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coming back after 7 years off...help

Apr 28, 2009
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Hi Everyone,

I have found this forum helpful about a few things so thought I would post this.

I have been back on my bike for 4 months after 7 years off, when i gave it away I was no world beater but was racing for a team in Aust, rode the national series and was an "open a grade rider". I got out of the sport as I just didnt enjoy it anymore. Anyway, I have not done to much over the last 7 years but drink beer and eat rubbish, I got to my all time fattest of 96.5 kg and i raced at 73kg.

Over the last 12 months I have come down to 87kg but would do anything to get back under 80kg. I think I know a bit about training but really know nothing about diet and I am hoping somone can help me a bit. I seem to either starve myself or eat rubbish.

I have started racing again and have had a couple of b grade wins and went ok last night in a grade club racing so my fitness is ok.

My training is as follow

Mon - 40km Crit race
Tues - 40km Crit race
Wed - off
Thurs - 4 x 15 min ergo efforts (flat out) 3 min recovery
Fri - 6 x 5 min ergo efforts (flat out) 1 min recovery
Sat - 60km road ride with the last 15 flat out
Sun - Race 50km or 12 x 2 min ergo (flat out) 1 min recovery

If I dont race I will get on the ergo and do another stupid session. Why the ergo ? I have a little boy and would rather spend my mornings and evening with him than got out on the road. And i have an excellent ergo set up and for 1 hour races I dont need to do rubbish km or do i ?

I do a 30 min time trial every 2 weeks on the ergo and have improved dramatticly on my ave speed over the last 4 months and my racing seems to have improved.

I suppose my issue is that if I could get under 80kg I would have more form without a major increase in training.

Any ideas about my training and weight loss. I am happy to do more training and going hard is not an issue :)
 
Mar 12, 2009
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I would either allow more time for recovery on the 15 min efforts or cut it down to 2 x 20mins with more recovery (at least 10mins).

Two crits one day after another could be a tad too much, maybe only do this once a month or so.

Does your ergo give power readings or do you have a powermeter?

As for diet, give us and idea what you are eating now and may be able to help then?
 
Nov 28, 2009
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Firstly, G'day. Mate i was in a similar position last year I got up to 79kg and am now back to 63kg. By the sounds of things your training is intense enough to not have to worry about the amount of calories your burning. I reckon you just need to make smarter food choices. Try to cut as much sugar as you can, so limit soft drink, cordial and sweets. Having said that though, if you do have a craving, indulge it. Otherwise you're just setting yourself up for a fall. The same with salt, it's rubbish and too much is really bad. There is enough salt naturally in food anyway, you're tastebuds might gag at first but you'll get used to it. Try to eat wholegrains and snack on fruit and nuts when you're hungry. With dinner i reckon you don't need to starve yourself maybe just reduce the portion size a little, you'd be surprised on the difference it makes and once your stomach gets used to eating slightly less you will wonder how you ate so much. Just make sure you get enough vegies. Oh and plenty of water. The important thing to remember is that you're training hard. If you dont eat enough you can't train properly. I personally think if you can really limit the sugar intake you will start to see big improvements. Good Luck.:)
 
Dec 6, 2009
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trek52 said:
Hi Everyone,

I have started racing again and have had a couple of b grade wins and went ok last night in a grade club racing so my fitness is ok.

If I dont race I will get on the ergo and do another stupid session. I dont need to do rubbish km or do i ?

I do a 30 min time trial every 2 weeks on the ergo and have improved dramatticly on my ave speed over the last 4 months and my racing seems to have improved.

I suppose my issue is that if I could get under 80kg I would have more form without a major increase in training.

Any ideas about my training and weight loss. I am happy to do more training and going hard is not an issue :)

welcome back to the best sport in the world! the thing that struck me was the amount of intensity in your training schedule. about 100% of your training time is spent on intensity. you haven't really quantified your efforts with data like watts or perceived exertion, but it sounds like you're working pretty hard and you have the experience to judge what "going hard" means.

that being said, if you can keep up that training schedule week after week, your overal form and ability to recover from hard efforts is good. that again, would point to your past experience riding. coming back from a layoff is easier than doing it for the first time.

your real question seems to be about your bodyweight....will reducing to a lower bodyweight make me a faster rider? sounds like you're focused on 1 hour efforts which is about the length of many criteriums or 40k time trials. if you're going to focus on "short" efforts like 60 min. or less, WATCH YOUR FOOD/CALORIE INTAKE.

you don't need any special diet whatsoever if you are focused on TT's or crits. longer road races? Euro road racing, 165 mile classics three or four days apart or a national tour? yeah, food becomes a lot more of an issue. but for short events? a "normal" diet the average person eats is fine, you don't need any more calories for the most part, maybe a little more complete protein (animal sources) for muscle growth, and some sports drinks/etc. for carbs, but nothing diet wise exceeding "normal" or a little more than normal if you're focusing on short events.

if your diet has remained the same from being sedentary since you came back to riding, you're going to lose weight, don't even worry about it. as long as you train hard and keep progressing, you will lose fat - so be patient. for example, Indurain lost weight gradually over YEARS, not weeks or months. additionally, if you ride flat races or TT's, losing weight may not help you at all, it might even hurt you. some athletes perform worse with lower bodyfat percentages - experiment to find what's right for you.

on flat courses, weight plays a minor role, aerodynamics play a huge role. on climbs, you have to fight gravity, that's where power to weight really comes into play. if you want to climb fast you have to lose excess fat. but on the flats? not so important at all, not unless losing excess pounds/kilos gives you a smaller frontal area to fight the wind, which is difficult to measure for the average rider.

my concern would be that you don't burn yourself out and to allow for more recovery, while pushing even harder on "hard" days. riding 26mph hurts, but if you can ride 28 mph or 30mph, do it - don't suffer for scraps when you can go harder and get the main course + gravy..........but you need to be fresh when you do it. recover more i'd say.

regarding the bold/underlined quotes, you're improving on your program, so the program is working well it seems for now. but, i think you're going to need a lot more recovery in the future if you want to keep growing. and, there are no "stupid" trainer sessions, the most productive rides you can ever have are often found on a stationary trainer. :)
 
Jul 14, 2009
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Jump rope,plyametrics. Don't eat. Don't drink,stay away from drunkness, you will make super bad food choices after a few drinks. Oat meal is a wonder food,fruit is your friend. Did I say don't eat. If you are hanging in short fast races(@50k) that is a good sign, can you jump and bury it off the front for a lap or two while being chased? Cook and prepare foods a couple of times per week so when you need lunch or you get a growl you have good healthy food at the ready. You are going to have to eat and drink with your friends and family so those are culinary/training mistakes lots of times, If you go with 21 meals per week(3x7) and between 7 and 14 snacks per week you will be able to have a slice or two or a cupcake with your kid without going off the back. MOST critical thing is depth, you need base miles, muscle memory and handling go way down after 7 years off. Learn to do things that give you good heart rate without miles in the event your family and or job won't allow a few hours in the saddle. You are only going to get 30 minutes sometimes and you don't want to deal with the mental baggage of not riding hard if you have to miss some sessions. The thing funny I see about your schedule is hills,where are the hills? You got lots of self imposed speed work and that will serve you greatly. In saddle power can be most easily gotten by grinding up some hills. It will take some of your speed but it will pay later. Good luck.