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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 04-07-08, 07:50 PM   #1
eventualdave
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Did I overdo it?

Last night I did my first 10-miler and felt great afterwards! I was so pumped up I felt like I could have drop-kicked a hippo and sent his girlfriend flowers. So, tonight I figured I'd easily beat that distance and then some (maybe bike to Mexico and back, no big deal), and set off only to discover that after a mile or so I was one crabby dude. Even now, although I did go 11 miles, got to blast down a couple big hills and climb another, I'm still just kind of ticked off and I don't know why.

I ate plenty today, made sure and hydrated well and took water with me, so what gives? Only thing I can figure is my body's telling me I need to take a day off, maybe? I've been riding every night since Thursday. I've never found a form of exercise I like enough to do more than a couple days in a row, so this is all pretty new to me.
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Old 04-07-08, 08:02 PM   #2
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Take a day off, or at least ride a "recovery" ride after a milestone event. Works for me.

Just remember, it is all supposed to be fun.

Last edited by doghouse; 04-07-08 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 04-07-08, 08:49 PM   #3
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I did 13 yesterday and (my first) 20 today... I know I'll definitely be resting the ol' bike tomorrow
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Old 04-07-08, 09:43 PM   #4
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I am quite new to biking (4 months), but the same thing has happened to me on a few occasions. I believe you are correct in thinking that you need to take it easy on the following night.

I remember once, after I had done my first 20 miler, I felt so pumped that I thought I could have gone another 20. The next day I could barely get 5 miles done through the haze of a horrible attitude.

Have fun!
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Old 04-07-08, 10:25 PM   #5
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Last night I did my first 10-miler and felt great afterwards! I was so pumped up I felt like I could have drop-kicked a hippo and sent his girlfriend flowers. So, tonight I figured I'd easily beat that distance and then some (maybe bike to Mexico and back, no big deal), and set off only to discover that after a mile or so I was one crabby dude. Even now, although I did go 11 miles, got to blast down a couple big hills and climb another, I'm still just kind of ticked off and I don't know why.

I ate plenty today, made sure and hydrated well and took water with me, so what gives? Only thing I can figure is my body's telling me I need to take a day off, maybe? I've been riding every night since Thursday. I've never found a form of exercise I like enough to do more than a couple days in a row, so this is all pretty new to me.
Too much too soon. If you aren't used to cycling distances like that, you could be overstressing yourself by riding back to back days. Take a day off, or hike, or ride a SHORT distance. You will eventually get to the point you can knock out ten or 20 mile days back to back.

And congratulations on the new personal best!
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Old 04-07-08, 10:34 PM   #6
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Key to cycling enjoyment, recovery. If you do a kickbutt 10 miler, do an easy spin the next day. It relaxes the legs while circulating the lactic acid from the muscles. One of the hardest things for people to do is ride easy eventhough it is key to developing as a cyclist.

Several cyclists has a structured ride schedule. One reason why many use a heart rate monitor. Imyself will do a hard ride. If I feel good the next day I will push. If I don't, I know it's the day to ride like a wittle baby!..But I feel better afterwards..Listen to your body, it tells you when you need the wittle baby day!
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Old 04-07-08, 11:16 PM   #7
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Every now and then I take a week off if I had a big month and on those occasions where I have had a really big week, I will take a couple of days off and lift weights, upper body only, gives the legs a chance to recover. Then the next ride, I have fairly fresh legs and will be able to start hammering away for another ride.
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Old 04-08-08, 06:29 AM   #8
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I ate plenty today, made sure and hydrated well and took water with me, so what gives? Only thing I can figure is my body's telling me I need to take a day off, maybe? I've been riding every night since Thursday.
The answer's simple: you don't have any conditioning yet, and you don't yet have the ability to really listen to your body and understand what it's telling you. You've been riding for, gasp, a whole five days -- not nearly enough to be conditioned to regular exercise. "Good judgment comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgment." There are some worthwhile rules of thumb, but for the most part you'll learn the same way we all do, by trial and error. Or you won't. Some people are so stubborn and so unwilling to crawl before they walk that they never manage to really get their feet under them. The frustration you're expressing may be indicative of some tendency in this direction, so try to watch it carefully -- it will be less of a helpful driver than a self-sabotaging trait.

As you strive to become fit, your workout should be progressive, meaning that it gradually becomes more challenging -- not always in the same way. At one point you may up the challenge by increasing the miles of your daily workout, at another point you may increase your average speed, or start adding hills...there are a lot of ways to progress. However you do it, though, it's important not to increase your workout until you're ready. How do you know that you're ready? Simple: your previous workout has become easy. When you find that it no longer provides you with a training challenge, then up the challenge -- incrementally. Do not increase miles AND pace AND add hills all at once. Take it one step at a time, or risk getting set back.

Likewise, during your daily workout, learn to listen and take feedback from your body. One rule of thumb that a trainer taught me when doing strength training was, you should do enough reps until you feel like you could do one more, and then stop. I use a similar rule of thumb when I'm skiing with people who aren't sure if they want to take one last run. Think you could do two more runs? Take one. Think you could do one more run? Head for the lodge, you're done for the day. That rule of thumb has saved me a lot of hassles -- I can't count the times I've shepherded someone into the lodge saying, "But I could take one more..." only to have them admit, five minutes after sitting down, that they are done.

Finally, keep it simple to start. If you're new to exercise, you need to first develop a base of aerobic fitness to build on. Don't try for high intensity, don't start sprinting up hills...crawl before you walk, walk before you run. Cultivate patience and good sense -- or don't, and get hurt, and end up back on the couch. It's your choice.
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Old 04-08-08, 07:14 AM   #9
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Yeah, don't sweat it. Maybe just an easy non self challenging ride after you have pushed your limits. If you have worked hard on one ride reward yourself with an easy one with no goals and no expectations. Just that fact that you're out there is achievement enough.
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Old 04-08-08, 07:41 AM   #10
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Yep, try to avoild hard workouts in the same disaplane day after day. I'm a much better cyclist when I ride 2-3 days a week and run and swim the other day. Just like I'm a better runner when I run 2-3 days a week and ride and swim the others. If I try and do one disaplane everyday my muscle groups don't recover enough.

For a beginner just try to stick to 2 "big" rides a week and fill in the other days with easy rides.
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Old 04-08-08, 09:19 AM   #11
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Just remember, it is all supposed to be fun.
You're right, thanks for the reminder. Other people probably have different goals, but the only reason I started doing this was to have fun and get some exercise outside.

And thanks for the long, informative post lil brown bat and everybody else. I'll definitely take tonight off and try to listen better to what my body is telling me in the future.
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Old 04-08-08, 09:45 AM   #12
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One additional point... With the excitement, you may have started out faster on the subsequent ride, which would only make the other factors impact you even more.
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Old 04-14-08, 09:07 PM   #13
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Man, you guys were right. Been employing recovery rides and a few outright rest days since I started this thread and I seem to get stronger every time out. Tonight I went a little over 16 miles and feel like I could have done 20 if it hadn't been quite so chilly (38F out there right now). It's really cool finding myself with better balance, better pedaling, better breathing every time. I know eventually this newbie progress will taper off but right now I'm digging it.
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Old 04-15-08, 02:04 AM   #14
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Well done on the 16 miles, it seems you picked yourself right up after that hiccup fair play to you. Don't be in any hurry to get to the 20 mark, it will come
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Old 04-15-08, 05:51 AM   #15
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Well done on the 16 miles, it seems you picked yourself right up after that hiccup fair play to you. Don't be in any hurry to get to the 20 mark, it will come
Yes, don't hurry, but don't be surprised if it comes soon.
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