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fitness...non-existant

AzharAzhar Posts: 247
My place of work has been relocated and means I now travel 16 miles by car rather than 1 mile. With the petrol prices at they are and the size of my belly as it currently is, which is big, i have decided to invest in a road bike and hopefully jst use it for now to exercise on and then eventually commute on later on in the year. I went for a bike ride earlier on and managed to only do 4 miles. last mile and a half was up hill but it was nothing that should have worried me but half way thought that gentle hill i had to stop. i could no longer put the power in to my legs to go forwards.

i have done 18 miles before in the past, but that was many years ago and one has forgotten how i built up my fitness. should i just carry on cycling the route i'll eventually be taking to work and jst keep doing an extra mile everyday to push myself and come back home again? is there anything specific i should do to ensure i can get up the steepest hill? or is it all just about getting the miles in and just keep on cycling until i build up my fitness.

even now, i feel like my metabolism is working overtime which feels great and as i run up the stairs my legs feel so much lighter. any advice would realyl really help me achieve my goal of commuting the 16 miles to work.

Posts

  • slowsiderslowsider Posts: 197
    Little and often to start with. Get out 2 or 3 times a week. I built from 5km to 130 km that way. What worked for me was a 'loop' route, which I gradually extended, with bail-out alternatives as it got longer. Out-and-back routes usually means heading home tired into a headwind, IME. ;)

    Good luck with it. I've lost a stone and a half so far.
  • AzharAzhar Posts: 247
    slowsider wrote:
    Little and often to start with. Get out 2 or 3 times a week. I built from 5km to 130 km that way. What worked for me was a 'loop' route, which I gradually extended, with bail-out alternatives as it got longer. Out-and-back routes usually means heading home tired into a headwind, IME. ;)

    Good luck with it. I've lost a stone and a half so far.

    130km? that is brilliant. well i hope to do that one day and i'll have no problem getting to work and back. well i did 4 miles/6.4km today and tomorrow i'll try and add another mile on at least. just wish i was already fit!
  • tallmansixtallmansix Posts: 57
    edited May 2012
    Likewise I was a fit cyclist before about 21 years old and then the car took over and I didn't get back into cycling until a couple of years ago at age 35. To begin with just 2 miles wrecked me for a couple of days. I persisted as I walked my dog by bike, a Collie needs miles and miles but gradually over 6 months I built up to 50 miles on one day. I do about 15 a day on average now with my commute and dog walk and I feel great.

    In was compelled to cycle daily to both commute and walk my dog, but basically that is all that you need, practice and you will be fitter on every ride.
    FCN=10 Carrera Subway II with touring kit = rack, 2x Panniers and a bottle.
    No car, just a bike for everything 100+ miles / week. Commute daily Chorlton-Manchester or Chorlton-Horwich
  • AzharAzhar Posts: 247
    tallmansix wrote:
    Likewise is was a fit cyclist before about 21 years old and then the car took over and I didn't get back into cycling until a couple of years ago at age 35. To begin with just 2 miles wrecked me for a couple of days. I persisted as I walked my dog by bike, a Collie needs miles and miles but gradually over 6 months I built up to 50 miles on one day. I do about 15 a day on average now with my commute and dog walk and I feel great.

    In was compelled to cycle daily to both commute and walk my dog, but basically that is all that you need, practice and you will be fitter on every ride.

    oh man thank you so much. just the push i neeeded and definitely will be working harder to reach my goal,. to build up from 2 miles to 50 miles within 6 months is amazing. was it literally just riding everyday, with some rest days off course, that helped you build up to where you are now???????
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 49,387
    Build up steadily like has been said, but push yourself as much as you feel you can and rest when you need to. I reckon one thing you might want to do is do a practice of the full 16 miles once you reckon you can do the distance, but not on a work day so you can take your time or turn back if you have to.

