Coaching or riding more?


#1

Hi all!

Long time since I’ve been here but I’ve started commuting 20 miles twice a week and am finding recovery a bit of a pain. The next day I’m completely knackered. I don’t do it every day as I drive/cycle/drive/cycle throughout the week.

I was wondering if I should think about getting a coach as I’d quite like to improve my fitness to get quicker and fitter. It would also help to have someone telling me what I need to think about in terms of fitness on the bike. I’m not planning on doing any sportives (but who knows if I get super fit it might be an option on my steel frame) :stuck_out_tongue:

It would be good to get better at understanding nutrition and all that jazz. So my question is, do I need a coach or do I just need to ride more?


#2

Before you get a coach, best thing to check is whether you are cycling efficiently?
Saddle at the correct height, tyres pumped to an adequate pressure.
Any unnecessary weight on the bike removed.
You can also change your cadence/rpm, if you’re really pushing hard on your legs you’re doing it wrong. You want to be spinning your legs, this uses your heart instead of your legs which recovers much quicker.

Then comes fuelling, making sure you drink plenty of water before/during/after, all aids in recovery.
Nutrition is key too, eating right, not too soon before a cycle half hour to an hour before.

Hope that helps, give me a message if you have any other questions.


#3

Thanks! I had a bike fit about a year ago and haven’t changed much since then other than the saddle. I was doing fine but then had a long break from cycling over the winter and have started hitting it harder with a commute of nearly 40 miles with one day cycling,
a rest day and another cycle.

I do carry my change of clothes and stuff for work on the back of the bike which is on a quick release rack and I try to keep that light.

I definitely think I need some guidance on nutrition. I do drink a lot when out and I don’t tend to push too hard on my legs. Most of it is quite relaxed and I generally do about 10mph average when commuting (about 12-13mph avg when leisure riding). I
do get tired of being overtaken though so would like to get some tips on improving.

Thanks for your reply :+1:t2:


#4

Hey @A_my - I remember cycling with you, great to hear you’re still on your bike and at it! If my memory serves me right you had a bike fit, so should be all good there.

A bit hard to say what you could be doing without more details, but I think a coach would be a bit overkill. British Cycling have a range of training plans and advice, so maybe take a look here for training and here for nutrition.

One way of finding out how hard you’re riding on your commute is to get a heart rate monitor and find your heart rate zones.

Equally happy to answer any questions.


#5

Just read your reply above - first thing is you probably should rest more if you’re just getting at it again. Rest is when your body adapts to training stress and becomes stronger, so maybe give yourself an extra non cycle day for now.

Secondly, vary up your training to include some sprints and intervals. Check out some British Cycling training plans. You don’t have to do crazy sprints but generally you need to stress more than just your endurance ability to get faster. If you only ever ride between 10-13mph, then you’ll generally just be able to ride at 10-13mph for longer and longer periods, but not much faster.


#6

Hi Henry

Sorry for the slow reply! Heart rate monitor sounds like a good plan. I’ll definitely have a look at some training plans too. I would like to get to a point where I can comfortably join a long ride but I’ve never put myself up for it just because I know
I’ll be the slowest. I did do the Ride London 46 last year in 3.5 hours of riding time which I felt quite proud of. I’m sure that looks like a 70 mile ride to you guys!


#7

Been looking at working out the heart rate zones so does it also make sense to get a cadence sensor?


#8

For sure. Wahoo do a heart rate and cadence sensor bundle that work really well.