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New rider looking for training programs and or tips on how to get more distance etc

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New rider looking for training programs and or tips on how to get more distance etc

Old 08-21-14, 12:27 PM
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New rider looking for training programs and or tips on how to get more distance etc

Just got a new to me specialized comp road bike which was a big upgrade from my previous fuji that was setup as a commuter.

I started off about 6 weeks ago doing 3-4 miles at first and eventually getting up to 15 fairly flat in about 1:30min. A few weeks later I cut that time to a little over an hour.

I tried a new route that's only about 5 miles, but takes me up a few hills. The incline went from 115 feet to 500 feet according to google maps. I was hoping to make it up all the hills, but after the 3rd hill my heart rate was 160+ and I started feeling faint so I pulled over and took a rest for 5 minutes before ridding bike down defeated.

Trying to get some help or feedback on how to handle hills. Should I try and keep it in the lowest possible gear or just keep it in the middle? Also for a very new rider who’s only been on 8 total rides should I even try and attempt that much incline or should I just stick to flat surfaces for a while? I wanted to get a quick 30 min ride in so I figured go north and try the incline, but wow I think I may have underestimated the difficulty in ridding hills.

Anyone have a newbie training guide or some type of plan? I just found it odd that I can do 15 miles, but couldn't do less than 5 with some incline tossed in.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-21-14, 12:34 PM
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For starters resting is not defeat. The only way you are defeated is if you don't try. Congratulations on your new hobby. You are doing fine for a beginner. You will eventually be able to ride the hills just keep riding as often as you can. If you will add in a few intervals to your rides ( ride comfortably for a few minutes then as hard as you can go for say 30 seconds then repeat) it will help on the hills. Also you could drive to a smaller hill and try to do some hill repeats. Everytime you try you will get stronger. Practicing good pedaling technique will help also. Use whatever gear is necessary to get up the hill, as you get stronger you can start using higher gears. Biggest thing is remember to have fun !!
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Old 08-21-14, 01:24 PM
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Embrace the hills! Use your easiest gear to get tot he top. Once you start spinning out in that gear on a particular hill go one gear harder. If you can't spin at 100+ rpm going uphill then you are in too hard of a gear. So what if you are starting at 50 rpm in your slowest gear, you will get there. there is no shame in stopping or getting off and cross training your way to the top. Hills are hard, they stay hard you will just get faster at them over time if you put out the effort. Riding hills is a form of interval training that will lead to quick fitness gains. Embrace the hills, they are an awesome training partner. Congrats on getting out there.
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Old 08-21-14, 01:34 PM
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What kind of gearing do you have and how heavy are you? Just curious.

Hills are awesome. I stopped riding for 8 years when I moved to Whittier because there was no way to leave my house or get back to my house without about a half-mile of 7% grades both ways. Now I pretty much enjoy the hills, go figure, but it took appropriate gearing for me to change my mind.

For me, 162 is the heart rate that I can maintain for hard riding without blowing up, so I'll watch my HR on hills and if it starts getting up to 165 or higher, I know I need to ease up. That's either pedaling slower or shifting to an easier gear or both - if you get on a hill that's just too steep resting is the only other alternative and if you need to rest, go for it. As you ride more hills, you'll get used to them and you'll understand how much you can push yourself.

Keep at it! There are some pretty excellent places to ride down your way, might as well enjoy them.
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Old 08-21-14, 01:35 PM
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Even small hills are a challenge. I rode 31 miles in one ride last Saturday but don't have the endurance to sprint up this 1% incline for .2 miles leaving my neighborhood. I can deff make it up and easier if trying to go slower. But I was trying to see if i could make it without having to slow down. I can't. You are lucky to have these horrible hills avail to you so you can get nice and strong. I created a segment on my .2 m hill in strava so I can challenge myself anytime I want to gauge my improvement. But reading enough online has taught me to answer your question...lower gears and faster peddling vs higher gears and mashing. One you will be able to recovery from, high rpms, and keep riding, and mashing you won't because to recovery from once you exhaust your muscles. I was able to mash up my hill 2 times before I had to call my ride. It ended up being a 2 mile ride. But hey, i have a base now to work with.
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Old 08-21-14, 02:11 PM
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Looks like you're doing great! Give yourself some credit, zero to 15 miles in 6 weeks is getting it done. Keep riding the hills, it will get better with time. As mentioned above you'll come to love the hills.

