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Still claiming to be a new rider (august 30) - how long can I get away with ignorance and lack of experience as an excuse I wonder???
am not and have never been keen on exercise for its own sake - have to do something with purpose and since leaving school only regular 'sport' was competitive horse riding - you need core strength but really is only muscle control rather than exercise - the exercise is simply the 'jobs' that go with it - so cannot claim to have ever been an athlete......
I am still in the dark about how my riding is going and how my body is responding to regular exercise - i am 169 cm tall and started off weighing 67.5 k. (bmi approx 24) so nearly overweight and feel heavier than I would like.
Now after riding on average 150 kms a week I am up to 68-70 kilos on a bad day.... I admit I am hungry but have been trying to eat really sensibly and cut out the bad stuff especially anything that comes in a packet - and that means no icecream!!!..... starting to bug me - i am keeping a food diary and use a garmin so realise that it takes a lot to burn calories - only about 200 odd after 25 km ride -
I am 52 - is that the main problem do you think - i know its what goes in versus what goes out but really a bit of encouragement would be nice. I'd like to get back to 60-63 kilos. that was my normal weight when living a very active life on the farm - physical work though not exercise except horse riding 1 hour per day.
also I am very very slow - only just started to average 23kph over the regular 25 k loop - (no real hills) and that was 'racing' some poor guy on a mountain bike who was about 800 mts in front of me and had no idea that I was using him as bait to chase down. Cannot balme the headwind as I ride from pint a to point b and back again - so if i cop it on the way out, it helps on the way home. (i was doing 40 per day but some of the guys on the forum said that was too much too soon and I admit I feel better and more energised sticking to 20-25 during the week).
i am working on my rpms - 80 to 90 average - but to achieve that I still have to be on the small ring in front, and in the middle on the back - so that means I am not putting much power through the pedals -and that means less speed -is that right? Sorry I am still trying to come to grips with the physics of cycling.
stamina wise I am OK, have done two organised 100km rides in two weeks and do a 50k plus at least once a week,also try to get up to noosa once a week and do a small hill up there - its a 3 km steady climb - can do it - 3 times with about 5 mins break at the bottom but still mainly on granny gear and flat out keeping to average of 11 to 13 km on the up. try and take off one day a week = i am told recovery is important -
am going to get some help from a cycling coach in 2 weeks to try and get a better understanding of the gears and how I should use them, but feel like a my age I have to keep on trying on every ride - mind you in spite of lack of results I really do love the bike and getting out on it every day - its just looking at the results that gets my goat.
anyway would appreciate any tips on what else I should do - especially the weight thing - my aim is to eventually (how long is eventually!!!) get to an average of around 30kph - I think that would be respectable but it seems impossible at this stage - maybe should review it down!
Maybe I am just too damned impatient?? retraining this old body may take a lot longer than I thought? anyone else started at my age and can share tips, experience would be great.
I would like to be fit and be able to get up to an average of 30kph so that I feel good about what I'm doing - at the moment I feel like a bit of a drag on the organised rides as one of the slowest there.
I would like to keep riding my bike til I'm too old to see the road.....
I'd like to be able to go into a fun race and beat at least two other people my age..... don't need to win but hate coming last.....
I like to do things the right way - very OCD of me - type A personality - a real pain in the butt to live with...
I want to ride up Alpe d'Huez next year without stopping.....don't care how long it takes only that I don't stop.
I don't want to have too many lumps in my lycra - they are worse than jodphurs for showing the flabby belly bits.....
Maybe I just don't want to get OLD - but the alternative is not real flash - thanks for responding and your kind comment.
1. Keep riding your bike.
2. Want to loose weight? Get a nutritionist (I'm off to see Donna Aston in Melbourne next week, but I happen to be there for a luncheon so it worked out well - I live in WA).
3. Get a cycle coach (they will tell you how to train to get that 30km/h).
4. Make sure you let us know how your doing.
You like to do things properly? That's how you do things properly.
You're older, you will need more recovery time, your metabolism is different than a 20 year olds, our bodies change as we get older, it doesn't mean that you can't have all those things that you want. Be OCD about it.
