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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 08-07-11, 07:45 PM   #1
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A little help for a fat guy with issues........ please help!

Ok, Im new here so Hi!

About me.....

in late 2007 I purchased my 1st road bike ( a red specialized allez elite triple ) I was around 280lbs and in otherwise good health at age 26. I had started riding regularly short rides, 10-20 miles and started getting into better shape. By 2008, with the help of and avid cyclist co worker the rides had grown to 35-50 miles with a good amount of hills ( with a weekly summit of the local small ski area ) The Bike had been upgraded to a Specialized Tarmac expert with a double ( 52-39?) I was still a big guy at around 220ish but in my opinion in good shape. I could keep up with the local shop rides that averaged 18+mph over 50+ miles and I felt good.....

The birth of my 1st and second children ( twins ) in late 08 slowed me down a bit but I was still riding 2 times ( between 80-120 miles ) a week And I started training for a TRI.

It was around this time that I started having an "issue" breathing, but just muscled thru it. Maximum efforts very painful and I at times couldnt even remember long sections of rides.... but my legs felt SO strong.

The tri came in 09, and with the addition of twins and a new 50+ hours a week job I was slowed up even more in my training. Race day came, and I did well in the swim and was totally excited to get on the bike course and rip it up ( I trained once a week on the course and could totally kill it ) Long story short, my trusty Mavic Ksyriums failed me and I broke a spoke. The worst most horrible feeling in my whole life... carrying my bike back to awaiting friends and family there to see me. I took a few weeks off before riding again, and the breathing issues continued to worsen. By the beginning of 2010 I was not riding at all. By March 2010 my DR said I had Asthma and put me on Advair.

I road less than 200 miles in 2010 and 0 miles in 2011 until last week when I took my poor neglected pride and joy out for a pathetic 10 miles. I felt like crap, my lungs hurt, I fat again ( back to 280 ) and I hate myself and i hate the example im setting for my twins. I miss feeling strong, I miss riding hills. But I honestly dont know if I can.

Anyone have any advice?

Can anyone recommend a gearing change? I cant handle the double crank and wont be able to for a while. Can I change it to a compact crank without have to swap the front dérailleur?
whats the best 1st step back to feeling strong again?
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Old 08-07-11, 07:57 PM   #2
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DBarkerTarmac, we're kind of in a similar boat, except my trouble is arthritis and severe back problems. I'm just getting back into riding and five miles is a LONG way to me, even on flat roads. I'm a 6'4" 250# Clyde who would like to get back down to 215# that I weighed several years ago when I could ride 50+ miles in very hilly country. It's going to be very hard I know but I have every confidence that I can do it! So can you, brother! Eddy Merckx had the best advice of all time: RIDE LOTS!!
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Old 08-08-11, 01:53 AM   #3
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My hubbie has asthma and he just keeps riding daily. He had it since he was very little and says that biking helped him breathe better and strengthen his lungs. He bikes about 33 kilometers per day back and forth to work.

I suggest you do lots of easy miles, never enough to trigger an attack. Maybe get into ranndoneuring instead of tri?
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Old 08-08-11, 03:18 AM   #4
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Yes you can swap to a compact crank, if you look at the front derailleur you'll see that it can be adjusted up and down. It's a good idea. Nobody really needs the top end gears and the lower ones are really useful.

Can't give advice on your asthma, if it is inhibiting your riding you need to talk again to your doctor. But I do know that there are international athletes who are asthmatic.

The best first step is...the first step. Don't worry about not being able to do what you could do before, just start by doing what you can and persevere. The good news is that having been there before, you (and your muscles - they will remember) know you can get there again. Asthma apart, you'll be surprised at how quickly your body responds to a resumption of exercise. Set very small goals, initially about riding time rather than distance. Build up 10% per week, so if you ride three hours this week, ride three hours twenty minutes next week and so on. Only after a few weeks of this would I start to think about moderate increases in intensity. Speed, and distance, will follow in time.

As you see some improvement you'll be more motivated to continue, and to want to take the trouble to eat properly- which is still the most important thing as far as the weight is concerned. And you are still a young man, in a year or so you'll be asking advice about training for racing.

Last edited by chasm54; 08-08-11 at 03:22 AM.
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Old 08-08-11, 07:09 AM   #5
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On the breathing issue: Try this.....\\\

When you have the need to gasp......don't. Instead, do deep cycle, controlled breathing. Our gasp reflex can be overridden, and when we are gasping, our blood O2 saturation actually drops, our blood goes acidic, and we actually perform worse, and the burn is actually our blood going acidic from the carbolic and lactic acid building up.
. “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant
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