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Training the Newbie...(8 posts)

Training the Newbie...Oldtrott
Aug 13, 2003 10:13 AM
I started out life on roadbikes. I road for about 10 years -- then had a good enough accident to make me give it up (doctor gave me little chance of using my hand...thankfully, he was wrong).

Eventually, took up running and have done that for the last 10 years -- run marathons and do a fair amount of lifting as well. Did no biking until a few months back when I picked up a hybrid and did a few weekend rides.

Decided to get back into road biking. Had a couple of shops do a fitting -- and then got a nice road bike. Have gotten used to the wonders of indexed shifting and clipless pedals.

Even though I'm in decent shape (run 50 miles/week), I find that I'm on the smaller chainwheel most of the ride. I'm keeping a good and steady cadence -- and am finding that some of the skills are coming back. I've not taken up any group rides -- would like to get myself in good enough shape to not embarass myself too much.

I remember riding in 20+ mph in pace lines when I was young -- and now I'm doing half that speed. Any suggestions on how to build strength and speed? I know it has only been a month -- and I'm 49...but would appreciate any advice.
No new tricks.MXL02
Aug 13, 2003 10:39 AM
Just ride a lot. Keep pushing yourself and it will come back. BTW, using the small chainring is not necessarily a bad thing. Being able to spin at high RPM's is goal of most competitive cyclists and staying in the 39/42 chainring helps accomplish that.
Agreed.Zonic Man
Aug 13, 2003 3:19 PM
I can spin a 39-13 or 12 at about 22-23 mph.

Spinning is a good thing. Keep at it, upping the cadence. It's done wonders for me.

Still too fat to spin up hills though. I was GRUNTING up Mount Diablo (SF bay area) in my 39-23 a while back.
I'm in the same boatlotterypick
Aug 13, 2003 10:50 AM
But fighting to get it back.

I've noticed I'm also 20 lbs. heavier and now BIcycling mag tells me part of the problem. I'm fatter which makes me slower.

You probably don't have that problem.

I'm trying to climb every small hill I can on my ride to and from work (30 round trip). It's coming back a little in that I'm not blown by them.

I think joining a group ride would be good. If the newbie ride, then you can work to the front, which is a good feeling, then move on to the next ride up and hanging on.

I've been riding by myself a lot and it's good but being with others, and pushes you and gives you goals.

I switched to a 12-27 cassette to help me on the hills. My time to work got better by 6 minutes.

Keep riding and I'll do the same.
re: Training the Newbie...kg1
Aug 13, 2003 12:57 PM
For me, intervals have given me the biggest bang for the buck. In about 1 hr on a trainer, you can get in a fabulous workout (feels like you're going to die). Do that about twice a week and ride as much as time allows outside of that, and you will get faster. If all you do is ride at a comfortable pace (or even a sort-of-hard pace), I don't think you'll see a lot of improvement -- some, but not a lot.

I am a relative newbie, and there are others here who know a lot more than I, but that's what has worked for me.

Good luck, and have fun.

This may seem strange but enjoy your time on.........abicirider
Aug 13, 2003 4:31 PM
the bike just have fun getting back into it don't stress about speed, keeping up with other riders, you need to build back up a base I really believe in a base of at least 1000 miles, even though you are running 50 miles a week cycling uses complete different muscle groups, after you get your base in your fitness will be improved and those 20mph pacelines woun't seem so far out of reach, but don't stress or go out and push yourself to the limit all that will happen is you will get pissed off and stop riding because you don't see any improvement , or injured, or just plain burned out.
One of the best purchases you can make is go out and but Joe Friel's "The Cyclist's Training Bible" third edition, it covers from beginner to most advance unfortunatley emphasis is more on advance training but it is a great source to have.
Rember just have fun on the bike that is what it should be about.
All of the above said is just my personal view I'm sure no expert by any means , just a masters 41 year old guy so take what I have suggested for what it is worth.
Be safe Out On The Roads!!!!!!
Ray Still
Mooresville, NC
I was in your shoes last year and ........cdhbrad
Aug 13, 2003 6:12 PM
I had been off the bike about 15 yrs, put on 50 pounds, and was just about to turn 50. Decide to treat myself to a new bike for my 50th and get back riding. I could barely make 5 miles without hurting. Just kept riding the same routes that I used to ride and improved. I also joined the local bike club and started doing group rides, I was slow at first then improved.

Now, I have lost the extra 50 lbs I put on and I feel good enough to join the rides from our LBS, a much younger crowd than the Bike Club. Tonight got back from the Wed night 25 miler and averaged over 20mph for the whole distance, got dropped near the end, but who cares.

I am still not where I want to be, but I continue to improve and haven't felt this good in years. I totally agree with the post above about getting a trainer and buying some books, especially, "Cycling Past 50", lots of good information for us "Older Riders". Like the others said, just enjoy the ride.
re: Training the Newbie...fasteddie
Aug 13, 2003 6:22 PM
As everyone has said, just keep pluggin' away, it will come back. Although not nearly as long a layoff as you had, I basically did nothing for 9-10 months last year. I started riding again this late spring, but struggled early on -- one ride in particular of no more than 10 miles just about did me in. I was very discouraged but kept at it. My progress seemed to go like this: plateau for a few weeks and then suddenly I'd feel noticeably stronger so I'd add miles and increas speed a little: repeat, repeat, repeat...but, the plateau period also shortened each time. Long story short...I expect to reach 280-300 total miles for this week's training. I feel strong, not unduly sore or stiff and loving every mile. Along ways from that pathetic 10 miler several weeks ago. Oh, one last thing -- I ALWAYS ride with a HR monitor and ride within appropriate zones.