Do have ice cream occassionally, life is much to short to not have ice cream.
a girl after my own heart - I love icecream........ glad you think the coach is a good idea - some people think I'm a bit weird. will stay in touch - good luck with nutritionalist - had not thought of that - might look into it - nothing wrong with OCD - as long as you are the one with it....
average speed measured on the garmin - does not change much....not dependant on distance or in a small group or alone - just seems to be about the same- regardless of wind etc...last two days have pushed my little legs off and still 23.1 over 21kms and 22.8 over 25.3 kms - mainly flat - bit sad isn't it!!!
do you have the garmin set to auto pause at a set speed, say 5kph or just when stopped, or not at all?
stops in traffic and slow downs can really cut into your average speeds.
You might be going faster than you think.
garmin is set to stop - (pause) after 4 secs stopped - should I alter it? not really sure about it - thought it would be useful for cadence and HR - so far have not got a clue about using HR effectively - but find the cadence really useful - watch the actual while riding and then check the average when I get home - same with speed - look at actual and check average on getting home.
thanks so much for any help on this - my legs feel like they are working harder!!! just not showing any results yet
i changed the garmin to stop when speed is 10k/h or under - lots of roundabouts where I am so I always slow right down, ( despite my flashy lights - the cars do not look and had some close calls) and stops for intersections and lately been riding in pm when traffic quite heavy -
maybe this is cheating though....is there a 'normal' setting for auto pause??? not much point if I am getting an artificially 'higher' average - getting complicated sorry.
- do know that I could not hold the wheel of my daughters when they hit 33 today - hung on until about 31 then they lost me ..... so sad....they think its sooo funny - thanks kids...
I think we've all been there. What's a good average? Why aren't I losing weight? Here's some things I've learned.
Every day brings different weather which will effect your average. It's so hard to gauge but you do get a feel for it. You mention you do an out and back - I tend to do that too but found a cross wind can often be worse than a head wind as you get it on sections of your ride you aren't used to.
I was hanging around the same average for ages so started to mix up my exercise and my average increased. I added running - at the moment for one of my runs in a week, I run 500m then walk 100m until I've run 5km. You don't need to be a good runner to make 500m and you can start with just 1 and add another 1 next week. This works leg muscles differently, and you find new muscles. It's been the best thing for improving my average.
Also, I've worked on some hill repeats of sorts. Anything that requires gear changes, variable load, out of seat etc. it takes you out of the comfortable pace and cadence and gives you a little push.
Then there's eating. You may be eating fine, but is it the right thing at the right time? I saw a nutritionist who set some things straight for me. I was trying to lose weight but binging on Thursday and Friday as I was hitting a wall. She spotted that I ate most of my food in the morning as I was hungry after doing my exercise at night. She inserted a morning and afternoon snack to balance things out and allow me to fuel for my exercise, not exercise on a mostly empty tummy and then over load the next morning. This balance has helped me tremendously and I've not hit that wall since. I might have been binge eating, but for entirely different reasons
I'm afraid I don't know how to exercise earlier in the day so can't provide any tips there, but up-and-go energize and Carmen's muesli bars are good. I keep an up and go at work in the fridge in case I'm without a lunch one day. I tend to make lunches now - zucchini slice type things with lots of veges, chicken/pork/turkey mince added, and held together by egg. I make a batch on Sunday and it does a few days of the week.
I've also majorly reduced my bread intake. I feel better for it. I eat olive sourdough - just 2 slices, and a fruit sourdough from woolies - again only 2 slices. I notice when I have 4 slices as it makes me so bloated.
You may not want to take any leaves out of my book though as I gained 3kg since first seeing the nutritionist!! It was more injury, illness, and inability to exercise than her advice though - promise!!
Good luck ringing the right balance for you. I know how I can help - don't try the choc mud Tim tams...they aren't nice
You are still "very" new to this sport, but your attitude is somewhat positive & your curiosity will take you far. Your wanting for information & reasons are a good sign.
