Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 88
  1. #1
    Da Big Kahuna
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Oahu, Hawaii
    Posts
    814
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Heart vs leg muscles

    Okay, I've notice some things on my rides now that I have my heart monitor working.

    When I measure how fast I can ride, I mostly base it on the first 11.1 miles of the trip - 3.5 miles up and down hills and the rest pretty flat.

    I started riding 4 years and one month ago (at the age of almost 53).

    On my first bike, the best time I ever did was 41:02 on a trek comfort bike. Also, the route I took back then was a bit longer and probably less efficient too (I think 11.9 miles) after 8.5 months and around 3000 miles of work.

    My second bike was a Bianchi Volpe touring bike. This almost immediately reduced my best time by a hair over 2 minutes. Eventually I got the best time down to 36:50 (18.04 mph) after 4 more months. But after that, in spite of accumulating over 11,000 miles on these first two bikes in 2 years 1 month, I never broke the record again. In fact, I went through a period where I seemed to be getting slower! I started taking a vitamin/mineral supplement which seemed to help, but I didn't set any new records.

    Then two years ago, I got a Felt F-35 racing bike. I immediately set new records and every time I really pushed hard, I would be a little over 18 mph. After 2.5 months, I set my last record (34:41 / 19.19 mph).

    I have since ridden for another year and 9 months without coming close to that time (and remember that while that was a faster speed, part of the time improvement was because of a couple route changes which eventually changed the distance from 11.9 miles to 11.1).

    The only big change in equipment I've made has been with tires. It came with Hutchinson Carbon Comps - pretty light, but after several sets, I gave up on them because they got too many flats. I've since used Conti 4-seasons, Conti 3000, Conti ultra-gatorskin, and presently the new, relatively light weight Armadillo Elites (255 grams).

    I've put in a LOT of miles - over 15,500 just on the newest bike in 25 months and over 26,000 since I started 4+ years ago.

    I've changed from riding about 12.5 miles before stopping for breakfast, resting 2-3 hours (mostly before eating), and then riding 13.5 miles home (taking it easy going back usually) to riding 36 to 55 miles before breakfast, resting, then the 13.5 miles home.

    So, after that long intro, I don't understand why I can't get faster in all this time! My max HR is 183. On the past couple rides, it seems to mostly center around 145, getting higher on those hills if I push it as I did. But after about 9 miles, I'll start seeing the HR dropping below 140 most of the time and after another mile or so, I'll see more and more in the 120's.

    I'm not winded, but my muscles just don't seem to want to be pushed harder. Occasionally I try to kick it up, but I run out of strength pretty quick. Generally the rest of my ride (these two had about 37 before breakfast) tends to have the HR running between 110-125 with occasional fluctuations higher.

    I have found, on the rare occasions where I have another cyclist pass me that if I try to catch up to them, I can usually at least keep up and maintain that for a couple miles - I assume because of an adrenalin kick, but even after that, I tend to be able to cruise at a faster pace than before the informal "competition".

    So, why can't I get faster after all that work?

    I've considered that doing so many long rides usually every other day leads me to develop a pattern of being slower so I don't run out of energy. Many of my rides were over 70 miles and over an 11 week period, almost all of them were 63 miles or more.

    In other words, have I trained my muscles to be "slow"?

    A friend I ride with often who has ridden less than two years is darn fast. Granted, he is just 23, but can push it at 35 mph on flats almost any time he wants to for a least a short distance. He recommends I climb lots of tough hills (which he does a LOT of). I am trying to do one extra/steeper hill each ride. I've also just started to try to take every hill more aggressively (usually on a steep hill, I just take my time, but I thought that might be part of my problem).

    Anyway, he thinks I need more strength so the hills would help. The strength thing makes some sense to me because while my HR isn't all that high after 9 miles and I'm not having any trouble breathing, I just don't seem to have the strength to kick up the speed more.

    All this is making me frustrated. Plateaus are one thing, but this is ridiculous.

  2. #2
    Its Freakin HammerTime!!! C_Heath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Off the back @ 188 BPM's
    My Bikes
    2008 Felt F3 :)
    Posts
    2,251
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Wow, I know this wont help but be damn proud of what you have accomplished already. Awesome job.
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    I don't like any other exercise or sports, really.
    ....

    http://www.xxcycle.com/logo_w150h100/bmc.jpg

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    1,941
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I don't have anywhere close to the number of miles that you have, but it could be that you're under-recovered. If you're putting lots and lots of miles without rest, you may not be giving your body enough time to recover.

    Have you thought about spending some money on some coaching?
    Eric

    2005 Trek 5.2 Madone, Red with Yellow Flames (Beauty)
    199x Lemond Tourmalet, Yellow with fenders (Beast)

    Read my cycling blog at http://riderx.info/blogs/riderx
    Like climbing? Goto http://www.bicycleclimbs.com

  4. #4
    Da Big Kahuna
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Oahu, Hawaii
    Posts
    814
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by C_heath
    Wow, I know this wont help but be damn proud of what you have accomplished already. Awesome job.
    Well, yeah, it is nice to be able to go out every other day and do a half-century and consider that to be an "easy" day - at least compared to doing 63-75, but this lack of speed progress is making it too much work and less fun, especially when other people who are doing a lot less riding than me seem to improve more.

