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Right now i'm riding 4-5 days a week, my rides are normally from 30 minutes to 2 hours in length. They're just your basic rides though, my goal is to enter and finish a race by the end of the summer or early fall. I was just wondering if anyone could give me some tips as to how often to train, what to train (i.e. hills, flats, etc...), and how hard to train (i.e. HR Zones and things of that sort). I also need to drop some weight and was wondering what some good foods would be to start eating to give me the energy to train how I need to and still drop the weight.

thanks everyone

Marshall
 

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Training plan

From Basic Training for Roadies by Fred Matheny: here's a 7 hours a week, weekly schedule that works for many riders:

Monday: Rest day with 15 minutes of resistance training.
Tuesday: Ride 1 hour with 3-8 sprints or other short, hard efforts.
Wednesday: Ride 1 hour at a steady, moderate pace.
Thursday: Ride 1 hour including about 20 minutes of any type of hard effort.
Friday: Rest day with 15 minutes of resistance training.
Saturday: Ride 1 hour at an easy pace.
Sunday: Ride 3 hours at a varied pace. Group rides or hilly courses are good choices.

Remember, intensity is one key to this program. If you could ride 200 to 400 miles per week, sheer volume would guarantee a high level of fitness. But you can't.

As far as food, if you want to lose weight, you have to eat less or exercise more, or both. The standard advice is a diet low in fried foods, high in vegetables and fruits, and around 25% fat. Protein requirements are around 0.7 gm per day per lb of body weight. There are no magic foods.
 

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what kerry says.
the trick is to work in intensity while still getting rest and recovery. if you're not rested, you can be going as hard as you can manage, but it's not going to make you faster. you'll never improve. well, you will some, but not enough. that's the trap lots of guys fall into when they decide to get serious and start spending a lot of time on the road. yeah, the top guys are putting in ten to fifteen hours, but (a) they work up to it, and (b) they manage it so that they can still really put out the intensity. you have to be strong enough so that you can ride for awhile at relatively low perceived exertion and then to recover well, and then you can go faster. strong is good enough, truly, for most Cat 5 races, but from there you have to get fast, and fast is different from strong. for fast, you have to go fast, and it hurts. then you have to be able to recover, and go fast again.
 

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find out as much as you can about the race you're planning to do.

distance. make sure you can ride at least that far at a moderate intensity and still have some gas left in the tank at end of the ride.

is it hilly? find out how long the climbs are and do intervals on hills that are of comparable length or slightly longer.

is it flat/windy? practice riding in a paceline with friends and learn how to sit on wheels and conserve energy.

have fun.
 

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Kerry Irons said:
From Basic Training for Roadies by Fred Matheny: here's a 7 hours a week, weekly schedule that works for many riders:

Monday: Rest day with 15 minutes of resistance training.
Tuesday: Ride 1 hour with 3-8 sprints or other short, hard efforts.
Wednesday: Ride 1 hour at a steady, moderate pace.
Thursday: Ride 1 hour including about 20 minutes of any type of hard effort.
Friday: Rest day with 15 minutes of resistance training.
Saturday: Ride 1 hour at an easy pace.
Sunday: Ride 3 hours at a varied pace. Group rides or hilly courses are good choices.
Amazing! Finally a program that at least some people with a family can use. You can probably skip the resistance training w/out any ill effect if you're short on time. The easy pace ride would be next on my list to pass on for time constraints. You could change the days to suit your schedule - just don't have too many hard days in a row. Final step for the time challenged would be going from 3 hr ride to 2 hr ride. That brings total time down to about 5 hours/week. Believe it or not, you can actually make decent 4/5 pack fill with this amount of training as long as the races aren't very long or hilly. Take off another hour and up the intensity a bit if you just want to hang in a crit.
 

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I'll echo Bill and Kerry on this one. Whatever you do don't forget to rest and recover. Active recovery or just taking a day or two off each week. Of course all of this info is specific to each individual and it'll take a few years before you hit just the right mix of intensity and recovery that allows you to perform well on the weekends but allows you to retain some shadow of a normal life.
 
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