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Old 04-26-07, 02:02 PM   #1
SaiKaiTai
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With all this talk of weight & condition...

... I can't help but wonder. I realize YMMV; it's an impossible question to answer and all but here it is anyway

I was pretty much inactive for 20 years... sat on the couch and played my guitars, mostly.
Oh, my wife and I would do some hiking and walking on vacations but, let's face it, I was a slug.
So, I started riding (how long ago? you been paying attention?) and I do about 130-150 miles per month.
I do some short climbing -more now than a year ago- and, of course, I live on a 500-600 foot, 11% hill.
I am definitely developing some musculature in the legs, the quads are coming along... the calves are... well, the calves are there. They were pretty lame before. So much -ok, ALL- of riding is about strength to weight ratios. The weight is slowly coming down, the strength is coming up. I guess oxygen intake plays its part, too; how much does asthma hold me back? Will that be my limiting factor? Is it now? Oh, along those lines, I'm going to see a cardio for a stress/echo in a couple of weeks. Maybe I'll finally find out what my HR limits are. I'm really looking forward to that.

OK, how much development should I expect to see and how fast? I see where I am now, where will I be in another year? Is it a fairly linear thing or more of a punctuated equilibium? At what point do I have the strength I "need". When do I start having legs like the Incredible Hulk? Yeah, yeah, as I said above (and as I've said before) I know this is highly variable and very, very fuzzy but it might be a good jumping off point for discussion.

So... discuss
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Old 04-26-07, 02:35 PM   #2
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Just to get the ball rolling: You may be gaining more benefits than you realize. I remember years ago reading the Ken Cooper MD book "Aerobics," which really spawned a tremendous interest in fitness. He was assessing the aerobic capacity of various sedentary people, and one man kept coming back as having a much higher level of fitness than all the others. Cooper was stumped--until he found out the man rode a bicycle five miles a day and had failed to mention it in his earlier interviews.
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Old 04-26-07, 03:31 PM   #3
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Weight is a factor when climbing, not on flats. Just look at 225lb track sprinters.
I've been riding 5-6000 miles per year for 5 years and more before that and I don't have the Hulk's legs, but they work O.K.
Nobody can say how much or how fast you'll improve, there are too many variables. Just have fun and enjoy.
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Old 04-26-07, 03:39 PM   #4
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You might want to think about increasing your mileage. I will try to get to about 150 miles per week as the season progresses. Would an increase from the 125 - 150 miles per month be a possibility?

As you increase your miles, you will see more fitness increase.

If you can't, certainly 30-35 miles per week is a lot better than nothing!

Last edited by DnvrFox; 04-26-07 at 03:50 PM.
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Old 04-26-07, 03:40 PM   #5
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Everything will start to improve Saturday.
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Old 04-26-07, 03:51 PM   #6
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STOP TALKING ABOUT SATURDAY!!! I AM GOING FLOGGIN' NUTS!!!!
Seriously, yeah, that's what I'm expecting. More miles during the week could be tough. I don't get home by until 6... by the time I get changed, do pet duty and get out, it's close to 6:30. If I want to eat dinner -and I do- getting home after 8 pretty much scotches that. That's why I've been hunting down more hills to climb. If I can't go longer, I'll go harder. Now, Saturdays are another story... I do see more miles coming then

And, I absolutely have fun and enjoy every minute I spend on the bike. Even last night when I felt like I was killing myself getting up that last hill home.
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Old 04-26-07, 04:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai
STOP TALKING ABOUT SATURDAY!!! I AM GOING FLOGGIN' NUTS!!!!
Seriously, yeah, that's what I'm expecting. More miles during the week could be tough. I don't get home by until 6... by the time I get changed, do pet duty and get out, it's close to 6:30. If I want to eat dinner -and I do- getting home after 8 pretty much scotches that. That's why I've been hunting down more hills to climb. If I can't go longer, I'll go harder. Now, Saturdays are another story... I do see more miles coming then

And, I absolutely have fun and enjoy every minute I spend on the bike. Even last night when I felt like I was killing myself getting up that last hill home.
What's all this about Saturday. Its just another weekend right. You probably ought to be mowing the lawn or something.
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Old 04-26-07, 04:22 PM   #8
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What's all this about Saturday. Its just another weekend right. You probably ought to be mowing the lawn or something.
You kidding? I pay someone to do that
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Old 04-26-07, 05:03 PM   #9
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You hit the nail on the head "take the weight off slowly". Once you get to a comfortable weight it will be much easier to maintain that weight. As to improvement: no matter how much you train or ride you're not getting into the TDF anytime soon other than a spectator.
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Old 04-26-07, 06:15 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by swan652
Everything will start to improve Saturday.
I hate Saturdays.....all the stores, shops, parks, and bike paths become too crowded on weekends.
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Old 04-26-07, 06:24 PM   #11
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You kidding? I pay someone to do that
I have grandkids who do it for free It's my reward for putting up with their parents
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Old 04-26-07, 06:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai
... I can't help but wonder. I realize YMMV; it's an impossible question to answer and all but here it is anyway

I guess oxygen intake plays its part, too; how much does asthma hold me back? Will that be my limiting factor?


