Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Eastern WV
    My Bikes
    Mongoose
    Posts
    22
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Conditioning Tips

    At 45, I weighed 265, smoked 2+ packs a day and my idea of exercize was walking to the fridge to get a beer. The light came on and I decided this must change. Now at 50, I kicked the smoking 4 years ago. Last fall decide I need to tackle the weight and using a threadclimber and bicycling and healthier eating have my weight down to 210, but I am still not where I want to be. I tell all this just so you know you are not dealing with some super fit healthy type.... (YET! )

    Bicycling has become something my wife and I enjoy doing together more than just exercize. In fact we are considering a tandem just for kicks. I do not see us ever worrying about being competitive though. I might ride a charity event for fun, buts thats about it.

    When I ride, I use a HRM and try to stay between 120 and 160. I had a full cardio work up and the doc says my heart can take that. I just found this website recently and have been reading a lot. Apparently I am what is known as a masher instead of a spinner as I don't use very high RPMS but I have been trying that since I read here it can reduce chance of injuries.

    My issue (finally huh!) is with leg cramps. I do hydrate and eat bananas before rides. I did also read about the ecaps and have ordered some to see if they help. But from what I am gathering in my reading, frequent leg cramps are usually a sign of the lack of fitness, which in my case, makes sence. If I am riding my normal style to date with the higher pressure low RPM's, I can usually get 20 miles or more before I start feeling the leg cramps. However, yesterday I went out delibrately trying to keep my RPM's higher and within 5 miles of spinning, I cramped badly.

    I know I need to ride more and strengthen my leg muscles. Would I be better to do this with my current riding style, or would I have better results getting used to spinning first and then building my distance?

    I read a lot here about training, but it is clear most of you are very fit seasoned riders and your routines would frankly kill me right now. I am looking for a good start and hopefully someday, I will be near your level.

    Thanks for any tips on these cramps.

    Gary

  2. #2
    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    20,897
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Welcome, and congratulations on your moves to better fitness and health.

    You will get a lot of suggestions from folks more knowledgeable than myself. However, I would suggest that you mix things up a bit. Some faster, some pedaling cadence like you are used to. 20 miles is pretty darn good for a beginner.

    Also, I would be sure that my bike fit me well, especially that my seat height was appropriate. You don't mention what type of bike you are riding, nor whether or not your riding is flat or hilly or whatever. But, in any event, bike fit is very important. Likely, you have already checked this out with your Local Bike Shop (LBS).

    My best guess is that the leg cramps are a transitory thing that you will work through as you get stronger snf more fit.

    And, I know you will get a lot more suggestions, I just wanted to welcome you here.

  3. #3
    NYC nycphotography's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    1,917
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I get cramps after a long hard ride for a variety of reasons. sometimes it's hydration. sometimes it's potassium. sometimes it's because I just plain tore my legs off.

    Try riding an easier slower pace and see if the still cramps happen.

    In your cardio work, what were you told is your max HR? If it was 160, then you are probably over doing it.
    5 out of 5 people think the other 4 are idiots. - me
    The only thing more incorrect than politically incorrect is politically correct. - me
    If 3 were 5, you'd be a 10. - me (or: If 3 were 5, you'd be in mensa.)
    Sarcasm truly is wasted on the simple. - me
    How small does your __ have to be to drive like that? - me
    It's not how fast you get old... it's how fast you get irrelevant.. - me
    The plural of anecdote is not data. - grolby

  4. #4
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Between Crystal River and Hernando, Florida, 6 miles west of the Withlacoochee Trail
    My Bikes
    I've had several since 1999 but have settled on my beloved 2001 Litespeed Tuscany and my latest, a 2015 Cannondale Supersix EVO
    Posts
    13,852
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Venturous View Post
    My issue (finally huh!) is with leg cramps. I do hydrate and eat bananas before rides.
    Do you hydrate before a ride but don't drink during and after a ride? Hydration starts before the ride, continues during the ride (approx 1 bottle of water every 15-20 miles), and continue to hydrate for a least 2 hours after the ride.
    Eating before, during, and after the ride is also important.
    Important rules for cycling:
    1. Drink BEFORE you're thirsty.
    2. Eat BEFORE you're hungry.
    3. Rest BEFORE you're tired. This means stop for a few minutes and get off the bike.

