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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 07-28-06, 08:42 AM   #1
judson
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Time, miles or speed?

So, I took my first epic ride today..... well ok, not really epic, but it marks a turning point in my life/lifestyle. I'm 5'8" and 250#. The last time I was on a bike was about 80# ago, and 10 years. I'm 36 years old and on a handfull of meds for cholesterol & Blood Pressure. I really do like this side of the grass. I asked my doctor about cycling and his reply was anything that gets me past the fridge w/o harm, would be great. I only rode 3.6 miles but it was a relatively tough 16 minutes. I need to get some slicks for my mountain bike. I have a beautiful Tri bike that I'm affraid I'll taco the rims on, so I'll probably sell it and get something a little less delicate. (24 spokes vs. 250# doesn't seem fair)
-My goals are to lose 50+#s by spring of '07 & I'd like to complete a sprint triathlon by the end of next summer. That may be a bit lofty of a goal. I don't run or swim as of yet.
Should I keep the tri bike for motivation or sell it? What's an '01 Trek Hilo 1000 w/ <75 miles worth?
So getting to my main question: At this point should I be more concerned with miles or time in the saddle? I know speed means nothing but it made the title of the thread look better.
Thanks in advance for any help or insites, I really do appreciate it.

-Judson
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Old 07-28-06, 08:54 AM   #2
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I would concentrate on time to start. Ride a half hour a day if that is where your fitness level is now. Try bumbing it up five or ten minutes a week. Once you are up to the point you can ride for an hour or so, start thinking of milage goals.
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Old 07-28-06, 08:55 AM   #3
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Oh, and congratulations of deciding to make a change. Cycling is a forgiving way to get back into excercise.
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Old 07-28-06, 09:30 AM   #4
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Thanks barba for the advice and encouragement. I'll need to work upto the 30 minute mark though. I kept todays ride short & a little quick (for me) to see where I was. Well I know where I'm starting from and where I'd like to be.
My first short term goal will be to ride for 30 minutes at whatever pace I can. (and get some slicks) I don't know how big of a difference the tires will make, but I'll have a set on by tomorrow!

Thanks again,

-Judson
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Old 07-28-06, 09:37 AM   #5
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The tires will make a big difference in your speed and efficiency. You will feel it immediately. If you buy them from a shop, they may even install them for you if you are not sure how. You will be doing 30 min. in no time at all. When you first start cycling, barriers can like that seem daunting marks (the first time I did 10 miles as an adult I was quite proud of myself!). By fall you will be riding much longer if you stick with it.
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Old 07-28-06, 09:55 AM   #6
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I went from 215# to 180# in about 3 1/2 months when I started riding 2 yrs ago. Diet plays a huge roll in the equation. I counted calories and tried to get into a routine. I really focused on reducing portion size and eating healthier.

It can be done.
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Old 07-28-06, 10:09 AM   #7
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Just go by time and effort. It does not matter how fast or how far, only how hard and how long.


If you like your tri bike, keep it, it's not worth much as a used bike, and new ones are a lot more. You'll never replace it for anywhere near what you can get for it.
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Old 07-28-06, 06:03 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes
Just go by time and effort. It does not matter how fast or how far, only how hard and how long.


If you like your tri bike, keep it, it's not worth much as a used bike, and new ones are a lot more. You'll never replace it for anywhere near what you can get for it.
+1

It's all about the time, and I'd recommend dialing back the pace so that you can ride farther comfortably. You want to stress your body, but you don't want to kill it. If you can fit it into your schedule, a slower 2 hour ride will confer more benefits than a faster 1 hour ride.

And 16 minutes for 3.6 miles isn't bad.

As for your bike, you can get more robust wheels for it, and keep the current ones for when you're lighter.
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Old 07-28-06, 07:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericgu
+1

It's all about the time, and I'd recommend dialing back the pace so that you can ride farther comfortably. You want to stress your body, but you don't want to kill it. If you can fit it into your schedule, a slower 2 hour ride will confer more benefits than a faster 1 hour ride.
good suggestion.
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Old 07-28-06, 11:26 PM   #10
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Thanks guys for all of the great info and encouragement. Just after I replied I was called by work to fly out to FL. So I'm here in FL for now. I just picked up the tri bike for $475 along with a set of brand new Shimano carbon cycling shoes last month, so I'm not in it real deep. I know the bike was about $1700 new. (I couldn't afford a new one) I thought the bike looked really cool, and placed visions of "greatness" in my head. I like the idea of beefier wheels. Congrats PolishPostal on your weight loss, I hope to emulate that myself. I'll get the slicks when I get back and just concentrate on increasing my time.

