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FAQ: increasing your base endurance/etc

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  • Sue WassSue Wass Posts: 29
    I can see I'm going to have to spend a bit of time having a good read through this thread!

    I've been commuting for about 4 years a distance of about 3 miles each way (please don't laugh, I thought I was doing really well :roll: ) as part of my fitness training for the my main sporting hobby (motorcycles both on and off road);

    Recently I bought my first road race bike (from Edingburgh cycles) the longest ride on that was 20 miles and I averaged 12.5 MPH.

    so I clearly have lots and lots of training to do!
    I could say it's problematic fitting it all in, but after having read in C+ about the lady in the team who has 4 young children and fits in lots of training - well out go all the excuses.
  • MoomaloidMoomaloid Posts: 2,040
    i'm back on my bike for the first time in about 6 or 7 years. Started commuting to work over the past cpl of months. About 20 miles a day from one side of london to the other. Never realised how awful the roads are! plus traffic lights are a nightmare.

    I'm looking to build on my base fitness before i try a training programme. Would most of you suggest just adding to the mileage as a starter??

    Also i'm not really enjoying riding in london. Forever having to stop at lights doesn't allow you to get a good rhythm. Any recommendations on rides in or out of the city?
  • bianchi77bianchi77 Posts: 63
    Nice climbing tips...

    Anyway is there any more links for a climbing tips ?
    Viva Cycling forever !
    Train Hard, Rest harder

    Thanks,
    Regards
    http://www.rickoshop.com/
  • boybikerboybiker Posts: 531
    Ohhhh its all confusing,

    I always drink lots of water 'cos that seems like the right thing to do, and I always, or nearly always stand up when climbing hills as do most of the people I go out with on club runs, I find I am improving on the climbs so I dunno what to think now. :? :?
    The gear changing, helmet wearing fule.
    FCN :- -1
    Given up waiting for Fast as Fupp to start stalking me
  • ToshmundToshmund Posts: 390
    I used to be in the army. In the mid 80's we would never have water available during PT sessions. Over the course of time though, what with more research - water was made available. There was also the recent court martial infact, after the young lad died from dehydration. Basic rule of thumb, if you feel thirsty/have cramp - you are too dehydrated. Not to mention the prospect of having Gall stones the size of pebbles later in life!

    Personally, I prefer to stand on hills. Feel as though I am applying more force, than struggling sat down.
  • nolfnolf Posts: 2,016
    If you get up hills faster out of the saddle go out of the saddle, but I find that tends to use my muscles up, so tend to save out of the saddle efforts for when they count.

    If you're objective is to go up 1 hill as fast as possible, no matter what, then whichever gets you up faster is better.
    For hard rides, just do whichever is faster.

    For long rides I'd say stay in the saddle, but then longer rides I pay more attention to my Heart rate. it's been shown that a rider doing the same power up a climb (so the same speed), 1 out of the saddle and 1 in, he was 10 beats per min higher out of the saddle, for the same power (speed) up the climb.
    So when stopping myself from pushing my heart rate up, in the saddle is a bit more controllable.

    Personally, on most climbs I stay in the saddle (as I find it too easy to wimp out and slow down out of the saddle), even on chaingangs. But in races sometimes you have to accelerate quickly and put a lot of power out over a short period of time, out of the saddle is easier for this.

    Boybiker, the act of doing the hills is probably making you faster up them. Just do whichever method you rather. Theres no right or wrong way to climb, just whichever gets you up it fastest is best!
    "I hold it true, what'er befall;
    I feel it, when I sorrow most;
    'Tis better to have loved and lost;
    Than never to have loved at all."