Consistent riding & weight loss will more often than not increase your average speed. Weight loss takes time & so does increasing your power output. Be patient & allow at least 6 months to see any noticeable results. Your on the right track & on a steep learning curve currently.
There are just so so many weight loss diets out there & I could go on forever..........I would love to give you advice as I lost 25kg over 18 months recently, but I'm not qualified to give such advice. I think a "good" nutritionalist would be a good start & try to avoid any fad diets or current "trends".
Personally I did not use any protein meal replacements, I did not count calories, I do not like diets such as the "Palio" trend of late. The type of food you eat I feel is where it's at as there are so many misconceptions. My weight loss was very, very simple & guided by only a little research then reading the labels on literally everything I eat or looking up what is in every single thing. It really is that simple. No cost involved, no supplements, no counting.
I personally try to achieve 100-110 rpm on every ride. I'm using a cycling coach & this was/is his advice right from our very first ride under him. (my self + Wife, are 45 & 46 respectively btw )
It will take time to increase your cadence, although I feel it is important to aim higher than you are currently.
re:- the weight loss thing I'd highly recommend you read "But you kill ants" by John Waddell & "The Starch solution" by Dr John A McDougall, MD. Both give the tough & very confronting facts about food. It's hard to believe at first, but I feel the best life changing information I've ever come across.
Hope this helps & keep on powering on.
Gas propulsion.......it's natural don't fight it.
what a great bunch you are for taking the time to provide such detailed information -
definetly will give the nutritionalist a go I think - I suspect that I have the balance of food wrong and also my timing is a bit off -
re: Cadance - I was sticking at average 95-100 but then I was even slower (19k/h) as I was almost always in the granny gear or not far off it -(i have a compact) - did not leave anything for hills and I was advised on the last 100 i did to slow down the cadence a bit and up the speed and gearing - its all so complicated.... maybe I need a fixie - no then I would die...I love my gears - although the big ring must feel very neglected.
cross winds are a curse and until today I was blaming the wind for lack of progress but today was very still - so I am taking full responsibility...
Off to a coach - have told him he will have his work cut out for him but I will try hard and do what I can to make it happen - great sport and lots of great people involved.
thanks so much
You have a compact, so I'll assume you have a 34/50 tooth which you usually use the 34. You are using mainly mid cassette. So in theory you could be in the big ring, just in the first or second gear. The big ring is more efficient.
http://www.jhu.edu/news_info/news/home9 ... /bike.html
If you can't get into the big ring at all, then maybe consider swapping the cassette for something with bigger sprockets, like a 12-28.
Bike fit may be another issue. If your saddle is too low, then you may struggle to produce power without tiring your legs. If you are too upright, then aerodynamic drag is too high to produce speed with the power you have.
You might want to give some consideration to the tyres you are using too.
"Should I do more???"
No, you are already doing a lot, and the right things - nutritionist, coach etc.
Just keep up the good work, give it time and it will come. As above somewhere give it at least 6 months to see a noticable difference. Don't compare day to day so much as the changes are minor.
bychosis (bahy-koh-sis): A mental disorder of delusions indicating impaired contact with a reality of no bicycles.
more great advice thanks so much - I might swap to big ring but would I then be cross chaining if only in the little ones on the back - so technical in my approach... apologies to the people who know what to call all the different bits... sorry
Cross chaining is not a problem with modern chains and groupsets. If you have too much noise doing this, try turning the B screw clockwise on the rear derailleur. It made mine quieter.
http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-hel ... derailleur
It is still more efficient to do this than stay in the small ring. I've checked the power differences with my fluid trainer in both rings at the same cadence. Can't remember the results in Watts, but there was a difference.
Last edited by Nobody on Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Fiona - good on you for getting on the bike. You're one year younger than me and it's good to see other women out there riding and, dare I say, wanting to compete!
The thing that will make you go faster is ... going faster. To do that you don't need to go and try and ride the whole ride as fast as possible. That's a bit inefficient.
