The foundations for successful riding
25 posts • Page 1 of 1
OK, here goes.
I'm a comparative newb (been on the bike for about 6 months) and just got cajoled into attempting the Three Peaks ride in 2013. I had a good friend make a great fist of it on the weekend, and I got talked into attempting it next year (though to be fair they didn't need to push me much). I now need to work out the hell what I'm going to do between and then to have a vague shot of going close to finishing the damn thing.
Now for those not familiar with the Three Peaks: http://www.cyclingtips.com.au/2011/03/3 ... our-stage/
So in terms of where I'm at now (not sure how much of this is relevant:
I'm 5 foot 10, and 87 kilos (I was 98 kilos 6 months back). I'm fairly broad shouldered to boot. I might be able to get to 80, but I probably get the sensation 81-82 is probably my fighting weight. Diet is pretty good. Occasionally a few to many beers or bottles of red go down the neck.
I typically ride 4 days a week. A 16km commute to work on Wednesday mornings (Marrickville to Sydney CBD for those who know Sydney), a bit of Centennial Park lapping on Thursday arvos (25km or so), and the commute back home Friday afternoons. I then tend to add on a solid hitout on the weekends - that varies a bit, but I'm usually aiming for 30-40km or so (last weekend that was Marrickville to Bronte Beach via Centennial).
Longest ride I've done is the Johnny Warren ride (that's 95 or so km - Loftus to Jamberoo)
In terms of other fitness stuff, I do a boxercise class once a week (mix of cardo, core and upper body stuff) and about three 40-45 minute high paced walks every week.
Fitness on the whole is signifiantly improved though still a work in progress
In terms of my bike, I'm still slugging it out on a cheapish flat bar roadie. I will no doubt be upgrading to something significantly posher between now and then. Not entiely sure what that is yet, but I'm anticipating a roadie in the $1500-2000 window.
So I guess what I'm asking is:
1) What are the things I need to change immediately? My immediate thought is I need to be doing a bunch more kilometers, though I am somewhat limited by the constraints of life. I might be able to tack on another 10km or so to the commutes either way, and another 10 to the Thursday ride, but I think most of the additional effort will have to come on the weekend rides. There's a local club that does the Waterfall loop every Sunday - I'm thinking tacking on with them will be a good start. Or do I need to go harder/longer/do somehting different.
2) Even if I do that though, I won't be really getting a lot of climbing work other than the up and down of Sydney. How important is getting some hills into my legs at this stage or is that something that I can start pushing harder closer to the event?
3) Windtrainer. Good idea?
4) Other training. Should I be upping the intensity of the walks? Dropping the boxercise? Doing nothing. I do these things during lunch at work, and don't really have the time to ride nor have the scope to go hit spin classes, gyms, etc. I can run (which I hate), I can walk, I can boxercise, I can do nothing. End of options.
5) New bike. Initially I was thinking I would try pick up something end of season in the back end of the year, but should I be getting on the bike I'm going to be using sooner (or am I just trying to justify getting my new wheels fast).
6) Milestones. What should I be working toward? Should I be aiming to do ride x, y or z to know I'm on track? Am I better off trying to get my distances out then including some climbing or should I go straight to climbing?
7) Weightloss. Should I be hammering the lettuce and sashimi and trying to drop fast or should I just let the weight loss happen
Any other insights or tips greatly appreciated.
Ride, ride & ride some more. Repeat.
Find the time. Find people to ride with. Find hills to ride.
At this stage, in my opinion, 1st & foremost, you need base km's in the legs.
Disclaimer: I have no formal training in this area & comments are my opinion only
Always looking for new rides & ride partners in SE QLD area
Well, I'm going to have a crac at the FItz this year, with about the prep time from nOOb, so according to my ego, what you have proposed is doable.
Just find lots of hills to ride and ride them regularly. Aso, do lots of kettle bell squats . They will not only increase your leg power, they will keep your back strong and keep you stretched out. Cyclist can be prone to back weakness and I find that a dynamic stretch like a deep squat is much more effective for me than passive stretching. I warm up and work my wqy into it.
You have officially become your parents.
Oh, and definitely buy a new bike. What a nOOB question that was.
You have officially become your parents.
