Help please

mhughe15
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Help please

Postby mhughe15 » Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:16 am

Hi,

Background:
At the beginning of this year, I came to be very unfit at 181cm tall and 113kg at my heaviest in February I have only just got back on the bike for the first time since being a kid. It has been one of the best decisions I have made in a long time.

My current Goals:
-improve fitness
-reach and maintain 90kg (previous fit self, currently 103kg down from 113kg); and
-completing at least 4 rides and 100+km (increasing as fitness allows and time permits) per week.

Where I need help:
I have improved my aerobic fitness immensely over the last couple of months (according to Segments on Strava) as you would expect with some consistent riding (exercise) and I am happy with these results. My area (North Coast NSW) is very hilly but in the beginning I was just looking at building my base fitness on some flatter roads and am now able to comfortably keep up with small Saturday morning group. However, as I have improved my fitness I need/want to branch out further and do longer rides, discover some new routes and this of course means tackling some decent climbs (at least for me at this stage). I have already started doing this but am finding my aerobic fitness is in good stead, it's still my legs that can't seem to get me up the hills. I realise my weight is still going to be an issue at 103kg (and maybe even at my goal of 90kg) but assuming I continue to shed the kg, what aside from the obvious of simply 'doing more hills' is a good method/program for someone like me (at this stage) to build the capacity in my legs to 'catch-up' with my aerobic fitness?

Thanks for any ideas, sites etc

Mick

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foo on patrol
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Re: Help please

Postby foo on patrol » Sun Aug 16, 2015 6:29 pm

You answered your own question, ride more hills and do interval work. :wink:

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ValleyForge
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Re: Help please

Postby ValleyForge » Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:41 pm

Congratulations Mick for the work so far.

In terms of your "goals" you are actually travelling well. To loose 10kg in 6 months is great work. I'd suggest be patient, but give yourself kudos for having got this far. Think of it as a bit of a curve that as you lose weight, you gain % effective muscle, and your power to weight ratio gets better. Climbing naturally gets better just with weight loss alone. I tried to bash my self on hills too early and lost a bit of impetus and gained a whole lot of frustration. I'd look at getting into the hills when you are closer to 90: it's more enjoyable rather than bashing yourself now.
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mhughe15
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Re: Help please

Postby mhughe15 » Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:48 pm

Thanks for the replies. Waiting a little longer sounds fair, and is something that I can do with a lot of rides with only a few hills here and there to test me at the moment. I'll be looking forward to some adventurous summer rides then (when I finally hit 90kg all going to plan).

I have also only just found this last week, thanks to extra work on zwift, that my legs have been sorer than before my trainer and zwift came along. Finding it very hard to stay off the bike for more than a day or so though... I'm hooked!

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rodneycc
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Re: Help please

Postby rodneycc » Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:57 pm

Consider commuting to work on the bike. Great way to get a regular ride in, save money and lots of other benefits.
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Re: Help please

Postby g-boaf » Mon Aug 17, 2015 10:07 pm

mhughe15 wrote:Thanks for the replies. Waiting a little longer sounds fair, and is something that I can do with a lot of rides with only a few hills here and there to test me at the moment. I'll be looking forward to some adventurous summer rides then (when I finally hit 90kg all going to plan).

I have also only just found this last week, thanks to extra work on zwift, that my legs have been sorer than before my trainer and zwift came along. Finding it very hard to stay off the bike for more than a day or so though... I'm hooked!



Sounds like you are doing well. But remember, let yourself recover a bit too. No good smashing yourself everyday. If you are doing an easy ride, do it very easy. If you are riding fast however, give it everything.

I've never used zwift so can't comment on that.

I think that more riding consistently will also help with losing kilos. I remember riding a few times with a big guy who was obviously heavy, he struggled on hills somewhat due to that, but on the flat, he could really hammer along! Didn't stop him from seeking out hills. He gave it everything! :)

mtb1011
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Re: Help please

Postby mtb1011 » Tue Aug 18, 2015 10:49 am

yes you're doing well - steady weight loss is key, continuing to improve aerobic conditioning and building muscular endurance for longer rides.

you haven't mentioned your nutrition, hydration along with good sleep are too areas newer riders underestimate as being important.

hills and climbing generally, well they are the truth makers as they put your systems under stress that expose your weaknesses as a cyclist.

