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Rapidly increasing mileage and pace (biking) (Read 2543 times)

    A painful metatarsal head has prevented me from running for about 2 mos now. 

     

    I tried swimming a few times but I dont love it, and thankfully now my MD has okay'd biking.

     

    So today I tuned up my MTB and put on new road tires, had a nice 1hr ride through hills today.  Feeling sore in a good way (I earned my IPA today).  So I ask any experienced bikers here:

     

    What kind of mileage / effort / frequency should I attempt as I get started?  most curious about frequency...how often and far the first few weeks, and how much to add thereafter.  

     

    I'm in decent shape, was running 30mi/wk before the layoff.  I have some experience biking, but not a ton, mostly just recreational mountain biking.  I intend to listen to my legs, but dont mind pushing it within reason....just like I did with my foot.   XD


    Needs more cowbell!

      I wouldn't get too caught up in pace/distance #s--what you can do on a mountain bike is relative only to other mountain bikes of similar weight/wheel circ. and your own experience/fitness, the terrain, etc. (for instance, on the road my av. ride pace including stops and starts is generally around 16mph, but on my cyclocross bike on a mix of 2-track and pavement it's closer to 13mph...same rider, same fitness, different bikes and terrain).  Go by feel.  I started seriously riding almost exactly a year ago, after suffering a bad sprain during a trail relay.  IIRC I was running around 45mpw prior to the injury, but also riding well over 100.  3 weeks after the sprain I logged a >160 mile week on the bike, but I wasn't doing any running.  I had at least 1 200 mile week by the end of Summer.  The only thing really limiting me from having more of these weeks was time...cycling is a huge time sucker.

       

      Because cycling is a non-impact sport and recovery seems to be much faster (for me, at least...there are some who don't find this the case, which likely has a lot to do with individual build/proclivity), you may find that you can really ramp up the mileage (and speed, to some degree) pretty fast.  For instance, I did my first century of the year a week ago and am doing my 2nd of the year tomorrow.  I felt fully recovered only a few days later and had plans to roll out another 100+ mile week...Mother Nature and life had other ideas.

       

      Something to consider is a computer with a cadence sensor.  I use my Garmin Forerunner 305 as a bike computer and have the cadence/distance/speed sensor device (nice, since I can log miles using the trainer indoors all Winter).  Keeping an eye on cadence is probably the best thing you can do at this point.  Anything much lower than 8rpm gets most riders into "mashing" territory, which can really piss off your knees and isn't generally very efficient.  I find that my comfort zone is 85-95 for general endurance cruising.

      I shoot pretty things! ~

      '14 Goals:

      • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

      • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

        thanks for the note zoom!  youve got some mad miles in that profile...great stuff!

         

        You've provided some good insight and definite food for thought.  I did find my recovery to be quick from my first session, and think I'll start w 4-5 days per week of 45-60 min per session.  didnt know if even this was too much...but I'll take it one workout at a time. 

         

        I'd love to get a good bike computer, but it'll have to fall in line behind a good bike!  (unless there's a recommendable cheapo!)  My garmin is the 210, which doesnt do cadence (but is okay for HR and dist).  I think I've got a decent feel for pace and cadence, but it'll take time to get it down pat.

         

        any other thoughts are welcome...i've been running so long its second nature, it may take some time for me to ramp up a bike program.


        Needs more cowbell!

          any other thoughts are welcome...i've been running so long its second nature, it may take some time for me to ramp up a bike program.

           

          Probably not as long as you'd think.  Really, the hardest part is toughening up your sit bones.  I'm at the point where my rear end is the last part to start complaining during a long ride.  Like everything, that just takes time.

           

          Without a cadence sensor the best way to feel it out is to back off if you feel your quads burning all the time.  It's normal for quads to burn on hills or sprints.  If they are feeling tight and overworked on flats or downhills, then ease-off a gear or two and pedal faster to maintain the same speed.

           

          Good shorts are...good (DH and I are both fans of Pearl Izumi, though there are loads of other great brands out there--it's like running shoes, you find what works and keep buying the same model...like shoes, they sometimes change them from year to year, which stinks).  Chamois butter of some sort can really minimize discomforts, too.  I've yet to have a saddle sore...I hear they are the devil.  My favorite chamois "lube" has a great name, "That Butt Stuff."  I bought it because the name cracked me up, but I ended up really liking the stuff.  I avoid anything with petroleum, since it can gradually eat away at the foam padding in the chamois.  For really long rides I will add a few spots of Brave Soldier Friction Zone to spots that get most annoyed after a few hours.

          I shoot pretty things! ~

          '14 Goals:

          • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

          • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

            Also the saddle is probably important too ... Most bikes in the sub $1500 range cut corners and this is a pretty common place to do it.

