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  1. #1
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    When can I start a training program

    I am wondering when I can start a training program. I just started riding at the very end of June. I have around 700 base miles in. I know some books state that you should have a good base mileage of around 1,000 or so. I am a clyde so I am big.

    I commute around 3 days a week at different paces depending on if I am riding with a friend to work or not. I also ride on Saturday's (just started longer rides with a local group). My longest ride is 44 miles to date though. My commute is around 11.5 miles each way.

    My goals are to lose weight but become a stronger and faster rider. I live in a very good area for training as I have lots of great hilly routes with low traffic and country with flat areas for long rides.

    I want to use my commute as part of my training plan. Maybe do low gears with higher cadence one day and high gears pushing another or intervals.

    Any advice on if I should start now or should I build my base mileage up more and just ride. Another note is I do live in a rainy area so I will spend alot of time in spin classes this winter when I cannot get outside.

  2. #2
    Senior Member telebianchi's Avatar
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    Not trying to be snarky, but it sounds like you started your training plan around 700 miles ago. The base building is part of a training plan.

    I don't have the experience or expertise to lay out a plan for you, but I think you first should define your goals a little more specifically.

    My goals are to lose weight :
    How much weight? What is your current body fat %? What is your time frame?

    become a stronger and faster rider.
    Define stronger: hills? sprints? over 10, 30 50 or 75 miles? How strong are you now?
    Define faster: How fast are you now? How fast do you want to be? Over what distance?

    Also, losing weight is not a cycling-specific goal. It will surely help your cycling to have 20 fewer pounds to drag up a hill but losing weight is about total lifestyle (exercise, diet, etc.) of which cycling can be a great part.

    For what it's worth, I've been slowly reading through Friel's book and while it is really focused on training for and preparing for racing there is a lot of good info in there for regular Joes like me who just want to perform better and be healthier.

  3. #3
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    Congrats on starting riding! That's the most important thing.

    I like the training plans in the book "The Lance Armstrong Performance Program" - easy to understand, don't take too much time out of your week. While the light lasts, you can extend your ride home to become your workout. There are 3 levels of 7-week programs (do the beginner one first, duh) and a bunch of ideas for drills that you could add to your commutes.

    That said, don't fret too much about the plans, I would say, at this point, just get some miles in, get comfortable on your bike, spin all winter, and start training for real in the spring.

    My $0.02, FWIF, YMMV, etc. etc.
    ...

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the reply. I will try to answer the questions so others can better help me.

    Quote Originally Posted by telebianchi View Post
    I don't have the experience or expertise to lay out a plan for you, but I think you first should define your goals a little more specifically.
    Quote Originally Posted by telebianchi View Post
    My goals are to lose weight :
    How much weight? What is your current body fat %? What is your time frame?
    My goal is to lose around 40lbs and then evaluate from there. I do not have a specific time frame other than making it a healthy time frame. Maybe 5-10lbs a month.

    Quote Originally Posted by telebianchi View Post
    become a stronger and faster rider.
    Define stronger: hills? sprints? over 10, 30 50 or 75 miles? How strong are you now?
    Good question I want to be much better on hills that is what kills me now. I think I am not to bad on sprints. I would like to increase my pace on longer rides. I did my first 44 mile ride last week and my group was a 17mph but my actual average was like 15.4 for the ride. There were some climbs on the ride and I did pull 4 of us for around 15 miles or so at the correct pace. On flat ground I had no issues holding the pace and was never dropped even on the climbs in this group. I would like to ride with the 19mph group though as my first goal.

    Quote Originally Posted by telebianchi View Post
    Define faster: How fast are you now? How fast do you want to be? Over what distance?
    My commute is around 11.5 miles and I average a 15.3mph average and would like to get this around 17 or so on my own without help. I have some hills on my commute or rollers that slow me down. On the flats on small rollers I can ride at 17-19 but the hills kill me so I think improving climbing will get me where I want to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by telebianchi View Post
    Also, losing weight is not a cycling-specific goal. It will surely help your cycling to have 20 fewer pounds to drag up a hill but losing weight is about total lifestyle (exercise, diet, etc.) of which cycling can be a great part.
    I agree with you and I want to make sure that some or a large part of my workouts are helping me lose weight. So I would like to create a plan that targets the correct zone training for around 60-70% of my riding and then use the other 30% to cover some of the other areas. As I lose weight and get closer to my target I can shift the %'s around to achieve the other goals.

    Quote Originally Posted by telebianchi View Post
    For what it's worth, I've been slowly reading through Friel's book and while it is really focused on training for and preparing for racing there is a lot of good info in there for regular Joes like me who just want to perform better and be healthier.
    Thanks for the book advice. I will take a look.

  5. #5
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    I am going on a trip next week and will have time to read. Any other good books I might want to look at to learn more about training?

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