  5. #5
    Da Big Kahuna
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Oahu, Hawaii
    Posts
    814
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ericgu
    I don't have anywhere close to the number of miles that you have, but it could be that you're under-recovered. If you're putting lots and lots of miles without rest, you may not be giving your body enough time to recover.

    Have you thought about spending some money on some coaching?
    That is a possibility and one of the reasons after making my goal for my fourth year I made a few adjustments. First, I basically only do 50-52 miles. Second, for several weeks I cut down to just 3 days a week so that sometimes I'd have 2 rest days. But while I'll back to every other day again, we had so much rain this week, today was the first day I've ridden following 3 days of rest!

    I figured the change may not be sufficient, but I also figured if riding too far and too often was a problem, I should at least see some improvement. Well, if I did, it wasn't by much and certainly not consistent enough to really know.

    Oh, one thing I left out. Not only have I not been able to get back to old speeds, but over the past year or so, a fair amount of the roads in that first 11 miles have been nicely paved which used to be a little rough (not terrible, but certainly not smooth enough for good efficiency). I'd say that there were roughly 4 miles or so of so-so road surface and they repaved over two miles of that. So even if I didn't improve, I should still make better time.

    I've considered cutting down more for awhile - maybe do about 20 miles before breakfast (34 total). Instead of 37. That should mean less recovery would be needed. But I kinda hate to reduce my average miles since I'm off to such a good start this year.

    As for a coach, well, no. Couldn't afford it and I'm not looking at racing - I just think with all the riding I do, I should be getting faster.

  6. #6
    Stv
    Stv is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    AJAX not the soap, Canada
    My Bikes
    05 Specialized"Roubaix" Campy 10spd.
    Posts
    296
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    So le'me get this straight and at the risk of bringing on a severe flame-job directed solely at me. (Please don't shoot the messenger) You are 57 years young and although you are training quite intensely, you can't figure out why you can't keep up with your 23 year old ride bud, is that basically the question?

    Well bub, your training efforts are commendable if not outstanding, but I am 52 years young and I'm gonna break the news to ya gently.

    YOU AND ME ARE GETTING OLD!

    The law of "Diminishing Returns" is in effect. Get used to it. You (and me) ain't 19 anymore.

    I returned to cycling last year after a twenty year hiatus. I did not train as intensely as you I admit. However, I did a respectable 6,000kls. most on hi-way. A Century ride and a dozen or more Metric Centuries plus I purchased an indoor trainer and road 500+kls., have a basement Weider weight machine and used it, plus I joined a gym over the winter and I am still averaging 3 hours there, 4 to 6 times per week. To make comparison matters worse, I still have the bike I road when I was 30, although it was just upgraded from a 6 spd./dbl. to a modern 10 spd./trpl. specs.

    Today I had that same bike out for a 75 kl. hard ride and it was busting my b@lls. Sure, I was fast today, but twenty years back I can clearly recall tossing that bike around under me like a toy and charging down the road. Not today. Those 30 degree plus hills will not be climbed by me with reckless abandon any more.

    I admire your competitive spirit and commitment to improve yourself, but in noway do I mean to be critical whatsoever, in any way shape or form. As a matter of fact, carry on. All I'm saying is that the results we achieved as younger men, may not be the reward we get today, regardless of the effort and discipline we put into our physical well being.

    I think we need to come to terms with this and accept the fact that we are not getting any younger and to accept the physical realities that more closely reflect our age.

    Baby BOOMER'S, the generation that never got old.

    All the best with your physical conditioning.
    Last edited by Stv; 03-24-06 at 10:46 PM.
    TODAYS OBJECTIVE: Avoid road splatter; my own, preferably.

  7. #7
    Banned. CrashVector's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    United States
    My Bikes
    Kona Dawg Deluxe, Cannondale Super-V DH, Cannondale Super-V Raven
    Posts
    409
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    here I go again with another lengthy post....

    Before I start, I am a licensed Nurse Practitioner.


    I see multiple problems with your routine if building endurance is your goal...IF you posted accurately.

    first and foremost, you have to respect the fact that as you age, your muscles take longer to recouperate after strenuous activity. Producing glucose (a sugar that is stored in the muscles) takes time. As we age, it takes longer and longer for this process to take place.

    Second, you are going about the process of endurance building the wrong way. YES, you can train your muscles to 'be slow'. A more proper medical way of putting it is that your are working ONLY your slow-twitch muscle fibers by riding the way you do. For short sprints or bursts of power, you must also train your fast-twitch fibers. You train them exactly the way you use them. If you want to train your fast-twitch muscles, you ride in a low gear, pedaling very quickly...or lift relatively light weights quickly.