Mitochondrial adaptations; without getting complicated, this takes time, even with a good aerobic engine the strength required to sustain a climb takes years to develop.

of course your expectation is high as you're coming off flat rides and you apply the same gusto to the climb only to fade away.

so approach each climb as a training opportunity only, that means start easy probably 30% down on what you can do, then simply spin away at a slow pace. what that teaches you is pace judgement, from there you can build up with surging to particular points, ultimately you're' increasing your anaerobic threshold and subsequent strength/load required to sustain climbing.

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Re: Help please

Postby macca33 » Tue Aug 18, 2015 10:56 am

I'm a tad taller and heavier than you mate and get up the hills at a reasonable clip - but nothing like the lighter riders. The ONLY thing that works is to ride more hills and continue to try and shed the kegs - a reduction in weight will see your times improve dramatically.

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mhughe15
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Re: Help please

Postby mhughe15 » Tue Aug 18, 2015 7:33 pm

HI all,

Thanks for all of your input. From here I guess the message is a bit of patience and just enjoy the 'ride'....

As far as nutrition goes, my weight loss has certainly picked up over the last 2 months by with the use of a calorie counting app. This has been unbelievable in helping me make smarter choices, particularly in sticking to acceptable portion sizes. I think a lot of my success so far is attributable to the improved nutrition on top of the cycling.

Mick

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Spaniel
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Re: Help please

Postby Spaniel » Tue Aug 18, 2015 10:15 pm

Mick, you are making great progress, just keep riding and slowly increasing the distance and challenges. I was a similar starting weight to you, but now at 93kgs. You might find you plateau for a while. Hill work is fine, just don't push it too hard too early. Start with some moderate climbs you feel are within your ability, before you know it you'll be doing repeats.

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Re: Help please

Postby Calvin27 » Tue Aug 18, 2015 10:38 pm

I'd recommend mixing it up a lot. Your body adjusts to certain intensities as you do more of them so doing a mix is a good idea. My typical month will include at least one of each:

- Medium length road rides (about 50km) at a steady pace on flats (i.e. Beach road)
- Long road rides (100km+, yeah, it's long for me haha)
- Short road rides with high intensity and small climbs (i.e. Yarra boulevard max effort)
- Long road climb (1000m ascent)
- Mountain bike single track
- Track training (mostly sprint work)
- Long ass gravel grind
- Mag trainer short session very easy spin

To be honest though, the biggest impact has been doing the track sessions. I don't know what it is but it somehow made me get much faster and fitter quicker than doing other riding types.
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Derny Driver
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Re: Help please

Postby Derny Driver » Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:06 pm

Calvin27 wrote:I'd recommend mixing it up a lot. Your body adjusts to certain intensities as you do more of them so doing a mix is a good idea. My typical month will include at least one of each:

- Medium length road rides (about 50km) at a steady pace on flats (i.e. Beach road)
- Long road rides (100km+, yeah, it's long for me haha)
- Short road rides with high intensity and small climbs (i.e. Yarra boulevard max effort)
- Long road climb (1000m ascent)
- Mountain bike single track
- Track training (mostly sprint work)
- Long ass gravel grind
- Mag trainer short session very easy spin

To be honest though, the biggest impact has been doing the track sessions. I don't know what it is but it somehow made me get much faster and fitter quicker than doing other riding types.

That's a very nice mix and excellent advice . And you are correct about the track. There is no substitute for pure speed and nothing builds speed like track work.
For the OP aiming to ride 100km+ rides, unless there is a reason for the distance then you are just wearing out your tyres. Long slow rides just make you ...errrr ...slow.
There is nothing magical about a number. Ride the distance that you can ride properly. That might be 60km. It might be 35km. But once you start struggling and suffering you are wasting your time.