    Also, if hills are giving you problems, make sure you have suitable gearing on the bike you're going to buy (say 50/34 chainrings and a cassette with a decent sized largest cog - maybe 27T or 28T).
    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    Stevo 666 wrote:
    Build up steadily like has been said, but push yourself as much as you feel you can and rest when you need to. I reckon one thing you might want to do is do a practice of the full 16 miles once you reckon you can do the distance, but not on a work day so you can take your time or turn back if you have to.
    I'd agree with this, make sure you CAN do the ride to work, before relying on having to to get to work.
    However, once you're commuting, allow yourself about twice as much time to get there, and take it easy. No need to get to work in a wreck, and it allows you time to wind down and have a quick wash, or shower or something.
  • BigLee1BigLee1 Posts: 449
    If you can throw the bike in or on the car and drive part way to work then cycle the rest. I`ve been doing that for a few years as a 19 mile commute at 5am on mornings or the same back at 10.30 pm on afternoon shift is a bit much lol!! I`ve got a few different routes from where I park the car depending on weather and if I`m feeling fit :lol:

    Good luck on getting out and try and find a hill that you can`t ride up now and keep going back to it after a month or so and see how you do, I did that when I started and last weekend rode up Newlands pass in the lake district on a local charity ride :D
  • blablablacksheepblablablacksheep Posts: 1,377
    like others said start with small goals and build up slowly.

    Bike fitness is the same with all sports it takes time for the body to ajust and build the muscles you use for that sport.

    But fear not within a month or so of riding you will notice big improvements.

    A nice little goal is to take the train or get a lift with bike somewhere like 100 miles away then commit to cycling all the way home, seems like a huge distance but do it over the course of a whole day and you will be impressed by how far you can go.

    gl
    London2Brighton Challange 100k!
    http://www.justgiving.com/broxbourne-runners
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    100 miles?
    Seriously?
  • AzharAzhar Posts: 247
    like others said start with small goals and build up slowly.

    Bike fitness is the same with all sports it takes time for the body to ajust and build the muscles you use for that sport.

    But fear not within a month or so of riding you will notice big improvements.

    A nice little goal is to take the train or get a lift with bike somewhere like 100 miles away then commit to cycling all the way home, seems like a huge distance but do it over the course of a whole day and you will be impressed by how far you can go.

    gl

    woah woah. 100 miles? lol. well maybe once i can commute to work and back without any problems that i might start looking to do something like that distance. but for now. 10 miles is my target lol :)
  • slowsiderslowsider Posts: 197
    100 miles?
    Seriously?

    That's my next target, when the shoulder heals :roll:

    But some folks go a good bit further - google 'Audax UK'
    The 'classic' distances for AUK events are 200km, 300km, 400km and 600km. (200km is approximately 125 miles - kilometres are used because of AUK's close links with other similar organisations throughout the world, and particularly in France.) Most AUK events are either 200km or 100km.
    However AUK aims to have something for everybody and events start from 50km (about 32 miles) and go all the way up to 1400km (about 875 miles), and even this is not the limit because there are set routes, known as 'Permanents', which span the length and breadth of the country and go up to 3200km
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    I'm quite aware that a lot of people ride 100+ miles, Sherlock.
    But suggesting it as a target to someone who seems to be just getting into cycling is just pointless.
  • slowsiderslowsider Posts: 197
    I'm quite aware that a lot of people ride 100+ miles, Sherlock.
    But suggesting it as a target to someone who seems to be just getting into cycling is just pointless.

    Being as you seemed to miss the bit of the post that suggests starting with small goals and building up slowly, I figured you needed spoon feeding. Small goals lead to bigger goals. But you go ahead and knock him back.
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    slowsider wrote:
    I'm quite aware that a lot of people ride 100+ miles, Sherlock.
    But suggesting it as a target to someone who seems to be just getting into cycling is just pointless.

