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  1. #1
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    Best way to build up endurance and speed

    Hello

    I just started riding last month. I find I am quite slow.My longest ride has been 19 miles in 3 hours. What is the best way to build up speed and stamina. What should one do after a 20 mile ride? stretch, massage?

    Also, I have new left lateral thigh and hip pain since I started riding. Any idea why this is so? Any suggestions on exercise to alleviate this pain?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    I get high on lactic acid ^*^BATMAN^*^'s Avatar
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    do a nice slow warm up, then strech, then do your work out, then strech after.

    The pain, get a proper bike fit done at a reputible shop.

    To build up endurance and speed, the best way is to do it, I cross train with roller blades(helps build speed and endurance)
    Road Bike- 2003 Trek 2000(out of service, rear triangle bent, looking for replacment)
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  3. #3
    carpe napum
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    Have fun, take it easy, and simply ride! The rest will all take care of itself.

  4. #4
    Senior Member jennings780's Avatar
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    Don't worry about increasing speed for at least a few months.
    Buy a heart rate monitor.
    Find your anaerobic threshhold (can be estimated by 180-age)
    Ride within a range about 10bpm below up to your anaerobic threshhold. I'm 35, so my threshhold is about 145bpm (I can tell that its actuall closer to 150.
    When I started riding I'd go out and ride for 1 hour (after a 10 min warmup) at 135 - 150 bpm. Over the months I increased the time that I ride. As you increase endurance you'll see that at an average of 140bpm your average speed will increase.

    After you get to the point where you can ride for a couple hours just below your anaerobic threshhold you can work on adding intervals (working above the anaerobic thresshold for short periods of times).

    Eric Harr's (pro tri guy) book "The Personal Portable Trainer" has a lot of stuff on how to train for endurance. I found it helpful.

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    Theodore Roosevelt's idol TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
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    Ride with people who are faster than you and try to keep up.
    Is trick from science!

  6. #6
    Name's Ash ...housewares Doctor Morbius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chanel
    Hello

    I just started riding last month. I find I am quite slow.My longest ride has been 19 miles in 3 hours. What is the best way to build up speed and stamina. What should one do after a 20 mile ride? stretch, massage?

    Also, I have new left lateral thigh and hip pain since I started riding. Any idea why this is so? Any suggestions on exercise to alleviate this pain?

    Thanks
    There is a small amount of fitness transfer from running to cycling (and not vice versa), but only if your fitness level is quite low. In other words, the more trained you are in any sport, the less and less cross-training will effect your fitness in your chosen sport.

    The moral of the story? Don't bother with cross-training. If you want to improve your cycling you have to do it on the bike.

    Also, the benefits of stretching as far as improving athletic performance are questionable at best. In fact stretching can often lead to micro-trauma which will translate to injury and less athletic performance, not more. Stretching is one of those exercise myths that, regardless of scientific research, just won't go away.

    Stretching for purposes of physical therapy are a different matter and if you have such an injury I highly suggest you contact a professional rather than getting advice from a public forum.
    Last edited by Doctor Morbius; 06-04-05 at 01:43 AM.
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    It's not that I'm lazy. I'm just highly motivated to RELAX!!

  7. #7
    Senior Member jennings780's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius
    There is a small amount of fitness transfer from running to cycling (and not vice versa), but only if your fitness level is quite low. In other words, the more trained you are in any sport, the less and less cross-training will effect your fitness in your choosen sport.

    The moral of the story? Don't bother with cross-training. If you want to improve your cycling you have to do it on the bike.

    Also, the benefits of stretching as far as improving athletic performance are questionable at best. In fact stretching can often lead to micro-trauma which will translate to injury and less athletic performance, not more. Stretching is one of those exercise myths that, regardless of scientific research, just won't go away.

    Stretching for purposes of physical therapy are a different matter and if you have such an injury I highly suggest you contact a professional rather than getting advice from a public forum.
    Really? I am triathlon training and it seems that my training in the pool and running also is benefitting my biking. I guess I would be a stronger biker if I just biked. But given that I only bike 3x a week but also run 3X a week and swim 4x a week I know I am a much better biker than I would be if I only biked 3x a week and did nothing else.

