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Thread: Getting started

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Posts
    140

    Getting started

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    I need help getting started! I am 37 yrs old and recently have lost 40#, started running and walking to get into shape and would like to learn to ride and..........(gulp!) RACE bikes by next Spring! I have a guy friend that is 11 yrs older and LOVES racing! He has inspired me to try it. I am VERY competitive and athletic, so the training & dieting discipline is not hard for me to adhere to.

    SO: I have been fitted for a bike (50 or 51cm TREK 2000 or 2200 has been recommended). I am looking at $1300+ for a new bike. Should I look for a used one to train on, and buy the new one when I am ready to race or go for broke (literally, haha!) and get the new one?

    What diet regimine is optimal for training? I have recently done the Atkins diet to shed the 40# and am very afraid of the carbs in my regular diet. Can I only eat them during the ride or do I need to add them back in to my regular meal plan?

    Until I get the bike, I am continuing to run/walk 3-5 miles a day at least 5 days a week. I am PUMPED!!!!!!!!!!! I would love to be riding right now!

    Any advice, is MUUUUUUCH appreciated!

    Kim in TN

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Brighton, England
    Posts
    672
    Welcome KSBell.

    You've come to the right place to start. There's loads of cool stuff on this website, so why not settle down for a good browse and see what you can find. If you got any questions there's always some one out there who can help so don't be afraid to ask.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Posts
    140
    Thank you for answering my post!

    Just FYI: I got the TREK 1500 (2004 model) with the Shimano 105 and Ultegra components. It is supposed to be ready Thursday or Friday of this week. I am so excited. I questioned the size, I am not really short (5'5") so I had him recalculate and he came up with 52cm and I can ride a men's bike. The price dropped significantly to around $1000. So, I am happy all the way around!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    313
    Sounds about right. I bought my first bike a couple of months ago, I'm 5'3.5" and it's a Bianchi, 51cm. I love it!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    New Orleans/ South Louisiana
    Posts
    386
    What you got is a really nice bike, and after you ride this one and learn things you may want to swap out anyway. I think you did well.
    Go get the latest book by Covert Bailey- he's the biochemist who did the actual work that all the current nutitional wisdom is based on. Yeah, you'll need more carbs, the issue is what kind. Eat your spinach, it's all long chain carbs. Eat red meat, you'll need the protein to recover and make new muscle. You'll also find that good quality beer is an excellent training food of champions. I'm totally serious, all those Olympic athletes can't be wrong And it's medium chain carbs. Even gummi bears have a place as short chain carbs- also called Gatorade. You need to do enough calories if you go to high mileage training. A severely restricted diet will screw with bone density and muscle develpoment. And you'll poop out and get dropped.
    Atkins has a place, but endurance athletes suck carbs like crazy. Baileys fit-or-fat explanation of metabolism is the best, and easiest to live with. You need a better understanding of what a carbohydrate is (almost everything) and how different ones work. How much carb you need is a function of how far and how hard you go.
    His books are all over the place. The latest one is called "Smart Exercise"

    missliz

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    313
    You'll also find that good quality beer is an excellent training food of champions. I'm totally serious, all those Olympic athletes can't be wrong

    LOL -- that helps my golf swing also.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Posts
    140
    I will go get the book today. Like I said before, I am terrified of adding the carbs back into my diet. But, I have noticed that even with running, I can't go very long without feeling like I am "pooped out"! I need something that tells me specifically what I should and shouldn't eat.

    What is LONG DISTANCE? Is it 20 miles, 25 miles, 40 miles? I am training to race. Don't think I will be doing the century rides, but I could be wrong. Do I need to worry about speed or endurance in the beginning of training?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    New Orleans/ South Louisiana
    Posts
    386
    You poop out on your run? That tells us right there that something is wrong. I don't even remember which fad Atkins is, but the whole carb phobia that's so fashionable right now is exactly the kind of thing that will backlash and put all the weight back on. To keep it off you need to exercise and eat enough. Starvation will make you fat.
    Covert makes the very wise observation that fat people have lots of diet books. That's because they don't really work. It's great that you ditched the forty #s with what is essentially a metabolic gimmick, but it doesn't really last. I bet you're worked up into a fat and carb phobia? You can't burn what you eat without fat to enable the process. And not enough carb is what poops you out- that's the fuel for your muscles. You want good quality long chain carb, whith the occasional Ho Ho thrown in. And as you gain muscle the # on the scale will rise, but go by how your clothes fit. A lot of elite athletes are 150 pound size eights. I kid you not.
    Get the book, it'll tell you amazing stuff. Actually he's written a lot of easy to read books that will be at the library, and there are tapes of a series for PBS that are the easiest way to go if you can find them. Go to <www.covertbailey.com> for the instant quick and easy version.

    High mileage is relative, and usually considered in miles per week.100 is a nice figure, The point where you can eat what you want- you'll want what you need. But as a newbie you won't do that. You should think in time spent in your traing heart rate zone at first. And you need to learn how to handle the bike and spin.

    Lizzy

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
    Posts
    4,403
    What they said. You need carbs to fuel your body. Yes, too many of the wrong kind are bad for you. But you need the rights kinds to "fill up the tank"

    Irulan
    2015 Liv Intrigue 2
    Pro Mongoose Titanium Singlespeed
    2012 Trek Madone 4.6 Compact SRAM

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    120
    ksbell: I hope your fitting was correct. 52cm sounds big for 5'5" female unless you have unusually long legs. I'm 5'4" and I ride a 47cm with just barely enough clearance. Make SURE you can stand over it WITH CLEARANCE before you take delivery. Every brand is different in their geometry and the way they measure, so a 52 in one brand can be quite different than a 52 in another brand.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351
    Brands must be different because I am just under 5'5" and ride a 54 cm and seriously considered a 56 cm. My legs aren't unusually long I have a 30 inch inseam.