Best of luck Eggman - gerat goal to aim for!!
As for prep - I'd do it in stages. Stage 1 - get the legs used to the distance. So that's logging up 'base kilometres'. Take it easy - its all about getting the legs ready and able to handle longer, more stressful rides later. Probably give yourself a good 3-6 months for this stage.
Stage 2 - start to hit the climbs. I don't know your area - but try and locate some looong climbs you can ride to and use. Make it your big hill-climbing day. Hit them once a fortnight at least.
As for the X-training - my personal pref would be to focus on riding only given the epic nature of your goal!! But that said - if you really love the other stuff, then keep it up. We aren't professional athletes, so its gotta be fun...
And the new bike issue - any excuse for a new bike, I say! But don't lose too much leep as to how soon you need it. Just ride...
My recommendation would be to get a copy of "The Cyclist's Training Bible" by Joe Friel AND a copy of "The Time-Crunched Cyclist" by Carmichael, and READ. If weight loss is a parallel goal, a copy of Racing Weight and the related quick-start workbook should be on your list as well.
Why all this reading? It's too easy to make mistakes with how you schedule out your training that will lead to sub-optimal results, and possibly injury and illness.
You don't have to do heaps and heaps of junk miles. I've actually found I get better results from less mileage than I was doing, all through getting the balance between intensity, volume, frequency and recovery right. Previously I was overtraining big time, my fitness was not improving and actually went backwards, and I was useless at home and work. Some tips from folks here (mikesbytes in particular - thanks, buddy) helped me get out of the hole, but the mountian bike version of the Training Bible plus a 100km mtb event trainng program I picked up really set me on my path to knowing how to get race fit without buring the candle at both ends.
In the meantime, I'd just ride what you've got and keep an eye out for a good deal on a new bike. If you haven't already, go clipless with your pedals: you need to learn to pedal in circles and flats don't encourage good technique as readily.
bump up your training by 10% per week
get a light bike with climbing gears
in 9months time you need to be about 75kgs, and riding 450kms per week
.......or just do the 3 peaks in a few years time, ie wait till you know you are fit enough
when do we stop for coffee???
I wouldn't worry about getting superfit just yet........ ride a few times a week and keep up your general fitness. Maybe do some long group rides if they come up i.e. BathurstBlayney or SydWollongong with a focus of getting the feel for the long days and pacing yourself, don't really try too hard.
3months out, try to build in 1 longer ride a week.
1.5 months out build in a few hills ( i.e. RNP ) to your longer ride.
1 week out light rides only.
You'll be fine.
when do we stop for coffee???
BTW long ago invested in clip ins. Otherwise I'd miss out on the fun of clipstacking
by december you need to be doing 200km rides with hills as a norm
then start ramping it up! ill be doing the same as i will attempt it next year too
Cervelo S5 VWD - dura ace Di2
The main thing is that whatever increase in training you do, do it gradually (10-20% max increase distance/intensity) with rest weeks every 3-4 weeks or so. Also don't do intense workouts too often (max 3 days a week). Sometimes just take it easy and enjoy the ride, sometimes do a medium paced ride.
Plan it all out on paper, and add some variation in there so you don't get bored. You may have to drop the cross training at some point due to time constraints, but then again it might help to keep things interesting.
I think the only thing that can stop you from reaching this goal is injury and lack of motivation/unbelief in yourself. If your really want to do it, stick to the guidelines and you will be fine.
2011 Merida Ride 93
2012 Apollo MTB
that's a bit over the top... I hardly ever do 100 km rides let alone 200!....like never!.
There are 200s and there are hilly 200s, so I'd be aiming to get my distance up in a sustainable way gradually increasing your weekly distance so that you can comfortably tackle a 200 before Christmas. Basing my own training on Simon doughy's book, the long distance cyclists handbook, you could try this approach-
Your current cycling distance is a good spot to begin training from as you'll want to start establishing a good base. I'd suggest that over the next 3 months increase your weekly mileage so that by the end of the 3 months your longest ride is 140km and your other rides during the week roughly add up to that distance. Then try a 200 and see how you go, it will still likely hurt but you will be in pretty good shape and physically ready for the challenge. Just remember to eat.