    Alfred Tennyson
  • If you are a timetrialler then try to climb the hills seated and only get out of the saddle if it's the only way forward.
  • as a really basic rule just ride from november to january at one pace for hours and hours, usually between 12 and 14 mph then start interval sessions in jan/feb, work on some sprinting and other techniques and before you know it your a pro.... easy
  • as a really basic rule just ride from november to january at one pace for hours and hours, usually between 12 and 14 mph then start interval sessions in jan/feb, work on some sprinting and other techniques and before you know it your a pro.... easy

    Is 12-14mph not a little slow? I suppose it depends on the relative fitness of the individual doing it.
    Or is your idea to sit within the Heart rate training zone?
    17 Stone down to 12.5 now raring to get back on the bike!
  • I can only give my own experience on climbing. Because it's the mainstay of my training, I do an awful lot of it up long, steep climbs. I am up out of the saddle 80% of the time. I sit down when I need a brief recovery on the flatter sections - anything less than 7/8% - and concentrate on a high cadence. That's just how I ride and how I am most comfortable on short or longer rides. Also, I have noticed that the guys who sit down a lot don't have a real change of pace up the climbs. If somebody puts in a big effort up the climb whilst seated, I can click up a gear, stand up and go with it and then on past them when they resort to churning on the pedals from a seated position.

    If you can stay sat down and just ride good cyclists off your wheel, then power to you, I have to get up to close gaps or open them. Does it have something to do with strength to weight ratio? I am pretty light so I guess I get away with it. I can't stand sitting down for too long. I can hold onto a gear better from a standing position than I can from a seated one.

    I am always in admiration of the guys who can sit down in the saddle and just power it out. I feel like a right old cheat climbing out of the saddle all of the time. If I try and sit down and power a climb out, I end up coming under all sorts of pressure and for a slower pace!
  • I found that when i started cycling i Had to get out of the saddle just to make it to the top but as my fittness increased i could stay seated for longer.
    Now i mix it up abit, out of saddle is alot more fun but uses more energy but if you have some miles to go then save energy in the saddle and if it become a slog jump out of the saddle for abit.
    If you have a route you like mix it up abit don't just do the same every time that way you'll find what best for you and what your limits are.
  • I found that when i started cycling i Had to get out of the saddle just to make it to the top but as my fittness increased i could stay seated for longer.
    Now i mix it up abit, out of saddle is alot more fun but uses more energy but if you have some miles to go then save energy in the saddle and if it become a slog jump out of the saddle for abit.
    If you have a route you like mix it up abit don't just do the same every time that way you'll find what best for you and what your limits are.

    Sounds about right. :wink:
  • I found that when i started cycling i Had to get out of the saddle just to make it to the top but as my fittness increased i could stay seated for longer.
    Now i mix it up abit, out of saddle is alot more fun but uses more energy but if you have some miles to go then save energy in the saddle and if it become a slog jump out of the saddle for abit.
    If you have a route you like mix it up abit don't just do the same every time that way you'll find what best for you and what your limits are.

    That works for me too, if I normally do a smaller climb on the saddle and spinning then I try it next time out of the saddle on a bigger gear. Interesting to watch my heart rate on the climb then how quick it drops back down :)
    There's no time for hesitating.
    Pain is ready, pain is waiting.
    Primed to do it's educating.
  • :evil: Please help!
    I want to ride sportives faster and maybe race so I bought Palmer and Allens new book and nicole cooks book(i'm welsh!).In Palmer and Allen's book they contradict themselves on endurance zone work.They say that the endurance zone is 35 to 45 bpm below max hr (same as peter keens old level 2) and rides of more than 2 hours are too stressful to complete but then prescribe rides of 3 to 4 hours in their programs?! In Cooke's book and others they say rides of over 2 hours should be below 75% max.What should I do to build good endurance but no batter myself too much.How do I balance limited time with approprite intensity?!What intensity should I do my 3 hour rides at?Is 3 hours enough?
  • mclarentmclarent Posts: 784
    out of the saddle on hills is for attacking (or trying to stay with someone!!) IMO. Anytime out of the saddle, your heart rate increases, even on the flat. Seeing as you have a number of "beats" in any ride / race / session, save those for when you need them so you can ride hard when you need to.
    "And the Lord said unto Cain, 'where is Abel thy brother?' And he said, 'I know not: I dropped him on the climb up to the motorway bridge'."
    - eccolafilosofiadelpedale
  • mclarentmclarent Posts: 784
    http://www.tourofireland.eu/daveLloydTraining.pdf

    Sportive training guide from Dave Lloyd Coaching.
    "And the Lord said unto Cain, 'where is Abel thy brother?' And he said, 'I know not: I dropped him on the climb up to the motorway bridge'."
    - eccolafilosofiadelpedale
  • EscargotEscargot Posts: 361
    Being a newbie I don't want to cause trouble but personally I wouldn't do any physical activity without drinking some fluid. I guess it's each to their own but from a safety perspective I'm hoping that other amateurs, like me, will go out sensibly and take some fluids along.

