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When will it get easier?

tenbartenbar Posts: 94
edited July 2008 in Road beginners
Hi all
I've recently got back into biking after a long lay off during which I sat on my ar$e for most of the time. I've now treated myself to a new bike and the gear to go with it. I am 6'1" and 14 stone. I'm currently doing rides of 15 miles (hilly) at around 13mph and rides of 20 miles (undulating) at 15.5 mph. With me being a big lad the hilly rides are killers. i've been riding for about 3 weeks at 3 rides per week.

Someday I want to go out with my mates and do 80-100 milers but my fitness is just nowehere near at the moment. I'm pretty much knackered at the 20 mile mark. How long will it take before I feel fitter and can extend the rides? Also, is there a "best way" for someone like me to get fit quickly using the bike?

cheers
TB

Posts

  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    Keep riding, don't try and overdo it but gradually increase time, distance and effort. From a zero level of fitness you'll rapidly improve, but it'll take a number of months to feel "fit" again.

    With the longer rides, if you're getting knackered at 20 miles, ease off a little at the start so you've still got strength left - the increased mileage you do will more than compensate for a lack of all-out effort.
  • madturkeymadturkey Posts: 58
    This may sound stupid, but go slower. That's what I do.

    I finally learnt to ride a bike ( :oops: ) in autumn last year but didn't get a road bike until April. From a base of zero cycling fitness I have gradually worked up to doing 45 milers but I'm only doing an average of 12.5mph - at 5'10" and 13 1/2 stone I'm not a stick but am reasonably fit through other sports.

    To build up a base of fitness you're probably better off throttling back and going a bit further. You could get a HRM to make sure you're not pushing too hard. Once you've built up the base then start going for the speed and increasing distance (but not both at once).
  • peanutpeanut Posts: 1,373
    you are doing fine .You are not overdoing it and allowing plenty of rest days in between for your new muscles to build and your body to change to acclimatise itself to the new excercise.
    If I were you I would look around the localcycle clubs to see if they run a 20-30 mile Sunday run that is not to fast. It will help loads with motivation and the socialising aspect is great. Nice to talk about stuff as you're going round differant routes every week.
    I used to drive my bike 25 miles to a good club on a Sunday because all the local clubs were either race clubs or really unwelcoming to new riders.

    Look at the Audax site and book an audax or two later in the summer

    http://www.aukweb.net/cal/index.htm
    They are great training and social rides as are Sportives
    http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/web/site/BC/lei/News2006/20061222_get_into_sportives.asp

    Also look out for local charity rides for Heart Foundation and Marie Curie etc .Its a lot more enjoyable to share experiences with other riders than suffer on your own.
    good luck
  • tenbartenbar Posts: 94
    Thanks for the advice/motivation guys. I really appreciate it.
  • NuggsNuggs Posts: 1,804
    You'll get there. No one came from no exercise to being able to cycle 50 miles overnight. It just takes time!

    I did no exercise last year due to a back injury. I bought a bike in March and my first ride (7 miles) nearly killed me.

    Last weekend I did my first ride over 40 miles and felt great at the end.

    I'm bigger than you (6'5" and 15.5 stone) and if I can do it, anyone can! :D
  • yoadiusyoadius Posts: 541
    'It never gets easier, you just go faster.'
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Tartanyak</i>

    Dude, did you trace that, from a distance off a diagram drawn by a blind man using his feet from the description given to him by someone that could only use English quotes from the movie of \'Grease\'?
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
  • GeorgeShawGeorgeShaw Posts: 764
    ... and for longer ...
  • simon johnsonsimon johnson Posts: 1,064
    yoadius wrote:
    'It never gets easier, you just go faster.'

    Damn Straight :D
    Where\'s me jumper?
  • st68st68 Posts: 219
    you will get there matee i started out 2 years ago on a mountain bike doing 15 /20 miles at a time now i got a road bike and do 100 every saturday and two 40mile hilly rides during the week an im 5 10 and nearly 14st just add mileage slowly over a few months you will come good :)
    cheesy quaver
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,448
    Yup, it'll happen gradually over months. You probably won't notice much difference from one week to the next, but one day you'll realise that what was very difficult 2 or 3 months ago is now much easier and your speed is gradually creeping up. Don''t get disheartened if it seems that you've hit a barrier (e.g. a certain average mph) and can't get better, you'll eventually creep over it. Personally I find I improve better if I really push myself (speed, distance or both) but also take lots of rest days. Enjoy!
  • I have had a road bike for a couple of months now and initially went out by myself or with a friend from work. After a couple of weeks of that I decided to go along on a ride with the local cycle club. We go out Tuesday and Thursday nights doing about 40 miles at an average of 17.5-18 mph and I can keep up with them but they drop me hard on the hills! I can feel myself improving on the hills every week, copying what they do and I get faster. A cafe run at the same speed/distance on a Saturday and a 70+ at 15mph+ Sunday ride gives variety.