I live in the flats and we drive 20 miles just to start rides where there are some small hills.
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Old 08-21-14, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by LGHT
Anyone have a newbie training guide or some type of plan?
Ride as much as you can, as often as you can.

Stick to those longer 15mile loops before you looking to KOM some hill. You gotta build up your base fitness/mileage first. Might as well doing it on routes you like and feel encouraged to ride more. HR has too many factors and pretty personal. Ones HR doesn't mean its the same across the board no what matter shape/size/age calculator is telling you. Your Garmin or HRM is telling you what only yours is. As you ride more, you'll find your HR will settle down as fitness comes in.
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Old 08-21-14, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
What kind of gearing do you have and how heavy are you? Just curious.
About about 215lb after loosing 20 or so recently. 44 years young and enjoying the physical challenge of biking.

I have a FSA SLK carbon crankset 175mm 53/39 130bcd. I'm still very new to the bike so the first time I tried I spun in a low gear like crazy and just got winded. The 2nd time I tried I didn't go as fast to get to the hill so I had more energy, and tried to muscle through the last 2 hills in a higher gear. I got through the 2nd to last hill, but at the top I looked up and noticed the last hill and quickly realized there is no way that's going to happen today lol.. Although the first time I was winded and had to stop I actually turned left and rode for another 30 minutes before calling it quits so it looks like I need to just keep it low and peddle faster even though I'm going up slower and taking longer.
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Old 08-21-14, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by salreus
Even small hills are a challenge. I rode 31 miles in one ride last Saturday but don't have the endurance to sprint up this 1% incline for .2 miles leaving my neighborhood.
Ok glad to know i'm not the only one that has that problem. I do like my longer route as it has slight inclines that come and go and a long flat surface that helps me work on my cadence. I was just shocked and amazing how quickly I was winded and had to stop when trying a hill. I have to admit though I was watching tour of utah and thought wow Chris Horner is only a year younger and he's dominating so I felt a lot younger in the heat of the moment...
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Old 08-21-14, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by jsigone
Ride as much as you can, as often as you can.

Stick to those longer 15mile loops before you looking to KOM some hill. You gotta build up your base fitness/mileage first. Might as well doing it on routes you like and feel encouraged to ride more. HR has too many factors and pretty personal. Ones HR doesn't mean its the same across the board no what matter shape/size/age calculator is telling you. Your Garmin or HRM is telling you what only yours is. As you ride more, you'll find your HR will settle down as fitness comes in.
Ok thanks. I did try and ride the 15 mile twice a week a few weeks ago, but it was tough because the 2nd ride I was pretty sore and my legs just didn't respond like the first ride. How many days rest do you think I need between rides?
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Old 08-21-14, 04:47 PM
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What is the gear range on your rear cassette? With 53/39 up front, it might be difficult to find low enough gears for effective (beginning) climbing. It's important to have gears that are low enough that you can maintain a good cadence.

When I started riding again, I sought out groups as soon as I could (more or less) keep up. I find I ride faster and harder with groups, yet it's more enjoyable. YMMV.

Keep going and have fun!
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Old 08-21-14, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by LGHT
Ok thanks. I did try and ride the 15 mile twice a week a few weeks ago, but it was tough because the 2nd ride I was pretty sore and my legs just didn't respond like the first ride. How many days rest do you think I need between rides?
If twice a week was every three days and your legs were still sore you're pushing too hard. Back off the distance or intensity until you can ride every other day with your legs not sore after a 2 mile easy warm up. Leg pain does not equal gain.

IMO, just go out and ride some miles that don't leave you hurting. Ride as many times per week as you can with at least one rest day. After 250 miles turn up the intensity a bit. 250 more and turn it up another round.