    For info here's an extract on dehydration from Chris Ryan's "SAS Fitness Book". I realise he's no cycling expert but I found this passage really interesting.

    3. Dangers and setbacks
    Your training can be ambushed at any time, so know your enemies. No training plan is going to go completely without a hitch so you need to know how to cope with the things that can derail your programme. When a regiment guy wasn't training it was because he had broken his arm or his leg, and even then you'd still see him in the gym with his plaster pushing weight on the part of his body that wasn't broken. I wouldn't recommend this, however, you do need to know how to keep certain dangers at bay or how to deal with them when they hit.

    Dehydration

    I've seen the effects of extreme dehydration at close quarters, and it's not pretty. During the first contact we had in the Gulf one of the lads had his thermals on because he hadn't had a chance to change out of them when we were compromised by the enemy. During the hectic, 45-minute fire-fight that ensued, the amount of body fluid he lost as sweat put him down as soon as the adrenalin had stopped flowing. That man was a rower and one of the strongest guys in the regiment, but dehydration had taken him out of the game completely. You've got to make sure that the same thing doesn't happen to you. The longer and harder you push your body the more you're going to need to drink. That's fact, and if you think it doesn't apply to you then it won't be long before we're going to have to casevac (casualty evacuation) you from the treadmill.

    When you work hard during your aerobic drills or strength training circuits your muscles generate heat, and it's this heat that bums your calories and fries your fat. Around 70 per cent of this heat needs to escape from the body -to avoid cooking you alive from the inside out. It does this in the form of sweat, which evaporates from your skin and takes the unwanted heat with it. However, if you don't replace this fluid loss your blood thickens and your heart has to work harder to move it through the bloodstream, thus slowing the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles. This results in a loss of work-rate, fatigue and, if you let it go too far, more serious repercussions. Just look at the following table, which shows the physical effects of dehydration expressed as a percentage.

    1 per cent dehydration You'll feel thirsty.
    2 per cent dehydration You'll feel parched and will experience a loss of appetite and, unknown to you, a 20 per cent reduction in your capacity for exercise.
    4 per cent dehydration Tiredness, nausea and emotional instability will kick in.
    6 per cent dehydration You'll start to lose colour and will probably experience waves of acute nausea, aggressiveness and irritability.
    10 per cent dehydration Very severe symptoms present themselves and your thermoregulation systems start breaking down, leaving you unable to regulate body temperature.
    11 per cent dehydration Sometime soon you're going to need urgent medical assistance to restore the chemical imbalances that are going on in your body. Someone needs to rehydrate you very quickly.
    20 per cent dehydration You've reached the limits of what the body can take.
    21 per cent dehydration You're off to that big drinking fountain in the sky.

    The best way to make sure none of this happens to you is to know how to prehydrate and rehydrate efficiently, no matter what exercise you're doing.

    A good way to work out your state of hydration is to start weighing yourself before and after exercise. Any weight loss experienced straight after your workout probably won't be lost from your fat reserves; it's more likely to be due to water loss, and you should replenish every pound you've lost by drinking 750ml of water. Of course, you can pre-empt the water loss that you will experience by prehydrating a few hours before your workout in anticipation of the fluid loss. Do this by drinking half a litre of water, then follow the guidelines set out in the table below showing how much fluid you should be drinking during each of the performance exercises in this book.

