Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Discouraged Beginner - Any tips?

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Discouraged Beginner - Any tips?

Old 04-19-16, 11:22 AM
  #26  
woodcraft
Senior Member
 
woodcraft's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Nor Cal
Posts: 4,416
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1119 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 96 Times in 59 Posts
There are folks here that started out

having to sit and rest by the side of the road

after a matter of city blocks ridden.


Agree with the concept of it taking a year

to build up base cycling fitness.
woodcraft is offline  
Old 04-19-16, 11:22 AM
  #27  
10 Wheels
Galveston County Texas
 
10 Wheels's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: In The Wind
Posts: 30,977

Bikes: 2010 Expedition, 03 GTO

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 710 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
Ride more
Took me 2 years to get in top shape.
__________________
Fred "The Real Fred"
10 Wheels is offline  
Old 04-19-16, 11:23 AM
  #28  
caloso
Senior Member
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Posts: 38,482

Bikes: Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper

Mentioned: 61 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2025 Post(s)
Liked 445 Times in 248 Posts
Originally Posted by Eekthecat View Post
Let me preface this by saying that I have not done any real exercise for 15yrs... I'm 5'7" and currently ~165lbs. About 3 weeks ago, I picked up a bike (used craigslist Cannondale Supersix Evo 105 - fit checks out okay) and an indoor trainer (Tacx Neo - wife required "silence" as a feature). I subscribed to Strava and Zwift, and set out to give this whole thing a try -- mostly to get in better shape so I don't drop dead from a heart attack, but also because it's a lot of fun.

In the limited time I have for these indoor rides, I have no trouble puttering along at 12-15mph for 20 miles or so, but I recently did a 20min FTP test and the result was... 98W. I my limited time here on BF, I haven't seen a figure so low. That, combined with a short ride (12mi) I did with a friend (who rides about about 1-2 times a week max, for a year) where he rather effortlessly left me in the dust, has me discouraged and a bit concerned about whether I'm doing something wrong? I'm starting Zwift's 10-12w FTP builder training program, so is it a matter of time/effort?
A time honored method of becoming a stronger rider is to ride with stronger riders. Keep going out for rides with your friend and stop looking at numbers until next winter.
caloso is offline  
Old 04-19-16, 11:31 AM
  #29  
roccobike
Bike Junkie
 
roccobike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: South of Raleigh, North of New Hill, East of Harris Lake, NC
Posts: 9,576

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac, Specialized Roubaix, Giant OCR-C, Specialized Stumpjumper FSR, Stumpjumper Comp, 88 & 92Nishiki Ariel, 87 Centurion Ironman, 92 Paramount, 84 Nishiki Medalist

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Took me 2 years to get in top shape.
Same here. First year I was lucky to keep up with a C group. By the end of the second year I was able to ride with the fast bikes, but it took two full riding seasons to get there.
__________________
Roccobike BF Official Thread Terminator
roccobike is offline  
Old 04-19-16, 11:38 AM
  #30  
10 Wheels
Galveston County Texas
 
10 Wheels's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: In The Wind
Posts: 30,977

Bikes: 2010 Expedition, 03 GTO

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 710 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
Ride more
Took me 2 years to get in top shape.

First Year at 9,000 miles. Finished the year with 11,200 m.

__________________
Fred "The Real Fred"
10 Wheels is offline  
Old 04-19-16, 11:42 AM
  #31  
10 Wheels
Galveston County Texas
 
10 Wheels's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: In The Wind
Posts: 30,977

Bikes: 2010 Expedition, 03 GTO

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 710 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
2nd Year when I passed 15,000 miles.Finished the year with 15923 miles.
__________________
Fred "The Real Fred"
10 Wheels is offline  
Old 04-19-16, 12:01 PM
  #32  
TexMac
Senior Member
 
TexMac's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,602

Bikes: Ridley Noah fast, Colnago CLX,Giant Propel Advanced, Pinnerello Gogma 65.1, Specialized S-works Venge, CAADX,Cervelo S3

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 74 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Eekthecat View Post
Let me preface this by saying that I have not done any real exercise for 15yrs... I'm 5'7" and currently ~165lbs. About 3 weeks ago, I picked up a bike (used craigslist Cannondale Supersix Evo 105 - fit checks out okay) and an indoor trainer (Tacx Neo - wife required "silence" as a feature). I subscribed to Strava and Zwift, and set out to give this whole thing a try -- mostly to get in better shape so I don't drop dead from a heart attack, but also because it's a lot of fun.

