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  1. #1
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    I'm trying...but not succeeding

    I have been trying, off and on over the last three years, to get back into mountain biking. Getting older, fatter (6' 235lbs), and busier (3 kids)...just haven't been able to find the time or motivation. I've got a nice SS collecting dust in the garage. Last night, after putting the kids to bed, I went for a ride...lasted about 10 minutes before my legs were on fire, my chest hurt, etc...returned home feeling defeated. I need some sort of plan...slow and steady, something that is actually doable. Can I ride every night? Sure I can, but how far or for how long? I know I sound like a sissy but I am hoping someone on this thread can relate and offer up some advice. Side note...I live in Phoenix and it's 4 billion degrees. Thanks

  2. #2
    Hooligan
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    Hey man, one step at a time. start slow and don't kill yourself, this is supposed to be fun. try finding a loop or something that is challenging for you but do-able, and just practice on that. over time you will start getting faster and more confortable on it.
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  3. #3
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    Re: I'm trying...but not succeeding

    Maybe doing high repetition body weight squats would help.

    Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk 2

  4. #4
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    Don't ride every night. Your body needs rest as part of the training, so repeating exactly the same exercise every time isn't the best idea.
    Find a loop. just on the local road. Just a 5 minute ride if needs be. Ride that 3 or 4 times in a week. Next week, try to ride it twice instead. You have to make little baby steps but with a plan of increasing things. Try other exercise as well - walking, swimming etc.

  5. #5
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    Maybe it is time to get something with gears.... single speeds are considered harder for a reason.
    Fat guys need bikes too.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhbinal View Post
    I have been trying, off and on over the last three years, to get back into mountain biking. Getting older, fatter (6' 235lbs), and busier (3 kids)...just haven't been able to find the time or motivation. I've got a nice SS collecting dust in the garage. Last night, after putting the kids to bed, I went for a ride...lasted about 10 minutes before my legs were on fire, my chest hurt, etc...returned home feeling defeated. I need some sort of plan...slow and steady, something that is actually doable. Can I ride every night? Sure I can, but how far or for how long? I know I sound like a sissy but I am hoping someone on this thread can relate and offer up some advice. Side note...I live in Phoenix and it's 4 billion degrees. Thanks

    Check your saddle height, if it's too low you'll get excessive burning in your quads. My starting rule of thumb is to have the seat even with your hips. After a few rides I typically raise it in slow increments until I get it just right.

    Some burning is normal, you're just burning off the lactic acid in your muscle. Once you get past the first couple miles it gets easier.

  7. #7
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    If you can get in some night riding, do it. I also am in Phoenix, and used to night ride a ton until my daughter was born and my wife works at night. I love night riding and miss doing it. I hope my lights still work...
    “Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world.”
-Grant Petersen

  8. #8
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    I've been in shape and out of shape more than a few times in the past 12 years. One thing I have realized is that the first 2 to 3 weeks of regular exercise after a period of inactivity are simply awful. After the first 4 weeks, when you're seeing results, building some muscle, and gaining some endurance, it gets a lot easier to motivate yourself to get out. So, force yourself through it and keep reminding yourself it will get enjoyable at some point.

    Another thing I would recommend is a heart-rate monitor. If you start out too quickly, it's easy to push your heart rate up too high and wear yourself out before you really get going. There are some formulas that estimate your max heart rate, but it usually is an individual thing. I know I can't sustain much exertion once I get up into the low 160s. If you find yourself at a point where you feel like you're about to collapse, check your heart rate and try to bring it down by 5 to 10 bpm. You'll probably be able to continue a lot longer.
    Justin
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  9. #9
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    1.Consistency is more important than intensity. The guy who does a 10 min ride a few times a week, then a 20 min ride, then eventually a year later is doing 2 hour rides is better in the long run than the guy who does 2 hour rides out of the gate, then quits a few months later.

    2.Riding a bike is FUN!!!! To hell with the exercise and your weight. If you want "motivation" stop looking at it as a work out. Find other guys to ride with. Seriously... nothing motivates me more than getting mid week texts from my riding friends about where we are gona ride the upcoming weekend.

    *It can be discouraging to ride with someone dramatically faster when you first start. If they are patient enough with you to let you "get your legs" there is no one better to ride with. A faster rider can teach you technique and expectations with out ever saying a word just by allowing you to see what kind of riding they consider normal.

  10. #10
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    Sweet advice from all of you, thank you so much. I went for a 45 minute ride last night. I just stuck to the gravel paths that wind their way through the neighborhoods. I stopped a bunch, but never quit. I smiled damn near the whole way.

