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what do i need to do to gain endurance?

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what do i need to do to gain endurance?

Old 07-09-03, 05:40 PM
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leeinmemphis
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what do i need to do to gain endurance?

Hey guys(and gals),

I am having a tough time getting to the point of being able to ride for over an hour in the Memphis heat/humidty(90+/100%). Let me start off by saying that I am on the Atkins diet and have lost 40 lbs. I am lifting weights on my bowflex 2 times a week (upper body only) and am also riding on the road(either on a mountain bike(specialized pro comp) or on my roadbike(trek 5200)). I purchased two high end bikes to help keep my interest....because I figured if I came home and saw those expensive bikes sitting that I would feel guilty and that it would motivate me ......anyway, I've been riding between 2-3 times a week and have been limited to less than an hour. For some reason once I reach 35-40 minutes my legs just feel wore out. I have a good pace as far as cadence go and I don't feel like I'm pushing too high of a gear and I am averaging 15+mph. I was wondering if someone here could give me a little better idea of anything else that I can do to help add to my endurance....or lack thereof. My lungs can go harder than my legs will allow. In the near future I'm also planning on starting a one day a week trailride on my mountain bike. I have yet to do any "recovery" rides that I keep reading about but after this afternoons ride I think i'll probably try to do a 30 minute slow recovery ride tomorrow to see if that will help.....any suggestions are GREATLY appreciated. Thanks.


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Old 07-09-03, 06:11 PM
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It's the atkins diet. Seems like you are past the induction phase but remember, the diet was studied in mostly sedentary people and any of the clinical trials that showed drop outs for one reason or another, were the more active study participants. You probably need more carbs than you are getting and you need to drink more. This has been discussed numerous times in other threads. RWTD may have more to say but I feel that this is your main problem.

see http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ht=atkins+diet

http://www.bikeforums.net/search.php...der=descending
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Old 07-09-03, 06:53 PM
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cbhungry,

I'm not completely sold on the lack of carbs being my problem. I forgot to mention that I am actually doing a modified atkins diet that allows for one cheat day a week. this allows me to carb load during that time so it helps replenish me. My body doesn't feel exhausted it is just isolated to my legs. I've read alot of the atkins posts the last couple of months and I know that the carbs would limit me on a long ride but I just can't believe that the carbs would limit me with such a short ride that I am doing now.


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Old 07-09-03, 07:06 PM
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Slow down. It sounds like you are depleting your muscles of glycogen. If you reduce your effort you will burn a higher percentage of fat and conserve the glycogen in your legs. Once you run out of glycogen, your legs feel like lead. If you slow down, the glycogen will last longer.

As you build up your fitness, your body will store more glycogen in your legs and you will be able to ride at a faster pace.
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Old 07-09-03, 07:13 PM
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Lee,

Some long, slow endurance may be the ticket. Between the low carbs, lifting, and the tempo rides 2 or 3 times a week, you're probably not really getting a chance to rebuild glycogen stores. Then, reduce your energy level and motivation by 20% just because of the Memphis heat & humidity.

I won't argue about the diet, but if you carb load one day, that basically reloads your stores for the next workout. The rest of the week, it's the same old same old, no?

Endurance takes time, and the best way to build it is to ride lots, easy. In the textbook approach, it's called "base training" (in roadie lingo), and it's how we're supposed to spend our winters. And you can build it, in theory, no matter the state of your glycogen stores since it's such low intensity. When you have the endurance, then increase the intensity (i.e. speed and/or climbing). That said, it's not absolutely necessary. I bet if you gave your body a little more opportunity to recover, you'd see some quick improvements in your endurance on those evening rides.
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Old 07-09-03, 07:18 PM
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It all depends on the amount of carbs you start with as to how soon during a ride you will run into problems due to lack of carbs.Without knowing more of your situation it sounds like this diet has been sucessful for you but keep in mind at some point to keep losing weight and avoid losing muscle you will have to adjust from a low carb/calorie approach to a higher activity level /higher calorie approach and gradually learn to properly add carbs needed for endurance back in.If you are still losing weight with the approach you are using you might consider leaving your ego behind and keep at it .On the other hand if weight loss is stalling out consider upping the carbs and activity level while keeping a modest calorie deficit.I suggest a more cyclical or targeted carb usage at that time where you add then in before your rides as that is when they are needed and will be used avoiding fat storage.
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Old 07-09-03, 07:42 PM
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You don't say how long you've been doing this. My reaction would be different if you had been doing this for 3yrs instead of 3 months. However, I'm assuming it is ~3 months. And I'm also assuming you have never been involved in a regular, disciplined fitness program before. Are these assumptions correct?