             

            It was a constant struggle with mine, then I ended up finding a really nice Fizik on craigslist for $20, so I jumped on it, and it's a night and day difference.

             

            The best saddle is something that is going to depend highly on the individual, but a mistake that a lot of newbies make is going for something super padded.  Read this article before you do anything: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html

             

             

            The curve to build and maintain cycling fitness is much different than running, simply because you do not have the same level of musculoskeletal stress.  For example I rode a 80 mile weekend after not riding at all in like a month, I feel totally fine and could probably go for 60 or so miles right now.  I have a 67 mile ride on Saturday.  Something like that would not at all be possible with running.

            CyclingAHEAD until 2012



            Needs more cowbell!

              Also the saddle is probably important too ... Most bikes in the sub $1500 range cut corners and this is a pretty common place to do it.

               

              It was a constant struggle with mine, then I ended up finding a really nice Fizik on craigslist for $20, so I jumped on it, and it's a night and day difference.

               

              The best saddle is something that is going to depend highly on the individual, but a mistake that a lot of newbies make is going for something super padded.  Read this article before you do anything: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html

               

               

              The curve to build and maintain cycling fitness is much different than running, simply because you do not have the same level of musculoskeletal stress.  For example I rode a 80 mile weekend after not riding at all in like a month, I feel totally fine and could probably go for 60 or so miles right now.  I have a 67 mile ride on Saturday.  Something like that would not at all be possible with running.

               

              +1 meeellion...on all of that.  The saddle thing is true, especially the smoosh thing, but also the size and shape thing.  For instance, I need a very t-shaped saddle, like the ones Specialized makes.  I can't do Selle Italia saddles at all...too wedge/pear-shaped.

               

              There are a variety of ways to find out your sit bone width to get the right saddle width (which should be ~10mm wider on either side of your sit bones).  Specialized and Bontrager/Trek shops have "butt-o-meters" with a gel thingie that shows where your sit-bones land.  I used a fabric measuring tape to get the width on mine, which is around 125mm, so I'm on a 143mm wide saddle.

               

              Lots of folks like a cut-out or pressure relief channel.  Some people swear by Brooks' leather saddles.  They are all too wide for me, so I've never looked at those.

               

              Find out if you can test a saddle.  Fizik has test saddles.  I'm testing one of their women's saddles on my new 'cross bike, right now, but it's a hair soft and likely too pear-shaped, so it's probably not going to work for me.  Being able to test it saves a LOT of money.  A good saddle will likely run ~$100 full retail.

              I shoot pretty things! ~

              '14 Goals:

              • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

              • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                I used a fabric measuring tape to get the width on mine, which is around 125mm, so I'm on a 143mm wide saddle.

                Can't decide if that tape measure was traumatized or lucky.  Big grin

                 

                I picked up a bike in late April and ramped up to 50-70 miles/week fairly quickly (considering I usually only ride twice weekly).  On the topic of butt soreness, I found that occasionally getting out of the saddle made a huge difference to soreness during and after rides.  Every so often, I'll gear up 1-2 cogs and stand up rather than spinning up a small hill, for example.  Even if you don't buy a road bike, check out your local bike shop(s) -- they often have group rides, where you can meet other riders, be safer on the road in larger numbers, and perhaps even find a deal on a bike someone has hanging in a garage (or is riding but wants to upgrade).

                “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman


                Needs more cowbell!

                  Depends upon the day... Wink 

                   

                  Can't decide if that tape measure was traumatized or lucky.  Big grin

                   

                  I picked up a bike in late April and ramped up to 50-70 miles/week fairly quickly (considering I usually only ride twice weekly).  On the topic of butt soreness, I found that occasionally getting out of the saddle made a huge difference to soreness during and after rides.  Every so often, I'll gear up 1-2 cogs and stand up rather than spinning up a small hill, for example.  Even if you don't buy a road bike, check out your local bike shop(s) -- they often have group rides, where you can meet other riders, be safer on the road in larger numbers, and perhaps even find a deal on a bike someone has hanging in a garage (or is riding but wants to upgrade).

                   

                  Or even watch RA and/or FB.  I just sold my first road bike to an RA member when I posted an ad on FB.  You can probably find a nice, relatively new used bike for 50-60% of original retail.  The only trick then is fit.  I sent my buyer the geometry chart for my bike and she had a shop local to her measure her to verify that it would be a good fit.  She'll still need to tweak minor things like saddle position and maybe need a different stem.  With a first road bike it's hard to know exactly what you'll want (which is why I found myself on a 2nd bike a year later...first bike was a good deal more relaxed than my current ride), so starting with something entry-level and/or used is a good way to find out what you might like down the road.

