Obese re-beginner looking for training advice.

Hi all. I hope you can help. I'm looking for some basic advice regarding a training regime. I'm currently 19 stone (and a bit), on a keto diet, and have currently dropped 2 stone. I would like to get back into cycling. I've got a hardtail MTB (Vitus Sentier) and a Planet-X Free Ranger gravel due to come in a couple of weeks. I went out on the MTB today and managed about 2.5miles. The plan was to get my fitness higher and drop some more weight before I start using the gravel bike.

What's the best way to go about working up into higher mileages? Should I have a rest day after each ride to recover/strengthen muscle, or should go with something like a ride each day Mon-Fr and take the weekend off to recover? Also, what would you recommend I do for recovery? I currently sit on my backside at a desk most of the day/evening (hence wanting to get back into cycling), and wondered if walking on the 'off' days would be beneficial?

Lastly, if I were to increase the mileage, is there any rule of thumb on how much to increase by and over a given time frame?

Thanks for taking the time to read!
 

slowmotion

Quite dreadful
Location
lost somewhere
My only advice would be to take it easy to start with. Never mind about your speed or the lengths of your rides. Just get on the bike and enjoy yourself, even if it's only for a few minutes. You don't want your "training" to become some kind of grisly chore. If you start enjoying yourself, you'll want to ride the bike more, and then you'll start getting fitter.

Good luck.
 
I'm in my mid seventies and recently re-started cycling after a long break and lots of physical changes.
I began on my 75th birthday, and rode once to the end of the close and around the church car park. I could hardly balance! Next I 'graduated' myself to the slightly-downhill road on the quiet estate nearby - maybe 500 yards? - then started pushing my bike along the canal towpath to get to the park, where I could ride 1.1 miles on a wide and mainly level path. Then I'd push home again. Only going out every alternate day, maximum.
Two months later and I think very little of doing a regular 6 mile return journey to the supermarket carrying a decent-sized 'shop' back with me, and the longest ride I've done was a total of 18 miles. I *can* ride on consecutive days now, but still generally prefer not to. I have no compunction about getting off and pushing, or just stopping 'for a rest' if I want to. My speed is slow, but I'm not in a race am I?
The first few rides I did which were longer than a couple of miles needed to be followed up by ibuprofen, but this is no longer the case, and my energy levels and - especially - my badly-damaged knee and ankle joints have all improved significantly. I'm retired so I reckon that even through winter I should be able to get out in daylight and the reasonably-dry a couple of times most weeks - and the benefits I've seen to my ageing body even in this short time have certainly given me the impetus to do so, even in less-than-perfect conditions.
I'm 100% certain, too, that had I gone all gung-ho about pushing myself, cycling further, faster etc etc, I'd've got sore and tired and unhappy and not felt even half the positive benefits that I've enjoyed!
 
I would ride by time, start at around 10 mins and increase gradually to around 40 mins, all at an easy pace. Ride a bit every day to condition yourself to being in the saddle.
Once you are at 40 mins then spend a few weeks at that time and ride at a steady pace.
After 3 months your body will have shrunk or grown to the point where you can ride any how you like.

Heavy riders stress the bike more so if you hit a rough patch of road, try and get off the saddle.
 

HMS_Dave

Grand Old Lady
Location
Midlands
Work with what you have rather than pushing too hard. I started riding at over 25 stone. Barely get down the street. But just keep going and listen to your body. If there is pain, stop and rest then go again when you feel ready/recovered. Strength and fitness can only come if you are able to ride and if you're injured, you can't gain improvements. It's hard to put timescales in place as we're all different. But you should notice a improvements within weeks if you're able to ride regularly and within months you'll feel a heck of a lot stronger im sure. I know i did and the weight came off too...
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game procrastinator!
Well done for deciding to do something about your health and fitness!

I would suggest taking a day off if you feel tired. That is your body telling you that it needs more time to recover. If you feel energetic, try doing a bit more.

I found it only took a month or two of regular short rides to start to get much fitter.

Unless you are cycling up hills, it should be easier to cycle than to walk so walking for recovery from cycling doesn't quite make sense to me! I'm not knocking walking - it is great exercise - but carrying a lot of weight about on your feet is hard work... (I was close to your weight at one time and my knees got pretty painful if I walked too far; especially up or down hills.)
 

