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  1. #1
    HWS
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    Judge my stats please...

    I am by no means any kind of health expert and could use some advice as to where I am at physically and how to reach a goal.

    41 YO male
    70"
    195
    Been riding for 3 years except winter time (used to race a bit as a 15-20 year old)
    Todays ride (typical on a day off from work) 25 miles average speed 15.0 about 1.5 hours.

    I would like to get up to where I could ride 50 miles on my days off comfortably, and maybe a century or two for good measure.

    My ride is an 03 Raleigh C-40 and wont change unless I get the mother of all deals on something a lot better.

    Thanks for any advice you can give.

  2. #2
    Senior Member kf5nd's Avatar
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    I'm about like you, 44 male, 71", 185#...

    My cycling got better when I started riding to work and getting up near 100 miles per week. Can you commute?
    Peter Wang, LCI
    Houston, TX USA

  3. #3
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    I'm 38 and I started riding again in late march. I started at 190 lbs and am down to 175, from riding and lowering potion size.

    I ride almost everyday. I average 15-20 miles each day and 35 to 40 on the weekends. I certainly can do a 50 miler at this point. When I started in March I could barely ride 5 miles.

    It takes time and dedication. I do nothing out of the ordinary (i.e. sprints or hill work etc).

    Good luck!
    Uh huh!

  4. #4
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    I'm not sure what you are asking exactly, but you do mention that you want to get up to riding 50 miles. Well, you are already doing 25 so basically all you need to do is go twice as far. Seriously, a lot of times we put mental obstacles in our way without even knowing it. Attempt a 50 miler and let your body tell you where you are at. Nobody here can tell you if it is possible, although most of us would probably agree that it sounds very do-able for you.

    Consistancy is the key. Ride as often as you can and don't worry about stats. The times you posted are not great for a ride with good conditions, like little wind etc. But they are good for a ride with major head and climbs etc.

    Unless you are planning to be a competitive racer, i wouldn't focus on times and averages too much. It is good to know where you fit in but really, you are where you are. IOW, you will only be as fast as you currently are and the only way to get faster, is to ride more and get better.

    You don't mention what your fitness goals are, however i might suggest that a good diet goes hand in hand with your riding. I have been on a low fat diet for 2 1/2 years and it goes great with my riding. Being light on the bike will make you faster. People spend thousands shaving grams off of bikes, yet sometimes they lack the discipline to take pounds off of their body.

  5. #5
    HWS
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    I usually ride different routes each "long day". Todays had several decent grades over 1/2 mile long and the wind was blowing about 10-15 mph. It was a cirticuous route so I had some tail and some head wind.

    I should have mentioned that diet wise, I don't do low fat or low carb, but I don't eat any junk either. I would guess that I eat more protien than carb though and no "energy bars". I usually bring alond 2 or 3 of those small boxes of raisens when I ride ove 20 and chow them at around my halfway point. I normally ride on an empty stomach, first thing in the am. Should I eat something say an hour before I try a 50?

    I probably should start commuting, even though it's only 3 miles each way. Sure couldn't hurt.

    I'll try a 50 next week as I have to work this weekend.

  6. #6
    semifreddo amartuerer 'nother's Avatar
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    Yeah, going from 25 to 50 should not be too bad. If you're really worried, choose a route close to civilization so you can phone home I guess.

    Definitely eat something before the ride. If I'm only doing 50, a lot of times I won't even eat during the ride, but I always bring a Clif bar or Fig Newtons or something just in case. Longer than 50 and you'll almost certainly need something during the ride otherwise you will bonk and not complete it. Learn to like carbs, at least while riding. Your body needs them as fuel. Consider energy drink (Gatorade, etc.) for that purpose, too.

    Once you can do 50 comfortably, try 75. 100 will come easily after that. Target an actual century ride and sign up for it, as motivation for training. If you just sit around and wait until you "feel ready" you'll never do it.

    Also, consider changing your 'Hater of headwinds' tagline. Learn how to deal with them and embrace them as a training tool rather than despising them. Same for hills.

