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Pfishingruven 04-10-10 04:50 PM

What Am I Doing Wrong??...HELP!!
I am just starting out doing some riding for fitness and to lose weight. I was a recreational rider prior to this mostly riding MUP trailering my 2 boys behind. I upgraded from a Raleigh Venture Comfort bike to a Trek 7300 Hybrid. I have been out two times a day this week riding around my neighborhood and I can't seem to make it more than 15 minutes or so and not more than 3 miles at a time. When I was riding recreationally just last year, we were doing 11 miles at a time and that was pulling a 3 year old and a 1 year old in a Trek Trailer(heavy). I had no training prior to this and was only moderately more active. I have been around 260lbs for almost 10 years now, gaining and losing a few pounds here and there. Like I said, I was moderately more active in the past, but not by much.

I was originally worried about my back, but that feels great after I ride. My asthma is what has been getting me. I am very out of shape. I basically sat around the house this entire winter and played Daddy Daycare. I didn't think I was that out of shape in only 4 months, but little to no exercise and gaining a few pounds has really set me back quite a bit.

I am dieting, as I need to lose about 100lbs, but am I taking the wrong approach to biking? Should I start out walking first to build up some endurance before I ride? Should I go back to the paths I am used to? It is aggravating me and I feel like I am giving up after only 15 minutes of exercising, but I only stop when I physically cannot go any further.

Any recommendations or ideas would be greatly appreciated. I am not very good at this physical activity and exercise, but I have to do something or my days are numbered.


mdohertyjr 04-10-10 05:15 PM

I have lost 60 pounds on my quest to lose 100. I started out walking, then went to biking, but I still struggled mightly when I started riding, so I am not sure if walking will improve the riding. Only riding more will improve riding. I couldn't ride more then 10 miles without feeling it the next day, and now, on Wednesday I did 72 miles, and plan on doing 63 tomorrow. Take your time and add 5 minutes per day to your ride, that's what I would do if I were you :)

Saltybeagle 04-10-10 07:12 PM

go slow at start, some say increase no more than 10%, so for example ride 3 miles for 2 or 3 weeks 3, 4 or 5 times a week. Give your muscles, cardio, lungs a chance to adjust then try 5 miles same routine. then 10 and so on, Be very flexible,

what you developed during 10 years or more will take time to correct (weight, fitness), no easy or quick remedies, sorry. But consistency and perseverance and you will improve.

When i started rode 1 mile and it took me 2 days to recover, 2 miles - 5 miles, I remember the first time I did 10 miles OMG. All this took months. Now I am riding 50-100 miles at decent speed. Seems like there is a 1 year initiation period, before your body says ok, you can ride and improve more than before. So far lost 80 lbs, since Dec 2008

Talk to your Doc about your asthma, there will be a lot of variables, strength, cardio, pulmonary. Best see a doctor to assist, are you using an inhaler? Before you ride inhaler? Are you on steroids? Ask Doc about riding, hydration etc. trainer for indoors helps

Pfishingruven 04-10-10 07:30 PM


Originally Posted by Saltybeagle (Post 10652197)
Talk to your Doc about your asthma, there will be a lot of variables, strength, cardio, pulmonary. Best see a doctor to assist, are you using an inhaler? Before you ride inhaler? Are you on steroids? Ask Doc about riding, hydration etc. trainer for indoors helps

Yeah, I am on all my medications. Advair, Singulair and I used my Xopenex HFA 10 minutes before I start my ride. The Dr's aren't ever a help! All they tell you is that you are fat and out of shape and need to change it.

I appreciate the help so far. I guess I am just really, really out of shape this year. Being out of work this winter really hurt me not only financially, but physically as well. Like I said, last year we would do 11 mile recreational rides with no problem. I got on the bike this week and am done after about 3 miles.

I will just keep at it and build up my stamina. I just didn't want to be exercising the wrong way. I thought I might be doing something wrong and should change my approach. I know this is something that is going to take a long time.


xcarbonmadex 04-10-10 07:54 PM

Hey there,

Just wanted to let you know that you're not alone. You and I are in about the same situation. I need to lose 150 lbs though, as I'm normally a 150lb guy, but am currently 300lbs due to a period of bad choices and a recently diagnosed autoimmune disorder. I was 310 at my highest, but have lost 10lbs so far. Starting biking again has really shocked me into reality about how out of shape I am. I thought it would be easy because I used to mountain bike regularly and could handle anything. I also am on Advair and Singulair for my asthma, plus Serevent, Ventolin, and Zyrtec. The funny thing about the autoimmune disorder is that I had been telling the doctors for years that something was wrong because I could barely eat without gaining. It took a lot not to gain weight. One month, I gained 50lbs and hadn't changed my eating habits. Since I didn't go to the doctor regularly, they didn't believe me and just said "Now you're fat, lose the weight and the problems will go away". Thanks doc!

