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My legs hurt

Posted: 8 Apr 2013, 11:18am
by theDaveB
Got my first bike for a very long time on Sunday and as it was a nice day got some local maps out (well Google maps really) and planned a ride. After about 20 mins, turned round and went home as I was completely knackered (even had to push the bike up a few hills).

After getting home legs where killing me and still a bit sore today. Considering I walk every was I shocked at this, looks like it's going to take a while to get use to this cycling thing again. Just goes to show I must be using muscles I don't use when walking, I can go into a city and spend about 7 or 8 hours walking about and taking pictures and not even feel tried.

Think it will be a good while before am doing any touring, day rides only for a good while I think.

Oh and am 17 stone and gave up smoking on 14th Feb!

Any tips or do I just keep going out and hopefully getting further each time ?

Dave

Re: My legs hurt

Posted: 8 Apr 2013, 11:21am
by eileithyia
Just keep going out I'm afraid.... sometimes that soreness in the quads benefits from a short repeat ride the day after, at a light work load to help spin out the aches and lactic acid build up....

Re: My legs hurt

Posted: 8 Apr 2013, 11:29am
by Mark1978
I was the same on my first bike ride (first for a few years), doesn't matter how much walking you do. I rode for about 5 miles, and after I got back my legs were shaking, I had difficulty climbing the stairs! That went away after the first couple of rides.

One thing I would say for getting fit is, don't walk up the hills, that'll only help your walking. Just plan a route that doesn't go up ridiculous hills, but if you feel you can't pedal any more, get off, have a rest for a few minutes, then continue. You'll be surprised how quickly you'll build up fitness so you'll go longer between rest stops.

Re: My legs hurt

Posted: 8 Apr 2013, 1:39pm
by [XAP]Bob
Interesting point about resting rather than pushing...

The basic solution is to put more miles in - some of them can be virtual miles in a gym or on a turbo/rollers...

Re: My legs hurt

Posted: 8 Apr 2013, 1:44pm
by 661-Pete
Yes - what the others have said - don't be put off but try again - maybe limit yourself to ten, not twenty, minutes out and back for the first week or two. At whatever speed feels comfortable for you, don't push yourself too hard. Pain in the legs is perfectly natural. And make sure that your giving up smoking is permanent! :wink:

Re: My legs hurt

Posted: 8 Apr 2013, 1:59pm
by Ant
Hi Dave
I've been riding a bike on and off my whole life. After a change in work routine a few years back which meant I didn't ride much for some months I then changed jobs again to a hilly 20 mile round trip commute. The first week of this followed a long winter (and short spring) of no riding at all.

In the evening after my first day my legs were killing me. Very tender muscles, walking was difficult, knees felt like they might "give way", all those feelings which to the inexperienced might be a bit off-putting. Next night, pretty much the same again and then gradually reducing over the next week or so.

And that's about it. After the initial shock to the system it was fine. This is just your body reacting to an increase in activity. Specific muscles will toughen up the more you do and your heart and lungs will follow suit. Nothing to worry about, don't let it put you off. As everyone else says, keep making steady gains and you'll be amazed how quickly you improve.

You may need to budget for an entire new wardrobe though, as if you ride regularly weight will fall off you. At least you don't have to fork out for cigs anymore! On that note be wary of investing too much in bike specific clothing etc, until you reach a stable size/weight...

BW, Ant

Re: My legs hurt

Posted: 8 Apr 2013, 2:08pm
by tatanab
Apart from basic fitness you will also learn how to ride. By this I mean how to ride efficiently, it is not a case of jumping on and turning the pedals. Like any manual labour those who do it often become very efficient. This all comes with time. Part of efficiency is finding a pedalling rate that suits you. Just as you probably would not labour the engine in a car, or bounce it off the rev limiter, do not do that to yourself either. Apart from that, just get out there and enjoy what you are doing. Make it a part of a trip to the shops, or café, or pub - a reason to go out.

The reason you can walk all day but not cycle for long is because you are using muscle groups in different ways. I used to go to a gym class. I would ride there (about 6 miles), so was warmed up, but still had to join in the jumping around stuff warming up with the rest of the class. I would really feel this after a few minutes because it was muscle groups and movements that I simply was not used to.