RoubaixCube

~Tribanese~
Location
London, UK
Like everyone said. Just take it easy. Even if youre pedalling at a slow pace, that is still energy spent and calories being burnt.

The hardest part is watching what you eat after a ride. depending how long/far you ride. Burning a lot of calories will quite often leave you feeling like you havent had a good meal in ages and resisting the urge to eat junk food or foods packed full of sugar can be hell! Not saying that you shouldnt treat yourself once in a while. But just stay away from it as much as possible.

If you regularly have your cupboards stocked with things like crisps, doughnuts and cookies etc etc just stop buying them and fill your cupboards with healthier snacks - when it comes to junk food for me i go by the rule: "out of sight, out of mind."

I get moments where i absolutely crave some pringles really bad but i dont have any and 100% of the time i cant be arsed to go out and buy some even though i have a corner shop literally 2mins outside my door so i wont be having any :laugh:

keep nothing in the house to tempt you, but if you really had to have some then only on the condition that you walk around the block for 20mins before getting a packet and walking home. Either you'll give up wanting crisps ever again, which is also a good thing because youre not filling up with empty calories and because you cant be arsed to walk 20mins (thus staying away from junk food) or you'll get fitter, burn calories because you walked for 20mins for a tasty treat and I know it wont be an every day thing because you'll look out the window and see how shitty the weather looks outside and really wont want to go out :laugh::laugh:

I dont keep junk food at home because once i start eating, I cant stop. Even if i have one of them large bags of crisps from tesco or aldi and say to myself "im going to make this last a week", Its usually gone either within the first day or makes it to the 3rd before its empty.



::edited to add more context and easier reading::


::Edit 2, 3 & 4:

Also just as point of note If you had to fill your cupboard with something, Try nuts/mixed nuts/seeds and dried fruit (almonds and cashew nuts in particular are very very good for weight loss - cashews not so much but as they do contain more fat but healthy in moderation as it contains protein that keep you 'feeling full' - so dont binge on them. Both help metabolism and weight loss but both tend to be a bit more costly than your average bag of peanuts) - a lot of this stuff can be picked up from aldi for very little money. Some of their roasted and salted peanuts are pretty good too but again both are high in salt content so try and limit your consumption to an occasional small handful for a nibble along with something else like maybe a fig roll, dried figs/apricots/dates/mango etc etc
 
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Lots of really good advice above.
I too would stress the importance of not pushing yourself too hard.
I'm thinking of the time of year too, with less daylight, lower temperatures and rain. Or worse.

A little and often would be my advise. Focus on the enjoyment, what you can see or where you can go.
Photos are a great way of getting us off our ass - pick a theme of whatever you like and a plan to photo every bridge/church/pub within x miles of your house.

Can you do any chores on the bike? Small grocery shopping, down for the paper? It all adds up. And builds confidence and skills.

Picking decent routes is important too. A wet, dark October night on the side of a busy road is not a lot of fun.

Some folk like to measure everything and apps like Strava or RWGPS can track everything. That doesn't suit me. I prefer to enjoy where I am rather than worry about beating my time.

My first bike ride as an adult almost killed me at a distance of about 6km. It gets better! A lot better!^_^

Best of luck!
 
Good morning,

Are you sure that you want to be combining a Keto diet with an exercise such as cycling? :smile:

Assuming that you are on a Keto diet by choice, not as an anti-epilepsy or similar medical reason you are going to need to learn a lot to be able to exercise without glycogen stores. It can be done, especially with expert help but it is not something that I would choose if I had a fully free choice.

The big problem with exercise and Keto diets is what happens when you are exercising at anything beyond a low intensity, such as going up a hill, and this includes slight inclines that you will laugh at in a few months time but for now are mountains.

If you are on a "normal" diet then the body simply gets more energy from the glycogen in the leg muscles and once that's gone from the liver, and if you are doing any distance it is recommended that you have an energy get, jam sandwich or Mars bar and a can of Coke to replace this.

