What watts

Discussion in 'Training, Fitness and Health' started by efreeti, 22 Apr 2010.

  1. efreeti

    efreeti New Member

    Location:
    Halifax
    I am trying to work out who to use the bikes in the gym to best advantage whilst training for the Manchester Blackpool ride. I am not going to be able to get out on more than maybe one long ride a week for the foreseeable future so need to get as much out of my gym sessions as possible. (Basically I can sneak Gym trips in whilst at work but getting out for a ride is limited to the weekend due to work and family commitments).

    If I set the bike to Rolling Hills setting with a difficultly of 10 (out of 20) I seem to be able to do between 130 and 170 watts on this setting. I did 45 minutes at that yesterday and it didn't push my heart rate up much past 130, (it was as low as 110 for some periods).

    Am I better pushing up the intensity and length of the Rolling Hills setting until I am getting nearer to MHR (160bpm) or doing shorter sessions at a higher fixed setting with some interval training worked into it?

    My reasoning behind "Rolling Hills" is that it feels more like a real bike ride so will presumably help my stamina but isn't giving me much practice for the longer hill climbs.

    I read on here about somebodies training routine involving holding at 240 watts for a significant period of time which worried me somewhat as I find 170 watts pretty hard work to maintain for very long at all.

    Oh - I'm 33, male, over 14 stone and fairly new to this whole fitness thing after losing loads of weight last year.
     
  2. RedBike

    RedBike New Member

    Location:
    Beside the road
    From what I can remember of the Manchester Blackpool ride there weren't really any hills.

    I'm quite ignorant regarding all this training rubbish but from what I can gather there are two main types of set workout.

    For endurance, most training guides tend to recommend riding at a steady pace for a long period of time. Although LONG and STEADY will mean different things to different people i've always taken this to mean riding for several hours and at a pace I can easily talk.

    For power most training guides tend to recommend the interval session. This basically involves riding HARD for a short period of time. Several sets of ~10/15mins bursts. At the end of each interval if you're not flopped over the bars of the bike with the look of pain on your face then you haven't done it correctly.

    For an endurance ride you can't really beat time on the bike (long rides).
     
  3. OP
    OP
    efreeti

    efreeti New Member

    Location:
    Halifax
    That is the issue you see, I need to do endurance training but don't have the opportunity to go out for four hours rides very often.

    I need to work out how best to use the 3 or 4 60-90 minute gym sessions I have available. I have flirted with interval training and obviously it knackers me out fairly quickly but can't work out if this is beneficial use of the 60 minutes. If I end up knackering myself out after 20 mins I can't see how that is helping my stamina much.

    Would I be better pushing a bit harder for an hour or pushing a lot for shorter sessions?
     
  4. Shady

    Shady Active Member

    Location:
    Isle of Man
    I tend to use my HR as a good indicator of how hard I am working - if you are 33 (I am 32) then your Max HR would calculate as 187 bpm rather than 160 (Formula is 220 - Your Age so 220 - 33 = 187).

    When I ride home from work it is a route than involves climbs up to 250m and as I am in a similar situation to yourself (32 and 14st 4lbs) my heart rate has actually got up to 194bpm !!

    My average for the ride was 166bpm for a 48 minute ride.

    Whilst wattage is an indicator of the power you output I would concentrate more on fitness and go by your HR to indicate how you are working - if you are getting HR readings between 110 and 130 then I would push yourself a bit more to get into a high intensity HR zone.

    My 2 pence worth, others may have a different opinion.

    Shady
     
  5. RedBike

    RedBike New Member

    Location:
    Beside the road
    I would just follow a "turbo-training" guide.

    There are a few here; but I have no idea what they're like.
    http://www.turbotraining.co.uk/turbo_trainer_sessions.php

    As for the heartrate. As Shady pointed out you need to find out exactly what your max heart rate is. 220-Age is just a guide. Everyone is slightly different.

    Unfortunately, the only way to find your max heart-rate is to warm up and then ride as hard as you possibly can. This exercise will hurt - A lot!.
    Its a good idea to take water, a towel and something sugary. You will probably feel faint for a short period after this exercise.


    From memory the areobic zone is about 70-80% of your max. So about 130-150bpm
    You should be able to stay within this zone for the full 60mins.

    Anerobic is 80-90%, This basically means your body is using glycogen istead of fat for its fuel source and your legs will start to feel heavy quickly from Latic Acid build up.
    This is the level to ride at for long intervals. ~15/20mins.

    Red line training is 90-100%. This is the level you should be at for short intervals.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    efreeti

    efreeti New Member

    Location:
    Halifax
    Thanks Shady, by 160bmp I was referring to that 80% of MHR target zone.