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cameronp
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Re: Help please

Postby cameronp » Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:39 am

Derny Driver wrote:For the OP aiming to ride 100km+ rides, unless there is a reason for the distance then you are just wearing out your tyres. Long slow rides just make you ...errrr ...slow.
There is nothing magical about a number. Ride the distance that you can ride properly. That might be 60km. It might be 35km. But once you start struggling and suffering you are wasting your time.


The OP said 100km+ per week, spread over 4 rides - that's a very different style of riding!

However, I'm going to hijack the thread a little and ask: how do you train to be fast over long distances? (i.e. 200km+) I'm specifically thinking of the Alpine Classic here but I guess it would be generally applicable to any long-distance event. Is it better to concentrate on longer, steady rides (pacing yourself at moderate heart rate), or smash out a lot of shorter rides, or a mix of both?

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Re: Help please

Postby mtb1011 » Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:37 am

mhughe15 wrote:As far as nutrition goes, my weight loss has certainly picked up over the last 2 months by with the use of a calorie counting app.
Mick
what app are you using?

yes mate stay in the moment, enjoy being healthy and fit, with a good base you'll have the capacity to up the intensity as required for events etc, my advice would be to pick an event 3 months out and train for it, that means simply mimicking the event profile and distance with shorter training chunks. to me, its all about reaching personal goals. they'll always be someone quicker, but if you're having fun, enjoying your coffee, maybe a beer post-event/ride, nice meal, bit of trash talking ... that's pretty good man.

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Re: Help please

Postby Derny Driver » Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:48 am

cameronp wrote:
However, I'm going to hijack the thread a little and ask: how do you train to be fast over long distances? (i.e. 200km+) I'm specifically thinking of the Alpine Classic here but I guess it would be generally applicable to any long-distance event. Is it better to concentrate on longer, steady rides (pacing yourself at moderate heart rate), or smash out a lot of shorter rides, or a mix of both?

If you are training for a long ride /race then that is not a simple task. Even the professionals can go belly up in the latter part of a 200km race. You need to be very fit and have excellent preparation to even complete such distances.
My dad always said "learn to ride 10km properly, when you can do that then ride 20 properly, then 30 ..."etc rather than just start with the longer distances which just reinforces bad technique due to fatigue. Technique, body position and bike fit are all very important. Start with shorter distances and gradually increase them over time as you adapt.
As with all training you should mix it up, there is a place for the long slow ride, its actually very important that you do one of these each week or each fortnight. In between the long slow rides do some other shorter stuff. You are going to need to build up to a point where your weekly volume is pretty big, you would be looking at mid week rides of 60-100km each time, and the 150-200km one on the weekend.
Build up slowly over many months so that you dont get injured. Listen to your body, if you are tired have a day off or a really light 15 minute spin on rollers or something. Stay healthy and get lots of sleep so you dont get sick.

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queequeg
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Re: Help please

Postby queequeg » Wed Aug 19, 2015 2:12 pm

Indeed, I've just kicked off my training for the Fitz's Epic in October.
I do 10 x 26km commutes a week, mixing it up in intensity on various days. Some days are just hammer the whole ride, others it is just specific sections, some days it is just a lazy roll.
That seems to work for me, as even a lazy roll has me doing 28km/h avg to work without breaking a sweat.
On weekends I would usually do a group ride with the fast group and hammer it out in some pace lines, but as I am doing a 210km nasty ride in 9 weeks, I have switched to endurance mode. Last weekend was a 195km/6.5hr saddle time ride just to ensure I can last the whole day and get the body used to being on the bike for so long. I'm aiming to do a 5+ hour ride each weekend and gradually introduce more hills until I am doing close to the actual event elevation gain (4000m)
I think I am going to be fine for the actual day, but I'd like to spend as little as possible time out in
the hit sun in late October.
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Re: Help please

Postby JdM » Thu Aug 20, 2015 2:09 pm

Derny Driver wrote:As with all training you should mix it up, there is a place for the long slow ride, its actually very important that you do one of these each week or each fortnight. In between the long slow rides do some other shorter stuff. You are going to need to build up to a point where your weekly volume is pretty big, you would be looking at mid week rides of 60-100km each time, and the 150-200km one on the weekend.
Build up slowly over many months so that you dont get injured. Listen to your body, if you are tired have a day off or a really light 15 minute spin on rollers or something. Stay healthy and get lots of sleep so you dont get sick.


