Starting out - advice please

Gettingthere Posts: 11
edited August 2009 in Road beginners

I am an absolute beginner at this. I have a bike, and a few bits of kit (shorts etc) and consider myself unfit for me but maybe not as unfit as the average office worker!

I have been out on the road a few times and am wondering what sort of fitness plan I should have?

Should I increase time or distance? Its a bit flat where I am so no chance of hill work. Can't seem to find any simple programs to follow, although there are a lot for running.



  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Hi mate!

    At this stage just concentrate on getting out and riding, no plan needed. Just try and find new routes and increase time and distance, getting used to riding the bike.

    I'd suggest you buy a computer so you can log your mileage and speed but this is not essential at this stage.

    The main thing is just to enjoy riding!

    A 'plan' can sap some of that enjoyment out for some people (not me, I love following a plan and looking at all my facts and figures!) and it would be a shame to put you off.

    When you are comfortably riding a fair few miles in one go, say 50 or so (just plucked that out of thin air) then I'd consider joining a club. The club runs can be great fun.
  • jswba
    jswba Posts: 491

    Just enjoy being out on the bike. If you're after something structured, the Cycling Weekly Health and Fitness for Cyclists magazine has a 4-week plan for beginners.
  • Thanks, I do have a computor, I'm also into noting down everything to see how I'm improving!! I just feel a bit like I don't know what I'm doing. steadier for longer? or shorter faster. I think I'll concentrate on upping the distance first. 50 miles. gulp. :shock:

    Will look for that plan. Thanks.
  • Hello,

    Suggest increasing distance and time yourself on certain routes if fitness is your aim. Sounds like you want to get fitter, so just try to beat your times on certain routes. That incentive will keep you pushing :-)

    I use a bike computer and typically go by average speed achieved now and less so distance. Though if it is a shorter route I hope to have a faster avg. speed.
    2009 Kona Zing - second ever racer and follows my 5 speed downshifters Raleigh Milk Race of 1987ish :-)
  • Hi yes I do want to get fitter, and hopefully tone up my legs a bit. I like beating my own targets so will go with what you say about timing certain routes.

    Thanks for your replies.
  • Infamous
    Infamous Posts: 1,130
    Try to increase your weekly mileage by 5-10% each week. Try to get out more often, rather than 2 or 3 long rides per week.
  • Make sure you have fun along the way. You should be able to start feeling fitter and know you are cycling your routes with more ease and carrying more speed along the road. :D

    I don't keep logs and am not too mathematical about mt approach but I know when I am on a good ride when I am pushing hard on the way home and I still feel full of energy. Therefore I know I am that little bit fitter and fitter. So much so that one day I caught myself singing a Queen song whilst spinning fast (I had just passed a Freddie look-a-like and another guy with a Queen t-shirt at a bus stop). :oops:
    2009 Kona Zing - second ever racer and follows my 5 speed downshifters Raleigh Milk Race of 1987ish :-)
  • 'Don't stop me now....' as opposed to 'Another one bites the dust....' I hope. :D

    Infamous - thanks for that, thats the sort of thing I like.
  • bobtbuilder
    bobtbuilder Posts: 1,537
    It never gets easier, you just go faster.
    - Greg Lemond.

    As you like to puch yourself, you may never find it getting easier, but your speeds and distances will shoot up. so as FlamingTberto said, having PBs over certain routes will help you monitor your progress.

    The best thing is, by being a new cyclist you will improve very quickly. :D

    PS - once you start riding 2hrs+ make sure you take some food with you to snack on as you go. Running out of energy (bonking) is really nasty.
  • Stellite
    Stellite Posts: 544

    The main thing like D said is to enjoy it. If you start beasting yourself at the beginning you will tend to not look forward to your next ride.

    I do 20 miles each morning as fast as I can, and then a longer slower ride on a sunday. If you dont feel like riding then take a day off and rest.

    When I started I used to cycle every other day, then add in a day here and there to up your milage.

    At the end of the day you still want to have a social life too :D
  • hopper1
    hopper1 Posts: 4,389
    Gettingthere, I used to do a lot of running and found that when I started cycling a lot of my basic training strategies from running fitted in with the cycling.
    Try a few short rides during the week (45 mins to 1 1/2 hours) plus one long ride.
    Increase your weekly mileage by approx. 10% per week.
    You say you live in a relatively flat area, so have no hills. Substitute the hills with interval sessions, putting in several efforts after warming up.
    Don't structure your rides too much, just enjoy the ride and you'll soon notice the increase in your fitness.

    Start with a budget, finish with a mortgage!
  • kingrollo
    kingrollo Posts: 3,198
    1. Get a credit card
    2. purchase a Pinarello dogma or something similar
    3.lots of clothing by assos

    you then won't be able to afford to do anything else but cycle !!!

    only joking just enjoy. consider comutting to work by bike - best thing I ever did for fitness
  • Mettan
    Mettan Posts: 2,103
    Start off with a few 10-15 milers - then as the months progress, slowly up the distance - 25 milers make a nice quick run. Not everyone does 60 milers every day of the week. Just enjoy getting out and getting fitter, and go from there.