    Veronica

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    On my bike
    Posts
    2,510

    Bike sizing

    There is a lot that goes into sizing rather than just the category (e.g., 52cm, etc). Top tube length, width of handlebars, and the basic geometry of the bike figure into the ultimate comfort. These change with every rider.

    When I was 40, I gave myself a custom bike for my birthday. I'm still riding it (OK, I'll tell you-- 9 years later) and loving it. If you decide that cycling is your true love, you will want to upgrade. But for now, just get comfortable, learn to spin in circles (don't mash down) to teach your muscles good memory.

    And fercryingoutloud, eat some carbs! You may gain weight because carbs store water! That is why these Atkins folks have dramatic weight loss - it's mostly water. MissLiz is right on - you need good quality carbs, e.g., oatmeal, whole grain bread etc. Experiment with lesser known grains like quinoa (be sure to rinse quinoa in a strainer first before you boil it - it has a nasty coating) you'll be surprised at how sweet & nutty they are. Add some cottage cheese for protein, some fruit like berries, and you have breakfast. You can even eat it cold at your desk at work.
    To train a dog, you must be more interesting than dirt.

    Trek Project One
    Trek FX 7.4 Hybrid

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    New Orleans/ South Louisiana
    Posts
    386

    Fitting

    Brands are really different, I found that regardless of what they call it, you have to test ride it, adjusted for you, to see if it fits. I have a 95 Zaskar Mt bike that fit me off the shelf like it was custom made, I still have it, it's my most valued possesion next to my dog. I've test ridden a lot of other high end Mt bikes, the shop guys asked me to try out some rides, and they just didn't fit. Brands are so different. It's just like buying clothes, you never know until you try on.
    The thing with a Treck, you can trade it in or sell it off later, it's a popular brand. Ride it for a year, learn what's going on with a bike, and if it gives you trouble sell it off and you'll have a good understanding of what you want next. My first Mt bike was a Giant, and the top tube was too short, utter hell to ride at about six months once my posistion on it flattened out. But then the day I got on the GT I knew it was fate.
    Then again, your new bike may be perfect. In a few months, get the fit checked after your posistion on it settles down. And even if the bike is great, you may fall in love with something else later, say that orange Orbea team frame, well, that's what I want. If you went to a good shop with a competant proffessional, the Treck'll probably be a good starter bike.

    Lizzy

    And Irulan is right- EAT SOMETHING!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Posts
    140
    Ya'll are so funny about this diet thing! My biggest fear is gaining weight, although I know exactly how to take it off again! I have increased my carb intake (wheat bread, berries and other fruit... including a BANANA! you guys have no idea how many months it has been since I have eaten a banana!)

    I have been reading everything I can get my hands on about cycling and nutrition. I am going to follow Chris Carmichael's advice about loading up on the carbs the day before a big ride and while riding. I can eat the wheat pasta products and not consume as many carbs as the white flour products. I also am going to TRY to eat a baked potato this week before a ride! It's a mental block!

    ABOUT THE FIT THING: The bike shop owner measured me twice and came up with two different sizes for two different brands of bike. The TREK was the 52 cm size. I will know one day this week, I hope, whether he was right. He seems to be very knowledgeable about fitting and building a bike. He came HIGHLY recommended in the cycling community. He also races and has a race team he wants me to train with; so he understands what I need to have to be successful. Does that make sense? The bike I ordered is the intermediate line for TREK. The 2004 1500; the USPS Team's bike (painted like theirs.........that's why it's so hard to come by!).

    I CAN'T WAIT TO GET ON MY BIKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,636
    Hi Kim,

    I have enjoyed reading this thread. You'll be happy to know that as a former Atkins dieter, I have been able to maintain my 15-lb. weight loss (and no, it was NOT all water - I dropped from a size 8 petite to a 4 petite and had to buy all new pants!) by starting to ride and eating carbs again!

    I was also terrified of carbs at first, but found that if I didn't eat a lot more of them, I would severely bonk on rides. I tailor my carb-eating to the amount of riding I am doing. In the winter, when I ride less and only on weekends (weather permitting), I eat fewer carbs and mostly the day before and the day of rides, then cut back to more of an "Atkins maintenance" level on Mon.-Thurs. Right now, when I'm riding 4-5 times a week and sometimes 40-70 miles at a stretch on weekends, I eat carbs all week (and during rides) and haven't gained an ounce. I also eat fat and protein - a bit of everything. My metabolism seems to be pretty high as I have to eat a lot just to maintain my weight - and that's never been a problem for me before!

    So yes, you CAN eat carbs again when you're riding - the more riding, the more carbs. Only you can determine the proper level that will allow you to ride effectively (not bonk) and maintain your weight, so it will take some experimentation. And you may gain muscle while still losing fat, so pay more attention to the fit of your clothes than your scale. I know I have gained muscle in my legs but must have lost some fat too since my weight has stayed pretty much constant since I started cycling - and I want it to. You don't want to get too skinny as having some fat reserves helps on those rides of over 90 minutes where you are primarily burning fat (under 90 minutes and you're primarily burning glucose).

    I too remember that first banana and first potato after literally a YEAR with neither! ;-) It's nice to be able to eat cereal again too.

    Good luck!
    Emily

 

 

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