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Where do I start !!! Very overweight, unfit older man

wytco0wytco0 Posts: 79
OK I have bought the bike and its nearly built, I wont be able to put of starting to ride it for much longer.

I bought the bike as part of my attempt to get fit, currently I am very overweight and unfit but I want to change that. I am also not young (53)

I think I know what I need to do as far a diet is concerned but I am much less sure how to start riding my bike for fitness.

I have found lots of plans etc online but they mostly seem to be aimed a people who are already fit and certainly not as overweight as me.

So I am proposing to just get on my bike and ride for 30 minutes then turn round and ride home. I will continue to do this until I feel fitter or come up with another plan. I am hoping that after a few weeks I will be cycling further in the 30 minutes and so the amount of work I will do will increase.

Does this sound sensible or should I be looking at something else. is 30 mins out and 30 mins back to short a ride to start with? how should I plan on increasing my bike time?

I am planning on riding throughout the winter so long as the weather isn't too bad.

Any thoughts, advice or encouragement much appreciated.
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  • mattshropsmattshrops Posts: 1,158
    Yep just get out and get riding. Take your time to start with and dont worry about training plans or anything if you're not very fit. 53 is not very old- you could easily be going well by the summer. good luck.
    Death or Glory- Just another Story
  • big_pbig_p Posts: 565
    your over analyzing it, think of a 5 mile route in your head, then go and do it, see how you feel after that, the most important thing to remember to do, is enjoy your self, look up from the road at the world around you, feel the fresh air in your lungs, before you know it you'll be smashing a 50 miler out of the park.

    I've been off the bike for a few years up until about 12 months ago, when i mounted up again, i was doing 15 mile rides with a 10mph average and i was shagged when i got home.

    however this is today's effort. http://connect.garmin.com/activity/225490756
  • I'm 45 years old and around 22st. I've managed to get a charity guaranteed place on the London 100 ride in Aug 2013. I'm using this as the incentive to train through the winter. I'm riding a heavy mountain bike for now but have promised myself a new bike in the new year if I progress as planned and lose a couple of stone.

    Today I rode 21 miles in 1hr 45. That's my starting point against which I'll measure progress.

    I've loaded the Strava app onto my phone so that I can track progress.

    Why not find an organised ride some time next year and train with the aim of completing it. Personally, I'm excited by the challenge I face and know I will do it and my life this time next year will be very different.

    Good luck. :D
  • ShutUpLegsShutUpLegs Posts: 3,522
    I'm 45 years old and around 22st.

    Rugby build :?:
  • ShutUpLegs wrote:
    I'm 45 years old and around 22st.

    Rugby build :?:

    Front row build :wink:
  • BeaconRuthBeaconRuth Posts: 2,086
    Wytco0 - firstly you're far from 'elderly'. I helped at a 10-mile time trial last weekend and and there were several over-70s taking part and they all finished in under 30 minutes, including a 78-year old. You start getting concessions for age (in the minds of other cyclists) when you get to about 75, I reckon - so a few years to go for you yet.

    Secondly, it doesn't really matter what you do, but you MUST make sure you do it regularly (I suggest 3 times a week) and you must STICK AT IT. Your idea of 30mins out and then turn for home isn't a bad one, but, depending on just how unfit and overweight you are, it might be quite challenging at first. However, you need to gradually build things up, so don't stick at 30mins for the next 6 months. Once you're comfortable with 30mins, sometimes do just the 30mins but harder, and other times go for longer.

    Thirdly, the sooner you can find some company to enjoy your cycling with, the better. Start looking now for a local group - see if there's a local branch of the CTC nearby - or maybe a club with an easy slow group. Find out how far they go and how fast and keep at it until you can go and join in with them. Keeping fit through cycling is much much easier when you have friends to enjoy it with.

    Best of luck!

    Ruth
  • Hi All thanks for the advice and encouragement. I think the general message is get out and do some riding, so that is what I am going to do.

    Time to come clean I am 162cm and 105kg or 16st 7lb and 5ft 3 and a half !! In simple terms that is very very fat, to complete the picture I am pretty bald as well :)

    But I do walk a bit and I am pretty sure i can still ride a bike for an hour although I haven't been out on my old bike for a while.

