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Overequipped, underlegged
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone!

After being weak and lazy for almost 7 years I've decided it's time to start taking cycling seriously again. Given that I just cannot find the motivation to either get up early on the weekends or do afternoon rides after a day's work, I decided I was gonna set my alarm clock an hour early and get in an hour's ride every morning.

Right now I'm in rather pitiful shape, but that's gonna change.

My goal is to ride an hour every morning, monday to friday, without any rest days. At least for the first couple of months I will not be doing longer rides on the weekend. that's reserved for slow, leisurely breakfasts at home or taking the motorcycle to the twisties or the track on sundays. It is possible that as I get stronger I will be tempted to start doing longer rides on the weekends.

And my questions is... Should I be taking, say, wednesdays off? Will it aid new muscle growth etc? I don't mind the suffering, I just want to make as much progress as fast as possible in the limited riding time I can get in every morning.

I started this past Monday and yesterday was tough, but today was a lot better. Muscle groups I hand't worked in ages do complain, but I'm riding through the lactic acid buildup and it seems like it's going away...

So... Rest, no rest? Rest when I feel like it or just ride slower?

Thanks in advance for your time and responses!
 

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From a muscle fatigue standpoint, you don't need to rest if you are just going for a casual bike ride for an hour. Just make sure you are eating properly, and getting good nutrition (including the proteins, minerals and electrolytes you need to recover). Now, if you are doing high intensity Z4 intervals during your workouts, that's a different story. Let your legs tell you if they need rest (and listen to them).

More importantly though, take it easy at first. If you haven't been on a bike in a while, an hour every day is probably too much for your body (not muscle fatigue). Seat, hand, shoulders, neck, back, and even knees in some cases, need to adapt to the activity. Go for a few short, easy rides at first. See how things feel. Work you way up to an hour a couple of times a week once you are sure you aren't going to hurt yourself.
 

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Generally, the harder you ride the more rest you need, but with only 5 hours available to ride during the week I don't think you need a day-off during the week.

I'm a big fan of hitting the twisties on a MC too. I always find it funny that I sometimes carry more speed on the same turns on my road bike than my motard, only I'm not wearing leathers. :)
 

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Agree with the others an hour on the bike is not such a big deal. That said if i do my fast paced two hour ride climbing 2,000 feet I generally need 48 hours to fully recover. For comparison if i do a hard 60-75 mile ride with more climbing i generally need 72 hours and If i do an all out 90-112 mile ride climbing 8000 feet or more I need 3-4 days. There's also an age component. I'm over 50 and already seeing my recovery times increasing a little, however this year i'm riding more regularly and consistently as opposed to mostly weekend riding and i'm seeing that my body is handling the stress a bit better this year. In sum many variables.
 

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Overequipped, underlegged
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
From a muscle fatigue standpoint, you don't need to rest if you are just going for a casual bike ride for an hour. Just make sure you are eating properly, and getting good nutrition (including the proteins, minerals and electrolytes you need to recover). Now, if you are doing high intensity Z4 intervals during your workouts, that's a different story. Let your legs tell you if they need rest (and listen to them).

More importantly though, take it easy at first. If you haven't been on a bike in a while, an hour every day is probably too much for your body (not muscle fatigue). Seat, hand, shoulders, neck, back, and even knees in some cases, need to adapt to the activity. Go for a few short, easy rides at first. See how things feel. Work you way up to an hour a couple of times a week once you are sure you aren't going to hurt yourself.
So far it's good. No pain in the hands, shoulders, back or knees (the knees had me specially worried since I've had a couple of injuries). The seat was a bit uncomfortable this morning, but felt great after the first 6km or so.

So far I've done 3 50 minute rides (Mon,tue, today), and I managed 22 and 25km/h averages without pushing it hard at all. The moment I feel I'm even close to start running out of steam I shift gears and back off.