So... discuss
Asthma certainly limits one's ultimate performance due to its limitations on respiration, the oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange. Since asthma is medically controllable--up to a point-- it really should not limit general conditioning.
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Old 04-27-07, 06:04 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DnvrFox
You might want to think about increasing your mileage. I will try to get to about 150 miles per week as the season progresses. Would an increase from the 125 - 150 miles per month be a possibility?

As you increase your miles, you will see more fitness increase.

If you can't, certainly 30-35 miles per week is a lot better than nothing!
This is true, the way to improvement is more miles and riding harder. If you stay at the same mileage and speed you will eventually reach a stasis where your calories in/out are balanced and your conditioning is max'ed out for the effort. Try doing a long ride >50mi once a week, see if there is a group ride you can do or if you must look at doing interval training. I try to get in 400-500 miles per month and that is light compared to a lot of people. This effort requires riding 5 days per week for about 8 hrs total time. I figure with all of the time I spend on other stuff giving myself 8hrs per week to ride is the least I can do, plus I enjoy it so much.
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Old 04-27-07, 10:19 AM   #14
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Here is a link from www.cptips.com. http://home.hia.no/~stephens/exphys.htm. The information presented in the various papers is geared towards masters age group, and it is extensive and technical so if that is a bit much just read the conclusions, it will answer your questions.

In my opinion, the key metric to know to measure performance and train properly is power produced / heart rate at lactate threshold. It is really good to know your heart rate at LT and set your training program around LT and not max heart rate. VO2 Max is the size of the engine and LT is the governor both can be increased with training. However, one can increase POWER without necessarily increasing LT. Hence, this is why people train with power. It is a better way to see how one is performing. If you produce a lot of power at LT, it can propel a lot of weight up hill. Some of the bigger famous pro cyclists produced a lot of power at LT and it made up for their increased weight.

To figure out your LT, the best way is to go to a lab and get your VO2 Max and LT tested. There is another way to do it on the road. Warm up for 20 minutes and then do 2 20 minute intervals going as fast as you can SUSTAIN and record your HR. Recover fully between each interval and take the average of the two heart rates. That is your HR at LT. This will be as accurate as one is able to perform the test. One must push hard enough but not so hard so that one goes anaerobic and produces lactate. The goal is to obtain the HR at the point where one begins to produce excess lactate.

My LT is ~160 and my max recorded HR is 178 but I suspect it is higher. I can maintain 160 climbing for long periods of time and race TTs at 170 to 175. To improve my TT racing, I am working on increasing my power produced at LT.
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Old 04-27-07, 10:21 AM   #15
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or I could just shoot myself
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Old 04-27-07, 11:06 AM   #16
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Wow, those are two pretty amazing websites. One I had seen before, the other I had not.

Thanks
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Old 04-27-07, 03:07 PM   #17
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Hermes,

Thanks for the websites, very interesting. Here's another couple:
http://velonews.com/train/articles/8167.0.html
http://www.velonews.com/train/articles/8217.0.html
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Old 04-27-07, 04:01 PM   #18
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Hermes,

Thanks for the websites, very interesting. Here's another couple:
http://velonews.com/train/articles/8167.0.html
http://www.velonews.com/train/articles/8217.0.html
Great articles...
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Old 04-27-07, 04:22 PM   #19
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Heard a programme on the radio today and it talked about exercise- and what got me was the amount of exercise you have to do to stay fit. 30 minutes a day of exercise is enough. What is not enough is 4 hours one day a week and none for another 7 days.

Saving grace is that the 30 minutes a day does not have to be exerting. Walking a lot in your working day- Taking the dog for a brisk walk- Chasing the wife round the lounge- or the garden or the bedroom- is all you need. What is better though is a hard work out twice a week with the 30 minutes on the other days.

So out for your normal 3 hours at weekend- two short rides in the evenings- say on tuesdays and thursday or friday and walk the dog on the other days.
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