    I am based in Norfolk near Norwich but I have not had much luck in finding a group that I could join mainly because they all seem to so rides which are far to long for me to commit to at this stage, I really do not think I could ride 50 odd miles at the moment. It would be great to find a group that does shorter rides for newcomers especially unfit ones. So for the time being I will be out on my own.
  • cyco2cyco2 Posts: 593
    I'm 45 years old and around 22st. I've managed to get a charity guaranteed place on the London 100 ride in Aug 2013. I'm using this as the incentive to train through the winter. I'm riding a heavy mountain bike for now but have promised myself a new bike in the new year if I progress as planned and lose a couple of stone.
    Good luck. :D

    I would suggest fitting a slick or centre ridge type tyre on the bike you have now to help you get along. Also, eating the right food will help you far more than exercise.
    ...................................................................................................

    If you want to be a strong rider you have to do strong things.
    However if you train like a cart horse you'll race like one.
  • I took the liberty of changing the thread title replacing Elderly with Older !
  • A close friend of mine who is a very experienced cyclist, challenged me to be able to ride from my house to his mothers by next summer, its only about 50 kms but for me that is a long way.

    So today I have been out in the car and worked out a route, there are also several options to keep me interested as I work up to doing the whole trip in one go. Living in Norfolk its mostly flat and on quiet lanes but its goes near to some small hills (Ringland Hills) that I can detour to, when/if I am ever capable of steeper hills.

    So now I know which direction I will go on my rides, I am still going to do the 30 mins out then return until it becomes easy and I will gradually extend the time. I will also try and do a longer ride (60 mins out then return) once a week.

    So now I have a 2 targets, get there in one ride and then one day also be able to ride back as well.
  • Fwiw, consider riding a loop rather than out and back - easier to bail out if you have a bad day; but if you DO do out and back, make sure the wind helps you home :)
  • slowsider wrote:
    Fwiw, consider riding a loop rather than out and back - easier to bail out if you have a bad day; but if you DO do out and back, make sure the wind helps you home :)

    Thanks for the tip. I remember once riding along the south coast thinking how easy it was and then turning for home and find out that I had been helped by the wind and now I had to ride back into it. Took me twice as long to get home and I was completely knackered.
  • davidofdavidof Posts: 2,382
    I would suggest you start with a checkup with your GP - preferably a check on your heart. You really want to try losing weight through better diet rather than just relying on your bike / exercise to loose weight.

    An hour to start is quite a bit. Maybe start with a 30 or even 20 minute ride. Get a heart rate monitor and keep your heart rate down and spin to start off.
  • dw300dw300 Posts: 1,642
    Do you have the bike yet? If so have you ridden it yet?
    All the above is just advice .. you can do whatever the f*ck you wana do!
    Bike Radar Strava Club
    The Northern Ireland Thread
  • dw300 wrote:
    Do you have the bike yet? If so have you ridden it yet?

    Yes, Cannondale Synapse 105 Carbon, nearly ready to ride, just got bar tape and final checks to do before taking it out for a test ride.
  • davidof wrote:
    I would suggest you start with a checkup with your GP - preferably a check on your heart. You really want to try losing weight through better diet rather than just relying on your bike / exercise to loose weight.

    An hour to start is quite a bit. Maybe start with a 30 or even 20 minute ride. Get a heart rate monitor and keep your heart rate down and spin to start off.

    I am seeing my Doc soon and I will ask him about it however I have been riding for a while on my old hybrid. I won't overdo it and I will stop if I have any problems or feel bad.

    I am not relying on bike to lose weight, in fact I don't think that will have much to do with weight loss. I have a separate weight loss project about to start as well, if you interested plan is a mixture of Paul Mccenna advice (only eat when your hungry and stop eating as soon as your not hungry) coupled with the 5:2 fasting that Michael Mosley recently described on BBC Horizon.
  • "Elderly... fat... bald... short"

    First off, you're not elderly - that's all in your head. You're 53 and middle aged and once you lose the weight and get fit, you'll feel rejuvenated and full of beans once again. I'm only five years younger than you and I won my cycling club's 10 mile time trial competition for this year. I also completed the Etape du Tour over the Pyrenees and I've got more energy than an average 21 year old. There's absolutely nothing special about me: no great genetics, no armies of professional coaches behind me, no nothing. I just eat a good diet, don't drink too much, don't smoke, and I train hard. It wasn't always that way, so I'm living proof that it's never too late to begin.

    My advice would be to get those negative thoughts and that poor self image out of your head. You're not old, so that's one down straight away. You're certainly fat, but it's within your power to change that and you've committed to do so - well done, that's already half the battle won! As for being a short arsed baldie, well... just try to be the fittest healthiest short arsed baldie in town... or wear high heels and a wig :wink:

    I don't think you need much more advice on riding your bike, and other commenters have been right on the money. The most important thing is to ride regularly, and keep pushing yourself to go a little further and a little faster as you improve.

