Forum home Road cycling forum Training, fitness and health

returned after a long time off

saprkzzsaprkzz Posts: 592
I have had the dreaded motivation collapse a year ago when I had a heart scare in Jan 2016. The doctors reacted to a spike in my ecg results linking it to Cardiomyopathy, basically saying to stay off the bike until further tests. Lucky after scans I was in the all clear.
So all my motivation went, and my bike gathered dust.

Returning to cycling over a year later, (14 months) and I actually can’t believe how much fitness I have lost, and having put on 2 stone in weight. I am trying to build up and get back to the standard I was at.
My issue is I am riding with the same people I used to train with which means I just get dropped in chain gangs, club rides and basically struggle which is so demoralizing
Up until I stopped I was racing 2/3 cat and holding my own finishing most of the time in the top 15. So I feel I had a good standard
Should I continue to attend chain gangs, club rides or should I concentrate on a training program and ride solo to build base fitness with little max efforts for now. I have been riding 4 weeks but finding it so hard and I keep getting stiches, feeling sick when I chase people down, and my legs blow, I feel I am doing it all wrong. Also maybe expecting was too much from myself and I get so disappointed with the way I am riding, getting over taken by random people which never used to happen.. Lol

Some advice would be gratefully appreciated.



  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    My advice - if possible, treat yourself to a new bike. I've had a couple of occasions where I've not been able to ride due to health issues with the kids and I've find that's a good motivation. Entirely unnecessary but this is all psychological anyway.

    Then I'd ride on my own for a bit to build a bit of base fitness and confidence without needing to compare myself with others. If you did as much riding as it sounds you did, you will get it back far more quickly than a total newbie.

    Good luck with it and stick at it.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • benjamessbenjamess Posts: 159
    I would say ride a lot solo but just keep yourself involved with the odd club ride every couple of weeks.

    I had a really good year in 2014 on the bike and spent the whole of 2015 completely demoralised because I couldn't compare with what I was doing the year before, realised in the end you just have to compare yourself with current form and not years gone by. Go out, train alone or find a riding friend at a similar level you are at now and help each other.
  • 4 weeks is not long, give yourself a few months and perhaps change to a slightly easier group to ride with for a while. A good training plan will help only if you are motivated to follow it, and if motivation is fragile then it's more important that you find ways to ride and train that are enjoyable for you as that will help reduce the chances of not riding.
  • slowmartslowmart Posts: 4,041
    I added two stone and lost fitness in one winter. I'm now 10lbs lighter and by June I should be about at the same level as I was last summer.

    I joined a couple of club chain gangs in the week which ripped my legs off and a 4 hour ride Sunday. I've added a z2 ride now to add some focus but essentially I've made it fun rather than too prescriptive towards training. Which unless you have a specific goal in mind it's more about the smiles per mile for me now.

    I could have gone wth a lot more z2 with some threshold work for 12 weeks but I really couldn't be arsed and I've had fun, my fitness is returning but essentially I'm really enjoying my cycling again.

    As MRS suggests, do whatever floats your boat, I bought some great cycling kit which also helped.
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
  • samarasamara Posts: 1
    It is close topic for me, friends. I had some problems in past. I lost motivation for sports and workout for 1 year. I had depression. But last month I told myself that it is enough. I checked Tomfit and found great friend and personal trainer David. So, guys never give up!
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,340
    Can you ride with the same riders but on slightly easier rides - maybe some longer stuff or if you have a second group on the chaingang - or plan to drop off half way so you go full gas to develop your old top end but aren't going so deep.
    AFC Mercia women - sign for us
  • although you do loose fitness quickly, you gain it back in double speed in my experience! So keep going, start low but build steady. Don't give up!
  • I personally have found that I can concentrate on building my fitness best when riding solo. Can't really say how that works for other people, but fitness gains are very individual and IMHO you should do it at your own pace. Also, riding constantly with others may set you into a false belief that your fitness is good enough, as you'll tend to compare yourself to them. Instead, look at your fitness as an infinitely long climb. You know you can't get to the top because there is no top. There's only you trying to get as far away from the bottom as possible.

    Last year, I had a similar situation. Didn't ride all winter and when new season came up, I felt very demotivated because I just couldn't do what I was able to do the previous year. Didn't push myself and took way too long gaining all the fitness back. You just can't have that. If you feel you can't ride as well you used to, it's a clear sign you should do something about it fast.

    Just don't ride in the easy grey zone, keep on pushing yourself and you'll be in a much better shape before summer. Ride often, build up your base to be comfortable covering at least 100km and start working on the speed. I can't overstate how amazing are intensive fasted rides in the morning. Not only are they beneficial to fitness and weight loss, but they absolutely brighten up your whole day.
    And it goes without saying - a ride without a major climb is no ride at all. I personally try to squeeze a notable climb even into my morning rides. Seriously, you don't even have to try any fancy training techniques, as long as you keep on challenging those climbs. The goal isn't to be able to climb up a hill or climb fast, the goal is to enjoy climbing up that hill because you have sufficient fitness to do it comfortably.

    Feel knackered after a ride? That's how you know it was a good one. Savour it. You're going to miss it once you're riding up hills as if they were flat :)

    Loosing that weight may take a long time and fitness gets you more than loosing weight, plus advanced fitness allows you to lose weight faster. So I'd prioritise gaining strength and endurance over losing weight at the moment. Don't skim on food, make sure your body has enough to rebuild after each ride. And don't be shy to reward yourself with a treat every now and then. After all, what's the point of having a hobby if it prevents you from enjoying yourself?
  • zebra67zebra67 Posts: 113
    If you built up that fitness before (not long ago), you can do it again.
    Is there a social group you can go out with?
    Priority needs to be miles & miles for now, you can build up to speed or power later.
  • saprkzzsaprkzz Posts: 592
    Thanks a lot for the replies, some really good content and I appreciate people helping out.

    I took bits of advice, and started a few rides on my own, and the longer ones at the weekends. Took these are my own manageable pace, but pushing myself. Basically riding as quick as I could for the duration of the ride. Each time coming back feeling like I have riding a good ride. Also ensuring I had a couple of killer hills every time I go out.

    I am still riding the chain gangs but not every week, so I can keep testing myself. I am 6 weeks in now, and I managed to break into the 19mph avg over 45 miles with 2500ft of climbing on Sunday, which was a massive achievement for me as 2 weeks ago I was at 17.5 mph ave on the same route.
    Last night, I went on the chain gang, and although I got dropped on the steep climb, I managed to regroup with them and stay on for the whole ride which was awesome.

    So I am starting to get pace and fitness back, but by god Its an eye opener!!!

    Thanks again... I will keep doing solo rides, and keep the miles coming in.
Sign In or Register to comment.