Time to get fit

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Time to get fit

Postby Paul B » Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:58 pm

I am 54 and sit around a lot. Not overweight, 5'8" and about 75kg (could lose 5kg). Anyhow, up until 15 years ago I was uber fit. Footy training, swimming, cycling, but since that time I just got busy; as I have posted in a couple of other threads, re my quest for a new bike, I am just getting back on the bike (very stoked).
No doubt this has been covered many times before, so my apologies for revisiting the topic. Ultimately, I really want to join in with a group of cyclists on some longer rides. Assuming that I will start training on the bike by myself and gradually increase my level of fitness, what should I expect in terms of time frame to achieve my initial goal ?
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by BNA » Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:23 pm

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Re: Time to get fit

Postby Mrfenejeans » Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:23 pm

How far do you ride now? How fast do you ride? What sort of Terrain are you riding on? How often do you ride?

Also what do you currently consider "Longer rides"(as this distance will get bigger and bigger as you get fitter)
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Re: Time to get fit

Postby nickobec » Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:56 pm

Paul B wrote:what should I expect in terms of time frame to achieve my initial goal ?


How long is a piece of string?

How far and how fast can you ride now?
How far and how fast do you need to ride to keep up with the group?

It could be weeks, months or years depending on your starting point and desired end point.

As a rough guide you should be able to increase the distance of your longest ride each week by 10%.

So if you can ride 20km this week, 22km next week, 24km the week after, 27km, 30km, 33km, 36km, 40km, 44km 48km, 53km, 58km etc

You should be aiming to ride 3 if not 4 times a week if possible, one of those rides needs to be distance aka endurance ride, the others just need to be 30 or preferably at least 45 minutes long, 10 or 15 minute warm up, then a decent pace, try and keep your average speed a little higher (say 5 or max 10%) than the average on you endurance ride, allow for a 5 or 10 minute cool down is possible.

It is surprising how fast your body will adapt.

Recommended reading "Cycling Past 50" by Joe Friel

I am over 50, started cycling more seriously after a heart attack 2 1/2 years ago, started racing a few months back, got promoted to D grade, beat people younger than me and get beaten by people older than me.
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Re: Time to get fit

Postby Paul B » Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:03 pm

Went for first ride... 40 minutes. Was blowing hard after that. Clearly quite unfit. I will stick to the same route and gauge my progress :)
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Re: Time to get fit

Postby DoogleDave » Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:26 pm

Good stuff Paul...but unfortunately this doesn't realy answer any of the questions posted above.

You goal of being able to keep up with a group of riders on longer rides is a very broad goal.

To define this and help everyone answer you with "helpful" advice as opposed to just general advice we really need to know:
- how far does this group ride (eg. what distance do they ride)?, and
- at what pace do they ride at (or how long does it take them to cover this distance)?

You need to be able to:
- ride the distance the group is riding and
- ride at the same pace in order to keep up

You may be able to ride 60km in distance but if you can only manage a 20km/h pace but the group rides at 25km/h then you will quickly lag behind.
Alternatively, you may be able to keep the same pace as them but maybe only be able to hold this pace for a 30km distance and the group may be riding 60km's....which again will result in you eventually lagging behind.

If you can provide some more info on what the intended group is riding (and perhaps what you are currently capable of) that would be helpful.
You mentioned you rode for 40min, but how far did you ride (which will give us your distance and pace).

Once you work out what you are currently capable of (distance and pace wise) you can then look to find a group of riders of similar skills/endurance to ride with - which will eventually build up to longer and faster group rides....instead of targeting an existing group and trying to build yourself up to match them.

Cheers,
Dave
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Re: Time to get fit

Postby Paul B » Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:42 pm

Thanks Dave. All of the questions you raise cover points that I am aware of. At this stage, I am at a very preliminary phase and will need to work hard in order to approach my goal. This first ride was one small step for this man but a giant leap toward cycling immortality :P Will update as I go.
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Re: Time to get fit

Postby DoogleDave » Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:00 pm

No problems at all, Paul.

Paul B wrote:At this stage, I am at a very preliminary phase and will need to work hard in order to approach my goal.


This all depends on the group you ride with.
If you can find a group that ride at your current comfortable distance and pace then you could achieve your goal now.

Anyway, good luck with the training and I look forward to your updates....

Cheers,
Dave
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Re: Time to get fit

Postby nickobec » Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:54 pm

Paul B wrote:Went for first ride... 40 minutes. Was blowing hard after that. Clearly quite unfit. I will stick to the same route and gauge my progress :)


By all means measure your performance over the same route.

But do not limit your "training" to riding the same distance over the same route. The biggest benefits come from endurance "training" by riding a little further each time and both your endurance and speed will increase.

