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It is tough getting back in shape

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It is tough getting back in shape

Old 10-12-21, 08:21 PM
  #26  
70sSanO
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You are doing great. My advice to improve distance, check out different routes/trails, drive there, and then ride your bike as far as you feel comfortable.

Variety and being able to explore new sights on a bike is great. And after a while the miles just seem to increase.

John
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Old 10-13-21, 08:05 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul View Post
The other issue is that there always seems to be that rider that is stronger than the rest of the group, and wants to feel like a TdF pro by showing how fast he/she can be. I have led SORE rides, and always announce at the start that the group will ride no faster than the slowest rider is comfortable with, and if someone feels the need to go off the front, they had better know the route, because they are on their own.
Not sure what you mean by "SORE" rides. But I think I know what you mean by that rider. Hell, I think I may have been that rider for a brief period this year (my first year of club riding) until I realized that club riding is more about enjoying the journey together rather than trying of prove myself. Now I save my hard efforts for my solo rides, or for when a club ride needs someone to help pull the group through a stiff headwind.

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Old 10-13-21, 09:16 PM
  #28  
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Yes, it's better to do more miles on a day ride. That said, the gold standard is to increase total weekly mileage by 5%-10%. Note that this is like compound interest and 10% will get out of hand fairly quickly. It's better to ride as many days/week as is feasible So if your current weekly mileage goal is 20, you'd want to do 4 ea. 5 mile rides. I started riding again at 50 and it was hard for me, too. I tried to do 3-4 weekday rides and one weekend ride. On the weekend ride, I'd ride away from home until I was tired, then ride back, so however far, while still trying to not get ahead of myself by too much in terms of weekly increase.

Since you're going to be riding further away from home, be sure to carry 2 spare tubes, a patch kit, a pump, a multi-tool and whatever else seems like a good idea. If you haven't changed a flat yet, experiment at home. If you are new to it, there are YT videos. You'll also want a water bottle and someday 2 water bottles. Even in daylight, you want front and rear blinky lights, white in front, red in back. Being seen is your responsibility. In traffic, as cars go by you, always check that their right turn signal is not on.

I didn't go on a group ride for my first 2 years. It's hard enough just learning how to bike safely on one's own, much less with a bunch of unfamiliar riders.

Have a great winter down there.
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Old 10-14-21, 05:48 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Gonzo Bob View Post
Not sure what you mean by "SORE" rides. But I think I know what you mean by that rider. Hell, I think I may have been that rider for a brief period this year (my first year of club riding) until I realized that club riding is more about enjoying the journey together rather than trying of prove myself. Now I save my hard efforts for my solo rides, or for when a club ride needs someone to help pull the group through a stiff headwind.
Read post #14 for the SORE definition.
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Old 10-17-21, 05:53 AM
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Try keeping track of hours riding. Shoot for 5 to 6 a week. Donít worry about speed or distance. This is working for me better than speed or distance. Your in North Texas. Since itís cooling take the bike down to Fort Worth and ride the Trinity trail. I may h e the name wrong. My outlaws live down there and have not ridden there in years but will give you a change of scenery. Keep pedaling.
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Old 10-17-21, 07:48 AM
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I think it is called the Trinity Trail. They have installed a lot of trails alongvyhe river. I have planned on going there once it got cooler.
I only mentioned my speed since it seemed important and map my ride figures it for me.
I really need a change of scenery. Riding streets through a neighborhood gets really boring.
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Old 10-17-21, 09:04 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by pepperbelly View Post
I think it is called the Trinity Trail. They have installed a lot of trails alongvyhe river. I have planned on going there once it got cooler.
I only mentioned my speed since it seemed important and map my ride figures it for me.
I really need a change of scenery. Riding streets through a neighborhood gets really boring.
Quite so. First thing, google "strava heat map." Zillions of riders upload their rides to a service called Strava. The Heat Map shows the sum of those rides and routes over the past year. The interesting thing is that these roads are where many riders feel safest, whether commuting or just riding, or they wouldn't be riding there. So that gives you some good ideas. RidewithGPS.com is another very popular ride planner. Most folks prefer it to MapMyRide, though that works just fine, too.
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Old 10-17-21, 09:17 AM
  #33  
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[QUOTE=pepperbelly;...itís boring.[/QUOTE]

One thing you can try is to vary your routes if possible. Make sure you stay safe, but riding new routes with new scenery, etc. really helps.