You'll get there, now's the time to have fun and build up some base miles.

Last edited by bbeasley; 08-21-14 at 04:53 PM. Reason: fat fingers
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Old 08-21-14, 04:55 PM
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Rest to me was much more frequent early on before you establish a good base. At first, I felt I could ride and then need 2 days off. But also my knee was killing me. Seat was too low and was messing up my knees. Once I fixed that issue. I could take every other day off. And we are still only talking about 10 miles during the week. Then about a month ago, I really started doing longer distance on the weekends. 20 miles, then 25 and now 31 last weekend. I might stick to around 30 just because of time. It took about 3 hrs with breaks and such, well and my sister going the first 5 miles at a snails pace. Basically saying the more you ride, the less time you are going to need before you can head back out again. But don't think taking breaks are bad. some of my best rides are after I have really rested and ready at 100% vs still being sore from a previous ride.

And if you have enough base miles. You can do longer distances like my 31 miles last weekend and I felt find without being sore on Sunday. Now my wife who mashes on the other hand felt different. Which i why spinning is better. you can ride again quicker vs mashing which will take much longer to recover.

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Old 08-21-14, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by mcmoose
What is the gear range on your rear cassette? With 53/39 up front, it might be difficult to find low enough gears for effective (beginning) climbing. It's important to have gears that are low enough that you can maintain a good cadence.

When I started riding again, I sought out groups as soon as I could (more or less) keep up. I find I ride faster and harder with groups, yet it's more enjoyable. YMMV.

Keep going and have fun!
Not sure what the back is setup at, but I think it's 10-27? I have joined a local club, but have been hesitant in ridding with them since my range is only around 15-18 miles and that decreases a lot if there are hills of any sort. I may try a light 15 mile ride tonight with the club though so I'll see how that goes.

Originally Posted by bbeasley
If twice a week was every three days and your legs were still sore you're pushing too hard. Back off the distance or intensity until you can ride every other day with your legs not sore after a 2 mile easy warm up. Leg pain does not equal gain.

IMO, just go out and ride some miles that don't leave you hurting. Ride as many times per week as you can with at least one rest day. After 250 miles turn up the intensity a bit. 250 more and turn it up another round.

You'll get there, now's the time to have fun and build up some base miles.
Ok I was told to ride hard relax then ride hard relax and so forth so I can build up some cardio and leg strength. I went from a first ride of about 3 miles to a long ride of about 18 in the 6 weeks.

Originally Posted by salreus
Rest to me was much more frequent early on before you establish a good base. At first, I felt I could ride and then need 2 days off. But also my knee was killing me. Seat was too low and was messing up my knees. Once I fixed that issue. I could take every other day off. And we are still only talking about 10 miles during the week. Then about a month ago, I really started doing longer distance on the weekends. 20 miles, then 25 and now 31 last weekend. I might stick to around 30 just because of time. It took about 3 hrs with breaks and such, well and my sister going the first 5 miles at a snails pace. Basically saying the more you ride, the less time you are going to need before you can head back out again. But don't think taking breaks are bad. some of my best rides are after I have really rested and ready at 100% vs still being sore from a previous ride.
How long did it take to get to the 31 mile mark? I often wonder if I'm pushing too hard or not hard enough.
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Old 08-21-14, 05:25 PM
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Spinning like crazy = what? 80? 100?

A 53/39 crank is a bit rough (for hills) around SoCal but it can be managed.

Keep your eyes peeled - one of these days when it cools off we'll organize up another Clyde (and athena) Ride up Glendora Mountain Road. Here's the full ride up the mountain - the so-called "shack" is about 9.5 miles up and the village is about 23 miles in. The last part is ludicrous, we won't do that.

I'd say just keep riding and don't be afraid to tackle hills. It sounds like you're off to a great start as it is.
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Old 08-21-14, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
Spinning like crazy = what? 80? 100?

A 53/39 crank is a bit rough (for hills) around SoCal but it can be managed.