Once you remove glycogen from the body which is implicit with a diet intended to ramp up ketosis expect to find difficulties as ketosis doesn't build up such a reserve. As I understand it Keto diets are not wonderful miracle diets, the body continually produces ketone bodies with any diet and simply ramps up the process as the number of carbs in the diet is reduced (rather than it being an on/off process) and Ketone bodies are definitely a second choice/emergency energy source aimed at keeping the brain going while the inefficient process gluconeogenesis produces glucose from fat waiting for more carbs to be eaten.

One of the reasons that ketos diets often work for people is that they simply refuse to eat enough, years of media coverage saying fat is bad means that there is a reluctance to eat enough to replaces the day's energy expenditure.:smile:

Bye

Ian
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
Can’t add much to the above except to say make sure you are comfortable and have a good position. Many starting out say they feel discomfort, this can be to do with the saddle. Your back end will find it difficult to adjust but you might benefit from a saddle upgrade, just don’t think that more padding/gel will help, it won’t.
Try to get one that matches your sit bones.
The other thing is to have you saddle at the correct height. Your leg should be more or less straight when seated and the pedal at six o’clock with the the ball of your foot on the axis of the pedal. If the seat is too low you will get pain in the knees. If you get pain in your wrists and arms you need to look at the bars, stem and saddle fore/aft position.
Keep it up you’re doing well.
 
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Fab Foodie

hanging-on in quiet desperation ...
Well done for getting off the couch and onto a bicycle.

Lots of good advice above. I’d echo the general theme: smiles not miles. Don’t worry about how far or how fast, just get out when you can, make it enjoyable or as suggested, even pootling to the shops/running errands are all good miles.
Before you know it you’re going further more easily and feeling the benefits!
 

bruce1530

Veteran
Location
Ayrshire
As people say above, just get out and enjoy it. You'll improve.

I remember when I started cycling again - late 40s, overweight, hadn't done any proper exercise for years. Doing short runs, along the cyclepath. Didn't have a "training plan" or anything like that.

And then you start passing places thinking "Look, there's the place that I used to stop for a rest", or "There's the bit where I used to turn back for home..."
 

CXRAndy

Guru
Location
Lincs
Good morning,

Are you sure that you want to be combining a Keto diet with an exercise such as cycling? :smile:

Assuming that you are on a Keto diet by choice, not as an anti-epilepsy or similar medical reason you are going to need to learn a lot to be able to exercise without glycogen stores. It can be done, especially with expert help but it is not something that I would choose if I had a fully free choice.

The big problem with exercise and Keto diets is what happens when you are exercising at anything beyond a low intensity, such as going up a hill, and this includes slight inclines that you will laugh at in a few months time but for now are mountains.

If you are on a "normal" diet then the body simply gets more energy from the glycogen in the leg muscles and once that's gone from the liver, and if you are doing any distance it is recommended that you have an energy get, jam sandwich or Mars bar and a can of Coke to replace this.

Once you remove glycogen from the body which is implicit with a diet intended to ramp up ketosis expect to find difficulties as ketosis doesn't build up such a reserve. As I understand it Keto diets are not wonderful miracle diets, the body continually produces ketone bodies with any diet and simply ramps up the process as the number of carbs in the diet is reduced (rather than it being an on/off process) and Ketone bodies are definitely a second choice/emergency energy source aimed at keeping the brain going while the inefficient process gluconeogenesis produces glucose from fat waiting for more carbs to be eaten.

One of the reasons that ketos diets often work for people is that they simply refuse to eat enough, years of media coverage saying fat is bad means that there is a reluctance to eat enough to replaces the day's energy expenditure.:smile:

Bye

Ian
I've embarked on a low carb(very low) and high fat diet. I don't think I'm truly in ketosis yet, but aim to get there in a few months. I've found that once carbs are all but eliminated from your diet, hunger pangs disappear. I can go 18 hours fasting without any thought of food now. I eat in a 6 hour window, get my calories from mostly fats with lots of leafy vegetables, protein from meat and fish.

The body always has a store of glycogen (used for flight or fight), but as it becomes fat adapted, by reducing insulin at a low level, the body can access the body fat stores. Even the slimmest person has 100,000 calories available in fat.

There are no essential carb required by the body to survive, proteins and fats are essential. By eating vegetables as part of a balance diet you will ultimately get small amounts of carbs.
 
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