    Good luck.

  7. #7
    CAT 2 wanna be PolishPostal's Avatar
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    Where are you located in Ohio?

  8. #8
    HWS
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    I suppose I don't REALLY hate headwinds...

    Next Friday, I'm gonna go for 50 and try to make that my long ride of the week for a few then add 10 or 20 a week til I get to 100. I think your right, I need to just go for it.

    PolishPostal, I'm just outside of Dayton.

  9. #9
    Zen Cyclist jslopez's Avatar
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    Well technically speaking you could probably ride 50 miles now, just making sure that you do it at your own pace.

    If you have a specific goal (speed, time, your condition after your ride) when doing 50 or 100 iles then you have to train accordingly.

    You could slowly build yourself up to said mileage by upping your miles 10-20% eery week while keeping roughly the same intensity each ride.

    Another suggestion is to get a heart rate monitor so you know when your body is riding at a comfortable pace and when your pushing yourself too much or not enough.

    Finally for longer rides... NUTRITION IS VITAL , don't forget to eat before our hungry and drink before your thirsty.
    ZEN CYCLIST once again...

  10. #10
    SSP
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    Quote Originally Posted by HWS
    I am by no means any kind of health expert and could use some advice as to where I am at physically and how to reach a goal.

    41 YO male
    70"
    195
    You could stand to lose some weight.

    At your current weight and height, you have a Body Mass Index of 27.3, which puts you into the "Overweight" category (based on the World Health Organization standards), or "Marginally Overweight" (based on Dr. Steven Hall's descriptions...www.halls.md).

    For your age, gender, and height, you are in the 55th weight percentile (meaning that you're heavier than 55% of 41 year old, 70" tall men, based on US averages). Getting down to 174 or so would be a reasonable first goal, and getting down to 160-167 would be even better.

    FWIW, I'm 6', 52 years old. Two years ago I weighed around 182. This year, I'm down to 168, and it's helped me on the bike a LOT...especially going up hills.

    If you do decide to lose weight, plan on it taking a while to do so. Losing 1/2 - 1 lb per week, through a daily deficit of 250-500 calories, is reasonably painless in terms of hunger issues, and should be achievable by simply being careful with what you eat (no sodas, one alcoholic drink per day, portion control, healthy foods, etc.).

    Best of luck, and keep those pedals turning.
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    At your current weight and height, you have a Body Mass Index of 27.3, which puts you into the "Overweight" category (based on the World Health Organization standards), or "Marginally Overweight" (based on Dr. Steven Hall's descriptions...www.halls.md).

    I don't agree with the BMI measuring because it neglects to consider in the fact that there are different body types. Some people have by far much more muscle mass, and therefore will weigh more then someone else. Or, it may be that this person with more muscle mass will weigh the same as someone who has a higher body fat percentage.

    Shaquile O'neal recently critisized this method. He is obviously a superior athlete with a bulk of muscle. He fell into the category of "grossly obese" based on his BMI. Ludicrous! Find other ways of measuring yourself, such as body fat percentage and waist size.

  12. #12
    HWS
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    I did drop to 172 last summer, but put it back on at the request of my wife. She said I looked like a skinny teenager at that weight. I've always been a little bulky and I do have a large frame. Also, I have a 32" waist.

  13. #13
    SSP
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    Quote Originally Posted by califdreamin
    I don't agree with the BMI measuring because it neglects to consider in the fact that there are different body types. Some people have by far much more muscle mass, and therefore will weigh more then someone else. Or, it may be that this person with more muscle mass will weigh the same as someone who has a higher body fat percentage.

    Shaquile O'neal recently critisized this method. He is obviously a superior athlete with a bulk of muscle. He fell into the category of "grossly obese" based on his BMI. Ludicrous! Find other ways of measuring yourself, such as body fat percentage and waist size.
    For most people BMI is a reasonable surrogate for "fatness". However, it's not a perfect tool, and there clearly are some exceptions, especially for very tall people. I also seem to recall hearing that Shaq was criticized by his coach for being too fat, and that he's playing much better since he lost some weight.

