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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 06-16-04, 11:40 AM   #1
Jonny B
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Novice needs a training plan

I just turned 21 a week ago, and to be honest I'm in pretty bad shape. I can't ride more than 5 or 6 miles without dying (probably more a case of 'I don't want to because it's going to hurt' ), I have plenty of excess fat and I'm probably clinicly obese. Last time I weighed myself I had over 50% body fat.

My general goal is to lose weight and get fitter (increased stamina, sprint strength and average speed). My specific goal is to do a 50 before my 22nd (June 2005). I figure since I have about 50 weeks until then, I just increase my rides by 1 mile every week. I'm going to aim for 3 rides a week, and I'll keep a log of all my miles so I know where I am. Having just read the Base Building thread over in Road Cycling, I guess it'd be a good idea to keep to a medium-ish pace, not push too hard.

Does anyone have any thoughts or other ideas for a training plan? Is it worth getting an HRM?
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Old 06-16-04, 11:52 AM   #2
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Training by miles is useless train by hours, start with say around 4 hours a week then increase 1 hour a week, after 1st 2 weeks. don't worry about speed just ride at a pace you can sustain for a long period of time, you should be able to talk without gasping for air, and yes a hrm is a good thing to train with. after you have a good base then start intense work.
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Old 06-16-04, 12:03 PM   #3
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Not so much a cycling specific comment, but I lost a lot of body fat (before I got a decent bike) by running. I found the best thing was a lot of small amounts of cardio, very often (e.g. I did a 3km run every 2 days starting, then upped the distance to 5 km gradually). Not sure how the distance will translate to the bike, but it's a good concept. And watch the diet (particularly beer)
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Old 06-16-04, 12:27 PM   #4
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My thoughts .... equally if not more important to your goals is going to be a healthy diet, if you need comments on that just ask, and second don't ignore cross training, IMO it's absolutely necessary.
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Old 06-16-04, 01:36 PM   #5
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Know what you mean about the diet (can't be a good thing the I have a nearly empty tub of Ben & Jerry's in front of me).

By my calculations, based on an average speed of 14mph (about what I average at the moment), it'd take me about 3 and a half hours for a 50. Say I aim for 200 minutes, going up 4 minutes a week. Sound good?

And what do you mean by cross training? Running? Weights? Spin classes or other gym work (not a big fan of gyms)? Would swimming be a good idea? My girlfriend refuses to do anything but swimming, if we went together I'm sure we'd both be fitter for it (and my sister runs a lot, maybe I should keep her company. Hey, we've got a triathlon team!).
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Old 06-16-04, 03:10 PM   #6
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Johnny-

(warning- this is greatly simplified but a good way to get started dieting)

Total Calories in - Total Calories used in a day..

If this number is negative, you will lose weight.. if it is positive, you will gain weight.

A typical person of your age, probably uses ~2500 calories in a day, just breathing, walking around, sleeping, etc.. Lets assume you are intaking 3000 calories a day now. Take 500 away from that by dieting, and use 500 calories a day in excercise. Now, you are using 3000 calories a day instead of 2500, and you are intaking 2500 calories a day == weight loss.

Now, I like to eat.. eat stuff that tastes good, and as a student, I have enough time to exercise. So, I tend not to diet much, but incrase the amount I exercise. Right now, you want to get rid of that extra fat, so I would suggest 1) getting a heart rate monitor, 2) using it, and making sure you ride in zones 1 and 2. In zones 1 and 2, you burn 50-80% of your calories from fat. And, for most people, zones 1 and 2 seem very easy (I call it riding guiltily slow). Depending on your weight/fitness, the speed you would ride would probably be ~10-12mph to be in this fat burning zone.

If you can do an hour of fat burning, 3-5 times per week (that hour does not include 10-15 minutes of warmup, and 5-10 minutes of cool down), you will lose weight, and lose it fairly quick. In addition, when I am trying to burn fat, I will come home after a ride, eat a piece of fruit to get my blood-sugars back up, then not eat anything of substance for 2 hours. Your metabolism stays very high for a couple hours after a good ride, and you will continue to burn fat.

Hope that helps..
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Old 06-16-04, 04:03 PM   #7
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Get your diet into check, quickly. Then ride your bike. You'll make drastic improvement, but it's gonna hurt and it'll be hard. Be prepared for a battle, but it's so worth it.
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Old 06-16-04, 04:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonny B

By my calculations, based on an average speed of 14mph (about what I average at the moment),
That is most unlikely for a beginner biker. Are you using a cycling computer to get this figure, or does it seem so once you get up to speed?

People generally way overestimate their average speed. I.e., if you go five miles at 10 mph and then 5 miles at 20 mph, your average is NOT 15 mph - it is 13.33 mph.

If you indeed are getting an average (distance traveled/time on bike) of 14 miles per hour, my congratulations. But then perhaps you need to slow down a bit and get in a longer ride.
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Old 06-16-04, 04:37 PM   #9
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By cross training I meant incorporating exercises that utilize muscles in all parts of your body. That doesn't HAVE to be weight lifting (though I think it's a good idea for someone just starting to rebuild their musculature) ... combiniing swimming, rowing and cycling could be beneficial, but you're also probably more likely to over-exert yourself doing that. If you don't like gyms but are still willing to weight lift get a decent set of free weights and you'll find you can do 90% of the exercises you can do in a gym, and what's more you'll develop better stabilizer muscles than the people that do cable/lever driven exercises to boot.
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Old 06-17-04, 12:24 PM   #10
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My cyclocomputer usually tells me I have an average of between 13 and 15mph, so at a guess it's 14mph overall. I think I have to work to an actual schedule, I'm going to have to force myself to go out some days (like today, bit on the cold side). I have a little notebook that I'm using to log miles, I think I'll turn it into a proper schedule and ride to that.

What are Zones 1 and 2? How many Zones are there? I knew I should have asked about HRMs last time I was in the LBS.
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Old 06-17-04, 01:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonny B
My cyclocomputer usually tells me I have an average of between 13 and 15mph, so at a guess it's 14mph overall.
Excellent. You are well on your way!
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