I'm a big fan of hitting the twisties on a MC too. I always find it funny that I sometimes carry more speed on the same turns on my road bike than my motard, only I'm not wearing leathers. :)
This happened to me just this past sunday. I was going down a hill I've done on a road bike several times before and I kept thinking "I can't believe how suicidal I must be to have gone down this hill at 50mph on a bike with skinny tires and wearing lycra" while struggling to push it close to those speeds on the MC.
 

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You want to make progress. What is your definition of progress?

As has been said, everyone is different. How you ride and each ride is different. How your body reacts to ride types and recovers is different. You have to listen to your body.

Last spring I was riding a lot, 300 miles a month in April, May and June. Due to injury, I was off the bike for 4 months last summer (July - Oct). I am now limited to mostly 10-15 mile rides (at most 3 times a week), but I go as hard as I can and I incorporated core strength exercises. I am consistently putting in times as good or better than I was last June. That includes the few on 'long rides' of 20-22 miles.

I know i was cardiovascularly in better condition last June. I know there are lots of factors. I believe a big one is due to proper recovery between rides. I rarely start a ride stiff or sore. Last spring I probably needed more recovery time between rides.
 

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Skip breakfast and don't eat a lot when you get home either. Ride every day in the a.m. you can weather permitting.
 

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Overequipped, underlegged
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You want to make progress. What is your definition of progress?
An increase in average speeds over all types of terrain and the ability to ride longer and longer distances up to say 100 miles.

Skip breakfast and don't eat a lot when you get home either. Ride every day in the a.m. you can weather permitting.
Yep I'm not eating anything before riding, they are short rides and I couldn't get anything down right after waking up.

Why shouldn't I be eating much after riding though? Weight loss isn't the goal. Although I could do with losing 10 or 12 pounds I'm thinking that will come as I put the miles on. Wont starving myself until lunch (And do keep in mind this is Spain and here lunch takes place at between 2 - 2:30PM) hurt my recovery?

Currently I'm having a banana, strawberries, nuts and milk smoothie after the ride and perhaps a snack a 3 hours later or so.
 

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Overequipped, underlegged
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You are already taking 2 days a week off. Do you really think you need a third?
Yeah but this way the riding days and the resting days are all grouped together. What i'm thinking is that perhaps it would be more beneficial to stick a day's rest in between the riding days...
 

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Why shouldn't I be eating much after riding though? Weight loss isn't the goal. Although I could do with losing 10 or 12 pounds I'm thinking that will come as I put the miles on. Wont starving myself until lunch (And do keep in mind this is Spain and here lunch takes place at between 2 - 2:30PM) hurt my recovery?

Currently I'm having a banana, strawberries, nuts and milk smoothie after the ride and perhaps a snack a 3 hours later or so.
I said to not eat a lot. Meaning do not eat anything more than a normal day just because you exercised. Do not come home and pig out on whatever because you just did something. Eat normal and sensible. Eat a normal sized breakfast if you usually eat breakfast and don't add anything special to it as a treat to yourself. That's what I'm getting at.

It's a very common mistake people make, especially when riding in the morning before eating. It applies to any time though, after a workout is never an excuse to eat poorly or too much.

And you'll be doing a ride on the weekends soon, you won't be able to stop yourself.

:)
 

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I cannot do the skipping breakfast thing. It's not like I'm eating a Denver omelette with hash browns or eggs Benedict, but I need something. Usually a piece of toast with PB and a cup of coffee before a morning ride.
 

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I cannot do the skipping breakfast thing. It's not like I'm eating a Denver omelette with hash browns or eggs Benedict, but I need something. Usually a piece of toast with PB and a cup of coffee before a morning ride.
yes, I do not understand this. Even what you eat would be too little for me. It's only on weekends when I can get out in the morning, but if I don't eat enough, I feel it within an hour or so of riding, and it's hard to get my energy back on the bike eating bars and blocks. Usually I have a hearty weekend breakfast...not a ton of food, but not the greatest quick-digesting stuff either. Never really bothers me, and I can usually go 2 hours or more before even thinking of needing to recharge.
 
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