                   

                  Some people have had good luck with Craig's List and FB, too, though you have to have a good idea what you're looking for.

                  I shoot pretty things! ~

                  '14 Goals:

                  • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                  • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                    Its funny to get home and read these posts...esp since prior to reading them, I went out at lunch today and picked up a new saddle and some padded shorts.  My bike is a trek 4500 mtb, and the stock saddle has always been painful, bordering on brutal, but after the last few rides it just had to go immediately.  picked up a WTB speed V as it had good reviews and was under 50 bucks at REI.  (If I knew about the sit bone measurement i wouldve gone to my bike shop, but I'm sure the wtb will do the job even if it turns out not to be "the one".

                     

                    I did time my cadence this morning too, and it was probably too slow around 70 rpm.  it was no big deal to pick it up to 90, and it was very comfortable on a relatively flat 1hr ride.

                     

                    BB, I know what you mean about impact and residual soreness...so far relatively little.  but one thing which i've noticed is that I dont feel as tired from a cardio standpoint after an hour of riding as I would after a even a moderate 30 min run.  maybe it'll take a few weeks for my legs to catch up to what my heart/lungs can handle?

                     

                    as far as a road bike, I figured I'd put myself on a 6-8 week plan with what i've got....if the riding goes well, and i decide to stick with it even if/as i'm able to run again, i'll then step up and get a good road bike.  meanwhile, as tough as the last couple of months were not running, its feels great to be outside doing something.

                    honerstudent


                      I am an avid cyclist and ride about 400-500 h/year. I run into problems with my bottom from time to time and thought its time to follow the hype about sitbone  measurements and check it out in practice. Recently I measured my sitbones (cardboard method) and bought a SQ lab 612 saddle that fits my buttocks. I exchanged my old saddle  on my training bike, a cheaper Selle Italia,  and riding the SQ now for 2 month.  Honestly, the difference is rather marginal. Of course I got a pretty average sitbone lenghth of 14 cm  hence of the shelf saddles in general fit.  I ride a superlight and superhard Selle Italia SLR Carbonio Flow on my racing bike causing least problems over long distances. Of course if you race there is less weight on your bottom and more distributed towards your feet. 

                      In summary ,cycling comfortably is a continuous process of adjusting you ride position and finding equipment that fits your individual. Your body changes with frequency and volume of training and you will be able to comfortably ride more extreme but faster body positions. Start with a "standard" adjustment of your bike saddleheight, drop etc. you will find on the  web and work from there.

                      Most important! Cycling is addictive! Don't forget your recovery days!

                        BB, I know what you mean about impact and residual soreness...so far relatively little.  but one thing which i've noticed is that I dont feel as tired from a cardio standpoint after an hour of riding as I would after a even a moderate 30 min run.  maybe it'll take a few weeks for my legs to catch up to what my heart/lungs can handle?

                         

                        Yeah, it is definitely easier, I would certainly agree.  But you are still getting aerobic work (assuming you are working hard enough).  I find it harder to gauge effort with cycling so I use a heart rate monitor and the 180 - my age thing (on most rides).

                        CyclingAHEAD until 2012


                          The only thing I would add is that if you're doing this in the place of running, go by time, not miles.  Maybe that's obvious.  Also, you can have easy days, hard days, intervals, etc. just like running.... except faster.  And if you didn't already know, people generally hate cyclists about 3 times as much as runners, so be careful out there.

                            Yeah, time @ heart rate (or time @ power, if you have the equipment) is the way to go with cycling.

                             

                            25 miles on one course / weather can be a COMPLETELY different ride with a different course or weather.

                            CyclingAHEAD until 2012


                            dallasboycows


                              not to change subjects but have you tried aquajogging if you don't like swimming, it is absolutely fabulous cardio.  The water compression on your upper half/lungs combined with the cardio has been shown to improve lung capacity and is much less stressful on the body than running and even biking.  I LOVE IT.  Not as much as running or biking, but I definately do it almost everyday.

                              mommy23


                                This is an old thread but I just wanted to add that I've been cycling since last year on the roads in place of running and it has helped me as a runner and given me endurance and strength. I ride about 100 miles a week during good weather. Here in the midwest, we have a very long winter and our cycling is limited to indoor. Last year I put in months on the computrainer also. I agree with all the other posts here and have nothing significant to add except that I believe there's a 3:1 ratio if you're trying to compare cycling miles to running miles. Going by time is much better and of course, your effort level.  I bike around 20 mph on the roads, usually with a group. We've hit much higher speeds then that but that's about my average which is a challenging workout.  I've learned that I can pretty much ride up to 70 miles the next day after a long run (18-20) being my max and then you have to let yourself recover. Great cross training!

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