I would suggest you start next ride, by ride in in the opposite direction for a minute, then turn round ride back past the start point and ride the route. Next time, ride in the opposite direction for two minutes, then turn round ride the route, and just keep increasing it by a minute or so each time. If you can do that 3 times a week, within a couple of months you will be capable of riding that route twice in close to 60 minutes. If you can only ride once or twice a week, it will take longer.
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Re: Time to get fit

Postby cyclotaur » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:10 pm

I was in almost exactly the same position 2 years ago, although carrying a little more weight. I got going with a few short rides then rode 75kms one Sunday in a staged charity ride, no pressure, no pace - but I slept for 3 hours that afternoon !!

Once I'd started riding regularly again I found a 25km route with some moderate rolling hills and a few fast flat sections that I could repeat 2-3 times per week. When I started it would take me about 72-75 mins with a short break halfway. I rode this route consistently for 3 months before I broke the 60mins (riding time). It also took 3 months of gradual fitness before I started to lose any weight. So I was riding 75-100kms per week for 3 months before I progressed any further.

Once I could do this route in an hour, I started to ride 30-40 kms per ride and venture onto longer rides at weekends, up to 50-60kms. Then I found a local shop ride where they were very supportive and I rode regularly with them on Sundays for a few months over summer on rides up to 80kms, some fast & flat, some up into the hills. So after 6 months I could ride 80kms at around 25kph av. I'd also dropped 6 kgs by then. I was riding about 150-170 kms per week after 6 months.

After 9 months I went on a trip to the 2011 TdF and rode 300+kms over 4 rides in 6 days with a fairly varied group. This included a very fast 65km ride on day one, and 95kms of hills on the last day. I had some holidays after that and when I returned to Australia in August 2011 I bought a new bike (reward for 12 months cycling on an old roadie...) and continued on at about 200kms per week.

I rode several 100+km rides into the mountains after that and completed the AudaxAlpineClassic130 in January 2012. Now, after nearly 2 years, I average 200kms per week over all terrain and am pretty fit, although I would like to drop another 5kgs to under 75kg by next summer.
Here's my blog - A bit of fun :)
"Riding not racing...."
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Re: Time to get fit

Postby Mrfenejeans » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:53 pm

I think you need to(if you dont already) buy a bike computer which will tell you Distance, Speed, Average Speed, and not essential but Cadence.

Otherwise there is no measure as to where you are in relation to your goal, which i believe is what you require a "measure"


My last 20months has been based on trying to achieve the small goals which make up the bigger goal and will continue to be as it has for me seen great improvements in losing weight, gaining fitness and gaining bike fitness, be it:

-ride the same route faster
-ride the same route twice
-do a segment faster or with more effort than i did before
-ride in the rain
-ride in the wind
-ride in the heat
-ride in the cold/wet
-ride up hills
-ride if i think i don't want to(i always enjoy it once i'm on the bike)
-ride up hill standing on the pedals(this was something i was very uncomfortable doing when i started)
-ride with a higher cadence
-ride pushing harder gears
-ride focusing on pedal stroke
-think about hand movement and placement on bars
-ride further and further and further


This mentality has not seen me improve at any lightning speed and certainly not overnight, but it has improved my cycling and I've gone from riding 11.4km at 26.5km/h, to 12-13 months later riding 70+ Km's at 31-32km/h.


But most importantly enjoy riding your bike.
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Re: Time to get fit

Postby Meditator » Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:29 am

How fast you lose 5kg won't really depend on what riding you do but on how much you eat in comparison to how much acivity you do.

As someone said, how long is a piece of string.

If i were you, i would consider tailoring the weight loss to as slow as possible. The slower you lose the weight, the long you will keep it off. So i'd suggest not more than 1/2 kilo per week but less is better than that too. Weigh your self daily but don't be alarmed at the daily ups and downs. Its usually water fluctuations. Weigh yourself when you get up in the morning in the nuddie before breakfast.
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Re: Time to get fit

Postby Paul B » Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:31 pm

Taking all the great advice onboard, thanks to all of you. Based on the comments received, I have enlisted the help of a personal trainer in order to aid my progress. My trainer goes by the name of Garmin 500 and there seems to be nothing about my bike riding activities that remain hidden from Mr Garmin :)
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Re: Time to get fit

Postby DoogleDave » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:39 pm

I wouldn't solely judge your fitness just on weight either.
I would recommend taking measurements of your chest, tummy/waist, hips/butt and do so on a fortnightly or monthly basis.

