Sprint or Distance?

unfitspen

New Member
Location
Truro, Cornwall
Started cycling about 6 weeks ago at 44 yrs old to try and get a bit fitter!! I can now do about 20/30 miles plodding along at about 12mph but not feeling much fitter for it, so thought I would try a 6 mile sprint as fast as I could muster (about 16 mph), my god that was different thought my heart was going to come out of chest but really feel that I have had a work out!!

Which should I keep doing?? starting to get confussed which one will be best for me to get fit and build some stamina?

cheers

unfitspen
 

Langster

New Member
Started cycling about 6 weeks ago at 44 yrs old to try and get a bit fitter!! I can now do about 20/30 miles plodding along at about 12mph but not feeling much fitter for it, so thought I would try a 6 mile sprint as fast as I could muster (about 16 mph), my god that was different thought my heart was going to come out of chest but really feel that I have had a work out!!

Which should I keep doing?? starting to get confussed which one will be best for me to get fit and build some stamina?

cheers

unfitspen
Hey there don't worry the fitness will come, it is more important that you are comfortable and enjoy your riding. I would be inclined to say it is better to ride frequently than far e.g a half hour a day 5 times a week is better than two rides of an hour and a half and mix it up a bit push yourself so you are riding at a fast pace(raise your heart rate) for a few minutes then slow down and cruise (rest and repeat).

There are lots of training programs out there but the best way to do it is to just get out there and have some fun.
 

palinurus

Legendary Member
Location
Watford
A sprint lasts only a couple hundred meters. Six miles is a time-trial!.

And it is this sort of training that will make you faster. As you build your cycling fitness- it will take some time if you haven't cycled for a while- it will become easier to do these sort of efforts and you'll get more out of them.
 

MacB

Lover of things that come in 3's
getting the miles in is good, I'd aim to ride 5/6 days a week and vary the distance, maybe 4 longer and two around the 10 miles mark. Also, on the longer rides, do some intervals, so every 10 miles give it everything for 60 seconds. Mix this up as well, do it on the flat and on hills, you won't believe how long 60 seconds can feel :dry:
 

Rob3rt

Man or Moose!
Location
Manchester
"Getting fit" is an abiguous term. I guess what im saying is, fitness is specific to a given sport, distance and intensity. So there is no one size fits all answer.

So you need to decide what you want? Do you want to cycle 100 mile? Do you want to hit 45+mph over 250 metres? Or maybe you wish to be as fast as possible over say 10-25 miles?


You mosty certainly shouldnt do this high intensity effort on every ride though.


I'd advise maybe reading The Cyclists Training Bible by Joe Friel.
 

Garz

Squat Member
Location
Down
Another for the distance badge before starting to mix up your 'training' rides im afraid. As mentioned it does depend on what your long term goals are tailored for but for fitness its just finding the time and getting out lots to start off with.

Some people start entering sportives as an incentive although there are other's like audax', end to end and coast to coast etc.

I would aim for either 75 mile or 100's a few times before breaking up your riding. Then you can do hill repeats, intervals and sprints to boost your overall fitness and work on any weak areas. Most of all though enjoy! :biggrin:
 

HJ

Cycling in Scotland
Location
Auld Reekie
Started cycling about 6 weeks ago at 44 yrs old to try and get a bit fitter!! I can now do about 20/30 miles plodding along at about 12mph but not feeling much fitter for it, so thought I would try a 6 mile sprint as fast as I could muster (about 16 mph), my god that was different thought my heart was going to come out of chest but really feel that I have had a work out!!

Which should I keep doing?? starting to get confussed which one will be best for me to get fit and build some stamina?

cheers

unfitspen
Distance, once you have the cardio fitness then you can think about time trialling, just take it slow and steady at first, there is no point in killing your self.
 

on the road

Über Member
Started cycling about 6 weeks ago at 44 yrs old to try and get a bit fitter!! I can now do about 20/30 miles plodding along at about 12mph but not feeling much fitter for it, so thought I would try a 6 mile sprint as fast as I could muster (about 16 mph), my god that was different thought my heart was going to come out of chest but really feel that I have had a work out!!

Which should I keep doing?? starting to get confussed which one will be best for me to get fit and build some stamina?

cheers

unfitspen
Do both.

What you could is to have a long ride one day, then a short but quick ride another day. Or you could have a long long ride but have a very short fast sprint during the ride.
 

Randochap

Senior hunter
You need to build a "base" first. There's no trick to this; just go ride and enjoy yourself. Don't count anything. Be realistic about goals; you're just starting out. Long-slow-distance is a good way to go.

If you get more ambitious, I'd also recommend Friel's Training Bible ... but let me give you the condensed version: Get plenty of rest; the most important part of training is during the adaptation stage. Pushing too hard, particularly at the beginning, will set you back.

Once you have a decent base (by next year) mix it up with intervals and LSD (avoid hallucinations though).
 
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