursts of "all out" followed by a recovery and then more "all out" I may be able to do more.

And like you I am basically wanting to extend my distance on my weekend rides but again again like you I will always try to beat my previous time on the same route.
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Old 03-01-14, 10:41 AM   #14
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I have a new bike fit (just a few weeks ago) and so far I'm liking it. As for the 200 miles who knows if I will accomplish that? I will have my wife drop me off 200 miles (by bike path or friendly roads) and I'll take however long to make it home. If I have to lay on a picnic table for an hour just to ride 10 more miles then lay in a ditch to ride 10 more miles, etc. that's what I'm to do. I'm more doing it as a test of my mind as anything.

I have a plan to get to my 100 miler and that includes 40 milers, 62 milers, etc. and then a 200 mile weekend (three days) before seeing if it is even possible for me to do 200 miles in one outing.

HA!
This is my worst case plan for a hilly 200k in April!

I find intervals consume the most calories over a given time, but long, long rides burn more over all..

Given several restrictions, I'm using intervals to "prepare" for the 200k...
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Old 03-01-14, 07:01 PM   #15
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I think my strategy will be similar. For my weekday exercise rides my "go as hard as I can" will probably "how many all-out intervals can I do in the time I have to do them". I know if I just warmup and go as hard as I can the ride will be short (by comparison) but if I do bursts of "all out" followed by a recovery and then more "all out" I may be able to do more.
Perhaps I should clarify: I'm not riding a full-on sprint for the entire 15-mile lunch ride. I push as hard as I can knowing that I have to be able to make it back to the office (and be able to stand once I get there). I have a Garmin Edge 800 and a power meter, so I can monitor my HR and power output to make sure I'm not slacking, or pushing too far into the "red zone". Much like my longer weekend rides, I'm always looking to up my average speed by a tenth or two, chop a minute off my ride time, or bump my average power by a watt or two.

Unfortunately, the roads and bike paths I ride during lunch really aren't conducive to all-out intervals. Too many cars, pedestrians, stop signs and stop lights that don't allow the regular efforts needed to make intervals successful. Which is lucky for me because I absolutely hate intervals
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Old 03-02-14, 04:47 AM   #16
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To get this effect you only need to get to max heart rate for one minute intervals. I read a report from a university in Calgary AB where over a two week period those who trained using this method had 10 to 15% better fitness than those who trained longer periods at moderate heart rate.
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Old 03-02-14, 05:30 AM   #17
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I think my strategy will be similar. For my weekday exercise rides my "go as hard as I can" will probably "how many all-out intervals can I do in the time I have to do them". I know if I just warmup and go as hard as I can the ride will be short (by comparison) but if I do bursts of "all out" followed by a recovery and then more "all out" I may be able to do more.

And like you I am basically wanting to extend my distance on my weekend rides but again again like you I will always try to beat my previous time on the same route.
I've been doing intervals for a while since I was told by an exercise physiologist that it is best for your heart.. Like with any other exercise, the more I do intervals, the longer the bursts get and the less time for recovery is needed. My issue is when I do intervals for a long period, the standing on the pedals seems to take its toll on my knees. So I have taken to about 30 minutes of intervals and the rest of the time steady state at a heart rate of between 125 and 140.
Either way, it is better than sitting on my ass.
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Old 03-02-14, 11:25 AM   #18
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I think if you can get up to a century a month from now til June, then from there to the event I'd be doing 2 centuries a month. The 200miler shouldn't be much of a problem (in theory)

As far as calories burned. I'm about 800-1000 per hr pending effort. My long lunch ride last week was 23 mi, 1106 cals, 1h15 moving time, 1627ft of climbing @18.6 mph average. It was recovery ride from the race day before.
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Old 03-02-14, 11:53 AM   #19
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My simple rule is:
50 miles a week maintain weight & health (3-4 rides a week)...keep an eye on calorie intake.
80 miles a week, eat whatever, lose a pound a week (5-6 rides a week with one long on weekend)
100 miles+ a week and prep for a century/back to back centuries, etc. (6 rides a week with long midweek, weekends)

I mix up riding during the week with fartlek, intervals, recovery, hills repeats, just to make it interesting.
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Old 03-02-14, 01:16 PM   #20
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calories burned does not equal fitness gained.

So dont confuse high intensity (as a rule) with fitness gains. Proper intervals, riding in the tempo zone, and rest equals fitness gains.
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Old 03-02-14, 02:36 PM   #21
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You burn fat at lower intensity levels. If your goal is weight loss then LSD may benefit you the most. You will burn more calories with hard efforts but that does not always equal burning fat stores. Pay no mind to the doubters about doing a double century. Lofty goals you have. If you are able to stay healthy and injury free you can do it. Training will be required and how you feel at the end will depend greatly on how prepared you are for it. FWIW I had the best weightloss when I was just putting in the miles and not concentrating on effort much, not that my anecdotal experience means much.
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Old 03-02-14, 02:58 PM   #22
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I recommend you get a heart rate monitor then experiment with different types of ride. Heart rate monitors will tell you how many calories you burn based on your heart rate while exercising.
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Old 03-02-14, 02:59 PM   #23
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Reading and research is pointing that the intervals are superior for calorie burn. Here is a representation of the information. I do know that research is dangerous as it depends on what information you come across.

Take a read...
http://www.builtlean.com/2013/04/01/...ing-zone-myth/
Reading research is dangerous if you don't apply the information correctly. You may burn more calories for time spent doing an interval workout but if your 10 mile interval ride takes 30 minutes and the 25 mile ride takes 90 you'd have to be burning 3x as many calories per minute on the 10 miler to equal what you burn on the 25 miler.

That's very unlikely to happen, especially the 10 mile ride has a proper warm up, cool down and your rest periods are at an appropriately low effort.
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Old 03-02-14, 03:14 PM   #24
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I recommend you get a heart rate monitor then experiment with different types of ride. Heart rate monitors will tell you how many calories you burn based on your heart rate while exercising.
Heart rate monitors will guess at how many calories you burned and that guess will invariably be 1.5-2X higher than the number of calories you actually burned (as measured by a power meter, for example).
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Old 03-02-14, 03:37 PM   #25
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You burn fat at lower intensity levels. If your goal is weight loss then LSD may benefit you the most. You will burn more calories with hard efforts but that does not always equal burning fat stores.
In my experience LSD (Long Slow Distance) is a complete and utter waste of time! The body may be more efficient at burning calories at lower speeds, but the total number of calories burned isn't significant unless you ride for a very long time. And who has time for that these days?

For me, a 1.5+-hour ride at a very brisk pace burns more fat than anything else I've tried. And the science makes sense: once you've burned through your glycogen stores the body has no choice but to start metabolizing fat. It may not be terribly efficient about it, but the sheer number of calories required to maintain a fast pace ensures that a fast ride will burn more fat than a slow ride of the same duration.

Once I figured this out, it was surprisingly easy for me to drop the 50+ pounds of excess weight I'd been carrying around. I, quite literally, lost weight so quickly that friends I didn't see often were pulling me aside to ask whether I had cancer or some other medical problem...
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