If they are, then there is something very important that you need to exercise...PATIENCE! Relax.

If you are considering becoming competitive, it can often take individuals 3-5yrs from a standing start to become competitive in their age groups. An aerobic base(endurance) can often take 3 years to develop.

If you are doing this to increase your general sense of well being, then remember, this is a life sport. You don't need to do it now.

Some things that you might try doing to get you over this "hump":

1)Ride with a group. The exhilaration of riding with others and sharing your activity will help you to extend your limits.

2)Establish "long term" goals. For example, if I were advising a healthy adult on how to become a competitive cyclist, I would encourage them to first learn proper technique on the bike, then develop an aerobic base, then develop an anaerobic base, then learn to ride with competitive cyclists, then compete. Each of these steps alone could take 6months to 3 years, depending on the step, the rider, etc...all that time the rider would be focused on something besides today.

3)Have fun while you're achieving your goals. Develop your endurance by riding with people you like to places you like. Worry about that first. It will keep you coming back more than guilt will. Go out and spin easy tomorrow and have a flavored ice when it's over.

By the way, I can sympathize with trying to ride/train in the Memphis area. Do you go out there east of town to ride or what? Have you ever ridden down that road that goes east, I think it's Shelbyville road, Hwy 175? I know it's narrow. How about out there past that mall, I think it's north of exit 12 on I-40, by Bartlett?
 
Old 07-09-03, 07:53 PM
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Over the long term guilt is a terrible motivator. It will eventually lead to failure.

In order to sustain any fitness or exercise program, you MUST enjoy it, look forward to it and get into a habit of doing it.

Make sure you are doing things - biking or whatever that give you some sort of satisfaction.

Personally, I adore riding to new places and exploring on my bike. Did that today and had a ball. I don't worry in the least how long it takes me or how far I go, although I do keep track. I weight lift because I totally enjoy the feeling of my muscles after a good workout, abd I like to be strong, and I am now eating properly using a less extreme approach than the Atkins Diet, and am learning how to eat for life, so to speak, and love seeing the pounds roll off,

So, please do a biking program that gives you pleasure and satisfaction.

Perhaps that is what you are doing now, but I didn't read your post that way.

Sorry about your living in the heat and humidity of Mempis. A bummer.
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Old 07-10-03, 07:36 AM
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I agree with what's been said. IMO, you're not getting enough carbs and your body can't metabolize fat fast enough to fuel the engine.

Your one "cheat day" will only help you in the following 24 hours +/-. So, if you cheat on Monday, the benefit will be gone by Tuesday. If you ride Wednesday-Sunday you'll feel less than ideal.

Suggestions:

1. Lower your intensity. As intensity increases your body relies more on glycogen stores in your muscles and liver, and less on stored fat. If you lower your intensity you are more likely to metabolize fat for energy. You won't feel fast, but you'll be riding longer and building endurance.

2. Eat something an hour, or so, before your ride. A couple handfuls of peanuts, an energy bar, a banana or two are some suggestions. Also, fill your water bottle with something besides water. Sports drink or juice - I like mine diulted 50% - will provide some energy during the ride and keep you hydrated.
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Old 07-10-03, 12:43 PM
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leeinmemphis
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Thanks for all the great advice everyone. I'm going to start out by trying lower intensity rides and eating an hour before a ride. Then after a few rides if I'm still not making progress then I will probably have to go to another form/type of diet. I'm having so much success with the atkins though that I hate to get away from it without reaching my goal
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Old 07-10-03, 01:54 PM
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leeinmemphis....