Keep your eyes peeled - one of these days when it cools off we'll organize up another Clyde (and athena) Ride up Glendora Mountain Road. Here's the full ride up the mountain - the so-called "shack" is about 9.5 miles up and the village is about 23 miles in. The last part is ludicrous, we won't do that.

I'd say just keep riding and don't be afraid to tackle hills. It sounds like you're off to a great start as it is.
Not sure how to figure out how how many the RPM when I'm in low going up hill, but basically I was spinning as fast as I could. Should I consider a different crank or just push through and accept the fact that It's going to be "an uphill climb" lol

Keep me posted on the group ride, I'm all for it and hopefully by then I won't be such a wuss..
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Old 08-21-14, 05:39 PM
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ok. first logged ride... May 20th 1.8 miles. Then it looked like I rode about 30 - 50 miles a week doing about 5-10 mile rides. on the 6th week, I did my first 25 miles and pretty much do 20+ now every saturday and did 31 last weekend. I'll share my monthly too if that will help.

May 35 miles
June 154 miles
July 200 miles
Aug 101 to date

So, under 500 miles and I can do 30+ miles no prob.

My average speed when I started was about 9 mph. And my best 20+ ride was 13.1 mph That's a 4 mph improvement since may. Not sure if that is good or bad, but I am happy with it.
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Old 08-21-14, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by LGHT
Not sure how to figure out how how many the RPM when I'm in low going up hill, but basically I was spinning as fast as I could. Should I consider a different crank or just push through and accept the fact that It's going to be "an uphill climb" lol

Keep me posted on the group ride, I'm all for it and hopefully by then I won't be such a wuss..
Just count pedal strokes with one foot for 6 seconds and multiply by 10. You'll get a feel for how fast you're going.

And yeah, it'll probably be an "uphill climb"

I'd stick with the gear on your bike till you get some more miles in - no need to go throwing money around till you're sure what you need.

Originally Posted by salreus
My average speed when I started was about 9 mph. And my best 20+ ride was 13.1 mph That's a 4 mph improvement since may. Not sure if that is good or bad, but I am happy with it.
Well, if you're just doing the total distance divided by total time, 13 is damn good. if your garmin or whatever is subtracting out your stoppage time, well, that demotes you slightly to "good" but in either case you're doing great - nice improvement.
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Old 08-21-14, 07:00 PM
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Yes, the 13.07 mph on my 23.87 mile had the time paused while I did my quick breaks.
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Old 08-21-14, 10:07 PM
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OK, well that's a solid result for a new rider. You'll continue to improve although the rate of improvement will slow down. Keep at it!
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Old 08-22-14, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by salreus
ok. first logged ride... May 20th 1.8 miles. Then it looked like I rode about 30 - 50 miles a week doing about 5-10 mile rides. on the 6th week, I did my first 25 miles and pretty much do 20+ now every saturday and did 31 last weekend. I'll share my monthly too if that will help.

May 35 miles
June 154 miles
July 200 miles
Aug 101 to date

So, under 500 miles and I can do 30+ miles no prob.

My average speed when I started was about 9 mph. And my best 20+ ride was 13.1 mph That's a 4 mph improvement since may. Not sure if that is good or bad, but I am happy with it.
Ok that gives me a good idea of where I'm at. I don't have that many rides under my belt so I think I need to commit to 2-3 rides a week instead of the 2-3 every 2 weeks as time allows. My problem is I love to sleep, but with my first on it's way in 3 months I know that I need to break that habit so getting up at 5:00am and ridding for a couple of hours is a good way to practice.
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Old 08-22-14, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by salreus
Yes, the 13.07 mph on my 23.87 mile had the time paused while I did my quick breaks.
This another question I've been looking into. A bike computer. Since I'm on a budget my bike, helmet, shoes, clothes, computer etc all costs a little over $750. Just got a nice bonus check so I'm thinking about getting something better than the $20 one I have now. Basically it just tells me have fast i'm going in KM and total distance overall. Not per ride. Should I invest in something that can link with these online sites sooner or later?
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Old 08-22-14, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by LGHT
This another question I've been looking into. A bike computer. Since I'm on a budget my bike, helmet, shoes, clothes, computer etc all costs a little over $750. Just got a nice bonus check so I'm thinking about getting something better than the $20 one I have now. Basically it just tells me have fast i'm going in KM and total distance overall. Not per ride. Should I invest in something that can link with these online sites sooner or later?
If you have a smart phone you can use an ap....or even several aps at once. They are GPS based so not strictly as accurate as a cycle computer with a wheel speed and crank speed sensor, BUT they overall are pretty decent.