In the limited time I have for these indoor rides, I have no trouble puttering along at 12-15mph for 20 miles or so, but I recently did a 20min FTP test and the result was... 98W. I my limited time here on BF, I haven't seen a figure so low. That, combined with a short ride (12mi) I did with a friend (who rides about about 1-2 times a week max, for a year) where he rather effortlessly left me in the dust, has me discouraged and a bit concerned about whether I'm doing something wrong? I'm starting Zwift's 10-12w FTP builder training program, so is it a matter of time/effort?
In cycling you get what you put in. Be patient and ride more, ride longer, not intervals yet. Your legs need to get strong/endurance.
TexMac is offline  
Old 04-19-16, 12:04 PM
  #33  
jpshoe
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 25
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If you're a numbers guy like I am, it can be discouraging to see numbers you don't want to see. Instead of focusing on distance go for time. Say you'll ride for an hour today and come hell or high water do it. If you ride for a straight hour outside and only make it 8 miles, so what! Experience comes with time in the saddle, not distance ridden. As you become more and more experienced that ratio will change a bit. For now, ride for time and have fun!!
jpshoe is offline  
Old 04-19-16, 12:09 PM
  #34  
Reynolds 
Passista
 
Reynolds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 6,708

Bikes: 1998 Pinarello Asolo, 1992 KHS Montaña pro, 1980 Raleigh DL-1, IGH Hybrid, IGH Utility

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 511 Post(s)
Liked 76 Times in 54 Posts
+1 to all above. I'm 64 and not fast, but I've been riding for many years, and regularly drop guys in their 20s or 30s on their first group rides. 1 year later, 90% of them drop me...
And as someone said, there'll always be someone faster than you and someone slower too, so don't worry too much about it.
Reynolds is offline  
Old 04-19-16, 12:59 PM
  #35  
redcon1
Senior Member
 
redcon1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: South Central PA
Posts: 362

Bikes: Santa Cruz Blur, Gary Fisher X-Caliber, Focus Arriba, Focus Izalco Ergoride

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
There are folks here that started out

having to sit and rest by the side of the road

after a matter of city blocks ridden.


Agree with the concept of it taking a year

to build up base cycling fitness.
[WaynesWorld]Is that a Haiku? I think that's a Haiku![/WaynesWorld]
redcon1 is offline  
Old 04-19-16, 01:16 PM
  #36  
WhyFi
Senior Member
 
WhyFi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Got a castle in - er, Minneapolis, that's where I dwell!
Posts: 25,922

Bikes: 2016 Diamondback Haanjo, 2018 Trek Domane SL5 Gravel

Mentioned: 317 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9688 Post(s)
Liked 441 Times in 268 Posts
I'll echo all of the above to ride more and worry less, for the time being. I'll also add that riding faster is going to be a matter of managing a combination of strength and cardio - you'll probably see different rates of improvement in each of those two areas, so don't neglect either as you get a feel for where you're at.
WhyFi is offline  
Old 04-19-16, 01:51 PM
  #37  
Maelochs
Senior Member
 
Maelochs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 11,537

Bikes: 2015 Workswell 066, 2014 Dawes Sheila, 1983 Cannondale 500, 1984 Raleigh Olympian, 2007 Cannondale Rize 4, 2017 Fuji Sportif 1 LE

Mentioned: 139 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5514 Post(s)
Liked 141 Times in 97 Posts
If you like riding, ride. If you want big numbers, cheat on your power meter ... jack up your car, put it in gear, and push the trainer against the tire.

Just think, if you had done all this 20 years ago, there wouldn't have been power meters, and you'd be out riding and having a ball instead of typing on the Internet.

I was so bad off when I started, it has taken me two years just to get into Bad shape. The only thing which has kept me going is that I actually like to ride my bike. I might never be fast enough for even the Special Olympics, but no one can stop me from enjoying my ride.

if you were me, you'd have slit your wrists by now ... I am forced to accept that I might never be able to keep up with, much less compete with, any rider with more than one leg (and most of the legless hand-cycle guys could beat me in their sleep, so ... ) I guess it depends what motivates you ... but if you don't enjoy riding, I'd say, find another sport. if you do like riding, enjoy this wonderful pass time.