The atkins diet is a 'sedintary' diet - for those who don't do squat (primarily).....

Do take a look into 'body for life' - which is an activity based diet - you eat 6 x a day and you are allowed a nasty 'cheat day' every single week.

Interesting though - your 'cheat day' starts to become a 'normal' day since you just start feeling better.

the 'diet' is simply eating good foods - ALL kinds of foods, and staying away from the processed junk that is out there. fresh fruits and veggies, smaller portions of fish, steak, chicken, etc...

The diet is MUCH MORE sensible than 'fad' diets (and yes, atkins is just the next one) that is out there.

Also, body for life definitely mixes in weight training, cardiovascular stuff, etc... yet with it you *DO* take in carbs along with protiens to keep you, the engine, working....

I don't do the body for life thing personally, cause I am one of those 'lanky' types that when I excercise, I can put on the feedbag and STILL lose weight ( and yes, people generally 'hate' me for that) - but my wife is doing the body for life thing, I eat alot of the stuff she does cause it has all the things I need in it (I just eat more) and she is losing weight and feeling great.

She rides bikes too - but not intensely, well intense for her....

anyway - I suggest checking it out

www.bodyforlife.com....

there's a book out also that you can get anywhere...

never hurts to look...
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Old 07-10-03, 02:06 PM
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I would have a meal, a proper one, a few hours before the ride. It takes time
to digest, and then store the result. But I would think 2 or 3 hours would be
reasonable. Do some reading up on training; a previous poster mentioned base training, and that is what you should be doing 2/3 of the time (roughly).
To give you my real opinion, fruits and veggies should make up a large chunk of an athlete's diet. They have the vitamins (like C) and the minerals and antioxidants your body needs to stay healthy under the stress of training. Training without eating a healthy diet doesn't really make sense.
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Old 07-10-03, 02:24 PM
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Originally posted by rory
leeinmemphis....


Do take a look into 'body for life' - which is an activity based diet - you eat 6 x a day and you are allowed a nasty 'cheat day' every single week.


www.bodyforlife.com....

never hurts to look...
I and my wife are involved in "Body for Life" and are providing periodic updates and reports on our success.

See

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...threadid=29048
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Old 07-10-03, 03:21 PM
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DNVR....

I am in denver area also - Highlands Ranch,

we be kinda close....

great to hear on your body for life program. Whereas I am no fitness guru - to me it seams to be much more sensible than other 'fads' I have seen around.

great to see your progress!
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Old 07-10-03, 03:22 PM
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Raedeke is in Highlands Ranch, also. Someday we will ride together!! You too?
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Old 07-10-03, 03:31 PM
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Sure, I'd love to... (ride together sometime)....

<<<CAVEAT>>>> <<<WARNING>>> <<<ETC>>>

I am quite new to the road bike stuff. I am a 41 year old mountain biker whom used to ride my mountain bike in the mountains, and on the roads.....

Just got a new road bike, and am in the process of figuring it out. I find it to be much different than my MTB - climbing for some reason 'seems' harder, probably different gearing and such, and so I am getting comfortable with it.....

In fact, I've only had it out on two rides since I've gotten it - July 4 - 42 miles, and this morning for a little over 10 (early morning, before work....)...

I have 3 young girls and a wife which take up lots of my time (and that's a GOOD thing) - but we ALL have bikes and we all took a 15 mile ride this last sunday (but alas, me on my MTB - hauling one of my girls with a 'trail-gator' - yet a good workout!).....

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Old 07-10-03, 04:20 PM
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Lee,

Congratulations on loosing the 40lbs. Just about everyone serious about cycling and nutrition has an opinion about diets and fads, etc. but based on your experience it seems to be working great for you.

