Cycling Tips for Beginners: Bike, Training Plan, Fuel + Video

This post has been created in partnership with Schwinn, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Over the summer I found it really hard to stay motivated with running. I had hit all my major running goals for the year: completing my first marathon, and getting a sub-two hour half marathon. After that I found it hard to come up with a new goal that I wanted to tackle. I have a lot of friends here in Utah that regularly compete in triathlons, and all of a sudden I had a huge drive to take up cycling and workout with them in the early mornings. It's been a huge learning curve getting ready for my first century ride the last several weeks, so I thought I'd impart some recently acquired knowledge for anyone else looking to get started too. 

Also, be sure to head to the bottom of the post for more information and a fun video!


Picking The Right Bike:
I had a mountain bike that I had purchased a few months prior, but mountain bikes, and road bikes are definitely not the same thing, and I knew if I wanted to be serious about cycling, I was going to need to get a road bike.

I was really overwhelmed by all the brands and options out there for road bikes. When it was time for me to choose which bike I wanted to ride, I went to Schwinn because they were a brand that I already knew and trusted. My mountain bike was a Schwinn, and in addition to that, I'd ridden on several Schwinn bikes as child. 

Carbon road bikes are super popular because their light frames make it easer to maneuver and go faster. When I saw that Schwinn carried the Fastback Carbon Road Bike, I knew that it was going to be the perfect bike to get me ready for my first century ride that I'm doing at the end of this week. 

The Fastback Carbon is the perfect entry level road bike because it gives you a desirable carbon frame, with upgraded components such as Shimano 105 shifters and derailleurs, which aren't common among other entry level bikes. 





Finding The Right Training Plan:
Once I picked which century I wanted to do, I knew that I had eight weeks to prepare. This might not be enough time for some people to get ready if you haven't been active for a long time, but I had already done a marathon this year, and had been consistently running through the summer, so eight weeks seemed like the perfect amount of time for me to get going. 

I typically would do two shorter rides during the week, and then a longer ride on the weekend. The weekend rides would get longer and longer each week, to help build endurance. During the week I would do one ride at a pretty steady pace, and then the other ride I would incorporate more speed and sprints into my ride to help me get faster. On the days I wasn't riding, I would typically do 30+ minutes of cross training, like running or swimming.


Finding The Right Nutrition Plan: 
Fueling your body while riding can be a tricky thing to learn! For my rides during the week I typically don't take anything more than a water bottle with me. For my rides on the weekend though, it can get a lot more complex. I typically will carry two bottles on my bike, and will start drinking around the 30 minute mark. After an hour of cycling, I'll take an energy gel, and then take those every 45 minutes until I'm finished with my ride. When I get to the half way point of my ride, I'll likely take something more substantial like a granola bar to tide me over and keep the hunger away! 

19 comments

  1. Wow your training plan is crazy. How many miles do you normally accomplish in 1 hr? in comparison to your rides on the weekend.

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    1. My average for most one hour rides is about 14 miles! I had a huge cardiovascular base going into this, so for some people they may need to start with lower intensity, which is totally fine!

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  2. Okay, you already know how much I adore you Paige! It's so fun to read more about your love for road biking. But then you have so much value to share in other posts too. My hubby and son compete in a midweek mountain bike race series at snowbasin all summer long. It's like the highlight of our week. 🚴

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  3. I have wanted to get a bike for ages, and start to cycle - so this is the perfect post for me. I am saving it for later when I do get to purchase my bike. :) Thank you!

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  4. I love the look of your road bike! It sounds ideal for your amazing cycling goals. Good luck & I wish I could be as motivated as you are!!

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  5. I never really thought about going to cycling before, it looks beautiful though. May need to add it to my want to do list.

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  6. This is great info. We actually just started biking as a family, and my husband and I are excited to get back into biking.

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  7. Wow! I am so impressed! I am just getting back into running (I'm not where as awesome as you) and have been missing biking too. That bike looks awesome!

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  8. Good for you. I think its very important to set goals. I used to sign up for events knowing I'd do poorly without training. It worked.

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  9. i'm really impressed! i never tried cycling, or really much of bike riding in the last few years

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  10. These are some fantastic tips. Cycling is something I have been getting into a little more recently so I am definitely going to take these tips on board.

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  11. Yes, lady, crush your fitness goals! Every year I look forward to watching the Tour de France because of the athleticism of the riders. Of course doping is a problem, but there are riders who ride clean. They're so impressive, and you are too!

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  12. What a training schedule! Impressive. Wish I had the stamina.

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  13. Such great tips! I tried cycling before but never followed through. Its great exercise for sure!

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  14. We love cycling as a family and lucky to have the Hampshire New Forest nearby with some great routes mainly for pleasure x Its great exercise!

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  15. Been thinking about bicycling more these days. It's perfect for a South Florida lifestyle.

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  16. I love biking, but not as a work out. Its more to get from place A to B. I live in Netherlands and its so convenient way to travel x

    Laura
    https://pinkfrenzymissl.blogspot.com/

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