    By constantly doing only endurance-distance riding at endurance pace, you have effectively neglected your fast-twitch fibers...which is why you are having problems with sprinting.

    Most people think of their muscles as one organ. They are actually composed of many different fillaments, and these fillaments are either fast or slow twitch. So basically, you have two different types of muscle tissue in every muscle.

    You should train at 80% of your max heart rate for increasing aerobic capacity. It sounds like you are overdoing it, then backing way off because you wear yourself out. This pattern does nothing for boosting your aerobic capacity.

    You must first determine your resting and max heart rates. If you are older, or have problems, BEWARE. We don't want you having a heart attack. Then, you ride at a sustained rate of 80% max rate for 20-30 minutes to if you are already semi-fit.

    The key that you are missing is recouperation time. You simply arent allowing your muscles to fully heal and replenish their glucose stores before you run them dry again. After age 30 or so, most people (and I mean like 90% or better) need at least 1 full day to fully recouperate.

    Your muscles grow not by adding more muscle fibers, but by adding more activation sites on a given number of muscle fibers. This causes the fibers themselves to swell, which makes the muscles bigger. You are born with a set number of actin and myosin fillaments, and you will die with the same number...they are only replaced (to a limited degree) in the case of injury. Muscles cannot regenerate themselves like skin cells can.

    Just remember these things if you are trying in boost your endurance:

    REST for a day inbetween rides
    DRINK plenty of WATER. Not gatorade...WATER
    EAT lots of protein and complex carbs
    WORK at 80% max heart rate...then cool-down at 50%

    Side note: If you go past the 80%, you are forcing your muscles to work in a condition known as "Anaerobic metabolism" which is MUCH less effective than working them aerobically. Too much anaerobic activity can actually REVERSE any gains you may be seeking, which is exactly what I think you are doing wrong.

  8. #8
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
    My Bikes
    Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
    Posts
    19,915
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I,m pushing on a bit and treat my Max HR as 165- will still see 175 occcasionally but there has to be a good reason to push this hard.

    I use the HRM to keep myself at around 140 to 145 as my working rate. Hill arrives and I get to 150 and longer hills 155. 155 and I am just beginning to feel the effort after about 5 minutes and at 150 I just feel out of breath.

    My problem is in warm up. Run up to 120 for about a mile or so- then first slope I go to 135, and I am breathing hard.Get back down to 120 and I then push on the next slope to 140ish, then back down to 120. then finally I push up to 150 and them relax to 130. Then I can go to 140/145 with comfort.
    If I do not do that warm up and the first hill arrives- I will be dead at 140, and spend the rest of the ride below par.
    On the legs- they only start burning at 165 after a few minutes exertion. Don't feel tired, but after the burn- it is relax time till they feel ok.

    I have been riding enough years to realise when I have to slow down on a ride, but do not try to stay with the youngsters. They are too fit. Training---- Try a bit of Interval trainng. Get a slope of say 200yds and go for it. Sprint that 200 and slow down-5 miles later do it again. If no slope then two markers about the same distance apart. Try 3 on a 20 mile ride till you can recover quickly and then do 5 and no more. This will improve the speed, but as we get older we do slow down. That is when sense takes over and we ride more comfortably, but can do longer distances.
    Last edited by stapfam; 03-25-06 at 04:54 AM.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  9. #9
    jur
    jur is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    6,183
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Read the articles at this link
    http://home.hia.no/~stephens/exphys.htm

    I think you will begin to understand what is going on. Especially read "Understanding Interval Training".

    In a nutshell, when you get fitter roughly 2 things happen:

    1. Your cardio system (heart etc) gets fit, ie is capable of transporting a lot more oxygen.
    2. Your muscles grow and capillaries develop to deliver all that oxygen.

    Problem is, #2 happens a lot slower than #1 so you can easily get a scenario where your cardio system works really well but the muscles are trailing behind. So you don't run out of breath but your legs run out of puff. This is also demonstrated by a very fit runner getting on a bike for the first time - after 5 minutes of climbing he's ready to hurl his breakfast despite being very fit. It's because his musles aren't trained to cycle.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  10. #10
    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Salsa, Cannondale, Surly.
    Posts
    2,527
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jur
    Read the articles at this link
    http://home.hia.no/~stephens/exphys.htm

    I think you will begin to understand what is going on. Especially read "Understanding Interval Training".

    In a nutshell, when you get fitter roughly 2 things happen:

    1. Your cardio system (heart etc) gets fit, ie is capable of transporting a lot more oxygen.
    2. Your muscles grow and capillaries develop to deliver all that oxygen.

    Problem is, #2 happens a lot slower than #1 so you can easily get a scenario where your cardio system works really well but the muscles are trailing behind. So you don't run out of breath but your legs run out of puff. This is also demonstrated by a very fit runner getting on a bike for the first time - after 5 minutes of climbing he's ready to hurl his breakfast despite being very fit. It's because his musles aren't trained to cycle.
    I wonder how fast #2 happens, or how slow. A year, two years?

