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Help me get in better shape, please?(8 posts)

Help me get in better shape, please?girchygirchy
Oct 21, 2002 3:02 PM
I'm just looking to get into better shape, and wondered what people on here would recommend from personal or friends' experiences. Do you recommend more short rides or a few longer rides? I'd rather do more short ones, since I don't have too much free time, but I'm just curious. I need to make a routine and stick with it. Thanks all~

Volume and intensityKerry
Oct 21, 2002 4:15 PM
You can deal with volume and intensity together to get in better shape. Volume is time exercising, intensity is how hard you go when exercising. Without more details, it's hard to offer advice. When you say "more short ones" are you talking about 5 days per week at 20 minutes each, or 6 days at 30 miles each? Big difference - 1:40 vs. 9:00 hours per week. Some would consider 6x30 a series of short rides, while others would consider that a bunch of long rides. It's a given that 20 minutes is too short, as you should allow about 10 minutes for warm up and cool down on any hard effort ride. Tell us more.
More details, per Kerrygirchygirchy
Oct 21, 2002 7:01 PM
When I said "more short ones," I was just leaving it up in the air, to get suggestions. But 6x30 sounds good, I agree completely; 20 minutes is a bit short. My average speed on my 1.25 hour or so rides I do about once a week (time permitting) is around 16, so I get about 21 miles total...that's not pushing it, but I have other stuff to do. But I figure the short ones would be better, like a half an hour or 45 minutes. I might be able to push it more, but I'd rather get up to the point I can. I need to find a better place to ride really, but traffic's pretty scary.
Conventional wisdom for aerobic conditioning is....joekm
Oct 22, 2002 9:10 AM
At least 20 min. in your target zone, 3 times per week. Granted, your not going to be doing any major tours on that level of training but it sounds to me like you just want to get into better condition. More available time is always a good thing but don't let the fact that you only have time for shorter rides right now stop you from getting out there. Use what you have, all exersize is good. If you can arrange 2-3 hours on a weekend for a longer ride once in a while, that's even better.

If you can get 3-5 45 minute rides per week in and an occasonal longer ride, you should be fine.
re: Help me get in better shape, please?joekm
Oct 22, 2002 5:55 AM
You got to do what you have time for. Any regular excersize is helpful. In my case, I'm able to keep my bike where I work and I go out at lunch time. It's only 11.6 miles but it's something. I've go two small children so that limits my free time but, during the regular riding season, I would go out on Tuesdays with the local bike club for a longer group ride. On Saturdays, if the weather is nice, I put my son on my mountain bike and we do a "recovery ride". If I'm lucky, I'll log about 30-40 miles solo on Sunday after church while the kids are napping.

The only consistent excersize I get nowadays is my short little lunchtime ride. Since late July, I've lost about 10 lbs doing that and dropped my resting heart rate.

The point is, do what you have time for. Any excersize is good excersize.
You are not going to get in shape for 1.25 hours a week.elviento
Oct 22, 2002 6:55 AM
You got 168 hours in a week, if 1.25 hours is what you commit to getting in shape, you won't be able to do it. I have a very stressful job but I put in 6-12 hours of riding each week. Long rides are actually better for saving time, because a smaller percentage of time will be spent preparing (tires, tools, dressing up), warming up, and taking a shower, doing the laundry.

Try doing at least 2 shorter rides (1-1.5 hours) and one long ride (2.5+ hours) each week. Push yourself on the short rides after the first 15 minutes or so.

Also if efficiency is the only thing you worry about (not the enjoyment of cycling outdoors, etc.), then you are better off going to a gym.
That's why I wanted suggestionsgirchygirchy
Oct 22, 2002 9:05 AM
Thanks for your suggestions, that doesn't sound too bad.

That's the main reason I cycle is to get outside, so no gym time for me, except for some lifting. I've never understood riding a stationary indoors unless it's 0 degrees or 100 degrees outside.
re: Help me get in better shape, please?tarwheel
Oct 22, 2002 7:17 AM
Ideally, I think you should combine both longer and shorter rides to improve performance and get in shape. I do shorter rides (1-1.5 hours) on weekdays and longer rides (2-4 hrs) on the weekends. Short rides are good for working on intensity, intervals, climbing or recovery. Long rides seem to improve my performance more than anything, though. I try to do at least one long ride (40-60+ miles) every week. With short winter days, I try to ride during lunch 1-2 days a week to save some time.