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  1. #1
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    I always feel like crap for the first few miles....

    ...even though I look forward to my ride all day and I am happy once I'm past those first few. Every day in the first few miles I'm thinking that it's too hard and I have too far to go and my thighs shouldn't hurt so much when haven't yet done anything hard....usually I take it easy at the outset, but even so, it takes a a while for my attitude to adjust.

    I've been riding now for almost 7 weeks. 15-22 miles/day for 47 days, to be exact, with 2 days off. It wasn't until I started reading this board two weeks ago that I realized that I need to take at least on day off a week. I can feel the progress, though it's small and very slow and I know I've got years before I'll really have appreciable ability. I have to take the next two days off for travel. I guess I've earned it.

    I'm trying to remember that a headwind is my friend. There are no tailwinds, though. I'm just riding really well.

    Finding this group has been a great encouragement and education. I ride alone and I don't have any cycling buddies, so you guys are my virtual community. So "thanks". My plan is to keep riding alone until the weather chases me inside to a gym with spinning classes, and then in the spring I'll look for a cycling club.

    MinnMan

  2. #2
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    I can understand you. I also bike alone most of the time.
    Biking is exercise for me. Biking is more easy on me then other forms of endurance sports.
    I found a few 50 mile round trips close to my house and one from my house. I do these as often as possible and shoot for 3 hours biking time but settle for 3.5 hours.
    If the weather is bad I use the trainer at 17 MPH. At least for two hours in 30 minute intervals.
    Watch what you eat. It matters.

  3. #3
    tsl
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    I've learned never to worry about how I feel on a ride until after five miles or 20 minutes. It takes that long to work out the kinks and get the juices flowing.

    Early on there were a few times when I turned around after less than that, and I arrived home thinking, "Now what in hell was the problem that made me come home?" Then I'd turn around again.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  4. #4
    Lincoln, CA Mojo Slim's Avatar
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    It takes me at least 5 miles to start feeling warmed up. Unfortunately, we hit a hill about 3 miles into many of our rides. Because I usually ride with a group, I don't go home early on a bad day, hoping there is someone else in the group who will be slower than me that day.
    Truth is stranger than reality.
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  5. #5
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I use the first few miles to warm up. Start off gently- get the HR to 130 and recover- get to 140 and recover- get to 150 and fully recover back down to about 110. Then I am fine for the rest of the day.

    Without that warmup- the first time I try to get the HR up for the first hill- I will struggle.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  6. #6
    Bicycle n00B
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    I agree with starting at an easy pace and building up on a ride. I used to push really hard the first few miles, and often felt weak and slow. Now I go easier and by the time I've covered the early miles I'm feeling ready to ride harder and faster.
    I reserve the right to be wrong at any time. :D

    Man does not live by bread alone, that's why God made ice cream.

  7. #7
    rck
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    Nice to know that I'm not alone. Like everyone else it usually takes me a few miles to warm up. However, like Mojo I always hit hills in that time frame and they are always a pain in the a..

  8. #8
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    The older you get the longer it takes to get warmed up on the bike. For me, if possible I like to take the first 30 min at an easy pace. Sometimes that isn't possible though as the group dictates the pace.

  9. #9
    Fran & Nanette McQz's Avatar
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    I've gone into this before - maybe in too much detail but your body needs rest after training. Depending on your fitness, a rest day may include long slow riding. For most of us, to get the most benefit, it is necessary to actually take a day (or 2) off after a training push.

    Yes, you can improve by riding every day. But it will take longer and you will plateau. There's a good training article on page 38 with a training schedule on page 40 in the October issue of Bicycling.

    Enjoy the ride.
    The difference between "Bold" and "Stupid"
    is often measured by the severity of your injuries.

    63 yr old MTB newbie and his lovely bride

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  10. #10
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McQz View Post
    I've gone into this before - maybe in too much detail but your body needs rest after training. Depending on your fitness, a rest day may include long slow riding. For most of us, to get the most benefit, it is necessary to actually take a day (or 2) off after a training push.

    Yes, you can improve by riding every day. But it will take longer and you will plateau. There's a good training article on page 38 with a training schedule on page 40 in the October issue of Bicycling.