Thanks again for the help!

-Judson
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Old 07-29-06, 06:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mothra
Good job on setting your goals! With about 1-year of training, you can definitely do it. In the beginning, just work on getting time on the bike. Work up to 3-hours on a single day during the weekends and about 10-15 hours total weekly. Then start breaking it up and increasing the intensities of some of the rides. Some days should have sprints, others intervals, 1 day of hill-repeats, maybe a long hillclimb on another, a day of tempo work, definitely one day strictly for endurance of long steady distance for 2.5-3.5 hours.

Keep the tri bike, you'll be using next summer.
+1 on keeping the tri bike.

I got bad overweight in '93 and started jogging in March of '94 "just to lose weight". About mid-summer, my daughter (11 at the time) convinced me to look into training and competing in long distance (5k and up) races. By Nov '94, I had lost over 40 pounds. Now, after 12 years, 13 marathons, and dozens of other races, I'm on a bike for injury recovery.

Best of luck in your pursuit. A lot of us have BTDT and it works. You can do it too.
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Old 07-29-06, 06:20 PM   #12
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Slow the pace down to whatever you need it to be to start doing 30 minutes at a minimum. And get out there for 5 days a week. Everyone will tell you to just worry about time, but I find tracking the miles is a great motivator. I can look back over the months and see how much progress I have made. When I first started, it took me 49 minutes to do a 6.5 mile loop. I had to stop numerous times and couldn't make it up any of the hills without stopping to catch my breath. Today I did a 30 mile ride with no problem.
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Old 07-31-06, 01:42 AM   #13
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As others have mentioned go with time. It's a more consitent measurement unit then speed or miles. Keep the tri-bike, nothing motivates better then a good bike. One thing to keep in mind is don't starve yourself! Thats the worst thing you can do. Ty to eat more healthy, instead of those chips try some vegetables and fruits. Make a salad for your dinner (if you go with additives like Ranch keep it light). It's healthy and fills you up somewhat, thus you don't feel like getting those extra helpings of mashed potatoes with extra gravy. Loosing weight is a long hard process, but the pay off is a better healthier life. If you drink sodas cut back or just stop. If nothing else that will make a difference (talking from personal experience). Also keeping a log and a schedule helps.
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Old 07-31-06, 07:34 AM   #14
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Keep a simple log and gradually try to increase saddle time. Your speed and distance will come. Keep the bike, you probably can't get what you want for it and it will be good motivation as it sounds like you will use it again.
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Old 07-31-06, 08:44 AM   #15
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Keep the tri bike and buy a more heavy duty wheelset. I to am 5'8'' and 250 lbs and ride a standard roadbike with a higher spoke count wheels 36 spoke Mavic Open Pro's laced to ultegra hubs. The tri bike is tougher than you think and with the proper wheelset is very usable right now. That being said ride what is the most comfortable, take it easywith out being too easy and watch your fitness level increase. If you make sure your rides are enjoyable, you will make this a habit that will last a lifetime.

My $.02

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Old 07-31-06, 08:50 AM   #16
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I have not been riding long.. this summer is my first full season of riding. I went from huffing and puffing with just a mile on the bike, to getting in 140+ miles a week on the mtn bike with no issue. I also dropped over 50 pounds since January and am at a great weight now. I set little goals, took baby steps, and sometimes I go back and ride things that were BIG then, that are small now, to refresh my memory on how far I've come, to keep things in perspective. I absolutely LOVE this, and am on the bike every chance I get.
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Old 07-31-06, 10:28 AM   #17
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Guys,

Thanks soo much for the encouragement and sharing your success!! I'll keep the tri bike. I'll be on the bike today as I just got back from Tallahasse. I'm going to try for 30 min. (15 min. out & back unless there's wind) I'll start to log my time, miles, weather, overall feeling. Anybody have a list of other items to write down?

Thanks again guys!

-Judson
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Old 07-31-06, 11:23 AM   #18
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I'm just starting my journey back as well -

TIME TIME TIME - That's most important right now...Get so you can go one hour at whatever a consistent pace is for you, them work on increasing you distance and speed. The only way to do that is time in the saddle.

Also - ther are places on the web where you can track your progress. Do a search and check them out. Seeing your progress helps keep you motivated. Also, check out fitday.com to track your diet. Just seeing where your calories and nutrition are coming from makes a big difference.

I use bike journal.com and fitday.com to track my progress. I'm sure there are others out there as well...
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Old 07-31-06, 11:49 AM   #19
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I am 240# and nearing that half century mark and decided that keeping the ol' ticker clicking with ease was becoming a priority. In my youth, bicycles was the most pleasurable excercise besides swimming. It's been 8 years or so since I've done any serious cycling till this year.

I am one of those who loves pushing myself beyond my limits. It took a few months but I am breaking myself of this bad habit. Now I ride a very comfortable pace in 3 and 4 hour stretches. Hills have become easier and my main quest now is to find a good route with some kind of interest (looking for the best roads with bikepaths). Improvements in local roadwork have really improved my riding attitude.

What really got me going was finding a good local bike club. They have both beginner tours and intermediate every weekend. It is indeed a lot more fun to ride with others and knowing that you have someone keeping an eye on things. Their moto is "No rider left behind". This is a great way to get motivated and something to look forward to every week. I've now started venturing out on my own and choosing to ride with the club when they offer an interesting route. I commute daily (very short trip, unfortunately) and I am working on getting up to 100 miles per week. Sponcered rides are also a great way to motivate yourself for specific events.

Good luck on your quest!
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Old 07-31-06, 11:57 AM   #20
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You don't need to swap out the knobby tires for slicks..the knobbies are a little slower but that's fine since you're rding for exercise, not utility.

It's said you get the best fat-burning effect if you do moderate exercise for more than 1/2 hour, rather than intense exercise for less than 1/2 hour - so, as others have said, ride at a steady pace for 30+ minutes. Worry about speed later.
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Old 07-31-06, 12:26 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PolishPostal
I went from 215# to 180# in about 3 1/2 months when I started riding 2 yrs ago. Diet plays a huge roll in the equation. I counted calories and tried to get into a routine. I really focused on reducing portion size and eating healthier.

It can be done.
+1 on counting calories and getting into a routine. I have used Fitday.com to count mine and dropped 53 lbs since January. If you eat healthy and keep riding you will drop weight. Good luck. Later.
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Old 07-31-06, 05:56 PM   #22
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One more thought...

Listen to your body. If you're feeling overly fatigued or just don't want to ride, don't. I took last weekend off for the first time in about 4 months because I just didn't feel like being on the bike.

To contradict myself, however, there are times when I don't feel great and then feel better when I get on the bike. Many times...
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Old 07-31-06, 06:15 PM   #23
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+1 on counting calories and getting into a routine. I have used Fitday.com to count mine and dropped 53 lbs since January. If you eat healthy and keep riding you will drop weight. Good luck. Later.
+1 Aham is a good story to follow. This guy is doing 100 mile rides after six months. (BTW Aham congrats on the new Giant). The main thing is to stick with it. Watch the calorie intact and watch the bad fats. As the weight comes off it wil be easier to ride. I had the same time limit when I started but now it is 20-25 miles every moring in a little over an hour and 50 mile rides on the weekends.
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Old 07-31-06, 06:27 PM   #24
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I did it! One short term goal accomplished! I rode for 30:16. Now I don't know if the rest of my stats are valid but I know my clock works fine. Here is the reason:
I set up my new (to me bike '01 Bianchi Denali) I put a computer & slicks on it this morning but didn't ride as the wind was howling. For the wheel size, I made a mark straight down from my valve stem and marked the ground, holding the bike in place I got on, made one revolution with my weight on it and stopedwith the valve stem down again and measured 1955mm. That's the number I punched into the computer to figure out my speed/distance. That said (if correct read on if not pleaselet me know):
Time: 30:16
Dist: 7.12
Avg: 14.1
I could only avg 10 mph out because of the headwind, but coming back, WOW! I hit 27.5 mph down a slight hill! What a blast. I rode 17:00 minutes out but should have gone a full 19-20 as I had to ride around the block to get my 30:00 in. My legs felt a little weak when I first got off the bike. I've streched a bit and don't feel bad at all. We'll see what tomorrow brings. I'll check out fitday & bike journal tonight. Congrats on the new ride aham23! There are so many great testimonies as to how bicycling has helped people... it's very encouraging.
WooHoo!!!

-Judson

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Old 07-31-06, 08:08 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by judson
For the wheel size, I made a mark straight down from my valve stem and marked the ground, holding the bike in place I got on, made one revolution with my weight on it and stopedwith the valve stem down again and measured 1955mm. That's the number I punched into the computer to figure out my speed/distance.
That's exactly what you do.

And fitday and bikejournal are both very helpful. On fitday, remember you must record your time sleeping every day. If you don't, the software will assume 24 hours of moderate activity (or whatever level of activity you put in as your base), and you will thus overestimate your calories burned each day.
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