    Without meaning to be presumptuous, it seems to me that the bigger issue is losing weight and changing your lifestyle. The bike can be part of that but on its own it isn't a magic bullet, as I'm sure you know. In terms of diet, you might want to consider reducing the amount of white carbs (rice, pasta, bread etc), increasing the protein content (lean meat, chicken, grilled fish etc), and filling up with unlimited amounts of green leafy veg (spinach, broccoli etc). Eat your '5 a day', but make it 3/4 veg and 1/2 fruits (apples and berries are good). And of course reduce or cut out the sugary carbs and the alcohol and the soft drinks and the lattes and the fruit juices - it's amazing how many calories you can drink without realising it. If you're already doing the above or something like it, apologies for banging on with unwanted advice.

    If you haven't already done so, join a gym and do some resistance training. This will build muscle, improve your posture, add strength, and help you lose fat. If you can afford a couple of personal training sessions a week (cost £25 to £50 a session depending on who you use and where you live), then go for it - the results will be worth the money. Think of it as an investment in your health and your life expectancy, not as a vanity project.

    If you're fully committed, I reckon you can achieve your weight loss and fitness goals in one year, and you'll notice a significant improvement within the first couple of months. Don't get disheartened, just take one small step at a time, and don't get blown off course by fad diets, setbacks, or impatience. Enjoy riding your bike and good luck!
    Superstition begins with pinning race number 13 upside down and it ends with the brutal slaughter of Mamils at the cake stop.
  • Southgate wrote:
    "Elderly... fat... bald... short

    "

    Southgate, very perceptive and correct on many counts.

    Thanks for your help and advice you have made me think about some things that I had not considered.
  • siamonsiamon Posts: 274
    Depending on how unfit you are, the most beneficial training you can probably do initially, is to take it nice and easy, avoid hills and don't go out and vomit up your lungs on the first ride. I think personal trainers, physios etc call it building a base. Once you have a few weeks of allowing your body to get used to the movement and extra strains etc, then you can make a detailed training schedule (with different types of workouts to illicit different efforts) if that is how you like to do things or you can take the JFT approach.
  • davidofdavidof Posts: 2,382
    wytco0 wrote:
    coupled with the 5:2 fasting that Michael Mosley recently described on BBC Horizon.

    I think I'll put my wife on the 5:2 diet. Michael Mosley said he got irritable when he got hungry on the 2 days he fasted, that would be a big improvement over the 7 irritable days a week. :lol:
  • I started cycling to lose weight 2 years ago, started doing regular 10 miles, 1st took 1 hour, that was a Mountain bike, got a road bike which made it 47 minutes.

    I can now do 10 in 33 mins(not all the time, depends on traffic and wind)

    The more you ride the stronger you get.

    I personally am not all into fad diets and silly diets, I just use the calorie method which is what all diets are based on.

    If you eat as you are now and cycle, you will lose weight(assuming you are not putting on weight weekly)

    I would watch what you eat and cycle, eat loads of chicken, rice, salads, you can still eat well and lose weight.
    Since I started 2 years ago, and had approx 6 months break, I have lost 2 stone 2 pounds. And still losing.

    Eat well and excercise, you will lose weight.
  • bahzobbahzob Posts: 2,195
    Dont let your age be a barrier.

    I am 53 as well, over the last 3 months I have lost 9kg, am fitter than I have ever been in my life and more fit than most cyclists regardless of age.

    Regards advice. Way back when I started seriously trying to get fit and lose weight the single biggest thing I did was invest in a really good indoor trainer and put it upstairs near the bedroom. That way there was no way I could have any excuse for not training and every minute spent exercising was spent exercising (as opposed to getting kitted out, cleaning the bike, fixing punctures, sitting at traffic lights, waiting for the rain to stop etc etc). I've got loads of bells and whistles now including a power meter which is remorseless in telling you what you are really doing in terms of work as opposed to what you think you are. Its remarkable if you just go for a ride outdoors how little exercise you actually end up doing.


    I bought some easy to watch dvd series (24 is perfect) and just watched them while pedalling away. That plus counting calories meant the weight came off. Eventually I got fit enough to not look a total censored in lycra and go out for real without worrying about having to get off and push up every hill.
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • I'm 45 years old and around 22st. I've managed to get a charity guaranteed place on the London 100 ride in Aug 2013. I'm using this as the incentive to train through the winter. I'm riding a heavy mountain bike for now but have promised myself a new bike in the new year if I progress as planned and lose a couple of stone.