You should then have a good base to sustain some harder hill training while maintaining a generally higher weekly distance (somewhere between 150 - 300 km). I think the three peaks would compare well to the audax alpine classic, you might consider trying the 200, if you're going well or the 140km ride if you've got some doubts, but both rides will give you a really good idea of what it will be like.
I would up grade to a drop bar road bike, and drop the fast paced walks and add fast paced rides with hills on those day's if I was in your position. Good luck with your training.
2011 Malvernstar xcs 1.0
2012 Oppy a5
2011 fm 015
What a great goal to have for the next 12 months. I would love to do it but i am really NOT a climber (also much worse power to weight ratio than you have) so I'm thinking it might take me a couple of years to get there-need to do some harder hills than i currently climb (struggle over 10%) and drop a few more kg's.
New bike would ideally have compact cranks (eg 34/50 is pretty common) and cassette have better than standard 11-23, say 12-27 or 12-28. At the end of 250km you may just appreciate that extra gearing. I have just ordered some compact cranks so i can start on some harder hills... Have a look at the gear calculator.
Is there is any way to increase the number of commute rides? Time was a big obstacle for you (and for me), working along the incidental exercise line... commuting time is wasted in a car and you already seem set up and comfortable with the concept of riding. At present you manage 32km commuting per week but if that was increased to even 3 days both ways you would be up to 90+ during the week plus whatever you manage on the weekend. Use the non-riding day(s) to ferry washing to and from work. Some good lights help for the darker/shorter days (and you will need them for 3 Peaks). To paraphrase Mark Cavendish "I love my Ayup's"
For those who haven't seen it, the recent post Good Hill climbs in Sydney had some good suggestions for hills, Vander contributed a good summary:
For Victoria, The Climbing Cyclist has a good list to work through...
Good luck, it sounds like a great challenge. I know a few people who finished this year after DNF previously, one had stopped for the SAG wagon, rung the wife to tell her he was pulling the pin then thought "bugg3r it", got back on the bike to escape some mozzies and finished-reckon that would be a good feeling!
Keep us posted with your progress.
Merida 903 from the LBS; Diesel engine
Definitely recommended..... very handy, especially for a long hilly ride.
I finished 3PC this year. It's not quite as hard as some are saying, but you do need to get very familiar with your bike. Losing weight will help, as will suitable gearing. You don't need to be able to ride 200 km in one ride once per week, but you should do it at least once. You should be having an aggregate above 200 km per week from now on. Don't worry if you miss the odd week.
Overall fitness and endurance are the key. My mate Dr Jones won the BBAR (British Best All Rounder) series last year. It's a big deal over there. It comprises best average speed based on a 50 mile, 100 mile and 12 hour time trial. Preparing for the 12 hour time trial he was doing no more than 5 or 6 hour training rides. For the 12 hour TT, on open roads, he did 491 km (41 km/h). His 100 mile time (161 km) was something like 3 hours 32 min, so umm, that's pretty fast.
My point is, you don't have to, in training, push yourself as long and hard as you will on the day. You do need to get reasonbly close though. You need to get to the end of long rides and still feel you could go another 30 km if you had to. Conversely you also need to push yourself to the limit, so you know what the Wall feels like. Obviously, these two things need to occur on different days. You need to first lay a base. If you are at under 100km now, you need to build your longest ride by about 10 km per month, so you are doing 150km in hopefully about 6 hours by spring. You will then have a base.
Once you have a base you don't need to build the distance so much as hills, skills and power. Find an absolute bugger of a hill, and try and ride up it. Pretoria Pde, in Hornsby is one. The Otford Wall is different, not quite as steep but longer. For goodness sake put a low gear on before you try either of those. These hills are steeper than anything on 3 Peaks. Generally, riding of hills should be part of most training rides. Some hills are unavoidable in Sydney.
Get comfortable and fast on descents. Get used to riding in bunches. If you are getting soreness anywhere on longer rides, find the problem and (most likely) fix your position on the bike.
Building power is a different story - you won't use much of your 1 minute or 10 minute power on 3PC. But having a higher top end raises what you can maintain as a submaximal effort. A good trick is to do time trial efforts towards the end of long rides. Plenty of tips on this Training forum as to how to best build power.
