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Training advice.....

cconw01cconw01 Posts: 7
edited September 2010 in Training, fitness and health

I have been cycling for years, on a mountain bike, and then I got a Road Bike - and will never go back,

I have really got the bug now and am thinking of using it beyond commuting, which was it's primary purpose initially. I used to grind all the time, thinking it would make my logs stronger, and thus more powerful, but I am reading and been advised that spinning on a high cadence is the way forward. I would like to enter some sportives and some longer rides, more challenging rides next year.

On my road bike last year I cycled London to Oxford, London to Brighton a few times and this year, with a new technique I have done London to Brighton and regular routes around Richmond Park, which is 10 miles from my home and then three laps of the park, with a break of about 5 mins between each break - I find Sawyers Hill a killer, ironically far worse the Dark Hill. So I have some experience in this field.

I would like to know how to set about improving my performance. I go to the gym 5 dys a week and I have told my trainer what I want out of this and I am doing bout 20 minutes of interval training on the spinning bike, 10 minutes of warm up first on the Running machine, on he rowing machine for about 5 minutes, always trying to beat my previous distance, as well as ham string weight lifting and a squat press. I am also building up my core.

My question to this really long post - I'm sorry is this - the work I'm doing in the gym, is this adequate to enable me to grow stronger in terms of endurance and cycling ability? I took the bike out today (I have only been at the Gym for about two weeks) and did Richmond Park, and though I was at some points able to grind away and make it up Dark Hill, I was out of breath and by the time I got to Sawyers Hill, I was struggling, not knowing if I would make it or not. The total ride for me was 42 miles; my home to Richmond, 3 laps of the park and home again.

Am I on the ride "road" to enable me to become better at my ability next year. Does any one out there have any other advice on how I might improve?

Any thoughts would be most welcome Smile



  • Presume it's not a troll.

    If you really want to get better at riding your bike, then drop all the other rubbish and ride your bike instead. Consistently. Hard at times.
  • softladsoftlad Posts: 3,513
    Like Alex says - gym will not give you endurance. At best, it might help a bit with leg strength, but still not as much as riding your bike would.
  • i use my midweek gym sessions for intervals (usually 2x20 mins at 85% MHR).

    before i moved out of London i used to use Richmond park for quite a bit of my training. keep doing laps and you'll soon improve.

    i used to do hill repeats on the hills in the park. ride up, then turn around and ride back down then straight back up again. do this a few times on your weekly ride there and you'll soon fly up both the hills there.

    try timing yourself to do say 3 laps so you can challenge yourself and track progress. over the winter increase the length of your weekend ride there.

    when i was training for a london to paris ride a few years ago i once did a century (100 miles) purely of laps in richmond park one dark wet windy Friday night after all of the cars had gone!
  • I would read around the topic a bit. Perhaps Joe Friel's book, and work out where your strengths are and what goals you'd like to have. Now is a good time as winter is a good time to take stock and prepare the foundation for next year.
    Personally, one of my eureka moments was when I got the turbo trainer and worked hard on pedal stroke efficiency. I'm still not too good but I can appreciate it and I try. Turbo, training DVD, and time. I know some people HATE the DVDs. They're fine for me and keep me motivated.
    Another thing that helped me was being nice to my wife so that she'd let me have a power meter. That has been a very good tool. But HR was be a good approx for me for some years.
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