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Books for a newbie?

CletePurcelCletePurcel Posts: 68
Are there any decent books for new cyclists (I am returning after a long absence - age 44 and pretty unfit)?

I was looking at books last week in a shop but they all seem way too advanced. I just want a book that will tell me what to do and not do to gradually improve fitness on the bike without injuring myself. I am not going to go racing or anything competitive. I would just like to increase endurance and distance gradually.

I have a heart rate monitor, but have no idea how to use it. I also read the Anita Bean book on nutrition which was very helpful.

Cheers.
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Posts

  • hopper1hopper1 Posts: 4,389
    Keep it simple... Increase your mileage by 10% per week, doesn't sound much, but it's enough.
    Ride by perception at first, don't batter yourself.
    I have the Anita Bean book, but it's hard work... Good though.
    Start with a budget, finish with a mortgage!
  • Thanks, Hopper.

    I am doing about 20-25 miles every 2 or 3 days at the moment. Gradually increased from less than 10 miles at the beginning about 6 weeks ago. I have radically changed my diet as well towards more carbohydrate and protein and less fat.

    I still have loads of questions, though. Should I be going out more often (perhaps interspersing longer with shorter rides etc.)? How hard can you safely push yourself?

    This is the sort of info I would like to get hold of if it exists.

    I just feel a bit in the dark. For example I had knee pain in the beginning, but after reading the forums I changed from SPD shoes to Time iclics (more float etc.) and it disappeared almost straight away. It would be great if there were a book that contained this sort of info all in one place.
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  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Should I be going out more often (perhaps interspersing longer with shorter rides etc.)?
    There is no definite answer to that sort of question (how long is a piece of string?). Generally, the more you ride, the more you will improve, but obviously everyone reaches a plateau at some point in time when continued improvement requires better quality training rather than just more of the same thing.
    How hard can you safely push yourself?
    The body has some pretty sophisticated protection mechanisms to stop you doing any pemanent damage provided you have no underlying health problems and are sensible (the maximum 10% week-on-week increase in distance as cited above being a great suggestion).

    As Hopper says, probably best keep it simple for now and look into training with heart rate monitors etc when your fitness gains starts to plateau. Maybe use time taken around a regular training loop as a guide to your improvements, but don't get too hung up on numbers for now.
  • Thanks.

    I am recording my progress using a cycling computer (eg my average speed is gradually increasing). And I am feeling obviously fitter as time goes by.

    So I guess I will just stick with that for now and try the 10% method.

    Cheers.
    Specialized Rockhopper SL Comp
    Specialized Secteur Elite
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