The last 4 weeks I've been trying to lengthen out my rides - turn my 15km commute into a 25km commute or my 25km spin around Centenial into a 40km run. I'm now consistantly averaging 110-120km per week rather than 70 or 80. Also doing my best to integrate more hills as part of that additional distance (even if it is only up and down Earlwood or the CP Hill).
Think I'm seeing some improvement of the back of it as well. Setting a lot more PBs on the Strava segements on my regular rides, which I hope is a sign of getting stronger.
I've also bought a wind trainer (yet to be delivered though). That should mean I can get on the bike a couple more days per week, even if it is in my lounge room.
Bike still unchanged. As is my weight annoyingly. Red Wine and beer has to go.
Also today made my first serious assault in what I consider some reasonable hills - did the Three Gorges ride (Galston, Berowra and Bobbin Head), plus a few kms prior. Amounted to 65km and 1250m of vertical. Admittedly I pretty much dragged myself up Bobbin with my lips, but hey, it's a start. And yes, I am hurting.
5'10" and 87 kgs is still pretty solid. Man+bike+bidons+gear is still going to be high 90s, which is a lot to drag up Hotham and the back of Falls.... I'd keep aiming to get closer to 80kgs by summer. I think I read somewhere that every extra kg needs another 5 watts of power to drag uphill, so if you can lose another 7kgs it will make a huge difference on the climbs.
I'm 5'9" and started at 86 and got down to 77, now 79 and stuck there. I would like to get down under 75kg. I managed the AudaxAlpine 130 this year fairly well after 16 months riding and several 120km training rides, but I now average 200km per week so I agree with the need to get kms in the legs and time in the saddle.
For the 3Peaks? Well it'll be a long day ...but half of it is downhill !!
It's a great challenge - good luck with it.
Here's my blog - A bit of fun
"Riding not racing...."
Another update (I know everyone has been dying to hear it )
Approx 3000km laid down since the original post (and 1500 of them in the last 3 months). Feeling like I'm building a base. Biggest ride has cracked the ton, albeit by a couple of kilometers - 102km on the second day of the ride to conquer cancer. Definitely getting stronger as well. Have gone up a group on the club rides
New steed has been purchased and bedded down. Riding a Orbea Lobular sporting Mavic Ksyrliums and Dura-Ace 9 speed (got it second hand off a mate). Have ditched the 12-25 for a 12-27 and also recently bolted on an FSA Compact Crankset (to replace the DA 53/39). Gives me a few more options up the climbs. Tried and sacked a few saddles, but have settled on a Specialised Romin Evo Comp
In terms of climbing, I'm usually doing a decent climbing day every two weeks - 3 Gorges, Eastern Suburbs Hills, etc. Planning to push that to weekly over summer.
Only real problem I've encountered is some left knee soreness (diagnosed as Pen Anserine Bursitis) - think I've got that in check though. The physio has me on a stretching/ice/voltarin program which has certainly helped, and I'm booked in for a bike fit to iron out any setup issues. Weight it still at 85-86. Improved but still not ideal
On the whole, think things are largely headed the right way, but certainly need to push up the the ks and climbing over summer.
OK Eggman, you're making progress, but you've only got 15 weeks left. And the last 3 or so weeks before 3PC you should not be trying to kill yourself in training. By mid-January you need to be able to do a 150 km ride, and hopefully feel like you could go further. You've got past 100 km now. You should be aiming for a 100km+ ride each week from now. You should be able to do two 100 km rides in a week by end of this month. I would recommend a 200 km ride in mid-Feb as well, although that is mostly so you can go in knowing you can do the distance.
It's hard to be prescriptive of these things, but if you are going to finish 3PC (as opposed to 3PC finishing you), you just have to be able to ride the distance. The steep hills are about gearing and being patient and not fussing if someone rides past and away from you (OK, and avoiding cramp). But the distance is not negotiable, and you have to be able to handle it.
I would concentrate on the hills for a good month and for the last month before the ride just distance and a hard hill day just once a week.
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
I have a aim to do this in 2014, for me the distance wouldn't be hard it would be the hills that would kill me that's why when I train ill be focusing on more days in the hills then anything..
Yes, time for hills and lots of them.
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