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Old 04-20-11, 12:44 PM   #1
P51
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How should I train?

Hi. I would like some suggestions on how to train and eat. My goals are to lose about 15 pounds of fat, and to complete a century in September.

- I'm 50 yrs. old and new to road cycling. Used to ride a hybrid some.
- I currently ride about 40-60 miles weekly, 2-3 rides a week
- I live in an area with rolling hills
- Typical average HR for a ride is 144, or 82% of max

It's hard to keep my heart rate in zone 1 or 2 because of the hills. So far I've not lost any weight. I'm trying to figure out how to achieve both goals at the same time. Should I keep doing what I'm doing and slowly increase my weekly miles and wait for the weight to come off? Or do I need to restrict calories too?
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Old 04-20-11, 12:49 PM   #2
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You are not riding enough to lose weight.
Up your miles to 200-250 a week.
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Old 04-20-11, 01:08 PM   #3
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Use a tool (trainingpeaks.com is a good one) to track your caloric intake and output. Tracking calories is the single biggest success factor in weight loss, dramatically increasing the likelihood you will achieve your goals. Create a deficit using a combination of more hours in the saddle, in that 70-80% of MHR range, and less intake. It's pretty hard to lose weight by only increasing exercise, as you can easily end up offsetting it by eating more.

You can certainly lose weight riding a lot less than 200-250 miles per week. I never hit 200 miles in a week, but successfully lost about 30 pounds by managing calories, and riding an average of about 10 hours per week. Long moderate rides are the best for taking off weight, and they also build the aerobic fitness you need.
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Old 04-20-11, 01:12 PM   #4
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Don't train. Ride more. Eat better. The hills will take care of the rest.
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Old 04-20-11, 01:14 PM   #5
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Use a tool (trainingpeaks.com is a good one) to track your caloric intake and output. Tracking calories is the single biggest success factor in weight loss, dramatically increasing the likelihood you will achieve your goals. Create a deficit using a combination of more hours in the saddle, in that 70-80% of MHR range, and less intake. It's pretty hard to lose weight by only increasing exercise, as you can easily end up offsetting it by eating more.

You can certainly lose weight riding a lot less than 200-250 miles per week. I never hit 200 miles in a week, but successfully lost about 30 pounds by managing calories, and riding an average of about 10 hours per week. Long moderate rides are the best for taking off weight, and they also build the aerobic fitness you need.

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Old 04-20-11, 01:19 PM   #6
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Don't train. Ride more. Eat better. The hills will take care of the rest.
^ ^ ^ ^ Let the hills do it for you.
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Old 04-20-11, 04:23 PM   #7
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Errrrrr.......... training correctly will let you "ride more". Random riding is never going to be as effective but many don't have the temperament for a structured program. Know thy self.
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Old 04-20-11, 06:00 PM   #8
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Riding 200 to 250 miles/wk will indeed help you loose weight - that is if you don't reward yourself with an extra 10K calories of chocolate cake, BBQ and beer. The correct answer is to burn more than you consume what ever you ride. If I ride 100 miles/week and limit my intake to around 2k cal/day I can loose 1 to 2 lbs/wk. I like using fitday.com as a weight, calorie and activity tracker. There are others and they all give similar data. Not only do I track calories but also the type, am I getting enough fiber and protein. You really don't want to loose weight too fast, that can put your metabolism in a tail spin, 1 to 2 lbs/wk is the conventional wisdom for a max rate of weight loss.
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Old 04-20-11, 07:57 PM   #9
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Errrrrr.......... training correctly will let you "ride more". Random riding is never going to be as effective but many don't have the temperament for a structured program. Know thy self.
Sure. If it makes you feel better, write it down. Chart it. Stand up in front of the class and report on it. Maybe the teacher will give you a gold star.

Riding more is not random. Eating better is definitely not random. These are directed actions. Doing what is takes is what makes it happen, but some people don't have a strong enough internal compass to keep moving in the right direction without a structured program.

Yes, you have to know yourself and do what works for you. I know that if riding bicycles could only be done in a very structured way, I would have dropped it for a fishing pole long ago.
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Old 04-20-11, 09:00 PM   #10
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I lost 65 pounds (225 - 65 = 160) and have kept it off for 3 years or so. This happened by changing what I eat and riding.

I gave up fast food, soft drinks, most sweets, chips, snacks etc. I never drank a lot, but now it's very seldom. There are a lot of calories in ethyl alcohol. That is why it is used as a motor fuel. Once in a blue moon, I'll reward myself with a coke or a chocolate bar during a long ride, and I've been known to down a chocolate milk after a long ride. I don't record calories, but I watch them.

About the same time I started riding, I started changing the way I eat. I didn't really start riding to lose weight, but when I noticed it happening, I got interested. My cholesterol and some other numbers have improved as well.