And maybe, one day, if you have no serious underlying health issues, you will become one of those guys I cannot keep up with. Thanks for trying to crush my spirit, dude.

Maelochs is offline  
Old 04-19-16, 01:57 PM
  #38  
deapee
Ride On!
 
deapee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 970

Bikes: Allez DSW SL Sprint | Fuji Cross

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 226 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The best tip I can give you as a beginner is take the power meter, take the heart rate monitor, take the cadence meter, and just turn them off for a long time, at least a month...(unless you're under doctor's orders for some medical condition). Seriously, just ride, have fun, when you're tired slow down or stop, when you're not tired, ride.

For a beginner they will do nothing but make you feel inferior, incapable, and unable to perform...just ride.
deapee is offline  
Old 04-19-16, 02:03 PM
  #39  
PepeM
Senior Member
 
PepeM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 6,836
Mentioned: 180 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2721 Post(s)
Liked 91 Times in 43 Posts
Originally Posted by Eekthecat View Post
I'm starting Zwift's 10-12w FTP builder training program, so is it a matter of time/effort?
Don't do that, it is too much too soon. Right now just focus on riding. Ride at a comfortable pace and ride as much as you can/feel like. Just need to be patient.
PepeM is offline  
Old 04-19-16, 02:09 PM
  #40  
topslop1
Senior Member
 
topslop1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 3,424

Bikes: Canyon Endurance CF SL Disc 7.0, Salsa Pony Rustler GX1, Cannondale Synapse 105

Mentioned: 57 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1483 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Enjoy the ride, dump the Strava.
topslop1 is offline  
Old 04-19-16, 02:11 PM
  #41  
Campag4life
Voice of the Industry
 
Campag4life's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 12,572
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1185 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Cycling is a metaphor for life basically. Success at things in large amount depends on how much you want it.
So, how much do you want it? To most of us here, the effort is worth it in weight management, getting in the shape of our lives, speed and wind in your face and friends we meet along the way. Rome wasn't built in a day. I have read that it takes 5 years of continuous cycling to develop a solid cardio base and optimize VO2 max. About how long it took me such that I get rarely winded on a road bike and run out of legs before lung capacity. For those developing their cardio base, the opposite is generally true.

What separates many? What I like to say about those that give up on roadbiking is...they quit before they got good. Maybe they underestimated the effort. I will tell you it takes a couple of years of tinkering to get into a good position on a road bike. Top riders still continuously tinker for more comfort and power including average riders like myself.

The challenge of improvement.
Campag4life is offline  
Old 04-19-16, 02:15 PM
  #42  
rjones28 
Mostly Harmless
 
rjones28's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Chittenango, NY
Posts: 45,622

Bikes: Have two wheels

Mentioned: 158 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6403 Post(s)
Liked 76 Times in 63 Posts
Originally Posted by caloso View Post
A time honored method of becoming a stronger rider is to ride with stronger riders. Keep going out for rides with your friend and stop looking at numbers until next winter.
And also consider hooking up with a local club. Try some of their beginner's group rides to start and move on from there.
__________________
Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
Amateur bike racing is just a fun thing, as far as I know, there's no penalty for not winning.
rjones28 is offline  
Old 04-19-16, 02:34 PM
  #43  
hogger453
Senior Member
 
hogger453's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 140
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 39 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Too hard, too soon.
hogger453 is offline  
Old 04-19-16, 03:50 PM
  #44  
Doge
Senior Member
 
Doge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Southern California, USA
Posts: 9,724

Bikes: 1979 Raleigh Team 753

Mentioned: 150 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3039 Post(s)
Liked 71 Times in 55 Posts
Originally Posted by deapee View Post
The best tip I can give you as a beginner is take the power meter, take the heart rate monitor, take the cadence meter, and just turn them off for a long time, at least a month...(unless you're under doctor's orders for some medical condition). Seriously, just ride, have fun, when you're tired slow down or stop, when you're not tired, ride.

