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View Full Version : when are my legs going to quit hurting?



mimitabby
05-21-2007, 11:06 AM
its not like i just started riding. But tell my legs that. If i ride more than 4 miles
my legs hurt. Not a lot, but .. they do. I feel it on every hill, and then later, going down stairs. Yesterday I rode a cold 32 miles. Last week I rode 62 followed by 25 followed by 5 commuting days of 8-12 days a piece. I don't think anything is broken, but am I going to get to a day where my legs feel just "GOOD?"

thank you.

IFjane
05-21-2007, 11:12 AM
its not like i just started riding. But tell my legs that. If i ride more than 4 miles
my legs hurt. Not a lot, but .. they do. I feel it on every hill, and then later, going down stairs. Yesterday I rode a cold 32 miles. Last week I rode 62 followed by 25 followed by 5 commuting days of 8-12 days a piece. I don't think anything is broken, but am I going to get to a day where my legs feel just "GOOD?"

thank you.

Ditto here, Mimi. I know I am an impatient person, and I know I was off the bike for a while, but this weekend my legs were almost useless. We rode 70 miles on Saturday and I was so incredibly slow it was funny. I could hardly make my legs pedal me uphill! They felt so tired and weak! Whatsupwiththat?

michelem
05-21-2007, 11:16 AM
Do you do any kind of stretching? I find that if I do a good 60 - 90 minute yoga session a few times a week it really cuts down on the muscle soreness created by cycling, jogging, and the like.

I use two yoga cd's:

Bryan Kest's Power Yoga series (it's three separate 1 hr. sessions - supposedly beginner, intermediate, and advanced, but I find the intermediate to be the most challenging).

Shiva Rea's Yoga Shakti (this one is a flow-type yoga - there are 4 pre-set sessions ranging in time from 40 minutes to 90 minutes or you can mix your own session using the "yoga matrix.").

Just an idea . . .

mimitabby
05-21-2007, 11:18 AM
I do some stretches 3x a week. I COULD do more; you're right.

yellow
05-21-2007, 11:29 AM
Mimi, my legs are my limiting factor. Always have been, always will be. I have good days and bad days. Some days I feel like I need to Gu in order to get up the stairs in my house! :rolleyes:

I got to the point where I was overstretching and aggravating all kinds of stuff, so there is a fine line. I am now working on changing how I pedal in order to take some of the work off of my calves and quads. I wish someone had given me pointers about all this stuff years ago. I have some pretty significant muscle imbalance going on, which affects my running as well.

So it could be strength, it could be imbalance, it could be that you just need your new bike. Be as strong as you can be, keep up the gentle stretching, and make sure you are getting adequate recovery (the latter is my biggest failing). If I rode 62 followed by 25 followed by 5 commuting days of 8-12 days a piece I'd need a little recovery!

mimitabby
05-21-2007, 11:33 AM
So it could be strength, it could be imbalance, it could be that you just need your new bike. Be as strong as you can be, keep up the gentle stretching, and make sure you are getting adequate recovery (the latter is my biggest failing). If I rode 62 followed by 25 followed by 5 commuting days of 8-12 days a piece I'd need a little recovery!
I didn't ride at all Saturday, or today; what is "a little recovery?"

yellow
05-21-2007, 11:37 AM
I didn't ride at all Saturday, or today; what is "a little recovery?"
You said you felt it on every hill, so I assume that means that you were feeling it during that 7 day stretch where you didn't take a day off. So I guess I meant recovery during that week.

I place a lot of stock in recovery food/drink as well. Are you paying close attention to that as well? I really notice a difference if I don't eat properly for the level/type of activity I'm doing.

Sounds like you're recovering now! :D

mimitabby
05-21-2007, 11:46 AM
I eat really well. I don't think that's a problem.

I just wonder how people do it..
Like Fredwina for example: Not only does she ride every day; she rides hard fast rides.
In a perfect world, I would ride my bike every day to work all year long (not going to happen) so.. would I always be hurting?

My legs look so immensely better than they used to, and I can ride so much longer without "running out of gas" but I do feel pain in those muscles the quads. I found it interesting what you said about balance, because recently I knocked my sacroliac out and have managed to get it back to closer to where it should be by doing some exercises prescribed by Knott (I actually felt/heard a click; one day the left side and 2 days later the right)

but that is different (I think) from the sore muscles in my legs...

indysteel
05-21-2007, 12:39 PM
My muscle soreness is funny. I'll finish a hard weekend on the bike and feel relatively fine--until I get to yoga on Monday night. OMG. All of a sudden, my quads are screaming, and I have absolutely no power in my glutes. Ow, ow, and more ow.

I do find that doing a short, gentle recovery ride on Mondays (instead of the aforementioned yoga) helps me feel a bit better. I'm also a big believer in drinking a post-ride recovery drink consisting of both carbs and protein. There are various schools of thought on the ideal ratio, but the essential thinking is that the carbs replenish your glycogen stores, while the protein helps rebuild muscle tissue. I've experimented with various products but am currently using plain ol' chocolate milk. Seems to be working pretty well. And it tastes really good after a ride. I fill a thermos with the stuff and keep it in my car for after the ride.

