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Am I training too hard for a newb? Need serious help.(7 posts)

Am I training too hard for a newb? Need serious help.globalhelipimp
Jul 27, 2003 10:08 PM
I've only been road biking since July 6th, 2003, and have a
little over 250 miles under my belt. My rides range from
15 to 28 miles, typically averaging around 17.5 mph. The
terrain I ride is composed of flats and hills, but the
hills dominate the flat sections w/o a doubt. I ride in
about 70-80F weather, and the humidity is anywhere between
60-80%. During my rides I drink a mix of water and
gatorade, 50/50.

Wednesday of last week I did a 24 mile ride at about 17.5
mph, and ran for 10 minutes immediately following the ride
(wanted to see what doing a brick was like, in hopes to do
a sprint tri August 17th). I felt pretty exhausted after
and consumed lots of carbs and water.

Thursday, I decided to go out a little easier, and had
planned on doing 20 miles. However, I hit the 15 mile mark
(averaging 17.5 mph), and felt extremely exhausted and
decided to head home.

Should I chill out with my training, and develop a solid
base first? What should my rides be like? Should I
increase mileage a little and decrease my average speed?

I know I'm not going to improve over-night, but I would like
to improve the most-efficient way.

I recently picked up the Cyclists' Training Bible, in hopes
to improve overall with my cycling. I really enjoy it, and
would like to keep putting on mileage, but I don't want to
burn myself out. The book said something like, "you
shouldn't feel exhausted after your rides."

I'm 19 years old, weigh 145lbs, and was very active
throughout high school in cross-country and track (400m
dash - 54.9sec PR). I had no problem doing hard track
workouts, and understand cycling and running are different,
but am just throwing this out in the table.

Any advice, suggestions, or person experiences appreciated.

How'd you train after your first road bike purchase?


Syracuse, NY
re: Am I training too hard for a newb? Need serious help.wookieontherun
Jul 27, 2003 11:58 PM

You are right on track, but other than the 10 commandments section and some other tips and tricks in the Training bible you should set it aside for now. You need to get some serious milage and a bit of racing in you. Right now your concern should be being in a regular schedule and putting lots of miles on your bike.

Here's what I'd suggest--

Ride a LOT.

Stop thinking about your milage as a measurement of your
success, but get a Heart Rate Monitor and soon start working on some zone training. You could even start this now but keep it easy. The things you should be focusing on are your technique- pedal stroke, turning, balance, shifting, etc. Get your basics down solid before you start working on the hard stuff.

As for what the book says about not feeling too exhausted- I kind of ignore that and I kind of dont- you shouldn't feel so exhausted that you become lethargic- you will burn yourself out that way. But you do want to feel tired after a good ride. Try riding with groups from time to time, if not a lot. A lot of groups out there have people at your same level.

Most importantly- set yourself into a routine. The best way not to get burnt out is to really set up a schedule for yourself. This is how I kept myself from being burnt out.

Once you get really comfortable with your riding then its time to move to the next level and set some goals. I dunno if you go to Syracuse or not, but I believe Syracuse has a cycling team- if you are into it you should consider joining.

Hope this helps,

re: Am I training too hard for a newb? Need serious help.arztin
Jul 28, 2003 4:22 AM
I to have restarted road cycling after a 14 year break for studies and 2 children.I average about 20-30kms a day mostly hills and average speeds of 20-25kmh.I push myself hard as I have little time and really need to get back into shape so I think it is really a personal thing.If I was younger and fitter then I would love to be back at my old levels but I can't see that happening.
I'd say just be consistant,build your fitness and then go for it.
resist the urge to ride hard every timetarwheel
Jul 28, 2003 5:15 AM
The most important lesson you'll learn about cycling is to alternate your hard and easy days. Riding hard every time is a recipe for over-training. Ride hard for a couple days and then take a day off or ride at a recovery pace -- in your case, probably 14-15 mph. You're young, so your recovery should be relatively quick. Also, gradually increase your long rides each week by about 10% or so. Long rides will help your overall fitness, speed and strength more than just about anything. Don't worry about setting speed records on your long rides. If you want to increase your speed, you might want to do interval training once a week -- but make sure you rest well afterwards.
At a certain level, you just need to ride -- you're probablybill
Jul 28, 2003 7:21 AM
at that level and will be for awhile. Even though you probably have great aerobic capacity (and a 19 y/o's recovery system -- none better), you need to develop muscle memory, ligament strength, mental technique, etc. But, as you would know from reading Friel's book, riding isn't really training. Training is specific and focussed.
The more I do this the more I appreciate how specific training really is, and how critically important it is to balance work and rest. Work is defined as overstressing the muscular systems in order to force them to adapt, and rest is rest. You can't overstress the systems without working them hard, and you can't work them hard without rest. It's that simple. Once you understand that, the rest is a lot easier, and you start recognizing the specific abilities you need to develop with overstressing and rest.
You'll find your way. It's not that hard, even though I had Friel's book for a year or two before it made any sense, because you think that you have to work hard all the time. It takes a while to learn that working hard all the time is counterproductive. Just enjoy turning over those pedals for now. Don't underestimate a little time off the bike, too.
Eventually, you will plateau with what you're doing, and then you'll know it's time to get more specific in your training.
re: Am I training too hard for a newb? Need serious help.PBWatson
Jul 28, 2003 9:14 AM
250 miles is not enough to start specific training. If I were you I wouldn't worry about racing just yet. Put time on the bike, dont worry about your speed, if your tired slow down or take a day off, pedal circles, (wipe your feet & lift) get to know the bike, get comfortable on it. Get your base down now & think about training next year. It takes years to reach your peak in cycling, but its (almost) always fun.
Jul 28, 2003 10:50 AM
Ride for fun, explore, experiment, don't worry about speed or mileage, just put time in the saddle. If there are shop rides in the area, go! If they're faster than you, make them your hardest ride of the week. If they're slower, make it a rest day and get used to riding close to other riders.