You can also buy a Wahoo sensor for crank speed (cadence) and wheel speed for about $60.

The Garmin 500 is around $260 with the crank/wheel sensor.

I just have a simple cycle computer, cateye mini, and then use the following Iphone aps in conjuction with a Wahoo TICKR heart rate monitor (HRM)
Wahoo fitness (pretty good for a lot of things, you can walk/run using it too, have the Wahoo TICKR HRM too.)
Cyclemeter (Love it, have used it from day one, great for setting up intervals, works with Wahoo TICKR HRM)
Strava (just started using it....have not fully explored it yet, Works with Wahoo TICKR HRM).

I have every ride since I started June 1 2014 logged in cyclemeter, and I have it set to email me a link of the ride when I am done.

I recently started looking at my cycling as "training".....not sure for WHAT yet, perhaps to just drop weight and reveal what my true potential on a bike is....I had in mind at first to do long distance 100-160-200 mile stuff, but decided to just train to create the best general cyclist I can be....then decide if I want to delve into something like Time trailing or the like.

But setting up some kind of planned program is IMHO a good thing, with a balance of hard days (intervals, and in your case maybe hills) balanced with recovery days (zone one heart rate) and days to build your aerobic system up.

Saddle time IMHO is a key thing to build up, for me anything past 2 hours without getting off to stretch is a struggle.....90 minutes is about where I am now. Clydes have a LOT more weight on our sit bones than height/weight proportional people, so I may struggle with that til the weight drops off :-).

Learning to ride EASY and keep your heart rate low, in zone 1 for instance is not an easy skill, your heart rate lags behind effort, so it takes time to learn how to stay in a zone, same thing with not dropping out of the bottom of a zone too.

Right now I only do intervals 1-2 times a week, follow them with a recovery day, then ride up to zone 3. It is easier to measure progress if your elapsed time or peak speed, or average speed over a known course is also tied to a heart rate number. I am coming close now on a zone 3 ride to equaling my previous personal bests with an unrestricted heart rate.

Establishing your Lactate Threshold heart Rate (LTHR) is one thing another poster helped me with.....IMHO "zones" are better created from that number. You just ride at a pace you can maintain for 30 minutes, and take the average heart rate for the last 20 minutes of that ride, for me right now it is around 150, and we should recheck it every month or so.


Bill

Last edited by Willbird; 08-22-14 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 08-22-14, 10:27 AM
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The "old school" base building period used to be 1000 miles, and a book I just got said that is too much for some, and not enough for others. I hopped on a bike after doing some walking for about a month, so I had some aerobic base in place already, today after riding 1163 miles since June 1-2014 my heart rate walking really does not go above 120. I have a phone ap I used at first to check HR, one where you hold your finger to the camera lens, looks like my walking HR before taking up cycling was able to get up to 140, so the cycling has added aerobic capacity for sure :-).
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Old 08-22-14, 10:55 AM
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Thanks all for the tips it's been very helpful. I'm not going to focus too much on anything outside of just putting time in the saddle for now.
I'll probably just try and find an app to use with my phone for now and save up for a nice GPS. Unfortunately doesn't look like they have much for windows 7 phones, but I did find a couple. I already have a little cat eye computer for speed and wear a HRM monitor that syncs with my watch so it's better than nothing. However I find it a little distracting from time to time as I look to see where my HR is at or how fast I'm riding instead of just focusing on the ride and getting in a good work out.

1000 miles wow seems like a lot of work, but 2 days a week at 25 miles a day is only 5 months!
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