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· Embrace your inner Fred
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ive ridden more than 120 miles so far since I got my bike. What I find strange is that my legs dont hurt or burn from the excercise afterward. No fatigue the day after. I havent ridden in over 10yrs though I used to run a little not too long ago.

Am I not pushing my legs hard enough? I get the burn when I ride but soon as I stop and rest it goes away. I guess I was expecting muscle fatigue like you get after a strenuous workout. Should I push harder? Im now learning the cadence thing.

Dont know if this will be a reason but my rides usually last for about 1 hour when training. Thats about all I can handle at this point. I ride around Prospect Park which has elevation changes. I try to keep a constant on the up hill sections which burn the hell out of my muscles. But I have yet to feel any of the usual prolonged, after workout fatigue or soreness in my legs yet. I find that weird.
 

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Bikes are great machines

They convert muscle effort into motion very efficiently, with minimum stress. go harder, go longer, and you'll feel it more after, but it sounds like you're working up to it in a good way. "Learning the cadence thing" may be helping you; a lot of beginners push too hard at too low rpm, and they hurt themselves, not in a good way. Keep spinning, but go faster.

And see if you can try a longer ride some weekend soon. Go for three hours instead of one (go a little easier at the start). Then you'll feel something the next day :)
 

· Adventure Seeker
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I've started up again close to three months ago after about a 14 year absence. One hour rides don't leave me fatigued at all. What speed do you average during your ride?
 

· Embrace your inner Fred
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ericm I may try both lol. I like pushing myself.

JCavilia Ill try that this weekend. I run out of breath before my legs give out so Ill try 2 hours instead of 3 for now. Still getting the nutrition and hydration thing down pat. Had an episode of mild EAH Im not in a hurry to experience again.

BTW Im not riding at the same pace for the hour or so I mention. Hope you guys didnt get that idea. Not fit enough for that yet lol. Total time I spend training is 1 hour that includes stops to catch my breath etc.

Peanya I didnt get my Catseye yet so I dont know waht speed. But I try to stay with the experienced riders for as long as I can around the park. Those guys are freaks[in a good way]. I can stay with them on the downhills but I fade to black on the uphills. Cant wait till Im able to do that. I just drop gears and try to maintain a constant speed up the hills as best I can. I feel like my lungs will explode but my legs just laugh it off after a brief rest. Ill have to remedy that this weekend lol. Im gonna punish my legs.
 

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There are other factors, but . .

one answer to this is that your muscles exclusively work in what's called concentric contractions when you ride a coastable bike. These are muscle contractions in which the muscles shorten when they generate force. In other types of sports (or when riding a brakeless fixed gear bike), your muscles also work in eccentric contractions at certain times. These are muscle elongations while under tension due to an opposing force being greater than the force generated by the muscle (like letting yourself down from a pull-up or slowing a fixed gear, brakeless bicycle on a downhill). For reasons not entirely clear, eccentric muscle loads result in greater muscle damage than concentric muscle loads.
 

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During the flat portions of your workout, push harder. Then spread out from there to the uphills and downhills. I did this last week where I would take it at a good pace during the rolling section and then when I get to the 5-6 mile flat part I booked it for as long and hard as I could go. Then when I got to the rolling hills again I took it back down to my normal speed. After a rest day, I am already feeling that I can go the speed more often.

Also, take a day to do a time trial. Take a known route with a relatively shorter distance (I do 16 miles but this will increase eventually) and push yourself as close to the limit as possible and keep yourself there throughout the ride. Constantly attack on the uphills and get as aerodynamic as possible on the downhill. Make note of how fast and how far you went. Do this every once and awhile. It serves as a great measurement of how much pain you can take and how much stronger you have gotten.
 

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More legs than lungs

I run out of breath before my legs give out so Ill try 2 hours instead of 3 for now.
You said a key thing there.

What John Nelson said: Your legs don't hurt because you don't have the cardiovascular capacity to make them work hard enough. Keep getting in shape.
 

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Lungs were the main "shut down" factor for me too... My legs NEVER hurt.
I then got tested and I was only able to use 83% capacity of my lungs...
So with Singular, and an Inhaler I managed to increase my riding intensity to push my legs to the point of pain without hacking up the "green buddhas"... Now, after about 3 months, my legs are stronger than my cardio again, and my avg speeds have increased by about 3 mph. give or take...

I'll give a +1 to Ride Harder, til either your legs or your lungs get to the "fail" point...
Then you'll know easily which part needs further work... for now, since your legs don't hurt, I'd say it's the lungs that need some training...
 

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Snakebitten said:
I run out of breath before my legs give out so Ill try 2 hours instead of 3 for now.
I'm generally the opposite. I've been a distance runner for several years, so am aerobically in really good shape. But I've found that cycling uses a different set of muscles from running (more quads) and I haven't caught up on conditioning them yet. But I've also found that my legs recover fast and with an occasional on or off-bike rest I can ride long distances without too much trouble.
 

