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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 06-05-08, 10:54 AM   #1
lsutiger1001
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Training tips/should I use this bike?

Hi all,

This seems like a great forum with loads of information. I a 23 year old male and a complete newbie to cycling, but I really want to get started with it. I have a relative who wants me to buy a 1-2 year old bike with Campagnolo parts to get started with. The price is good and something I can afford. My first question is:

Should I get a bike like this to start off?

I am somewhat out of shape, pretty slim all around with a nice sized belly (too much beer in college). My goal is to just get riding and work on getting in shape and building up my endurance. I know alot of the posts for beginners just say to get on the bike and ride, and I could do that, but I wouldn't know when to stop, how long to go, how hard, etc. I feel I can learn the basic mechanics of riding and form on the bicycle from these forums, but I am clueless as to a routine.

My second question is:

Are there any training routines/guides for beginner cyclists? Is interval training best? Should I be focusing on time as opposed to miles? What should I be doing for my first 10-12 weeks, for example?

I guess the first question may not be good for this forum, but if anyone has suggestions for training, I would gladly accept those!
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Old 06-05-08, 05:54 PM   #2
J.Lockdown
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Well in my option and I am probably still considered a newbie myself is to get the bike if its a good deal. I bought a low cost bike recently to get into biking (about 2 months ago now) and it was a good deal. I found no reason to go out and spend $1500+ on a bike when I was first starting out.

For the going to much I had the same problem. The best advice I got is to get a heart rate monitor and go with what your body tells you. If you are feeling bad then stop and take a day or two off. Dont push yourself to the point that you are hurting because you are just causing more damage then good. Start out slow doing about 10 to 20 minutes on your bike and work your way up to long period of time. I can go for about 2+ hours after a month of working on my endurance (i was a fairly fit person before) but the concept is the same. For routine is Monday - Saturday with a rest on Sunday.
Monday - Long ride
Tuesday - 25% less of Mondays ride
Wednesday - 25% less of Tuesday ride
Thursday - Same as Wednesday ride
Friday - Same as Tuesday Ride
Saturday - Long ride
Sunday - Rest or backup day if it rains Saturday
My long ride is normally around 2 hours (miles depends on the route). This is my routine and everyones varies I would assume so this is what works for me and might not for everyone else. I also do not force myself to ride, I do it because I enjoy it and if I dont feel good or am not really in the mode I will take a break.

A good thing I was told is that its not some much the distance but more the amount of time you spend riding. You can ride for an hour up a steep hill and get a better workout then doing that same hour on flat road. So distance is not as important as the time you spend on your bike.

A couple things to mention that I have found:
1. Get a pair of padded shorts/pants (Their are 2 bones in your butt that I believe are called your "Sit bones", these are going to be very sore from riding and wile stay that way for a little. Mine are starting to settle in and dont hurt as bad after riding for a while, but the shorts I wear help a ton).
2. Get a emergancy kit (search the forum I posted a topic asking what I should have in it and got good responses)
3. Make sure the bike fits you correctly (I have been adjusting mine for a couple days and found the right fit that is good for me)
4. Always bring water on rides with you
5. Read some post on things to eat before and after a ride (these helped me recover and prepair for a good ride)
6. Always ask questions
7. And have fun

Now this is just the stuff I can think off the top of my head. Other members will have good input.

Last edited by J.Lockdown; 06-05-08 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 06-06-08, 09:24 AM   #3
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A used bike is a great way to start *if it fits*. A bike that doesn't fit well is going to be uncomfortable and you'll end up not wanting to ride it. If you can take the bike to a bike shop and ask them if it would fit you, that would be a good start.

As for the routine, I'd recommend starting with the goal of riding 3 time a week for one hour each. You should feel like you're working but still be able to talk fairly easily. That's a good start, and you can start exploring your area. Hills are going to be hard - they're hard for everybody - and it's good time to learn to ride slowly, or walk if you have to.

Once you feel comfortable doing that, you can extend your distance or speed. For endurance more distance is generally better than trying to ride faster.
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