I'm perplexed re:training & eating--need advice!
I just turned 60 in June and am trying to become a cyclist again. I rode for abut 15 yrs. and was a decent recreational rider. Then, at age 54 I basically stopped. Last year I decided to get back on track and did about 1100 miles locally. By Oct. I was capable of 17 mph averages in eastern CT where it tends to be rather hilly but not mountainous. This year I've got about 1,000 mi. in and it's mid-July. This is all local riding. Here are some of my "issues": Because of humidity I've been riding early in the morning (out at 8 am back at 10-10:30 am). I usually consume a bottle of water and one or two GU gels during a ride. When I get home I drink something like club soda, milk, or juice. Then, I have no apetite until late in the afternoon. Then the eating begins and doesn't stop until just before bed. I've lost 5-7 lbs since May but seem to have plateaued both in weight loss and average speed on the bike. At 185 lbs. my nemesis is hills. I want to understand my nutritional needs and how to improve on the bike. Sorry this is so long, but I am truly perplexed as to what to do. I could use some advice. TIA.
17 mph seems like a decent acheivement. You're doing good but I guess you want to do great? You might want to spend a few minutes writing down your goals and then do some research and develop a training program. As a 51 year old, I would be interested in seeing what your goals are, and why you picked them. I don't know what others think, but I find fitness goals to be a vital part of my exercise/nutrition program. I really couldn't get much accomplished if I wasn't clear on my goals.
Some guidelines I use for determining goals:
- Make them behaviorally specific.
- Make them challenging but realistic.
- Include a workable and specific time frame for accomplishing them.
- Include learning (about nutrition, physiology, aging, etc) as one of my goals.
- Make them compatible with my overall goal, which at my age is increasing overall fitness and preventing and dealing with chronic diseases.
I keep a journal and write goals on an annual, weekly and sometimes daily basis.
I used to avoid breakfast because I wasn't hungry in the morning. Well, the reason I wasn't hungry is because I was still full from snacking the night before! I forced myself to eat a good (BIG!) breakfast, then cut back on the evening feedings. Before long it was a habit, and I was losing more weight and feeling better.
Originally Posted by bruce19
For an early morning ride, I'll eat a light snack before the ride, like a piece of toast with PB or a banana, and drink lots of water. I think it's counterproductive to use gels or sports drinks if you're restricting calories, because they have no nutrition other than the sugar. If it's a long ride I'll take another light nutritious snack (banana or raisins) to eat en route. As soon as I get home, I eat my big breakfast, which should include plenty of carbs and a good amount of protein to help my body recover. Exercise gurus are now telling us that there's a window of opportunity immediately after exercise when the muscles take in much more glucose and protein for recovery and building new muscle.