Advice on building bike fitness
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cloudnine



Joined: 24 Nov 2011
Posts: 2035
Location: Tenby

PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:03 pm    Post subject: Advice on building bike fitness Reply with quote

Ive not been biking long and am not a complete unfit fat old man just yet..
I used to ride heaps when i was youinger but I just havent got that climbing fitness back yet..
Is it better to ride steeper shorter hills which really get your legs burning and lungs screaming or go for longer easier climbs but try and keep pushing to keep my legs working hard??
Or is this just a stupid question and should be doing both??

I rode about 5 miles on and off road this morning and took in some quite steep but short climbs and found it really hard work ( i could ride way further on an easier route) . Im loving the challenge of really pushing myself but just wanna get the stamina back to get up those hills sooner.
Advice??
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betty_swollox



Joined: 31 Aug 2011
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Location: North East, Washington

PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to cycle 10 miles to work and 10 miles back and my fitness shot up quickly.

I used to do cycle to work 2-3 times a week

It defo helped with trail centres etc

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dannyisnow



Joined: 22 Jan 2012
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Location: East Yorkshire

PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Biking to work is a good suggestion if possible, I started biking to work a couple of year ago its only about 3 mile each way but it all counts especially in winter when your lungs get an extra kicking ( for me they do anyway being asthmatic not sure if anyone else finds this ? ).

There's no substitute for mileage but i really think theres a benefit in getting a good side exercise activity that focuses on other muscle groups for example ive recently started attending mma/boxing classes just once a week but its enough to work out the muscles that i wouldnt normally use on my bike you really can feel the benefit.

But like you say on your rides just mix things up, don't stick to one route. Chuck in a few short hill climbs and a couple of gradual steady climbs. Dont allways feel you need to go up the hill, biking supposed to be fun so treat yourself to the odd cheeky ride downhill to keep the fun factor up rather than making every ride a complete slog.

Hope you can get a few tips from that, oh and keep hydrated and keep at it !
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the last starfighter



Joined: 17 Dec 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How long have you been riding for? I find initially, it's not so much general fitness, but building all the right muscle groups. Otherwise it doesn't really matter how fit you are, those legs are still gonna burn!
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Gunner



Joined: 15 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bit of very quick advice to help with your riding.

Try to find a route that will take you about 45 minutes and somewhere towards the end has 1 or 2 steepish hills.

Aim to do this 2 to 3 times a week, 1 time pushing harder on the flat, 1 time pushing harder on the hills, and the 3rd time just having a bit of fun round the course. Time yourself and try to do the route a bit faster each week.


If 45 minutes is too short, or long, extend or shorten the route by 15 minutes either way.

One thing to remember, hills are your best friend if you're trying to lose weight or increase fitness.

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AvalancheJon.



Joined: 15 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Gunner"
One thing to remember, hills are your best friend if you're trying to lose weight or increase fitness.[/quote]

My legs are telling me differently today! Laughing

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cloudnine



Joined: 24 Nov 2011
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Location: Tenby

PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice so far.. Been trying to get out most evenings and riding the same 5.5 mile route.. plenty of short sharp hills.
Im not trying to loose weight (5ft 6 and about 9st 12 ish)
I havent actually timed myself but i guess i'll just keep pushing on and hopefully the course will get easier. My Brother in Law is hassling me to go up to Brechfa but i know he's way fitter than me.. just dont wanna get left for dead when i go
Cool
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cloudnine



Joined: 24 Nov 2011
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Location: Tenby

PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hard work is finally paying off Cool
Nowhere near as fooked when i get back home now and the hills seem way easier. Scared the living sh*t out of myself nearly running into a badger tonight.
Went swimming in the week and did some hard work with a float (just kicking up and down the pool with float outstretched).. great work out
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AvalancheJon.



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good man.

Remember not to over do it as your body will need time to recover between hard rides. Rest in your fitness plan is as important as exercise.

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Gunner



Joined: 15 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cloudnine wrote:
Hard work is finally paying off Cool


Great stuff, keep it up. Very Happy

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cloudnine



Joined: 24 Nov 2011
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Location: Tenby

PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been going further on my last few rides.. built up to 10 miles.. with about overall ascents of 500m.. quite pleased with my progress. Can definitely feel it the next day (legs just feel a little tired)
Would like to ride to work but its about 14 miles and some big ascents so not quite up for having a heart attack on arrival at work.
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Rampant



Joined: 15 Jul 2012
Posts: 534
Location: Lincoln

PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Advice on building bike fitness Reply with quote

cloudnine wrote:
Ive not been biking long and am not a complete unfit fat old man just yet..
I used to ride heaps when i was youinger but I just havent got that climbing fitness back yet..
Is it better to ride steeper shorter hills which really get your legs burning and lungs screaming or go for longer easier climbs but try and keep pushing to keep my legs working hard??
Or is this just a stupid question and should be doing both??


I rode about 5 miles on and off road this morning and took in some quite steep but short climbs and found it really hard work ( i could ride way further on an easier route) . Im loving the challenge of really pushing myself but just wanna get the stamina back to get up those hills sooner.
Advice??



Hi matey

I think you answered your questions yourself - a bit of both is optimal. But if you had to chose between 1 or the other I'd say that "interval training" will always prove more beneficial, so high intensity for short intervals with medium intensity stuff inbetween - which means I'd personally go for the short steep hills Smile

Cheerz

Mark H
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