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Is this good training?

charliew87charliew87 Posts: 371
edited January 2013 in Road general
Got into this road cycling lark a year ago.

Tend to do 1/2 rides a week, something like one 30-50 miler, and a quick 10 miler if time permits. In the summer I went out after work a fair amount.

Have done around 1000 miles, which isn't much in the grand scheme of things, all tracked on Strava
http://app.strava.com/athletes/160080#i ... r_offset=0

Anyway. I've not got a whole lot better in that time, and am still 15st, not lost or gained a pound. I go to the gym probably 2.5 times a week on average, do a bit of cardio and a bit of weights, no real plan. Something like a 5k run and 20 mins of weights, or a Sufferfest vid and 20 mins of weights.

I love getting out on the bike, but want to make sure come next summer, that I've spent my winter wisely and am beating my PBs on Strava that I set this year. I'm planning to go spinning/do a sufferfest vid 3 times a week and get out on my bike whenever I can at the weekend. Is this a sensible thing to do for 3/4 months, or should I spend a bit more time at the start on 'base fitness', whatever that is?

Sorry that's all a bit vague probably. Basically want to make sure I'm making the most out of the time I have available to gym and ride to actually lose a bit of weight and get better!
Canyon AL Ultimate 9.0
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  • JoeblackJoeblack Posts: 829
    edited October 2012
    I can't really comment on your bike training,

    But.... With regards to losing weight I can only assume (as you don't have a plan at the gym) you don't have a plan regarding your food intake.

    IMO your weight will only change if you make a significant step in your diet. When people try and lose weight initially they will do more exercise and hope this will offset their poor eating habits and in some cases it will (to a degree) but it will not have any major impact on your weight.

    The key is to make changes you can stick to, what I would advise is you write down (or if you have a smartphone get myfitnesspal) and record what your eating. You may be surprised at the end of a week. Then you need to follow the basic rules iv set out below -

    1 Cut out alcohol (not completely but stick to a small amount at weekends)
    2 Lower your carb intake and try to cut them out all together after 3pm (this can vary if you have a lot of exercise planed the following day)
    3 Eat 6 small meals a day includ fruit in this however no more than 2 pieces
    4 Up your protein intake esp in the morning and after training.

    Protein shakes can help if your are struggling for convenience but I wouldnt advise more than two a day.

    Above and beyond that eat sensibly, we all know that chips every night is bad for you but everyone is entitled to a treat, however if you do have a meal out or some junk food don't let that be an end of your diet it's ok to cheat 2/3 times a week as long as those meals don't spell an end to that weeks diet. I too often hear of people having a blow out Wednesday and then saying "right I'll start again Monday" recipe for disaster that is.

    I suppose then if you get your diet under control your speed on the bike will improve as well as your general fitness and health.

    I could post my credentials for the above advice but it will look like showing off and further to that what iv said isn't rocket science and should just be common sense however it seems a lot of people fail to see that.

    Hth
    One plays football, tennis or golf, one does not play at cycling
  • smidsysmidsy Posts: 5,273
    If you really want to see improvements riding 1 or 2 days a week is not suffucient. You need to be doing 4 or 5 days a week every week.

    10 miles is basically warming up and unless you are doing full HR efforts (intervals) it is unlikely to add much.
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • SwainsLSwainsL Posts: 33
    High cadence 80-100rpm , steady pace, average distance, throughout the week will work best. Your body is still new to cycling and needs a good base fitness to start improving in specific areas. Riding at a high cadence instead of smashing the pedals at a low cadence will burn fat quickest and is more efficient.
  • SBezzaSBezza Posts: 2,173
    Ride more regulary first and foremost, you will not get that fit on 2 rides a week, and certainly not even burn enough calories for the duration you are riding to help with any weightloss unless you really cut down on intake.

