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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
okay its only been about a week since I got my bike. Before that I was doing absolutely no exercise at all. I'm about 6'0 and 272 lbs. To give you an idea of what I do, I ride around my block which is the shape of a block type "d" so its one block with only one way out of it. At the moment I'm only doing the lower stretch of road because it is quite a hill to get out of the street that I ride on.
every night I go riding I try to go a little longer. I started at about 20 minutes only because of a sore backside. Today I picked up a computer to see how much I was doing. when I got back I checked and was a little disappointed. I only did 8.4 miles in an hour. avg speed was about 8.3 mph and max was 16mph. At around 45 minutes I start feeling pretty tired but not enough to kill me. I can keep going as long as I dont try and overdo it.

Is this an okay pace? I was thinking it was maybe because I have to keep slowing down to make the u-turn at both ends.

as you can probably tell I'm going for weight loss and not for speed or anything like that.
 

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No matter how fast you're riding, there's bound to be someone who can do it faster and someone who can't go that fast. Don't worry about it! I'm no expert but I think you're doing the right thing. Start small, listen to your body, and keep at it. Make sure you're having fun because then you'll stick with it--if it's a chore you'll give up eventually. For some people timing laps is fun and motivating but for others it's not. Do whatever works for you.

Jon
 

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local trails rider
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In my totally unscientific opinion:
whatever exercise you do is good. If you are not fit, start easy. Do not stop there: push yourself a little. For improving endurance and losing fat, go for longer duration but keep the effort within bearable limits. It is OK to feel tired after a ride and during the hard parts or later stages of the ride. If you feel bad the next day, go very easy that day: you also need to recover.

Purely an opinion:
going round and round in a small area can get boring. Do you have somewhere else you could ride? Maybe a bigger loop?
 

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Dude...don't sweat it...I have only been back in the saddle for a few months and I am STILL outta shape...haha

I don't ride that many miles when I do after work rides...prolly only a total of 6 - 8 miles...

Now of course that is trail riding...with some pretty decent climbs and what not...so a little different than riding on a paved road...but still

I read about folks doing these 30+ mile rides...well, I am not there yet...and I don't worry about it! The biggest ride I have done is about 15 miles...and it was one that had me on the couch chillin' and recovering for hours afterwards...haha

Just keep it up...it does get easier...and like said above...find FUN places to ride!
 

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local trails rider
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PanicFan77 said:
it does get easier...
Nononono.. no !
It does not get easier: you just go faster and have more fun :D

(actually, it is not a bad idea to occasionally do a ride that feels easy)
 

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variety = spice of life

I'm still new to the whole mtb thing, but I've been an avid runner for years. As far as exercise goes, the basic principles are the same. I think a common problem with people getting into a new exercise routine is impatience which in turn leads to self-doubt which in turn leads to lack of motivation which in turn leads to the couch again. Just stay with it and you'll see results. Keeping it interesting is also paramount. Find interesting places to ride or your ride will become monotonous and dreadful.
 

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After 1 week riding don't be at all hard on yourself, I would say it will take a couple of months for you to start noticing good improvement. I wouldn't try and compare your avg speed and distance with others since different terrain and elevations have a huge effect on that sort of thing.

If it helps keep a routine and keep track of your times, keep a spreadsheet and once you start feeling fitter, try and break your lap / circuit times and you will see the numbers coming down. Once you start leveling out, increase the distance and go from there. A cycle computer is a great motivator.

Most of all have try and have fun, MTB is pretty much the only sport I got into and I love it. Get off road and try finding someone to ride with, find some new trails or routes and have fun doing them. Take it easy some days, push yourself on others, any exercise when starting out is good exercise. Fitness and weight loss will come as a bi-product of having fun riding. :thumbsup:
 

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You'll get there. When I first bought my bike in April, a 5 mile trip almost killed me. 2 months later, I did 35 miles in one day, and 25 the next. Sometimes I ride everyday, sometimes I take a few days off. Overtime, you become faster, be able to rider longer/harder, and push bigger gears with ease. Also, keep a pace that you're comfortable with. Like the poster above stated: most importantly, have fun on your bike. I know I do. :)
 

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8.4 miles is really good considering you are just starting out. I've been riding my road bike for around 5 years now and sometimes on days that I'm just not feeling it, I only do 12-16 miles. I am also looking to lose weight as well at 5-10", 215 Lbs. opposed to my normal weight of 180 Lbs.

Just keep pushing yourself every single time you ride and your your overall speed and distance will increase every night. And once that happens, you will become hooked and put even more into it. Also, don't worry about resting your body every few days to allow your legs to heel.

It's also very important to eat right and at the right times. I lost 44 Lbs. a few years ago when I first bought my bike and now I have to do it all over again.

You're doing great. Keep it up!
 