I have been doing so on a monthly basis since I started riding back in March (some 4 months and approx 1500km's ago) and whilst I have lost just over 10kg's - 99kg down to 88kg (most of which were in the first few months) I have also lost just over 12cm's from my tummy/waist and 7cm from my hips/butt....and my legs/quads & calves are starting to get ALOT more muscle definition and my core strength is improving all the time.
I had to buy new pants and a belt the other week as my old one's were way too big now and just this week I've had to start doing the belt up one notch tighter again - already.

It is not just about losing weight.

And I also agree with the advice that the only way to lose the weight is to take in less calories than you are burning - within reason.

Good luck on your journey!

Dave
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Re: Time to get fit

Postby nickobec » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:05 pm

Paul B wrote:My trainer goes by the name of Garmin 500 and there seems to be nothing about my bike riding activities that remain hidden from Mr Garmin

Let Mr Garmin talk to Mr Strava http://strava.com/ even if you mark your rides and segments private, it is a good way to track your progress on certain routes, sections of rides or climbs and gives you incentives to beat your previous best.
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Time to get fit

Postby paladin » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:17 pm

Well done Dave!

What sort of training regime are you sticking to?
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Re: Time to get fit

Postby Paul B » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:29 pm

Yea, great effort Dave !! & thanks Nico, I am now on Strava... brilliant.
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Re: Time to get fit

Postby DoogleDave » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:02 am

paladin wrote:Well done Dave!

What sort of training regime are you sticking to?


I don't really have a strict training regime. Being realistic, with a Wife, three kids and a full time job free time to go riding whenever I want isn't always an option.
This is where the fluid trainer has really been a huge help.

Basically, I try and ride whenever I get the opportunity and I've been slowly building my ride distances up (started with 10km rides and recently have done 80km's). Plus I work in the Melb CBD (some 36km's from home), so when the weather is OK (like it was yesterday) I ride into work and home again...which is a good 70+km ride.

On days when the weather isn't great or I need to be at home for babysitting duties I can jump on the fluid trainer and still get a ride in (without leaving home).

Last week I started doing some strength training on the trainer by starting with 10min warmup in an easy gear and usual cadence (85-90), then I click into the big chainring and pedal for 1min, then change the rear sprocket (10 speed) up one gear, then go another minute, then up another gear etc....and continue this until I either hit the top gear or my legs can't sustain a reasonable cadence (above 60) for 1min.
I then go back to warmup setting and recover for a few mins and then do the same again.

I then also work on my cadence endurance by holding 90rpm for 5 mins, then up to 100rpm for 5mins then up to 110 for 5mins (or as long as I can hold it).

I didn't think all this would make alot of difference so quickly, but after a solid week of doing this I rode to work for the first time in a couple of weeks yesterday and smashed my best time for getting to work by just over 7mins.
Previous PB for 36km ride into work was 1hr 22mins, yesterday I did it in 1hr 15mins.
Pedalling at 100rpm seemed fairly easy and when I looked down at my Mr Garmin 500 and noticed the speed was holding above 30+km/h I thought something must have been wrong with the unit....but it wasn't.

Anyway, I'd love to have a more set regime but I cannot at this point in time, so I just make it up as I go along (whenever I can), which can be a little frustrating at times when you want to ride but can't, for whatever reason.
I think the key though is to vary what you do so you don't get bored but most importantly - just get on the bike and ride, ride, ride!

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Re: Time to get fit

Postby Paul B » Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:12 pm

So 6 rides since my first (a week of bad weather intervened), my original ride of 11.5 K's in 40 mins was done today in 26.58 mins at an average speed of 25.7 kph. Really happy to be making progress. Can see that time being slashed down to 20 mins eventually. Once I am confident that my fitness is up I will increase my distance. At the moment I am concentrating on improving performance over a standardised course. Good fun. I have also got back into pumping a little iron for some upper body strength. At 54 and sedentary, I felt I was going down fast... feeling very weak. At this early stage, I am feeling improvements already :P
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Re: Time to get fit

Postby Addictr3 » Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:34 pm

Paul B wrote:So 6 rides since my first (a week of bad weather intervened), my original ride of 11.5 K's in 40 mins was done today in 26.58 mins at an average speed of 25.7 kph. Really happy to be making progress. Can see that time being slashed down to 20 mins eventually. Once I am confident that my fitness is up I will increase my distance. At the moment I am concentrating on improving performance over a standardised course. Good fun. I have also got back into pumping a little iron for some upper body strength. At 54 and sedentary, I felt I was going down fast... feeling very weak. At this early stage, I am feeling improvements already :P


Always good to read someone who actually gives a F about their fitness and health, well done champ, yep slow and steady wins overall, keep those increases on the small side, if you do want to ride long (or if you have the time, just go slow, enjoy it)

