Stamina - or lack thereof.

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by Speicher, 12 Oct 2007.

  1. Speicher

    Speicher Vice Admiral Moderator

    Bearing in mind that I am a almost complete newcomer to cycling (and exercise in general) I would appreciate some advice please.

    My aim is to increase my stamina - for cycle rides etc. Even a couple of miles is not easy for me at the moment as I have to concentrate so hard on balance, gears, traffic, dogs (overtaking me:blush:) etc. So I have joined an Over 50s class on Monday mornings. After an hour of reasonably paced exercise, some of us have been having a short break - five/ten minutes perhaps and then playing badminton for 40 mins or so each. It is a very fast game of badminton as we all fairly proficient at it. If I wanted to, I could then have another short break, and go into the gym for treadmill, rowing etc etc, then go and have a swim, in the over 50s allotted time, which means I hope proper swimming and not just splashing around:biggrin:. I would add that this is all for the princely sum of £4.

    Is this scenario likely to increase my stamina, or is it counter-productive in some way, currently I can manage the first two with ease, and would add the third and fourth activity in the coming weeks. I realise that I should do some other activities. This would be Tango Argentino on Fridays, a walk at the weekend (five miles perhaps). It seems a vicious circle at the moment, not fit enough to do a long run on a cycle, not fit enough to get fitter:wacko:

    The cycling clubs round here seem to do comparatively long distances for a beginner like me:sad:, so I need to get stronger to attempt their distances.
    I have done very little exercise over the past four years, for various reasons. :biggrin: I would appreciate some advice from the excellently helpful forummers on here. Thank you.
  2. monnet

    monnet Über Member

    Sounds like you're pretty active so improvement shouldn't be a problem. As the weather deteriorates and the nights draw in I myself get plenty of exercise at the gym/ pool which keeps in shape through the winter.

    As for the cycling, the more you do it the fitter you'll become. Like so many things, it's a question of practice. Are any of the people you go to the gym/ walking/ tango with interested in a bit of cycling? You could get a group of you all out together which would be good for morale and with the cameraderie you might even go further. If that's not an option set yourself a few targets in terms of distance/ speed or whatever to aim for. Anotehr option is to take a short circuit and aim to increase the number of times you go round it. Alternatively find yourself a route that has lots of easy extensions, when you're feeling good just extend it a little bit.

    Above all, enjoy your cycling. Don't get so caught up in improving that you lose your love for the sport.
  3. ash68

    ash68 New Member

    Seems to me your keeping yourself pretty active. Choosing different sports/hobbies will help your general overall fitness progresss.It won't neccesarily improve cycling fitness. I think of myself as cycle fit, but not as fit for other sports i.e. running,swimming which I hardly ever do.IMO you need try to gradually increase your mileage every few weeks to improve your cycle fitness.You probably have a more balanced overall fitness programme than mine as you don't concentrate on one sport for fitness.I do go to the gym as well to lift weights,but really feel I should diversify more like you have.:biggrin:
  4. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    Yes doing that will increase your stamina.
    But only in so much as it will get you doing something strenuous but enjoy it at the same time.
    It won't equate to some sort of 'magic' potion that will suddenly make you able to cycle really far really fast without feeling tired. The best way of building up stamina for cycling is by cycling. Don't feel the need to go a certain speed or distance, or to do it when you don't really want to. The most important thing by far is that you enjoy it, so that you'll want to do it again and not make excuses not to (not saying you specifically will, but that applies to everybody)
  5. snorri

    snorri Legendary Member

    I am not qualified to comment on your varied exercise programme, but with regard to the cycling, I would say just get out regularly. Try a daily cycle run, even if it is just one mile or two. This will get you used to the brakes gears steering etc and without even thinking about it, your cycling fitness should improve. Your mileage will build up as you find yourself travelling further in the time you have allotted.
    I am intrigued by your avatar, I dont recognise the tug?
  6. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    I cycle jus tover 200km a week at the moment, and the most I ever did was 145km in a day with four fully loaded panniers and a tent on board...BUT badminton scares me...I reckon I'd last about a minute..if that! I think you are doing fine...just keep on keeping on and the stamina will come.
  7. You sound as if you are doing just fine. If you want to increase stamina for a good bike ride, you need to get into the habit of doing a daily bike ride, doesn't need to be far to begin with and build from there. The speed will pick up as well as you ride more as will the fitness. :rolleyes:

    Hope this helps and keep it up, you're doing great. Don't be dis-heartened if the results take a wee bit to come, they will. :biggrin:
  8. Cycling Naturalist

    Cycling Naturalist Legendary Member

    I started cycling seriously when I injured my knee and could not play badminton. Badminton is very stop start unless played at county plus level and the fitness is very different for cycling. As an indication, I take members of my club hill walking and although they all play at least four hours a week of competitive badminton they struggle with the likes of Snowdon.

    The best thing for cycling is cycling.
  9. OP

    Speicher Vice Admiral Moderator

    Thank you to everyone who has replied to my question. I think I will try, as Monnet suggested, finding a easy circuit that I can do, and try to do more circuits.

    We have a longish section of cycle path near here but as it goes past a very large school, several factories and an industrial estate, there is a lot of stopping and starting at junctions. I think I might be better choosing a more straightforward route on a quiet road, with a roundabout at the end.
    There is also a village near here with no through traffic, (it all goes round a by-pass) so I can get used to roads without heavy lorries on it.

    As you all have suggested, I shall just have to make slow but steady progress. Hopefully it will gradually become easier, like learning to drive a car.

    In answer to Snorri's question, the tug boat was photographed in Stockholm harbour last month. I just thought it would convey my interest in travelling. I do not know what it is called, and not sure if the name will show up if I enlarge the photo.
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