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spongebartstatepants
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, I just got a bike, and I would like to train pretty hard this summer. At this point I've probably ridden somewhere around 400 miles since the snow melted, which makes it an even 400 miles lifetime. Should I just worry about logging miles this summer, or are there some training strategies I should follow, such as intervals and heart rate specific training (there are undoubtedly some cool techniques and training methods out there that I don't even know about). Basically, tell me how to get sweet and be a respectable cyclist. I'm willing to do whatever, just let me in on ya' secrets.

Bart
 

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spongebartstatepants said:
Hey, I just got a bike, and I would like to train pretty hard this summer. At this point I've probably ridden somewhere around 400 miles since the snow melted, which makes it an even 400 miles lifetime. Should I just worry about logging miles this summer, or are there some training strategies I should follow, such as intervals and heart rate specific training (there are undoubtedly some cool techniques and training methods out there that I don't even know about). Basically, tell me how to get sweet and be a respectable cyclist. I'm willing to do whatever, just let me in on ya' secrets.

Bart

I recommend joining a club or participating in some shop rides. A rides will give you a good idea what kind of shape you are in.
 

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spongebartstatepants
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
hmmm

filtersweep said:
I recommend joining a club or participating in some shop rides. A rides will give you a good idea what kind of shape you are in.
Thanks for the input, but I know where my fitness level is. I'm not out of shape 'er nothin', it's just that I want to know how to raise this current level of fitness most effectively. Does it really matter as long as I am on my bike working hard, or are there regimens I need to follow.

As far a group rides go, I live in Shat-town USA, the bikers are homosexual (not that there is anything wrong with that), overweight and ride Honda Valkeries. Training will be a solo mission.
 

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It takes two to three years, I have heard and I believe, for your neuromuscular system to develop into the cycling machine you are destined to become. For the first year, the specificity of drills for whatever you may want to tackle are almost beside the point of just turning the pedals (for which, believe it or not, there is some technique involved).
You don't, by the way, say what you want to train for. If there is another one thing I've become convinced of, it is the specificity of training. You are what you have trained to become (with a bit of genetic determinism in the mix).

One thing that I did completely unwittingly, which I do think helped for general bike fitness was these brief VO2 max intervals. Basically, I would go as hard as I could thirty seconds or so every five minutes and go back to what I was doing. Now that I know a little more, I realize that these probably made me a lot stronger.
Remember a couple of basic principles. Cycling is an aerobic endurance sport. Two things will separate them that has from them that wants. The ability to go fast aerobically (which, guess what, requires training at going fast aerobically), and the ability to go really really fast by hurting really really bad.
And remember recovery. That's what enthusiastic new guys forget. Improvement comes when your muscles rebuild for the next effort, not when you're tearing them down. You need rest. You can burn the candle at both ends for so long, and then your body sort of gives up.
 

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Just ride

spongebartstatepants said:
Hey, I just got a bike, and I would like to train pretty hard this summer. At this point I've probably ridden somewhere around 400 miles since the snow melted, which makes it an even 400 miles lifetime. Should I just worry about logging miles this summer, or are there some training strategies I should follow, such as intervals and heart rate specific training (there are undoubtedly some cool techniques and training methods out there that I don't even know about). Basically, tell me how to get sweet and be a respectable cyclist. I'm willing to do whatever, just let me in on ya' secrets.
Good advice from the other posters. The number one "mistakes" that I see in new riders is that they don't push themselves enough or they push too hard. The ones who don't push enough just go out and noodle, and somehow never get to be very good riders. You do have to work at it. At the opposite end of the spectrum are those who think that thrashing themselves on every ride has got to be the right answer. This leads to burnout. The answer is pushing the pace and the distance as you gain skills and experience, but not so that you're destroyed at the end of the ride. After a season or two of this, plus defining some goals for yourself, then you can start working toward some sort of structured training program. If you want to race, and want to get the best possible results as soon as possible, then get Fred Matheny's book or Joe Friel's book and implement a program. Otherwise, just ride for fun!
 

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Cycling takes time... Get a training book to give yourself an idea, but I suggest for now, just ride, if your just getting into cycling take it easy dont try riding so much and overtraining. I have weeks where I ride over 400 miles, and it didnt happen over just one summer, I have been biking for years. Just have fun.
 

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Welcome to the sport

Welcome to the sport. I hope that you get addicted like the rest of us. All the previous posters are telling you like it is. Here is my two cents:
  1. Bill’s advice about technique is very sound. Learn to pedal correctly. Work on truly spinning the pedals, i.e. moving the ball of your foot in a circle. Build to the point where you can comfortably (read smoothly) pedal at over 100 RPM for sustained periods, and pedal much faster then that for bursts of 30 seconds or so.
  2. Use this first summer to dial in your position on the bike. The shop that sold you your bike should have set you up to begin with. As your technique improves, your position will evolve. This in turn, will help your technique improve more and lead to further (slight) evolutions in your position. Books will help you understand the basics. A “professional” fitting from someone who really knows what they are doing may not be a bad either, but only after you have gotten pretty comfortable on the bike.
  3. A few intervals are probably a good idea. These would dovetail nicely with the high cadence drills suggested above.
  4. Lastly, the advice to push yourself but give your body time to recover is excellent. You will improve faster and have more fun.
 
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