Another and more controversial boredom buster is audio support. Now I don't suggest wearing headphones or earbuds and listening to music...just spoken-word podcasts or audio books in the right ear at a moderate volume.

After a non-cycling injury kept me off my bike for a year I struggled to get back in shape and resume my 9-mile bike commute. I happened to notice one of the many discussions about listening to music while riding here on bikeforums, and some members mentioned how they listened to spoken word podcasts in one ear. They felt that setup allowed them to be aware of traffic and others around them, while helping distract themselves from boredom and discomfort. And I found that to be true for me as well.

I cannot recommend riding with both ears covered by headphones or stuffed with earbuds regardless of the content, music or otherwise.

But if music is the only thing that can get you through the pain and boredom of getting in shape, then just put your phone in a case on your handlebars or get a blue tooth speaker, but please keep the volume down, not just for your own safety, but because riding through a neighborhood with music blasting is rude.

As far as average speed. I bike commuted 9 miles each way for 28 years until last winter and my average (uphill/downhill) speed was only 13,5mph. I would ride 20-30 miles on the weekend and my average speed would be 13.5 mph. Rides above 30 mile (up to 58 miles) and my average speed would drop over time. When I do push myself hard my average speed (uphill/downhill average) might be 14.5 mph but that's it.

My goal has never been to be in racing shape...I've never raced. My goal was to get in reasonable shape and to have enough cardio fitness to enjoy life.

Now that I work from home, I find it harder to get out and ride, even though I have more freedom as to when and where I go. But when a new episode of one of my favorite podcasts arrives, I look forward to listening to it on the bike.

Continued success in reaching your personal goals. go, Go, GO!
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Old 10-20-21, 05:30 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by pepperbelly View Post
If I do 2 or 3 5 mile rides does it still count as riding 15 miles, or is it better for fitness to do the distance in a single ride?
It still covers the same distance, even if in chunks. But I'd be very surprised if you got the same physical workout benefit from chunked-up stints over that same distance.

Even if you could ensure the effort and output were the same on all stints in order to compare favorably with the all-in-one 15mi ride, you'd still be missing a lot of the warm-up and subsequent change in efficiency and effort that results from doing a single longer ride. Hard to compare the two, but I strongly suspect it won't quite be the same benefit to you as though you were doing a single longer ride of similar intensity.
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Old 10-20-21, 06:56 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Clyde1820 View Post
It still covers the same distance, even if in chunks. But I'd be very surprised if you got the same physical workout benefit from chunked-up stints over that same distance.

Even if you could ensure the effort and output were the same on all stints in order to compare favorably with the all-in-one 15mi ride, you'd still be missing a lot of the warm-up and subsequent change in efficiency and effort that results from doing a single longer ride. Hard to compare the two, but I strongly suspect it won't quite be the same benefit to you as though you were doing a single longer ride of similar intensity.
thank you.
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Old 10-21-21, 11:43 AM
  #36  
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Today I rode 9 miles. If my computer worked I would have noticed and stretched it another mile.
I felt good and could have ridden further. I am just doing loops around town for now.

I am still averaging 12mph. That includes a half mile uphill that really slows me down.
I am not actually trying for a certain speed. I am just trying to keep a cadence, even if I havenít measured that cadence yet. The average speed is a decent benchmark though. I think if I can maintain that speed over increasing distances itís a good thing-right?