To get ready for the century, start increasing your miles a little at a time. When you, your butt, your arms, your legs, your neck, and the central processing unit that controls it all can handle 75 or 80 miles in the saddle, you should be able to ride the century. As you ride the longer rides, you will need to experiment with hydration and food during the ride to determine what works best for you.

If your century is in September, you have plenty of time to prepare.

Go for it!
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Old 04-21-11, 06:48 AM   #11
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IMO, to lose weight you need to count calories and limit your net intake to a specific value. You can easily lose weight without exercising at all, but of course it's not as healthful as including exercise in your plan, and with exercising you can add back in and eat the calories you burn during exercise.

It's tougher to train and lose weight because training involves lots of hard effort which requires proper fueling. Managing what, when, and how much you eat becomes more complex.

IMO, "Training for the Time Crunched Cyclist" by Carmichael is a good book to base your training program on. One of the things he specifically addresses is training for a century. .
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Old 04-21-11, 01:55 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the replies. Good stuff! The main impediment to upping my miles now is my neck. It still hasn't adjusted. I'm sure my conditioning, position, fit, etc. all play a part in that. I will quit worrying about heart rate, increase mileage, reduce my beer/bbq intake and see what happens.
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Old 04-21-11, 02:51 PM   #13
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Have to admit that I do not have a weight problem.It comes and it goes although I do ride and feel better at the lower end of my fluctuation.

But fitness- I do 3 rides a week- or will be when the Knees and thighs allow me to. Weekend and around 50 miles on a route that is not flat. I do not push it for all the distance but I do try to work enough on the hills to get the legs and lungs working and on at least one hill get them at the limit. Then the other two rides are in the evening on Tuesday and Thursday and two different rides of around 20 miles. One taking in hills and the other on the flat. Hills and I try to get in around 2,500ft of climbing and the flat ride is taken at a pace that is just above comfort zone.

Now this will keep me fit enough to replace the weekend ride with the few organised metrics or 100 milers I do on the road but not for big events. For those I go to the Gym twice a week aswell and get in an hours cardio workout and a little bit in the weights room to keep mobility in the Joints that cycling does not use--Till you use them and realise that they have not had enough use in the last few months.

All that work and energy expended requires a diet to keep the energy input right. I eat whatever I want and as I want it---But I do cut way down on sugars and fats and NO Sodas. Just by cutting the sugars- fats and sodas will get me losing weight. Couple that with extra exercise and I will soon be down to my running weight of 147lbs- From my current 150
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Old 04-21-11, 03:01 PM   #14
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- Typical average HR for a ride is 144, or 82% of max
How did you determine MHR? If from an aged based formula, it is very likely off quite a bit. If you are going to do HR based training, you need accurate input. There have been quite a few threads in this forum and the training and nutrition forum regarding this. If you use the search function, you'll find quite a bit. There are many outside resources as well.

That's not to say you have to do HR training to lose weight and benefit from your riding. Nor do you have to count calories or weigh your food. Consistent riding and sensible eating will result in weight loss. The more structured you make your training, the more efficient it will be, but this is an incremental benefit. The biggest thing is consistency and patience.
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Old 04-21-11, 04:44 PM   #15
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I too wanted to try to lose some weight and have taken the two prong approach - watch my calories and exercise more. The cycling has certainly helped. However, in calorie management, I've learned we tend to under estimate the number of calories we consume daily. Measure and keep track is the best way. I am using a Bodybugg also that helps track calories. I log in, log in my food, down load my BB calories burned information and keep track of maintaining a calorie deficit. In two months I've definitely dropped inch (haven't gotten on a scale yet) but my clothes are looser and people are noticing. It's also a lot of attitude, changes in eating habits, lifestyle changes and patience. If you think about it logically the extra weight did not appear in a week so it is not rational to think it'll disappear in a week. Slow and steady wins the race.
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Old 04-21-11, 06:02 PM   #16
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Watch your sugar and carb intake. 15 grams of sugar a day is good. About 120 grams of simple carbs a day is good. Reading the labels and counting those two things will keep you away from the foods that stop you from losing weight. Try it for a week, 15 grams of sugar and 120 grams of carbs daily. See if this works for you. After that you can begin to teach yourself how to find the good foods without all the junk added.
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Old 04-22-11, 07:14 AM   #17
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Watch your sugar and carb intake. 15 grams of sugar a day is good. About 120 grams of simple carbs a day is good. Reading the labels and counting those two things will keep you away from the foods that stop you from losing weight. ...
pshaw. It's calories. Count and limit them and you're good. The effect on weight loss from which foods those callories come from is miniscule. It might affect how hungry you feel, but if you're sticking to a hard caloric limit, how hungry you feel won't affect your weight loss.

Of course, it's especially important to eat the right things to ensure healthful nutrition when you are on a diet, but that's a consideration distinct from weight loss.
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