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  1. #1
    Get on yer bikes & ride! lupowolf's Avatar
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    Can't Get Past It... (Newbie)

    Hey all...

    I used to ride a lot, but it's been about 7 years and, well, I'm almost 40 now. I'm back on my bike and I feel great. I'm also eating right, so the bike just makes me drop fat. In the past 6 weeks, I've also raised my average speed by 2 mph.

    The problem... and I'm embarassed to say this, since I used to do centuries ... is that I can't get past a lousy 7-mile ride! I'm totally out of it by the end. Any ideas?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Riding is Praying Shorty's Avatar
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    Eat more, especially right before during and right after the ride. That is the only thing that has really increased my energy. Now that it is colder, I'm suprised at how much I have to eat to ride my 10 mile commute. Carbs are the best, something like a cliff bar before or during and pasta or a potato etc. within an hour of rideing to replace what you have lost. Surf around, you should find some other sites with more info.

    Hope that helps.

  3. #3
    Get on yer bikes & ride! lupowolf's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot. I've been doing what you mentioned... maybe I need to re-evaluate. Thanks!

  4. #4
    On Your Right ZackJones's Avatar
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    Take it easy on your rides. Sounds like you need to spend some time doing low intensity rides to build your fitness base. Something I like doing is riding for time. Instead of going out to ride 10 miles I'll go out to ride 35 minutes. If I make 10 miles fine, if I don't that's fine too as long as I meet my time goals I'm happy.

    Hang in there the fitness will come back and you'll be ready to do centuries again.

  5. #5
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    How many times per week do you ride? Are you up to 5-6 day yet? Do you do 7 miles each time?

    When you get there, pick one day per week, relax your pace (go slower), and start gradually increasing your distance. Aim for 10% per week.

  6. #6
    Senior Member clausen's Avatar
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    Just take it slow. 2 years ago when I got back into riding I could barely due 12 KM. Now I'm going out for 2 to 3 hours sometimes covering up to 80 KM. That's also with only 2 maybe if I'm lucky 3 days a week of riding in the summer. My work schedule really sucks.

  7. #7
    Pat
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    Well, if you are pegging out that fast, you might either be

    A) Just starting again. If you are in really bad shape, muscles give out pretty quickly. Keep at it.

    B) You are pushing way to hard. Gear down and slow down. You will be able to go farther.

    Of course, another thing could be happening. You are not getting out often enough. I have found that the more times one works out per week aerobically, the better. It does not have to be on the bike everytime but getting out just on weekends is not a good thing. If you can do a fast walk or short rides or something twice or three times during the weekdays even if it is for 30-45 minutes, it will help quite a bit.

  8. #8
    slower than you Applehead57's Avatar
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    Hmmm.... could be just a matter of conditioning. I'd be curious about your course. Is it especially hilly or difficult? Riding seven flat miles should not be even remotely challenging for anyone who understands cycling (if you've done centuries, you're not a newbie). Are you riding too fast? Don't ride with an expectation of maintaining a certain speed or finishing within a certain time, just ride to complete your course.
    What about your health? Is your body telling you something? Are there other tasks that seem to bother you more than you'd expect? Could there be a deeper problem?
    For now, just keep riding, slowly and often. Give yourself time to recover before your next ride. Good luck!
    "Lack of opportunity does not constitute virtue". Diana Tickle.

  9. #9
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lupowolf
    Hey all...

    I used to ride a lot, but it's been about 7 years and, well, I'm almost 40 now. I'm back on my bike and I feel great. I'm also eating right, so the bike just makes me drop fat. In the past 6 weeks, I've also raised my average speed by 2 mph.

    The problem... and I'm embarassed to say this, since I used to do centuries ... is that I can't get past a lousy 7-mile ride! I'm totally out of it by the end. Any ideas?

    Thanks!
    Don't blame the "I'm almost 40" bit.

    Check out the 50+ forum, you'll see folks in their 50's, 60's 70's and 80's who ride centuries and longer. Age is not the problem. My wife is 67 and doe 30 miles with no problem.

    What cadence are you riding at?

    How "steep" is that 7 miles?

    What about your weight? You said you are "dropping" fat. How much is there to "drop?"

    And, I would give some thought to some underlying medical problem, as previously suggested. If you can walk 2 miles (can you?) then 7 miles of flat bicycling should be a cinch.

    If you are medically ok, I think you need to give yourself more time, be sure your cadence is fast, and just relax and build into it. Your distance and energy WILL build up. Set up a schedule of either miles or time and increase it, but be sure to give yourself rest days.

    Good luck!
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  10. #10
    Aluminium Crusader :-)
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    The one and only time I stopped riding was only for 3 months, about 15 years ago.
    I was a 35 to 45 mile a day man, but when I got back on the bike, for the first few rides i struggled to do 25 miles.

  11. #11
    Climbing Fool terrymorse's Avatar
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    I'm going to guess that you're in need of some base miles for a few weeks.

    Ride for a minimum of 1 hour at a time, but at an endurance pace (65-72% of max heart rate). If you don't use a heart rate monitor, I recommend using one. It will give you the discipline to ride in the proper zone.

    Once you have a few weeks of base training, you can start increasing the intensity and distance.
    Managing Director, Undiscovered Country Tours

  12. #12
    Senior Member nick burns's Avatar
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    Relax, the endurance needed to increase your mileage will come. Just keep riding and don't get discouraged.

  13. #13
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    The first time I hopped on a bike in years was in November. Went about 6 miles and felt like my legs were about to collapse. Last week I rode 35 miles and the only reason I stopped was because I ran out of sunlight.

    It sounds like you're just trying to ride as fast as you can for as far as you can. Get a heart rate monitor. Calculate your maximum heart rate (the old formula is 220-age, a better one might be 210 - (age/2) - (weight in lbs * 0.05) (+ 4 for men). You want to exercise at between 60-70% of your maximum heartrate until you are happy with your endurance (I would say until you can ride in that range for an hour). That is zone 2. Then gradually increase the amount of time your spend above that in zone 3 (70-80%).

    I really like "The Heart Rate Monitor Book for Outdoor and Indoor Cyclists" by Edwards and Reed for general readability on health & fitness.

    Bruce

  14. #14
    Senior Member Metro's Avatar
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    You could be just giving up before you are warmed up. It takes me a good 30 minutes to really warm my old bones up. That's about 7 miles. If you start out really easy and gradually increase your rpm every minute for 5 minutes, you will be warm and ready to go. Don't neglect the pre and post stretch. Hydrate and be certain to eat something before you ride (granola bars are perfect).

    You can also increase your riding efficiency through drills and exercises. Then try three sets of 10 second quick spins. That's ten seconds fast, followed by 20 seconds relaxed pace. Do that three times. One legged drills are also good for technique. Unclip one leg, (let it hang). Pedal in an easy gear for 30 rotations, then change feet. Make sure you are on a clear uninterupted road when you do this for safety purposrs. You will have covered the same 7 miles and will probably feel fresher because you eased into you workout and are now ready for another 7 miles. If you add other drills and exercises in not more that two minute intervals with a matching period or rest in between, you will find yourself doing an hour on the bike without thinking about it.

    You can get lots of drills in many publications like "Serious Cycling" by Edmund Burke, PHD. There is also Chris Carmichael's books. You should find others at your local bike shop or even Barnes and Nobels/Border Book/Walden Book/ etc. With a little patience ou would be suprised how quickly you will progress.

    Forget the age thing. Youth is wasted on the young. You don't get older you get batter.I am 53 and plan to do my first century of the year on May 7 of this year. I look forward to hearing how you made out.

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