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  1. #1
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    How often should I ride starting out?

    Hey everyone,

    I have just started riding for the first time since I was little and I am enjoying it so far, but I have a question about riding everyday. I know it is best to just ride as much as you can at first, no matter how short it is, and that is what I have been trying to do. I have done two 7-8 mile rides and a commute to work that is about a 7 mile loop. I was going to get more rides in but of course it has to rain for a few days straight... Anyway, My real question is should I ride back to back even if I am sore?

    I expected my legs to be a little sore, and they are but they are not too bad, but my arms are the worst. I am almost positive that is is due to by bike being a little small for me (it is an early 90's univega mtb) and to get the seat high enough it has put the bars a few inches below my seat. I know the best solution would be to get a bike that fits, which I plan to do hopefully in the spring once i get the money(I think I convinced myself to get a Surly LHT).

    Sorry for the some what long post about nothing but I just don't want to hurt myself too much. Thanks.

    Chris

  2. #2
    bcc
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    Welcome!

    I found I had all sorts of aches for the first couple of weeks, but having a day off to rest a couple of times during that period helped with my enthusiasm no end - not least because it helped with the aches but because I found myself itching to get back on the bike

    These days I only tend to ache after a long ride - my commute doesn't really register as a ride anymore, so I'm riding pretty much every day.

    It's ok to not ride every day, but it's great when you feel that you can.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    You don't want to get overly sore. Stay below the "discomfort" level.
    Your conditioning will rapidly improve, so there's really no need to over do it.
    Keep it FUN!

    I think riding everyday is best. Even a trip around the block goes a LONG way to prevent reverting to a lower fitness level.

  4. #4
    Fred at large
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    For the first few weeks, I'd say to ride no more than 3X per week. Especially if you are getting sore after each ride.

    After you no longer get sore when riding the same distances, then you can increase to 2 days riding, with 1 day off between the 2 riding days. (ie: 2 on, 1 off, repeat)

    After than, start increasing your mileage per ride but no more than 10% per week increase.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Indie's Avatar
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    If you're getting sore, back off a bit. I think you'll find that it doesn't take long before you can ride every single day, but the first thing to do is get to the point where you can ride one day without being sore the next. Give your muscles a chance to recover and rebuild in between.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member sojourn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Indie View Post
    If you're getting sore, back off a bit. I think you'll find that it doesn't take long before you can ride every single day, but the first thing to do is get to the point where you can ride one day without being sore the next. Give your muscles a chance to recover and rebuild in between.
    I've NEVER not been sore the next day..........maybe it's my age, but I hurt the next day and go ahead and ride anyway!
    I would suggest to the OP that you ride 6 days a week for a short duration and slowly increase your time.
    Don't injure yourself by overdoing it, but DO IT!
    Some aches & pains go with any exercise plan, so accept that from the getgo and start cycling like your life depends on it............it just may!
    Good luck.

  7. #7
    Senior Member dbikingman's Avatar
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    One thing I have found about a biking is that I don't get as sore as when I run. This allows me to ride more often. You don't mention your age or current fitness level but that will have some input to how much you can ride. If you are doing 7 or 8 mile rides you are doing ok to start. You may have to take some days off if you are particularly sore, but I would plan on taking two days off a week. This allows you to rest, but also to take care of other chores. By planning these rest days you don't feel guilty that you aren't riding and can later schedule hard days before a planned rest day.

    I think the 10% rule is a bunch of non-sense when you are first starting out. Your confidence and fitness level will sky rocket the month. If you have been riding a while then the 10% makes more sense. Good luck.

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    I LOVE being sore when I know its because of the self inflicted good things I'm doing for my body/life. I think as a general rule its good to rest or at least take it easy one or two days a week simply to allow your muscles to repair and grow. Other than that, I push myself as hard as I can. If I'm not sore, then I'm not working hard enough. Between lifting weights, biking, jogging, and volleyball I never seem to be able to work the same muscles enough to the point where I don't get sore anymore. Watch out for any kind of pain that is more than just sore muscles though.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for all of the fast replys and a little insight into this. I am 23 and weigh around 300lbs (I have not weighed myself in a while) and I am 6'3''. I know I am slightly out of shape since I did not do much physical activity on a regular basis in college but at the same time I know I can push myself to a certain limit.

