Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Training & Nutrition
Reload this Page >

Good starting regimen for a complete newbie

Notices
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.

Good starting regimen for a complete newbie

Old 08-11-13, 01:12 PM
  #1  
shady oaks
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: SW Michigan
Posts: 11

Bikes: 2013 Specialized Sirrus Comp

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Good starting regimen for a complete newbie

Hopefully this is the right place for this question, so here it goes.

As the title says, need a good starting regimen for riding. Here's a list of things that I think would be a factor:

31 years old
5'10'' and 170lbs
haven't been on a bike in 15+ years
haven't exercised in 12+ years
Have a 2013 Specialized Sirrus Comp
looking for overall fitenss. Maybe throwing in a sprint tri relay leg next year
Have a somewhat complicated work schedule. That is I work 12 nights and rotate work days on a 2 on, 2 off, 3 on, 2 off, 2 on 3 off (2 week overall rotation).

So with that stated, I've considered taking the first 1-2 months and just getting use to riding. That is not worrying about cadence, heart rate, speed or anything major. During this time is it okay pedal and coast occasionally or should I focus on maximizing my time and practice pedaling the entire time. I just don't know how long I should ride for, time or distance wise as well. And after that, I'm lost. As of right now I would say a goal for training would be 20 miles, then 20 miles as fast as possible. I'm an avid bass fisherman as well (with tournaments thrown in from time to time).

Let me know what you think, and if I'm on the right path or not for just starting out.
shady oaks is offline  
Old 08-11-13, 03:47 PM
  #2  
softreset
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 782
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 103 Post(s)
Liked 33 Times in 9 Posts
Everyone's baseline is different and thus everyone's starting point is different. We're the same age, I'm an inch shorter but I'm carrying around an extra 7, 16 pound bowling balls in my torso and extremities. Here's what I did...

A little less than a month ago I went to my apartment's (free) fitness club, sat on the stationary bike and put it at the lowest resistance level (1). I pedaled for 20 minutes (at 85 RPM) and stopped, felt great and not at all winded. I then did another 20 minute set, again at 85 RPM and increased the resistance level to 2. Still feeling pretty good I increased it to level 3 and after about 12 minutes I was pretty gassed.

I hit the bike 4 (sometimes 5 days a week) and I've worked my way up to interval training with a baseline of resistance level 7 and a max of level 12 for 30 minutes.

Regarding the actual bike, I started with a 5 mile loop and this past weekend I did a 32 mile trek (16 out and back) in about two and a half hours. At the end of the ride I was toast but I've recovered quite nicely and was able to suffer through another 14 miles today, albeit at a pretty poor 11.8 average MPH.

I think half of Sacramento passed me on the trail today, heck I swear one guy passed me twice (going in the same direction). I've done a bit over 80 miles in about 3 weeks and a month ago I would have never guessed being able to do a 30+ mile trip before lunch yesterday.

So what does it all mean...

A couple of pointers, non-scientific, from a total newbie:

1.) Stay properly hydrated. My 'motor' runs pretty good when I'm consuming 70-80 ounces of water a day. I try to down close to 20 ounces of water per 10 miles of riding distance be it actual miles or stationary bike miles. My doctor basically said: If you're not waking up during the night to pee at least once you're not drinking enough water. He especially stressed water consumption because I was a 40-50 ounce of Mt. Dew (per day) guy only a month ago and all of the sugars and toxins in my body will need the extra hydration to help out my liver and kidneys do their thing.

2.) Short distance, repeatable rides. My first several rides were 5-10 mile joy rides on my local trail. Usually 4-5 out and then back to start. Could I have gone further? Probably but I didn't want to go so far as to get hurt, stuck or require the aide of a vehicle to "tow" me back home. After my 5th or 6th trip I set a goal to start increasing my speed over that goal distance (first trip was 10.2 avg., most recent trip was 12.6 avg.). If your fitness supports further/faster, go for it. I still like the distance then speed approach for starting out.

3.) Sort out your energy source. Not going to lie after my first 10 mile ride I came home and basically inhaled a 20oz Mt. Dew. My net calorie loss was probably in the negative. Since then I've turned Mt. Dew into a single, 20 oz bottle on a Friday night to 'celebrate' the weekend. It's 100% water outside of that, no cheating. I also stopped eating food that's obviously horrible for you, things like McDonald's, Panda Express, etc. My first week I didn't reduce sodium intake when I increased water intake and I actually gained almost 2 pounds. I reduced sodium intake considerably and I'm about 12 pounds lighter now then I was at this time last month. I've doing shakes, bars and other protein rich supplements. Even if I don't go very fast or very far, it's not due to lack of energy on my rides or during exercising it's just fitness and cardio capability. Plus, I'm sleeping like a rock now.