Last edited by pepperbelly; 10-21-21 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 10-21-21, 01:03 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by pepperbelly View Post
Today I rode 9 miles. If my computer worked I would have noticed and stretched it another mile.
I felt good and could have ridden further. I am just doing loops around town for now.

I am still averaging 12mph. That includes a half mile uphill that really slows me down.
I am not actually trying for a certain speed. I am just trying to keep a cadence, even if I havenít measured that cadence yet. The average speed is a decent benchmark though. I think if I can maintain that speed over increasing distances itís a good thing-right?
Try mixing it up a bit. Sometimes go long and steady, sometimes shorter but harder. It's all good and builds up fitness in different ways. It also adds some variety. As for cadence, it's a good idea to try to keep it fairly high within your comfort zone. But again you can mix it up during rides. Strong cyclists have a very wide cadence range, anything from sub 50 grinding to 130+ when sprinting.
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Old 10-21-21, 07:45 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by pepperbelly View Post
I have torn meniscus in my right knee. 20 years in public works will do that.
keep in lower gears... don't 'push' hard with slow pedal revolutions... it'll save your knees, work your heart/cardio a bit, and also slowly build your cycling muscles.
try to pick a gear that you can turn at least once every second... matching your pedal revolutions to what's in your mind: "1 Corona, 2 Corona, 3 Corona", "Stella Artois" would be too slow.
"Sam Adams" - only if you're from New England, and talk fast....
Tell yourself - "I can only have a beer IF I do 4 miles..." then up the mileage, but don;t up the beer count ! LOL!

ein meter fŁrre, ein meter zurick, ein meter runter !
training for Oktoberfest - hmmm, just a bit late...
LOL!
Ride On
Yuri
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Old 10-22-21, 12:03 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by cyclezen View Post
keep in lower gears... don't 'push' hard with slow pedal revolutions... it'll save your knees, work your heart/cardio a bit, and also slowly build your cycling muscles.
try to pick a gear that you can turn at least once every second... matching your pedal revolutions to what's in your mind: "1 Corona, 2 Corona, 3 Corona", "Stella Artois" would be too slow.
"Sam Adams" - only if you're from New England, and talk fast....
Tell yourself - "I can only have a beer IF I do 4 miles..." then up the mileage, but don;t up the beer count ! LOL!

ein meter fŁrre, ein meter zurick, ein meter runter !
training for Oktoberfest - hmmm, just a bit late...
LOL!
Ride On
Yuri
One Shiner two Shiner.
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Old 10-22-21, 02:51 PM
  #40  
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Nothing else to add here except to keep at it. Three to four times a week is a good goal with a rest/recovery day/s. Might also vary your cadence for fun. Mashing sometime and spinning at others or try standing going up the slight inclines breaks up the boredom. Maybe even going counter clockwise around town might help. Best to keep it fun so that you will make this a lifestyle rather than some fad you are going through.
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Old 10-23-21, 02:23 PM
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Improvement in speed doesn't come as quickly as improvement in your ability to ride longer and further.

Doing intervals of very hard effort to go fast then dropping back to a moderate pace you can rest at will go a long way to telling your body you desire more speed from it. There are specific guidelines for interval training that will probably get you faster sooner, but if you aren't in that big a hurry to be fast, you can just wing it on your own.
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Old 12-01-21, 12:53 PM
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Pepper,
I'm right behind you; recently retired and got back on the bike about 6 weeks ago. I'm happily up to 7 miles and really happy last week when I still had some gas in the tank at ride's end. Mostly get back and wonder if I'm stroking out, LOL.

Logging off, putting on the warmies and going for a ride. Thanks for the push!

BT
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Old 12-01-21, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by BTinNYC View Post
Pepper,
I'm right behind you; recently retired and got back on the bike about 6 weeks ago. I'm happily up to 7 miles and really happy last week when I still had some gas in the tank at ride's end. Mostly get back and wonder if I'm stroking out, LOL.

