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  1. #1
    ボケ
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    Too much too soon?

    Recently I had to take a 2 month break from cycling, and I'm getting back into it now. Last year I was pretty erratic, but averaged about 4-5 hours of riding a week. I've done more in the past (topping out at ~10 hours a week in summer 2008). I'd like to ride at least 10 hours a week, and did just that last week (mostly zone 2/3). Took Monday off, but I felt a bit sluggish on today's ride. Could've just been because it was in the 40s and raining though. I'm not too sore (mostly just hamstrings and adductors (stupid fit issue)), but it felt hard to get my HR and, to a lesser extent, cadence up.

    Is 10 easy hours a week too much too soon? I have lots of free time and I'd like to take advantage of it, but at the same time I don't want to overdo it and injure myself or have to take more than a day off from riding every week.
    "Cycling's enemy is not the car; it is the idiot. And idiots travel by foot, car, and bicycle." -BSNYC

    2007 Cannondale CAAD 9, 2005 Giant Escape R3

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I'd say if you're unsure, you're best backing off a bit. Take it easy and build it up slowly. It's not worth risking injury.

  3. #3
    Cross-Chainer TheStott's Avatar
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    Personally, I don't think so. Are you riding for leisure, or competition? I would say that your time on the bike should be limited only by 2 things...nutrition and recovery. Often, sluggishness on the bike is a result of under-eating. You should work up some nutritional numbers for yourself. Find a carb calculator and determine what you need in a day. Next, do the same for protein. I think you'll find that you're under-nourished (which is relatively over-trained). Realize that your work effort determines where your body is finding it's fuel (this can be measured by HR). Also, make sure that you're staying properly fueled and hydrated DURING your rides. The second part, recovery just means to make sure that you have enough down time and that you're sleeping well.

    It sounds like you're already using a HR monitor, just be smart about how often you go above aerobic for a while. Remember, that your body is going to take some time to build the capillary beds and mitochondria for the increased O2 usage. Check out this article. It's running related, but Dr. C does a great job explaining the aerobic engine, in general. I've read A LOT of material on the subject, but I love his analogies.
    http://www.freedomsrun.org/Training/...ngAerobic.aspx

    Some other things to consider:
    Dynamic (not ballistic) stretching in the mornings, and static (relaxed) stretching post ride.
    Massage/hot tub.

    Hope this helps.

    Enjoy.
    Last edited by TheStott; 01-12-10 at 09:51 AM.
    "When you are a man, sometimes you wear stretchy-pants" ~Nacho Libre

  4. #4
    Pokes On Spokes JPradun's Avatar
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    If the most amount of hours you've put in was 10 hours almost 2 years ago, then yes, 10hrs is too much to start at. Work your way up an hour a week, resting when necessary.
    The quest for success: Collegiate Nationals:
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  5. #5
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    And also keep it more in zone 2, with a little zone 1, to start with, then add some zone 3 after a few weeks.

  6. #6
    Cross-Chainer TheStott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPradun View Post
    If the most amount of hours you've put in was 10 hours almost 2 years ago, then yes, 10hrs is too much to start at. Work your way up an hour a week, resting when necessary.
    This is funny coming from a guy whose blog says, "Anything worth doing, is worth overdoing".
    Just sayin'.
    "When you are a man, sometimes you wear stretchy-pants" ~Nacho Libre

  7. #7
    Senior Member Daveyboy's Avatar
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    So, what happens to those capillary beds and Mitochondria if not used? And do they come back faster the second time around?

  8. #8
    Faster than yesterday
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveyboy View Post
    So, what happens to those capillary beds and Mitochondria if not used? And do they come back faster the second time around?
    Use it or lose it.

    Another issue is "conversion" of type IIb to IIa fibers (taking on more oxidative properties). All training stimulates this. Some studies have shown that not only does the percentage revert to pre exercise levels w/detraining (generally accepted as true), it may actually overshoot the original mark (more speculative). This would leave the muscles with less aerobic capacity.

    As for anything coming back more quickly after losing it once, I'm not sure.

  9. #9
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I think it comes back faster.

  10. #10
    Pokes On Spokes JPradun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheStott View Post
    This is funny coming from a guy whose blog says, "Anything worth doing, is worth overdoing".
    Just sayin'.
    Does not apply to cases that cause burnout from the bike.
    The quest for success: Collegiate Nationals:
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    (Updated daily 3/26-4/4-: North Carolina training camp)

  11. #11
    Cross-Chainer TheStott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveyboy View Post
    So, what happens to those capillary beds and Mitochondria if not used? And do they come back faster the second time around?
    The "use it or lose it" comment is correct. As far as coming back faster the second time, no. Physiology is still physiology. Things will happen the same way as before. The differences lie in the old "if I knew then what I know now" statement. Now, you might begin differently than before. Now, you may eat/refuel/recover more wisely than before. I still stand behind my above comment, that 10 hrs/week is NOT too much. As it's been stated above, you obviously know your heart zones. Here's an article that does a good job explaining some generalizations about heart rate, and building a good aerobic engine: http://www.freedomsrun.org/Training/...ngAerobic.aspx yes, it's running related, but the analogies are good. Also, Dr. C references a few books throughout the article, that are accepted throughout the athletic community, and would be worthwhile reading material, if this stuff interests you.