    1000 miles a year is not alot by a long shot. If you are not that fit I would suggest getting some base mileage in, but this does need to be of sufficient duration on each ride to actual benefit you, I would say at least 2 hours really, anything less than this would be better done at a higher intensity.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    Without more info its hard to say if 15st is a good weight for you. I personally have been on a 5:2 diet for the last 3 months. Its a very easy diet and it doesn't muck up your training. I lost 1 stone in the first month and have stabalised now. Basically 5 days a week eat normally. Whatever you want really. 2 days a week max 500 cals any two days you like. It can be a bit grim to start, but you soon get in to it and it makes a big difference on your cycling performance.

    Its also supposed to lower cholesterol and igf-1 (growth hormone).
  • JoeblackJoeblack Posts: 829
    diy wrote:
    Without more info its hard to say if 15st is a good weight for you. I personally have been on a 5:2 diet for the last 3 months. Its a very easy diet and it doesn't muck up your training. I lost 1 stone in the first month and have stabalised now. Basically 5 days a week eat normally. Whatever you want really. 2 days a week max 500 cals any two days you like. It can be a bit grim to start, but you soon get in to it and it makes a big difference on your cycling performance.

    Its also supposed to lower cholesterol and igf-1 (growth hormone).

    500 calories a day, 2 days out of 7????

    Absolutely nuts :roll:
    One plays football, tennis or golf, one does not play at cycling
  • TKFTKF Posts: 279
    smidsy wrote:
    If you really want to see improvements riding 1 or 2 days a week is not suffucient[sic]. You need to be doing 4 or 5 days a week every week.
    From experience this statement is a pile of censored .
  • smidsysmidsy Posts: 5,273
    TKF wrote:
    smidsy wrote:
    If you really want to see improvements riding 1 or 2 days a week is not suffucient[sic]. You need to be doing 4 or 5 days a week every week.
    From experience this statement is a pile of censored .

    So if you ride twice a week you expect to see improvements....really?
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 2,100
    Regarding diet, read http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1907797009/?tag=hydra0b-21&hvadid=9550944909&ref=asc_df_1907797009 which is revelatory and will certainly make you think twice about the diet advised above (500cals for 2 days a week)

    In order to get better at anything, you tend to need to do more of it. The 'improvement curve' will be a parabola though - improvements will come relatively easily to start with and will get smaller and smaller as you get closer to your peak. If you really want to get faster on your bike then you need to ride it more. Plenty of base miles to start with, just to build up your endurance and stamina. Once you have a strong base you can then increase your speed with interval sessions. It all depends on how scientific you want to be about it ultimately. If you want to improve on the bike I would change some of your gym time to bike time and it would really help if you could increase the distance on more than one ride a week. I wouldn't say smidsy's comment was censored , but equally you can improve with less than 5 rides a week....I certainly have.

    I was touching 14 stone when I started cycling, moving from indoor rowing, so I was broader across the shoulders and back than I am now. I have lost over a stone and slimmed down....still a bit to go to get to my ideal weight for cycling, which I reckon is about 12 stone. I cycle as often as I can, because I love it, some weeks only twice, others 4, maybe 5 times. Two cycling trips a year sees 5-7 days cycling big miles and big mountains! The recovery between rides is hard at age 45 when doing the Pyrenees over a week, but your body still adapts.

    I have cut the alcohol down and probably only have a glass or two of wine a week. I have virtually cut out all of the censored from my diet, which helps immeasurably and eat plenty of organic meat, fish, eggs and vegetables. Processed carbs and sugars are your enemy regarding weight loss so cut these too.

    I average 100-150 miles a week on the bike and have done for 2 years. This winter will be my first 'proper' training programme as the gains are getting harder without specific sessions. My 10mile TT time has gone from 25:05 last year to 22:40 this season on the same undulating course and all I have done is ride with no specific training. I am aiming to go sub 22:00 with some specific interval training for next season, which I think is achievable, maybe more. I have only ridden two 25 mile TTs and plan to do more next season, my best being 1:01 on a hilly course, so sub hour is my plan, should do that relatively easily.

    So, if ou really want to get better, slim down, forget about big biceps as they are no use to you and ride more! I used to do gym work but don't now, however I do Iyengar Yoga, which helps with core strength and flexibility and balancing out those differences you have from side to side...

