Road cycling to fitness



  • Having achieved a six pack (of sorts) a few year back - old thread c. 2012 - things have gone downhill.
    Change of work meant less chance to workout and then last Christmas had a ski accident which left me with a torn ligament and broken thigh bone.
    Bone is fine ligament STILL twinges.
    Upshot no exercise for a few months and weight up to 87kg. Any exercise is best low impact so I have bought a decent road bike and started training.
    Always thought London would be shit for biking until I discovered Richmond park. It's a great cycle circuit and I intend to train there. A mate who does triathlons reckons best thing first of al is not worry about speed - get used to riding and build up distance.
    This is what I'm doing at moment - really enjoying it, but two things immediately evident:

    1. my legs are shit - they go before my lungs and take longer to recover
    2. recovery is shit - I went 3 times last week (1.5 - 2 hrs each) with a rest day in between. Still felt leggy every time.
      Hopefully after another week recovery will stat to improve and I can start looking at speed.
      I want to get down to 82kg and be able to post some decent lap times by the time I hit the big 50 next March.


  • A mate of mine has recently quit running and gotten into this. He bought a bike for 5 figures ( he's obviously not married and has no kids ) and is totally addicted. Keen readers of all my threads will note I'm more of a power athlete ( haha ) but I do take an interest in what he does. He also spends a fortune on gels and shit to aid recovery. Ah the joys of having cash for all that nonsense....



  • Given how long you are riding I don't know if a single rest day is enough to recovery fully. That might be why your legs feel heavy. 2-3 days is your typical rest period when hitting a particular body part really hard. Deads, squats and even bench - but you can kind of fudge bench a bit with different variations/grips.
     
    Maybe try 2 day break  and look at working out your upper body on one of the rest days. Having a strong back would be good as I imagine 2 hours bent over :whistle:  ain't great for your lower back. From the little I know from cycling mates a good core and upper body strength will let you transfer that power to you legs. So you can smash your legs and lungs even harder! win win ha ha.
     
    Go hard bro, and keep us posted.
     
    MN5 we need more reports of feats of strength - update requested brah



  • Cheers guys appreciate the support. Unfortunately for the bike industry I am married with kids so I make my own energy and recovery drinks. Still trying to work our if they make a difference! Bike was 2nd hand so overall costs not too bad.
    Cycle log for last week (I bought a cycle app for the phone after 1st run)
    Sat - c.2hr ride with mate, incl. 2 laps of the park
    Mon - 1.34 time - dist. 24 miles- ave speed 15 mph - calories 1383 - 2 laps
    Weds - 2.01 time- dist 31 miles - ave speed 15 mph- cals 1640 - 3 laps
    Friday - rest run on the flat in traffic - 35 min - 9.5 miles - ave 18mph - cals 560
    Hopefully the rest and extra recovery nutrition will kick in and I'll be good to go for a longer one on Sunday. If not then yeah, Paek I'll go for longer rest period.
    The hills are really killing my speed at moment - need to blast though them without blowing up when I get to the top. Once I improve will start doing lap times around the park and will hopefully start posting quicker times as I go.
    .



  • 86kgs ! Bloody Hell - I wish I was that weight again, can't remember when I was.
    Seriously though, cycling should drop the weight pretty quickly. I started back cycling a few months ago @109kgs and after 3 or 4 weeks I was down to 102kgs. Throughout my years of playing rugby (retired about 5 years ago) I was usually around 90kgs so I'm aiming for that - still a bit to go 😉



  • Cheers Pooler - bet you, Paek and MN5 can all bench more than me though
    Legs still heavy so went on a bit of leisure ride for my house west of London across the city to Canary Wharf and back. Total 33miles so not a bad little work out. It's pretty flat and traffic quite clear in patches so some solid "speed areas".
    Not sure about my cycle app - it had me hitting 40 mph (64kph) on the stretch along embankment leading up to Tower of London and similar on the same stretch on the return journey! Unless it's some kind of freak wind free zone I don't think it can be right.
    Great to see the sights and cycle at the same time - only nearly crashed twice - so not too bad...
    I'm sure the weight is dropping off - Gut feels smaller - will weigh in at the gym this week.



  • Right - gym yesterday for some KBs and core exercise then the weigh in - 84.5kg
    So that's 2.5kg off in a couple of weeks and I've not been on the bike since Sunday - so happy with that.
    Given the legs a good rest this week. If work allows I'll pop in the gym on Thursday eve then plan to go for a long cycle over the w/e and see how the recovery goes.
    I'm itching to get back on the bike, roll on the w/e, in meantime I'll have to make do with watching the Vuelta.



  • Maybe its just me, but a few years ago I got the cycling bug in a big way, but I never really managed to lose much weight from it. Longest ride I did was 100k, which I did in just over 3:30, so about 18 mph which I thought was quite reasonable.
     
    I spoke to gym junkie about it, and he said that like everything, cycling is only good if done in tandem with diet and other exercises etc for weight loss.
     
    So my advice is to ensure you don't focus so much on the cycling you don't do other things.



  • I spoke to gym junkie about it, and he said that like everything, cycling is only good if done in tandem with diet and other exercises etc for weight loss.

    THIS is so true.
     
    If you werent gaining weight though before you started cycling then adding cycling (or any exercise) can only lead to weight loss - unless you over compensate on the eating, which many do.
     
    A lot of people though only start doing exercise when the weight is coming on and therefore the exercise by itself often isnt enough to stop the weight gain. As Bart always says, you cant out train a bad diet!
     
    I reckon its about 75%/25% diet to training when it comes to getting results.



  • Bart's quote is one of my faves, been trying to sound knowledgeable using it for years! However fact remains I am losing weight so here are a few half baked theories as to why.

    1. diet has remained pretty healthy, I've cut out snacks and haven't started eating more. I think a lot of weekend warrior cyclists over do the Carbo load before and after exercise - also overdo the energy drinks and gels. You can only effectively convert one gram of carb per minute, so more than 60g for 60 minutes and you're basically just eating too much sugar. Also there should be enough in the tank for the first hour or cycling anyway.
    2. cycling in London is very stop start, and around Richmond park is very variable due to hills, roundabouts, cars and deer! The upshot is I think it's more like high intensity interval training rather than steady endurance. It's taken it out on my legs but I do think you burn more calories this way!
      So next 2kg will be harder but will be very happy with 82kg and delighted if I can eventually get to 80 - that would be my weight of 30 years ago.
      I am doing other exercise - mainly kettles and core with dips, chins, press ups thrown in, although I don't go at it nearly as hard as some of you guys on here.
      After a long leg rest this week (no cycling, just gym twice) hoping get a ride in Friday eve and again on Sunday.


  • Great day yesterday - burned off three laps round the park, and it feels my climbing is improving. When I start to blow-up going up hill I now go into a higher gear instead and then stand on the pedals. This keeps speed up, then when I sit back in saddle I'll change down into a higher spinning lower one.
    Gym today for some kettles and core, then weather permitting, another 30 mile cycle tomorrow. It will be interesting to see how the legs feel.
    Generally feeling fitter than I have for a while, and although general eating healthy - cooked a stir fry for 4 last night and ate the lot! So need to be disciplined.



  • Squeezed in a 30 miler this morning. My route across London massively hindered by road closures- the Tour of Britain cycling event hits the London stage this afternoon- which really screwed my route - ooh the irony.
    Cool seeing a lot of the team cars making their way to the event thought.
    Gym tomorrow



  • Work and bad weather have got it the way this week but managed a one hr ride this evening. 17 miles much in traffic.
    However best lap so far in the park - a shade over 22mins. Ave 18mph which given the hills I was really happy with.
    So two key goals:

    1. sub 20 min lap - to do that you need to ave over 20mph
    2. sub 60 min for 3consecutive laps.
      Club cyclists target the 3 lap challenge as a good level for fitness. A decent club rider will get below 55 min - I am waaay off that but 3 laps in 60 mins is a good long term goal. I reckon I hit about 1hr 15 at the moment so will be interesting to see how I go.
      Basically, allowing for cycling to and from the park, if I get a spare hr I can do the one lap, spare 2 hrs go for the 3 laps.
      So hope to fit in a 3 lap over the w/e


  • Cheers Pooler - bet you, Paek and MN5 can all bench more than me though
    Legs still heavy so went on a bit of leisure ride for my house west of London across the city to Canary Wharf and back. Total 33miles so not a bad little work out. It's pretty flat and traffic quite clear in patches so some solid "speed areas".
    Not sure about my cycle app - it had me hitting 40 mph (64kph) on the stretch along embankment leading up to Tower of London and similar on the same stretch on the return journey! Unless it's some kind of freak wind free zone I don't think it can be right.
    Great to see the sights and cycle at the same time - only nearly crashed twice - so not too bad...
    I'm sure the weight is dropping off - Gut feels smaller - will weigh in at the gym this week.

    I haven't benched in over a year, instead I've been doing clap push ups and weighted dips, much better on the shoulders I find.



  • weighted dips can get iffy (at least for this old man) in terms of sore shoulders. Tend to do a lot more DB bench rather than BB bench these days. Can't go past push ups though, so many variations to make you hurt!



  • I hardly touch weights - in the traditional sense - anymore. As I've got older I've found that mobility, flexibility is key so I try to do resistance against body weight or kettles/medicine balls/Bulgarian bags within a range of movement to try to excercise as many parts of the body as possible.
    That way if I do any new excercise I don't ache too much as body is not conditioned to do a limited range of movements.
    (I remember when I got into static bike cycling, got aerobically fit but came to the conclusion that it only got me fit for static cycling - I did a kb session and was in pieces!)
    Having said that even in my weights phase I wasn't shifting nearly as much as you guys - you are machines! I got up to benching my body weight and couldn't get much past that. Maybe because I'm at the ectomorph end of the spectrum I'm just not build for it!



  • Aargh Richmond Park closed to cyclists today - some kind of running event on, so a change of route and general 20 miler around Kingston, Hampton, Sunbury and back to Brentford. Loads of people round for lunch then settled into ABs v Arg.
    Although I lost another kg this week - down to 83 kg - the rugby fest of boozing and eating is going to put it back pronto if I'm not careful.
    Bit more gym this week and cycling next weekend.



  • I do a heap of mobility and stretching work - makes a massive difference to range of movement (squats etc) and certainly helps with form. 
     
    Having played around with KB's a fair bit I know exactly what you mean about biking fitness v KB workout fitness. Having a good cardio base will help but it's the muscle fatigue that'll get you.



  • weighted dips can get iffy (at least for this old man) in terms of sore shoulders. Tend to do a lot more DB bench rather than BB bench these days. Can't go past push ups though, so many variations to make you hurt!
    different strokes for different folks for this even older man.....I love dips for the range of motion and have never had any shoulder problems. Far less that when I was benching regularly funnily enough.



  • Any ideas for good "compound" exercises that activate lots of muscle groups? Currently doing things like burpee pull-ups, Turkish get ups with the KBs and medicine ball rotate overhead/slam on floor/pick up etc
    I did a circuits class on Sat with lots of medicine ball lunges - really felt my hams and glutes when cycling the next day!


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