    Being as you seemed to miss the bit of the post that suggests starting with small goals and building up slowly, I figured you needed spoon feeding. Small goals lead to bigger goals. But you go ahead and knock him back.
    :lol:
    You are just priceless aren't you?
  • slowsiderslowsider Posts: 197
    slowsider wrote:
    I'm quite aware that a lot of people ride 100+ miles, Sherlock.
    But suggesting it as a target to someone who seems to be just getting into cycling is just pointless.

    Being as you seemed to miss the bit of the post that suggests starting with small goals and building up slowly, I figured you needed spoon feeding. Small goals lead to bigger goals. But you go ahead and knock him back.
    :lol:
    You are just priceless aren't you?

    Go and suck someone else's wheel for a while :roll:
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    Azhar wrote:
    I went for a bike ride earlier on and managed to only do 4 miles. last mile and a half was up hill but it was nothing that should have worried me but half way thought that gentle hill i had to stop. i could no longer put the power in to my legs to go forwards.
    Yeah, he has to start somewhere, but a 100 mile ride is just insane target at this point. If you don't agree, then I'll politely suggest you get your bloody head checked.
  • Stu CoopsStu Coops Posts: 426
    Azhar wrote:
    I went for a bike ride earlier on and managed to only do 4 miles. last mile and a half was up hill but it was nothing that should have worried me but half way thought that gentle hill i had to stop. i could no longer put the power in to my legs to go forwards.
    Yeah, he has to start somewhere, but a 100 mile ride is just insane target at this point. If you don't agree, then I'll politely suggest you get your bloody head checked.

    Agree there's always a censored that completely misses the point, just give him a banana and send him back to his cage :lol:
    Zesty 514 Scott Scale 20 GT Expert HalfwayupMTB
  • RushmoreRushmore Posts: 674
    Just keep doing what your doing dude...

    The most important thing is you enjoy it... The fitness will come without you even noticing it!!

    Keep up the good work buddy!
    Always remember.... Wherever you go, there you are.

    Ghost AMR 7500 2012
    De Rosa R838
  • ukmkhukmkh Posts: 21
    Rushmore wrote:
    Just keep doing what your doing dude...

    The most important thing is you enjoy it... The fitness will come without you even noticing it!!

    Keep up the good work buddy!

    Agree. I bought a bike 3 years ago and it collected dust for 2 years. Finally picked up the courage and dropped all the bullshit excuses I was making to myself as to why I could not do it. For me the first journey was 7 miles on A roads. Anyhoo it killed me. But I persevered. Ended up cycling 850 miles last year. Strangely, I feel better when I cycle in. I am more alert, etc.

    This year cycled in winter in ridiculous temperatures, but I loved it even though the cold air hurt. At the moment, am just starting to wind up my training efforts for a LEJOG journey later in the year.Yes, even I cannot believe it. So I am trying to find longer routes. In fact, as of tomorrow I have chosen a route that will now make my journey to work 16 miles with 600 ft of elevation. Am I scared - yes. But it's fun and challenging. It's what makes my life a bit more enriching considering work is boring.

    Just go at yor own pace. Once you are comfortable - you will start racing yourself - to bring your times down. My aim this year - cycle at least 4000 miles. Set small but achievable targets for urself and commit it to paper. Put them in a visible public place - e.g on ur fridge at home. When you achieve it - tick it off - its a wierd piece of mental psychology but it works and makes you automatically want to attempt the next one - this works for me.

    Good luck.
  • tallmansixtallmansix Posts: 57
    How are you getting on Azhar?

    I was just thinking that a route tracking mobile app or cheap bike computer is a useful way of seeing your smaller improvements over time. Ignore all the calorie burning stats on them apps / computers, very subjective. Useful though to get an average speed over regular routes, I use that to gauge my performance.
    FCN=10 Carrera Subway II with touring kit = rack, 2x Panniers and a bottle.
    No car, just a bike for everything 100+ miles / week. Commute daily Chorlton-Manchester or Chorlton-Horwich
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