    Good luck with it.

    PP
  • HerbsmanHerbsman Posts: 2,029
    Daft question, but can you not ride to and from work? If you live within 10 miles you should give it a go if possible.

    Also try switching to healthier foods
    CAPTAIN BUCKFAST'S CYCLING TIPS - GUARANTEED TO WORK! 1 OUT OF 10 RACING CYCLISTS AGREE!
  • TKFTKF Posts: 279
    smidsy wrote:
    TKF wrote:
    smidsy wrote:
    If you really want to see improvements riding 1 or 2 days a week is not suffucient[sic]. You need to be doing 4 or 5 days a week every week.
    From experience this statement is a pile of censored .

    So if you ride twice a week you expect to see improvements....really?
    I ride twice a week. I have seen improvements. Really.
  • Herbsman wrote:
    Daft question, but can you not ride to and from work? If you live within 10 miles you should give it a go if possible.

    Also try switching to healthier foods

    I can't really cycle to work. Its around 30 miles, but I work in north central London and live in Surrey. I cycle from home to Clapham a lot at the weekends, 55mins, but it's another 40 mins from there to work through the madness of central London. I've cycled in a couple of times, but it's not fun.

    As I say though, I am gymming 2-3 times a week on average and cycling whenever I can, which is 1-2 times a week.

    I saw the 5:2 diet a couple of months ago, quite tempted to give it a whirl.
    Canyon AL Ultimate 9.0
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    Joeblack wrote:
    diy wrote:
    Without more info its hard to say if 15st is a good weight for you. I personally have been on a 5:2 diet for the last 3 months. Its a very easy diet and it doesn't muck up your training. I lost 1 stone in the first month and have stabalised now. Basically 5 days a week eat normally. Whatever you want really. 2 days a week max 500 cals any two days you like. It can be a bit grim to start, but you soon get in to it and it makes a big difference on your cycling performance.

    Its also supposed to lower cholesterol and igf-1 (growth hormone).

    500 calories a day, 2 days out of 7????

    Absolutely nuts :roll:

    My mistake its 600 cals - For me I don't eat all day and then have a reasonable portion of something for the evening meal. e.g. thick soup, very large salad, even a small curry/chilli. I could typically get to 3pm or 4pm before feeling hungry anyway if I was busy at work.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/94 ... onger.html
  • slowondefy2slowondefy2 Posts: 348
    edited October 2012
    I can only relate my experience, I'm no expert: this year I have lost 21kg (100kg -> 79kg) in 6 months (5'9"). I went from doing no exercise at all, quickly building up to doing 6-9 hours a week and averaging about 7 hours. Rides vary from 15 -70 miles, most rides between 30-40 rides. Every ride I try to come back exhausted, literally feeling as if I can't get up the final hill. General exertion level is always a bit too much to be able to talk unless I'm planning 60-70 miles, when I'm happier to go a bit easier. I always ride alone and whilst it's nice to occasionally chat with a stranger it always screws up the ride because exertion drops through the floor when chatting!

    Food intake - I eat to appetite. If I haven't exercised for a couple of days I find my appetite and cravings increase considerably. If I exercise regularly then appetite remains 'normal'. This seems a bit weird, perhaps something to do with better glycaemic control when exercising regularly? Whilst I try to avoid unnecessary calories and will look at packaging to see what the calorific content is, I don't do any calorie counting.

    I don't intentionally try to eat extra to fuel the exercise, unless I'm going over 60 miles (couple of extra pieces of toast and energy drink instead of calorie free isotonic drink). As well as reducing my food appetite, regular exercise also seems to reduce my appetite for alcohol. I frequently substitute a beer with a Becks blue or some other alcohol free beer - would have been heretical for me to drink alcohol free beer last year! I also tend to avoid heavy nights of drinking simply because I often want to go out on the bike the next day. The first time in my life the prospect of a hangover has regulated my drinking!

