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General Advice

fleehouse2fleehouse2 Posts: 82
Hi,

I am just after some general advice on the cycling I am doing, I started riding at the end of April this year.

My original plan was to look at joining a club this year to get to grips with riding in a group and then trying a sportive, but am unable to get the time at weekends currently to do this, so I have fallen into a routine of doing around 50km every other morning. I have to go out before work and get back in time to help get the kids ready for school/nursery.

My new "plan" is to this year just concentrate on doing some consistent riding, use a turbo over the winter and then look at doing some club stuff and hopefully something competitive next year.

As I have to ride early (5:30) I really do not fancy eating before I go out, so go out on an empty stomach and just drink squash during the ride, this has been ok so far other than a couple of times where I have run out of energy (had some sample energy bars which I eat and then limped home). Is this an issue, will it become an issue as I push harder on what is a pretty short distance (when compared to other riders on Strava)?

The only thing I have started doing this week, is to have an SIS recovery shake after my ride, the theory being this then allows me to wait until I get into work to have my breakfast (which helps with the mad rush after I get back and if I believe the packet will do wonders for my recovery), is this a waste of time/money?

Is it worth doing strecting or something on my non-ride days?

My stats if it is relevant are:
Age: 35
Weight: 161lb/73kg
Height: 6'2"
Bike: Specialized Allez Compact

I realise this is a bit of an aimless post, but I do not know anyone who rides so just want a bit of a sanity check.

Cheers

Steve

Posts

  • DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
    Stretch every day but no cold stretching as it does nothing.

    Recovery shake is a replacement for a meal. Ditch the 'branded stuff' recovery shake should be Nesquick chocolate mix with milk and a bit of whey (from myprotien £12/kg) so don't eat breakfast after it. Nesquick as a perfect 4:1 carb:protein ratio...

    'Something competitive' like what? TT, racing? as this will affect your training plan going into next year. Honestly try and go on the turbo at little as possible you need to be base riding out on the road as much as possible and the turbo is dull.

    Basically through the winter you should get as many low intensity miles in as possible (zone 1-3) (get a HR monitor and google heart rate zones) do NOT do hard intervals until January as you'll tire your body out.

    Next spring join a club and get out on some rides and take part in the local club 10 TT to start you off, then look for some races if thats what you want to do. Beware though even in 4th category racing the intensity can be pretty hard going if you're not used to it.
  • fleehouse2fleehouse2 Posts: 82
    Thanks for the reply David, will take the points on board.

    Yeah it was racing I was hoping to look into, is there any competitive racing I could do before jumping into cat 4? Do any of the sportives have a competitive element to them at the front or are they all just potter round with the family? TTs don't really interest me, maybe this is just ignorance, so may try one out as you say.

    Steve
  • DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
    edited July 2012
    fleehouse2 wrote:
    Thanks for the reply David, will take the points on board.

    Yeah it was racing I was hoping to look into, is there any competitive racing I could do before jumping into cat 4? Do any of the sportives have a competitive element to them at the front or are they all just potter round with the family? TTs don't really interest me, maybe this is just ignorance, so may try one out as you say.

    Steve

    Hi again,

    TT's are good fun (immense pain but good fun) so I'd have a go!

    I think you can do some Go Race events which are not cat 4 and designed to get you into racing before jumping into cat 4. My advice is to do these and go for club runs to get used to riding in groups before riding any Cat 4 as you really need to be confident with riders 2 inches either side of you going at speed.

    EDIT: Looks like go race is under 16's only...I was pretty sure there was an adult version...someone else may be able to point you into the direction or you could give British Cycling a call.

    Sportives are not supposed to be competitive and are nothing like road races...people try and get the best times but its more like a time trial than a race. Most people in a sportive are just in it for the distance. That said I'd still ride some as they are good fun to get you started. Consider that a 2/3/4 road race is probably about 55 miles and an average of 25MPH+ (depending on course, the last flat one I was in was 26.5MPH) and a sportive is around 100 miles (for epic) and you'll be lucky to churn out 18.5MPH if you're fit as most of the time you'll be riding on your own.
  • DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
    Don't be put off by the average speed in races btw. You'll never hit 25MPH average in training. Most of my training is done around 19MPH average (but if you're training correctly you never look at average or distance ;))
  • ShutUpLegsShutUpLegs Posts: 3,522
    fleehouse2 wrote:
    My new "plan" is to this year just concentrate on doing some consistent riding, use a turbo over the winter and then look at doing some club stuff and hopefully something competitive next year.


    Always good to have a goal, have you ever done any other sports competitively :?:
  • fleehouse2fleehouse2 Posts: 82
    DavidJB wrote:
    Don't be put off by the average speed in races btw. You'll never hit 25MPH average in training. Most of my training is done around 19MPH average (but if you're training correctly you never look at average or distance ;))

    Thanks for that (and all the other info), as yeah I get nowhere nears those speeds, I average around 29/30kph, although without knowing what roads I ride I guess it is pretty pointless me telling you this.

    Steve
  • fleehouse2fleehouse2 Posts: 82
    ShutUpLegs wrote:
    Always good to have a goal, have you ever done any other sports competitively :?:

    Not since school, naturally I am quite a shy person, but really hope cycling is something I can use to meet some like minded people and compete at some level with.
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,038
    Good luck.. ok .. I commend doing things that will get you quicker or stronger on the bike..
    so prioritize training.
    Will a powder get you faster...? only some and they is banned.. save the dosh for good riding kit...
    Getting into racing, if you can find an ally, then it will be an easier transition from standard road riding.. hence the club route.
    Example, last night, new rider with an experienced mate coached him throughout the race almost.. I know I was there.. at the back :wink: he was though, from a good but friendly roads club, we are like that up here.
    He managed a fast crit style road race in good order, but admitted was blowing hard at certain sections.

    Some clubs organise 'turbo nights' during the winter by the way.
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