The initial pedals

Cycling Motivation
Bought a bike a couple of weeks ago to spend time time with my dad. Did my first 3 hour ride and I was out for the rest of day when we got back home. Without saying I was not up to snuff. I bought a trainer a week later and just messed around a bit. I stumbled upon TrainerRoad on YouTube, so I thought I’d sign up. Finished the ramp test and my initial FTP is 93.

Origin Story
I have no cycling experience, no athletic experience except for the one month of cross country in high school, then dropped out, running was not my thing. I lift weights to so I can eat like garbage. I was in the military for 4 years, but my 3 mile runtime was 25 minutes.

Stats
*33 years young
*62 -63 inches
*142-145 lbs
*Initial FTP: 93

Equipment
*Bike: REI CO-OP CTY

Goals
*Keep up with my dad
*Build up ftp to try some events

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Welcome - keeping up with your dad sounds like a fun goal - enjoy!

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Great goals! Stay consistent and you will see big gains, remember to enjoy the process and have fun!

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Halfway done with the first week. A few things I’ve notice that keep popping up. Right knee pain towards the inside of the knee. Both sit bones are in pain halfway through the workout, and initial pain in left ankle during the beginning of the workout.

I’m thinking it’s probably still due to my body acclimating to riding a bike, but just in case I scheduled a bike fit tomorrow with the local bike shop.

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Good idea. Riding on the trainer is much more static than outdoors and some weird issues can pop up that might not otherwise.

This is pretty normal when starting out. I don’t know if you are already doing this but I would stand up every 10-15 min for 15-30 seconds to alleviate this a bit. If you have a dumb trainer I would shift up a gear or two when you do this to give you a bit more resistance to pedal against while standing.

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Some great info shared here:

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Welcome to the forum and to indoor training. You’ll be attacking your dad on the hills in no time!

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The bike fit tomorrow will hopefully fix a lot of the issues, as for bibs/shorts any recommendations?

Didn’t take how stationary the bike is, I’ll mess with the stilts to give it some time wiggle room.

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  • Ask 5 people about the best bibs, and you will get 10 answers.

  • I have great luck with Pearl Izumi, but like any brand, they aren’t right for everyone. Sadly, it’s like most stuff where you just have to take a chance and try some brands to see how they work for you.

  • Yeah, give some motion a shot. It’s not for everyone, but a bit of movement seems to help quite a few people. A fixed bike is not natural any way you look at it. So I see it as a place to explore at the very least.

Congratulations on the bike purchase! Riding with your dad, enjoy it!

Personally, I would just get out and ride. Indoor training is good, but it’s a different mindset. You have no history of the sport. Give yourself some time to really just enjoy and fall in love, and get to know yourself on the bike.

You will make gains, just by getting out and riding. Bike handling is also very important. Indoor training won’t get you that.

That’s not bad at all. ~8min/mile.

I did that too. :slight_smile: It worked a treat, until I hit 30. My diet consisted of burgers, pizza, and chips and massive caloric burns. Basically I had to eat constantly to keep myself fueled and growing. Feeling jacked was also great. Then I noticed a slow down @ 30, and when I hit 35, even slower. The world ended by age 40. :slight_smile:

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Finished the bike fit. A few adjustments were made:

  • Smaller width saddle from 155 to 142.
  • Saddle tilt lowered
  • Changed to a 90mm stem from 70
  • “slammed” stem since I’m apparently flexible enough to hold that position.
  • cleats adjusted

During the fit those adjustments seemed to help, but to make sure it did I finished up my Saturday TR workout, and it definitely helped! Knee pain was barely noticeable, saddle soreness significantly decreased, but still noticeable, but that’s probably due to the the “adjustment period.” My pedal stroke is a lot smoother, before there was some skipping when my cadence was above 105, still there but only when it’s above 110.

A few adjustments are still needed.

  • longer seat post w/layback or smaller crank arm. They did a weighted string test and the string was past the pedal, they need to order that part.

Overall it was a great experience and definitely improves the quality of my ride.

Signed up for an Grand Fondo in May next year. It’s a 2 day event. The first day is 66 miles and the next is 33 miles totaling 100 miles.

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Great Post!

If I can add anything is “go slow”.

Consistency is the foundation for any improvements. Don’t burn yourself.

I’m talking to you but I’m actually reflecting on my sports life! Hahah

Pacing is definitely hard, I know for sure I’m currently in the honeymoon phase of any relationship, where everything seems amazing. I make time to make sure I’m hitting the training plans, but I’m sure later down the line there will be ones where I have to skip.