  11. #11
    Banned. CrashVector's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    United States
    My Bikes
    Kona Dawg Deluxe, Cannondale Super-V DH, Cannondale Super-V Raven
    Posts
    409
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Blood vessels and capilaries are slower to develop within muscle tissue because the muscle tissue is very dense and tough.

    The rate at which you can expect gains varies widely on factors such as your genetics, the amount of time you rest in between hard rides, nutrition, etc.

    In my professional opinion (as both an N.P. and an old-school MTB'er) I would say your muscles lag behind your cardio by a good 4-6 weeks at least.

    Cardio fitness is actually MUCH more complex than the original poster says. It consists of many things, such as the strength of the myocardium itself, the level or amount of erythrocytes in the blood, the number and capacity of blood vessels and capillaries, etc etc

    All these things take TIME, which is why resting is so important.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    My Bikes
    Spec Roubaix Apex, Cannondale T2000, Cannondale Rize, Stumpjumper M5 Comp
    Posts
    819
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by TheRCF
    When I measure how fast I can ride, I mostly base it on the first 11.1 miles of the trip - 3.5 miles up and down hills and the rest pretty flat.

    I've changed from riding about 12.5 miles before stopping for breakfast, resting 2-3 hours (mostly before eating), and then riding 13.5 miles home (taking it easy going back usually) to riding 36 to 55 miles before breakfast, resting, then the 13.5 miles home.
    I'm suprised no one has commented on this, or maybe I am misunderstanding your post.

    How can you time yourself in the first 11 miles of your ride? Where is your warmup? It takes me 20-30 min to even get warmed up, and I stop and stretch once after about 15 min. No matter how fit you are, you need to take it easy at first to get those muscles loosened up and the cardio system working.

    Secondly, your post claims you ride BEFORE breakfast. I hope you do not ride on an empty stomach? For 36-55 miles??? Then you rest BEFORE you eat? That cannot be right. Where is your fuel coming from? You have to get fuel to your muscles, before and after a ride, without delay.

    Again, if I am misunderstanding your post I apologize, but if I understand it correctly, this is not a training issue, but a simple lack of food. You are starving your muscles.
    Specialized Roubaix SL4 Disc, Cannondale T2000 (touring), Stumpjumper M5 (Mtn - hardtail), Cannondale Rize4 (Mtn - full susp)

  13. #13
    Banned. CrashVector's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    United States
    My Bikes
    Kona Dawg Deluxe, Cannondale Super-V DH, Cannondale Super-V Raven
    Posts
    409
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    yeah, I missed the part about riding before breakfast. Not a good idea.

  14. #14
    Da Big Kahuna
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Oahu, Hawaii
    Posts
    814
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Oh, I am well aware of the age issue. I keep telling my friend that he can't expect me to do what he does - like riding for miles at 27 mph! I think my very fastest speed on a flat road (with a little wind help) was 28 and that lasted for about 1 second!.

    But what I would like to do, and based on what I've seen posted by other older riders and talking to people, I think should be possible is:

    Do my first 11 miles at AT LEAST 15 mph without feeling like I'm pushing hard.

    Do those same miles while pushing hard (but not max effort) at 18 consistently.

    And at a maximum effort, pass 20.

    I'd also like to climb hills faster. Climbing more hills and steeper hills hasn't seemed to translate into climbing my normal hills faster. So I'm guessing I need to deliberately be more aggressive on the hill training, not just do more and harder ones.

    For example, I climb a section of Diamond Head and if I just take a comfortable pace (not that it is all that "confortable"!), I still find myself going 5.7-8 mph on most of the hill - same as a year or more ago at the same effort.

    So I'm not looking to ride like the young folks, especially since I'm not training like a racer would. I just want to see some speed improvement as well as carry speed for a longer time. Nothing huge, just not me in a danged rut and certainly not seem to be slowing down yet!

  15. #15
    Da Big Kahuna
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Oahu, Hawaii
    Posts
    814
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    > here I go again with another lengthy post.... <

    I like those - you saw mine to start this thread!

    > I see multiple problems with your routine if building endurance is your goal...IF you posted accurately. <

    Well, endurance in the sense of carrying speed longer, but actually my prime goal is to see some sort of speed improvement over the initial 11 miles.

    > You train them exactly the way you use them. If you want to train your fast-twitch muscles, you ride in a low gear, pedaling very quickly...or lift relatively light weights quickly. <

    I'd say when I'm pushing even a little on the flats, my cadence is probably 85-95 (lately my cadence function rarely works). When taking my time, but not really beat, it will tend to be 80-85 I guess.

    > which is why you are having problems with sprinting. <

    Let me make sure I understand this. To me, sprinting is a pretty darn short burst, well under a mile. I want to be faster over a distance of 11 miles at least.

    > You should train at 80% of your max heart rate for increasing aerobic capacity. <

    As I mentioned, my highest HR was 183, for just a moment, so I guess 80% would be 146 so I'm averaging that for the first 8-9 miles if I'm trying to go fast.