Logging off, putting on the warmies and going for a ride. Thanks for the push!

BT
we canít let the youngins have all the fun.
I do need to find more scenic routes though.
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Old 12-01-21, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by pepperbelly View Post
Quit smoking 3 years ago and started adding belly.... I know the beer is not helping but dang I like beer...
Yup, I quit smoking in 2007, but then increased my drinking without adding any fitness, and by 2013 I had packed 235 lbs on my medium 5'9" frame at 40 yrs old. Then in 2013 I started cycling one day on a whim using an old hand-me-down bike in the shed that I had never ridden once, and could only do about 8-10 miles, but I stuck with it commuting and/or riding 5-6 days a week (typically with Mondays and Fridays off), EVERY, SINGLE, WEEK, except for the 2 weeks of vacations with the family, while the whole time I was consistently ramping up mileage and intensity, little by little. Fast forward to 2016 where I was now 168 lbs, and where I did a 325 mile non-stop solo ride in 24 hours, and every other ride duration and intensity in between.

If you stick with it, good things will come. Except for your bank account, that will likely take a hit, but it will be so worth it

Last edited by Riveting; 12-01-21 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 12-01-21, 01:57 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by pepperbelly View Post
Today I rode 9 miles. If my computer worked I would have noticed and stretched it another mile.
I felt good and could have ridden further. I am just doing loops around town for now.

I am still averaging 12mph. That includes a half mile uphill that really slows me down.
I am not actually trying for a certain speed. I am just trying to keep a cadence, even if I havenít measured that cadence yet. The average speed is a decent benchmark though. I think if I can maintain that speed over increasing distances itís a good thing-right?
MPH is really a bad metric. it cant really explain elevation,traffic, weather or terrain... If you live on the side of the mountain and a 5 mile ride has 2000' of elevation and you average 12MPH that is way different than a 5 mile ride with 50' of elevation..

Generally when I plan a longer completely unknown ride I will use whatever MPH google or strava says the route will take. I dont really ever use it as a metric for performance..
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Old 12-01-21, 02:28 PM
  #46  
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There are various strategies when starting from zero, and most of them can work. As in all "from zero to" athletic endeavors, ensuring your cardiovascular system is up to the task is advisable.

The key is saddle time, the key to saddle time is motivation, and the best motivation IMO is fun. That will take you pretty far.

The final phase is when cycling becomes part of your identity. At that point, you ride because it's who you are. Not everyone gets there, but I imagine a lot of BFers are there.
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Old 12-01-21, 04:07 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Clyde1820 View Post
It still covers the same distance, even if in chunks. But I'd be very surprised if you got the same physical workout benefit from chunked-up stints over that same distance.

Even if you could ensure the effort and output were the same on all stints in order to compare favorably with the all-in-one 15mi ride, you'd still be missing a lot of the warm-up and subsequent change in efficiency and effort that results from doing a single longer ride. Hard to compare the two, but I strongly suspect it won't quite be the same benefit to you as though you were doing a single longer ride of similar intensity.
Do chunks still count? The answer is yes and no. I'm no expert, just experienced and read stuff here and there, so here's my take. The chunks will still "count" towards the improved fitness of your leg muscles and cardio/pulmonary system, and I found that two-a-day workouts (aka chunks) of 45 minutes each in the early morning on the ride to work, and then again after work were excellent for HIIT sprint training since the legs get a chance to recover throughout the day before you blast them again.