Sounds a lot like how a lot of my tri-mates train for their Ironman bike legs... Except for the running 20 odd km after a weekend ride:lol:
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cameronp
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Re: Help please

Postby cameronp » Thu Aug 20, 2015 6:13 pm

Thanks Derny Driver, that's handy advice, especially about mixing things up. Doubt I'll be able to get in many 60-100km mid-week rides but I'm aiming to do a 100-200km ride every other weekend, and plenty of hills because that's where I really suffer at the moment.

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Re: Help please

Postby Derny Driver » Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:15 pm

I neglected to mention the number 1 training method for long races / rides. The benefits of motorpacing are evidenced by the fact that nearly every Professional rider in Europe has his own personal motorpacing man, or has access to one. Richie Porte has not replied to my letter offering to replace his current guy, Im slightly disappointed as cruising around Monaco and the Cote d'Azur on a Vespa and getting paid big money to do it would have suited me down to the ground.

This afternoon my son and I tapped out a lazy 110km at an average speed of 43kph, not too bad considering it was windy and he has only been back training for 4 weeks. Even for an average rider you could expect to do a 200km ride in 5 hours or less. The advantages of motorpaced training are that 1. You can get those long rides done in much shorter time frames, 2 You are travelling at a good speed and pedalling at good cadence, you are riding with good technique and not just plodding around slugging away into a headwind by yourself.

If you think that being in the moto draft for your 200km would be ridiculously easy, then consider that the moto's forward motion is relentless, every corner, roundabout, small rise or hill will see you drop back a metre or two, and chasing back to the roller at 50kph in the big ring is not that easy. Its a solid enough workout.

Bear in mind that motorpacing is technicaly illegal and also dangerous if you do not know what you are doing, which I why I have not mentioned it to this point. It should be done discreetly and on quiet country roads with few intersctions and little traffic. Sydneysiders would be smart to throw the scooter and the bike in the back of a van or a trailer and head west to Camden or somewhere like that to start the ride. I am lucky where I live as I can pretty much go from my door, although my van is perfect for my little scooter if we wish to go further afield.

This is the best method of doing long distance rides for those who are fortunate enough to have access to it.

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Re: Help please

Postby zill » Sat Aug 22, 2015 3:29 pm

Derny Driver wrote:I neglected to mention the number 1 training method for long races / rides. The benefits of motorpacing are evidenced by the fact that nearly every Professional rider in Europe has his own personal motorpacing man, or has access to one. Richie Porte has not replied to my letter offering to replace his current guy, Im slightly disappointed as cruising around Monaco and the Cote d'Azur on a Vespa and getting paid big money to do it would have suited me down to the ground.

This afternoon my son and I tapped out a lazy 110km at an average speed of 43kph, not too bad considering it was windy and he has only been back training for 4 weeks. Even for an average rider you could expect to do a 200km ride in 5 hours or less. The advantages of motorpaced training are that 1. You can get those long rides done in much shorter time frames, 2 You are travelling at a good speed and pedalling at good cadence, you are riding with good technique and not just plodding around slugging away into a headwind by yourself.

If you think that being in the moto draft for your 200km would be ridiculously easy, then consider that the moto's forward motion is relentless, every corner, roundabout, small rise or hill will see you drop back a metre or two, and chasing back to the roller at 50kph in the big ring is not that easy. Its a solid enough workout.

Bear in mind that motorpacing is technicaly illegal and also dangerous if you do not know what you are doing, which I why I have not mentioned it to this point. It should be done discreetly and on quiet country roads with few intersctions and little traffic. Sydneysiders would be smart to throw the scooter and the bike in the back of a van or a trailer and head west to Camden or somewhere like that to start the ride. I am lucky where I live as I can pretty much go from my door, although my van is perfect for my little scooter if we wish to go further afield.