    > It sounds like you are overdoing it, then backing way off because you wear yourself out. <

    Not quite. If I'm going for speed, I always go for it for 11 miles so, after 9 miles the drop to below 140 and then below 130 for the last mile isn't me backing off - it's just not having the muscles able to keep it up, though I'm not winded. After 11 miles, I do tend to back off - for one thing, it is hard to go fast through Waikiki because of all the traffic lights!

    > This pattern does nothing for boosting your aerobic capacity. <

    Oops! (grin) But is it aerobic capacity that is the problem? This is something I may not understand. I always thought that aerobic capacity had to do with avoiding the burn - but even when I'm running out of steam, I can go faster and not burn - but I'm just too tired to do it more than a few secondis (unless there is a psychological issue here).

    > You must first determine your resting and max heart rates. <

    Well, I just checked after sitting here for awhile and it is 54 resting. It is sometimes lower, but sometimes a little higher. Before taking up biking (I was pretty much a couch potato), it was in the upper 70's or lower 80's. Again, I maxed at 183 once.

    > Then, you ride at a sustained rate of 80% max rate for 20-30 minutes to if you are already semi-fit. <

    We'll, 9 miles riding fast (for me) tends to take me about 33 minutes and it is right after that that it HR starts dropping.

    > After age 30 or so, most people (and I mean like 90% or better) need at least 1 full day to fully recouperate. <

    I almost never ride two days in a row. Normal pattern is every other day. I started riding twice a week, then 3 and eventually got to 5, but generally I was only riding 26 miles with a a 60-120 minute rest in the middle of it. I also only pushed really hard on the days following a rest day. But now it is every other day, but I ride much further.

    > Your muscles grow not by adding more muscle fibers, but by adding more activation sites on a given number of muscle fibers. This causes the fibers themselves to swell, which makes the muscles bigger. You are born with a set number of actin and myosin fillaments, and you will die with the same number...they are only replaced (to a limited degree) in the case of injury. Muscles cannot regenerate themselves like skin cells can. <

    Wow, I never knew that!

    > REST for a day inbetween rides <

    Already do.

    > DRINK plenty of WATER. Not gatorade...WATER <

    Hmmmm, I drink water, but never though about how much of it I drink. I know on rides I rarely get thirsty. I drink at a fountain at 18 miles and again on the return at about 30 miles or so. But it isn't a lot - it is more a matter of drinking I figure I should, not because I feel thirsty. Now, if I do something like push myself up a big hill, then I drink!

    > EAT lots of protein and complex carbs <

    Well, I'm definitely a meat eater. I like steak and chicken paricularly and fish when I can get to a place that serves it. I try to eat pasta more than I normally would - spaghetti/lasagna type stuff. I also like breads. Several days a week for breakfast (after the first part of my ride) I'll have scrambled eggs, half a bagle with cream cheese, some bacon, a SMALL portion of grilled potatos, a little fruit.

    > WORK at 80% max heart rate...then cool-down at 50% <

    I'm a little confused. You mentioned earlier that I was overdoing it (where I was doing 9 miles averaging 146 which is 80%) and then backing way off, but what you wrote above would have me still doing the same pace to start, but backing off even more (down to 92).

    > Side note: If you go past the 80%, you are forcing your muscles to work in a condition known as "Anaerobic metabolism" which is MUCH less effective than working them aerobically. Too much anaerobic activity can actually REVERSE any gains you may be seeking, which is exactly what I think you are doing wrong. <

    So, even though I'm generally running at an 80% average (146) for the first 9 miles and almost always over 140, I would be going over 150 when dealing with the little hills I have for the first 3 miles. Is that the problem? Because the average is correct.

  16. #16
    Da Big Kahuna
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Oahu, Hawaii
    Posts
    814
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    > Try a bit of Interval trainng. Get a slope of say 200yds and go for it. Sprint that 200 and slow down-5 miles later do it again. If no slope then two markers about the same distance apart. Try 3 on a 20 mile ride till you can recover quickly and then do 5 and no more. <

    I've been told and read a lot of different thinks about intervals. For example, one approach was to go all out for as long as you could (for me 45 secs or, if lucky, 60), then recover just long enough to catch your breath but not really recover otherwise, then repeat a couple more times.

    Another was to go all-out, but recover for about 4 minutes. I think another was to max out for 30 seconds, recover for 60, repeat till you have done 4-5 of these, then rest for 5 minutes and repeat the process again.

    But I can tell you, I really hate intervals. I seem to have a block about putting myself through that much suffering, though I've done it some. Maybe that is why I'm not improving. There is a spot just 1.19 miles from where I start which I remember at one point I could do on a max effort in 3:50 (that was my slowest of my top 12 rides). I did it once in 3:34. Well, I don't think I've done better than 4 minutes in the past couple years! That's a big difference over such a short distance. I often wonder if the problem is mental - that I'm holding back a little to avoid the pain.

