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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This will be my very first season on the road bike. Remember I do a lot of MTN biking (2-3 days a week for 2-3 hours per day). I recently bought a Cateye Astrale 8. It can tell me my cadence, average speed, max speed, time, odo, and distance. I've got 200 miles in so far on my road bike in February. It's not much but the weather here has been very bad (lots of snow and rain). I would like to do a couple of road races this year just for the heck of it just to see what I can do. I don't care about first place because I know I won't see it this year. I'm very new to road riding and only use that Cateye for my distance right now. I don't really keep up with that cadence feature. I'm 24 years old 6'3, 225 lbs.My average speed is around 14 mph. I can ride 30 miles fairly easily now. I live in NC and there are lots of hills here. Question is: what can I do in my training or riding to help improve my riding skills? I would like to be A LOT FASTER. 14 mph really bites. Should I bring my body weight down a couple of pounds? Remember I have that Cateye to help me out some. So I'm open to suggestions from any and all.
You all are the BEST!!!!..........Justin :D

PS: The pic is for reference. I use to do a lot of bodybuilding so I have a lot of muscle mass(use to weight 280 lbs, now 225 lbs). If you think I need to drop weight just say so. Thanks! :D
 

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mtnbikenc1979 said:
This will be my very first season on the road bike. Remember I do a lot of MTN biking (2-3 days a week for 2-3 hours per day). I recently bought a Cateye Astrale 8. It can tell me my cadence, average speed, max speed, time, odo, and distance. I've got 200 miles in so far on my road bike in February. It's not much but the weather here has been very bad (lots of snow and rain). I would like to do a couple of road races this year just for the heck of it just to see what I can do. I don't care about first place because I know I won't see it this year. I'm very new to road riding and only use that Cateye for my distance right now. I don't really keep up with that cadence feature. I'm 24 years old 6'3, 225 lbs.My average speed is around 14 mph. I can ride 30 miles fairly easily now. I live in NC and there are lots of hills here. Question is: what can I do in my training or riding to help improve my riding skills? I would like to be A LOT FASTER. 14 mph really bites. Should I bring my body weight down a couple of pounds? Remember I have that Cateye to help me out some. So I'm open to suggestions from any and all.
You all are the BEST!!!!..........Justin :D

PS: The pic is for reference. I use to do a lot of bodybuilding so I have a lot of muscle mass(use to weight 280 lbs, now 225 lbs). If you think I need to drop weight just say so. Thanks! :D
Lose weight! Don't expect to due much if anything in races with any kind of climbing at your size (unless you have an incredible engine!). If you can't do well at hilly races that means you have to be able to sprint, as non-hilly races almost inevitably end in a bunch sprint. At your size you should have a good sprint. But you still have to be able to be in the right position coming to the line to use your sprint, and that requires experience and half-way decent fitness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank You! Your advice is much appreciated.

Dwayne Barry said:
Lose weight! Don't expect to due much if anything in races with any kind of climbing at your size (unless you have an incredible engine!). If you can't do well at hilly races that means you have to be able to sprint, as non-hilly races almost inevitably end in a bunch sprint. At your size you should have a good sprint. But you still have to be able to be in the right position coming to the line to use your sprint, and that requires experience and half-way decent fitness.
Thanks for the help. I'm still learning from the best........Justin :D
 

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Every little counts...
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Just ride

Keep the cadence up over 90. If your riding time is longer than your time in the gym, your body will adapt and shed muscle mass. If you don't want this, don't ride.

Get a HR monitor.
 

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Huh?

Everyone has their own philosophy, but as far as i am concerned, being a first year rider you should look for consistancy. It would be better for you to be on your bike 5 days a week for 1 hour, than 2 days a week for 2.5 hours. Just start off slow, remember that your body will respond to rest as well as riding. They are right about the weight, 225 is a lot, but if you ride, your body will mold yourslef. I have a friend, i know eveyone has one, that used to weigh 210 and was a powerhouse on the bike. Unfortunatly gravity owned him. Now is only down to 190, and can put the hurt on about anyone around. So i will say it again, consistancy is key. Your body shape will follow. Try to keep it fun. Racing is also some of the best training you can get.
 

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Good Advice...

