Cycling Fitness / Training Advice

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  • how often do you ride for sustained periods at 60-70% percent of your output? (i.e being able to cycle along at a decent pace but still be able to hold a conversation?)
    doing this would be a good start to building up your base fitness, i guess you have to get this nailed then build on the lung bursting/feeling sick part of training. i do this by riding up a short hill reasonably quickly then forcing myself to sprint for a couple of minutes after reaching the top instead of stopping. a few weeks of doing this has seen my recovery time from max output get shorter and shorter.

    i guess if you want to train properly then a heart rate monitor and a fitness guide would be a help?

  • Maybe you should try a really low gear, say mid-60s and work on spinning as fast as you can for as long as you can and keep doing this. You will eventually improve your cardio fitness by doing this and it will be easy on your knees.

    You could also try a higher gear and cycle up some steepish hills. This should improve your leg strength. But it might damage your knees, depends how strong they are

  • Maybe you should try a really low gear, say mid-60s and work on spinning as fast as you can for as long as you can and keep doing this. You will eventually improve your cardio fitness by doing this and it will be easy on your knees.

    You could also try a higher gear and cycle up some steepish hills. This should improve your leg strength. But it might damage your knees, depends how strong they are

    im planning a slightly lower ratio for my new bike. Im too used to high gears already, I have pretty powerful legs and can push hard & slow with out a problem.

    Spinning sounds like it would be good for me, I cant wait till im riding fixed again tbh.

    But other ideas are good too.

  • TITS

    Time In The Saddle

    Always a winner, always like to say it!

  • The personal trainer at my old gym said to do 4 minutes of steady riding, then one minute of sprint, and repeat, and regulate breathing. Simple advice but I'm finding I can go for longer and longer each week before completely crashing. My advice comes with a disclaimer however, as I'm still an unfit bastard with an unhealthy addiction to chocolate croissants.

  • Actually saw on the forum about red car training, basically, any time you see a red car on the road sprint for a minute or something, this will help produce random bursts of speed which can be helpful for road racing. Also as there are a fair few red cars about it should get you going in no time, or destroy you!

  • your ability to put on a turn of speed can be improved at the gymn using something like a leg press exercise or squats with weights. basically trying to increase muscle strength and build muscle in your legs.
    stamina is best improved through something called interval training which is best combined with an HRM for optimum HR.

    alternatively just ride your bike a lot more somewhere hilly!

  • If you are a member of a gym sprints you can try interval sprints on the rowing machine

    If you have a tree in your garden try two minute rounds of hitting the heavy bag

  • Get Jade Goody's new HTFU Fitness DVD

  • I've been doing a mixture of strength and interval training in the gym recently in an effort to regain my fitness of about ten years ago (christ I feel old saying that).

    Basically has consisted of doing interval training, mainly on either my bike or on an exercise bike - cruise at a cadence of 90 or so at 50-60pc heart rate, then up the resistence and the cadence to spin like a crazy f*cker for up to a couple of minutes at 90pc heart rate, then back down again for a bit to recover, then up again etc. Rinse and repeat a few times. I'm time-poor so tend to work very hard in a very short session, hence the exercise bike in the gym, but you can achieve the same thing riding up hill and down dale at a good speed, fixed.

    Then on the strength training, have basically been choosing weights that are an effort but don't hurt and doing more rather than less reps. Easier on the joints, and better for getting limber, rather than gaining mass (gaining mass is whole different ball game).

    Am a lot fitter than I was a year and a half ago when I started, and can do things that I didn't think I could do before then. But I'm not going to win races on that alone! You have to get out and ride your bike with people to learn how to pace yourself if you want to do that.

    Edit to add - rowing machines are good for cardio, if you can find one. That whole bleep thing that people used to do at school is quite good too, if you can deal with the running. I hear skipping (as in rope-jumping) can work if you're fast enough? Never tried it myself though.

  • Actually saw on the forum about red car training, basically, any time you see a red car on the road sprint for a minute or something, this will help produce random bursts of speed which can be helpful for road racing. Also as there are a fair few red cars about it should get you going in no time, or destroy you!

    Could lead to a heart attack if you did this in London and included buses. There are all sorts of routines for interval training, a quick google brings up lots of different methods.

