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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Everyone,

Well I just finished my first year and half since i hit the bike. I lost 65lbs (230 to 165), I went from barely being able to do 10 miles with a rec. group to now being able to do 50 miles with a 20mph avg with local racers. Through my year and a half, I have come to found training for biking is not like any other sport. Im a senior in highschool this year (dang it school starts in 3 weeks!!) and i have tried almost every sport (wrestling, football, volleyball) and in all those sports, you can train all day long and your performance suffers, but it doesnt seem like it. In road biking, if i train hard a day, im screwed the next two. What i mean is in most of "those" sports, you can train 6 hours a day every day, but in cycling your performance suffers if you do (or atleast mine does)?
For example, on a thursday i went on an easy cruise with my friend for 25 miles (i averaged 15) and then hit the gym for 2 hours and worked out upper and lower body. Then in the evening, i went on an easy cruise with some friends. Then the next day, i rode with some friends up to a local lake (measly 25 flat miles real easy pace, one friend was on a mountainbike) and i struggled on the way back. Im the fastest out of all of those friends, and i got dropped on the 16mph pace on the way back (okay on the way back we stopped at a mom and pop burger place called Dam Diner and i had a big double meat burger with a plate of fries and loaded both with salt and buckets and ketchup). Then Saturday morning, i had my usual ride with the fast group and boy was it not fun. They were doing a 70 mile loops with some hard climbs.
The ride starts out flat and then rollers (about 25 miles in) and then after a rest stop is when the climbing begins. Well we wernt even on the rollers yet and i got dropped from the 20mph warm up pace. Then i struggled to just keep them in sight. I decided on turning around before the climbs started and rode back at a pace to were i was hurting, but would be a breeze if i didnt train hard at the gym the day before, not 2 days before.
Soo what should i do? Should i keep training how im doing? I think what killed me is i started the gym this week and i think working out the legs is whats killing me. I really dont mind training like i am with the gym full time, and maybe even riding more. I might ride slow for acouple of weeks, but by next racing season i should be fast enough to attack the peleton.... right....???:idea: I started the gym to start working out my real "bad" upper body and decided to do the legs also. I know us bikers dont want an arnold upper body, but chicks in high school theese days dont dig pantani (may he rest in peace and ride through the heavens forever like he did on earth in the alps) arms . Im sure they wouldnt mind boonen arms . Plus i just watched the rocky 1-5 (6 was as boring as watching a rock) and never back down this past week soo im inspired as F*** to train on my bike and become the best biker i can be. I raced this past season and got my 4 upgrade and then did 1 race as a 4 and junior district crit championships (finished 2nd to last, but i was proud of not being dropped from the pack), but i want to be a 3 by this time next year to be able to experience the level of competition at U-23 nationals.

THANK YOU for your time in reading my post. It is well appreciated.
Sincerely,
Sunny
 

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Sunny,

Congrats on the weight loss & the fitness/speed/endurance you have already acquired. My advice to you is to be patient & try not to over-train. You can wear yourself out & make yourself susceptible to injury or illness. What you have described is over-training. Maybe eventually your body will acclimate to that much activity, but for now you have to ease into it. You're young & your body is resilient, but you can still over-do it.

Oh, & the Rocky movies are great inspiration, but really poor training examples. Part of the reason is that sports-science has come a long way in the last 30 years - the other part is Hollywood's tendency to exagerate. So take the inspirational part, but get your training plan elsewhere.

Good luck.
 

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SunnySang said:
(okay on the way back we stopped at a mom and pop burger place called Dam Diner and i had a big double meat burger with a plate of fries and loaded both with salt and buckets and ketchup).
First off- losing that much weight is freakin' awesome. Good job.

Next- this quote may be part of your problem. You've done a great job of becoming active, but you need to make sure you've got the nutrition to back it up. Even if you exercise a lot, processed food that contains little fiber and large amounts of saturated fat is still not that great to eat.