    Enjoy the ride.
    I appreciate your point - I didn't understand this until I started reading this group. So now I take 1-2 days off/week. But I'm afraid of taking off too much time because I fear that it's a slippery slope. If I don't begin with the assumption that I will ride TODAY, TOMORROW, + THE NEXT DAY, it's too easy to allow other priorities to crowd out my riding time.

  11. #11
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    I find that if I pace myself according to how I feel, eventually I'll be up to speed. Lately it takes just about 3 miles and I'm flying, of course the first two out of my driveway are up hill!!

    So if I feel slow, I ride slow. It's not a race for me. I know that soon my body will naturally speed things up and I just pay attention to the surrounding scenery. Before I know it I'm cranking along at a good clip and I didn't even feel myself speeding up. I usually notice that I'm up to speed as I lean through a corner. Yep, the speed truely does sneak up on me like that.

  12. #12
    Fran & Nanette McQz's Avatar
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    My bride and I have dealt with the slippery slope by scheduling ride days. We usually take a good training ride on Tuesday morning. We take another recovery ride - smell the roses - on Wednesday. We then do a longer ride on Thursday morning, up to abut 35 miles and take Friday off. We then do our "club" ride on Saturday and take Sunday and Monday off. If we feel like going for a gentle spin on Sunday or Monday afternoon/evening, we'll tour the city and stop and visit with folks along the way.

    (So far our "club" consists of us and a lady friend from church, and her 75 yr old father. Once a month her 70 yr old uncle comes up from Tucson and dusts us. He's good for a 20mph pace. He gets his exercise by riding at his pace and returning to check on us every 15 - 30 minutes.)
    The difference between "Bold" and "Stupid"
    is often measured by the severity of your injuries.

    63 yr old MTB newbie and his lovely bride

    His: '08 Roubaix S-Works, ''11 Stumpjumper FSR Comp, '11 TriCross Comp, '11 Globe SS with Brooks B-17W saddle
    Hers:'08 Ruby Pro, '11 Safire FSR Comp, '11 TriCross Comp, '11 Skinny Benny SS with Brooks B-17 saddle
    Theirs: '10 Breezer 3-speed commuter

  13. #13
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Proper warmup is one of the keys to a good ride and recovery. Heart rate and other essential systems significantly lag power requirements on the bike. Warmup takes quite a bit of time. It takes me about 30 minutes to feel good. I like to start out in active recovery and work up through the various zones. It is okay to throw in a hard effort but only for a new seconds. What if you do not warmup. Well, besides feeling like crap, you overload your muscles / blood with lactate. The effect is to promote fatigue and lose power. Also, it inhibits recovery.

    Once you are warmed up, lactate is burned as fuel. Increases in power result in lactate production but now it is reprocessed. Of course, if you ride above lactate threshold, you produce more lactate than you can process. The result is muscle fatigue and loss of power.

  14. #14
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWNC View Post
    The older you get the longer it takes to get warmed up on the bike. For me, if possible I like to take the first 30 min at an easy pace. Sometimes that isn't possible though as the group dictates the pace.
    +1, but for the most part I ride by myself, so I can get a good warm up without pressure from a group.. I really don't start hammering until I'm about half way through my ride. I do take a day off a week and it really helps a lot.
    George

  15. #15
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    I ride 4 days a week. I used to ride 6 days a week. Now, I look forward to each ride whereas before I started to dread some rides. The volume is close to the same though. I just cut out the fluff.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Billy Bones's Avatar
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    Yep. . .warm-up. . .it's important. I find that an easy 40 minutes [longer in the winter] pays off handsomely; allowing longer rides, more effective training, and a more pleasing experience over-all.
    AUDENTIS FORTUNA IUUAT
    - Virgil, Aeneid (Book 10, Line 284)

  17. #17
    Senior Member FL_MarkD's Avatar
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    I also suffer from Exercise Induced Asthma, not always, but sometimes. This really is a problem if you are riding in a group as they are long gone by the time you recover. I have found that a few minute rest and I am good to go for the rest of the day.

    So my routine now is to arrive early for the Saturday/Sunday group rides, go out and do 3 miles or so by myself with a few short bursts of speed. Then relax for ten minutes or so while the group organizes and then ride. Been working great, I get a few extra miles in and I am always ready to go no matter how fast the group hammers out of the gate.

