How Do You Get Back Into Cycling After A Break? | Ask GCN Anything

How Do You Get Back Into Cycling After A Break? | Ask GCN Anything


– Welcome back to
another Ask GCN Anything. – This week, we’re talking about what’s the best warm
up to do before a race? What’s better to train on, a turbo or out on the road? And a really interesting question. How much fitness do you
lose when you stop training? – Ooh, I can tell you the
answer to that already. It’s a lot. Anyway, if you want to
get your question in, leave it in the comments box down below. Use the hashtag #torqueback and to be with the chance of winning a free three-month subscription to Zwift, use the hashtag #askgcntraining. Don’t forget, you can also drop that into any of our social media platforms. (pulsating) – Who’s up fist then, Chris? – Forbzy2. “GCN, I need help. “Can you please tell me the ideal warmup “for an under 19 rider for
a 100 kilometer road race “with the elevation gain of 1,800 meters? “The start should be relatively fast, “heading straight into a
steep KOM five kilometers in.” Ooh.
– Ooh. Good question. I think I would spend around 20 minutes on the rollers before a road race. It’s 100 kilometers long, so it’s not like a short track race, where you want to be
really, really warmed up. So almost a 10 minute,
15 minute ride, spin. Get a good RPM up so raise
your heart rate a little bit and just get nice and warm. That’s what I would do anyway. – Yep and in fact, there’s
a really cool video that we have on the channel. We’re gonna pop it on the
screen now that you can do. Follow that for around 15 to 20 minutes and that’ll get you really well warmed up. – Yeah, but don’t be
afraid to go hard because– – It’s important to go hard. – It’s important to get all
your system ready and awake so then you’re not getting dropped in that first five K. – If you’re using a power meter, 120 plus of your FTP. That’s what this is roughly.
(breathing heavily) Nearly there, everyone. 10 seconds. (whooshing) – And the winner of this week’s three-month free subscription
from Zwift is, Chris? – WegrennLOL, who has set a personal goal of trying to crack 20
minutes up their local climb. They’ve managed 22 minutes before but they want to know what
training they need to do to crack that magical 20 minute barrier. The gradient’s 7% for 5.7 kilometers but there is a maximum grade in the 14%. – Ooh.
– Which is kinda steep. – Sounds hard. And it sounds like this is
a really big goal for you and it looks like you’ve
really thought about it. Now this is an uphill
TT, so there’s two areas in where you want to maximize
to help your performance. And it’s already done
on what’s per kilogram so we want to either decrease our weight or increase our power. – Yeah and dropping two kilograms would definitely make a
difference to your time but without seeing you, we don’t know that you’ve
actually got two kilos to lose. – Well, exactly. – You could be pretty close
to your optimum weight already so with that in mind,
what you wanna focus on is how you’re gonna train for this climb. – Yep and to do so,
we’ve actually sent off this question to Zwift
and they’ve come back with two key sessions to help you. – They have indeed so
they analyzed the effort and basically over a 20 minute effort, you’re gonna be building
really high levels of lactate in your body and to prepare for that, you wanna do that in training as well. So what they recommend is actually doing a high, above-threshold effort before settling right back down into some soft threshold work to basically teach you how to hang on after those steep gradients of that climb. – Yeah and using your data you’ve provided in your question, we’ve been able to provide
you with some target power for your intervals. – Yup, we have. – Based on your 20
minute effort, 280 watts, we can estimate that your FTP
is around 260 to 270 watts. An example session would,