I know a lot of purists will bah and humbug the Heartrate monitor advice, but for someone that needs training specificity, hop on a plan, like Friel and stick to it!!! I was like you, not as big... but an ex-wannabe body builder. I went from 156 to 192... and I hate to tell you this, but I've been back on the bike now for 3 years, one of them competitive and JUST NOW am sustaning a bodyweight under 170. Pulling muscle off is hard, It is bizarre, even though I have nary lifted a thing in years. (I still do legs though from oct-dec)

Get lots of base in your aerobic zone and stay off the power stuff until you get through your base periods. Eat right and by all means... DO NOT TOUCH WEIGHTS, especially upper body.
 

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hi, I'm Larry
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For now just put hours on the bike

Try to get out for an hour every day. Don't worry now about pushing it too hard, just keep it fun. (but push it a little). Find some group rides to go on, find a group that feels right to you. Find fun places to ride to.

You need to build a base. The base will build muscle mass in the legs and should help shed a few pounds on the waist. If you want to go to a few races, do it, but do it for the fun of it. (at an average of 14 MPH you will get toasted).

Once you built a base then you can look at intervals. You will need at the very least a few months to build a base. I would focus on just mileage and hours this year. Maybe latter in the year start developing strength by interval training.
 

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just ride, the rest will come later

You sound a lot like me, and believe or not you can be competitive at certain races even if you're a bigger guy. FWIW i'm 6'4" 225 and race collegiate and cat 4 with some success. Loose weight that can be easily lost. Maybe cut out a few bears, lighten up on the carbos some, but what smaller people don't understand, is that you'll never loose enough weight to become a climber. Instead, just ride a lot, or at least as much as your time and body will let you. Try to do 100-150 miles a week if you can, and while on some days you'll want to focus on going as fast as you can, some days just take it easy. As bad as it sounds a 14mph trip average might not be that bad depending on how your computer calculates it (i.e. does it stop when the bike isn't moving). If you increase your average speed by 3mph, you'd be doing pretty fast training rides by most people's estimation. Don't worry about racing too soon. Get comfortable on the bike, and riding with other people. Group rides are great for workouts and for handling lessons.

Good luck.
 

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You are in the, "if you want to go faster, go faster," stage of development. You are exactly the kind of rider that will benefit from a lot of tempo riding (riding where you feel that you are pushing yourself, but you're not blowing up).
I wouldn't worry too much about intervals at this point. If you're averaging 14 mph, you've got a way to go before you should think about doing a race (I assume that 14 mph avg is with stops, etc., get home look at the computer 14 mph average rather than a cruising avg, but, still).
The one lil ol chestnut that comes back to me time and time again is that you become what you train to be. Or something like that. The lesson is that, if you train this, you'll be able to do this. Train that, and you can do that. Most of racing, even in the lower categories, is riding at tempo, like 24-25 mph in a pack, which I would say is equivalent to about 21-22 solo, with a mile or two more for every increase in category. The pack will kick up to 28-30 in spots, and you need to be able to accelerate out of corners and all that, but if you can't hold that 24-25, you aren't in the race, period. So, get to where you can do that, and then think about intervals for those moments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks everyone!

All of you seem to know so much. Thanks for all the advice you have giving me. I'll consider trying everything said. It helps more than you'll ever know. Best website on the web!.........Justin :D

P.S. I use a Nike Triax C6 HR monitor. I always keep up with my calories burned at the end of a ride. Usually around 2,000 - 3,500 for a 2 hr ride depending on the route I take.
 

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Every little counts...
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Don't worry about the mileage also. Keep track of hours, you know that your output is steady regardless of wind, hills, or flats. If you are doing two hour rides, that is great.
 

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mtnbikenc1979 said:
P.S. I use a Nike Triax C6 HR monitor. I always keep up with my calories burned at the end of a ride. Usually around 2,000 - 3,500 for a 2 hr ride depending on the route I take.
Well, your computer is being way generous. I'd be surprised if you were burning 800 calories per hour. 1000 caories per hour on a bike? Is that possible?
 

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Don't worry too much about your average speed. This will depend a lot on whether you ride by yourself or in a group, and how hilly your rides are. Since your new, just ride lots, and consistently. Do a long ride each week for endurance, find a good club to ride with (important!), and have fun. Learn to ride safely in a group. Next year, if you're still serious, start a more structured program. And, sorry to say this, you really should lose some weight. You'll have trouble on all but flat courses.
 
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