  • if you want to train, it's pointless doing it on London roads: too much traffic/red lights to get any sort of interval training going. find a circuit with no traffic (richmond park, regent's park, finsbury park etc) and train around it.

    intervals are your friend. vary the time and intensity. you should train properly at least 3 times a week if you really want to improve.

    i personally reckon if you can do it for a minute, it's not a sprint. but that might be my track runner prejudices, and bike training may be different. but i reckon a real sprint is less than 30 seconds. multiple reps of around a minute is a lactic session.

    ask dogsballs. he has a PhD in exercise physiology.

  • Up Gypsy Hill SE19 twice a day as fast as you are able.

  • Up Gypsy Hill SE19 twice a day as fast as you are able.

    !!

    My girlfriend used to live up Gypsy Hill, used to fly up there on my bike, pretty steep even for a geared bike.

    There are no euphemisms in the above sentence.

  • Alrighty,

    The latter I feel is likeley to have a link to some lung damage via smoke inhalation I got when I was 3ish.

    I was given inhalers and referred to the hospital when I was 8-9 if I remember right, but I never went and I never used them!

    Ive always managed 'alright' so never bothered to look into it again.

    I would seriously go to your GP and have your lungs checked out properly before you start murdering yourself with interval training. I used to run cross country and ran the training program for my college. One year, we took a bunch of newbs out to do the dreaded three minute runs - eight sets of run as hard as you can for three mins, no holds barred - and on the seventh one kid started coughing up blood. He'd had some kind of lung damage he'd neglected to tell me about. He was fine after a week or so, but I'm sure it didn't do him any good to make his lungs bleed.

  • Footballer Teddy Sherringham was never the quickest player, but he was frequently described as "having five yards in his head", which more than made up for his lack of physical pace. Indeed he continued as a pro until the age of 42, when all of his peers had retired.

  • Interval training (though riding fixed can be very like interval training) and one of the more dynamic forms of yoga which will help the cardiovascular system (especially the lungs and breathing).

  • I have been doing Crossfit (www.crossfit.com) for about four years and have seen really good results. I enjoy it because there is no real routine and is not dependent on lifting really heavy weights. Crossfit combined with cycling has kept my bodyfat down to around 11% even with my cheese and Sprite addictions.

  • www.rosstraining.com

    Everything you need to get your fitness right up there. If you can skip like this guy then you'll be laughing:

    youtube.com/watch?v=MD3uicAYt­dw&eurl=http://www.rosstraining.com/arti­cles/jumprope2.htm

  • was about to mention almighty Ross Enamait but CHUGIT got in there first..

    also, peep this sites if you want to go turbo

    t-nation.com

  • why is he stacked up top but still got weedy legs?

  • As Fat Gary would say...........Ride your bike

  • sprint training - am not a gym person so it's all done outside ...

    power hill starts on the bike are quite good, 10 sec bursts up a hill, absolute leg breakers but gets the muscles working in the right way. Greenwich Park or Richmond Park both have perfect places to do this, or just find a quiet street in Hampstead!
    squats/jumps are quite effective also for power.

    Overall, don't be surprised at how fast others are. Over the last few years I've consistently been surprised and impressed (sometimes depressed) about how fit many bike riders are. For some, particularly club riders, they've been fitness training for years - so don't worry about blokes half your age going twice your pace!

  • Some good advice, but also lots of bad advice here, IMO.

    Intervals, although they're massively useful in anaerobic training, are probably less that useless for you, by the sounds of your current condition.

    You need to do a serious amount of aerobic training before intervals will have any benefit. (And I'm not saying they do nothing, but they don't add anything except a lot of pain over and above a more gentle aerobic session at this stage in the training cycle. And they have the potential to knack you.).

    The bad news: there's no getting away from getting in lots of hours on the saddle, or running, or rowing, or swimming, or whatever you like doing. And do it regular too, this is really key.

    The good news: you should concentrate on doing things at an intensity where you're working but you can also hold a conversation, so there's not too much pain involved, just volume. If you've got some spare cash, buy a heart rate monitor, they're really useful.

    Once you've done this for a couple of months (or roughly 500 miles), then you can start thinking about improving your anaerobic performance. This will correspond to specific training to increase your endurance in high power-output situation, although you'll find that this will improve magically by all the time you've spent on the bike.

    If you like going to the gym, any general leg workout (squats/presses/curls/raises) will help things, but don't get too hung up on the gym, better to be in the saddle.

    If you're serious about getting fast on a bike, Joe Friel's Cyclist's Training Bible is absolutely superb, the best book I've come across although you need to be quite committed/serious about training to get something from it.

    Courant

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Cycling Fitness / Training Advice

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