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  1. #1
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    New Athena Intro

    Hi all,

    I guess I would be an Athena? I am 29 and currently hovering between 190lbs and 192lbs on the scale at 5'5". I know the title says 200+, but I started out at 212lbs and have always been heavy. I got the bike to change that. So, I just wanted to say 'Hi!' Also, any tips or tricks on kicking up the rides for a better work out? I have had the bike for 6 days and loving the rides, here is what I have done so far:

    Day 1 - approx 4.5 miles in 25 min and then about 2.5 miles in 12 min later in the day (was very tired but ok at the end of each, no soreness next day except in sit bones) avg 12.3 mph

    Day 2 - approx 2.3 miles in 13 min and then about a mile in 5 min later (pretty tired, but no soreness except in the sit bones) avg 10.6 mph

    Day 3 - approx 6.2 miles in 38 min and then about a mile in 5 min later in the day (not as tired, still no soreness except in the sit bones) avg 9.6 mph

    Day 4 - approx 13.5 miles in an hour and then about a mile in 5 min later in the day (not very tired, very little soreness in the quads that went away fairly quickly, still sore in sit bones) avg 12 mph

    Day 5 - approx 13 miles in an hour and then about 2 miles in 15 min later in the day (not very tired, very little soreness in the quads that went away fairly quickly, still sore in sit bones) avg 12.5 mph

    (Days 1 - 5 were on roads and bike trails, no hills since I live in flat Florida. Sit bone soreness not very bad after day 2 and soreness went away after the 10 min warm up everyday)

    Day 6 - approx 13 miles in 1 hour 15 min, I haven't done my second ride yet (started out slower and was more tired through out the ride but not overly so) avg 10.5 mph

    (Day 6 was at a local park with a nice paved bike trail with some elevations but nothing major, spent about 10 min on an 'off road' trail through the woods and took a couple of 30 sec breaks during the ride)

    I know I am getting in an ok workout, but my body is telling me I am not trying hard enough with lack of fatigue and lack of soreness. (I am barely sore, and only in the sit bones and quads) I don't want to progress too quickly, but I feel like I could be doing more. I do plan on taking tomorrow off and starting a weight lifting routine next week to supplement the rides.

    Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    I started weighing 226 lbs.

    3 months later my neighbor said "that bicycle thing is good for you"
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  3. #3
    Just Keep Pedaling Beachgrad05's Avatar
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    Welcome!!! Looking forward to more from a fellow Athena!

    An Athena according to racing criteria it can range from women over 150 or over 165. So technically 200 lbs is for the men (Clydesdale's). Sadly I am a filly...still...have not managed to get below that damned 200 lb mark.
    http://www.tofighthiv.org/site/TR/Events/AIDSLifeCycleCenter?px=2914622&pg=personal&fr_id=1770

  4. #4
    The cat says Merry Xmas Pamestique's Avatar
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    welcome to the forum... I think Athena is considered any woman over 150... which sucks since even if I lose a ton of weight, I won't be less than that!

    As to your workout... start out gradual and do what you are doing increasing until you start to feel some fatigue however you should not be totally fatigued - if so, you are working out of the proper zone for weight loss. Intensity varies if you are riding for recreation, weight loss or fitness. You goal is to be riding at a moderate level for at least a hour 4 Xs a week. I note you said you were tired... don't expect alot of muscle soreness from cycling... the point of cycling it's a low impact sport. Tired is good; muscle soreness - you are doing something wrong... remember cycling is an aerobic sport (ie endurance, fitness and weight loss) - weight lifting is the anerobic sport (muscle building and/or teardown).
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  5. #5
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    Thanks everyone!

    I am not super tired by the time I stop, generally I am to the point where I could go further but really, really don't want to. Legs are slightly wobbly afterwards when walking for about 5 minutes. Good to know that I shouldn't expect too much muscle soreness, my quads are slightly sore today, I think from the off road trail and a small grassy hill I tried to go up.

    Pamestique, don't feel bad, my goal weight is 145lbs, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I will equal out around 155-160lbs, so I will probably be an eternal Athena.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mcmoose's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forums!

    If your sit bones don't start to feel better in the next week or so, you may have a saddle that's "not right for you." If so, head back to the shop where you bought the bike (if you bought used or on-line, find a nice local shop). Talk to a salesperson about saddles. (Not to be sexist, but you may fare better with a saleswoman, simply because she may be more familiar with saddle-fitting issues for women.)

    As for building mileage, just keep riding until you're tired. One trick is, if your legs are tired, shift to a lower gear and pedal faster (this shifts the load from your legs to your cardiovascular system); if your lungs are burning and your heart's a-thumping, shift to a higher gear and pedal slower (this shifts the load from your cardiovascular system to your legs). When both wear out, you're done.

    Something that helped me put in lots more miles was to start riding with groups. I'm lucky in that there are a number of local cycling clubs, many of which have enough members that they can support rides at lots of different levels of difficulty. On my own, I'd do 16 miles and be done -- couldn't imagine riding further. First group ride, we went 24 miles and, seriously, it felt like half that. Now, group rides aren't time efficient, but they sure make the miles fly by. YMMV… some folks ride specifically to have time to themselves, and the idea of riding at anything other than their own preferred pace is a nightmare.

