Forum home Mountain biking forum Health, fitness & training

Getting faster...Lower weight or fitness - What's more important?

GobsGobs Posts: 296
edited January 2017 in Health, fitness & training
I'm trying to increase my overall fitness, but in an ideal world I'd also like to lose around 3st. What's more beneficial to increase overall speed (over say a three hour event), losing weight or repeated hard training?

(As an example my 16 mile route yesterday (including some brutal climbs) had me at 1hr 24 with an 11.2mph average speed)
«1

Posts

  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    You can do both - they're not mutually exclusive.

    TBH losing weight is mainly about your diet. You can't exercise off fat unless you're doing it to the extreme.

    Work out how you've got overweight and address that at the same time as exercising more.
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    At that level just keep riding, you'll get thinner and fitter.

    If you had said you were 15 stone and pumping out 400w for 20 mins then we would have an obvious answer.
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • JGTRJGTR Posts: 1,404
    Fitness, fat guys can be fast, as stated Wright loss 90% diet.

    Mix it up for best results, long steady paced rides and short fast rides, mix up your routes with some hills......bike fit in no time :D

    My normal pace is around 10 mph for longish rides, I have a 15 mile route that I do in an hour, have hilly and flat routes I ride.
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    3 stone overweight is enormous. But eqaully riding at 11mph is quite low down the spectrum, so there is plenty of room for both.

    Larger guys can be fast yes, but most of them are maybe a bit overweight vs 20kg. I speak from experience ;)
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Luckily it's not a choice of one or the other; you can and should aim to do both.

    I've found that losing weight is a thousand times easier by modifying diet than it is by exercising more, but again, you can do both.

    Personal experience: the only way I can lose / maintain weight is by following the 5:2 diet. Mondays and Thursdays I eat / drink only 600 cals, the rest of the time I eat more or less what I like. In practice on fast days I eat nothing till the evening and then I can have a reasonable sized meal. Works for me; I lost 18 previously stubborn pounds which was > 10% of my bodyweight at the time. Really felt the difference on the bike.
    Plus I'm persuaded there may be other health benefits from intermittent fasting; GP was all set to put me on statins or fibrates but since 5:2 my blood lipid profile is back in the healthy range.
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    Do you ride on those days?

    I've always been tempted to try it to see what happens but I generally ride 6 out of 7 days...
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,909
    By losing weight without the underpinning fitness you can end up being lighter but no faster if the muscle strength is not there. I have seen pretty fast riders actually lose speed from trying to drop a few kilos to make them a better climber. They end up wasting the muscle tone that made them fast in the first place overall. Generally you will lose weight as you get fitter and your metabolism picks up. Your body burns calories more efficiently and your energy levels increase. Just ride often and eat well and you will lose weight AND get faster guaranteed.
  • My advice - do it your own way, in your own time !
    James
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    okgo wrote:
    Do you ride on those days?

    I've always been tempted to try it to see what happens but I generally ride 6 out of 7 days...

    I often do a fairly fast paced 20 mile loop in the evenings after the meal / snack. That really does help the weight loss.

    Not sure I'd manage it earlier in the day or commuting running on empty; I've occasionally tried a fasted ride and it didn't end well.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    My advice - do it your own way, in your own time !
    James

    Yesss - doing it his way has put him 3 stone overweight. Sometimes you need to change your ways.
  • okgo wrote:
    But eqaully riding at 11mph is quite low down the spectrum

    He didn't say he rode at constant speed of 11mph. That was his average. On a ride that includes several killer climbs, that's very decent. The average speed is usually considerably below the speed you're trying to maintain.


    In my experience, combination of endurance and strength gets you more results than just losing weight. You want to be able to ride hard for long and you want to be able to recover fast, so that you can keep doing what you're doing as often as you want to and in this regard, fitness is more important than weight. That said, it's only true when the weight isn't limiting your performance. For instance, someone highly oriented towards climbing should care about their weight.
  • Keep at it, the weight loss should increase as your fitness increases. Strava and MyFitnesspal are both good apps to help motivate you.
    Paracyclist
    @Bigmitch_racing
    2010 Specialized Tricross (commuter)
    2014 Whyte T129-S
    2016 Specialized Tarmac Ultegra Di2
    Big Mitch - YouTube
  • GobsGobs Posts: 296
    Tough love. I like it

    I've basically got a circa 50k event I'd like to do in 8 months time. It includes 4500m of gruelling climbs, so being decently fit is a must. Peoples times range from 2hrs 30 to 6hrs, but I'd like to do respectably. I am not coming last :twisted:

    I averaged 11.2mph for half that distance the other day, so in short, I need to add 2mph average speed, for twice as long.

    I like a challenge. No pressure :mrgreen:
  • pilchpilch Posts: 1,136
    4500m of gruelling climbs

    in 50k - bloody hell... is it in the Himalayas?
    A berm? were you expecting one?

    29er race

    29er bouncer
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    pilch wrote:
    4500m of gruelling climbs

    in 50k - bloody hell... is it in the Himalayas?

