So the other day I joined a road bike cycling group. Its an old hobby of mine.
Anyway, so I rock up and meet the group. Add in the group there are a number of mid 40 year old men that do not look like they really exercise much. They looked maybe 5-10kg overweight and had no shape/aesthetic look to them. Another member of the group was a 30 year old female who does not really looks like she exercises either. So we started our 40km ride with some intensity, and by the 25km mark I could no longer keep up with the group and drop off.
Im a 30 year old guy who has spent time in the gym, I look fit and have a much lower body fat percentage than many of those in the group. And yet, I still could not keep up with the group.
My aim is to build up the endurance and power in my legs to keep up with the group. My question is, considering I am riding with a bunch of middle age men that don’t look fit and a female, should I be able to build up my biking fitness to match theres and yet still make some progress in the gym???
I do acknowledge that I will not progress as fast in the gym. The group rides 2-3 times a week, usually 40km.
Sorry for the essay.
Endurance is about either (a) how quickly muscles can recover from work or (b) the ability to work at a low level for a long time. Both of these require specific protocols and as I understand it, at the cellular level you are forcing your body to either optimize or grown new mitochondria. Tabatas do (a) and steady state cardio does (b). Depends on what you want.
My GF was an avid biker who took up power lifting initially to stay in shape in the off season. When she started biking again after a long break, she found the while her endurance hadn’t altered, biking made her much weaker. She could reliably drop 15 - 20% off her maxes the week after a long (100+ km) ride. Point is that this really shows what other people have been saying about getting strong vs. lots of cardio. She finally decided to do mostly strength training rather than biking since she likes it better now.
Also, as soccer player, do you really want/need to spend the training time getting to bike for a long time? Your body will adapt and you might find that you can’t really get explosive power the way you used to when you play. Correct me if I am wrong, but soccer players mill around then sprint – not similar to steady state cardio at all. If you insist on doing something, I’d consider doing barbell complexes or something similar for endurance. That would surely give you endurance and strength too. Jumping split squat tabatas with a loaded bar ought to make you reassess your life choices. ;D
Hope this helps…