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Old 01-10-08, 08:44 AM   #1
twobikes
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Joe Friel's book and weight loss

I bought "Cycling Past 50" by Joe Friel with a gift card. It seems a big concern for those of us over 50 is dropping some body weight, yet he makes only a couple of comments about weight loss in passing. He also seems to spend a lot of ink on topics that would seem more fitting for a younger person intent on racing. What do you think?
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Old 01-10-08, 08:55 AM   #2
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Yes, it was too technical for me to stay interested in. I know some people have raved about it, but it just wasn't very relevant to me.
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Old 01-10-08, 08:59 AM   #3
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Yeah, I have that book too. It's sort of aimed toward the aging athlete, not toward the aging person who is trying to become an athlete (if you know what I mean).
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Old 01-10-08, 09:09 AM   #4
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Yes, it was too technical for me to stay interested in. I know some people have raved about it, but it just wasn't very relevant to me.
That was my reaction when I borrowed it from the library a couple of years ago. Unless you want to start or continue racing after 50 it's just too much.

The book I mentioned in another thread, "Heart Zones Training for Cyclists" by Sally Edwards from Velo Press is working well for me so far with my new HRM. It could be a bit better organized but it's geared more toward general fitness and recreational cyclists ("recreational" meaning everything but racing).
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Old 01-10-08, 09:35 AM   #5
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The book I mentioned in another thread, "Heart Zones Training for Cyclists" by Sally Edwards from Velo Press is working well for me so far with my new HRM. It could be a bit better organized but it's geared more toward general fitness and recreational cyclists ("recreational" meaning everything but racing).
I thought about Edwards' book. I do have an HRM, but passed on the book because I found quite a few on-line articles about using an HRM for fitness here.

I am finding some useful things in Friel's book about rest for recovery and fueling the body on a long ride.

Thank you, all, for your comments.
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Old 01-10-08, 09:37 AM   #6
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I read it and did find some of the concepts helpful, but I too found it far too technical for my tastes. I do more than enough measuring and analyzing in my job. Outside of that I like to "play it by ear".
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Old 01-10-08, 09:40 AM   #7
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As someone who is not competitive, Friel's book has somewhat limited appeal to me, as well. However, if you can wade through the verbiage, he does make some good points about maintaining a balance between activity and recovery and about how to build up gradually to your cycling peak.

If you want something that is easy-to-read and really works, try the Abs Diet. It's not really a diet book but a lifetime fitness and healthy eating plan. While it doesn't focus on cycling, the core exercise program is really a good one for anybody who rides a bike.
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Old 01-10-08, 10:33 AM   #8
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I read Friel's "The Cyclist Training Bible". He promotes periodization and trashes year round training and group riding and monitoring average speed. His idea is that after the racing season you recover and then rebuild strength and endurance to peak for your A race in the following season.

In his "unique needs" section he discusses masters and the aging myth. For masters the key is year round intensity. The take away is that one loses strength as one ages - dah. To cheat, we must not get behind the curve at all. So resting for us, may mean what we lose we cannot recover. For the elites, 19-29 years old, they can rest and then build to even greater strength.

With respect to weight loss, if I increase the intensity of workouts I lose weight and body fat. Intensity seems to kill my appetite. If I increase the duration of time and lower the intensity, I stay the same or gain weight because I am hungry all the time and eat too much. YMMV
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Old 01-10-08, 11:06 AM   #9
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I was disappointed in the book, and thought it should have been titled, "Competative Cycling Past 50." That's much more accurate.

And, the shots of old guys riding in triathalon bun huggers really creeeped me out. I told my wife to shoot me if I ever look like that!
And how did she respond?
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Old 01-10-08, 11:25 AM   #10
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If you want something that is easy-to-read and really works, try the Abs Diet. It's not really a diet book but a lifetime fitness and healthy eating plan. While it doesn't focus on cycling, the core exercise program is really a good one for anybody who rides a bike.
+1 Its simple, relatively easy to follow and just continues to make sense. It works.
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Old 01-10-08, 05:19 PM   #11
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The book I mentioned in another thread, "Heart Zones Training for Cyclists" by Sally Edwards from Velo Press is working well for me so far with my new HRM. It could be a bit better organized but it's geared more toward general fitness and recreational cyclists ("recreational" meaning everything but racing).
I attended a presentation by her back in '98 and came away with a book of workouts as well as the one you mention. Those books radically changed how I taught Spinning, and convinced me that a HRM is an essential training tool.
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Old 01-10-08, 06:15 PM   #12
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You teach spinning? We can't be friends. (just kidding...sort of ).

Actually, I have never benefitted from any weightloss book. I need a program like weight watchers or something if I need to take off a few pounds. Like now. Hmmm. Better hit a meeting.
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Old 01-10-08, 06:49 PM   #13
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I agree with most everybody, "Cycling Past 50" was a dissapointment. I think a much better book for what I was looking for is "Bike for Life-How to Ride to 100" by Wallack and Katovsky. Much more closely geared to staying fit and riding later in life.
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Old 01-11-08, 12:18 AM   #14
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I agree with most everybody, "Cycling Past 50" was a dissapointment. I think a much better book for what I was looking for is "Bike for Life-How to Ride to 100" by Wallack and Katovsky. Much more closely geared to staying fit and riding later in life.
A friend just gave me that book (Bike for Life – How to Ride to 100) for Christmas. I agree that it is a good fitness guide (although I found it too basic for my interests). It may be more what you are looking for, Twobikes. There is a whole section on nutrition, which, of course, goes hand in hand with weight loss. He also gives twelve tips for weight loss which I thought I would share (he goes into further detail for each tip in the book):
1. Do a light workout the moment you wake up.
2. Walk after dinner.
3. Eat more dairy.
4. Don’t starve.
5. Graze.
6. Avoid liquid calories (Coke).
7. Eat “mindfully.”
8. Don’t eat much after 8 PM
9. Cut fat, not carbs.
10. Change – don’t cut – your carbs. (eat low glycemic carbs).
11. Cut down on alcohol.
12. Read (labels) before you eat.
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Old 01-11-08, 06:10 AM   #15
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I'm kind of contrarian here. I want to make a detailed training plan to go from where I am to a not-all-day century with (to me) significant hills in July. Friel gives a basic strategy and justificaiton for some types of workouts, but not a detailed plan, but I find it enough. He has a very clear view on training zones, where I find Edwards a bit confusing, especially her detailed method for constructign training plans and evaluating workload of individual rides. THAT is too much detail for me.

I think my endurance is pretty good, but my climbing and speed need work compared to some riding peers, namely Mrs. Road Fan. I appreciate how Friel aligns those deficiencies with the need to improve aerobic and muscular endurance skills, and aligns those with a specific sequence of interval workouts to be interspersed with a sequence of LSD rides to build long ride strategies.

So what if Friel comes from a competition heritage? I'm interested in improvement in capability, which should lead to weight loss.

Bike for Life is a great source of enthusiasm and inspiration, but I find it short on concrete advice.

I look better in shorts that those guys he has in his pictures, anyway, at least from the waist down. Plus no guns allowed in our house!

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