well, look like this. Three minutes at 330
watts followed immediately by ten minutes at 250 to 270 watts. Aim to complete three of
these in one training session with full recovery between each interval. – And the next session
that you wanna look at is increasing your VO2 max power so this would be doing intervals of three to eight minutes
at what is basically a max intensity for that duration. If you’re working for eight minutes, then you want to eight minutes recovery so the recovery period always
matches the workload period. And you want to look to
complete around 20 minutes of this total workload in one session. – Yeah and your target
power for these intervals should be around 280 to 320 watts. So yeah, have a go at those. Let us know how you get on and use those three months free Zwift to really hone down on
those performance details. We’ve got a question in from Alex S. “I’m coming back to
cycling at the age of 50, “after 25 years off the bike. “I want a smart trainer for the winter “and was wondering how to
approach training plans. “Will I need to add in extra recovery time “or should a couple of rest
days a week be enough?” – Well, Alex, 25 years
off, that’s a long rest. – Yeah, that is a long rest. – You’re probably not gonna’ve been experiencing too much fresh form. You’ll just be needing to
rebuild your fitness indeed. So a couple of days off
a week is a good start. Two or three actually for your age is gonna be more beneficial
because as we get older, it does take us longer
to recover from efforts but don’t jump straight
in with the intensity. Do a longer ride at the
weekend if you get the chance and then sprinkle some harder rides, just two a week, two harder
rides a week, in on top of that and you’ll find that actually, your fitness comes back
to you quite quickly, depending on how much you rode before, We recently discovered
an article that said you lose it until you reuse it. So all those fitness gains you made before will be much more accessible than had you never done
any fitness in the past. Good luck with your rediscovery of cycling and we hope you enjoy it. – Yeah, for sure. – Dennis 4523. “I’ve been sick for one month
and I haven’t cycled at all. “How much fitness have I lost “and when can I get back to normal?” – Great question, Dennis, and it’s something that I
actually got really interested in because, well, we’re going
through the same thing. We haven’t been riding properly for a good few months now, haven’t we? So we’ve also been going through what you’re going through
now but ultimately, there’s three components to fitness. You’ve got your muscular strength, you’ve got your muscular endurance, and you’ve got your
cardiovascular endurance so that’s your lungs, heart, and your circulatory system basically. But the first few days off the bike, you will see your
fitness start to decline. But this is no bad thing
because ultimately, this will give you time
to rest and recover and your muscles to repair. So if you’ve gone into that three days with a really hard session
then you have three days off, you can actually come out
with that with better fitness. And this is where tapering
becomes really useful. – Yep, but after that, the
news is slightly worse. Around two weeks, you’ll
expect to see a decline in your VO2 max, 4-20%
is widely recognized as the sort of decline
that you can expect to see, which isn’t great, to be honest. And then once you stretch
out towards a month, it’s really not good news at all because your body’s efficiency, your ability to transport
oxygen around your body, that’s gonna take a real hit. Your biomechanical changes
are gonna start to kick in, meaning it’ll be harder to
maintain that lean, light weight that you’re used to
having as a bike rider. And then also muscle mass
will have taken a hit. – (inhaling sharply) Sorry, Chris. You did have big legs before and they are getting smaller. – New shorts then.
