Sunday, August 27, 2017

Get Fit!

Are you still riding?  Are you fit?  Are you getting fit?  For me, I just got back into riding in late June.  In 2 mos. time, I went from struggling to average 10 mph (for 2 hrs.) on my Mountain Bike (on the flats) to averaging close to 15 mph (for 2 hrs.)  So, I'd say I'm getting fitter.  Am I as fit as I used to be, a few years ago?  Hell no, but that's ok.  I'm seeing good progress right now and that's all I can ask for.

If you're not fit and want to get fit, the first step (if you haven't already done so) is to lose weight.  Trust me when I say this.  It's MUCH easier to get back into shape when you're not overweight.  In fact, getting back into shape when you're overweight is a recipe for disaster.  It could even lead to a heart attack if you're older and really out of shape.  The 2nd step is just ride.  Ride until you get tired.  I highly recommend wearing a heart rate monitor and let that be your guide.  In the first couple of months I'd keep your heart rate (HR) in the Tempo or L3 Zone only.  Tempo zone is normally an easy to moderate zone where you can hold a conversation when you ride.  If you don't have a HR monitor (buy one) it's about a 3 on a scale from 1-10 in rate of perceived exertion.  If you do have a HR monitor (good for you) it's normally 70% of your HRmax (maximum Heart Rate).  So, if you're HRmax=190 bpm you want to keep your rides in the 140-150 bpm more.  After a couple months you want to move into the Threshold or L4 Zone.  When you ride in the Threshold Zone you should only be able to get out 3-4 words at a time in conversation.  Threshold Zone is normally 80% of your HRmax. You don't want to stay in the L4 Zone for more than 10-15 minutes for at least a couple weeks.  Theoretically, you should be able to ride in your Threshold Zone for about 1 hr. before bonking (giving up).   You want to mix up L3 with L4- where you're riding primarily in the L3 Zone.  At the end of 3 months, you can ride for 1 hr. at L4 or instead, do 2-3 intervals of 20 minutes at L4 pace with 5 minutes rest in-between intervals.

Trust me when I say this, it's no fun getting back into shape after a long layoff of not riding.  It sucks. You're going to feel like crap and it's very demoralizing.  You're going to have little old ladies pass you on the bike while you're riding 10 mph.  Get used to it.  Hey, it happened to me.  But, it won't last for long.  Just tonight, on my ride, I had some younger guy try to hold my wheel on the flat canal path near my home.  I was riding my Mountain bike and I was averaging 15 mph.  When the younger guy jumped on my rear wheel I cranked it up to 17-18 mph.  My Heart Rate shot up to the L4 range.  I knew I could last about 20 minutes at this pace.  The guy stayed on my wheel for 10 minutes.  After that, I looked back and he was gone.  I like to think I dropped his ass.  He probably turned to go home.  ha.  Regardless, it was fun being able to crank it up and not have anyone pass you.

So, Get Fit and Stay Fit.  Power ON!  Coach Rob

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