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Biking and Fitness

Old 01-01-07, 07:12 PM
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drmain
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Biking and Fitness

Happy New Year everyone! I thought I would start a thread regarding biking and fitness. I run on the treadmille for about 1 hour six days a week so it gets me in great shape and allows me to cheat a little on my eating plan.

Talk to me about biking and how I might use it to keep fit so I can possibly do a little less running. I ride a mountain bike and usually stick to trails and less traveled neighborhood roads. What would you recommend as a plan?

Is there a certain mileage, speed, or amount of riding time I should be shooting for? How often?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-01-07, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by drmain
Happy New Year everyone! I thought I would start a thread regarding biking and fitness. I run on the treadmille for about 1 hour six days a week so it gets me in great shape and allows me to cheat a little on my eating plan.

Talk to me about biking and how I might use it to keep fit so I can possibly do a little less running. I ride a mountain bike and usually stick to trails and less traveled neighborhood roads. What would you recommend as a plan?

Is there a certain mileage, speed, or amount of riding time I should be shooting for? How often?

Thanks in advance!
If you are new to biking then start slow, don't ride too much and get injured. Distance, well ride what you are confortable with. And every week add a few miles here and there. Speed does not matter the more you ride over a period of time you will get better. I would ride 2-3 times a week for starters then ride more when you feel you can. Hope this helps.

Mike
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Old 01-06-07, 04:57 PM
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chephy
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One great thing about biking is that it can be as relaxed or as strenuous a workout as you want it to be. There are no generalized recommendations to make about distance or time since it is all individual stuff. Start slow. You'll progress and get a feel for what's a good workout for you.

Sticking to neighbourhood roads (and some trails) may mean that you'll be doing a lot of stopping. This is not good for cardio workouts: you get too many breaks. Joggers can at least keep moving while they're waiting for the light to turn green and on a bike you can't. Busy arterial roads are not so good for workout either: they too have lights and they have traffic which means that you must look out for traffic (so can't push too hard on the bike) and breathe in exhaust. Ideal for workout are lonely country backroads or near-empty wide uninterrupted bike paths with good sight lines. (Of course velodromes work also but they are kind of boring and I assume you don't have easy access to one. Stationary bikes - don't even get me started. I never had the patience to pedal those things for more than about three minutes. BO-ORING!! ) If you can find something along those lines near you - great. If not, whatever is closest to those conditions should work. Hills are especially good for cardio exercise, but don't push yourself too hard at first.

If you're new to biking, ask for advice on these forum regarding bike fit and basics of cadence and gearing, traffic riding, clothes that might help and stuff like that. I see lots of people riding around who think they are riding for fitness but are in fact just ruining their knees and their bike's drivetrain.
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Old 01-06-07, 05:12 PM
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The nice thing about bicycling is that it's non weight bearing so your ankles and knees don't take the pounding that running causes.

From a pure exercise point of view, the bad thing about bicycling is that it's so very efficient. Consequently you'll probably have to bicycle for about twice the amount of time to get equivlent exercise.

From a point of view of enjoyment, you go a lot farther bicycling than you do running so you get to see more stuff. Compared to running on a treadmill, the threshold of boredom factor is much less likely to kick in.
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Old 01-06-07, 09:36 PM
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run less. ride more.
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Old 01-07-07, 12:46 AM
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There are a lot of threads about running versus bicycling, but bicycling is a lot easier on the knees and other stuff long-term.

In any case, start slow and don't overdo it.
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Old 01-07-07, 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
The nice thing about bicycling is that it's non weight bearing so your ankles and knees don't take the pounding that running causes.
Definitely. Not only is it gentler on ankles and knees but on the back as well.

From a pure exercise point of view, the bad thing about bicycling is that it's so very efficient. Consequently you'll probably have to bicycle for about twice the amount of time to get equivlent exercise.
Not if you push yourself hard enough. But that's not always easy to do. With running it just comes automatically, you have to push hard to keep running at all. But you can keep biking, and even somewhat fast, at a rather easy pace. A good way to ensure a good workout is to throw in some HILLS.

From a point of view of enjoyment, you go a lot farther bicycling than you do running so you get to see more stuff. Compared to running on a treadmill, the threshold of boredom factor is much less likely to kick in.
+ 1 million.
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Old 01-07-07, 01:05 AM
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I just started a few months back from a treadmill to a cycling and I wear polar HR monitor and try to get 50 minutes at .7 of my target zone x 3/ days.

My new garmin has grades on it, so I am excited to hook it up!

Enjoy,... I am loving it with the exception of a few close calls with cars. I personally think running is really hard on the body. Like horse trainers always say "they only have so many jumps in their legs"
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Old 01-07-07, 02:57 PM
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As an EX-Runner that had to give up through Knee problems- I can assure you that cycling is gentler on the body. Riding 3 times aweek is fine. I ride at weekends for a long ride and then get out Tuesday and Thursday for a 2 hour ride. Pace is up to you and so is distance but take it you Can stay in the 70% of max heart rate for that distance- with the occasional foray up somewhere near the top. I live in a hilly area and Hills are a good way to get you working. No Hills? Try interval training. Find two markers about 200 yards apart and sprint between them. Don't do another sprint till you are fully recovered and only do 2 or 3 initially on a ride. Later on you will find the legs getting stronger- The HR going down and you will have to work harder to get the same exercise- but initially just get out and go at a good but comfortable pace.
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