As a fellow Memphian (actually Germantown), I've decided that itís just not worth the effort trying to combat the heat and humidity during the middle of the day in the summer. Rather, I do virtually all of my riding between 5:30 and 8:30am. Itís the most pleasant time of the day and there are virtually no cars. So if your work and family schedule permits, try the mornings. After about two weeks you will find out that itís a great routine. It's just getting started that's the bummer. Of course as your fitness level increases, the heat and humidity will put much less stress on you if you want to ride in the afternoon.

One problem with riding early (especially on weekdays) is that you will probably be riding alone. For these days a heart rate monitor is a helpful training tool for building endurance. (Lots of info on these boards under training and nutrition about HRM's). Then, for weekend rides, try and hook up with other experienced riders that will do some longer rides. After a few long rides with them you will find that your endurance is picking up, your body is learning how to burn fat efficiently, your speed increases and it just feels better to put in longer rides.

There are a few clubs in Memphis that you might try to ride with such as Memphis Hightailers. I've not ridden with them but have heard others talk of them. You may want to look into contacting them. Also, talk to the folks at your bike shop, most shops know who the local riding groups are and can hook you up.

Best of luck,

Jim
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Old 07-10-03, 06:13 PM
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Originally posted by memphisjim
Lee,


There are a few clubs in Memphis that you might try to ride with such as Memphis Hightailers. I've not ridden with them but have heard others talk of them. You may want to look into contacting them. Also, talk to the folks at your bike shop, most shops know who the local riding groups are and can hook you up.

Best of luck,

Jim

Jim....

I use to race with the hightailers about 10-12 years ago but I wasn't aware of any other cycling organizations in the Memphis area. The ht's have a "slower" ride on tuesday evenings and I am planning on doing that next week plus bike world has a mountain bike ride on thursday evenings that is supposed to be kind of low key. Do you know of any websites that have any info on clubs in memphis? I've done google searches and have found nothing. Right now I think that I am going to set a goal to do this ms150 which is in late september. Hopefully that is a reasonable goal.

I am planning on getting up in the morning tomorrow and ride at 5:30am....if I can I'm going to plan on riding for an hour or so at a lower intensity and hopefully start building from there. Thanks again.


-lee-
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Old 07-10-03, 07:22 PM
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HEY!! I have a solution!! Ride with me!! lol I'm in Memphis. I've been riding with The Hightailers for a little while. That Tuesday night ride would be a good one. Definitely do it! In fact, I may do it myself Let me know, and I'll be sure to welcome you!

Also, I know someone who was doing the Atkins thing with one 'cheat day'. Worked very well for him, but after he got more active and lost twenty lbs he kind of hit a plateau and was told by a physical trainer to add GOOD carbs. Whole grain rice, things like that. If you're not dead set on sticking with the Atkins thing, you could try eating some good carbs just before a ride, then a big dose of protein after.

Maybe see ya later!

Natalie

Oh yeah..and there's a group that calls itself 'Team Roadkill' that I ride with on Sundays. I'm not sure if they have any other rides during the week, but if you're interested in branching out, I can find out for you. The Sunday one....if you're having trouble with the heat I don't think you'd like it. NO SHADE at all!! But it is very flat and there's hardly any traffic. Might fit somewhere in your plans for yourself...

Edit #2!! You too, MemphisJim!!

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Old 07-11-03, 09:27 AM
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Thanks again for all the info everyone.

Nato....I'm planning on going to the ht ride this tuesday and as of now so is my wife.

Today I was planning on riding but when I got up to go my legs just ache and I feel like I have no energy so I guess I'm going to have to get off this keto diet even though I've had excellent success and move on to something else. Hopefully if I increase my carbs I'll be able to ride more often/longer therefore burning the extra carbs/cals that I'll be consuming. Sounds good anyway Thanks again.


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Old 07-11-03, 09:35 AM
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I guess I'm going to have to get off this keto diet even though I've had excellent success and move on to something else
The Body for Life is quite simple:

1 low fat protein the size of your fist (turkey, low fat steak, etc.)
1 High quality whole grain carbo the size of your fist (oatmeal, whole wheat bread, whole grain rice)

six times per day, plus all the veggies you can eat, and at least two meals with veggies.