    Most of the sorness is in my arms and do you guys think this is due to my small bike frame, and is there any hope that it will go away after a few weeks of riding... My riding position is more bent over so there is a lot of weight on my hands and arms.

    Thanks again

    Chris

  10. #10
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    Part of the sore arms/hands will go away as your core gets stronger and supports more of your weight. Bike fit may also be a contributing factor. Try making minor adjustments to your seat (up, down, fore, aft, tilt - but only one direction at a time and small adjustments) as well as playing with handlebar height if possible. Gloves and/or ergo grips may help as well. You're off to a good start and, as others said, don't overdo it but do it. You will be amazed how the weight goes down and the mileage goes up.

  11. #11
    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    A cheap set of bar ends may give you some hand position alternatives which might help with the arm and hand issues.

  12. #12
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    I'd ride every day. If you get too sore, shorten the ride length split it in half over the course of a day. The nine mile rides that I used to look at as being pretty good are now nothing. You will see improvement every week.

    Early on it is about developing some muscle tone and getting your heart and lungs to play nice. After a few weeks when you start doing 10 to 20 mile rides you will want to start laying off every other day.

    ride safe and enjoy.
    Old enough to know better and old enough to forget that I do.

  13. #13
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    I have been following this schedule for several months and it seems to work fine. I am 66 years old so I appreciate the days off for recovery.

    Monday: half hour
    Tuesday: one hour
    Wednesday: off
    Thursday: one hour
    Friday: off
    Saturday: 2 hours (want to work up to 3 or 4 hours once or twice a month) but so far have
    stuck with 2 hours.


    The main thing is to keep it fun and enjoyable that way you will stay with it.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by okacookie View Post
    <SNIP>
    Most of the sorness is in my arms and do you guys think this is due to my small bike frame, and is there any hope that it will go away after a few weeks of riding... My riding position is more bent over so there is a lot of weight on my hands and arms.

    Thanks again

    Chris
    Add in some situps and pushups 2 to 3 times a week. Don't over do it. Just start with what feels comfortable. Who cares what you start at. If for instance you can do 5 descent pushups... than just do that. SLOWLY add some additional psuhups and situps. You will find that your core will get a lot stronger in just a few weeks. This will definitely help you be able to support your upper body without having to place so much weight on your arms. I can tell you that after riding daily for about 1.5 years, keeping the weight off the arms is still something continue to work on. I regularly catch myself getting too tense in the arms and I have to remember to just relax the arms and keep the weight off them. During the first 8 months I progressed from finding a 10 mile ride quite a workout to being able to do 33 miles without much trouble on my hybrid. Just take it easy and ejoy the ride. If you are feeling a bit too sore, then lay off the bike one or two days. Sometimes I've had to be off the bike for 3 days in a row and all of a sudden I feel so much stronger. Most weeks I commute to work so I ride at least 10 time, with an additional 11th being a club ride.

    Happy riding,
    André

  15. #15
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    My legs get enough exercise in bike riding. I do some gentle push-ups on the edge of a table. This little bit is enough to stop my arms and shoulders getting in aches when riding. Leaning forward with weight over the pedals takes a lot off the butt and seems to improve the efficiency. A stem change (longer and higher) will probably be more comfortable, but the bar ends is also a good idea.

  16. #16
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    Thanks guys... I plan on going up to my LBS tomorrow and see what we can do with stem height and length to get this bike to fit me a little better. I think I am going to go with a set of those ergo grips and maybe some bar ends to help with hand positions.

    I was thinking about trying to switch to some drops but since I just bought new brakes and shifters my LBS wants to try and get my current setup to work.

    As far as riding goes I was able to work in another 10 mile ride and it felt great... the only downside is that there is on hill during my loop which is fairly steep, but I am using it to gauge my process. Sooner or later I will be able to make it all the way up with out having to walk... hopefully sooner...

    Chris

  17. #17
    Senior Member sojourn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by okacookie View Post
    the only UPSIDE is that there is on hill during my loop which is fairly steep, but I am using it to gauge my process. Sooner or later I will be able to make it all the way up with out having to walk... hopefully sooner...

    Chris
    Fixed!

  18. #18
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    Thank you sojourn... that is what I meant in reality

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