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How much to exercise(8 posts)

How much to exerciseUnfit
Aug 15, 2001 11:41 PM
Hi all, I'm looking for you opinions on the amount of exercise I should do. At the moment I'm doing 15 miles per ride at an average of 15 mph. I'm not fit enough yet to ride any farther. What I'm wondering is should I ride every day or every other day. The day after every ride I'm feeling good, my legs are fine so I imagine I could do another ride. I've always heard that you should exercise ever second day, so is this true for cycling?

Thanks for your help.
re: How much to exerciseTekward
Aug 16, 2001 3:29 AM
First, good job on your current progress. You're doing more then most.

My two cents are to excercise every day but alternate exercises. I'm a big believer in cross-training. Using different muscle groups minimizes overuse injures, reduces boredom and provides greater fitness IMHO. I use Tae Kwon Do, weights, AB slide and road biking. Good luck and keep it up.

re: How much to exerciseUnfit
Aug 16, 2001 4:14 AM
Thanks Tekward, and by the way what is "AB slide"? And how important is upper body strength for road biking?
re: How much to exerciseVelocipedio
Aug 16, 2001 4:26 AM

The suggestion about cross-training is a good one. But hou have to remember to take rest days! At your level it is important to take two a week. You need these days for your muscles to re-build. Sounds counter-intuitive, but resting will make you stronger.

If you take rest days, you should be able to exercise every day. I ride every day, with a weekly rest day -- or more if I do a REALLY big ride or my muscles feel tired. I clock about 350 km [217 miles] a week. The more I rest, the farter I can ride.
Three on, one off?StewK
Aug 16, 2001 4:44 AM
I think you'll get more improvement out of your rides if you ride three days then take a day off. Something I read in Bicycling said start with an easier ride and increase intensity/length of ride progressively in second and third days. I don't know if this really the best way or not, but that's pretty much what I do, although I don't follow the intensity thing. Occasionally I'll take three or four days off just for a rest without any apparent loss. However this is just my own opinion not based on any clinical evidence.
re: How much to exerciseLou M
Aug 16, 2001 5:06 AM
Ride as much as you can at least 5 times a week. Your body will tell you when to go farther and/or faster. Alternate your routes and mileage, do easy spinning 2 days per week. Ride in groups once in a while, you will get dropped but it is great way to gauge your improvements. Every week you will be able to hang in there a little longer, it feels great. I got back into cycling 3 months ago after about a 6 year hiatus. I was around 250lbs ( I am 6'1") when I started. My first ride I could only muster 10 miles @ 13mph average. I have dropped at least 30 pounds (with a good diet of course) and feel great. Now my shortest ride (TT) is 20 miles and I can do 30 mile rides easily and average 18-19 mph. Yes, I still get passed by other riders but that's ok. Make sure you have your objectives clear, whether it is just to lose weight, train for performance, etc... Establish goals. For instance, yesterday I rode 30 miles at an average of +19mph, a first for me (at least in years). Little milestones like that will keep you motivated. My next goal is to consistently average at least 20mph.

I got some great advice from this board. Stick to whole wheat/grain stuff, stay away from sugars, and ride hard.

Good Luck
Four Day Cyleswink
Aug 16, 2001 8:22 AM
I am 43 years old and dropped 50 pounds the last 4 years by doing a 4 day cycle. I have worked my way up to this. I could ride much longer but do not have enough time. During the winter I replace riding with running.

Day 1 25-30 mile ride
Day 2 1 1/2 hour full body weight training
Day 3 Competetive Squash or Swim for 1 1/2 hours.
Day 4 25-30 mile ride
Day 5 Rest

Found that I am biking faster and longer, squash game is improving, swim times are falling and much stronger in all atheletic stuff. Also notice improvce sex drive.

Note that I do take longer rides (70-110 miles) on weekends about once per month. No time to do any more except in summer I may sneak in a 20 miler after dinner.

Keep it up, it is a lifestyle thing!
re: How much to exerciseRich Clark
Aug 16, 2001 6:50 AM
When I was getting back into shape after serious health problems, my cardiac rehab nurse had me work out four days a week. I usually did M-W-F and Saturday. I kept this up with increasing intensity as I transitioned from indoor workouts to cycling, with my goal basically to spend 4 hours, then 5 hours, then 6 hours a week exercising in my target heart-rate zone (70-80% of maximum).

Knowing your true maximum heart rate, and using a heart rate monitor, can be a big help at this stage.

After a year I was doing two days on, one off, trying to spend at least 6 hours a week in the zone. At this pace I was able to lose some weight and gain a lot of CV fitness, increasing my cardiac output and overall strength, replacing fat with muscle, and feeling a lot better

Now I ride every day (I commute 26 miles a day) and do one bigger ride (50-75 miles, usually) on the weekends, and take one day off. If I miss a day I don't sweat it (but I feel it). I do 10-12 hours a week, usually. I'm actually riding more, and I'm in better shape, than I ever was before I got into health trouble.

Listen to your body, and don't punish yourself. Keep it fun (which is why cycling is the perfect fitness plan). Take care that your bike fits well and doesn't cause any pain -- too many people get turned off cycling because their bikes were never properly fitted. One day in the not too distant future you will realize that you've reached a whole new level of fitness, and you were having such a good time you didn't even notice it happening.