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Its Tammy! 2 M's and a Y
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Sometimes if you ride with someone else they can push you to go a little farther. Do you have friends that ride also? Maybe you could ride with them once or twice a week. Keep at it, with time it'll get easier! :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have one friend from work that I'm hoping to go trail riding with but he said he wont have his new bike till sometime in september. in the meantime I was hoping to get in somewhat good shape so that I dont slow him down too bad. He's not a serious mountain biker or anything but I want to wait until he goes cause he already know the trails so he could show me where to go and all that. other than that I dont have anybody else that rides. I have been riding with my sister but she has an old department store bike that I doubt could handle the trails. its also in pretty bad shape already. she's thinking about getting a bike but she doesnt know if she would want to go to any trails or just stick to road riding. today I only went 6.3 miles but this time I went around my whole block which has a pretty big incline. at least for a beginner like me of course. I only went around five times and then just rode back and forth again like I explained earlier but that hill sure did seem to get longer and steeper every time I got on it.

but thanks everyone for your kind words. I'm still so far having fun with it I just hope I dont get too bored before my friend gets his bike. but I'm sure I'll just pick somewhere else to ride if I do.
 

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local trails rider
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zaviere said:
I just hope I dont get too bored before my friend gets his bike. but I'm sure I'll just pick somewhere else to ride if I do.
If the traffic in your neighborhood is not too deadly, go and explore a bit. If you can ride around your block several times, you might as well go around the next one too...
 

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Smarter Than He Looks
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Just ride! Make it a game, see how much of that hill you can get up before you have to walk. Next time try to make it to the next driveway (or mailbox or tree or whatever). You will be amazed at the progress you make as your body gets used to this new thing you're asking it to do.

I started riding back in February, just a few months short of my 48th birthday. Not quite as big as you, but certainly overweight and a very low fitness level. My first day on the bike I rode down a hill into the next neighborhood, but had to walk back up. I was so embarrassed I was tempted to let all the air out of one my tires so people would think I was walking due to a flat. I won't bore you with the details (PM me if you want) but if you had told me back in February what I would be doing on a bike in July, I wouldn't have believed you.

So no, you're not UNDER doing it. You're doing fine. Just ride.
 

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The best investment that you can make is in a heart rate monitor. It allows to to track your true fitness level. Mileage, avg speed, etc are all good to know as well, but you should focus on staying within a target heart rate. It will also help you avoid going anerobic which is esentially useless exercise that occurs at the upper end of your target heart rate.

The monitors are roughly 100 bucks for a decent one, you don't need ones with all the bells and whistles to start. Get one that uses a chest strap, I would highly recommend models from Polar.

To determine a target heart rate, first determine you peak heart rate. Simple equation which is 220 minus your age. Now multiply that number by your desired % heart rate. You should stay between 70-80% of you peak heart rate. Some of the Polar models do all of this for you automatically.

Ride for 20-30 minutes in your THR and you will begin to see your fitness level increase dramatically in a short period of time.
 

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That's a fine pace. Remember you need 20 minutes of sustained elevated heart rate to have a cardio training effect. 30-45 minutes is perfect for fat loss. I'd say do 2-3 30 minute rides a week and then try to hit a good weekend adventure for anywhere from 1-4 hours. Don't worry about your speed. And don't push it so hard that you burn yourself out. You should feel invigorated and energized by your rides, not depleted and wasted. Let the beer do that (just kidding).

If fat loss is your goal, then pay attention to your diet and don't compensate with food for your new activity level. In other words, don't eat more now that you're doing more activity. It's pretty easy to eat enough to not lose any fat at all.
 

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Bike to the Bone...
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I think you're doing the right thing. Start slowly but steadly. Don't overdo yourself, and keep trying at better.

It doesn't matter how fast/slow you are in comparison to other riders, what matters is how much you improve over time. Don't expect instant amazing results (doing 8 miles now, and next week 16 in half the time you do now), but as time goes by you'll notice the results.

Write your times and what you do now, and then review this in two months, and then in six, and then in a year, and you'll be amazed on your improvements :)

Edit:

Other thing you can look at is group rides. Some bike shops or bike clubs might offer begginer rides where you can learn and meet new friends. That way you can have someone offer you advice and how-to easilty without having to learn everything.

Look at the forum here of the area where you live, probably someone knows some begginer clinics or rides.

And have fun, it's the only way to be constant.
 

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Like veryone has said"you have to start somewhere".Keep at it and you'll be happy with the results. Just make sure that you try to keep an even steady pace and keep your heart rate up for a while.

Good Luck
 

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I'm always in that battle with my weight so I come to this with some understanding. Most important thing is to keep it fun.Getting on the bike should never have the feeling that it's some sort of punishment. The best workout in the world is the one you're willing to do.Some riders enjoy day long death march kind of rides, some prefer to do the same ride evey time out, you'll have to find your own gig. If you're in the mood to push yourself, going longer will burn more fat than going faster. If you're into gadgets, a heart rate moniter is probably a better tool to compare one ride to another but is by no means a neccesity. Best luck Ken
 
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