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Blowing out of my Ar**

Hairy BobHairy Bob Posts: 22
Hi all, Im in my mid 30's and 16 stone and have recently got back on the bike after a prolonged injury.

I test myself around a local route (4 - 5 hrs) and have steadily been chipping away at my PB. i am now lapping on a good day an hour faster than 3 months ago and its getting easier to ride harder for longer.

What i have found is that i loose control of my breathing and my heart rate goes through the roof on small but steep climbs. Long steady efforts are no problem, its only when i have to go over what must be my limit for short periods. I dont want to back off and go slower, the aim is for me to enter my first xc this year.

My legs burn, but it is only expected from the effort of riding hard. I feel my heart and lungs are letting me down and they seem to give up the ghost before i can really start to test my legs.

Any advice, tips or training ideas to get me into shape?


  • ollie51ollie51 Posts: 517
    What do you currently do on a weekly basis and how long have you been doing it for?

    Also how long were you injured for? I presume it was three months ago. If so your heart and lungs will take longer to respond to the positive effects of exercise than your.muscles. Keep at it.

    Is it just hills you struggle with? If so try hill reps, smilair to the one you struggle with and just ride up and down it many times.

    So start with 10 reps then keep uping the reps every 4 weeks or so, this will make your body more efficient when climbing and it'll hurt less and remember when training no pain, no gain.

    When racing most work at threshold for the climb and accelerate at the top as that's where you gain ground unless there's a downhill straight after they'll use gravity to recover and put in the effort on the climb.

    Sorry about all the questions it'll help me give you a better answer.
  • My normal week will include a 25 - 30 mile on both saturday and sunday, occassionally i will do something during the week, either a shorter quiker ride, a run or a home made circuit session. When it gets lighter on a night i will be out 4 or 5 times a week.

    I was out of action for about 2 years with a messed up lower back injury, i kept going out on the bike before it was 100% and wasting 6 months of physio and rehab. ( did this twice ). So in reality apart from a few sedentary rides i havent done much in the last 24 months apart from put on 4 stone :(

    Its not just hills i struggle, it is the short but steep climbs specifically and the times when you need to give it a short burst of intense effort. I seem to loose control of my breathing in a matter of seconds and my heart rate shoots up. I have no problem sitting on the "granny gear" and twiddling up them, its when im mid block and attacking the climbs, trying to power up them.

    Hope this goes someway to helping you have a better idea where i am, or arent. Thanks for your time and patience.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Just keep riding. Fitness will take some time to build up, but if you keep at it fairly regularly, you will start noticing an improvement very quickly.
    Don't be afraid to take breaks if you're fu**ed, nobody's going to judge you.
    And just ride to have fun, not as a challenge. If you're enjoying yourself, you'll find yourself riding much more than if you're trying to reach certain goals, because well, you're doing it for fun.
  • Definately enjoying it still, even when i push it. I still have a idea of where i was fitness wise before i got laid low. May be im been impatient a bit, knowing what i could do and what i currently can do. I used to do Time trialling when i was young from the age of 12 till about 22, when i got into mtb. so I have always had a fairly strong base fitness for cycling. I think it has been ingrained into me to try and beat myself around a course :lol:
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Well in that case you should find that your fitness will return much faster than it would for someone who's never been a cyclist.
  • ollie51ollie51 Posts: 517
    Yeah I'd do intervals 30 seconds on 30 seconds off, 10 lots of those that'll help and the hill reps would also be useful.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Sod the intervals, just ride for fun. You'll get back there in no time.
  • ollie51ollie51 Posts: 517
    Sod the intervals, just ride for fun. You'll get back there in no time.

    If you do the intervals, the riding will become easier and therefore more fun, as I said no pain no gain.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    How is doing intervals fun? :?
  • @ Ollie. Thanks for the suggestion, there is a ideal trail for me to practice this on and i will post how i get on in couple of weeks all being well.

