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Old 11-08-08, 10:08 PM   #1
Robert Foster
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Is this normal?

When I first got back in cycling I found myself overdoing things and my legs and knees were suffering for it. I was losing weight so I guess I was pushing too hard too early trying to lose weight more quickly. People in these forums suggested I learn to rest between rides and that is just what I did. For about three months I have been riding three days a week with a bike club for about 40-45 miles a ride. My legs are fine and my knees no longer bother me. But I am getting restless and have been riding my comfort bike all over town just to ride during the day.
Would it be better to increase my distance during the club rides or should I do some solo road bike rides on my off days? I donít think I am ready for the late afternoon fast road rides yet.
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Old 11-09-08, 02:04 AM   #2
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3 rides aweek at that milage should be enough for most people. I only manage a couple of mid week rides at the most and only for around 20 miles. One is up hills and the other is taken at a slightly higher pace on the flat than I would normally ride at. Then the main ride at the weekend where I hope to get in around 40 miles+

Although I would not suggest doing "More" rides as that could put the body back to overworking again-It does sound as though you have outgrown the group you are riding with. Try that fast group for a few rides- but warn them you may be dropping off the back after a while.
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Old 11-09-08, 06:47 AM   #3
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What are you trying to accomplish?

If your goal is improving your speed performance, get a coach.

Most folks, if left to their own devices, won't work hard enough on the hard days and work too hard on what should be the easy days. The result is that you ride kind of medium all of the time and don't get better very fast.
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Old 11-09-08, 08:12 AM   #4
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Which bike club? I am with the SFVBC, based in Northridge, (CSUN).
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Old 11-09-08, 08:35 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
What are you trying to accomplish?

If your goal is improving your speed performance, get a coach.

Most folks, if left to their own devices, won't work hard enough on the hard days and work too hard on what should be the easy days. The result is that you ride kind of medium all of the time and don't get better very fast.
That was exactly my experience with running - between 1982 (my first marathon) and 1997 (my last full distance one) all my times were within 15 minutes of each other. Just stayed in my 6 out of 10 effort range.

Distance, however, increased significantly - ability to sustain easily the same comfort zone pace, while enjoying being outdoors and active.

That's where I am with cycling too, and similarly I have more an endurance (wrong word, that sounds like it's an ordeal, whereas what I experience is enjoying longer rides regularly) than a speed focus.

Some of my cycling friends swear by 5 minute 9/10 efforts followed by 10 minutes 5/10 recoveries. They say that's an economical speed building method if done 2 or 3 times a week. For me, though, it takes the fun out of it
Good luck
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Old 11-09-08, 10:07 AM   #6
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Yep, your goals should be the determining factor. Me? I ride for fitness (both physical and mental). I ride six days a week year round. Total time on the bike per week is about 10 - 12 hours. This seems to be the right amount to accomplish my goals. Any less, and I gain weight and get cranky. Much more on a sustained basis and I get weary.
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Old 11-09-08, 12:42 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
3 rides aweek at that milage should be enough for most people. I only manage a couple of mid week rides at the most and only for around 20 miles. One is up hills and the other is taken at a slightly higher pace on the flat than I would normally ride at. Then the main ride at the weekend where I hope to get in around 40 miles+

Although I would not suggest doing "More" rides as that could put the body back to overworking again-It does sound as though you have outgrown the group you are riding with. Try that fast group for a few rides- but warn them you may be dropping off the back after a while.
Thanks Stapfam. Retro has a good suggestion because I may just need direction. I think I am over eager to reach the fitness level and ability of the better riders in my group. It has been a character flaw I may always have had. I tend to go all in with things I enjoy. I believe I may need to once again take the forums advice and give myself time before stepping up my pace. I guess I find myself wanting to be able to ride like people that have been putting in 5,000 to 6,000 miles a year without putting in the effort they have already invested.

If I can be a bit introspective for a moment I believe I made the original post not long after one of our club rides. I had a good ride and was able to stay with the lead pack for most of the ride. Till we hit two hills in a row. I dropped back a bit on the first hill and closed with the pack before the second. I decided to attack the second hill and to my surprise I closed a big on the bottom half of the hill and then I hit the wall. I managed to grind my way to the top in my lowest gear sucking air like a vacuum to make it to the top. Just as I got to the top the group passed me going the other way. I made it to the turn around point and managed to close with the trailing riders and a spoke broke. I believed I posted this question because I felt I could do better that my current fitness is allowing me. My hope is that by this time next year I am where I want to be both in technique and fitness.
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Old 11-09-08, 07:09 PM   #8
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It depends on what the rides are like. You can certainly ride 7 days a week, most racers do with no ill effects, but the rides need to be varied. Mix a hard ride, the club ride?, with an easy day or two at a bit less mileage.
What are your rpm's in general? Knee pain can be attributed to a wide variety of problems but one of the easiest to diagnose and remedy is rpm's. If your pushing too large a gear at too low a rpm you can experience joint pain and cause injury.
Generally 90 rpm's is the average. Being a spinner I am usually between 95ish and 102ish rpms and have never ever had a knee pain or problem...knock's wood early and often hehehe.
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