  8. #8
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    I'm not a physician but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night. I don't know if Morbius is a real doctor( he may be right) but I'll throw in my two pennies. For the hip/thigh pain I would stretch and make sure you get a good cool down. I use to get that pain on the outside of my thighs that ran up to my hips. I started stretching and it went away. The one that seemed to help the most for the hip pain I'll try to describe. Lay on your back on the floor. Position yourself so you can put a foot on a wall or sofa so that your shins are parallel to the floor and femur is perpindicular to the floor(like sitting in a chair but on your back). Cross your legs(like a guy not a girl) so that your ankle is resting on upper thigh close to your knee. Grab your leg that has the foot on the wall at the femur close to the knee and pull in a little. You should feel it stretch out the muscles on the outside of the hip/leg that is crossed. Don't know if that makes any sense at all but monkey with it and you should get the hang of it. It took a week or two before I stopped getting the twinge. There are several other stretches I think you should be doing but the way I type it would take for ever. Do a little searching on the web and I'm sure you can come up with some good ones. I do think streatching is important. The rest takes time

  9. #9
    Name's Ash ...housewares Doctor Morbius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jennings780
    Really? I am triathlon training and it seems that my training in the pool and running also is benefitting my biking. I guess I would be a stronger biker if I just biked. But given that I only bike 3x a week but also run 3X a week and swim 4x a week I know I am a much better biker than I would be if I only biked 3x a week and did nothing else.
    A triathlete has different goals than someone who is strictly a cyclist. If your goal were to be a competitive cyclist then swimming would not be of much use. Very little crossover effect.
    I did not achieve this position in life by having some snot-nosed punk leave my cheese out in the wind. - Ed Rooney


    It's not that I'm lazy. I'm just highly motivated to RELAX!!

  10. #10
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    Chanel,
    What are you doing for those 3 hours? Riding steadily at 6.3mph? Stopping for breaks? Why do you think you can't go faster? This might help us a bit. Do you go faster when you only ride for one hour?

  11. #11
    Name's Ash ...housewares Doctor Morbius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weak
    I'm not a physician but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night. I don't know if Morbius is a real doctor( he may be right) but I'll throw in my two pennies. For the hip/thigh pain I would stretch and make sure you get a good cool down. I use to get that pain on the outside of my thighs that ran up to my hips. I started stretching and it went away. The one that seemed to help the most for the hip pain I'll try to describe. Lay on your back on the floor. Position yourself so you can put a foot on a wall or sofa so that your shins are parallel to the floor and femur is perpindicular to the floor(like sitting in a chair but on your back). Cross your legs(like a guy not a girl) so that your ankle is resting on upper thigh close to your knee. Grab your leg that has the foot on the wall at the femur close to the knee and pull in a little. You should feel it stretch out the muscles on the outside of the hip/leg that is crossed. Don't know if that makes any sense at all but monkey with it and you should get the hang of it. It took a week or two before I stopped getting the twinge. There are several other stretches I think you should be doing but the way I type it would take for ever. Do a little searching on the web and I'm sure you can come up with some good ones. I do think streatching is important. The rest takes time
    In your case perhaps the stretching did help with your hip/thigh pain as a part of a physical therapy routine. Doubtful it did anything to improve your cycing performance, however, and in fact stretching (even static stretching) can cause injury. Our society just has stretching and cross-training ingrained into our heads probably because that's how coaches used to teach us in high school or college. Doubtful it had anything to do with a scientific study.

    For people on a public forum to provide medical advice for Chanel, whether they are qualified or not, is doing them a disservice. What if they follow your advice and end up making their injury worse? Chanel is much better off seeking professional advice on their left lateral thigh and hip pain. Chanel needs to consult a trained professional and not a bunch of forum hacks (self included).

    ... and no I'm not a physician. The handle came from an old 50's sci-fi movie called Forbidden Planet.
    I did not achieve this position in life by having some snot-nosed punk leave my cheese out in the wind. - Ed Rooney


    It's not that I'm lazy. I'm just highly motivated to RELAX!!

  12. #12
    Senior Member JavaMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chanel
    Hello

    I just started riding last month. I find I am quite slow.My longest ride has been 19 miles in 3 hours. What is the best way to build up speed and stamina. What should one do after a 20 mile ride? stretch, massage?

    Also, I have new left lateral thigh and hip pain since I started riding. Any idea why this is so? Any suggestions on exercise to alleviate this pain?

    Thanks
    I think the best way to build up speed and stamina is to ride 1/2 hour or more per day at a speed low enough to carry on a conversation. Try Googling "Maffetone" or "Maffetone Method".
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  13. #13
    carpe napum
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    I agree. This is espescially true for someone just starting out with a modest fitness level.