    @Yeehaamcgee. All riding is fun, even the hard stuff, i have a goal in mind so sometimes u need to ride that bit harder.

    There is no way i will be able to compete in xc events without identifying the weak areas and putting them right. i have already seen some improvement and this has increased the enjoyment as i can ride harder for longer without as much fatigue.

    Thankyou both for your input :D
  • ollie51ollie51 Posts: 517
    How is doing intervals fun? :?

    I didn't suggest that, I merely pointed out that the interval training will make his recreational riding more fun.

    But your right they're not fun.
  • springtide9springtide9 Posts: 1,731
    ollie51 wrote:
    Sod the intervals, just ride for fun. You'll get back there in no time.

    If you do the intervals, the riding will become easier and therefore more fun, as I said no pain no gain.

    Intervals might not be fun in themselves, but they are great for building strength. Once you increase your strength, you'll increase your speed (and endurance)

    Most people think of intervals for strength... but my understanding in why you also increase endurance, is that you reduce your % of max. for the same speed. i.e. if you are riding at 80% of your max - the same effort becomes 75% (or even 70% etc of your max) - so feels easier and you'll end up with a lower HR.

    Been doing interval training on the very boring indoor bike... might not be fun... but has helped me a lot. What is fun is being able to tackle hills without feeling like I'm going to die when I get to the top, and a relatively quick recovery - so that you can actually enjoy the downhills and have the energy to throw the bike around to make the most of it.

    Not saying you should join a gym... I only use it for convenience as I can get a few lunchtime training sessions in during the week - and not upset family life.
    But being fitter, regardless on how you achieve it, really does increase my enjoyment of riding on the real thing.

    Sounds like you are very on track for the summer. Keep it up.. it's a hard time of year and I also cannot wait until we get our evenings back from the 'dark'.
  • ollie51 wrote:
    How is doing intervals fun? :?

    I didn't suggest that, I merely pointed out that the interval training will make his recreational riding more fun.

    But your right they're not fun.

    their the most fun things you can do... :D

    at first yes they horrible, but very quickly your fitness will go up.

    interval training is one of the best ways to increase your "lactic threshold" ie the burning feeling which turns legs to jelly.

    simple sets ie during a ride/run useally 10 mins or so into session so your warmed up do this.

    Pick a target marker ie lampost or any marker you can see in front of you that is about 20 odd secs SPRINT as hard as you can to it....

    Once you there recover then return to your orginal speed then repeat about 4-6 times..

    then finish off normally, very simple to do and the increase in fitness is very high.

    So in the end they become fun as you know you getting fitter every time you doing them :P
    London2Brighton Challange 100k!
  • Hairy BobHairy Bob Posts: 22
    Hi again guys. Update time. Ive been doing as you all suggested with the hill reps and sprints etc. and ive also taken up running twice a week about 4 - 5 miles (tues and thurs) and swimming once a week on mondays.

    In the space of a month and a half my time has come down to just over three hours (2hrs improvement) and also i dont feel that tired when i finish that i am baggage for the rest of the day. The riding has become more fun due to not feeling so tired and those annoying short steep climbs that were crippling me are now despatched in seconds and forgotten about.

    I did the same route three days on the trott and recorded 3hr 15 min on the first and second days and 3hr 20 min on the third, but i was feeling drained by then. Only thing is i have seemed to plateau a bit. My next aim is to break 3 hrs which shouldnt be too far away.

    Any ideas where i can find more improvement, its like a drug now. i want to go faster and longer and get really arsey at home if i havent been out for more than a couple of days. I think my missus wants the couch potatoe back lol. Really just want some ideas as to what to do next so i dont become stagnant, thanks in advance. :D
  • ollie51ollie51 Posts: 517
    For the hill reps and intervals up the repitions, and keep at it. Just apply the FITT princple in order to get fit. That means you increase at least one of the following (Frequency, intensity, time and type). Frequency and time are you best bets, so longer rides and more sets and repitions etc.
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