Some brake help for a noob
I am new to road biking (and to the forum) and am wondering if I can get some advice. I have this great new specialized allez (the base model). I picked it up from my LBS after trying a bunch of different styles out. This model was the most comfortable for me - no contest. Right now I am still becoming comfortable with the bike and am still hanging around the brakes, either on the hoods or in the hooks (forgive me if I misuse terms!) because I don't full trust myself just yet. This will keep getting better the more I ride. Something I have noticed in doing this, however, is that the breaks feel a bit soft, and this means a ton of effort and energy is being used to apply the brakes while on the hoods. Now, I realize that this is not the strongest position to brake from, but might there be anything I can do to make it a little easier on myself? I realize I will become stronger with time, but I am becoming frustrated...my forearms are more tired than my legs! Is this normal? I am comfortable tinkering around with my bike as I enjoy learning how to maintain it.
Thanks ahead of time for the guidance - there is a lot to be learned here!