  17. #17
    Da Big Kahuna
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Oahu, Hawaii
    Posts
    814
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Okay, I can see the problem with capillaries developing slower, but it still seems to me that I should see definite improvement over 2 years! I've hit plenty of plateaus since I took up riding, but that seems way too long, especially since I don't seem to be able to even do what I did before, when it comes to speed. Distance is definitely better.

  18. #18
    Da Big Kahuna
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Oahu, Hawaii
    Posts
    814
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    > How can you time yourself in the first 11 miles of your ride? Where is your warmup? It takes me 20-30 min to even get warmed up <

    Warm-up? Well, I don't really warm-up. Never have. But while I can see that as a problem, it still seems to me that I should have improvement - after all, it isn't like I used to warm-up and now I don't.

    I also happen to live in a location where a warm-up is a bit tricky because no matter where I go, I have to deal with hills right away and even if I take my time on them, they stress me even in the lowest gear I have (39/27). In other words, it isn't like I can just cruise for while. I've also found that when I deliberately take rides at an easy pace, I end up feeling tired anyway since it takes more time to cover that distance.

    > Secondly, your post claims you ride BEFORE breakfast. I hope you do not ride on an empty stomach? For 36-55 miles??? Then you rest BEFORE you eat? That cannot be right. Where is your fuel coming from? You have to get fuel to your muscles, before and after a ride, without delay. <

    Well, here is the pattern (two actually, since it has changed) once I started riding in the morning. Eating much of anything before leaving (around 7:00 AM) would mess up my digestion and I wouldn't feel good during the ride. I would ride 12.4 miles and then stop at a restaurant for breakfast. That took about 30 minutes and then I would spend time on the beach (I'm in Hawaii). Then I would ride home.

    But traffic here is a bear. Eventually I found the only way to avoid some really bad situations was to leave home no later than 4:00 AM (usually 3:30). The same ride would get me to the beach restaurant 2.5 hours before they opened, so I rested until they did, ate, then ride home. If I didn't have to work (I work part time), I might stay at the beach a little longer first.

    Little by little, I started riding even earlier as I would ride further. For over two months I was generally out the door by 1:00 AM and doing those 50 mile distances before breakfast. I would eat something before leaving - half a bagel, some cereal right out of the box. I also took a gel or two and a power bar with me. Usually took the first gel at about 15 miles. The power bar varied between 18-25 miles. Keep in mind that on these early rides, I was leaving closer to the prior day's last meal - I just had to go to sleep earlier. Anyway, this would get me to the beach restaurant between 5:30-6:00 so I had to wait at least an hour for it to open. But I enjoy the relaxation time.

    Now I'm generally out the door by 2:00 AM since I'm not riding quite as far. I know eating first would be good and I try to do some, but feeling bad on the trip by eating very much isn't a good solution either!

    > Again, if I am misunderstanding your post I apologize, but if I understand it correctly, this is not a training issue, but a simple lack of food. You are starving your muscles. <

    Maybe, but only if, over time, those longer rides before eating is the problem - since I start out the same as always and maybe better since it isn't as far away from my last meal the night before.

    I hadn't considered the possibility that the longer rides may have been slowly weakening me because of the timing of my breakfast. I was always focused on the fact that the first part of the ride was still the same (okay, so I missed what should have been obvious!).

    So, if that is it, I guess the question is what can I eat before I leave that won't leave me feeling bad during the ride. It would, I think, have to be something that gives a lot of what I need in a small portion.

  19. #19
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    North Providence, RI
    My Bikes
    None at the moment
    Posts
    6,821
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by TheRCF

    But I can tell you, I really hate intervals. I seem to have a block about putting myself through that much suffering, though I've done it some. Maybe that is why I'm not improving. There is a spot just 1.19 miles from where I start which I remember at one point I could do on a max effort in 3:50 (that was my slowest of my top 12 rides). I did it once in 3:34. Well, I don't think I've done better than 4 minutes in the past couple years! That's a big difference over such a short distance. I often wonder if the problem is mental - that I'm holding back a little to avoid the pain.
    This is why you are not getting faster. If you spend all your time riding at 17 mph, you will continue to ride at 17 mph. If you want to ride at 19 mph, you need to ride faster than 19 mph....and this is where interval training comes in. I would suggest purchasing an indoor trainer if you don't already have one (I know, I know....blasphemy on a tropical island) so that you can concentrate on them in a structured and controlled environment. Pick up a DVD or two of interval workouts to get a feel for them....many people like Spinervals and the Carmichael Training Systems series - I like the CTS videos personally. Do them 1-2 days per week, and allow yourself to recover properly.

    I would also suggest perhaps lifting weights; as you get older, muscle breaks down quicker and more easily.....essentially, you lose it. Weighlifting helps to slow the process down slightly.

    Good luck. If you do them right, intervals will make you faster and a stronger rider.
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  20. #20
    Da Big Kahuna
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Oahu, Hawaii
    Posts
    814
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I thought about a trainer a couple years ago to deal with times the rain messed up my riding schedule. But either I've been lucky the past couple years or riding earlier in the morning means less chance of rain because I've only had occasional problems with it.