    Keep it simple: Have fun, go easy, but ride!

  14. #14
    Bad Mutha Hucka CyniQ's Avatar
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    I'm no doctor either. But I have been an athlete of one type or another all of my life. You've been riding for less than a month and can't figure out why you're getting sore?? DOMS. You're making your body perform a repetitive movement that it is unaccustomed to. Pretty simple. If it doesn't gradually improve after 4 days of rest (depending a little on your age), seek medical attention. But its probably just DOMS.

    If you want to get faster. Try intervals and wind sprints. The good Dr. surely wouldn't dare decry the benefits of intervals, especially at your fitness level (which, based on your limited fitness knowledge. I'm assuming is low. No offense intended.) BTW, you can do the intervals and sprints on your bike if you wish.
    The fellowship of brothers of one mind is stronger than any fortified city. - Antisthenes

  15. #15
    Friar UziBeatle's Avatar
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    Lot of good replies and I'll toss hat in ring as well.

    I'd like to highlight the importance of proper bike fitting (alignments and adjustments) to your body. A too
    low seat post is most commen among most cyclists that start out new or after a long away time. However
    it may be too high as well. There are other adjustments too look out for but that is probably the main one to watch out for. Too low leads to too much pressure being applied to knees due to the low mechanical advantage. I won't try to detail proper adjustments as that can be found elsewhere with a bit of searching.

    Just be sure your bike is fitting you properly.

    Most newbie cyclists I know are cycling at too low of a cadence. Mashing the pedals with lots of FORCE along the thigh and knees. Bad, very bad. One should trade off on torque *slow cadence* and use a high fast cadence and rely on higher RPM's and using proper gearing to do the work of moving down the road. SLow cadence will hurt the knees and connecting tissues, promise you that. That is a possible for some of your 'thigh' pains. A good all around cadence too shoot for I'd say is 90 rpm to 100rpm. Avoid 80 RPM and lower it just works the joints far harder than you need to be doing. Use a stopwatch or whatever and count your cadence a few times to get an idea of your pedaling speed. I use the count for 15 seconds and multiply by four method.

    ON the pain. Good luck. Read all you can on forums like this and elsewhere. IT is a sign of serious things going on and things can get much worse. You might let it rest for a week if things are that tender. I had an episode last summer with my achilles tendons and had to stop cycling for two weeks. Then I learned by reading here on forums like this and finding some web sites here and there the importance of certain exercises and stretches. Since then I've not had any problems I can't deal with far as pains go and have learned when to back off for a few days so I don't have any multiweek or month long time outs...

    Oh, did I mention the critical nature of being sure your bike is fitting you properly?

    Luck.
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    G.D. hippies.

  16. #16
    Name's Ash ...housewares Doctor Morbius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyniQ
    If you want to get faster. Try intervals and wind sprints. The good Dr. surely wouldn't dare decry the benefits of intervals, especially at your fitness level (which, based on your limited fitness knowledge. I'm assuming is low. No offense intended.) BTW, you can do the intervals and sprints on your bike if you wish.
    Actually, I would. The OP is doing 19 miles in 3 frickin hours! They are hardly conditioned enough for such an intense workout as interval training. If that's all they can do it will be a very long time before they are ready for intervals or wind sprints. That is one deconditioned individual. Doing intervals on the bike or running at this point could give them a heart attack. Unless I were in their will I wouldn't recommend they do intervlas.

    Edit: On stretching, read post #21 on this thread ... Do you stretch?
    Last edited by Doctor Morbius; 06-03-05 at 09:37 PM.
    I did not achieve this position in life by having some snot-nosed punk leave my cheese out in the wind. - Ed Rooney


    It's not that I'm lazy. I'm just highly motivated to RELAX!!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyniQ
    I'm no doctor either. But I have been an athlete of one type or another all of my life. You've been riding for less than a month and can't figure out why you're getting sore?? DOMS. You're making your body perform a repetitive movement that it is unaccustomed to. Pretty simple. If it doesn't gradually improve after 4 days of rest (depending a little on your age), seek medical attention. But its probably just DOMS.

    If you want to get faster. Try intervals and wind sprints. The good Dr. surely wouldn't dare decry the benefits of intervals, especially at your fitness level (which, based on your limited fitness knowledge. I'm assuming is low. No offense intended.) BTW, you can do the intervals and sprints on your bike if you wish.
    I'll field this one-at his level of fitness intervals and sprints would be a bad idea, need the base miles first.