4.) Proper recovery. I've been trying to exercise and introduce some weights into my daily routine (I take Friday off). I found that in an effort to lose weight I was omitting food with a lot of carbohydrates. The problem was some nights when I'd go to exercise I had absolutely ZERO energy. Occasionally I'd increase my tempo or distance and on the following day think I could just go at it again. My body, still warming up to the fact that there's no Mt. Dew and orange chicken to follow occasionally slaps me completely upside the head. So similar to the fuel recommendation, don't push yourself hard one day or night and then think you can do it right away again the following. Figure out what your repeatable capabilities are, I favor steady repeatability at this phase of my plan. There's no sense doing high speed or high energy interval training for me at this point when I can't maintain greater than 12 MPH for more than 15-20 minutes. Again I'm not worried about speed, I'm worried about stamina.

Ultimately my doctor and a physical therapist recommended the following:

- Eliminate the "bad stuff" from my daily intake. Soda, sweets, empty calorie/fatty foods.
- Increase water intake and sleep/rest intake.
- Find a speed and cadence that you can maintain for 10 miles and make that ride 3-4 days a week for the first month to set a baseline. Then we can start setting goals and targeting cadence/heart rate/etc.
- Start increasing protein and vitamin intake and supplement post work out recovery with appropriate replenishment. They recommended 1-2oz of Powerade/Gatorade for every 10 minutes of actual exercise time (elevated heart rate).
softreset is offline  
Old 08-11-13, 05:29 PM
  #3  
ericm979
Senior Member
 
ericm979's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Santa Cruz Mountains
Posts: 6,169
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
At this point go for time, not distance. Don't worry about how fast you are. If you can keep pedalling at a reasonable rpm that's good, because that's what serious cyclists do- no coasting unless its down a fast hill or momentarily when drafting. But don't get dogmatic about it.

Mostly, enjoy riding. You can get all serious and have a training schedule later on when you need that for further improvement.

Mileage (or time) goals can be good motivation. Make them not too hard, so you can achieve them if you do the work. But make them goals that you can definitively reach- x miles fast as possible is not a good goal because you'll never be as fast as possible- you always could have trained more or suffered even harder.
ericm979 is offline  
Old 08-11-13, 06:18 PM
  #4  
beatlebee 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: ?
Posts: 2,300

Bikes: i may have bike(s)

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
[QUOTE=ericm979;15950031]

Mostly, enjoy riding. [/QUOTE]

..
beatlebee is offline  
Old 08-11-13, 07:28 PM
  #5  
chrism32205
Senior Member
 
chrism32205's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Posts: 670

Bikes: Bianchi Axis (commuter), Specialized Tricross S-Works, BMC Team Machine SLT01, Mercier Kilo TT

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
As others have said, enjoy riding. Since you are just starting out, I'd say set a goal of mileage or time. Personally I set mine for the week. My goal is to get in 80-100 miles a week. I don't always reach it but it's something I strive for.

Sometimes I'm riding to fitness and push myself, other times I'm enjoying the ride.
chrism32205 is offline  
Old 08-11-13, 07:42 PM
  #6  
ericy
Señor Member
 
ericy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rehoboth Beach, DE
Posts: 1,514

Bikes: Giant OCR2, Trek DS 8.3

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 412 Post(s)
Liked 46 Times in 30 Posts
I don't know what the riding opportunities are where the OP lives, but winter can be a challenge for many. If safe outdoor winter cycling isn't possible, then some thought would need to be given to what to do during the cold and dark months. I can say from experience that being on the couch-master for 3 months sets me back quite a bit .
ericy is offline  
Old 08-12-13, 06:32 AM
  #7  
diggy488
.........
 
diggy488's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 153

Bikes: 2012 C'dale Supersix

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Great post, softreset. Very helpful!
diggy488 is offline  
Old 08-12-13, 12:33 PM
  #8  
GeorgeBMac
Senior Member
 
GeorgeBMac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 2,061

Bikes: 2012 Trek DS 8.5 all weather hybrid, 2008 LeMond Poprad cyclocross, 1992 Cannondale R500 roadbike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by shady oaks View Post
... [snipped]
looking for overall fitenss. Maybe throwing in a sprint tri relay leg next year

... [snipped]

.
There have been a lot of good responses to your post. Many of them advocate that you should enjoy what you are doing -- and I whole heartedly agree with that advise...

