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Getting back into Cycling

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Getting back into Cycling

Old 10-05-21, 02:32 PM
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roadster99
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Getting back into Cycling

Welcome, roadster99.
You last visited: 01-24-09 at 09:09 PM

Haven't been cycling lately. Can you tell? I've been doing outdoor things, just not on two wheels. Well I lied, last summer I spent a lot of time on my Mtn Bike. But I've been dying to get back out on the roadie thing. I plan to use the winter months to train up and get some sort of foundation back again.

My question is this: I have like 8 old Carmichael Train Right DVD's. I plan on getting a Kinetic or CycleOps trainer (who knows, maybe even a good one like Kickr?) and including these in my "road back to fitness" thing I'm focused on currently & knock these out twice a week. Are these still applicable to today's technology & training methods? I've been out of the loop over 11 years. I still have my old 2011 Trek Madone. Even my old, worn out Sidi's. Are ye 'ol trainer & intervals still the way to go?

Obviously there are better programs out there, but in terms of cheapest way back on the bike & get some fitness levels back to ride next spring/summer/fall, give me your thoughts! I would also like some feedback on these new "online" training programs where you "race" against each other, etc. I'm no luddite by any means, but I've never ventured into the whole Peloton thing, nor have I been interested. I see it as, if I want to get on my bike & out w/people, I will go to the local shop & join the club ride, not stay home and mingle online.

Hope you guys don't mind giving some advice to an old rider looking to get back into the swing of things. Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-05-21, 04:07 PM
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If you aren't in a big hurry for results next week, then time and mileage on a bike works wonders over several years time.
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Old 10-05-21, 04:53 PM
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The old school training DVD's will still do the job of course (even if Chris Carmichael's most famous athlete may have been, ahem, enhanced).

Newer training apps such as Trainer Road, Zwift, FulGaz, Rouvy, RGT, and others will communicate with a modern trainer, giving automatic resistance control. If you're splashing out on a Wahoo KICKR or other smart trainer, then sticking with your old DVD training rides will not really be getting the most out of the new trainer technology. Having the resistance automatically change to match the on-screen road gradients or keep you at the correct interval targets is a huge part of getting a modern turbo trainer!

If you want to ride 1000's of fully interactive real-world roads in high quality footage shot from a bike, give FulGaz a trial.

If all you want to do is follow interval session targets, old school training that works, give Trainer Road or maybe Wahoo SYSTM a go.

If you want interactive cycling/racing with other virtual riders in a comical world, try Zwift.
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Old 10-07-21, 05:23 PM
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I thought the interactivity and gaminess of Zwift would be silly and useless. I was wrong. It keeps me interested and makes riding inside bearable. I use it for all kinds of riding now - free rides, structured workouts, races, group rides. Some days I'll ride 100km on the trainer and I'll stream a bike race while I ride. Another day, if I'm not particularly motivated, I'll pick a Zwift race that is close to the kind of training I want to do and let the race motivate me. Or, like yesterday, I'll queue up a structured workout.

I love riding outside, don't get me wrong. All my favorite rides have been outdoor rides I've planned, often involving a vacation. But maybe it's too late at night, or I have other things to do around the house so the trainer and a movie is the perfect thing to do while doing laundry on the weekend, or maybe it's just a summer day here in Georgia that's just too hot.
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Old 10-10-21, 11:26 PM
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Appreciate all the replies guys!
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Old 10-15-21, 08:27 AM
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Modern training methods are all about power—literally your measured power output in watts. This is what a smart trainer (such as a Kickr) is good for: it continuously measures your power output, adjusts its resistance to require a certain power output, and communicates with your smart gadgets (smartphones/tablets/head units) to follow a program.

You can kind of use heart rate as a proxy for power output, but it's very inexact: if you're riding intervals, it can take 90 seconds or more for your heart rate to approach its plateau for a given power level (assuming you can hold that power level steady), so if you're riding short intervals, heart rate is basically useless.

But beyond saying that "training is about power," it's hard to make any generalizations about how power is used. As far as I can tell, there are two camps: "sweet spot" training, which is all about maximizing time in Zone 3 (according to Coggan's zone system) and "polarized" training, where you spend a lot of time in Zones 1 & 2, none in Zone 3, and a little in Zone 4+. My understanding is that polarized can produce better results faster, but requires a lot of mileage to work. Of course, just doing something if you were previously doing nothing will produce results.