    Sorry for being boring. Most weight loss advice is centred around calorie counting and focusing on the diet, but that really isn't for me at all - I like food and I like beer (all-grain homebrew!). So I've focused on doing considerable amounts of cardio instead and it seems to have worked. Make no mistake, I am definitely eating less now, but I still eat to appetite. It simply seems that doing highish levels of cardio has naturally reduced my appetite for censored .

    All I can advise is 1) avoid eating censored , ensure portion size isn't out of control and eat slowly to maximise satiety, 2) don't do junk miles - make them all count (for example, never free wheel unless scared!) and make sure you're exhausted at the end of every ride, 3) do more miles... There's no substitute for time on the bike.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    You do have to be careful though, if you have lived a life of excess and little exercise, you are at risk if you suddenly start doing hard cardio. A trip to the docs wont hurt if you are starting to do serious training.

    You cannot undo the damage that is done to arteries for example, so suddenly training hard can cause increased heart attack risk.
  • SBezzaSBezza Posts: 2,173
    TKF wrote:
    smidsy wrote:
    TKF wrote:
    smidsy wrote:
    If you really want to see improvements riding 1 or 2 days a week is not suffucient[sic]. You need to be doing 4 or 5 days a week every week.
    From experience this statement is a pile of censored .

    So if you ride twice a week you expect to see improvements....really?
    I ride twice a week. I have seen improvements. Really.

    You would probably see even greater improvements if you rode more frequently though, a n=1 study is a pointless exercise. I would de train horribly if I went to doing 2 rides a week.
  • SBezzaSBezza Posts: 2,173
    diy wrote:
    You do have to be careful though, if you have lived a life of excess and little exercise, you are at risk if you suddenly start doing hard cardio. A trip to the docs wont hurt if you are starting to do serious training.

    You cannot undo the damage that is done to arteries for example, so suddenly training hard can cause increased heart attack risk.

    If you believe the scaremongering press that is, if you have lived a life of excess, I doubt you could manage to do really hard cardio for any length of time. Damage to the arteries can happen to any size and shape of person, they don't need to lead a life of excess and be fat, it can happen to fit people as well (just less likely to occur in those doing regular exercise).
  • dubcatdubcat Posts: 831
    joeblack, thanks SO much for that myfitnesspal app!!! I lost 3 stone in 3 months thanks to healthy eating (with 1 pig out per week) and lots of running and cycling. For the last couple of months I have only maintained my weight even though i have another stone to lose. This has been because I have been snacking like a mofo and eating more than 1 pig out session per week!

    I have never calorie counted because I always found it too hard and onerous to do. I also had the stupid idea in my head that you either had to be exactly right or not bother at all. Between the realisation that you can be slightly out on calories counted and this tool I am now in a position to calorie count. AWESOME! Thanks so much for sharing that link :)

    To the OP, I am living proof that losing weight is ALL about diet. In 3 months I lost 3 stones. In the last 2 months though I have not lost any weight even though my amount of exercise has increased dramatically! I am running over 30 miles per week and doing 2-3 rides/turbo trainer sessions per week and not losing an ounce. That is between 7-9 hours of training per week and the majority of that time is running which is much more intensive than cycling. When I lost all that weight I was doing significantly less work. Losing weight is ALL about diet. Calorie counting is the way to lose weight (even though I did not do it). I strongly recommend you use that myfitnesspal tool.
    2010 Specialized Rockhopper
    2012 Bianchi Infinito
  • diy wrote:
    Without more info its hard to say if 15st is a good weight for you. I personally have been on a 5:2 diet for the last 3 months. Its a very easy diet and it doesn't muck up your training. I lost 1 stone in the first month and have stabalised now. Basically 5 days a week eat normally. Whatever you want really. 2 days a week max 500 cals any two days you like. It can be a bit grim to start, but you soon get in to it and it makes a big difference on your cycling performance.

    Its also supposed to lower cholesterol and igf-1 (growth hormone).

