Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-04-10, 08:55 PM   #1
Yalborap
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 47
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sore legs - Power through it, or take a break?

So, as those that've seen my previous threads know, I'm pretty new to cycling. In fact, it's been less than a month since I started.

The other day, I went on a trip that, while short(only about 1.5 miles each way), managed to take a lot out of me due to a combination of limited stamina, a rather large dip(maybe 25 degree angle on either side?), and the ground being at a slight tilt(enough to make me half to work a decent bit on my single speed) for a good distance after that dip. My legs have been a bit sore on-and-off since, and when I went on a short ride around the neighborhood earlier, I found my legs starting to feel it a good bit sooner than usual.

Is this just due to having not really exercised very much at all before and I need to power through it, or is it more a sign of stress and fatigue and should be rested off before I hop back on the bike? Thanks in advance for any help or advice you can offer, guys.
Yalborap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-10, 09:27 PM   #2
Velo Dog
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Northern Nevada
Bikes:
Posts: 3,802
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The standard rule is that if the soreness goes away as you warm up, ride. If it gets worse, take time off or do an easy day or two.
Soreness in the muscles is rarely serious. Pain in a joint can indicate trouble, especially if it worsens with use. Fatigue or "heaviness" can be a sign of overtraining, and for a beginner, it doesn't take much.
Finally, rest days and easy days are important--they allow the muscles time to recover and build. People who go hard for weeks at a time generally improve more slowly than those who train scientifically.
Take an occasional day off, and vary your routine--go fast for shorter distances one day, then slower for longer another day, or mix mountain biking with road riding. Millions of words have been written about this, and you can find more information than you'll ever use.
Velo Dog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-10, 09:34 PM   #3
damnpoor
Senior Member
 
damnpoor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Monterey Bay Area
Bikes:
Posts: 477
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Err on the side of more rest. If you ride tired you will get no benefit. Wait to recover then hit it again. Some days you get on the bike and your legs clearly don't want to go. As much as it sucks you've just gotta turn around and skip the ride.
damnpoor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-10, 09:38 PM   #4
HappyStuffing
6 miles per taco, w00t!
 
HappyStuffing's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 255
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Take the day off riding and use the opportunity to move stuff/do shopping with the car you wouldn't be able to do otherwise.
HappyStuffing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-10, 10:41 PM   #5
Limey1212
English Bloke
 
Limey1212's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Redondo Beach, CA
Bikes: I presently ride a Fuji Sportif 1.1, Cannondale Bad Boy Ultra '09, a "home brew" Cyclocross, and a Trek Allant.
Posts: 145
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Just to add the excellent advice so far.

I take it you're riding a bike with gears? Something new riders tend to do is go into the highest gear and grind the pedals around slowly believing (mistakingly) that they will go faster. Try using your lower (easier) gears instead and aim to keep your cadence (pedal stroke), at a brisk pace.
Limey1212 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-10, 09:43 AM   #6
Bikewer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 1,441
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
As Limey says. "Spinning" in lower gears is not only more efficient, the effort involved is easier to recover from. If training, you generally want to spend a small percentage of your ride "mashing" a bit; perhaps climbing a short hill in a higher gear. Builds a little strength. However, for the most part you should be working on a good, brisk tempo and good form.

Make sure your position on the bike is good. Don't be afraid to take rest days either. Highly advanced riders will take "recovery rides" after hard efforts. The day after Armstrong crashed three times and the Tour had a rest day....He went riding.
Not many of us are in that category.
Bikewer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-10, 10:25 AM   #7
mastershake16
Senior Member
 
mastershake16's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Windham, NH
Bikes:
Posts: 387
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My knees feel a bit weird. I can't describe it, it isn't pain but maybe "puffyness".
While riding sometimes I need to stand up to stretch them out.

Is it because I don't have my real bike and am riding my friend's, which is a woman's cruiser? It fits terribly but I just moved the seat higher. Are my knees just rusty, or is it the bike?
mastershake16 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-10, 06:40 AM   #8
Bikewer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 1,441
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It may well be. Bike fit and position are critical to maintaining knee health, and is often neglected or even ignored.
The type of bike should not matter. There are all manner of fitting guides available that should get you in the ballpark; leg not fully extended at the bottom of the downstroke, front of the knee centered over the pedal axle when the cranks are horizontal.... That sort of thing.
Bikewer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-10, 07:10 AM   #9
RiPHRaPH
Don't Believe the Hype
 
RiPHRaPH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: chicagoland area
Bikes: 1999 Steelman SR525, 2002 Lightspeed Ultimate, 1988 Trek 830, 2008 Scott Addict
Posts: 2,628
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
We don't know where you live. If your cycling season ends in 60-90 days due to weather (see upper midwest) then go through it. If you've got cycling year round, then take the time and do it right. Drink, eat more protein. Chocolate milk, eggs, etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yalborap View Post
So, as those that've seen my previous threads know, I'm pretty new to cycling. In fact, it's been less than a month since I started.