– Yep. – And to answer the second
part of your question, it’s not great news again because actually to rebuild fitness takes three times as long
roughly as it does to lose it so you’ve got a bit of
a journey ahead of you. But you will, after the
first couple of weeks, really start to notice big gains because those first two weeks, your body makes very quick adaptations to get back towards where you were and then after that,
you’ll see smaller steps but you will feel better. – Yeah so to help you out, why don’t you check out this video for five ways to get back into cycling? And good luck with the journey ahead. And group rides can be so much fun also. Get out with your mates, have
a joke, and just enjoy it. After all, cycling is good fun. – Yeah and if you feel like
racing them up a climb, why not do that as well? – Race you up. I can’t get in, ahh! Right, Chris. Tell us who’s next ’cause,
well, I can’t read out that. – Anonomosomous. – Oh, nice! “I’m a sprinter and I
struggle with long climbs, “often getting dropped on my club run. “I’m working on my cardio
and I’ve lost weight “but I’ve been warned by a former pro “that I could lose my sprinting ability “if I focus too much on climbing “and I’m not sure what
to do for the best.” – Well, Anon, to answer simply, to an extreme, they’re not actually wrong. If you purely focus on
trying to lose weight and you don’t do anything
to maintain your sprint, then, yeah, you will lose
your ability to sprint over 5-20 seconds. But by incorporating one
dedicated sprint session once a week or so, you’re not actually gonna
lose that much at all. But what I think you really want to do, instead of focusing
purely on losing weight, is address what aspect
of your fitness it is that you actually feel is lacking and causing you to get dropped. Is it your aerobic capacity? Is it your VO2 power? Once you work that out, then
try and improve your power over those durations and
that will help create you as a better, more well-rounded cyclist and you’ll be able to perform better. So focusing on losing weight, you’re just gonna lose power
ultimately is often the case. But focus on increasing power and it will benefit you uphill, on the flat, and in your sprint. – Makes sense. From one sprinter to another. So yeah, hope those tips help you. Who’s next, Chris – Next is Ishan Naithani with “is riding on a turbo trainer “better than riding on the road? “Which of the two
enhance your performance? “Pros and cons, please.” – Right, great question. To be honest, they’re so different. It’s really hard to compare. They’re really good at
doing the short efforts and the more kind of
specific training sessions is more easily done on the turbo because you can set certain powers and you don’t have the wear there, you don’t have downhill,
you don’t have traffic, this, that, and the other. But then on the road, you can go and do a four, five, six hour ride and not get as bored as you would if you did that on the turbo. So they’re two very different things. I wouldn’t say one’s better than the other because they’re so different, although– – Depends on what you wanna do. Do you want to get good at Zwift racing or do you want to get
good at cycling outside? If you want to get good
at riding a bike outside, then you wanna focus on
the technical aspect, you know, the downhills. – Yeah, I think we’ll both say it’s probably best to
ride on the raod, eh? – Yeah but–
– But the turbo benefits that. – Exactly so you want to mix them up so that you get good at both. – Yeah. So I hope that helps in a weird way. – AndySingh58 up next with “do you think it’s
advisable to try cyclocross “when I have heel spurs? “I gave up running to take up cycling “and cyclocross has some running sections. “Would my bone spurs prevent
me from taking up cyclocross?” – Now I think cyclocross
will be fine for you. It’s during the winter, where
the ground’s a lot softer, and if you choose a course that
hasn’t got a lot of running, then I reckon you’ll be okay but do take it very carefully. Don’t obviously jump
into it and if it’s sore, then definitely stop. – At a recreational level,
then absolutely, why not? You don’t have to jump
off you bike and run when you just go out and
ride your cross bike for fun. – Yeah, so go out and do it and then just take it slowly I guess. But do check out this video where Emma tried to do cyclocross. Actually, she succeeded. She actually did really well, I thought. – Well she got off and ran with the bike. – Yes, she’s a good
runner as well, isn’t she? – Now, the next biggest
difference, I think, between road and off-road
is that off-road, you’re gonna be dealing with bumps and potentially a lot of them. There is, as you might imagine, a technique for dealing with them and the quicker you learn
it, the faster you will go. – Next question from Denning76. “I’ve got to be off the
bike for three weeks “on doctor’s orders. “What on earth am I supposed
to do with the free time?” Good question and I’m sorry to hear that. But I would just spend
the time chilling out with a cup of coffee watching GCN videos, especially that Red Hook Crit video ’cause I mean it’s just a really,
really good one, isn’t it? Really good, really good. – If I hear one more thing
about the Red Hook Crit. – Man, it’s a great video. – It’s a great video but
you’ve been going on about it every single day. I reckon the most views come from you. – Yeah, probably. Right, next question is from who, Chris? – Balfourism.