In a typical week, I go for one long road ride and four erg rides—partly this is because erg rides are a more efficient use of time, and partly it's my way of managing my traffic risk during a time when emergency rooms are overloaded. My erg rides are never virtual races like Zwift, they're always intervals or steady-state workouts. I watch netflix during my steady-state workouts, listen to music and watch the graph during interval workouts.
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Old 10-15-21, 11:14 AM
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The main thing is just to ride your bike, gradually increasing your mileage and the hilliness of your routes. I like to increase total weekly mileage by ~5%/week. Or not. The main thing is just to ride. I see that you are located in the wonderful PNW, Me too. As winter comes on, I do shift my riding indoors as much as I have to. I try to do one weekend outdoor ride on the most favorable day, rain or nor. Fenders and mudflaps! Rain is fine and actually very nice to ride in. No overheating! One does need the right clothing. I have 30 years of data on that. Rainy weekdays, I ride my resistance rollers in a room I can keep at a bit over 55, which is the perfect indoor cycling temperature.

I have a customizable periodized training plan which I bought when I was running OS2 - that's how old it is. Still runs on Windows 10, amazingly enough. I just follow the workouts provided which can all be done on my rollers until the weekend rides get too long, which is the reason to ride outdoors - as long as it's over 40. IME there's danger of ice below 40. I start training for next July in October and just keep at it. I also go to the gym, restarting in October, and do weight work twice a week, gradually changing the workouts over the months, moving from general fitness and higher reps to cycling specific work and fewer reps during the season.

I do have power on my single bike and use it. My training plan is HR based which works too, but now that I have power I mostly watch that, keeping my HR about where the plan thinks it should be. But basically I listen to my body and go as hard as it thinks I should, taking the long view.

One actually doesn't need either power or HR for training purposes. Breathing rate works just fine. I mostly use those tools to pace myself on very long rides, where being just a couple beats or 5 watts too high can spoil a ride. Google "VT1 and VT2"
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Old 10-15-21, 01:13 PM
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Here's a Strava power zone profile of a friend's latest group ride. He never does structured training, just rides in groups. In fact, I don't think I ever seen him voluntarily ride solo.

Most of his rides look like this with power all over the place. You'll get fitter doing this. He's 66 and a 235W FTP is pretty good. But there's certainly nothing structured about it.

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Old 10-22-21, 01:21 PM
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2011 Trek Madone, a little TLC an you are great to go.

Check your point of contact are comfortable / serviceable feet , hands, butt. (shoes, gloves, saddle)

Find an tracking app you like Strava / Kamoot others. I would sincerely recommend some form of GPS device, your phone, Garmin, what ever.

I chest strap based heart monitor is a very good idea. sorry watches are not as accurate or stable (the keep bouncing) the ridding. That said I do have a watch for rest heart rate and sleep tracking.

I found it a bit of a fiddle to get the tracking software set up to record indoor and outdoors. it can do it bit its pain at times to get everything pointing in the right direction.

​​​​​​​If you have been out of it for a few year, then I would work on your base riding as much as you can, 10 min to the shops contributes, so count it.

My $0.02 Intervals at this stage are useful if your amount of time is limited, but to start with just ride and enjoy your self. After about three months you will have some data to work with and have a better idea what you next steps should be.

lastly take a look at TrainingPeaks (I use it and love it) like strava they have free limited function accounts. and both link up. it is more comprehensive for tracking training that just Strava. It will also help you have a good idea of progress and your rest needs

Now the hard bit go out and ride and enjoy yourself

Hope that is of some use

Julian
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Old 10-24-21, 07:09 PM
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I was more focused on the indoor stuff, we will be transitioning to winter and I don't do good in PNW conditions. I will wait for Spring to think about going outside for a ride. Again, thank you so much everyone, for all the advice and suggestions. I will dig into it and look into something online. I just didn't have the budget for the more expensive ones. Appreciate the time and responses!
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Old 10-24-21, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by roadster99 View Post
I was more focused on the indoor stuff, we will be transitioning to winter and I don't do good in PNW conditions. I will wait for Spring to think about going outside for a ride. Again, thank you so much everyone, for all the advice and suggestions. I will dig into it and look into something online. I just didn't have the budget for the more expensive ones. Appreciate the time and responses!
There are many good outdoor days in winter here. Next weekend looks nice, for instance. And as it is said, the main thing about any training program is not so much its contents, but your consistency in following it. I find it very easy to "get behind" when trying to follow a program, simply by not doing all the prescribed workouts. Pretty soon, the program has run off without me.
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