Cheers
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Re: Time to get fit

Postby qeaou » Sun Aug 05, 2012 8:24 pm

Good talk everyone,
I came from a background of track&field as a teenager,
then got into weightlifting, then finished college, got to work and got fat...
10 years later, got back into weightlifting, which is all I knew, until I got into cycling.
(with research and some background in physiology) I designed this routine:
cycling 2 times a week for cardio, endurance and weight loss (with high carb breakfast before cycling and low calorie diet for the rest of the day, protein shake at the end of the day for re-building)
Many cyclists, such as myself got into cycling, because their knees could not stand running (especially with 90kg)
but three times a week in a controlled setting (such as gym, or treadmill in your house) you can get the benfits of easy running for muscle and joint warmup.
If your core focus is cycling, like in my case, do core strength training in the gym for lower back and legs,
this is also an opportunity to do some serious abs training and upper body (shoulders, back, arms) to get a good balance,
If your focus is a bit of weight loss, and a bit of strength training, in the gym
do medium weight resistance, only about 60% max but more reps (20-30 instead of 10)
drink plenty of water before and during,

If you cycle regularly on say, Saturday, do your leg training on Mon or Tue and then let it recover.
(while doing upper body later in the week)

This will allow you to get the benefit of training during your ride.

Any comments?
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Re: Time to get fit

Postby Paul B » Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:33 am

I am certainly no expert in any of those areas... however. It makes perfect sense that upper body strength would translate into more power transferred to the engine driving the machine. That is how it feels in my body anyway.
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Re: Time to get fit

Postby Revend » Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:50 pm

Fitness is important for everyone. We can get fitness at any age. No doubt that it is the best time to get fitness. For fitness regular exercise and proper diet both are important. Walk and running both are great exercises for weight lose.
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Re: Time to get fit

Postby hungrypizza11 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:30 pm

Hey, I've been doing about 40km three times a week for about 4 weeks. Generally how long does it take to see a big improvement in your fitness demonstrated through increased leg strength, speed and time from a to be?
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Re: Time to get fit

Postby DoogleDave » Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:57 pm

hungrypizza11 wrote:Hey, I've been doing about 40km three times a week for about 4 weeks. Generally how long does it take to see a big improvement in your fitness demonstrated through increased leg strength, speed and time from a to be?


I've been riding for about 5 months now (ave. about 100-200km a week) and I'm starting to now notice a real difference in strength, speed, fitness and endurance.
I think it is important to try and vary your rides and efforts during your rides.

Don't stick to doing the same distance at the same pace all the time.
Throw in some shorter rides but go harder and then other times, longer rides at a slower pace.

To build your base aerobic fitness (from what I have read), you are better to ride at a slowish pace for longer periods which will build your fitness and endurance.
To promote strength, shorter faster session (or intervals), followed by recovery rides/days allow your body to be stressed and then adapt and strengthen during the recovery period.

With a mix of this over time you will become fitter and stronger.
It is worth noting that the fitter and stronger you become, the faster you can ride and the more wind resistance you will encounter (which means you need to further improve your fitness and strength - and technique - to maintain faster and faster speeds).

Average speeds and time from A to B is very subjective and relative to the elements and the route taken from A to B.
A windy day with hilly terrain will mean slower speeds and times compared to the same distance with no wind and flat roads.

Much better to focus on keeping a consistent cadence (around 90rpm) throughout whichever gear you're riding in and as your fitness and strength improve you will be able to keep that cadence in the higher gears, which in turn will mean you're likely going faster.
If you ride in a high gear up hills with a slow cadence then you'll quickly tire your legs and you'll soon run out of steam....unless you've built your strength up and can handle the strain on your legs. If you've built your cardio fitness up with your base training then you can spin your legs all day long and cover alot of distance with reasonable effort.

I rarely use any of my higher gears (unless I am flying down a hill and want to pedal - or riding in a decent tailwind) and find I'm usually in and around the middle gear on the rear and the large cog at the front - and by adjusting my cadence between 70 - 110rpm) I can motor along between 20 - 30+km/h without changing gear (on a flatish road)...and when I hit the hills I go to an easier gear that allows me to pedal easily and work my cardio instead of my muscles.
As I get stronger I'm finding I can cope more and more easily with the larger gears but at this stage of my riding I don't have the strength to push large gearings for extended periods without wearing out my legs....but all in good time.

That seems to work OK for me.
Food for thought...

Dave
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Re: Time to get fit

Postby hungrypizza11 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:30 pm

Cool, thanks for the advice. I think I can actually feel a bit of a difference, especially in an open area where there is a hell of a lot of wind resistance. Sadly, at this point in time, I'm limited by how hard I can press on generally in the latter 16km of a trip (even though I damned want to!) due to recovery from a knee reconstruction (and I'm only 19 grr!).
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