I'm 48 and have been riding seriously for the past 8 weeks. Before that, I had some health issues and spent some time in the hospital that left me seriously out of shape.
I live in a very hilly area, so there is no such thing as a nice easy ride. At first, I'd have to stop fairly often just to keep my heart rate from pegging out on some of the climbs. At first, my heart rate would spike well over 190 bmp on any climb. When that would happen, I'd not really be out of breath, but my heart would be pounding and my legs would be burning, and I'd have to stop. I've come a long way since then. It was a major victory the first time I made it up a hill that used to make me stop. There is nothing more motivational then seeing progress. I started out with 5 mile rides and now can easily do 20 miles. So I'm thinking I've achieved my base level conditioning and can step it up a bit.
Today I sailed up one of those hills with my heart rate comfortably in zone 3, but my legs were killing me. This is a fairly recent development. My lungs and heart aren't holding me back anymore, its my legs. My legs don't seem to be totally recovering, even though I had two days off. I have been riding two short rides and one long ride a week regularly. My legs even burn now after going up a few flights of stairs. What gives? I have a good diet and get pleanty of protein.
I don't want to backslide now. Any ideas?