    I find it a lot easier to get to 160 on the treadmill. In fact 20 minutes on the treadmill at 9kmph starts pushing me over 160 and I am pretty much done in afterwards. Presumably this is because my own body weight sets the resistance on the treadmill where as the seated gym bike workout is just about how much effort I chose to put in at any given point.

    I guess getting myself between 140 and 150 and keeping it up for an hour should mean I am making some endurance progress? Just don't want to get 30 miles in and find I have run out of steam!
     
  7. OP
    OP
    efreeti

    efreeti New Member

    Location:
    Halifax
    Thanks RedBike, looks like there is some good info there.
     
  8. amaferanga

    amaferanga Über Member

    Location:
    Bolton
    If you're training to do a long ride then there's really no substitute for long training rides.

    Shorter stuff and intervals in particular will help you increase the speed you can sustain, but if you don't get your body used to riding for at least a few hours at a time then intervals won't help much.

    Most cyclists who are training for sportives or racing will do short, high intensity work through the week and long, steady rides at the weekend. The long steady rides are as important, if not more important (especially if you're just looking to complete x miles comfortably) than the intervals. It can be difficult fitting the long rides around family life, which is why you'll often see cyclists out very early on a Sunday morning. With summer now officially here you can head out at 7am, get 3 or 4 hours in the bag and be back in time to do your duties at home :smile:
     
  9. OP
    OP
    efreeti

    efreeti New Member

    Location:
    Halifax
    That is the plan. Early Saturday and Sunday mornings are going to be the only time I can get out really. I may do the odd 5am weekday start and try and get 3 hours in but that is going to take an awful lot of motivation!
     
  10. Brahan

    Brahan Über Member

    Location:
    West Sussex
    The first few very early morning rides are magical. You just need to make sure you're going to bed early enough the night before.
     
  11. jimboalee

    jimboalee New Member

    Location:
    Solihull
    When there is not a lot of time available, during a lunch break or between home and work in the morning, and there is a gym bike to hand,,,

    Get on the gym bike, forget the HR and "get rid of 450 calories ASAP".

    You might not do it on your first few visits. Then it will take you 45 mins at 10/min. Then 40 mins. Then when you can get to the '450 cals' target in 30 mins, you're doing better than 15 cals/min ( more than 250 Watts and good enough for a decent hill climb ).

    You can use any pre-programmed routine the bike has, as long as you get to 450 cals.

    Why 450 calories? It's 2oz of fat.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    efreeti

    efreeti New Member

    Location:
    Halifax
    That's interesting as calories are my current preferred tracking method. I started taking a serious interest in getting fit in January and used the calorie counters on the various machines to track my progress. I started on about 250 calories over 40 minutes and now do between 500 and 600 over 50 minutes.

    It has to be said though that at the moment I burn the least calories on the bike, I don't quite make 10 per min. Treadmill gives me slightly over 10 per min at a steady jog but the step machine is the clear leader at about 100 calories in six minutes.
     
  13. jimboalee

    jimboalee New Member

    Location:
    Solihull
    Calories per minute are directly related to Watts. Some machines display Watts and ALL display calories.
    Heartrate cannot be correlated to either. Elevated heartrate is the consequence of performing energetic activity.

    Climbing hills on a bike can be calculated in terms of Watts, and Cals/min.

    For anyone who wishes to perform well on a bicycle, increasing their Watts/kg figure is the main aim. Just like a racing car performs better with more kW per tonne.

    If, with every session, you feel a burning sensation in your working muscles, the next two days will be spent growing your muscles, capillaries and cardiac. And if you do not eat any extra carbohydrates for the 450 Cals spent on the gym bike, you will be metabolising fat to replace the energy in your blood, muscles and liver.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    efreeti

    efreeti New Member

    Location:
    Halifax
    Must admit I'm not particularly watching my carbs at the moment. I still vaguely use the weight watchers points system that helped me shift 6 stone but only insofar as keeping saturated fat and calorie intake at around "maintenance level". I rarely go through the day without having at least a portion of rice, pasta, bread or potatoes.

    Maybe it is time to cut the carbs down and up the protein.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    efreeti

    efreeti New Member

    Location:
    Halifax
    Well I went out on my first proper ride this morning. I was planning to do about 24 miles (mainly on the canal tow path - so fairly flat) but after about 16 miles my back tyre went bang and I realised I hadn't put a pump in my bag!

    Getting more used to the bike now and 16 miles didn't feel particularly difficult. The last 4 miles of the 24 miles would have been a bit more hilly and a nice end to the ride so I was a bit annoyed at myself for the school boy error with the pump!

    I also spent most of the ride having to readjust the seat as it kept tipping. Thought I had done it up nice and tight before I set off but obviously not. I actually broke the multi spanner in the cheap tool kit I carry trying to fix it during the ride. Might have to nip back to the LBS this week and register a complaint!
     
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