    Carbs, water and electrolytes are your friends.
    My bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2015 Cannondale Supersix EVO carbon

    I thought of that while riding my bicycle -- Albert Einstein

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Eastern WV
    My Bikes
    Mongoose
    Posts
    22
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    You don't mention what type of bike you are riding, nor whether or not your riding is flat or hilly or whatever.
    Bike seems to fit me OK and seat is adjusted correctly. It is a wally world Mongoose Blackcomb MTB. I know it's low end, but really can't afford more right now. I wanted a MTB for the suspension since I ride a local dirt trail (C&O Canal) often. I put Michelin Country Rock tires on it which allow me to pump them to 73 and gives a decent road feel. Our riding is varied. Some flat rail trails, but also have ridden some hilly like Skyline Drive. I would say majority has been dirt rail trail.

    If I continue to enjoy this as much, I see a more serious road bike in my future, but right now, this will have to suffice. FWIW, here is my bike during a recent bikepacking trip on the C&O.


  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Eastern WV
    My Bikes
    Mongoose
    Posts
    22
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by nycphotography View Post
    In your cardio work, what were you told is your max HR? If it was 160, then you are probably over doing it.
    He said my max rate was 170 and that I should try to stay under 150, which I do, but it seems when I push real hard sometimes it gets to 160 and then I ease up to get back to 150. I mentioned this to my doctor and he said it should be ok as long as I don't try to substain 160.

  7. #7
    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    20,897
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Venturous View Post
    Bike seems to fit me OK and seat is adjusted correctly. It is a wally world Mongoose Blackcomb MTB. I know it's low end, but really can't afford more right now. I wanted a MTB for the suspension since I ride a local dirt trail (C&O Canal) often. I put Michelin Country Rock tires on it which allow me to pump them to 73 and gives a decent road feel. Our riding is varied. Some flat rail trails, but also have ridden some hilly like Skyline Drive. I would say majority has been dirt rail trail.

    If I continue to enjoy this as much, I see a more serious road bike in my future, but right now, this will have to suffice. FWIW, here is my bike during a recent bikepacking trip on the C&O.

    I am impressed!!

    You are pulling quite a load. Much more than I expected from your original post. Perhaps you need to rest a bit more, and just relax some as you go along.

    WOW!!

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Bristol, R. I.
    My Bikes
    Specialized Secteur, old Peugeot
    Posts
    1,576
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi Venturous,
    I'm an old guy (71 y.o.) and I sure wish I'd begun paying attention to health issues when a lad of 45. I'm delighted you and Mrs. Venturous are on this cycling path together.

    On cramping, I've had the same issue several times. Sometimes while backpacking with a heavy load. More recently during cycling (new rider here). About 5 weeks ago, during a 50 mile charity ride, calves began cramping in the last 25 miles and I had to stop numerous times to stretch them out. Since that day, cramping has subsided but I can still feel them being "worked" the day after a ride.

    I think you are correct that it is mostly fitness related and the best approach it to be aware and deliberate about cycling and your body in general. Good luck.

  9. #9
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
    My Bikes
    Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
    Posts
    19,915
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Cramping- lots of suggestions but the main one we will tell you is electrolites. In Other words-SALT. Dirty word I know but most riders here will use an additive in the drink bottle to give the essential salts that you may be lacking. For most this works.

    But if you feel a cramp coming on while riding- get out of the saddle and get the cramped leg on the low pedal position and lower the heel. Stretches the calf muscle and helps to ease it.

    But riding- getting fitter and more riding will help. Doesn't matter that you have a Wally Mart bike----It works. Could probably be bettered- but at least it gets you riding something. And as your first bike- it will teach you a lot. Mainly what your second bike will be- but in the meantime use your Mongoose for riding on.

    And if you can pull that trailer with a full load- you are not going to stay unfit for very long. Keep riding.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •