Home > General > Back in the Saddle: Again!

Back in the Saddle: Again!

So, 8 months after Back In The Saddle, here is the much anticipated sequel “back in the saddle 2”. The initial enthusiasm about having a lot more time to train was quickly replaced by the looming deadlines of my Masters and all that. So, while there was the occasional burst on the turbo, these were far and few between. And instead of writing the odd post (like I’ve done for the past 2 years) I decided to wait until I was actually in the saddle properly this time.

So here I am: a few spins out and about, nothing major, but at least I’m back to pretty much where I was in April 2011 (which was really the one year I actually did some cycling). Without the commuting and with the masters completed, there is a lot more free-time, especially in the evenings. So, with all that I have 2, possibly 3 big cycles starting in 1month (all 100 mile spins), and therefore mild panic has set in! It’s going to be a massive ask compared to 2 years ago, where I would have had another 6 weeks training from the same condition i’m in now, but if i don’t set myself pretty big (but not impossible) targets I’ll just keep slacking off.

Numbers wise I’ve barely broken 300 miles on the road , so a long way to go to the target of 3000 for the year, (again, I need something to aim for something to keep me cycling into the autumn & winter). The weight numbers are, um, nasty. Probably safe to say I won’t be aiming for polka dot jersey’s in any of the sportives: but then again one of the main reasons for taking up cycling to start with was to drop a few pounds, so if all goes to plan this should be less of an issue as the weeks/months go on.

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  1. October 1, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Hi,

    Just read your blog which I found interesting as I am looking at getting back to do a bit of cycling having not cycled in probably 20 years. I am about 16st and unfit – any advice or recommendation re bike – regimes , etc………..

    Thanks for the blog

    Tom

    • October 1, 2013 at 5:46 pm

      Hi Tom,

      thanks for checking in! If you’re unfit I would definitely start off doing little and often on the bike, keeping the route flat, and slowly adding on the miles. What I found worked for me (and my mates) were signing up for events: give yourself enough time to train, and pick something tough but realistic. (for example a 50km in a couple of months time, or an 80km in 3 months, etc).

      Re: getting a bike, it really depends on what type of cycling you want to do, but if you’re planning on doing longish miles (working up to more than 2 hours say), then go for something like a racer as opposed to a hyprid (similar to a racer but with flat bars). Long term it’ll be more comfortable and efficient. Best thing to do if you don’t already have a bike is go to the local bike shop, and get one on the bike to work. Don’t worry too much about the frame (don’t get anything too expensive), but spend the money more on the “groupset” (gears, brakes, etc). You can also get all the accessories as well, so i’d aim to get the full value of the scheme (padded shorts are a no brainer, the bib shorts are best, although you’ll feel foolish the first time out!). Also cycling jerseys will be much more comfortable, and the pockets make a huge difference.

      Since getting out in the winter could be tough, you could look at a turbo trainer, for the real bad days (basically turns the bike into a stationary trainer). Again, these things cost money, but if you can get into a routine it’ll really stand to you.

      I’d also invest in a Garmin or something like that to track mileage, but if you have a smart phone you can get apps for a couple of quid: it’s great to set goals, I find it’s brilliant motivation to get out. (you can spend a fortune at the start, but I found that even though I spent a lot the first year, I always got the best I could afford, so it’s payinng off in the long run.

      Hope this helps. A brilliant blog worth reading is http://philsroadbikingblog.blogspot.ie/2013/01/50-tips-for-new-road-cyclist.html it covers a lot of stuff you need, and he aims a lot at people getting back into the saddle.

      Le Meas!

      • October 2, 2013 at 1:18 am

        That’s brilliant help. Thank you.

        Tom

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