    +1

    I've been on the 5:2 IF plan for about the same time. I've lost 16lbs (started at 13st so not a fatty) in that time, I do very similar amount of miles to the OP - 60 to 70 miles across 2 rides - plus a couple of hours bodyweight training (Pullups, HSPU, Pushups, Box Jumps, etc).

    My ave speed for similar rides has gone up about 2mph over the last year and while I can't attribute all of that to the fasting plan, since being on the diet I've felt much stronger & climbing has improved massively.

    So IME, 5:2 and 2 days cycling have led to substantial progress/improvement.
  • dai_t75dai_t75 Posts: 189
    uberkraaft wrote:
    diy wrote:
    Without more info its hard to say if 15st is a good weight for you. I personally have been on a 5:2 diet for the last 3 months. Its a very easy diet and it doesn't muck up your training. I lost 1 stone in the first month and have stabalised now. Basically 5 days a week eat normally. Whatever you want really. 2 days a week max 500 cals any two days you like. It can be a bit grim to start, but you soon get in to it and it makes a big difference on your cycling performance.

    Its also supposed to lower cholesterol and igf-1 (growth hormone).

    +1

    I've been on the 5:2 IF plan for about the same time. I've lost 16lbs (started at 13st so not a fatty) in that time, I do very similar amount of miles to the OP - 60 to 70 miles across 2 rides - plus a couple of hours bodyweight training (Pullups, HSPU, Pushups, Box Jumps, etc).

    My ave speed for similar rides has gone up about 2mph over the last year and while I can't attribute all of that to the fasting plan, since being on the diet I've felt much stronger & climbing has improved massively.

    So IME, 5:2 and 2 days cycling have led to substantial progress/improvement.


    Just out of curiosity, are your riding days on the 'normal' eating days?
  • Yeah - I fast on Tues/Thurs - Ride Sunday & Wednesday night - Gym stuff Monday & Friday.

    The only issue I've had is the Thursday fast after the Wednesday night ride! I found the hunger was a little more apparent on the Thursday but if I get my 'recovery feed' right on a Wednesday night it's not really a problem. (Protein shake with a banana & a choc ice whizzed in!) :D

    -- Oh I meant to say - I did happen to do a gym workout on a fast day and was 'super strong' that day ??! However, by the evening on a fast day, you do feel a bit tired and sluggish so I'd avoid taking on the traffic ... on a long ride at least.
  • TKFTKF Posts: 279
    SBezza wrote:
    TKF wrote:
    smidsy wrote:
    TKF wrote:
    smidsy wrote:
    If you really want to see improvements riding 1 or 2 days a week is not suffucient[sic]. You need to be doing 4 or 5 days a week every week.
    From experience this statement is a pile of censored .

    So if you ride twice a week you expect to see improvements....really?
    I ride twice a week. I have seen improvements. Really.

    You would probably see even greater improvements if you rode more frequently though, a n=1 study is a pointless exercise. I would de train horribly if I went to doing 2 rides a week.
    And I'd be even better if I trained for 6hrs+ per day

    However I was replying to the incorrect statement that if you only do a couple of rides you won't improve. The quality is more important than the the quantity.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    I have done the turbo a couple of times while fasting, it's true that you can feel super fit on fasting days, but my stats showed I couldn't manage more than about 70 % of my normal session though. You also have to drink lots of water on fasting days.

    The only downside is you get pissed very easily. ;)
  • smidsysmidsy Posts: 5,273
    TKF wrote:
    SBezza wrote:
    TKF wrote:
    smidsy wrote:
    TKF wrote:
    smidsy wrote:
    If you really want to see improvements riding 1 or 2 days a week is not suffucient[sic]. You need to be doing 4 or 5 days a week every week.
    From experience this statement is a pile of censored .

    So if you ride twice a week you expect to see improvements....really?
    I ride twice a week. I have seen improvements. Really.

    You would probably see even greater improvements if you rode more frequently though, a n=1 study is a pointless exercise. I would de train horribly if I went to doing 2 rides a week.
    And I'd be even better if I trained for 6hrs+ per day

    However I was replying to the incorrect statement that if you only do a couple of rides you won't improve. The quality is more important than the the quantity.