It sounds like your training is good (seems that you are spacing out your hard rides with some easier ones, which is ideal for recovery). So, I'd venture to guess that you just need to re-vamp your calorie intake a bit.
 

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burtronix said:
Oh, & the Rocky movies are great inspiration, but really poor training examples. Part of the reason is that sports-science has come a long way in the last 30 years - the other part is Hollywood's tendency to exagerate. So take the inspirational part, but get your training plan elsewhere.
Dude, I punch giant carcasses of bovine all day to make my legs strong!

okay, back on topic...

Yeah, not taking rest days is the biggest mistake you can make, as well as not having "easy" days. Easy and rest makes fast, and they're a lot harder to do since you always want to go faster but you have to control yourself.

Congrats on the weight loss and keep at it. Soon you'll work up your average and next thing you know you'll be a Cat. 1 :D
 

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but you need to make sure you've got the nutrition to back it up.
just what I was thinking.

just because you're young doesn't mean that your body can live on air.

that much weight loss, too, is going to cause some funky changes.

Re: gym -- work your upper body as you wish to accomplish whatever you want to accomplish, work your core because it will help your cycling and because it's good for you, but don't spend a minute on your legs in the gym. Unnecessary to counter-productive. Some guys, I know, swear by leg work in the gym, although (a) typically only in the off season, (b) I think that much of the (cycling) benefit is really to the core, anyway, and (c) in-season it's probably going to hurt you.
 

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eating right after workouts and keeping good hydration are very important to recovery.
Biking, running Swimming etc are sports where you can't hide it if you're hurting.

Take your rest days as serious as your harder training days

I like resting on Monday and Friday (Thursday if Saturday's race is more important then Sunday's)

Stretch. Take a yoga class, you'll meet tons of chicks and get better stretching then you could ever hope for on your own.
 

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Why is cycling tougher than other sports? Well, it's not. If you were a high level swimmer or runner, your coach would have you and your team mates doing the same practices, and only racing every few weeks. In effect, you're racing every few days when you push yourself riding with your friends. All the advice here is good. Try to build it into the way you think. Also, I'd try to substitute some core strength training for some of the weights you're doing.

And eat the burger and fries before your recovery days. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Thanks for the support guys. Im really proud of my self for losing the weight and its wierd to catch girls staring at me at restaurants/mall after spending the first 16 years of my life as a nerd (didnt help that i was indian, like from india) and girls not even talking to me unless they needed help with school work. (Im just soo excited for this school year regarding girls cuz im the only one in my group of friends that has not gone on a date yet and i actually have a chance now, atleast the confidence anways!!!)
Yeah i think the problem is i worked out my legs, and they dont really need it yet. Ill probably start my legs once the time changes because ill end up riding less cuz my 2 sponsors dont like me out in the dark.
Regarding recovery days,
-Sundays i do a longish ride with climbs (30-40ish miles) and a good pace with gym upper body
-Mondays i do base mile with the local rec. club or some kind of intervals (30-40ish miles) with upper body at gym afterwerd.
-Tuesdays- Fast 35-40 mile ride, avg 19+mph, then 10 miles with a local shop ride
-Wednesdays-Same as mondays
-Thursday- Same fast ride as tuesday, then 10 miles with local shop ride
-Friday- off, no riding/workouts
-Saturday- Long ride with race group and climbs 60+ hard miles.

Is that about right, any recomendations of what i should change. Its not exact, but its what i try to go by. The local shop ride is not definite, usually no one shows.