    I think the biggest thing for me is giving myself permission to suck...right now anyway.

    Am going to play with saddle height and steal my wife's heart monitor. Thanks again!

  11. #11
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    Saddle high enough so that your knee is just bent when your heel is on the pedal at the bottom of the rotation.

    Keep chipping away and you'll be there again soon enough - just not every night!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhbinal View Post

    I think the biggest thing for me is giving myself permission to suck...right now anyway.





    Remember, suck is graded on a bell curve.

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    Thats what i tell my gf anyway.....

  14. #14
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    Maybe try gears again ?
    I started riding regularly 3 years ago and have purchased 4 bikes since (still have them all). After 1 year I really liking SS'ing and thinking it would be my only bike, then purchased a really nice XC FS (geared) and the SS is not seeing much again....that could change again down the road.

  15. #15
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    4 rides in and feeling good about it...

    Although this one kicked my ass.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails I'm trying...but not succeeding-1150849_10201857640752251_1490704437_n.jpg  


  16. #16
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    First thing i would do is to get a geared bike, its much better to get a lower gear and keep the cadens up in those hills, than burn out your legs from strain.

  17. #17
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    Me either I do 2 or 3 hard rides in a week and I don't want to ride for 3 or 4 days. Did a century on Saturday and a couple hard areobic workouts on the traimer Mon and Tues and not been on bike since.

    I have also yoyo from 230 to 203 back to 220. I have done that a lot over the years.

    Sometimes I think I am just not got it in me to be athletic. Even when I got to a trim 174 after Iraq while on Oahu and was biking and runing my tail off I'd have peopel tell me what are you doing; you dont even look athletic. argh.

    So between not being a natural and fuktards telling that and a very healthy appetite it IS VERY difficuly.

    Srryt---rather in a dim mood tonite about low motivation.

  18. #18
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    Buy lights and force yourself for two weeks. It doesn't take long to get into the groove! Good luck.

  19. #19
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    Find a couple of riding buddies to keep you motivated. It's too easy to blow it off and say "I will go tomorrow" but if you have a couple friends that are buggin' you to go you will have a better chance of sticking with it. We go Tuesdays and Thursdays and I have been catching rides on the weekends.

  20. #20
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    Just ride, it gets better with time.

    On June 2, 2012 (My 39th birthday) I did 3.8 miles on a POS borrowed hybrid bike after a 22 year hiatus (Until I got a car at 16, I was a 200+ mile a week roadie). I thought I was going to die. Each ride I tried to ride a little faster. When I thought I could go longer, I did it. Like before, I pushed it a bit every single ride. In the first 2 months, I was up to 8-12 miles 3-4 times a week on the road. On August 1, 2012 I bought my first MTB and decided to hit the trails. OUCH! 5-6 miles in the dirt was kicking my a$$. Like before, I pushed through it and stepped it up every single ride. 100 degree or 35 degree weather, my fat dumb a$$ was out there spinning the pedals.

    15 months later, I have lost about 28 lbs, and have gained about 5-6 lbs of muscle. In addition to the MTB, I have purchased a road bike as well. Now I ride anywhere form 35-100 miles per week. Next month I will do my first metric in over 20 years, and in Feb. 2014 I will do my very first true century.

    It is hard when you have a family, but you have to deal with it. In order to make things easier, I bought bikes for my entire family. MTB and a road bike for my wife, and MTB's for my kids. The required time is much easier when the entire family is part of the master plan.

    Good luck, and keep pushing!!

  21. #21
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    Are you a morning person? Have you given a thought to doing a quick ride early in the a.m., before everyone is up? Sometimes, I get up at 5:00, hit the road at 5:15, and bike through the citrus groves that are 1/2 mile or so away, and do a quick 6-7 mile ride, and I am home by 6:10. While I can do ride more, sometimes, just getting in a quick ride for 45 minutes is a great way to start the day. Just a thought.

  22. #22
    Super Clyde
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    I'm trying...but not succeeding

    I'm the furthest thing from a morning person you can get. During the school year I get the kids off to school then go back to bed for us little bit. I usually make it out on the road about 1 or so. LOL


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  23. #23
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    I hear you, to make it "work" for my family, I am up by 350, and on the bike by 400am..... Gotta do what you gotta do.....

  24. #24
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    Re: I'm trying...but not succeeding

    I love am rides but I love being in bed with my wife in the morning. She usually wins and I go ride after work.
    Here is the thing about equality, everyone's equal when they're dead. - Gavroche, Les Misérables

  25. #25
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    The key is to just make it part of your routine. Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday you ride as far a you are able. You'll be shocked how much better you are next month.
    He who dares....wins!

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