For instance I have a wedding to go to during Labor Day weekend, so I decided to bring my bike along and ride around since it will be during my longer riding sessions on the plan.

In terms of motivation and keeping consistent, what are the strategies used?

I think this will be more depending on the individual, but in general, if you keep a training progression easy, you will yield greater results in the long term - you don’t burn yourself and life is easy.

In the journey you will learn about nutrition, pacing yourself, gain mental and physical endurance, and so on. You won’t have motivation if you are tired or your body is sore all the time.

If you jump to quick your body will let you know.

You may loose one day to rest… but you will loose a few weeks if don’t rest.

I don’t want to sound negative/pessimistic at all. In a few words don’t start doing 10h/week with loads of VO2 tomorrow. See it as a long process… it’s an endurance sport after all.

Slowly but surely they say!

Credentials: looking for a new knee, a new lower back and a new shoulder. No accidents… just different sports

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I will say that is the most enjoyable part of this. I can eat while I ride, the carb drinks are a delight. I look forward those treats the most. :yum:

I did notice that while I am riding and now eating during training I’m just drained, but once I started snacking here and there my endurance jumped quite a bit.

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Congratulations, welcome to the club!

The fun part is that where you are now you’re going to make some explosive gains. Cycling is a weird movement that requires specific muscle groups that aren’t necessarily something you use in that same motion often in other sports/activities. When you’re just starting, you’re still waking those muscles up.

Additionally, your first ramp test you need to learn how to “play the game” as it were. I wouldn’t be shocked to hear you double that FTP in just a couple months. Especially as ex-military, I’m sure you know how to suffer.

Have fun man! This is going to be a lot of fun and sweat. Also, don’t worry about the butt pain. It will go away super quickly. More saddle time (with clean bibs!) will toughen up your nether regions.

Actually, one other thing. You said one of your goals is to get some FTP and then sign up for an event. It’s way more motivating if you do the inverse. Find a fun looking Gran Fondo in your area that’s a nice challenge (a relatively flat 100mi is a good place to start) and a few months out. Sign up for it and train for it. With that date circled on the calendar and that mental countdown clock, you’ll be way more motivated to train. Use the plan builder tool on TR too it will help tremendously :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

What’s playing the game? I know for sure the next time I do the ramp test I’m going to be snacking on some snacks. Train like you play, and I definitely snack on cliff bars while I ride.

I don’t necessarily mean snacking. In fact, others may disagree, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend snacking during the ramp test. You’ll be too busy gasping for breathe if you’re doing it right. It’s a short effort, really only 10-15 min of work work. Instead of snacking during, eat a bit of candy or fruit just before you start the ride or at least the working portion of the test. The simple carbs will get your engine really revving. Make sure to eat well generally, perhaps some oatmeal (or that cliff bar) an hour + before the ride, and you’ll get through the ramp test itself just fine from a fuel perspective.

More broadly by “play the game” I just meant that the next time you go into the ramp, you’ll already understand the feeling, you’ll understand how important cadence is, you’ll be familiar with the burning lungs and legs. There isn’t a cheat code or anything and after all, the more accurate of a number you get in the ramp, the better tailored the workouts will be for you. Too easy == no gains, Too hard == failing / quitting workouts == no gains.

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Welcome to cycling - it is a life changing activity :slight_smile:

In terms of motivation and keeping consistent, what are the strategies used?

Motivation is very individual but here’s mine

  • Being able to ride with my friends (aka keeping up)
  • Targeting an event or goal (ie gran fondo, race, everest, a century)
  • Enjoying riding my bike outdoors, sun in face, wind in hair, gliding through the scenery and feeling “strong”

Being consistent over time yields progress which I find very motivating in itself and which is easily measurable as a new cyclist as increases in FTP. Some may of course come from learning to do the ramp test, but most see higher gains in the beginning of their cycling compared to after riding for a few years.

Consistency for me is easier when I break things into smaller blocks. I.e. an event 8 weeks out I will break into two training blocks of three weeks on and one week of rest. Those training blocks are structured into key workouts for each week. TR does all of this for you with the plan builder when you add an event. This way I can focus on each week and see how my schedule allows me to hit the key workouts. Normally I have fixed days and time for cycling each week. With the low volume plans, this would be the three workouts prescribed. I find that after the first week or two I’m really motivated by not losing my streak. It is all about building habits (sidenote, The Power of Habit may be an interesting read when it comes to habits). Starting out with three workouts per week (low volume plans) makes it easier to hit all three workouts which feels more as an accomplishment than hitting three out of five workouts.

Though, keep this up long enough and life will come in the way either we want or not. I’ve added a couple links below to some TR resources (there may be more and newer) that can be consulted.

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