    As for riding bikes...I guarantee the OP will be a much better bike rider at 175 than at 195.

    To the OP - you may want to get your body fat percentage checked. This is a better tool than BMI for athletes. You can get an estimate using one of the body fat scales, or by using the "Navy" method which requires taking a couple of body circumference measurements. The Navy method is included in my CycliStats and WeightWare programs, or on this web site.
    Last edited by SSP; 06-17-05 at 10:34 PM.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by HWS
    I did drop to 172 last summer, but put it back on at the request of my wife. She said I looked like a skinny teenager at that weight. I've always been a little bulky and I do have a large frame. Also, I have a 32" waist.
    Looking like a skinny teenager is a bad thing? I have had as sorts of people tell me I am too skinny at 6' 160 lbs but a "normal" cyclist is an endurance athlete who will be on the thin side so do what you want to do for your self, you only live once. The BMI can be a joke for some people-just look in the mirror and see how much fat you are carrying, be honest with your self.

  15. #15
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSP
    At your current weight and height, you have a Body Mass Index of 27.3, which puts you into the "Overweight" category (based on the World Health Organization standards), or "Marginally Overweight" (based on Dr. Steven Hall's descriptions...www.halls.md).
    Quote Originally Posted by HWS
    Also, I have a 32" waist.
    Another BMI conclusion blown away.

  16. #16
    SSP
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    Another BMI conclusion blown away.
    Perhaps he could post a picture of himself, and then we could decide.

    Regardless of whether or not he's "overly fat" or "overly muscled", for cycling performance lower is better, and he'll be a much stronger cyclist if he loses 20 lbs.
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  17. #17
    HWS
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    I'm not trying to win races or anything. I would just like to be able to do 50 mile rides or longer on the weekends to eventually work up to doing some real long distance touring (2 or 3 weeks on the road).

    I did my first 50 miler today. It took me 3 1/2 hours with only 2 10 minute breaks. I went through 2 water bottles and 3 small boxes of raisens in addition to breakfast (bowl of Total) I feel OK now except for charlie horses in both thighs. I drank about a gallon of water since I got home at around 10 am eastern. I'm getting to where I want to be, it just takes some trial and error.

    snip> Looking like a skinny teenager is a bad thing?<snip To my wife it is

  18. #18
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    BMI is way lame, most NFL linebackers would be obese under that loony thing. If you do or have done any kind of weight lifting your BMI is going to be artificially high. Body fat % is a much better gauge.

  19. #19
    SSP
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    Quote Originally Posted by thad
    BMI is way lame, most NFL linebackers would be obese under that loony thing. If you do or have done any kind of weight lifting your BMI is going to be artificially high. Body fat % is a much better gauge.
    LOL - most of us aren't built like NFL linebackers. BMI provides a reasonable categorization of one's weight for about 90% of the population. If you're over 6' 4", and people refer to you as "the Rock", BMI might not be relevant...but, that's a very, very small percentage of the population.

    For athletes, body fat percentage *is* a more meaningful number than BMI. But the problem with it is that it's hard to estimate accurately - body fat scales that use bioimpedance are affected by hydration levels, caliper tests are dependent on the operator and are not easy to self-administer, and "dunk tank" tests are inconvenient and expensive.

    BMI has the advantage of being easy to calculate based on just weight and height (it's also not "loony" that there is a clear statistical correlation between BMI and mortality).

    If you're a weight lifter or body builder, BMI is irrelevant, but if you're a cyclist, and want to improve your performance on the bike, a BMI of 22-24 is a good goal to shoot for.
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  20. #20
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    Just because high BMI and mortality are linked doesn't mean its a good measure of fitness.

  21. #21
    SSP
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    Quote Originally Posted by thad
    Just because high BMI and mortality are linked doesn't mean its a good measure of fitness.
    I didn't mean to imply that. It's a rough indicator of "fatness", not "fitness"...and even then it has its limitations.
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