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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 07-04-09, 08:03 PM   #1
alohaboy
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weight loss and base building

So I finally got around to getting a physical, which I haven't done in probably 10 years (I'm 30). I got the results last week and they were okay. Blood pressure was great, cholesterol was normal, but the doc said my good heart healthy cholesterol was too low and my triglycerides were too high, which after doing some research I've figured out is because of my belly. I'm 5'9", 175lbs with about 22% bodyfat. I've pretty much determined I need to lose about 25lbs, but I haven't been able to lose hardly anything from just cycling.
My plan for the fall is to do serious training (using Joe Friel's training bible) to enter some crits and stage races near here. (I have no delusions of grandeur about winning, I just need something besides fun rides for motivation)
I guess my question is, from now until the fall, should I focus strictly on losing weight/body fat using running and weights, while incorporating some riding, or would the base building process actually cause me to shed the pounds? I will be overhauling my diet as well.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-04-09, 08:47 PM   #2
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Lose the weight, first. Lose it by riding and you will not only lose a lot of weight, but you will become fast, too.

I would change it from "running and weights, while incorporating some riding" to "riding lots, while incorporating some running and some weightlifting." Ride at least as many days as combined running/lifting...

eg, ride 3 days/wk, run 2x/wk, lift 1x/wk.
Better yet, ride 4x/wk, run 1x/wk, lift 1x/wk.
Best yet, ride 5x/wk, run or lift 1x/wk.
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Old 07-04-09, 09:38 PM   #3
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You don't mention anything about your diet. I would look at addressing that.

From a weight-loss perspective, I don't think that much about adding racing. That will concentrate mostly around your anaerobic system, where the aerobic system is where you are going to be burning the fat.

My prescription:
* Evaluate your diet. Carmichael's food for fitness is a decent reference.
* Fuel during your ride, with something like 250 cal/hour of mostly carbs.
* If you ride 2 hours or more, use a good recovery drink. That plus the fuel during the ride will help support your blood sugar and you'll get less hungry afterwards. That allows you to get away not replacing the fat you burn.
* Rides in the 2-4 hour range are best, since those will force your body to dip into your fat reserves, and put you in the decent aerobic range. Don't try to kill yourself from an intensity perspective.
* Weight lifting is a good idea. Running is also good for cyclist bone strength since it's weight bearing, but it probably won't do much to increase your weight loss.

If you give more details about your diet, we could be more specific.
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Old 07-04-09, 10:04 PM   #4
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It's difficult to be prescriptive, but the above advice is sound. I rediscovered cycling at 36, an weighed ~178lbs @ 5'9". This year (now 38) I've got to a pretty steady 152-153lbs but wasn't really trying to loose weight. I lost ~10lbs in the first 6 months, riding a hybrid for 10-15mile distances 2x a week and somewhat plateau'd. Since getting a road bike at the start of 08 and increasing my mileage to 90-100miles a week (2x mid week rides + longer weekend ride) the rest has fallen off. I have tried to watch my diet, but just the joy of riding has been enough for me - perhaps you need to increase duration/mileage?
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Old 07-05-09, 08:15 AM   #5
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My diet isn't horrible in the sense that I sit down and eat a whole bag of chips or drink Coke all the time, but it could be better. I tend to have a sweet tooth, and I'll eat little things here and there, but apparently they've added up. Starting this weekend I've been paying more attention to what I'm eating and using fitday.com to help me get an idea of my fat/protein/carb breakdown (man, it sure it easy to put away carbs). Tomorrow I'll be heading to the store and picking up better foods. I'm also going to start using some of the Men's Health recipes instead of the same ol' not so great recipes.
Thanks for all of the suggestions.
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Old 07-05-09, 08:38 AM   #6
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You can do both If you train a reasonable amount and eat reasonably healthily and in moderate amounts, you'll lose weight. Base is a good time to lose weight, as a larger volume of moderate intensity rides burns more calories overall than a smaller volume with a lot of intervals, and running a calorie deficit won't impact your recovery as much as it will when you are doing more intensity later in the season.

Having concrete goals like. "top 20 in the Endless Misery stage race" will be a lot more motivating than a lame goal like "lose weight".

If you are doing base now and this fall with an eye for competing next year, don't forget to schedule a break in the fall like you would if you had raced this year. Otherwise your 2010 season will be a season and a half, and you run a risk of getting burned out or just too tired. A couple weeks of riding only for fun (or running, or whatever) would do it.
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Old 07-05-09, 09:16 AM   #7
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Yeah, I've done the "lose weight" goal before, and clearly it hasn't worked.
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Old 07-05-09, 07:58 PM   #8
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"fall" is only a couple months away
I think you should set your sights for this time next year
long term goals plus short term goals work hand in hand
be diligent but patient
doing anything during the next 2 months with any regularity will be great for you
try doing a combination of things on alternating days
but first - be sure to do no harm - an injury can really mess up your goals!
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Old 07-06-09, 05:12 AM   #9
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Yeah, I'm trying to slowly reintroduce my body back in cycling to avoid injury. I haven't ridden consistently in over a month. After not being able to take part in the MS150 (Day 1 was cancelled, couldn't make it to the halfway point for Day 2) I couldn't get motivated to ride.
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