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Beginner's Question - Building Endurance

EscargotEscargot Posts: 361
Hi all

I've recently started cycling with a friend and we have decided to enter the Oxford to Cambridge in September. At present I'm really enjoying it and we have been steadily building up the miles over the past 6 weeks (using the 10% rule).

Last week we did 40 miles but the last 3-4 were tortuous and ended with me getting bad cramp in both thighs (to the point where they just packed up and refused to do any more). This week I went out on my own and although I failed to increase the distance by 10% went on a much more hilly route (over 40 miles) to improve my hill climbing ability. The sad thing was, although I worked much harder I still spent the last 3-4 miles stuggling with even the slightest incline.

Is this something I will gradually overcome ? Can anyone suggest anything to improve my situation ? Having never done any endurance work I'm not used to my legs shutting down, which is a bit frustrating as my lungs (and rest of my body) still feel as if I could go further.

Although cyling is a new pursuit I regularly play football, run and love weight training. I can't go out cycling during the week due to family commitments but spin/cycle in the gym (at high intensity) through the week to improve my CV/power.

Diet wise, as I do a lot of weights, I eat a relatively high protien diet with lots of "clean" foods to assist in lean growth.

Apologies for the mamoth post but any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Best regards

Darren

Posts

  • bobtbuilderbobtbuilder Posts: 1,537
    Hi Darren,

    Unfortunately, other sports like running and football don't seem to trasnfer over into good "cycling legs". They may gove you a good CV base, but to improve your legs, you've just got to keep cycling.

    I am trying to do my first 100 mile ride for several years this year and have been employing the 10% rule, and have gone from 40 - 85 pretty easily. However, there will be days which are worse than others (poor sleep, not enough food, a low level bug or cold) when you don't get the improvement you want. These are OK, as long as they are sporadic and your overall trend is one of improvement.

    Do you eat enough during your ride? I have found that what was really holding me back, was not getting anough nutrition in during my rides. Carb bars / gels are recommended every 45mins or so (depending on brand & size), and although this took some getting used to, it has made all the difference.

    Hope this helps, and let us know how you get on!
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    It sounds like a classic case of not enough hydration with electrolytes!
  • bobtbuilderbobtbuilder Posts: 1,537
    Oops - forgot to say that there is also a very good thread bout base miles, etc. at the top of this page.
  • shakey88shakey88 Posts: 289
    If you want to build up your endurance just go out and ride,and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride ride,and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride ride,and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride ride,and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride ride,and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride ride,and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride ride,and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride ride,and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride ride,and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride ride,and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride ride,and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride ride,and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride ride,and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride ...but don't forget to eat :D
  • EscargotEscargot Posts: 361
    Hi Darren,

    Unfortunately, other sports like running and football don't seem to trasnfer over into good "cycling legs". They may gove you a good CV base, but to improve your legs, you've just got to keep cycling.

    I am trying to do my first 100 mile ride for several years this year and have been employing the 10% rule, and have gone from 40 - 85 pretty easily. However, there will be days which are worse than others (poor sleep, not enough food, a low level bug or cold) when you don't get the improvement you want. These are OK, as long as they are sporadic and your overall trend is one of improvement.

    Do you eat enough during your ride? I have found that what was really holding me back, was not getting anough nutrition in during my rides. Carb bars / gels are recommended every 45mins or so (depending on brand & size), and although this took some getting used to, it has made all the difference.

    Hope this helps, and let us know how you get on!

    Thanks for the info :D

    Sadly I enjoy doing too many things so I guess this will slightly slow down my ability to get cycling fit. I think toward the event (possibly around June) I will try to phase out the footie and will also change my weights to a more cycling friendly routine.

    Regarding your question about eating I've been having a large bowl of home made museli before going out but am probably not eating enough at all :oops: During the 3 hours I was out I ate an SIS energy bar (after an hour), an SIS carbo gel (after 2.5 hours - prob far too late) and drank two 650ml bottles of home made isotonic drink throughout.

    The trouble is I didn't feel hungry at all but your advice to eat every 45mins is beginning to hit home just how much/regularly I should be eating (beginners ehh :roll: )

    In truth I'm pretty pleased with my progress so far (I didn't even think 40 miles would be possible a few weeks back) but have probably made the fatal mistake of increasing the mileage without thinking about how to do it properly (no wonder my body fat is dropping like a stone :shock: :wink: ).

    I'll try and put this into practice and will let you know how I get on.

    Hope your training is going ok too.

    Best regards

    Darren
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