But let me add: the answer also depends on WHY you are riding and what your goals are... You stated them, but "overall fitness" can cover a lot of territory. It can mean anything from being able to climb a flight of steps to running a full marathon -- or biking a century in under 5 hours.

You mentioned some competition level type stuff -- and many riders enjoy and derive motivation from competing with other riders both formally or informally... Others simply enjoy being on a scenic trail and smelling the rose. Others are motivated by and enjoy long treks (like on the Great Allegheny Passage -- 300 miles from Pittsburgh to DC)... Others enjoy all of those things.

I would suggest that you let your goals and what you enjoy decide what and how much training you will need or want for the type of riding that you want to do... I you let the training drive the type of riding, then it becomes work -- and the paycheck is usually pretty small.
GeorgeBMac is offline  
Old 08-12-13, 02:56 PM
  #9  
shady oaks
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: SW Michigan
Posts: 11

Bikes: 2013 Specialized Sirrus Comp

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for the great responses everyone. I'm very competitive, even with just myself. That is fun for me. With that said, I'm not going to worry about much but making sure I get out and ride, with a smile, for a while.

As far as winter, we get a decent amount of snow and winters can be long. I plan on buying some form of stand for indoor riding during that time. Also plan on picking up swimming at the local high school a couple times a week.
shady oaks is offline  
Old 08-12-13, 03:21 PM
  #10  
Divtos
Senior Member
 
Divtos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 150
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If there is one thing I wish someone had told me back when it would be to get a cadence monitor and shoot for 85-95rpm. I mashed big gears at low cadence for years before realizing how much easier and better for you spinning at a higher cadence is. Plus cadence is such an ingrained habit I wish I had started out higher at the start rather than having to break a habit.
Divtos is offline  
Old 08-13-13, 05:10 AM
  #11  
GeorgeBMac
Senior Member
 
GeorgeBMac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 2,061

Bikes: 2012 Trek DS 8.5 all weather hybrid, 2008 LeMond Poprad cyclocross, 1992 Cannondale R500 roadbike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by shady oaks View Post
Thanks for the great responses everyone. I'm very competitive, even with just myself. That is fun for me. With that said, I'm not going to worry about much but making sure I get out and ride, with a smile, for a while.

As far as winter, we get a decent amount of snow and winters can be long. I plan on buying some form of stand for indoor riding during that time. Also plan on picking up swimming at the local high school a couple times a week.
Well, welcome to cycling... Your bike looks like it can be quite versatile -- but mostly for road type riding (with its 700x28 tires)... But for now, just ride and you will find what works for you. But I would also suggest making friends with your local bike shop (if it is a good one). They can not only help keep your bike running well -- they can also help to adapt it to whatever you want to use it for. Also, they can be a great source of information on things like where to ride, events, groups and so on. Not all shops are friendly and helpful. If yours isn't, find one that is. They can be a great resource.
GeorgeBMac is offline  
Old 08-13-13, 11:46 AM
  #12  
shady oaks
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: SW Michigan
Posts: 11

Bikes: 2013 Specialized Sirrus Comp

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by GeorgeBMac View Post
Well, welcome to cycling... Your bike looks like it can be quite versatile -- but mostly for road type riding (with its 700x28 tires)... But for now, just ride and you will find what works for you. But I would also suggest making friends with your local bike shop (if it is a good one). They can not only help keep your bike running well -- they can also help to adapt it to whatever you want to use it for. Also, they can be a great source of information on things like where to ride, events, groups and so on. Not all shops are friendly and helpful. If yours isn't, find one that is. They can be a great resource.
Luckily, I feel there are 2 high quality LBS in my area. I've known a few riders over the years and they all mentioned the same 2 shops, as well as how many local events they are connected to.
shady oaks is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
matteodavidking
Training & Nutrition
16
07-16-18 03:48 PM
Explosive
Training & Nutrition
6
07-05-18 03:35 PM
amishboy51
Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg)
36
02-17-14 11:10 PM
LandKurt
Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg)
12
08-06-11 12:02 AM
muz379
Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg)
18
04-15-10 06:07 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

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