    And like everyone else here, I always feel much better after at least 20 minutes (even after a warmup). That is a wonderful feeling you get when you think 'this is so easy', why was I working so hard 10 minutes ago.

    Mark
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  18. #18
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    Every morning I start with yoga (this is a new thing, I suspect eating quiche is next). Since I wake up about 3:30 am, it is painful to start, but by the end, I am glad I did it.

    I think it is called getting old.

  19. #19
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    Hats off to everyone on their dedication. Unless I wake up very early, I can't fit those rides into my schedule. I've been agonizing all day whether to treat myself to a 55 mile LSD ride tomorrow as if I were contemplating donating a kidney to someone.

    Two weeks ago I participated in a "beat the heat" club ride at 7 AM. We left the parking lot and then it was full throttle. I thought I was going to die. Fortunately, I got paged and had to stop to answer it. Getting paged is a nuissance but it can make for a great reason to drop out of a hammerfest.

    You folks are great role models, though.

  20. #20
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    It always takes me 5-6 miles to get into the swing of riding - I really enjoy it, but that first 5-6 are always hard. I usually ride 32 - 42 miles every day.

  21. #21
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    It's not just age, but fitness will also actually <increase> your required warmup time. The more muscle mass you have, the longer it will take to warm up. I've known track sprinters who tell me that it takes them about an hour sometimes to warm up.

    I'm not a track sprinter, but I always liked to warm up with the sprinters. They roll along at about 25 kmh, just fast enough to not slide off the banking at a track like Alpenrose in Portland. And the speed would increase very, very gradually, until we were in a flat out sprint for about the last ten laps 20 to 40 minutes later. But by then, we'd be ready for it.

    You get in a warmup with the beginners, and they'd be trying to boost the speed to over 40 kmh in the first five minutes. The more experienced the riders, the longer and slower the warmup. And once the racing starts, these guys who had warmed up slowly and gradually would be averaging over 50 kmh in the mass starts. The beginners who had warmed up at their top speed would be first off the back!

    L.

  22. #22
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lhbernhardt View Post
    It's not just age, but fitness will also actually <increase> your required warmup time. The more muscle mass you have, the longer it will take to warm up. I've known track sprinters who tell me that it takes them about an hour sometimes to warm up.

    I'm not a track sprinter, but I always liked to warm up with the sprinters. They roll along at about 25 kmh, just fast enough to not slide off the banking at a track like Alpenrose in Portland. And the speed would increase very, very gradually, until we were in a flat out sprint for about the last ten laps 20 to 40 minutes later. But by then, we'd be ready for it.

    You get in a warmup with the beginners, and they'd be trying to boost the speed to over 40 kmh in the first five minutes. The more experienced the riders, the longer and slower the warmup. And once the racing starts, these guys who had warmed up slowly and gradually would be averaging over 50 kmh in the mass starts. The beginners who had warmed up at their top speed would be first off the back!

    L.
    +1 Here is a track workout from this year. Warmup is a 30 to 40 laps in an 80 inch gear which always seems to turn into a scratch race with 2 or 3 to go. It is followed by 100 meter jumps and etc.


  23. #23
    Senior Member Timtruro's Avatar
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    Like so many of you, it takes a few miles to get going. I usually hit a tough hill getting out of my development and I usually dread it, but I try to take solice in the fact that I will be going down that hill upon my return.
    "If there are no cigars in heaven, I shall not go." -Mark Twain

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  24. #24
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, my ride tomorrow starts at the base of a 10 mile 7% climb. There is only so much soft pedaling I can do on a 7% grade.

  25. #25
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    On my 6AM ride (which I do 2 days/wk) we don't really warm up much, we go right at it. Within 1 to 2 miles we are doing 20+ mph. For this ride I get up an hour early, eat and stretch so that when my riding buddy comes by I am ready to go. These rides are about 18 miles long

    However - for a long ride I typically start off slow, and after about 3 miles I am up to speed.

    What I usually find is that the first 1/4 mile is always a mental game, the "why do I do this?" thought creeps in, but then I begin to feel good and I know the answer - it's always the same. Like the old Niki commercials use to say "Just do it!"
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

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