(James scoffing) “Hi GCN, love the show. “I’m a complete beginner
when it comes to cycling. “I’m interested in getting
into it to lose weight “and eventually go on group rides, “find a club, and do some racing maybe. “If the main goal is losing weight and myself being unhealthy,
how should I start? – Right, well weight loss is all about basically running a calorie deficit. So the more fitness you’re doing and the less calories you’re putting in, ultimately you’re gonna lose weight but I would start off quite gently. So just go in and ride for fun, enjoy it, and as you start to get
a little bit fitter, then you can start maybe
cutting down on the calories and going out for a little longer and you’ll soon find that
you’ll get fit enough to ride with your friends
out on the club rides. – Don’t get disheartened if
you get a little bit tired at the start because when
you’re out on a calorie deficit, it can feel quite tiring, can’t it? And your muscles will
feel a little bit drained and it’s just not as much fun. Stick with it. Get through those initial few months and you’ll feel much better. – Yeah. – Right, next up we
have (singing) rrditch. – “The Fuji Hill Climb
just opened for entry. “GCN should send some presenters. “24K long, 1,300 meters of elevation.” Chris, you up for it? – Yeah, I’m gonna be free. You? – No, I’m not gonna do it, mate. Lou Bryan David. “I ride a three kilometer climb “with an elevation of 170-200 feet. “I’m not really sure about the elevation, “but it’s somewhere there.” “And an average of 5%. “Should I grind or should I spin?” – Well I personally would say spin but what do you do? – I’d go for the middle ground, I think. I’d go for a really, I
don’t like riding up hill. I’d go for a really uncomfortable kind of stand up and churn and then sit down and try and pedal. Don’t do what I do. – Sounds good though. But if you want to know what the pros do, spin or grind, then check
out that video there. – Ah, well. – Uh. – Uh, uh. (exhales) – Excuse me? – Next question comes in from who, Chris? – This is Alan. Alan says “long time
watcher, first time writer. “I’m pretty new to the
sport and I’m trying to push “my average power
approximation up on Strava “but as I’m seeing my figures
rise almost every ride, “I’m having calf muscle twinges and pains, “which can last three days later. (sharply inhaling) “What
can I do to avoid this “without slowing down my training?” – Right, it’s all about body maintenance so stretching is a really
key part of your training and don’t forget it. It’s really easily done. When you’re training, the
last thing you wanna do is spend 10-20 minutes
stretching but really do help. Well, really do put it into your training because it really will
help, that’s what I meant. – Yeah and if it is your
calves that are twinging, then there’s another thing you could try and that would be to move your cleats back underneath your foot a little bit further because then your calves
tend to work less hard and then just make sure the
alignment’s correct as well. – Yeah, it’s funny when you
talk about body maintenance because Dan is really working on his and there’s actually a
video of him trying yoga that I would recommend you watch. – Let’s go. Come on to your hands and knees, Dan. – I’ll do away with this cushion. – Cushion isn’t needed now for a while. (laughing) – There you go. Not even strong enough to throw a cushion. – Right, Chris, before we finish, we actually had a good daily yesterday. – We did, the sun was out. – The sun was out and we got mail. – Ooh.
– Yep. All the way from Australia
in Beldon, Western Australia. We got this from Cameron Bywater and, well, it’s actually
a handwritten letter and it’s come in from a 12 year old who’s loving the show and
he loves riding his bike and he’s also done some
cool stuff for charity. – He has. It says here that he’s raised $750 dollars for motor neuron disease, which is a huge achievement, Cameron. Well done. – Yeah, so keep up with that and we here at GCN are really behind you. If you did like this show, then remember to get
involved on next week’s show using the hastag – #torqueback (in unison) and to be within chance of winning a free three-month subscription to Zwift, use the hashtag #askgcntraining. – Yeah, so make sure you put them in the comments section below. Right, Chris, what video
should they be watching next? – I think you should check out Jon Canning’s cheap bike
to super bike down there. – Yeah and don’t forget,
if you did enjoy this show then to give it a big thumbs up.