Fredwina
05-21-2007, 01:16 PM
[QUOTE=mimitabby;203727]I eat really well. I don't think that's a problem.

I just wonder how people do it..
Like Fredwina for example: Not only does she ride every day; she rides hard fast rides.
In a perfect world, I would ride my bike every day to work all year long (not going to happen) so.. would I always be hurting?

[\QUOTE]
"It's doesn't get any easier - you just go faster" - G. LeMond
Funny, I dodn't think I'm that fast:o and I haven't ridden since Saturday(had a sinus infection):(
Seriusly, I think I still have muscle soreness, espically after doing some hard efforts, and I've been at this for 15 years.
Taking breaks (yes , I do take them) and cross training I think helps me.

Thorn
05-21-2007, 03:23 PM
As a wise woman once said...."I can sit on my couch and hurt or I can ride, be active and hurt. I'll take the latter"

While there might be something more to the aches and pains (and only you can decide that), as you push and get better, you're bound to have days when you ache. But, at my age, I assume there always be some. At least when I'm riding I can say it is because I did something to make me healthier.

BleeckerSt_Girl
05-21-2007, 03:30 PM
Assuming you are talking about sore muscles here, and not joint pains etc....

I LOVE when my leg muscles are sore- because it indicates to me that I have pushed them again a bit further than they were built up to deal with. Sore muscles to me mean that when I go to sleep that night, my legs will be building MORE new muscle to compensate for what I am asking them to do.
Maybe I'm nuts, but to me sore leg muscles mean bigger muscles are going to be built over the next couple of days. I see it as a good sign that I am pushing my limit upwards and not just staying on a plateau.

mimitabby
05-21-2007, 04:30 PM
Thanks for all your wisdom. Fredwina, I watch your stats, you're a darn good rider.
Lisa, at first that was my thought too, um, muscle pain, I'm growing. now it's ALL RIGHT ALREADY!

it didn't help that our club ride included two young bucks who sped up the whole pace...

SadieKate
05-21-2007, 04:50 PM
Mimi, on any of your commuting days do you ride really, really stupidly and boringly slow? At the end of Saturday's ride, I essentially time-trialed for 25 miles. I put out a big effort. I got on the bike Sunday (last) night and my hamstrings were killing me. I rode 13 miles at a "really, really stupidly and boringly slow" pace. 8 miles into it my legs felt fabulous and I could have put in a lot more miles. Today they feel great, but if I had ridden with more intensity Sunday I would neither have built more muscle nor given my legs any kind of recovery and they would have been sore.

Sore legs every day for me would mean I'm not varying what I do enough. Sore legs every day do not build muscle. Sore legs can also be that you are not warming up properply. An 8-12 mile commute at our, ahem, age is going to mostly be warm-up. And a 7-day riding week without really focusing on "really, really stupidly and boringly slow" recovery rides is going to kill anyone's legs, especially if you don't plan a serious taper week.

mimitabby
05-21-2007, 05:01 PM
the problem with my going home commute is a stupid hill. If i go any slower on the hill i'm going to have to walk and i don't wanna walk!

I can do stupid slow rides around my house (sort of, again, hills) but not to get home from work. going to work i barely warm up.

SadieKate
05-21-2007, 05:11 PM
What does a hill have to do with it? You can ride recovery on hills. You ride only as fast as you need in order to stay upright (3 miles an hour maybe) and ride as slow as you can the rest of the time. So what if you don't get warmed up riding to work. You will do more damage if you push. At 8-10 miles, I wouldn't expect to be warmed up until I rode up to the office door.

If you want to ride with the club and do intense rides both Saturday and Sun, and push at their pace, you have to ride recovery the rest of the time. Mimi, even very experienced and very strong, fit riders cannot ride 7 days a week at intensity. You are too new to this effort level to push this hard, and I'm only saying it because I'm no spring chicken either, it's going to take longer to get strong and fit. Recovery is even more important for us. We just don't spring back like we used it.

If you don't want your legs to hurt quit abusing them day in and day out.

mimitabby
05-21-2007, 05:21 PM
SadieKate,
thank you. I will try that tomorrow.

mimitabby
05-21-2007, 05:27 PM
PS I was not keeping up on the club ride saturday. I was last, and we eventually limped home because there was no way I could even keep up with the 73 year old!

SadieKate
05-21-2007, 05:30 PM
Good, Mimi. If you have more club hammer rides planned for this weekend, try it all week. You've been going at this for a number of weeks, so take it easy the rest of this work week. Part of the work of training is to know when not to do any work.

To make it fun, when it is safe see how slow you can go. Bill and I practice slow races for mtbiking. Last person over the line wins. It has vastly improved our balance and ability to track stand, all without really trying.

