Motivation to work at it while riding solo
A year ago, the ride home from downtown to Squirrel Hill was tough and whipped me into much better shape. With the summer I added some miles and improved my eating and got noticeably leaner.
Totally fell off the wagon in September with all the Jewish holidays then, and my eating has gotten worse. I’ve gained back 10 pounds of the 30 I had lost at the bottom.
I find myself gearing down and sitting through climbs I used to mash up pretty quick. The ride home takes another minute or even two compared to my rides in late summer, which is silly given it’s just 4.5-5 miles we’re talking about.
Is this why people ride fixies? To get their ass whupped if they let up so they DON’T let that happen? My schedule hasn’t allowed me to join more than two of DD training rides and going to miss this Sunday as well.
I just don’t have much time generally. What I’m contemplating at the moment is using the 5 mile (Greenfield Avenue) route home and putting in some climbing on the little sidestreets.
Anyone done this? Any feeback on Yoder? Looks like you’re entering a one way and I’m normally loathe to do that but if car traffic is scarce and slow enough it’s not a problem in practice… is that true here? Definitely looks like the toughest available climb, though there are plenty of other options when, taken in aggregate could be quite a workout, too.
You could go up Tunstall St, (there’s regularly a cargo bike on that street) which connects to Yoder
You could also make a right on Haldane, right on Farnsworth, right on Winterburn, left on Loretto, right on McCaslin, and then you could take Bigelow into Squirrel Hill
I used to go around that way for some reason, but I can’t remember
I should add that it’s also usually locked up towards the bottom to the stair railing :P The person who rides it is also usually hauling a kid around and is from flat Philadelphia, so extra credit is warranted :P
I wouldn’t sweat too much over ten pounds, but definitely better to nip it in the bud before it goes any further. That’s awesome that you’ve seen such solid improvement in health since riding regularly… I’ve maintained the same weight since I started cycling although my legs are without question, stronger.
I don’t think there is any one reason why anyone decided to ride a fixed gear bike. Obviously, less gears force you to work harder. I’ve been considering removing some gears for the same reason.
It’s only ten pounds is one way of looking at it. Measuring in terms of the pants I bought in summer… ugh.
The improvement in my health is a reflection of the fact that I neglected it before and that impatience got me working really hard on the pedals to get home faster. Maybe I need to cultivate my impatience like a fine stinkweed flower.
But come to think of it, more likely it’s time for me to put together my menorah already (gonna be big this year, and hooked to a UPS, so both very unaerodynamic and a good bit of heft), attach to the bike trailer and parade around obnoxiously with it for a month+ :)
I think you are dealing with two separate issues here, although they can be related. To get in better shape, you need to exercise more- and since Vo2 Max is (your bodies ability to utilize availible oxygen) is a function of how much body mass you are trying to haul around, yes, losing some fat will increase your VO2 Max accordingly.
Losing weight is just a matter of taking in less calories- a simple matter really. How though? Watch them- be careful about drinking calories, stay hydrated with water, use smaller plates and bowls so they hold less food.
I have been trying to lose a few pounds of fat before the holidays when I travel and find it harder to exercise regularly and eat more of things I don’t usually eat. Maybe I can come out in January without having gained too much.
Exercise discipline is much more within reach than dietary for me. I’ve found if I do try to contain my eating, I’ll think about eating more, and invariably eat more, typically of lower quality food, soon thereafter. It’s ashame, because if I could manage NOT to do that, it would be the single most effective way to drop some weight.
byogman wrote:Maybe I need to cultivate my impatience like a fine stinkweed flower.
This gave me a good laugh…
byogman wrote:Exercise discipline is much more within reach than dietary for me. I’ve found if I do try to contain my eating, I’ll think about eating more, and invariably eat more, typically of lower quality food, soon thereafter. It’s ashame, because if I could manage NOT to do that, it would be the single most effective way to drop some weight.
I know it is difficult with family, but the best way for me to cut out calories isn’t to have a battle with myself, but to keep the candy, white bread, and soda at the store… at least then, I have to walk or bike to have access to them.
I think I really need to step back and look at my daily consumption. I’m hovering 190-195# at the moment when I should really be pushing only 175# at the max. I got down to 155# in bootcamp, but I think that was underweight (and I still had a *@(!) gut).
Read my post again- I rarely deny myself food that I want, but I do stay hydrated (and full) on no calorie water, and use smaller bowls and dishes and cups – I still fill my plate, but take in less calories. Eating slower helps also- often one’s stomach is full before the plate is empty, but it takes a while before that sensation reaches your consciousness.
If you make the decision for a commitment to eat less and better, then decisions are made ahead of time and not in the moment. Same with exercise- tell yourself all day you will exercise 20 minutes after work, and you have already incorporated the decision into you consciousness.
You’re right I wasn’t responding really to more than reducing caloric intake. In terms of the mechanisms, I don’t take in too many liquid calories. Eating slower doesn’t work, I spend most of mealtime attending to family needs or work. Smaller plates mean more dishes, not less food. Drewbacca’s suggestion about waging the battle at the grocery store level is good, trouble is, my wife has a bit of a sweet tooth so there’s usually some around.
Friday I didn’t take the side streets, but I took the climb with panniers full, groceries, laptop, flowers. Give or take I think I was riding with an extra 25 pounds and it was decidedly not aerodynamic. So, I’ll give myself partial credit for that day even though the time was kinda lousy. Monday I’m going to have to make my own midday ride since I won’t be in the office. I think I’m going to head over to Negley and experiment with my gearing :)
Another thing I’m wondering is how much different the energy output is in regards to the time it takes to get up the hill
Somebody with a powertap could probably answer that, but my guess is that if you’re climbing up hill, the amount of energy expended to get to the top is the same, the only thing that changes is how fast that happens (assuming the same route)
Pierce wrote:Another thing I’m wondering is how much different the energy output is in regards to the time it takes to get up the hill
I think it’s the same amount of work, but it ends up burning more calories due to a bunch of stuff I don’t understand i.e. peak heart rate and metabolism. Whether or not the difference is negligible, I have no idea.
“Smaller plates mean more dishes, not less food.”
When I am going to eat a bowl of pasta, I fill the bowl, and eat all of it. If it is a smaller bowl, I eat less. If I fill a larger bowl, I eat more. If I finish the smaller bowl and want more, it becomes now a conscious decision to refill the bowl, and I am fully aware I am taking extra food. Same number of dishes, just smaller ones, unless you take a clean dish to get seconds at home.
Thirty pounds is a lot to lose in a few months.
I’m convinced that the secret to long term weight control is to lose weight slowly – maybe 1/2 pound a week, maybe a pound a month, somewhere in that range.
Think of losing weight as the training period for the truly difficult task of keeping it off.
It’s not like losing the faster than that means you get to stop the dieting faster. Quite the opposite, fast weight loss will slow your metabolism – for years – making weight control difficult.
I’m not really sure what I was supposed to do differently to not loose weight fairly quickly at the start. Not that I minded, but it wasn’t that I set myself out on a plan to loose weight. I don’t feel like I killed my metabolism. But who knows, maybe. For sure, maintenance is not automatic. Hence, the search for convenient ways to burn things up.
I know some folks have training music and there’s some scientific basis to the fact that people in a music trance block out pain better and keep better rhythm. But many headphones I think muffle outside noises too much. I had a bluetooth that was not loud or muffling of outside noises, plus I told myself just right side can’t be tooo bad. But it fried. Not sure if anyone can point to a really weather resistant model, I could use that whether I wind up doing so on the bike or no.
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