  18. #18
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    Ah you beat me to it.

  19. #19
    Meow! my58vw's Avatar
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    Hey were does 180 - age anaerobic threshold come from? That means mine is at 180-23 = 157 -- mine is almost 170 BPM now...

    Interesting
    Just your average club rider... :)

  20. #20
    Name's Ash ...housewares Doctor Morbius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by my58vw
    Hey were does 180 - age anaerobic threshold come from? That means mine is at 180-23 = 157 -- mine is almost 170 BPM now...

    Interesting
    Not very scientific is it? I think the Burke method works better for an estimate, unless someone has a lab available and can have their actual LT checked. This 180 - AGE is probably analogous to the 220 - AGE max heart rate pseudoformula. At 180 - AGE(45) my LT would only be 135 BPM. However, I can sustain between 155 - 165 for 2 to 3 hours depending on my level of conditioning.
    I did not achieve this position in life by having some snot-nosed punk leave my cheese out in the wind. - Ed Rooney


    It's not that I'm lazy. I'm just highly motivated to RELAX!!

  21. #21
    Senior Member JavaMan's Avatar
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    Dr. Maffetone uses the 180-age formula, but only to set the upper limit of the aerobic zone he advocates for base training.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member jennings780's Avatar
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    There are a number of methods to find your anaerobic threshhold. I think what pro triathletes and cyclists do is actually take blood samples while exercising to determine the amount lactic acid in their system. 180 - age or doing 220 - age to get a max heart rate and then taking 65 or 70% of that to get your threshhold is obviously a very rough way to estimate. When I ride if I pay close attention to my HRM I can tell when I hit it - just above 150. Its when I start breathing hard and feeling a bit of burn. The estimating formula would say its 145 for me. Not to far off.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by JavaMan
    Dr. Maffetone uses the 180-age formula, but only to set the upper limit of the aerobic zone he advocates for base training.
    At 54 years old if I used that formula I might as well leave the bike in the garage even for base miles.

  24. #24
    Bad Mutha Hucka CyniQ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius
    Actually, I would. The OP is doing 19 miles in 3 frickin hours! They are hardly conditioned enough for such an intense workout as interval training. If that's all they can do it will be a very long time before they are ready for intervals or wind sprints. That is one deconditioned individual. Doing intervals on the bike or running at this point could give them a heart attack. Unless I were in their will I wouldn't recommend they do intervlas.

    Edit: On stretching, read post #21 on this thread ... Do you stretch?
    Good call.
    I can't benchpress 400lbs. But, that doesn't mean I shouldn't bench at all. I just keep practicing and progressing until I can bench 400. Sprinting is kind of relative isn't it? My grandfather can sprint... just not as fast as me. Maybe I'm wrong to assume that everyone has enough sense to listen to their bodies.
    The fellowship of brothers of one mind is stronger than any fortified city. - Antisthenes

  25. #25
    Name's Ash ...housewares Doctor Morbius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyniQ
    Good call.
    I can't benchpress 400lbs. But, that doesn't mean I shouldn't bench at all. I just keep practicing and progressing until I can bench 400. Sprinting is kind of relative isn't it? My grandfather can sprint... just not as fast as me. Maybe I'm wrong to assume that everyone has enough sense to listen to their bodies.
    I agree that your or my max singles may be relative to the max single of a 400 lb bench. However, when you were just starting out you didn't do max singles did you?

    Most regimens have newbies work on form for quite a while before even stacking much weight on the bar. Go over to Fred Hatfield's web site (http://www.drsquat.com/index.cfm?action=topics) and ask them what would be an appropriate time for someone who has just begun powerlifting to start doing max singles. I can assure you it isn't from day 1.

    Now if you are suggesting low intensity intervals mixed with some pottering about on the bike that's one thing. But your original post didn't suggest to do them sub-maximally. I'm not tring to argue with you or anything but this person is brand spanking new and seemingly pretty unfit on top of that. They may very well have a heart attack from some of these suggestions if they don't know any better. And based on the original post I'd say they don't. 20 miles in 3 hours just sends up a giant red flag! They'd probably be best off to hire a trainer or coach from the start so that they get a proper fitness program rather than follow the advise of we forum posters that don't even know the person.
    I did not achieve this position in life by having some snot-nosed punk leave my cheese out in the wind. - Ed Rooney


    It's not that I'm lazy. I'm just highly motivated to RELAX!!

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