Like Moosterbounce said, do intervals. Warm up for 10 or 15 minutes, then ride as hard as you can for 2 minutes. Then ride slowly to recover for 2 minutes and repeat. Try and do that 3 times the first time and then gradually increase the length of time (not necessarily the recovery time) and the number of repeats. Don't increase more than about 10% every week. It takes time. But you will see a difference. You can do this up a hill if you want. I go out and ride up a steep hill, descend, go up, descend, go up ... when I'm building strength.
For cadence - sure try and keep it high will you are riding with a group. Your "normal style" should be spinning. 90 is good as an average over a ride. That means sometimes you will be spinning at 100, other times when you are going up a hill at 70 or something. It takes a while to get used to this and to feel like you have power but, believe me, you will get power gradually.
But when you are doing the intervals, try a harder gear so that you have to push a bit more to ride fast. That will help you build muscle strength.
You're doing great!
I'm trying to get back into the swing too. The minimum speed I see even on some social rides is certainly off-putting to us trying to get back into the swing. I know it's delayed my progress as it's not much fun out there by yourself all the time. Now that I'm older (mid forties) I'm finding it a bit tough although I don't have your competitive nature! I think we're all guilty at some time or other of setting our sights on a rider in front and keeping pace. I certainly did last weekend No harm in that.
FYI In the past I've found swimming a great way of building up my cardio strength for hill climbing. I'm planning on hitting the pool in coming weeks to get ready for my first 'hill'. I know which one I want to climb on a day that's not too hot. So far I've kept to flat stretches while I've sorted out a new seat, seat height and other hitches since I last rode any significant distance.
Keep us posted on your progress - I'll be keeping you virtually in my sights
thanks again for all the help - am joing up with local cycling group for their saturday rides from tomorrow and wednesday am will ride with LBS - owners wife has offered to help pace me. Off to a coach on the 7th for some kind of riding plan (training sounds very presumptuous at my age and ability) -- looking forward to it.
did a 5km fun run this morning - had intended to walk BUT the cycling must be helping general fitness because we (19 yr old daughter) actually ran a fair bit of it -and had fun...
finished the morning eyeing off all the great bikes in Noosa for the tri and in the trade tents-2013 models are very nice (and some of the great boys on the bikes - but I was only helping Kate look!!)
and then had icecream - back to LBS to pick up new seat - selle glider - very comfy - so lovely day - and looking forward to a great day tomorrow watching the men and women race in Noosa.
thanks again fiona
Hi again - for those of you nice enough to show some interest:
I went for a group ride with SCTC on Sat- was great fun - did about 40km after riding down to meet them - average around 23kph but three short but killer steep hills (for me) the three come in quick succession and top out about 15%-20% (according to garmin - but could be wrong - although they felt like it....
made it over the first two but got the gearing wrong on the third, crashed back through the gears, panicked and bailed half way up - scared stiff of trying to restart on the hill and had to walk the second half thought I would fall over in the clipless and was very embarrassed -
anyway - got over myself and went back today and rode all three of them - certainly not fast (av 21.3kphover the whole ride - probaly 4kph up the hills) but got over the little buggers - except felt like my heart would explode, my blood pressure was pounding and got a killer headache......had to sit on the side of the road and recover drank my bottles dry -waited to see if my girls would ride up and join me - nah they decided that they didn't like the look of them -
lots of lovely people in cars stopped to see if I was Ok - probably looked so bad they thought I had crashed.... very nice of them just explained too old, too fat, too unfit and learning to ride hills - eventually headache eased, heart rate settled so got on my bike and rode back to meet the girls - great fun down the hills.
but anyway I did them and the rises that I used to consider hills no longer rate.. so maybe practice and patience will win the battle - also spent some time on the big ring in front and even managed to ride a few slow and steady rises on it - a big win for me - now just have to get that average speed up!!
Way to go Fiona, don't let the mongrels keep you down
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
This website may have some good info for you:
What sort of bike do you have? It is going to be a lot harder (expend a lot more energy) to do 30km/h+ on a flat bar bike as opposed to a drop bar "racing" style road bike due to positioning and wind resistance. Of course road bikes aren't for everyone.
Doing 100km rides after only 2 or 3 months of riding is a great achievment.
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