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Beginner Cycling

How should a beginner with limited time train?

asked over 6 years ago | Report

I'm getting back into cycling, but I operate under some tight constraints. I can only ride 2-4 times per week (varies based on other commitments) and I can only ride for a max of 45 minutes at a time.

My goal is general fitness, but my ego's goal is to be able to knock out a 15 mile ride in 45 minutes. Needless to say, I'm not there yet. I'm riding a hybrid bike, and I ride with a HRM. I generally keep my cadence above 80, usually high 80s to low 90s.

Should I:

* Ride at maximum intensity every ride, so basically make each ride a mini time trial?
* Ride easier to build up my aerobic base first?
* Ride a mixture?
* Do some pseudo-intervals (like picking a few climbs to charge up then taking it easy afterwords)?
* Take care on the climbing parts to keep my heart rate down to help build up aerobic base?
* Anything else you can think of?

3 answers

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  • Nothing can replace mileage and time in saddle. I would ride real intervals. If you're only riding 2-4 times a week, you can do some serious intervals each ride so long as you get at least a day of rest between each. Ride HARD for 4 minutes, ride easy for 3, repeat.

    answered over 6 years ago |Report

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  • Cycle commuting is good if you have the opportunity. I started doing it last October and I've noticed a marked improvement in my fitness and stamina - not to mention a drop in weight.

    answered about 6 years ago |Report

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  • +1 on the cycle commuting thing. My health went WAY up, my weight goes WAY down when I stay committed to cycle commuting. That actually worked out well in balancing out the type of exercise I was getting by just mountain biking on the weekends. Since the mountain biking I do on my local trails really is just interval training (sprint up hill, easier downhill, repeat over and over on rolling hill trails) my overall fitness was suffering, leaving me with the ability to just sprint but not ride all day long (no stamina, no endurance). Adding cycle commuting gave me the spinning type of riding that rounded out my exercise to give me better overall fitness on the bike.

    So my advice is to mix it up. If you cannot cycle commute, think of ways to get cycling in more often, such as getting a trailer and pulling your kid (or the dog), using your bike instead of the car to run errands (:Honey, I am going to sprint to the store for some milk!"), or even taking your bike with you to work to do a lunchtime spin and eat lunch afterward at your desk.

    answered about 6 years ago |Report

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