    Also, on an island, space costs money so I have a small apt. I could do it, but I hate to give up the space!

  21. #21
    Banned. CrashVector's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    United States
    My Bikes
    Kona Dawg Deluxe, Cannondale Super-V DH, Cannondale Super-V Raven
    Posts
    409
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    When you go beyond about 80% of your max, lactic acid begins to build up in the muscles faster than it can be removed. Once this process starts, muscle fatigue sets in very quickly.

    You can boost your body's efficiency at removing the lactic acid (or lactose as some refer to it) by repeatedly going to about 90% for very short periods of time....then backing off to about 70% to allow the lactose to be removed.

    by very short period of time, i'm talking 2-3 min tops. Just remember that if you SUSTAIN an anaerobic state for too long, you will stunt your progress toward increasing your aerobic capacity.

    It's a game of give and take. You can do one or the other at one time...not both.

    The cool-down period I mentioned should be no longer than 15 minutes or so, and its purpose is to keep blood circulating thru your muscles at a high volume to help 'wash away' any metabolic byproducts. Since it is lower intensity, it keeps the blood going without building up any additional lactose.

    It takes time, but eventually your body will actually grow larger and more numerous capillaries in your muscle tissue. This will both increase your aerobic capacity AND increase the tolerance level of lactic acid in your muscles before you start feeling the signs of muscle fatigue.

    You are looking to increase overall speed over an 11 mile course. You are in need of balanced training, as I stated before.

    Here is specifically what I would do if I were in your situation in detail:

    Mondays I would train on a more urban surface like pavement, but I would use the highest gear possible (21st on a 21 speed bike). I would warm up until I reached about 60% max heart rate, then I would really push until I reached 80-85% max. I would then sustain this level for as long as i felt comfortable...then go another 15 minutes. I would slow back down to about 60% max for 15 minutes to allow time for the lactic acid to be flushed away, then repeat the process again. I would then follow it up with a cool-down at 50% on the bike, then a slow walk for another 15 min or so to prevent muscle soreness. Yeah, your legs will ache and you will probably be really winded, but that's the point.

    I would go home and eat a balanced meal of about 5oz of lean protein with about 25 gr of complex carbs.

    Rest on tuesday.

    Wednesday, I would work fast-twitch by going to the roughest patch your can find, using the LOWEST gear your bike has, and working the same pattern of heart rates.

    Thursday...rest

    Friday I would concentrate on cardio only.

    Sat I would ride for fun without paying attention to the heart monitor

    Sun - rest

    With this plan, you will ALWAYS be working to improve your cardio vascular capacity, but you will be targeting the specific muscle fibers, and therefore boosting your overall performance.

    Cardio fitness is composed of a LOT of different elements, which is why you ALWAYS want to work on this. The air sacs in your lungs become larger...the capillaries enlarge, your heart muscle strengthens, your bone marrow produces more red blood cells, your RBC's begin to carry more hemoglobin, etc etc etc.

    You should drink so much WATER that it almost is an aggrevation because you have to pee so often. 8oz every 1-1/2 hours if you are seriously training. You should have to pee about every 45min - 1 hour.

  22. #22
    Banned. CrashVector's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    United States
    My Bikes
    Kona Dawg Deluxe, Cannondale Super-V DH, Cannondale Super-V Raven
    Posts
    409
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Muscles do not 'break down'. You lose activation sites, and the muscle atrophies.

    I would get more specific, but its a LOOOOOONG explanation.

    Just suffice it to say that you do not lose the muscle fibers themselves.

    Follow the plan I outlined, and in 3-6 weeks you should notice a difference.

  23. #23
    Da Big Kahuna
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Oahu, Hawaii
    Posts
    814
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    > When you go beyond about 80% of your max, lactic acid begins to build up in the muscles faster than it can be removed. Once this process starts, muscle fatigue sets in very quickly. <

    Ah, so it isn't just about getting a burn - the acid can slow you down without that!

    > You can boost your body's efficiency at removing the lactic acid (or lactose as some refer to it) by repeatedly going to about 90% for very short periods of time....then backing off to about 70% to allow the lactose to be removed. <

    That would be the interval approach, right? So I should push it up to 165 and then drop to about 129.

    > by very short period of time, i'm talking 2-3 min tops. <

    I guess that is at a lower effort than I usually do for an interval - don't know the HR (it is usually too dark to see when I ride except for the occasional street light), but the way I have done them in the past, 1 minute is hard to do and each one after than is shorter. Usually I only manage 45 seconds at first.

    > The cool-down period I mentioned should be no longer than 15 minutes or so, and its purpose is to keep blood circulating thru your muscles at a high volume to help 'wash away' any metabolic byproducts. Since it is lower intensity, it keeps the blood going without building up any additional lactose. <

    Other people telling me about intervals (books too) have referred to doing a series of these bursts - usually about 3 - with not much time in between for partial recovery and then followed by a longer recovery before doing another series (two series max). They say the close repetition trains you body to recover faster and then the longer recovery is to truly recover. Any comments on that?