    Cross-terrain walking (1 day with Bergen*) Drink 4 litres
    Running (10km) Drink 500 to 700ml
    Cycling (1 hour) Drink 700ml to 750ml
    Swimming (45 minutes) Drink 300ml
    Rowing (45 minutes) Drink 300ml to 400ml
    Strength training circuit (l hour) Drink 250ml
    (* an army-issue haversack)

    Obviously, it's difficult to keep hydrated during drills like swimming and rowing, so you should ensure that when you finish you drink at least 250ml to 500ml of water. Remember to drink past the feeling of thirst, since this is just a sensation that shuts down once you've taken a few mouthfuls. Psychologically your thirst has been quenched, but physically your body is crying out for more water and is still dehydrated. If you're not drinking from a bottle and are dependent on a water fountain in a gym, you can still judge how much water you're taking on by counting your swallows. The average, full-mouth swallow contains about 15ml of liquid, although when you're bent over drinking from a water fountain it's a little less at around 10ml per gulp.

    You're not limited to water to keep you hydrated; there are a number of sports drinks on the market that claim to do the job much more effectively. In reality, you'll need to be really going some in order to make use of the beneficial effects of a sports drink: if you've been training really hard for 90 minutes or more, sports drinks can supply you with the kind of quick calories required for consistent performance (around 60 to 100 calories per 150ml); if you're working out at the levels in this book, even though they are by no means easy, it's not really necessary to replace the loss in sodium, potassium and other electrolytes. You won't deplete your body's natural reserves to anything like a dangerous level. Only if you progress from this programme to something like an Ironman competition should you start thinking about sports drinks.
  • ProssPross Posts: 25,468
    Why would anyone not drink from choice? There are some odd people out there who think they'll look soft if they carry food and drink or if they aren't grinding a massive gear at 50rpm. Personally I'd rather be riding as hard as I can in the most comfort I can.
  • sampras38sampras38 Posts: 1,917
    jaijaicp wrote:
    I have noticed almost 100% of the guys on my club rides drink very very little, some dont even have a bottle on the bike!I try and drink at least 400ml per hour.Some fella even told me not to bother AT ALL with carb based drinks through the winter.There are some seasoned cyclists out there who do know what they are on about, just take all advice with a pinch of salt!

    "A legend in his own mind..."

    You often get people like this, not just in sport but all walks of life. Just because someone's been doing something a long time does not always mean they're doing it right. It's like they feel like a hard man for riding without eating or drinking. Some people just won't be told and I'm happy not to tell em..;-)
  • There was a very good article in cycling weekly a week ago regarding old cycling practices vs new, one of which being the ridiculously low fluid intake riders used to take. Common advice in the 60s was not to drink much fluid at all during the ride and after. Very dangerous indeed!
  • twotyredtwotyred Posts: 822
    Common advice in the 60s was not to drink much fluid at all during the ride and after. Very dangerous indeed!

    As Tommy Simpson found out (the amphetamines might have had something to do with it as well)
  • furragfurrag Posts: 481
    Drink a minimum of half a litre during a 10k? That would ruin my race through a stitch or bringing it up in the final 200 metres or so. Funnily enough my 10k pace correlates to my 5k pace near enough perfectly to what running calculators predict.

    The more trained you are, the more you sweat as your body is more efficient at cooling; yet elite's who do a half-marathon in around an hour don't drink during the race at all. At the opposite end of the scale, I've known of others to be running 2 miles around the block at about 10 min/mi pace with Sports Direct handflasks with them. :?
  • holkerholker Posts: 88
    jcdessent wrote:
    :evil: Please help!
    I want to ride sportives faster and maybe race so I bought Palmer and Allens new book and nicole cooks book

    With apologies for possibly causing offence, I want to ride sportives and maybe race so I bought a book....hmmph.....perhaps getting on the bike and doing some some training might be a better idea.
  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    mclarent wrote:
    Seeing as you have a number of "beats" in any ride / race / session, save those for when you need them so you can ride hard when you need to.

