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Old 04-27-05, 09:35 AM
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Doctor Morbius
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Originally Posted by Dewbert
Wow--Thanks for all the responses and advice.
Dr. Morbius--I guess what I'm getting at is what Allison_in_OH said. Long easy rides vs. harder shorter rides. Since this post, it's been too cold and rainy to be out much, but I'm going to focus on steadily increasing my spinning speed and using lower gears, rather than peddling slowly in higher gears to go longer distances.

I'm an insulin dependent diabetic and I've lost 72 pounds in the last year by eating right (whole foods, lots of fruits and veggies and only complex carbs), doing Yoga every day and climing lots of stairs. I've recently added biking to get some more cardio work into my schedule. I'm well on my way to a healthier lifestyle and think that biking may just help me get those last few pounds off and keep them off.

Thanks again, all!
Dewbert
Congratulations on the weight loss. That's pretty impressive for anyone let alone a diabetic. Diabetes runs in my family and I can feel the heavy influence of it so I know how hard it is to do something like that.

Long easy rides vs. harder shorter rides doesn't have anything to do with the RPM's of your cranks, i.e. spinning - unless you have a fixed gear or single speed bike and the only way to go faster is to pedal faster. That's why I didn't get the original question of distance vs. RPM's as the two are not at odds with each other. You can spin at fast RPM's and go either fast or slow or you can spin at lower RPM's and go fast or slow.

Basically, when it comes to RPM's you should train at a cadence that allows you to generate the most power (i.e. wattage). Most people do that between 80 to 100 with the exception of Lance Armstrong. Pedal at a cadence that feels comfortable provided it is between 80 to 100. Do NOT worry about spinning overly incredibly fast because when Lance retires and Jan Ulrich or somebody with a much lower cadence starts winning the TdF then spinning at outrageous cadences will lose popularity. It's just fashionable for cyclists to spin at higher cadences these days.

If you're exercising primarily for weight loss and to increase your fitness levels from a former sedentary person, then there isn't much of a reason for you to push yourself into the higher heart rate zones. At least not yet. Save that kind of intensity for when you've lost the weight and are wanting to go from fit to extremely fit. What that means is that you can hover between 65% to 75% of your maximum heart rate for fairly long periods of time without the fear of overtraining. Once you are down nearer to a bodyweight where you want to be, then perhaps you could bump up the intensity to really push those fitness levels. Of course, that will require shorter workout programs.

Keep it up. Sounds like you're doing very well thus far.
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