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Newbie help.please - base miles v structure

andyh01andyh01 Posts: 599
Hi all
So I've mainly just commuted to/from work, at most 9 miles each way.

I'm 36, 169cm/5'6" tall and currently 73kg, BMI 25.5 so currently overweight. I want to get down to 60kg and improve my overall fitness and reduce body fat.

I'm watching what I'm eating and just about got diet under control, although harder to work out how much to fule needed if looking to prove performance.

I started jogging 5k ish a few time a week and seen my stamina improve, possibly at expense of pace.

Where I can I also do gym spin class twice a week.

I've joined a social club once a week around 40 mile round trip around 15-17mph to cafe (I just have an expresso IE no cake)

I've also started doing a 30 mile local.loop every day bar Sunday for this past week. I managed my first 100k after the club run I tagged on my local loop at the end, I then also walked the dog a few miles.
Towards the end of the 100k ride I was ready to get off the bike

Am I best off to start with just riding and getting the miles in the legs and continue riding the 30 mile loop (1300ft elevation some decent up/downhills) or shorter faster rides and or more structure/training plans?
I find the gym spins and jogging more anaerobic? Higher heart rate/sweaty then cycling
Out riding it feels more the legs giving up more than heart, I think.. although I do still breath hard and do sweat, I guess as wind cools, I don't feel it as much?

I currently don't have any heart rate monitor/trackers/computers just a cheap android smartphone, so other than feel, I have no way of working with zones etc

Thanks Andy


  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    You still sweat a lot if you're working hard on a bike, but as you say because you're moving quickly through the air it evaporates. So you stay dry and it cools you down. Contrast outdoor riding with indoor turbo or spin bike and you get the idea.

    You don't say what it is you want to achieve beyond getting down to 60kg.

    Proper training is usually structured in a way to achieve a particular objective in a specified timescale. Racing? Time trialling? A particular ride / sportive? Hill climbing? Endurance riding like audax? Trying to achieve a particular average speed?

    So decide what it is you want to train for first.
  • I would say at the moment just do what you enjoy doing. As your fitness develops you will most likely start to look for ways to challenge yourself even further which is when planning and the possibilities of a more structured approach to training tends to take effect.

    I have been riding for nearly 20 years and to be honest the first 7-8 years were really nothing more than leisure. It was only when I started to get an itch for riding up a mountain that my interest in proper training and racing grew. Everything else took off from there to the point where cycling is pretty much an essential part of my life these days (the obsession quickly grows :D ). I guess most people on here will be similar in the sense that their involvement with and commitment to cycling just progressed naturally, factoring in their everyday lives and commitments.

    On the weight front, we are a similar height/age and I am sub 60kg. Don't get hung up on weight loss, we all have different body compositions but IME maintaining such a low weight and body fat percentage takes a fair amount of structured training which you are some way off from. My fitness and body shape changed over a number of years not weeks/months so don't push yourself to try and do too much too soon.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    In contrast I've never really moved beyond cycling as a leisure activity, and I'll be 62 later this year.

    I try to get out at least 3 times a week regardless of weather / time of year, evening rides are 20-30 miles and a weekend one is anything from 30-80. Sometimes I'll really push myself, other times I'll take it easy and watch the scenery, stop for a picnic or to take a photo. Interesting to observe that it doesn't seem to make that much difference to my average speed.

    Happily I've also inspired our eldest son to take up cycling. He is a powerful unit and seems to be getting faster every week fueled by an obsession with Strava.

    Despite my best efforts I'm not entirely convinced he'd be able to fix a puncture / swap a tube at the roadside though... :D
  • andyh01andyh01 Posts: 599
    I guess this is the thing, I'm not sure what I really want to do. The club do run a 10 mile TT that I will have a go at at some point, I could've done it last Sunday after the run out but I opted instead to loop for the mileage.

    I just want to.increase my general overall fitness I guess. With a young family I don't get much time to myself to compete
    Hopefully doing longer rides and the gym spins will all help whichever directon I go in.
    There is a mayday local fate with a 5mile running race that I'm tempted to have a go at but not sure if Dave it till next year .

    I've just found my old Garmin edge 500 and chest heart rate monitor so might have a go at setting that up and find my max heart rate and work out zones.
  • carl_pcarl_p Posts: 989
    Don't forget to allow your body to recover so it can adapt and grow stronger. What with the cycling, running, spin classes and walking your doing a hell of a lot of leg work. Train smarter not longer.
    Specialized Venge S Works
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    Turn the corner, rub my eyes and hope the world will last...
  • zeeezeee Posts: 103
    I was in the same situation last year. Joined a local club and started doing club rides every Sunday (around 40-60 miles) after a few months I found the rides easy and a little boring but my club also have a Wednesday TT league so I joined that and started time trialling. This gave me an indication of how fit I was compared to others so I started doing structured workouts on the road and zwift. A year later I am now competing in crits.

    I think joining a club that has a variety of events to test yourself is key. I would never have got into racing if my club and other members didn't race. If it was just a social ride once a week I think I would have given up riding by now. Have a look around your local area and try a TT or a faster group ride. You may find the added competition will push you and give you an indication of what you want to aim for.
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