Bike fit & hungry after ride.....

michaelatkinson Posts: 30
edited November 2013 in Road beginners
Hi there,

Had my cube agree GTC for about 5 weeks now and I'm loving it. Struggling like hell when I'm out bit got lots of support as there is a few of us go out and I'm the newbie.

My question is, how soon will my fitness actually change? I'm out 3-4 times a week at moment and doing between 8-14 miles. It's gradually getting easier I think and my strava reports seem to show that. I did have an operation on my right knee 3 years ago and that leg is very weak. I know that over time it will get stronger bit I'm competitive and impatient... Ha ha!

My other struggle is I need to lose weight which again will take time, I do find that even after just an 8 mile ride I get in and want to fiest, why?? Also, I end up eating crappy food.

Any suggestions and advice would be great.



  • Bozman
    Bozman Posts: 2,518
    Mileage, diet, willpower and patience.
    Keep increasing your mileage and try and get out on the bike as much as possible, watch your diet especially post ride and during long spells off the bike.
    If you have the willpower to stick to a healthy balanced diet you'll lose weight, add that to the mileage on the bike and your bike fitness will improve, as your fitness improves you'll do more mileage which will lead to more weight loss.
    It's easy to say but it's a bugger to put in place, my diet can be my failure but I cancel that out with mileage.
  • team47b
    team47b Posts: 6,425
    It will take about a month of sustained effort to break the habit of thinking you are hungry after a ride.

    Eat more complex carbs, brown bread, wholemeal pasta brown rice etc, these will keep you feeling full for longer, avoid simple carbs, white bread, potato etc these cause insulin spikes which cause hunger pangs (chinese food syndrome) and increase fat storage. Try eating small amounts, eg energy bar, on the bike to avoid low blood sugar when you stop, it is this that makes you desire 'fast' cr@p. Also Eat less.

    5 weeks is no time at all, see how you feel in 5 months :D
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • I have lost 15kg combining the 5:2 diet with cycling. Try it. It really works.

    Just don't do a long ride on the afternoon of your fast day. Fine in the morning, or the morning after (agree with the porridge thing).
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    In my experience competitive and impatient will lead to frustration and injury. Realistically assess where you are now, set yourself a goal such as a 2014 sportive and work out the intermediate steps which will get you there fit, healthy, confident and competent...
  • marcusww
    marcusww Posts: 202
    I started last year from nothing and at first through the winter did 2 - 3 hrs spread over the weekend. Making sure some decent climbing was involved. After 6 months my average was up from 13mph - 16mph with decent climbs. I think your cycling frequency will help a great deal but I think you must push your self during the rides.
  • MichaelW
    MichaelW Posts: 2,164
    To avoid injury, you need to plan your rise to fitness as a long, steady progression. It will take about 3 months of regular riding before you are bike fit.
    You need a solid aerobic base which you get by riding at a steady rate for more than 40 mins. You should be able to talk but breath more heavily than normal. Winter is the time for building your base; riding sweaty sprints and hard climbs in cold, damp conditions is no fun. During these 3 months you will also condition your body to being in the saddle and develop and adapt your riding position.
    Come spring you will be fit enough to put some intervals, hills and sprints into the mix if that is your thing.
    Learn to ride at your own pace and work out a series of regular routes that you can ride without too much thinking or navigation. You need to head out into winds and get blown back.

    Everybody knows what sensible eating is. Don't skip breakfast, don't ride on empty, use complex carbs in preference to sugar highs. Special sports food and drink are not much better than real food. Don't forget to drink lots.
  • Hey, thanks for all the good advice chaps. Bit of a knacker that winter is fast approaching! Any tips on what is a good turbo trainer. I like one of you has a knee injury then major operation so basically my right knee is rubbish. I have no muscle in my right leg at all. It will take time I guess. But coming from running, football and kick boxing I am loving the cycling and in time will most certainly be entering some events.

    Is 8 miles sufficient for now as only able to get out once my children are in bed.

    Using strava if anyone wants to take a look at my rides and give any advice.

    Cheers fellas

  • Bobbinogs
    Bobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    Hi Mike, your Strava profile doesn't say too much apart from that you need some variety :)

    One of the main tricks with any new activity is to keep doing it long enough without getting too bored along the way, performance will come but usually after some time and as a by-product. So, why not just stick at it for now but look to stretch yourself every now and then with something different, like a longer ride or a faster one, or a decent hill challenge (couldn't see any lumps on your routes), perhaps a ride in a different area (nothing wrong with driving to somewhere close-ish to keep your loops fresh for now)?

    If you can manage 8 (or 7.9 :wink: ) miles regularly then make some time for yourself at the w/e to do a 12 mile ride. Next week, do a 15 one. Then, do your 8 mile loop flat out, or do it slowly with a smile on your face, etc. The general guidance is 10% more on the main ride each week but you don't have to be too literal, just don't overdo it.

    There are a lot of good training plans out there (just surf around on the charity rides, like BHF or Action Medical) but I think that could make it a bit too structured for you for now. Just ride your bike as often as you can, learn the craft (how to fix punctures in the dark, what makes a good tyre, when to eat/what to eat, etc.) and then start in earnest in January so that you build towards an early year event, like a 100k sportive in April (or perhaps one of the excellent Beacon Roads Cycling Club events, given where you live).

    We do have a Strava club (Bike Radar, funnily enough) and the thing that shows is that real average speeds are nothing like those quoted :)
  • Thanks bobbinogs.

    Great advice, I'm out this evening so will be expanding on my regular 8 mile jaunt. Only reason for the regular 8 miler is more to get used to the bike. Going to go on a nice 10-12 mile route tonight but its difficult given the dark nights etc. What I may do is get out at 6am on Saturday morning for a good hour ride maybe hour and a half..
  • Has daft has it sounds, im positive i have read somewhere that your hunger pangs after your rides can also be a sign of dehydration.
    Ribble Ultralite Racing 7005, Campagnolo Veloce groupset, Campagnolo Khamsin G3 wheel set
  • People often mistake hunger for dehydration. If you do need to lose weight I guess you may also be sweating quite a bit, so be sure to drink plenty before and during your ride. When you get home have a glass of milk and a banana, that will most likely cure the hunger and also start the recovery process.