For a beginner they will do nothing but make you feel inferior, incapable, and unable to perform...just ride.
I think a good thing for anyone training (beginner's too) is looking at morning resting heart rate while in bed and you first wake up to tell how tired/fatigued you are. When it was elevated - take it easy - stay in bed. When it low, ride hard.
Doge is offline  
Old 04-19-16, 05:06 PM
  #45  
Pendergast
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,038
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 75 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My advice would be not to just putter along at 12-15 mph. Play with your speed on your rides--essentially unstructured interval training. Hard effort followed by recovery then do it again. You could do it based on time or by picking out a reference point from time to time such as a telephone pole and pushing hard until you reach it. I think that's about the quickest way to improve that doesn't feel too much like actual work.
Pendergast is offline  
Old 04-19-16, 05:30 PM
  #46  
TheKillerPenguin
Nonsense
 
TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Vagabond
Posts: 13,597

Bikes: Affirmative

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 710 Post(s)
Liked 44 Times in 21 Posts
Feeling inadequate is normal, but using a power meter when just starting out is rubbing salt in a fresh wound. Turn off the screen and enjoy yourself for a while, the weather is stellar and your power meter wont turn into dust if you don't use it for the next few months.
TheKillerPenguin is offline  
Old 04-19-16, 06:06 PM
  #47  
kbarch
Senior Member
 
kbarch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 4,286
Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1095 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Good Lord, get OUTSIDE ALREADY!

I don't know about you, but before I got a real bike and rode outside, I couldn't bring myself to do anything to improve my performance on a stupid stationary bike. It was just something I did to warm up before real exercise. Abstract numbers? Who cares about numbers, really? What matters is what they mean. And when riding outside, numbers mean something real and unmistakable. Time and distance mean different roads, different places! Even if it's just five blocks further, those five blocks are different. And you don't have to turn on your computer to see them later - they are there.

There will be no question that you are making progress when one day you ride beyond the horizon that you barely managed to see before turning around the day before. That's the kind of difference someone who just started riding can see almost immediately, and it can be terrifically rewarding.

And to top it off, when you ride outside, it's not just the scenery in front of your that changes from ride to ride (like on a screen with Zwift or whatever), the weather changes, and the traffic changes too; you don't even have to think about it or try, you just automatically get better at appreciating and handling the delights and challenges they present.
kbarch is offline  
Old 04-19-16, 06:16 PM
  #48  
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 15,382

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 95 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1995 Post(s)
Liked 125 Times in 99 Posts
All you need to do is ride your bike. Ride up hills as best you can, but avoid steep ones to help your mental state. When I started riding again at 50, my practice was to ride away from home until I was tired, then ride back. That works very well. Ignore speed, ignore time, just have fun. It actually takes about 7 years of consistent riding/training to go from couch to as good as you'll get. Play the long game and don't worry about short term. There's a tremendous amount to learn about cycling, and that takes time too. I spend my first summer back riding just trying to be able to ride up the 500' hill to my local mall. Not that I wanted to shop, but just to do it. 7 years later, I was riding with the local fast group.
__________________
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Old 04-19-16, 06:43 PM
  #49  
Doge
Senior Member
 
Doge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Southern California, USA
Posts: 9,724

Bikes: 1979 Raleigh Team 753

Mentioned: 150 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3039 Post(s)
Liked 71 Times in 55 Posts
Has anyone seen or heard from OP since day one?
I mean I can understand being discouraged about power, but not posting on BF multiple times a day?? @
Eekthecat Riding does not help your BF post count.

Oh - wait - we are day 1. 48 responses to a question without hearing back. Maybe advice was taken.


Last edited by Doge; 04-19-16 at 06:52 PM.
Doge is offline  
Old 04-19-16, 07:15 PM
  #50  
NYMXer
Senior Member
 
NYMXer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Middletown NY
Posts: 1,499

Bikes: Cannondale SuperSix EVO w Hi-Mod frame, Raleigh Tamland 1 and Giant Anthem X

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 352 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Doge View Post
Ride more, look at numbers less.

Look at numbers after you are where you want to be from a feel standpoint (a year).
This is good advice. The best way to get better at something is to do it more and more. Ride outside and only focus on the ride, You can compare numbers weekly or so.
NYMXer is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.