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try doing some all out intervals. These are anerobic workouts where you got as hard as you can for a short time.

try 30 second hard sprints, rest for 2 min and repeat 5 or six times.

the next day push yourself for 3 min. as hard as you can, rest for 3-5 min and repeat

mix it up. These all out efforts (intervals) are where your muscles gain stregnth. Keeping steady tempo throughout the workout focuses more on developing your cardiovascular system and your lung compasity. Some days focus on those workouts, some days the intervals. Be sure to warm up before intervals!
 

· I ride in circles..
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My favorite comment from people after a ride usually goes something like this..

Them: How far did you ride today?
Me: 30 or so miles.
Them: oh wow.. you don't even look tired!


Regardless of how hard I work when I'm on my bike After a little while cooling off I'm pretty much back to my normal level. Granted... my 115 mile ride did me in for sure.. but typical daily rides... even interval days don't destroy me. I attribute this to 10 years of swimming and a solid amount of base miles (for me).
 

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Sprocket - Matt said:
I thought the idea was to go hard enough during intervals that it does destroy you.. or at least close to destruction... ???
yup, pretty much. But you'd be suprised how fast you recover from distruction.
you want to maintain as hard as possible pace to complete that interval, be it 15 seconds, or 60 min.

the longer the interval, the longer the needed recovery. just soft pedal between during the rest period. Rough figgure... 150% recovery between intervals. But you don't need 45 min to recover from a 30 min effort. the % goes down as the interval goes up...
 

· Two scoops of inertia.
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In my small experience I've found that you have to be able to push through the pain (muscle, not joint) of pedalling to reach a point where you are actually sore.
 

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Dr. Placebo said:
In my small experience I've found that you have to be able to push through the pain (muscle, not joint) of pedalling to reach a point where you are actually sore.
Yes, and that brings up coasting. You can pedal thirty miles in complete and utter agony, or you can pedal-coast-pedal-coast . . . those 30 miles without even the slightest twinge. Not many ways of human-powered locomotion allow that huge range of effort from 'hardly any' to 'excruciating.'
 

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ZoSoSwiM said:
My favorite comment from people after a ride usually goes something like this..

Them: How far did you ride today?
Me: 30 or so miles.
Them: oh wow.. you don't even look tired!


Regardless of how hard I work when I'm on my bike After a little while cooling off I'm pretty much back to my normal level. Granted... my 115 mile ride did me in for sure.. but typical daily rides... even interval days don't destroy me. I attribute this to 10 years of swimming and a solid amount of base miles (for me).
Haha, people at work are amazed I can go even 16 miles. I am much the same, I can come back down very quickly. But as soon as I hit the steps to get to my room I feel it. I just don't have the same power as before I left on the ride.
 

· Embrace your inner Fred
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Too many great responses to reply to all. Thanks for all the imput. +1 on the lungs thing as was mentioned. I attacked myself today at the park. Im up to 2 consecutive laps around now before I need to rest. Not sure on the distance around Prospect Park so not sure if thats reason to feel good lol. It is one lap more than I could muster before so I guess its personal progress.

I absolutely kill it on the downhill. I pedal so hard that it feels like I need more gears as pedaling no longer gives me forward motion and it feel like my legs will fly off lol. I can actually keep up with some of the Real Roadies on the downhill but I got nothing for them on the uphill lol. Even slight uphills they DESTROY me. Legs and lungs just too weak. I find that after the downhill kill I dont have much left to hit the uphills HARD. I revert to the cadence routine and burn the hell out of my legs in lower gears ofcourse. Oh gawd the burn is excruciating. I find that killing myself to the point of nuclear meltdown Im surprised that Im actually able to recover in 4-5 minutes as well and can hit it again as long as its not to steep of an incline.

Im going to incorporate the suggestions you guys have given me into my next workout. Even after the hard run I just came back from, I only feel a slight bit of fatigue but it looks like Im heading in the right direction now though. Ive now been paying attention to my nutrition and body thanks to advice Ive gotten here. I carry 2 gatoraids and a 1 ltr bottle in my pack so that I stay hydrated and avoid the bonking feeling. So far Ive been pushing myself in the heat and no problems. I love biking. Cant believe it took gas prices to force me back onto one:D
 

· Resident Curmudgeon
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Curious. I raced for many years, although not for a long time now, and my legs have never, ever been sore. They've been tired, they've burned, they've turned to jello before my very eyes, they've been wobbly, but never sore. I attribute it to cycling being a low/no impact sport. I don't know how that fits with Wim's theory, but it doesn't seem to be completely at odds with it.
 
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