    It was hard to start with, especially maintaining 28-30 mph along the flat in a single file 'snake' trying not to lose the wheel in front but they have all said they are impressed that at this point in the year when they are all at top fitness I am keeping up which is a massive incentive to keep going.

    I get so much advice and help and my fitness is the best it has ever been (even after 15 years of mountain biking) that I recommend you join a club.
  • NWLondonerNWLondoner Posts: 2,047
    Personally I ride my bike and NOT race it.


    I could push harder and go faster prefer to stick to an average of 14 mph.

    I find that I plan a route and do it twice, then next time extend it a few extra miles.

    Last week I did a 45 miler and bonked out at 30 Miles. Last night i made it to 40 miles before the legs were swearing at me.

    Also drinking plenty of fluids helps. I swear by PSP22. (others may/will disagree)

    :D
  • John C.John C. Posts: 2,113
    Take your time and you'll be fine, the average speed may drop a bit but your stamina will increase and then hills will become easier. you are in a hilly area so just take your time although it's been said before.
    It doesn't get easier, just a bit faster :lol: enjoy
    http://www.ripon-loiterers.org.uk/

    Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
    Hills are just a matter of pace
  • if your wanting to drop weight my tip is walking. you walk for an hour 3 times a week and your weight will drop off but make sure its a decent paced walk and not just wandering. sometimes pushing too hard on the bike simply just burns calories and not body fat as your hr is in cardio zone and not fat burning zone. if that makes sense? good luck and just keep going. I've not been on my roadie for months and i'm getting annoyed at my laziness. this week i'm back.
    felix's bike

    pedal like you stole something!!!
  • top_bhoytop_bhoy Posts: 1,424
    if your wanting to drop weight my tip is walking. you walk for an hour 3 times a week and your weight will drop off but make sure its a decent paced walk and not just wandering. sometimes pushing too hard on the bike simply just burns calories and not body fat as your hr is in cardio zone and not fat burning zone. if that makes sense? good luck and just keep going. I've not been on my roadie for months and i'm getting annoyed at my laziness. this week i'm back.

    Agreed walking is an alternative but completely disagree that cycling won't/doesn't act as a very good exercise for losing weight. Cycling regular and increasing time/distance in line with fitness will see weight dropping off - if you're mindful of your diet as well of course.
  • willbevanwillbevan Posts: 1,241
    yoadius wrote:
    'It never gets easier, you just go faster.'

    can't agree with this more, i have been going faster or longer and never really compared my own progress till yesterday...

    I compared two rides , one yesterday with when i started biking back in october. (Exactly the same course on the same bike)

    Yesterdays loop (done as recovery):
    14.5MPH Average
    125BPM Average

    Done in october
    14.4MPH Average
    168BPM Average

    2000 odd miles in bettween mind you, but it does get easier if you put the time in :)

    When i first started riding, 20 miles was a daunting task on my first club run, and then the first large group ride of almost 60 :S, now i do 80 on my tod (does make me very tired mind you ;))

    Just keep it going and it will get easier for the same work, bt i bet you wont be happy at that, get the bug and go further and faster ;)
    Road - BTwin Sport 2 16s
    MTB - Trek Fuel 80
    TT - Echelon

    http://www.rossonwye.cyclists.co.uk/
  • Top_Bhoy wrote:
    if your wanting to drop weight my tip is walking. you walk for an hour 3 times a week and your weight will drop off but make sure its a decent paced walk and not just wandering. sometimes pushing too hard on the bike simply just burns calories and not body fat as your hr is in cardio zone and not fat burning zone. if that makes sense? good luck and just keep going. I've not been on my roadie for months and i'm getting annoyed at my laziness. this week i'm back.

    Agreed walking is an alternative but completely disagree that cycling won't/doesn't act as a very good exercise for losing weight. Cycling regular and increasing time/distance in line with fitness will see weight dropping off - if you're mindful of your diet as well of course.

    i wasnt trying to say that cycling doesnt improve health,fitness but pushing too hard on the bike gives you a cardio workout instead of burning fat due to your heart rate training zones.
    felix's bike

    pedal like you stole something!!!
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