Fruit counts as a carbo.

1 totally "anything you want" day, except I don't use it as I hate to go backwards.

Working for me, anyway.
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Old 07-11-03, 09:37 AM
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Don't change it too quickly..I'm no diet expert, but I've kind of gathered that it's not good to switch gears too fast.

So very cool..might see ya Tuesday then! I'm the on the silver Specialized. Red helmet. Does your wife ride much? I've always thought it would be cool to have someone handy at all times as motivation to get on the bike
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Old 07-11-03, 09:47 AM
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dnvr fox,

Do you have any restrictions as far as cal's or carb grams? I don't know that I completely understand "Fruit counts as a carbo"....does that mean if you have fruit then you can't have any other carbs at that meal? Also would you mind giving me an idea of what a daily meal schedule would look like for you(broken down)?



nato....my wife rides a specialized mountain bike and she rides it pretty much everyday for anywhere between 30min-1hr but her intensity level is alot lower than mine. I bought it for her a few weeks ago for our 2 year anniversary and she rides it all the time. When we ride together we probably average around 10mph. It is nice to ride with her...oftentimes I'll ride my mtb as well and spin a low gear with alot of cadence to really get my heart going. Even though we're going 10-12mph my heart still gets a good workout Unless something unforseen comes up we'll see you at the tuesday ride. take care.


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Old 07-11-03, 10:31 AM
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Do you have any restrictions as far as cal's or carb grams? I don't know that I completely understand "Fruit counts as a carbo"....does that mean if you have fruit then you can't have any other carbs at that meal? Also would you mind giving me an idea of what a daily meal schedule would look like for you(broken down)?
I don't do well with anything complicated, so B4L suits me real well. No counting carbs nor calories - nothing like that.

Okay, here goes. Not perfect, but it is what I do.

Breakfast -

Non-instant oatmeal, glass of non-fat milk

Mid-morning

One of EAS's (or anyone else's) protein/carb bars. Not required, and I don't always use it, but they are very tasty.

Lunch

A Healthy Choice TV meal - they are perfect for this eating pattern. For example, one small chicken breast, whole grain rice, and lots of veggies. The serving sizes are perfect.

Mid day

One slice whole wheat bread with melted cheese.

Dinner

We hate to cook so we went Chinese last night. We share one serving of something like Beef and Broccoli with rice - no it is not whole grain, but you can't have everything - and it is pretty good as far as portions go, and not too many fats - it is pretty lean beef, and we eat only 1/2 the rice offered.

Or, we go to a local pancake house, and I get scrambled egg beaters and a short stack of multi grain pancakes, of which I eat only 1.5

Or they also have a great veggie omelet with egg beaters, low fat cheese and lots of veggies - looks big, but mostly veggies, and a multi grain pancake and a little fruit.

Or Boston Market - get the grilled chicken (sometimes we cheat and get the ham. Never the chicken with the skin and fat) and two veggie side dishes and we skip the corn bread.

Evening snack - last nioght I had watermelon and a glass of milk. Soemtimes I have a small cheapie low fat TV dinner.

No, we aren't perfect, but we manage to do pretty good, even on our recent 10 day vacation traveling in motels.

The neat thing is that the Body 4 Life program includes both intensive cardio and weight lifting, and with this diet I am never in any trouble energy-wise or with cramps or anything else. And, I am never hungry, if I follow it. I am riding an average of 20 miles per day.

I have lost 13 pounds in 5 weeks, which includes gaining several pounds of muscle, so I figure I have lost about 16 pounds of fat altogether. My wife has lost 4.

Last edited by DnvrFox; 07-11-03 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 07-13-03, 03:41 PM
  #25  
leeinmemphis
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****UPDATE****

I just wanted to say that I took everyone's advice and got off the atkins and went to just start watching what I ate for the past couple of days. I also took a couple of days off to recoop....today I went for an hour ride on my mountain bike and averaged a good speed and still felt good after an hour. Looks lke that was my major hurdle. I'm going to start looking into the bfl program......just wanted to say thanks again to everyone.


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