But the chunks are not as good for losing weight as a single long sustained ride is. And the reason for this is that longer non-stop rides (like 90-120 minutes or longer, and at a sweaty tempo, no soft-pedaling allowed) will first consume most of the glucose (that's stored in your body's muscles and liver) for energy, and that takes about 90 minutes of vigorous exercise to do, which will then cause your body to more intensely tap into the fat stores for energy, and then subsidizing your fat burning with 100cals of simple carbs (aka sugar gels, or in your water) per 60+ minutes after that, thereby keeping your energy up so you can ride longer, which will further help your weight loss, if that's what you care about. I would stay away from fasted riding (aka ketosis) though it's popular in some circles, but it's just not for me, and made me feel like crap. Riding multiple shorter distances with a bunch of hours or meals in between won't get that same effect of tapping into the fats as aggressively. BUT, if you find that 1.5+ hour rides deplete you too much as a new rider, or cause pains in your knees that require multiple days to recover before getting back on the bike, then the chunks are clearly better for you, since you'll be in pain less, riding more, and recovering off the bike less. The amount of training stress/load each person can put on themselves is very individual and is part of the fun of experimenting when getting into cycling. If you're striving to improve, then you want to learn to do as much as you can, yet still be able to get back on the bike and do those same big efforts day after day after day. If you can't keep getting back on the next day, then back off until you find that sweet spot where you CAN, and then increase your load little by little, or experiment with a single rest day, after every X days of riding, and try to increase X when possible. There are many cyclists who have an X of zero, it's all about the load.

Last edited by Riveting; 12-01-21 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 12-01-21, 05:09 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Riveting View Post
Do chunks still count? The answer is yes and no. I'm no expert, just experienced and read stuff here and there, so here's my take. The chunks will still "count" towards the improved fitness of your leg muscles and cardio/pulmonary system, and I found that two-a-day workouts (aka chunks) of 45 minutes each in the early morning on the ride to work, and then again after work were excellent for HIIT sprint training since the legs get a chance to recover throughout the day before you blast them again.

But the chunks are not as good for losing weight as a single long sustained ride is. And the reason for this is that longer non-stop rides (like 90-120 minutes or longer, and at a sweaty tempo, no soft-pedaling allowed) will first consume most of the glucose (that's stored in your body's muscles and liver) for energy, and that takes about 90 minutes of vigorous exercise to do, which will then cause your body to more intensely tap into the fat stores for energy, and then subsidizing your fat burning with 100cals of simple carbs (aka sugar gels, or in your water) per 60+ minutes after that, thereby keeping your energy up so you can ride longer, which will further help your weight loss, if that's what you care about. I would stay away from fasted riding (aka ketosis) though it's popular in some circles, but it's just not for me, and made me feel like crap. Riding multiple shorter distances with a bunch of hours or meals in between won't get that same effect of tapping into the fats as aggressively. BUT, if you find that 1.5+ hour rides deplete you too much as a new rider, or cause pains in your knees that require multiple days to recover before getting back on the bike, then the chunks are clearly better for you, since you'll be in pain less, riding more, and recovering off the bike less. The amount of training stress/load each person can put on themselves is very individual and is part of the fun of experimenting when getting into cycling. If you're striving to improve, then you want to learn to do as much as you can, yet still be able to get back on the bike and do those same big efforts day after day after day. If you can't keep getting back on the next day, then back off until you find that sweet spot where you CAN, and then increase your load little by little, or experiment with a single rest day, after every X days of riding, and try to increase X when possible. There are many cyclists who have an X of zero, it's all about the load.
Thank you. That is very helpful, even ďrivetingĒ.

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Old 12-01-21, 06:36 PM
  #49  
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Location: Everett, WA
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When I started riding again, I made a mental note of the most important things I learned, in order:

What to wear in all weather likely to be encountered. Your choices will be influenced by your negative experiences at first.
Clipless shoes and pedals are a big deal..
To drink while moving.
What and how to eat while moving.
Cycling is all about climbing hills.

I think those are the most critical mechanics which give one the ability to go out the door and just ride. And ride. I'm sure there are other opinions.
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Last edited by Carbonfiberboy; 12-01-21 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 12-02-21, 06:43 AM
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Jumpski
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Cycling is an investment in your health. Have fun and stay safe!
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