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?