    If you are going to quote me be accurate. I did not say you would not improve, I said he could see more improvement by doing more. Read the highlighted bit again.

    Riding around a total of 50 miles per week (which the OP suggested he was doing and had done so for about a year) is not likely to see improvement quickly or tangiibly. Granted the OP does not quanitfy what he wants but I was pointing out that the minimal riding he was doing is not conjusive to noticable improvement. He suggested that his cycling was consistent i.e he was not increasing distance or frequency or intensity - ergo NO IMPROVEMENT.
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    "If you really want to see improvements riding 1 or 2 days a week is not sufficient"

    I would say that this reads along the lines that you are saying you would not improve. That is certainly how I read it. Of course if you inserted "real" or "significant" etc. after "see" then it would be otherwise.
  • SBezzaSBezza Posts: 2,173
    TKF wrote:
    SBezza wrote:
    TKF wrote:
    smidsy wrote:
    TKF wrote:
    smidsy wrote:
    If you really want to see improvements riding 1 or 2 days a week is not suffucient[sic]. You need to be doing 4 or 5 days a week every week.
    From experience this statement is a pile of censored .

    So if you ride twice a week you expect to see improvements....really?
    I ride twice a week. I have seen improvements. Really.

    You would probably see even greater improvements if you rode more frequently though, a n=1 study is a pointless exercise. I would de train horribly if I went to doing 2 rides a week.
    And I'd be even better if I trained for 6hrs+ per day

    However I was replying to the incorrect statement that if you only do a couple of rides you won't improve. The quality is more important than the the quantity.

    May or may not do, depends entirely on your goals. But you are unlikely to see any real improvements on 1 or 2 days training a week no matter what the quality is like, there just isn't enough loading you can do on those days which is not nearly wiped out entirely by being off the bike for 5 days. The statment of "If you really want to see improvements riding 1 or 2 days a week is not sufficient" is pretty much correct to be honest. Any progress would be incredibly small and would take a very long time to manifest itself.
  • smidsysmidsy Posts: 5,273
    @SBezza - at last someone who talks sense :-)

    I am not even sure why people are disagreeing, the OP admits himself he is not showing any improvement (so evidence enough that his regime is not working) and asks for advice.

    People then see fit to come on here basically telling him he's doing the right thing.....errrrrr???
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • themekonthemekon Posts: 197
    If you are coming from a history of no exercise whatsoever then 2 days will see an improvement.Also if you are reasonably fit then two days will keep you ticking over for a while. I would say a minimum of 4 days a week to see gradual improvement and then again even those will have to be ramped up in either volume or intensity or both.
  • I'm on week 2 of the 5:2 diet. Currently bloody hungry and looking at the Chicken Raita wrap (288 cals) which I've got to look forward to for dinner.

    However, my trousers nearly fell down today which must be an encouraging sign.

    Only problem I've had so far is that I'm not exercising on the fast days, but I like to go to they gym in the morning, so the day after a fast day I get absolutely shot to pieces pretty quickly in the gym. Going to get up 30 mins early and get some porridge in me before I go tomorrow morning.

    I'll report back in a couple of months when I'm 2 stone lighter and 3mph quicker.
    cheers
    Canyon AL Ultimate 9.0
  • wilo13 wrote:
    These diets people do make me laugh. Just eat healthy foods, cut out the censored , minimise the alcohol and train regularly. What do you think will happen once you stop the 5:2 diet? Put weight back on maybe?

    Possibly. Problem is, I love food, cooking it, eating it, reading about it etc. A perk of my job is being taken out for lunch 2/3 times a week to some top places. With this diet I can keep doing this ad infinitum, as long as I keep fasting on Monday + Weds.

    The control group experiment they did when it was on Horizon showed that what you ate on the normal non-fast days didn't effect the amount of weightloss.
    Canyon AL Ultimate 9.0
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