A|dvice needed on training and getting fit for mtbing

rockriderwi Posts: 16
Hello all

I am 35 years old 6'1 and weigh 20 stone. I have also been smoking for 20 years and gave up 1 month ago as i decided it was time to change my lifestyle and get fitter. I have wanted to get into mountain biking for years now but have not really done anything about it.
I have recently purchased the Rockrider 5.3 hard tail and am really keen to get going with it. The problem ii have is obvious i am not fit and am finding it very difficult to ride any distance at all.

I really need some advise on how i can train on the bike a few evenings a week ie distance to do how often, when to increase the distance, etc. I also really suffer badly with burning in my legs. I have adjusted my seat to the correct possition so it is not that.

I really could do with some advice on what food is best to eat before a ride out or training,

Any advice would be greatly appreciated , thanks very much.


  • asdfhjkl
    asdfhjkl Posts: 333
    There's nothing we can prescribe you - only you will know how far you can go, when to increase distance, when to rest.etc There's a lot of fancy training protocols and programs out there, but for a beginner it simply comes down to waiting for your body to adapt to the demands you are putting on it. You will get better, but it just takes time.

    What you eat before rides isn't as important as what you eat in general. I wouldn't recommend eating massive amounts of food before rides, because you'll just end up more tired as your blood sugar rises and falls as a result. Improve your eating in general, be sure to get lots of protein to help those muscles recover, good carbohydrates such as oats and pasta, avoid bad carbohydrates such as sugars, white flours.etc, and don't shy away from fat - nuts.etc are good for you.

    Just take your time and enjoy riding your bike - fitness will improve slowly but surely :D
  • omaha
    omaha Posts: 120
    my advice is get out in the gorgeous evenings we've been having, take it nice and slow, and enjoy yourself ! When your doing that you'll be learning your bike ( take it to your LBS and ask them to adjust the seat , take them biccys it helps) and how to ride it and you'll start getting fitter , all without doing anything other than enjoying it !
    after awhile ( when you get abit braver ) find some small hills lots of mud and go enjoy (can you see the theme here ) .
    As for food eat healthy, its different for everyone but at this stage it more important to just get out and let you body adjust to the excerise, your heading in the right direction keep it up.
    a bike with round rubbery things
    another bike with springy bits on it
    another bike with too few gears
  • stomith
    stomith Posts: 332
    You've stopped smoking (big hard decision), decided on changing your lifestyle (big hard decision), have bought a bike to prove you're committed and are already talking to people you never would of done before.

    Sounds to me like you're going through some pretty major changes there...which in my humble opinion is admireable already BUT it could just as easily be dangerous...and I'm pretty sure that's not on your agenda.

    I think you need to get into this really slowly, especially as you've just quit smoking and like the others have suggested, for now...keep within what you can do...but make sure you enjoy it. Perhaps measure yourself in terms of distance or time (not racing) but as a guide so you'll have something to look back to for reference.

    I gave up smoking last July after ...er...19 years...and now...I know I will never smoke again. It scares me to think what a cigarette would do to my lungs now. and I mean really ..really scares me.

    Burning in the legs. stop. slow down. find level ground.

    Drink lots!. Try Energy drinks (any of them) as your body will be craving salts as my guess is that you are sweating a lot. I know I do!

    I aimed for MUD and PUDDLES for months until I found I could breathe again. It took ages just to be able to get the ability to breathe semi-properly again
  • Frodo1095
    Frodo1095 Posts: 252
    Good on you for getting out there and doing it.

    I gave up smoking 6 years ago, unfortunately I didnt exercise and with coming out the Army my weight spiralled upwards.

    Last year I finally got back to doing some exercise, bought a new mtb and off I went, first ride out I fell bruised all my ribs and was out for 2 mths, then I got a viral cough, so couldnt even walk without coughing, 1 mth later finally feeling better I fell and rolled my ankle.

    Nearly 5mths after buying my bike I got back out riding and I felt like crap. I was sweating, breathing like a horse and I could barely climb the starting hills. When I went to the gym I could only do 10mins max on the cross trainer.
    5 months on, I have lost 17kg (bike weighs 13kg), gone down 2 sizes in my tops and trousers and I usually ride twice a week and go the gym 3 times a week.
    Over the weekend I clocked up about 30km on my bike and when I go to the gym I do 40mins on the cross trainer then some weights.
    I will now ride up hills just so I can ride back down, I will do laps of some tracks as fast as I can top try and build endurance, there is still stuff I cannot do and I cannot keep up with my mates yet but I am getting there.

    Keep trying, take it steady and you will see improvements, not overnight and not in one week, but one day you will be walking along and someone will say, hey you are looking good, have you lost weight and you will be able to say yes. You will find that riding will get easier and you will start to look for the next challenge and also enjoy it.

    But most of all dont let anyone or anything stop you and dont give up on yourself :!:
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    I was in a similar situation last year.

    I gave up smoking first and brought myself a mountain bike as a reward.

    I found it a great motivation to not start smoking again, and also acted as a distraction.

    I can't really offer you any real fitness advice as I'm no expert. But I can tell you it's a great feeling when a hill you struggled to walk up last year, you can now not only reach the top, but find yourself dropping to a lower gear to do it a bit quicker.

    Also as all ready said the trick is to have fun, if your continually looking for your fitness to improve you may just get frustrated. Go out there for the crack and then when you do notice improvements it's a added bonus.
  • kazzy
    kazzy Posts: 4
    normally before a ride i stretch which helps and eat tuna pasta ang a bit of mayo hope ive helped
  • xCatch22x
    xCatch22x Posts: 36
    If I have been out of the saddle for a while I start off with a small loop of a local area. The one I do is about a mile in total.

    This is how it progresses.

    Start on the loop and do it once slowly, then do nothing the next night. The night after, do the loop again pushing a little harder, then another night off. Then when I get to the stage where I can feel I am able to do it quicker and it doesn't bother me, I add another lap to the loop.

    So day on day off and builld up to whatever you have time for. I do between 5 and 10 laps of my loop now for training.

    I also throw in, after a ride, a few steep hill climbs. 1 climb in the saddle with high cadence, 1 climb stood up low cadence. I only ever do 2 runs of this.

    Hope this helps.