This is the best method of doing long distance rides for those who are fortunate enough to have access to it.


Is that one reason why your son is able to beat riders that on paper are fitter/more capable than he is?

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Derny Driver
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Re: Help please

Postby Derny Driver » Sat Aug 22, 2015 5:27 pm

zill wrote:
Is that one reason why your son is able to beat riders that on paper are fitter/more capable than he is?

Hi zill
Well you would think that if you had access to a scooter and a willing dad that you would take advantage of the resource. The truth is that he very rarely does any motorpacing. Yes he goes good but he has never really commited to a proper training program and does not motorpace. Its a bit frustrating to watch but you need the right head and the desire to become great. At the moment he is just happy doing what he is doing and if he is happy I am happy. I really only care about his happiness, not whether he becomes a champion cyclist or not. That is for him to decide. I will support him whatever he chooses.

On the flip side I have been motorpacing a young U15 kid lately, he has the ability and the attitude to go with it. A great attitude, very humble, coachable, and very commited. His program is overseen by Ben kersten and he does everything to the letter. We factored in weekly motorpace sessions and he is amazing behind the scooter, so fast...anyway he went to Belgium last week and won a couple of fairly big junior races over there and made the Belgies sit up and take notice. That sort of stuff is rewarding, to get the text message, to know I helped and it is appreciated.

mhughe15
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Re: Help please

Postby mhughe15 » Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:34 pm

Thanks everyone, it's been good to read some more training ideas.

Update on progress, I rode 146km over the last week which I am pretty happy about. I did a few rides I haven't done in a while with more pleasing results against my previous bests according to Strava (I have found Strava to be unbelievable in helping me to track my progress - and a few friendly comparisons with some mates). I also aim to increase my weekly goal over the next few weeks to 110km, 120km or 130km per week and see if I can maintain that for a while before increasing it again (commuting wont help too much, I only live 1km up the road from work, this does allow me to get an early morning ride in most days anyway).

I also noticed the benefit of a rest day on Friday before my little group ride on Saturday morning - the hills were 'easy' (relative speaking) in that my legs felt really good and I kept up with some of the other guys up 'the' hill who are once a week riders and fair bit lighter than me.

Finally, the app I am using is MyfitnessPal (free version).

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Re: Help please

Postby Xplora » Mon Aug 24, 2015 12:23 am

I am not particularly strong at climbing, and I have found that nothing challenges you like climbing. It's like a treadmill, it's relentless effort and it's hard effort!

Something I have found very helpful is to go right down to my easiest gear when the road turns up for a climb. I slow more than I could but I have much more left over for the upper parts of the climb! This will encourage good form and safe joint movements. Spin quickly instead of changing up gear if the road flattens a little. It will supercharge your climbing and help keep you working hard.

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Re: Help please

Postby mhughe15 » Fri Sep 11, 2015 9:33 pm

Update: I have achieved a few milestones in the last week or so.

The last two Saturdays I have joined a social group ride. These rides saw me ride over 50km and 70km respectively, both flat - less than 300m elevation each but it's very satisfying to start to go for longer rides (and I am doing it quite easy).

I also cracked the 100kg mark last week. Currently sitting at 98kg tonight (total loss of 14kg, <90kg here I come!). Thanks in the most part to managing what I eat with the calorie counter app and just consistent time on the bike.

I have found my new indoor trainer/Zwift set-up unbelievable in helping to me to maintain the consistency week in week out, particularly when I miss the morning ride because of weather or other commitments. Now I can always just jump on the trainer whenever I have spare time and make up the time that I would have otherwise previously lost without the option of a trainer. I am also seeing the results from the harder sustained efforts on the trainer once I get out on the road. My average speed on the flats has picked up, small climbs/ hills are quickly becoming less of a problem and my legs are going for MUCH longer before they say no more on the hills whether seated or standing (even though there is always room for improvement).

Mick

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Re: Help please

Postby macca33 » Fri Sep 11, 2015 10:18 pm

Great work mate - I've gotta extract the digit and get below the Ton also - still half a dozen or so over......
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