Have asked this before i think, but to start off getting cycling fit, how often should i go out for, and for how long?

would aiming for 30mins twice a week be ok to start (tricky to find time now esp. as getting dark early) should i have some idea of distance to aim for? or just go out a couple of times and report back so you have more idea of where i am fitness wise? got very old dawes racer.


  • you can cycle longer than you can run for at first because you don't get so much shock damage (unless you like to fall off a lot)

    so really, i think, the limit should be as much as your back/wrists/backside or whatever can stand

    but 30 mins x 2 will cause some improvement so why not?
  • ok, will try 1 short (before dark) and one long at le weekend. will report back next week on distance / time.
  • I found that it was difficult for me to feel anything after 30 min ride. Ok, you can beast yourself, but 30 min sprint doesn't really reflect what you would do in a race.

    If you have an HRM, try using this and see how much harder it is to raise your heartrate on a bike - I found that I couldn't get it so high. I have found improvements in cycling by going into overload - I commute 15 miles each way to work, so 30 miles a day, in two sections. When I started this it was a real killer and wasted me - now I can do it with a little sweat and a full evenings activity also. My speed has picked up too, and my acceleration is greatly improved due to the stop start nature of the commute.

    I also save £130 a month on travel.

    In sum, if you have the time, do a long one - after a while you also get used to the saddle pressure and the pain goes away!
  • get padded shorts and a gel saddle!
  • is this necessary for girlies? and padded shorts errrr, won't they make my bum look fat?
  • The most important thing to get right is your position. On the bike, that is. That, to some degree, is going to be dependant on the type of bike you have. You want to have a small bend in your leg when the pedal is fully down and you want to be comfortable enough so that you can bend your arms (acts like a shock absorber), but you also want to have your weight well distributed between your arms and backside to avoid aching shoulders, neck, back and so on. I favour the tops of my handlebars to be about 2" - 2 1/2" below the saddle height. This also helps with aerodynamics. On a road bike yuou want to aim to have a flat back (although unless your name is Chris Boardman, this is near-on impossible). Your backside will ache for the first few times but will soon become accustomed to the saddle (get a good one, such as gel with cut-outs).

    Get good winter gear: Gloves, and thermal longs for your legs and top, a wooly hat for your head and overshoes to keep your feet dry.

    Now go out and ride at 18 mph until everything hurts. Then do it all over again then again and again and again. eat until it hurts your belly (to be a champion cyclist you need to be a champion eater!!!)Seriously, you'll probably be surprised at how long you can cycle for, but start off with easy, flat runs of no more than one hour.

    Start introducing a few hills in after a couple of weeks and increasing the length of rides at weekends.

    When you get used to it, you'll be attacking the hills chasing down other cyclists - you'll love it!
  • cheers sp!!
  • moosey - check out a few local bike stores as they might have group sessions. my local tri store has a group ride every saturday am which has a right mix of riders from novice to time trialists. it's a good way of like minded people getting together to ride and offer advice to each other - and anyway we get coffee and muffins free after at the shop. and the shop gets more business as a a result.

  • Oooh ! Coffee and muffins ? Can I move in ? It sounds like heaven - all that and shiny bike stuff too.
  • cougs - the shop is heaven compared to many others. has comfy sofas for a start and space rather than crammed with kit. 2 very knowledgeable guys who run it (Lawrence & Simon -if you see this I want BIG discount). and kit to remortgage for - Cannondale & Litespeed bikes, nearly all top makes in clothing etc etc.

    oh - and mad woman!
  • Cycling food = pancakes and ice cream!
  • Moosey - definitely get the gel saddle and padded shorts!!
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