    How did you manage to get a guaranteed place?
  • Hi there

    The only thing that comes to mind when reading your plan (and I think a few others have mentioned it), is you need to start very modestly. Don't get hung up on 30 mins out, 30 mins back - it's just a number. For one thing, for someone who's been out of the biking habit, in the first days and weeks you'll probably have more pressing issues to contend with, such as 'acclimatising' to your saddle ;) The big mistake would be to set the bar too high and then let yourself get discouraged or disillusioned by the inevitable aches and pains at the start. If your experience is anything like mine then when you first start you will be shocked at how unfit you are and how hard you have to work (and I was "only" 84kg when I started cycling again last year) , but believe me after just two or three weeks, if you can ride a bit each day, you will feel a BIG difference, and it will only get better from there. But you do need to give your body a chance to get used to this new form or torture you've devised for it :)

    I agree also on the "loop" thing. I personally find loops *far* more satisfying that "out-and-backs" - there's something so dispiriting about going back the way you've just come, over old ground! So crank up google maps or your local OS Explorer and spend a nice evening looking at all the looping permutations you probably hardly realised were even there (if you're used to driving at least).

    In short, listen to your body, not the numbers, and find ways to vary your routes so that it never falls into drudgery (the curse of the gym). Good luck!
  • 1) Follow a Low GI Diet

    Many good books out there on this

    Chris Carmichael Food for Fitness a good place to start.

    2) Dont look at the scales at first ... look in the mirror to see improvements

    3) Enjoy your bike
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I'm 55 and started with a proper road bike 5 years ago. I don't train as such, just get out on the bike whenever I can. Often I'll just bimble along, sometimes I'll really push myself, depends on how I feel once I get out there. I do have reasonable lights and mudguards, so I'm able to keep cycling all year round which I think helps.

    Decent clothing is also an important factor. I have some DHB winter bibtights, woolie boolie socks and some cheapo Planet X overshoes which make winter riding almost pleasant.

    I try to get in 2 midweek evening rides and a longer weekend one as a minimum. Last Saturday I did my longest ride to date which was just over 60 miles. (wished I'd added an extra couple cos that would've made it a metric century. grr!)

    + 1 to the recommendation to head out into the wind so you'll have a tailwind to help you home. I went out in the gale on Monday night; gruelling headwind for 40 minutes, then a 30 mph blast back home in 15 minutes :D

    Similarly if you're planning a circular route, try to do the hillier bits early on. (I did the opposite on my 60 miler; all the flat stuff first, which gave me a false sense of security and the lumpy bits came as a bit of a surprise!)

    Most of all, just get out there and do it!
  • nmcgannnmcgann Posts: 1,780
    Some good advice in this thread. It's really just a case of keeping at it - ride, lose a bit of weight, you find you are able to ride further and faster - lose a bit more weight - and so on, round and round.

    Getting a turbo trainer so you can ride indoors when the weather is rough or time is limited is good advice too. Turbos are dull, but anything that helps with consistency is worthwhile.
    --
    "Because the cycling is pain. The cycling is soul crushing pain."
  • wytco0wytco0 Posts: 79
    nmcgann wrote:
    Some good advice in this thread. It's really just a case of keeping at it - ride, lose a bit of weight, you find you are able to ride further and faster - lose a bit more weight - and so on, round and round.

    Thanks everyone for your advice and support its much appreciated. I am now very nearly ready to start on my road to cycle fitness, only got the bar tape to do. I have been a bit dealyed as I decided to service my old hybrid for riding when its wet and that resulted in a few diversions for new bits etc. Current plan is for first ride on Cannondale next weekend.
    nmcgann wrote:
    Getting a turbo trainer so you can ride indoors when the weather is rough or time is limited is good advice too. Turbos are dull, but anything that helps with consistency is worthwhile.

    Odd you should say that becasue I have been thinking of getting one, but like most thinkgs bike I dont really know what to go for. So having read lots of reviews I am going to order this one because it looks OK, cost is OK and from the reviews it seesm pretty decent, I am assuming that I cant go far wrong with it. http://www.wiggle.co.uk/tacx-satori-high-power-cycle-trainer/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=base&utm_campaign=uk&utm_content=Tacx-Tacx_Satori_High_Power_Cycle_Trainer-Blue%2fGrey
  • I just got that one and man do you sweat, which is a good thing, body burns fat when creating sweat.
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