What I'm learning is to listen to my body and stop when I feel like I'm hurting myself. No shame and no worry. I've also started getting off the bike and walking for a while and then getting back on, even though it's embarrassing to be walking a bike. I figure it's still exercise and it gives my asthma a chance to calm down so I can get a second wind. Just stay positive and be proud of your accomplishments, even if they seem small or insignificant. I also am setting really small, doable goals while I ride. Like "I just need to get to the next corner and I can rest." Then I change the goal to something like the next lamppost. And so on. Even though the doctors don't seem to help, keep at it with them too. When they see you are really motivated, it often motivates them to help too. I work at a hospital, so I see it all the time.

Anyway, if you ever just need to vent or talk...I'm around and will be going through the same stuff. Send me a message if you feel like it.

Wishing you the best,

Saltybeagle 04-11-10 05:09 AM


Like "I just need to get to the next corner and I can rest." Then I change the goal to something like the next lamppost.
+1, eventually your lamp post is 30 miles away and you have improved. I also worked at a hospital long time ago, we always knew which doctors were the good ones, so that is an added advantage for you.

As far as losing fitness, I had bronchitis for 5 weeks, was on antibiotics and prednisone, it was very hard the first few rides after the doc cleared me, so track your rides on a calendar, weigh yourself daily, best in AM at the same time track that as well.

Well its 7am, ate, drank juice, bottles full, off for a ride, did 50 yesterday, maybe 60 today. Should have left already so i am off!



Cycling is so hard, the suffering is so intense, that it’s absolutely cleansing. The pain is so deep and strong that a curtain descends over your brain… Once, someone asked me what pleasure I took in riding for so long. ’Pleasure?’ I said. ’I don’t understand the question.’ I didn’t do it for pleasure, I did it for pain.


MrDavros2U 04-11-10 05:19 AM

If you can stick with it things will get better. I just started riding seriously back in January and could measure my distance in minutes. I too used to pull my kids on the trailer for many miles but found it very different when I ventured off of the bike paths onto the road. Friday I went for my longest ride of 11 miles on the road. I was pretty much useless yesterday but am on my out today to do some mountain biking today.

Keep up the good work!

breadbin 04-11-10 05:00 PM

yeah its a shock alright but just keep at it as everyone else suggested. try not to overdo it though but gradually increase it a little. you may have some days when you are really really lethargic like the day you went out twice:) you mentioned you were dieting - you getting enough calories to do the actual riding? if not you could be pulling from your reserves which would explain the tiredness. best of luck with it anyway. i am in same boat more or less - just started back after a long hiatus and really want to keep it up:)

cyclist2000 04-11-10 06:21 PM

I don't think that you are doing anything wrong. Just ride frequently. A 4 month layoff is a long time not to use the biking muscles, I don't doubt that you feel out of shape but getting back to that 11 mile mark will be quicker this time. Remember that bicycling is one of the best modes of transportation (I can say that since I am on the bikeforums) available. If you are riding on a trail, just go a little further than last time, it doesn't have to be miles but just around the next turn to see something that you haven't seen before. Make sure you are at a comfortable pace that you can get back to where you started. Enjoy the moment and time with the kids.

RedWhiteandRed 04-11-10 06:30 PM

Keep riding. See your doctor. Ask about your heart health and describe all the symptoms to the doctor. It may be a very good idea to be 100% certain that you are in solid fundamental heart health.

The symptom you describe may be nothing to worry about or it may be a sign of an impeded coronary artery.

Nola_Gal 04-11-10 09:13 PM

This may be a long shot but I know it happened to me...I was having real problems riding then, later realized my wheel was out of true and my rear tire was rubbing the brakes. It sure made riding 'inefficient'! :(

Pfishingruven 04-12-10 10:04 AM

Thanks everyone for the replies, suggestions and well wishes. I will just keep at it and double check with my doctors, but they have told me I am fine to exercise and lose weight. As for dieting and doing that right...I am not sure. I have done some research online to determine how many calories I should be eating, etc... I am also tracking it on some computer software. Prior to dieting, I never met my Daily Calories, however the foods I were eating were not good for you and full of the bad things. So, now that I am dieting and eating healthy, I am getting the calories and nutrients that I need daily from the right foods. This may take my body some time to adjust and get used a cleansing period. I will also double check my bike. It is going in soon for a tune up, any way, so I will check it and have the LBS check everything too.

I'll be sure to update you on my status.

Thanks again!

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