    At the very least it must be somewhere in the Alps? Or are you just doing Hardknott repeatedly till someone dies?
  • GobsGobs Posts: 296
    Ha ha, not all at once. It's on the Welsh border, so up and down, 4500m climbing in total



    ...then there's tyres/pressure options to consider :twisted:
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    The trick is to lose weight without losing strength and endurance. If you don't eat well enough you will not reach the same level of strength and fitness. Just listen to your body and eat healthily but that does not mean living off cardboard and salad, just make sure you have plenty of fresh stuff as you would have to work hard to be over weight eating only fresh food. Also make sure you eat enough to fuel your exercise or you will end up dragging yourself home which is hard work.
  • GobsGobs Posts: 296
    When I've dieted in the past I've scaled the carbs right back and ended up knackered even riding the 5.5 miles home from work
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    I lost three stone a few years ago. Most of the loss came through running which I did over winter.
    A loss like that makes an enormous difference to your riding. Not just speed but endurance takes a huge boost.
    Unfortunately, due to illness this year and being unable to ride much, I've got to do it all again.
  • doomanicdoomanic Posts: 238
    I've lost 36lbs since August. I've cut my calory intake to 1880 or less per day and increased my exercise significantly. I consume about 50% of my calories from carbs but boost that with gels on days where I go for a long ride (but still stay under 1880). I don't significantly increase my intake after a long ride. I'm losing about 2lb/wk on average. I don't have cheat days, but I do still eat fun stuff occasionally.
  • GobsGobs Posts: 296
    Since August? That's some dedication, well done. As for losing weight running, I used to run, but I've got compartment syndrome in my right calf so I get a dead leg after a few minutes. I plan to get that operated on at some point if possible as I did enjoy the sense of personal achievement as your times improved.

    Bike wise I just need to keep on and stay focused. My partner has finally got the bug which means I can drag her out as often as possible, even if she is slower :mrgreen:
  • doomanicdoomanic Posts: 238
    Gobs wrote:
    Since August? That's some dedication, well done.
    Thanks, it's been hard work and I've still got a long way to go.

    I also used to run everywhere, then I left the Army... :lol:
  • mikeyj28mikeyj28 Posts: 754
    By losing weight without the underpinning fitness you can end up being lighter but no faster if the muscle strength is not there. I have seen pretty fast riders actually lose speed from trying to drop a few kilos to make them a better climber. They end up wasting the muscle tone that made them fast in the first place overall. Generally you will lose weight as you get fitter and your metabolism picks up. Your body burns calories more efficiently and your energy levels increase. Just ride often and eat well and you will lose weight AND get faster guaranteed.

    This - make sure you eat well and evaluate your current eating habits. Make changes where required and ensure you get out and ride more. You will find that your speed will increase over time. Try not to get disheartened as this will not happen overnight!
    Constantly trying to upgrade my parts.It is a long road ahead as things are so expensive for little gain. n+1 is always the principle in my mind.
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,909
    doomanic wrote:
    Gobs wrote:
    Since August? That's some dedication, well done.
    Thanks, it's been hard work and I've still got a long way to go.

    I also used to run everywhere, then I left the Army... :lol:

    Yeah, being in the army they love to make you run about alot. I always hated running/tabbing and still am not keen on it. I am fitter now at 40 than I was at 30 due to cycling. I actually find my running fitness has improved as well but I try to keep that to a minimum.
  • BriggoBriggo Posts: 3,823
    Gobs wrote:
    Ha ha, not all at once. It's on the Welsh border, so up and down, 4500m climbing in total



    ...then there's tyres/pressure options to consider :twisted:

    I think you mean 4500ft not Mtrs, especially in 50k. Wales might be hilly but it's not that hilly especially on the border.

    When you say some people do it in 2hr 30 it's certainly not 4.5k meters.
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    Briggo wrote:
    Gobs wrote:
    Ha ha, not all at once. It's on the Welsh border, so up and down, 4500m climbing in total



    ...then there's tyres/pressure options to consider :twisted:

    I think you mean 4500ft not Mtrs, especially in 50k. Wales might be hilly but it's not that hilly especially on the border.

    When you say some people do it in 2hr 30 it's certainly not 4.5k meters.

    12,000ft, that would finish me off.
  • sniper68sniper68 Posts: 2,910
    Gobs wrote:
    Ha ha, not all at once. It's on the Welsh border, so up and down, 4500m climbing
    In 31 miles?
    Are you sure it's not 4500 feet?
    4500ft in 31 miles is hilly!
    4500m or 14,763ft in 31miles is some going!
  • I don't think he meant climbing 4500m high, but climbing for 4500m (as in the climbing section was 4,5 km long)
  • FishFishFishFish Posts: 2,152
    I think you are under estimating him. 4500m for someone recently in the British Army is 4500 miles - so it is 4500 miles of vertical ascent in 31 miles. It would be a tad difficult for us but not a problem for him I'm sure he could do it on 1700 calories too and not 1800. :D
    ...take your pickelf on your holibobs.... :D

    jeez :roll:
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,605
    1700 calories .... that's 24 fig rolls .... if he can do it in 2.5 hours, that works out at 9.7 fig rolls per hour
Sign In or Register to comment.