    :lol: No you don't
  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    furrag wrote:
    Drink a minimum of half a litre during a 10k? That would ruin my race through a stitch or bringing it up in the final 200 metres or so. Funnily enough my 10k pace correlates to my 5k pace near enough perfectly to what running calculators predict

    They don't mean down it in big chugs, I would take it as sipping for the whole duration in sensible doses.
  • I took up cycling just over a year ago after suffering a bad knee injury and got hooked. I have a busy work life but get out regularly at weekends and on any days off.
    Over the awful winter we had i still made the effort to get out as much as possible in an attempt to improve. Already this year i have done a lot of 40-80 mile rides but generally do these rides alone as i am new to my area. When i do go out with friends back home I still seem to be off the pace. Is there anything i can do to improve overall speed and hill fitness? Through my cycling i do feel fitter and stronger myself but am at a loss why i seem off the pace.

    Any tips appreciated
    Summer: Condor Classico
    Winter: Genesis Ather
  • I'm still a relative newbie, aving been riding road since April this year (and loving it I might add!)

    But climbing is definitely my weak point. I can read a long, steady climb, often on the big ring up front, no problem, and can maintain a good cadence and fairly easy breathing.

    But once the gradient ramps up, this is when I struggle. Living in Wales, thats a problem. My cadence slows to almost nothing, I struggle to keep the pedals turning, and my breathing goes out of the window. When that happens, my heart rate rockets, and I find I have to get off the bike for 20-30 secs to let it come down, then I can go again.

    I'm clearly not as fit as I could be, though its been steadily improving - I struggled on ANY hill back in April! Now I'm climbing big ones......... but I want to improve a lot. I ride big hills as often as I can, but dont seem to be getting anywhere now its like I have reached a platuea above which my hill climbing ability will not go. I really want to get better at hills, and I'll be a better all round rider on out club tt's most of which are typically undulatinlgly Welsh!

    Any help here gratefully recieved folks :)
    Scott Addict R3
    Boardman CX 2014
  • I'm still a relative newbie, aving been riding road since April this year (and loving it I might add!)

    But climbing is definitely my weak point. I can read a long, steady climb, often on the big ring up front, no problem, and can maintain a good cadence and fairly easy breathing.

    But once the gradient ramps up, this is when I struggle. Living in Wales, thats a problem. My cadence slows to almost nothing, I struggle to keep the pedals turning, and my breathing goes out of the window. When that happens, my heart rate rockets, and I find I have to get off the bike for 20-30 secs to let it come down, then I can go again.

    I'm clearly not as fit as I could be, though its been steadily improving - I struggled on ANY hill back in April! Now I'm climbing big ones......... but I want to improve a lot. I ride big hills as often as I can, but dont seem to be getting anywhere now its like I have reached a platuea above which my hill climbing ability will not go. I really want to get better at hills, and I'll be a better all round rider on out club tt's most of which are typically undulatinlgly Welsh!

    Any help here gratefully recieved folks :)

    Gear down and pedal.

    There will always be a gear that you can climb on and eventually once you get used to this it's time to gear up due to the strength you've gained.
  • bigpiklebigpikle Posts: 1,690
    as above - get into your easiest gear and just pedal on the really steep stuff. Once gradients get severe everyone is in the same boat and its just really tough!

    I'm not sure riding them lots is the best way to improve though. I'd focus on building your power by pushing your performance on less steep gradients. Doing classic intervals like 2x20's on a slight incline or into the wind over time will boost your threshold power, which will boost your performance on flat and hills. I'm not convinced struggling up steep stuff on a regular basis is the best way to do it - you certainly need some practice but the advantage of building threshold power by 20/30/40 minute intervals is that it will boost your performance at most elements of cycling eg endurance, speed, climbing.

    Most importantly though, just stick at it and gains will come. I look back 2 years to hills that used to kill me and I feared on every ride, and now I barely need to change gear on some of them and consider lots of those routes as fairly flat! They're not Welsh mountains but regardless, you'll see lots of improvement if you keep riding regularly.
    Your Past is Not Your Potential...
  • ave_itave_it Posts: 16
    twotyred wrote:
    Common advice in the 60s was not to drink much fluid at all during the ride and after. Very dangerous indeed!

    As Tommy Simpson found out (the amphetamines might have had something to do with it as well)

    Think a lot has been learnt since the 60s on how to fuel up correctly for training
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