    If you approach your riding/training wisely, and armed with the knowledge that you need, it doesn't matter if you ride 10, or even 20 hours a week. I think what people lose sight of, is that their level of output isn't always somebody else's level of output. It would be a completely different conversation if you said you wanted to spin in zone 5 for 10 hrs/week. Staying at a low aerobic level, when refueling and recovering properly, is entirely feasible, even for a "couch potato".
    "When you are a man, sometimes you wear stretchy-pants" ~Nacho Libre

  12. #12
    ボケ
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    Thanks for the replies. I should've mentioned that I'm riding for weight loss (5'7" ~158 lbs. now, shooting for 145) and competition (I'll be a cat 5 in south FL this season). I realize that I'm getting a late start for training to race. I've read a few books on training (including Friel's Bible), so I'm not totally clueless about it.

    I've taken 2 rest days this week, but shouldn't need any more. Like Carbonfiberboy said, if I keep it in zone 1-2 I think I'll be ok. The problem was that there's almost always a 15 to 20 mph headwind on the last 10km coming back home, so it was hard to keep my HR down. Now that I'm starting to adapt, I can stay in zone 2 heading into the wind.

    As for nutrition, every time I sign up for FitDay or the like, I wind up eating a bunch of wacky Japanese stuff that isn't listed on there and give up. While we're at it, what's a good way to estimate calories burned while cycling? I know most people say the numbers they get from their HRMs are way too high.
    "Cycling's enemy is not the car; it is the idiot. And idiots travel by foot, car, and bicycle." -BSNYC

    2007 Cannondale CAAD 9, 2005 Giant Escape R3

  13. #13
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Upwind, just gear down, keep your cadence up, and enjoy practicing your aero position. Don't even look at your speed.

    It's very hard to estimate calories burned, because you don't know your watts. If you had a power meter, it'd be easy to get close. Personally, I think the numbers I get on my Polar are about right. Many people say 50 calories per mile, which takes the time/watts factor out of it. I think that's close.

    On daveyboy's detraining question, I have some personal experience with that. (;-( I started training in 1995, having not done much out of zone 1 for about 25 years. It took me about 7 years to peak. If I were to detrain for 7 years now, I'd never get it back. If I detrain for 3 months, it takes me about 7 months to get it back, not 7 years. For short term detraining from a very trained state, my experience is that for every day missed over 3 days, it takes a week to get it back.

    I'm saying that it's not linear, that it depends on the age of the trainee, and on the training state of the trainee.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Daveyboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seedy J View Post
    The problem was that there's almost always a 15 to 20 mph headwind on the last 10km coming back home, so it was hard to keep my HR down. Now that I'm starting to adapt, I can stay in zone 2 heading into the wind.
    Having just read Friel's book and started riding with a HRM, I too find it hard to stay in zone 2. Headwinds and the hills a ride to/from my home easily put me out of zone. To stay in zone sometimes I seem to just crawl up those hills. I've been riding for ~4 years now and do a little 'cross racing in the fall, so not totally out of shape...

  15. #15
    Cross-Chainer TheStott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seedy J View Post
    I should've mentioned that I'm riding for weight loss
    Something to keep in mind also, is that by staying aerobic (primarily zone 1/2), your body will pull it's fuel from fat stores, thus aiding in your weightloss. If you ride harder, into a higher zone, your body will switch from "fat burning" mode, to utilizing glucose/glycogen for energy. HOWEVER....since you've read on of Friel's books, you know about periodization, and that you won't be able to strictly train aerobically, if you want to get faster and stronger for racing.
    You should set up a season based on Friel's method, and just estimate your weekly hours, and plan accordingly. If you're riding as much as 10 hrs/ week, your weightloss should fall into place before long.

    Like I said before, though, you should do a workup for you daily nutritional needs. I know there calculators you can find online, but I chose to hire a sports nutritionist to do the work for me. She even broke down my values based on which training period I'm working in. I couldn't be happier with the results.
    "When you are a man, sometimes you wear stretchy-pants" ~Nacho Libre

  16. #16
    ボケ
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    Update - Here's what I did this month:



    Yep, I'm slow. Most of these were flat rides in zone 2. I started climbing again last week on Sunday. The 0 km rides are roller rides. I'm pretty beat today since I've been doing more climbing than I usually do, but aside from that I've been feeling pretty good on rides. I wish I would've realized how much easier this is as a non-smoker earlier! Lost 2 kg as well since I've started. The biggest problems I'm having are fit issues, so I'm probably going to get a fitting done soon.

    I'm moving back to FL in April so I think I'm going to focus on climbing while I still have stuff to climb. Being out of shape, I'm sure it'll contribute positively to my racing in some way. Next month I'm going to do more climbing (would every day be too much?), add in a bit more intensity, and start doing group rides. Also going to work harder on making sure I eat properly, as I'm sure I'm not getting enough protein.

    Thanks for all the advice!
    "Cycling's enemy is not the car; it is the idiot. And idiots travel by foot, car, and bicycle." -BSNYC

    2007 Cannondale CAAD 9, 2005 Giant Escape R3

  17. #17
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    1000 km/month is very respectable! Good on ya. I'd dial it back a bit for the zone 2 rides. 143 average HR for the month seems high to me. For one ride, yes, and for a competitive climbing ride, several beats higher, but overall for the month, seems high. I'd go for more variation. Make your easy rides easier and harder rides harder. Yes, do climb. 1800 m/month isn't much. I'd shoot for 1000/week. But only climb a couple days/week. One day go all out, the other keep your effort high but even. Do the others flat and zone 2 for now. Yes, more protein. And don't skimp on sleep if you can manage it. My two cents.

    Why 0 km. for the rollers? One of the great things about rollers is that you can have your sensor on either wheel.

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