Just after some advice please?

Nerd_Thing Posts: 9
edited February 2014 in Road beginners
Hello all,
I've been riding for about a year now, mostly MTB, but I do some Road as well, because why not? I just really like riding.
I've done a couple of sportives - Reigate Roleur and Devil's Punchbowl - before as well as off road ones.
I don't have the most up to date or lightest bike (okay, it's a 2nd hand Carerra TDF, but I'm on a limited budget and it's got to be better to ride anything than nothing, right?)
I'm looking to get my first imperial century under my belt later thus year and just wondered if there are any particularly good training plans to follow please? I know the general idea is to gradually increase mileage a week at a time but I like to have a plan to print out, stick on the wall and tick off as I go along.
I'm 43 and not in the best shape - I normally struggle along at an average of about 13mph and dip down into singke figures up steep hills, but I'm keen. I have just purchased a HRM, which beeps alarmingly at me most of tge time, but I take that as encouragement to keep going. Anything that can maybe incorpoate that would be good.
I understand about max heart rates and the different zones, but haven't really put it in practice much yet.
I did a quick Google search but there seemed a bewildering array if sites, all suggesting slighthly different approaches, so anything tried and tested by the more experienced cyclist would be gratefully received.
Thanks in advance.


  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    Nerd_Thing wrote:
    I have just purchased a HRM, which beeps alarmingly at me most of tge time, but I take that as encouragement to keep going.

    More specifically, it's usually a sign that you have reached the upper or lower limit of your target zone...
  • Yes, you are right. It was a bit tongue in cheek!
    I did use the 220 - age at that time, which I now know is a bit 'finger in the air'!
    A 20 mins work out gave me a much more likely 188 max.
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    WIthout knowing for how long, or for how often you are able to ride each week, then all I would say is that regularity is going to be the key to any improvement plan. If you plan on using the HRM as a training aid, then in the first instance I would aim to do 90min-2hr rides at around 75-85% of your MHR. Steady rides at a reasonable but manageable intensity like that should bring on your aerobic fitness after a while. 188 may be your MHR, but I'm guessing it is probably slightly higher than that, but if the highest you have seen is 188, then use that to set your levels. If or when you see a higher figure, adjust accordingly.
  • Thank you. Sound advice.
  • ellj22
    ellj22 Posts: 122
    Max heart rate is supposed to be fairly inaccurate. A more accurate way of setting heart rate zones is through threshold. Basically do a 15 min warm up followed by a 30 mins max sustained effort. Your average heart rate for the last 20 mins of the effort is used to set your zones, see here.

    http://www.trainingbible.com/joesblog/2 ... zones.html

    I find it easiest to perform test on turbo or gym bike but if you don't have access then you just need a reasonably flat, traffic light free road or loop (anti clockwise if in UK).

    Recently I have started using Joe Friel cyclist training bible, it's rather in depth and takes a while to go through but is great for creating a personalised training schedule depending on your goals, ability and ride time available per week.