    > I would go home and eat a balanced meal of about 5oz of lean protein with about 25 gr of complex carbs. <

    I'm never sure of some of these terms. "Lean" protein would be things like chicken? (as opposed to more fatty meats like beef?). And how do things like peanut butter, which I think has lots of protein, figure in? And what are "complex" carb foods?

    > Wednesday, I would work fast-twitch by going to the roughest patch your can find, using the LOWEST gear your bike has, and working the same pattern of heart rates. <

    Well, I only have a road bike so rough patches aren't good. Can't go off-road.

    I'll work on drinking more water, but from what you describe:

    > 8oz every 1-1/2 hours if you are seriously training. <

    I may not be too far off - assuming that means when actually riding. If it means even when off the bike, I'm definitely not.

    It takes me about 80 minutes most days to get to where I first drink and another 80 minutes to return to that spot to drink again. But I may not be drinking 8 oz, so I'll work on that.

  24. #24
    Banned. CrashVector's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    United States
    My Bikes
    Kona Dawg Deluxe, Cannondale Super-V DH, Cannondale Super-V Raven
    Posts
    409
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ill answer you in order of your last post.

    1. Yes, lactic acid build up can fatigue your muscles LONG before you actually feel a burning sensation. The burning you feel is because there is already lactic acid built up, and your muscles cannot rid themselves of it fast enough for the level of production.

    2. You are trying to train...not give yourself a stroke. Intervals are done in bursts..SHORT bursts.

    3. Lean protein is exactly that..lean. Not a lot of fat. I prefer seafood and fish, but I occasionally eat skinless chicken thighs or lean beef. A vegan way to go about it is beans and rice. Lentiles and such like beans provide a full spectrum of amino acids if you couple them with rice. Peanut butter is considered a carb, but it also has a small amount of usable protein. Complex carbs, for a technical definition, are long chains of simple sugars converted to a starchy form by hydrolysis in plants. They yeild more complex sugar molecules through metabolism, which is stored as glucose in your liver and muscle tissues. Simple sugars such as the stuff you add to your coffee, are quickly burned off, and the excess is more readily turned into fat by your body. You want complex carbs like rice, oat bran, etc etc because they are not quickly converted into fat...they are converted into glucose first.

    4. The water consumption I listed is for everyday...not just when you are riding. Your body uses a LOT of water in the process of removing those metabolic wastes. You want to make it as easy as possible on your system to get rid of those. Staying hydrated while riding is extremely important...but staying hydrated on your resting days ensures that your muscles can remove wastes and strengthen.

    5. 80 minutes is FAAAR too long to go without a drink when you are riding. Even if it's not hot, and even if you aren't riding hard. Part of your problem may actually be hydration. When you start dehydrating (happens LONG before you even start to feel thirsty), your blood thickens and waste products aren't easily flushed from your muscle cells. REALLY REALLY focus on making sure you drink enough.

    Hope this helps

  25. #25
    Da Big Kahuna
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Oahu, Hawaii
    Posts
    814
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    > I prefer seafood and fish, but I occasionally eat skinless chicken thighs or lean beef. A vegan way to go about it is beans and rice. <

    I don't cook normally, but I like fish. Unfortunately, the restaurants where I would want to go are not convenient since I don't have a car. I usually have to make a special trip by bus which takes a lot of time just or one meal - so it is an occastional event. I get fast-food fish sandwiches and tuna sandwiches, but I guess they have their own problems. I like chicken - white meat and don't eat the skin. I'll do chili (canned stuff) with beans at home.

    I'm aware I don't eat all that great, but I'm better than I used to be - used to snack on sweets a LOT, but now I often snack on things like Cheerios, wheat chex, corn chex instead. Also, while I still drink soft drinks sometimes when eating out, I drink mostly water at home now.

    I started eating more salads the other day - leafy greens mostly, with chicken. How are those things?

    Don't care for rice much, though I eat some.

    > Peanut butter is considered a carb, but it also has a small amount of usable protein. <

    Interesting. When I was a kid, I could swear it was said it had more protein than beef did. Oh well.

    > You want complex carbs like rice, oat bran, etc etc because they are not quickly converted into fat...they are converted into glucose first. <

    How about potatos? While I don't care much for rice, I do love potatos.

    > The water consumption I listed is for everyday <

    Then I definitely need to improve on that.

    > 80 minutes is FAAAR too long to go without a drink when you are riding. Even if it's not hot, and even if you aren't riding hard. Part of your problem may actually be hydration. <

    Okay, though, unless there is a negative effect over time (days and weeks), that shouldn't account for the problems of my first 11 miles simply because I haven't changed that part. If it was bad, it was bad back when I was faster too. But it probably is hurting me on the rest of my ride.

    If I don't get rained out, I ride Sunday morning and I'll drink a lot more.

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •