New to the forum. Need some advice

Discussion in 'Training, Fitness and Health' started by markl121, 13 Feb 2019.

  1. markl121

    markl121 New Member

    Hi guys, I’ve been a fairly regular cyclist now for a few years. There have been a few breaks in that time, usually over the winter, but this year I made sure I had winter kit and got a few rides in during the cold weather.
    I don’t have a power meter so I know I can’t really be accurate but generally my strava estimated power and zwift power using my weight/speed/heart rate gives me an FTP of 123. I’m 90kg so I know this figure is awful. I cycle generally 15-20 mile a few nights a week after work and when I get a chance at the weekends. I tend to find the fastest I can go on the flats is 15mph average speed, maybe 16 if I’m feeling fresh. Atm I can barely manage more than 13 but that’s probably because I haven’t been out much over winter. I’ve started an FTP training plan on zwift, what else should I be doing? Obviously I’m trying to trim down a bit although a lot of my weight is leg muscle and shoulder.
    I don’t generally feel like I’m improving much, I tried the man of sperrin sportive easy route last year and had to turn back at the top of the first mountain, having stopped about 5 times on the way up, my heart rate was going 205 so I was close to passing out. Another guy who wasn’t a cyclist and was taking part because his brother organised it, was able to get up the hills fine. I want to be able to go to climbs and not worry another whether I will even get up it or not, never mind speed.
     
  2. ColinJ

    ColinJ It's a puzzle ...

    Hi Mark.

    How tall are you? 90 kg would be heavy if you are short, but not really that much if you are tall.

    Were you using a low enough gear on that mountain climb? You should be able to keep going and keep your heart rate under control if you ride slowly enough. Were you trying to keep up with people lighter and fitter than you - that's not a great idea!

    Make sure that the wheels on your bike can spin freely. I have accidentally knocked my rear brake in the past (causing it to drag on the rim) and then spent ages riding around wondering why I was getting so tired. A friend did the same thing. Another time, I over-tightened the rear quick release and made my wheel bearings drag like crazy. (They probably weren't adjusted properly either, but the QR was definitely way too tight.)
     
  3. It's either you or the bike - or your connection with it. Go see your GP and get your bike serviced. Then get your riding position assessed, it might be that you're riding position is out of whack.
     
    Drago likes this.
  4. YukonBoy

    YukonBoy Extra solar

    Location:
    Ultima Thule
    If you are new to structured interval training then I would start with a FTP test and then follow their base training for 4-8 weeks. Once you have completed that retest your FTP then start one of their build plans depending on your goals. Jumping straight to a build plan may mean you burn out early this year and never quite recover or lose your motivation for training.
     
  5. Yellow Saddle

    Yellow Saddle Veteran

    Location:
    Loch side.
    I like your optimism but... Occam's Razor says it is probably fitness.
     
    ColinJ likes this.
  6. FTP is soooooo last year. If you want a really effective way to measure your performance / improvements, there’s a system called 4 dimensional power (4DP) or 4 does more. It’s been developed by Sufferfest, and it’s got some good feedback.

    https://thesufferfest.com/pages/learn-more-4dp
     
  7. johnblack

    johnblack Active Member

    Hello Mark, it's difficult to add a great deal to what's already been said. How old are you? As I have got older I've made sure I have a yearly health check which looks at the usual suspects, blood pressure, blood glucose, HDL, FEV, waist / height ratio, body fat % - all indicators of general health. Might be an idea to have all that checked to see where you're starting from.

    Beating yourself up about it won't help, you need to enjoy it. Do a few local routes regularly and see over time how you compare. You can use those routes to build in different interval training to build up strength and endurance. Also workout what your riding style is, not everyone is a climber, but you can make yourself better by finding a cadence that works for you, always go at a sustainable pace and don't try and match 60kg mountain goat that flys past everyone on the ascent - you can catch him on the downhill!!
     
    Drago likes this.
  8. Drago

    Drago Guru

    Remember as well that different people progress at different rates. There are the so called "hard gainers" in every field of athletic endeavour, who seem to have to work 3 times as hard to progress the same amount as their chum blessed with well suited genetics.

    Keep at it, mix up the distance and intensity. Play every card in the deck. And good luck.
     
  9. 12boy

    12boy Über Member

    Location:
    Casper WY USA
    Assuming your heart and lungs are ok, then I've found the way to get better at hill climbing is climbing hills. Headwinds are good too.I don't have any metrics on my rides except average speed, distance and altitude climbed so I've never used a program, but I have noticed that there is a definite effort output that is fairly easy. I find if I increase my effort by a small amount it takes a conscious effort to maintain that extra couple of miles per hour or so. If riding the same route, it's also good to ride in the next higher gear than usual. Another idea is to drop in a minute or two of vigorous exercise at different times of the day, not enough to get all sweaty if you are at work, but enough to feel a little burn. For example, at my last office job, which involved a lot of sitting down, we'd al get drowsy in the afternoon and drink coffee to prevent dozing off. Someone started a routine of doing a plank for 2 minutes and then as many push ups as could be done in 30 seconds. Woke us right up. Be content with incremental improvements because they do add up.
     
    Drago and johnblack like this.
  10. MikeG

    MikeG Guru

    Location:
    Suffolk
    Welcome markl121.

    If you want to get better going up hills you have to weigh less, and practise more. This applies if you are Bradley Wiggins or Lardarse Larry.
     
    FishFright, classic33, 12boy and 2 others like this.
  11. cyberknight

    cyberknight Wibble

    Location:
    Land of confusion
    And remember we are all slower in winter
     
    johnblack likes this.
  12. What age are you ? 205bpm 5 times sounds like interference or something and perhaps you are giving into psychological barrier of that which causes anxeity and make you feel the way you did rather than a true maxing out.

    I used to believe in the mantra of building upto distance and hills by doing distance and hills but since moving to the flatlands I've found you don't need too to do hilly sportives. Build your power on the flat, its the same power on the hills (albeit you go slower) and you'll get there. :okay:
     
  13. 12boy

    12boy Über Member

    Location:
    Casper WY USA
    One advantage to training on hills is confidence. After a few hills I realized that if I have a manageable gear and grind away at a sustainable pace I will get to the top after a while, and have even come to enjoy the grind.
     
    johnblack and Slick like this.
  14. Globalti

    Globalti Legendary Member

    How old are you? Muscular strength drops off fast as you get into your 50s and 60s.
     
  15. 12boy

    12boy Über Member

    Location:
    Casper WY USA
    If that were true I couldn't walk around......16 months ago I fractured my pelvis in 3 places, and lost a huge amount of muscle in a couple of weeks. A few months of therapy and I could ride again and a few months after that was back to 20 mile rides working on my feet 20 hours/week etc. Muscular strength takes regular serious exercise to maintain as you age, for sure. I would agree you might lose strength more quickly than when young, but it can come back. I probably do some kind of exercise for at least 3 hours a day, but when I was younger I could maintain this level of fitness in half the time. I just don't believe that a healthy person can't be strong and vigorous into their 80s if they work at it. Even an old wrinklie who makes an effort can enjoy hard physical effort.
     
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