Used to be a climber..
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: East Baldwin, ME
Bikes: 2016 Ridley Fenix SL, 2013 PedalForce RS3-ISP, 2015 Trek 520 Disc
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You don't need to go hard to reap the biggest benefits right now.....
Do yourself a favor and get a heart rate monitor, and also if you don't have one, get a bike computer with cadence. Since you're just starting out again, try to stick to 4-5 days per week of riding, concentrating on steady/consistent efforts. I don't know how old you are, but if you're around my age (32), stay in the 135-155 bpm range on the heart rate monitor with your cadence between 85-90 rpms (or slightly more). Start off easy....45 minutes to an hour for each workout should be good, with 1 day of a bit longer effort....at least 1.5 hours. You will be surprised at how quickly you will start building fitness, and pretty soon you'll be riding longer. If done right, you will also notice that you will be getting a little "faster" at the same (or slightly lower) heartrate....this is good. Once you begin noticing a difference (will take a couple months or so), you can begin ramping up the intensity a bit more.
Rest and recovery (as well as stretching) is very important...also, try to take every 3rd or 4th week as an "easy" week, where the intensity/volume is less than what you've normally been doing so your body can rebuild. Some people will throw in an easy week every 3rd week, and some will throw one in every 4th week - listen to your body and see what works best for you.