The other day, I went on a trip that, while short(only about 1.5 miles each way), managed to take a lot out of me due to a combination of limited stamina, a rather large dip(maybe 25 degree angle on either side?), and the ground being at a slight tilt(enough to make me half to work a decent bit on my single speed) for a good distance after that dip. My legs have been a bit sore on-and-off since, and when I went on a short ride around the neighborhood earlier, I found my legs starting to feel it a good bit sooner than usual.

Is this just due to having not really exercised very much at all before and I need to power through it, or is it more a sign of stress and fatigue and should be rested off before I hop back on the bike? Thanks in advance for any help or advice you can offer, guys.
RiPHRaPH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-10, 07:36 AM   #10
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint
Posts: 14,271
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 160 Post(s)
take a break. rule #1 ... do no harm ...
rumrunn6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-10, 09:50 AM   #11
dedhed
SE Wis
 
dedhed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Bikes: '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400
Posts: 3,028
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiPHRaPH View Post
We don't know where you live. If your cycling season ends in 60-90 days due to weather (see upper midwest) then go through it. .
Oh come now, cycling season here is at least 200 days. We have a good 120 left and some of the most pleasant weather of the year to look forward to.
dedhed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-10, 03:30 PM   #12
Svenster
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Austin, TX
Bikes: Trek 4300
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
So I get sore legs sometimes also but other times I get itchy legs. Do itchy legs need a rest like soreness? Is it caused by something similar or does it mean my body wants me to ride more? I'm relatively new to biking in the last few months, up to 20+ miles 3 days a week.
Svenster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-10, 02:47 AM   #13
Yalborap
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 47
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I ended up taking a break for a few days due to circumstance, and the problems in my legs went away, so there was that.

I'm actually on a singlespeed right now. It works fine for most things, though I have come to decide that I need to get around the fast route, as it was trying to pound my way through it that made my legs so sore in the first place. I'll see if I can find a better route this weekend.
Yalborap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-10, 04:19 AM   #14
RiPHRaPH
Don't Believe the Hype
 
RiPHRaPH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: chicagoland area
Bikes: 1999 Steelman SR525, 2002 Lightspeed Ultimate, 1988 Trek 830, 2008 Scott Addict
Posts: 2,628
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
I know this, and you know this... But someone who rides 1.5 miles each way and is complaining of sore legs will NOT ride when it is dark or colder than 45-50. I am glad that a deadhead and a dedhed will still be riding with me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
Oh come now, cycling season here is at least 200 days. We have a good 120 left and some of the most pleasant weather of the year to look forward to.
RiPHRaPH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-10, 12:09 PM   #15
Yalborap
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 47
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm down in Southern California. We don't get 45-50 degree winters. We get 70 degree winters.

And in my defense, I'm JUST starting out. Spirit is willing but flesh is weak and not yet hardened up, and all that.
Yalborap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-10, 12:49 PM   #16
AndrewP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Montreal
Bikes: Peugeot Hybrid, Minelli Hybrid
Posts: 6,521
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Many beginners get sore legs because thay have their saddle too low. Your extended legs need to reach the pedals, and not the ground. When you stop do it next to the sidewalk, lean your bike over a bit, or move forward off the saddle.
AndrewP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-10, 02:52 PM   #17
Yalborap
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 47
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
That's about where my saddle is right now. It might benefit from a few millimeters of adjustment one way or the other, but as is, it's in a pretty good spot.

I really think it was just trying to slam a probably 30+ pound steel cruiser up an incline it wasn't intended to ever go up.
Yalborap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-10, 09:33 PM   #18
AndrewP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Montreal
Bikes: Peugeot Hybrid, Minelli Hybrid
Posts: 6,521
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
For getting up hills on a one speed bike, after standing on the pedals, the only option is to get off and walk. No shame in that - millions of chinese do it. There is one option if the traffic is very light - you can zig-zag up the hill.
AndrewP is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:08 PM.