I agree regarding nutrition. It has been the hardest part of road biking to me. Its just growing up in a indian house hold, im used to a lotta soups (my fav. chicken + rice) and a lot of india style tortillas with veggie soups and growing up i didnt get many opportunities to try the local mom and pop places that are real good. For example today (monday) I went with the local rec. club and did a 40 mile loop and had lunch afterward in a corner shop of a place called old town clovis (old western style down town of city near my house) about 4 miles from my house. What i love about the rec club is that most of the guys are retired and i love to listen to their stories while eating lunch with them, which they go to a different restauraunt/mom and pop place after every ride. It was just gorgeous and the photo of the burger is just reeled me in. (big 1/3 pound patty with bbq sauce and bacon, just the right amount of mayonase and lettuce) I know i have to control my self, but i dont know if i'll ever get a chance to eat at this place again soo i always give in.
Are there any books or websites anyone can recommend that has recipe's for cycling specific foods? Im just tired of the same old indian food crap ive always eaten at home. My sponsor said she could start making foods, all i need is a book that tells her how.

Regarding yoga.... I am very very stiff haha. I dont know if i can stretch at all, but ill try it anyways. There arnt any special clothes i gotta wear are there. I was looking at people walking into the yoga/spin room as i was leaving the spin room and some of the yoga ppl were wearing a different type of clothing than others. Gym shorts and T-shirts are fine right?

Also, should i start taking protein shakes or recovery drinks after every ride or gym workout? My sponsors said they would buy me a pack soo i could have a drink every day if i wanted. Usually, more than always, i have a meal (dinner or lunch), right after i come home from a ride or the gym (I got great sponsors ;) ).

Thanks again guys,

Sunny
 

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Regarding yoga.... I am very very stiff haha. I dont know if i can stretch at all, but ill try it anyways.
I think that there are many fine reasons to do yoga, including finding inner peace, focusing on breathing, and plain ol' building a strong body. and, inner peace. it's just that stretching for flexibility isn't one of them. the core strength improvements will help on the bike, but the flexibility necessary to ride a bike comes from riding a bike.
 

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clothing for yoga doesn't need to be specific. general gym attire that isn't binding. Loose shorts, breathable shirt.

as for getting your diet in tune... really nothing special for cyclists vs. any other healthy diet. Avoid junk, saturated fats and simple sugars. Stick with darker rice, whole grain breads. Things like High Fructose Corn Syrup and BAD. That junk is in everything. A good health book that covers excersize and eating is "Body For Life"

now there is a time and place for everything. You can have that big juicy cheeseburger. Just time it. Splurging on that is great after a hard ride. Getting food into you ASAP is important. In general, protien is what you need afterward to rebuild muscle tissue. A burger is perfect for it. You even need to replenish fat stores. (too low body fat will get you sick!) Don't skip dessert just beacuse it's loaded in fat and sugar. Have a small serving. Part of the beauty of getting a lot of miles under you is that you can eat this stuff.

Have you though about doing some racing? It's not as scary as some might let you think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
i am actually a cat 4 racer. I did about 10 races as a cat 5, one race as a cat 4, and then junior district championships and was just happy to finish 2nd to last, but with the pack! My best result this year was at a race called the sierra cycling classic in Visalia, CA. I finished 4th out of 35 in the cat 5 and got a medal. The reason im asking the stuff in this thread is because at this time last year, i was more focused on losing weight than my speed. This year everything is new to me. Im more focused on both and have come to found nutrition is just as important as training. Im done with racing this season, my sponsors told me to take it easy and get ready for school instead of races, soo im starting to move into the "off season" type training, i guess you can say.
 

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sounds like you're heading down a good path!
you'll be amazed how much better you'll do next year from this. After your muscles develop more and most important, the mental side of racing.

keep bugging those older guys you've got for resources. I didn't get into the game until after college and found some x racers in their mid 50s. Strong as heck but what they knew outweighed that even more.

One tip, in the first year or two when we're all really excited about racing, it's really easy to get overtrained and mentally burnt out. When you start feeling like that, walk away. Take a few weeks off the bike and let yourself rest. You'll be itching to get back on and ready to go. I've seen a few guy hit that point, try pushing through it and they lose intrest in the sport all together. Don't take it too seriously.

congrats on your 4th place. I'm sure you'll better that next spring. :thumbsup:
 
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