    Oh, and while you WILL lose weight, you'll even more notice firming up as you lose fat and gain muscle -- so don't get too hung up on the numbers on your scale… enjoy how you start to look and feel!

  7. #7
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    Thanks McMoose!

    I think my saddle might be about an inch too narrow, but the soreness is getting better every day so I am going to give it a couple of weeks. Never thought about the difference in shifting the load from the legs to the cardiovascular system with the gears. I find lower gears a little annoying, I like a firmer feel from the pedals (more because of balance than anything else). But I will definitely give that a try!

    As for the weight, I am not focusing on the numbers - been there, done that, more than once lol - instead, I have decided to focus on what makes me feel better and more confident. Right now, that is eating healthier (still need to work on that though) and doing an exercise I actually like doing and biking has proven to be highly enjoyable.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinsarity View Post
    Hi all,

    I guess I would be an Athena? I am 29 and currently hovering between 190lbs and 192lbs on the scale at 5'5". I know the title says 200+, but I started out at 212lbs and have always been heavy. I got the bike to change that. So, I just wanted to say 'Hi!' Also, any tips or tricks on kicking up the rides for a better work out? I have had the bike for 6 days and loving the rides, here is what I have done so far:

    I know I am getting in an ok workout, but my body is telling me I am not trying hard enough with lack of fatigue and lack of soreness. (I am barely sore, and only in the sit bones and quads) I don't want to progress too quickly, but I feel like I could be doing more. I do plan on taking tomorrow off and starting a weight lifting routine next week to supplement the rides.

    Thanks!!
    Hi,
    Welcome.

    Those are marvelous rides you have been doing!
    I've been riding for years and am jealous of your pace. I ride long, but not all that fast (except downhill)... Faster is coming, slowly. Climbing is my downfall... (Hee hee hee)

    Please rethink your notions of soreness and fatigue. It just might be that your well suited to riding. Your performance is really good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pamestique View Post
    welcome to the forum... I think Athena is considered any woman over 150... which sucks since even if I lose a ton of weight, I won't be less than that!

    As to your workout... start out gradual and do what you are doing increasing until you start to feel some fatigue however you should not be totally fatigued - if so, you are working out of the proper zone for weight loss. Intensity varies if you are riding for recreation, weight loss or fitness. You goal is to be riding at a moderate level for at least a hour 4 Xs a week. I note you said you were tired... don't expect alot of muscle soreness from cycling... the point of cycling it's a low impact sport. Tired is good; muscle soreness - you are doing something wrong... remember cycling is an aerobic sport (ie endurance, fitness and weight loss) - weight lifting is the anerobic sport (muscle building and/or teardown).

    Quote Originally Posted by Beachgrad05 View Post
    Welcome!!! Looking forward to more from a fellow Athena!

    An Athena according to racing criteria it can range from women over 150 or over 165. So technically 200 lbs is for the men (Clydesdale's). Sadly I am a filly...still...have not managed to get below that damned 200 lb mark.
    Please note the categories come from Triathletes and the running world. All activities noted for low body weights.
    As long as your happy and healthy, that's really what counts most.

    Or so I tell myself, as it would take a medical emergency for me to break 200. I have decent body comp at 265, and would be near optimum body comp at 250 (if I could loose just fat). Sadly if past is any indicator, I lose about a lb of muscle for each lb of fat unless I'm VERY dedicated... Personally, I'm resistant to loosing that much strength.

  9. #9
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    One thing I noticed was that you were getting a little slower as the days progressed. You need to work in some recovery time. A common mistake is trying to do too much too soon. Your performance is very similar to mine when I started. I have now done two centuries, both at about 12.5 average. My fastest average on a 30 mile ride was 16 mph (rolling hills with a net elevation drop of 400 ft.) A few weeks ago I did my flat 4 mile commute at 19 mph, with a little help from the wind.

    This took me years to achieve, so be patient, rest as necessary, and keep it fun.

    Welcome aboard.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  10. #10
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    Thanks!

    I think the main reason for the falling avg mph is more that the two days I had 12 and 12.5 mph the wind was almost always at my back. I think my comfort zone right now is the 10-11 mph. I plan on sticking to 5-6 days a week with 3 days of 13-15 miles and the rest 6-10 mile rides for the next couple of weeks as my body gets used to the work and to give myself a chance to build up stamina. I need to focus on my cadence since I have a tendency to peddle and coast vs a continuous peddle. Any tips on getting used to a lower gear and higher cadence? I find myself not liking the lack of resistance from the pedals.

  11. #11
    Senior Member mcmoose's Avatar
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    Well, the higher cadence comes with time. And it's kind of a mind shift from "stroke, stroke, stroke, stroke" to "spin in circles." The resistance should still be there with the higher rpm... it's just not high enough to keep you from doing 80 or more rpm. For now, try not to drop below 60 rpm. If you notice yourself making less than 1 revolution per second, try to pick up the pace (and downshift as necessary).

    And if you start mentioning that you're not feeling as securely attached to your pedals at the higher rpm levels, folks are going to start nagging you to get clip-in pedals and shoes -- just warning you!

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