Adding a PS to repond to your PS - you may have been going too hard for too many weeks. See how slowly you can commute this week. Low, low effort. Besides, there are plenty of 73 years that can smoke many of us. You'd be amazed.

mimitabby
05-21-2007, 05:44 PM
Oh, I've met a few of those 73 year olds. I just mentioned him because after the first 30 minutes, he was the only club member I could see ahead of me until Raleighdon slowed down (for me)
THose dudes (and gals) are long in the tooth but man, can they ride.

I will inform Raleighdon that on our way to work in the morning i am going to be even pokeyer. and sunday is the Tandem rally, where things will definitely be more relaxed.

kelownagirl
05-21-2007, 05:47 PM
I have ridden almost every day for more than 3 weeks and my legs were hurting all the time. Some days I am pushing VERY hard, other days I take it easy. I did 3-4 really hard-for-me rides a couple of weeks ago and then dh got sick so I did recovery rides for the next 3 days in a row, then I took a day off the bike. MY legs FINALLY started to feel a bit better. Also, started making sure I took the cal-mag before I rode and did way more stretching. All that helped I think. Now when I do a hard fast ride, or a climbing ride, I take easy for the next couple of days. (Easy for me means 20-30km with little if any climbing, HR not over 140.)

SadieKate
05-21-2007, 05:53 PM
I will inform Raleighdon that on our way to work in the morning i am going to be even pokeyer. and sunday is the Tandem rally, where things will definitely be more relaxed.
Cool! So when it is safe call a slow race!

BleeckerSt_Girl
05-21-2007, 06:01 PM
I usually take a rest day off my bike when my legs get really sore from a huge effort ride.

Crankin
05-22-2007, 11:17 AM
I am going through the same thing. I think age, uh, has something to do with it. I feel like I have one or two good fast days every two week at this point. I have been riding for almost seven years...
I didn't ride for a week because last Tuesday I felt sick from alllergies during my commute. Took Wed. off. Did an intense yoga class and weights on Thursday. Rested Friday. Saturday, it rained, did another hard yoga class, with a 10 minute cardio warm up. Sunday i went on a 3.5 mile hike (easy).
Rested yeterday. This morning my legs still felt like lead. Two weeks ago I got to work in 56 minutes. Today was 59.20.
I always take one full day off, sometimes two. I ride with a slow friend once a week. Try to stretch every day and do yoga and weights twice a week. I feel like a wimp compared to others. My mileage isn't even that high!

mimitabby
05-22-2007, 11:34 AM
Robyn, you are taking the same approach I am. It's easy (well, relatively)
to get high mileage when the only thing you do is bicycle. But when you lift weights, walk, jog, stairstep, etc at the same time, well, there is less time to ride the bike.
I am sure you are right that age is a factor.
I read that a 60 year old woman can only build 1/2 as much muscle as a 20 something. so we have to work harder to get where we get to.

I can't take too many days off this month since it's ride to work month but i made a conscious effort this morning to slow down and played waltzes in my head instead of Marchs today.

going home i will be alone so it will be even easier to be pokey

Starfish
05-22-2007, 01:00 PM
Recovery, recovery, recovery.

Cross train swimming and only pull with your arms...get your cardio without using your leg muscles.

And, I cannot overstate how much an awesome massage therapist can do for legs that have become habitually knotted up, etc. It can take awhile to find the right one, but when you do...I find that even one massage every 6 weeks or so does wonders for putting me back together.

mimitabby
05-22-2007, 01:01 PM
I have been thinking about a massage! :D

Crankin
05-22-2007, 01:31 PM
I am all for the massage...
It's not my choice per se, to cross train, but I know I have to, so 1) I don't burn out (I've been through this before with aerobics) and 2) trying to keep my osteopoeinia at bay. Plus, I do like some of the other activities I do, but I am not addicted to them. Once we hit a stretch of decent weather, I ride 4, sometimes 5 times a week. Usually 2 are longer or harder rides and one is a recovery ride. The other 2 might be just a normal 15-20 mile loop I do alone when i don't have a lot of time. Sometimes I mtb in the summer and fall. Talk about muscles hurting.
OK, just got home from my commute, going to stretch!

RoadRaven
05-23-2007, 12:34 PM
LOL Mimi... sorry to tell you this... but if you STOP riding your legs will hurt!
Afraid its a "catch 22" :p

mimitabby
05-23-2007, 01:26 PM
Progress report: still commuting, but being more relaxed about it. not entirely; like when i heard a car coming too close, i instinctively put the gas on;
and then when i got to the last block going home (6% incline) i somehow ended up in 3rd gear so i stood and went VERY VERY slowly and did not fall over..

legs feel better today too.

Veronica
05-23-2007, 01:54 PM
LOL Mimi... sorry to tell you this... but if you STOP riding your legs will hurt!
Afraid its a "catch 22" :p

Say what? A recovery allows your muscles to recover from a hard workout.

It's not true that every time you ride your bike your legs have to hurt. In fact they shouldn't hurt during EVERY ride.

V.

RoadRaven
05-24-2007, 03:13 AM
I just meant that once your legs are used to riding regularly and for some reason you cant ride for a few days, your legs will start to ache because they miss it soooo much...