Re: My legs hurt

Posted: 8 Apr 2013, 2:13pm
by thirdcrank
IME, quite a lot of riders in your situation also suffer from a sore backside (not sore skin, but sore muscles) and dream of saddles filled with gel etc. Stick to it and things should get better very soon. Try not to dwell on the aches and pains or you may end up dreading every ride. Try to use your bike as much as you can, including for the shortest trips, rather than devising a master plan. After a few weeks, if you are still uncomfortable when riding, have a think about your riding position. (I'm talking here about the difference between making a prolonged effort then feeling the effects, and having something like an aching neck and shoulders when you have only been riding a couple of minutes.)

Re: My legs hurt

Posted: 8 Apr 2013, 2:32pm
by Dynamite_funk
First of all well done on taking it up again and quitting smoking, you'll find the latter woudd have made you even more unable to get up the hills! Just stick at it and you'll see improvements for sure. I always say you should try something for a month, then you will most definately feel an improvement. Keep us updated on your progress :D

Re: My legs hurt

Posted: 8 Apr 2013, 2:35pm
by freeflow
Just to cheer you up I've been training quite hard for the sportive season. After two aborts due to weather I finally got out on my first sportive yesterday (93 miles). Today my legs feel like jelly. In training I've been doing what I call 'Power riding' where you pedal quite slowly in the highest gear you can tolerate. Yesterday I couldn't really get any speed out of my legs, they felt a bit leaden, but i was able to float up the hills using gears I could only dream of last year. So clearly I trained my legs to work well going up hills but not for rotuine cruising!!.

IME riders who are new to bikes have a completely unrealistic expectations. Consequently they tend to ride in a way that burns glycogen very quickly resulting in 'bonking'. So my advice is to back off in terms of speed but do keep up the distance. Likewise, when you get to hills learn to change down the gears quickly to twiddle as long as you can. Save pushing for when you run out of gears. If you want to enjot your cycling then limit yourself to less than 20 miles at the moment. then after a few weeks start increasing distances by about 10% each week. When you've doubled your initial distance then you'll actually be able to go even further as you'll have learned quite a bit by that stage.

Re: My legs hurt

Posted: 8 Apr 2013, 9:14pm
by theDaveB
Well been out again today and went further, even cycled up the hill I walked up yesterday but think that's down to watching a YouTube video on how to use 21 gears!

Oh yeah my backside hurts, didn't notice till I got back on the bike today.

Thanks for all the comments.

Dave

Re: My legs hurt

Posted: 8 Apr 2013, 9:16pm
by Mark1978
theDaveB wrote:Well been out again today and went further, even cycled up the hill I walked up yesterday but think that's down to watching a YouTube video on how to use 21 gears!

Oh yeah my backside hurts, didn't notice till I got back on the bike today.

Thanks for all the comments.

Dave


Told you it would get better quickly. And yeah the sore buttock thing sucks.

Re: My legs hurt

Posted: 9 Apr 2013, 1:34pm
by Tonyf33
theDaveB wrote:Well been out again today and went further, even cycled up the hill I walked up yesterday but think that's down to watching a YouTube video on how to use 21 gears!

Oh yeah my backside hurts, didn't notice till I got back on the bike today.

Thanks for all the comments.

Dave

Some advice, warm up first, stretch out for about 2-5 minutes otherwise you'll end up pulling something and will set you back. Doing any exersize especially if you're going out again for the first time in a while will mean you try to go at it harder at the outset than you really should. Especially as the conditions are still cold your legs/back will thank you for that few minutes beforehand.
If you're a bit heavier than you once were then maybe have a look at a better/wider saddle.
I remember tabbing with a 30kg Bergan BITD, it sure isn't a great combination when you want to cycle the next day...ouch!

Re: My legs hurt

Posted: 9 Apr 2013, 1:35pm
by Mark1978
theDaveB wrote:Well been out again today and went further, even cycled up the hill I walked up yesterday but think that's down to watching a YouTube video on how to use 21 gears!


If you want some advice on how to do things like use the gears then post questions here. I do all the time and everyone is always very helpful :D

Re: My legs hurt

Posted: 9 Apr 2013, 1:40pm
by Vantage
I f I can add one small point here, take into account which way the wind is blowing and how strong it is.
I frequently enjoy the tailwind I get when heading out for a ride but all too often I forget I then have to fight it when coming home. It really saps the strength.