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Just starting out......please help.....please!!!

Simon1890Simon1890 Posts: 117
edited February 2009 in Road beginners
Hi guys, i'm in need of some serious help!!!

I have taken up cycling as a way of losing weight (i'm 2 stone overweight) and imrpoving fitness. I'm not currently unfit, i would say average fitness, and love cycling so want to use that, rather than jogging, as a way of getting fitter and slimmer!!!

The trouble i'm having is that i currently live at 1200ft on top of a hill with a 700ft drop downhill at 14% one way and a climb of 400ft at 12% the other. I also live in a very hilly area of the country with levels between 200ft above sea level to 1800ft in very short distances. Hence any ride i go out on HAS to include not just one but many steep, long climbs which zap my energy and leave me knackered and hurting.

Every beginners cycling plan i read involves basic rides of 1 - 2 hours, with 4 hour rides at the weekend, but i'm lucky if i can last 40 minutes!! I've just finished a 40 minute ride, average of 12.9 mph, with around 800ft of climbing in it and i'm dead.

Basically am i best just cracking on with 30 - 40 minute rides on hilly courses or do i need to start getting in the car and finding a more flat route to tackle.

Please any help with this will be much appreciated.

Thanks

Posts

  • Move to Lincolnshire would be a good idea :D

    Sympaphy for you, I thought I had a bad climb all ways to get home, but it`s nothing compared to yours!
    Jens says "Shut up legs !! "

    Specialized S-Works SaxoBank SL4 Tarmac Di2
  • a_n_ta_n_t Posts: 2,011
    just keep doing it, it will get easier!!
    Manchester wheelers

    PB's
    10m 20:21 2014
    25m 53:18 20:13
    50m 1:57:12 2013
    100m Yeah right.
  • andy_wrxandy_wrx Posts: 3,396
    i currently live at 1200ft on top of a hill with a 700ft drop downhill at 14% one way and a climb of 400ft at 12% the other

    Being pedantic, you can't live at the top if a hill if you go out of your front door and it slopes uphill in one direction and duwnhill in the other, you must live halfway up !

    I live at the top of a hill, it's downhill in all directions, but I live in Cheshire and it's a matter of fifty feet drop one way or a hundred feet drop downhill the other, so not quite the same...

    But you have my sympathy. When I used to be less fit, I used to work-out all sorts of devious routes through the last mile or two home just to go up the particular back lane which had a slightly easier incline, as I'd be coming back from a long run tired and the last couple of miles was tough. Now I'm fitter, it doesn't really matter at all, but then yes it is Cheshire and rather less of a hill, rather less steep.

    Nowadays, my complaint is that I go out and whichever way I go it's downhill for the first 5 minutes and it's cold.
    A friend lives at the bottom of the hill and he'll come up and meet me, we'll go off together. By coming up the hill he'll have warmed-up, but I'm freezing and he thinks it's hilarious listening to me moaning about how cold it is until 15 or 20 minutes in when I also get warmed-up.

    For you, halfway up a hill, if you set-off in the downhill direction, you'll have to come back up it at the end of your ride when you're tired, and you'll freeze going downhill when you start.
    If you set-off in the uphill direction, you'll have an easy return home down it and will warm up quickly - but it'll initially be hard as you'll be hill-climbing when cold.

    You will get fitter, it will get easier.
    I presume you have a triple or a compact with low gears ?
  • tlw1tlw1 Posts: 18,457
    Keep at it and before long you will be looking forward to the blast at the end of the ride!
  • softladsoftlad Posts: 3,587
    Simon1890 wrote:
    Basically am i best just cracking on with 30 - 40 minute rides on hilly courses or do i need to start getting in the car and finding a more flat route to tackle.

    ride your local roads - they will do you more good in the long run. With the right pace and the right gearing you can ride anywhere.
  • Keep up the good work m8,you dont know how lucky you are to have hills..lol
  • MettanMettan Posts: 2,103
    Simon1890 wrote:
    Every beginners cycling plan i read involves basic rides of 1 - 2 hours, with 4 hour rides at the weekend, but i'm lucky if i can last 40 minutes!! I've just finished a 40 minute ride, average of 12.9 mph, with around 800ft of climbing in it and i'm dead.

    Basically am i best just cracking on with 30 - 40 minute rides on hilly courses or do i need to start getting in the car and finding a more flat route to tackle.

    You don't need to do 4 hour rides as a begginer - with the amount of climbing in your area, a regular 30 minute ride would significantly increase your aerobic capacity very quickly (and help you lose weight) - on hills, you can get your heart rate up "instantaneously", and keep it there.
  • rally200rally200 Posts: 646
    Don't be disheartened. When I came back to biking a couple of years ago my 4 mile commute in Essex (elevation approx. 10ft) left me knackered & pouring sweat. I'm not exactly King of the Mountains now but the commute has given me 40 miles at the weekend with no bother. Thouhg just the thought of real hiils like yours gives me a nosebleed :)
  • Ash_Ash_ Posts: 385
    The more you do, the easier it'll get!

    Also, as your goals are fitness orientated, don't worry about having to do four hours or whatever, stick with what you feel like. It's all beneficial.

    Another possibility is to get yourself a turbo trainer, then on days when you want an easy recovery ride or just a quick spin you can hop on that for a hill-free workout. Although to be honest the tedium will probably see you back on your bike pretty quickly.

    Being stoic, you're much better off having the hills in the long run than not having them. You'll get fitter and your cycling will be much, much more interesting and varied.
  • John C.John C. Posts: 2,113
    Not sure where you are but that sounds like ideal cycling country to me. OK it's hard work. Don't worry about times or speed at the moment. This may sound daft but try and climb the hills easy. develope an easy way of climbing, this will enable you to ride for longer. We cann't ride flat out all day so don't try to, nice and easy, steady away. You can always go b*lls out on a couple for the hell of it , but by enlarge just try riding easy. Enjoy :lol:
    http://www.ripon-loiterers.org.uk/

    Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
    Hills are just a matter of pace
  • Take things easily at first on the hills and you'll just naturally improve with time.
    AT MY AGE, I SHOULD KNOW BETTER !!!
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    Simon1890 wrote:
    The trouble i'm having is that i currently live at 1200ft on top of a hill with a 700ft drop downhill at 14% one way and a climb of 400ft at 12% the other. I also live in a very hilly area of the country with levels between 200ft above sea level to 1800ft in very short distances. Hence any ride i go out on HAS to include not just one but many steep, long climbs which zap my energy and leave me knackered and hurting.

    Make sure you have gearing that is suitable for you, get the easiest gears you can, and just spin as easily as possible away from those hills letting you do a longer ride. WIth the right gearing you can probably make those hills much easier on your legs and let you keep going for longer.

    What gearing is on your bike at the moment?
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
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