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Legs don't burn???

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Old 11-03-05, 01:28 PM
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davesplace80
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Legs don't burn???

Maybe someone can explain this to me.

Before I started eating low carb my legs would start burining before my heart rate would get so high I couldn't push anymore. Now when I climb my heart rate gets to the 170's range and I run out of heart before I run out of legs. Does this mean that my cardio can't deliver enough to my legs or is it the diet?

I am 35 5'11" and about 212 and loosing weight. This is my first year riding.

Thanks in advance
Dave
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Old 11-03-05, 03:19 PM
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Muscle-strength increases occur much faster and easier than cardiovasular developments, almost a 10:1 ratio. Also hills are primarily a cardio-intensive workout with the limiting factor being how much total oxygen-volume you can process per minute. Speed up a hill is then the ratio of oxygen-volume to weight ratio. You're a little on the heavy side compared to the top hillclimbers who tend to weigh 125-150lbs. So you'll be limited by your lungs first, even though your leg-muscles can generate way more than the necessary power.

So... you'll want to push some bigger gears, and work the muscles more on the climbs. And train more for cardiovascular improvements than muscular. That means hillclimbs and hill-intervals.

Also be careful about the low-carb diet. As you improve in fitness, your energy-intake will become the limiting factor on how fast and how far you can ride. Which will then determine how fast you can improve your fitness. At some point, you'll be doing more harm than good as your body will destroy muscle to use for energy faster than you can build it up on the recovery days (due to low carbs). Your weight will continue to drop, but you'll be losing just as much muscle as fat and your body-fat % will remain constant. You'll end up at being a 150 lb twig with 20% body-fat and a double-chin.
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Old 11-03-05, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by davesplace80
Maybe someone can explain this to me.

Before I started eating low carb my legs would start burining before my heart rate would get so high I couldn't push anymore. Now when I climb my heart rate gets to the 170's range and I run out of heart before I run out of legs. Does this mean that my cardio can't deliver enough to my legs or is it the diet?

I am 35 5'11" and about 212 and loosing weight. This is my first year riding.

Thanks in advance
Dave
DannoXYZ is 100% correct, listen to him. I'm also 5'11" and I was 235 lbs a year ago, now I'm 205 and loosing. I hate giving advice unless it's being asked, and you asked. My advice: Loose the low carb crap, you'll thank us all later. You'll loose weight slower but damn you'll get strong and your endurance will increase like a mofo! I didn't beleive it at first, but those CARBS will be your best friends, especially during these cold months. Hope you take the advice.

Stay safe and eat well!
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Old 11-03-05, 06:01 PM
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That low carb stuff is for the lazy people who want to believe in the latest craze. I was watching a cooking show when the chef warned viewers not to eat tomatoes because of the amount of carbs they contained.
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Old 11-03-05, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
At some point, you'll be doing more harm than good as your body will destroy muscle to use for energy faster than you can build it up on the recovery days (due to low carbs). Your weight will continue to drop, but you'll be losing just as much muscle as fat and your body-fat % will remain constant. You'll end up at being a 150 lb twig with 20% body-fat and a double-chin.

I can back this up with my personnal experience, even if it consists of only a summer...After riding for a couple of months on the flats and gaining leg strength, I went for longer rides on a hill and would climb it over and over again. The ride would last 2,5-3,5 hours depending on my mood. I wouldn't eat ANYTHING during that ride but I'd drink a lot of water. After a month or two of this, I went back to some of my first flat rides and noticed a MAJOR loss in leg strength...I was really p*ssed!!! I'd say that at that point I had lost about half of the improvements I had made inleg strength before riding that hill. I'm 5'11" and 152lbs right now (as I was before going for the longer rides) but I was at 150 lbs back then, not a big difference you'll say but still I can tell the difference now as I gained a lot of the leg strength I lost.

My point is, don't forget to eat WHEN you're riding too!
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Old 11-03-05, 08:10 PM
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One thing the others didn't mention about carbs is to make sure you're getting good carbs, not just any carbs.

Broccoli carbs are a lot different than Twinkie carbs.
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Old 11-03-05, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by HWS
Broccoli carbs are a lot different than Twinkie carbs.
Yeah, and if you just get rid of the white flour and white sugar you'll automatically avoid almost all the evil Twinkie carbs even when they're not actually in Twinkies.

I had to laugh while shopping at our grocery store. You can buy 'low carb' tortillas for $3.50, or 'whole wheat' tortillas for $1.60...but if you check the ingredients, they're the same. They just charge $1.90 to slap the words 'low carb' on the package.

Dagna, who eats whole wheat tortillas
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Old 11-03-05, 09:44 PM
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So ah... are those "low carb" tortillas 1/2 the size of normal tortillas like the "low carb" bagels I found?
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Old 11-03-05, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by HWS
One thing the others didn't mention about carbs is to make sure you're getting good carbs, not just any carbs.

Broccoli carbs are a lot different than Twinkie carbs.
This is an inquiry:
Good carbohydrates are?
Green veggies? Any veggies?
Pasta?
Whole grain bread?
Oat Bread?
Potato?
Pancake?
What did I miss?
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Old 11-03-05, 10:39 PM
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Low carb? bleh!!! I go through 1.5 pounds of muesli a day, and one serving of pasta or rice.... it's called FUEL! otherwise I couldn't do my commute (1 - 2 hours each way, depending which way I go)

And I do one protein meal plus a protein shake per day as well....
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Old 11-04-05, 12:01 AM
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Carbs are good but choose low glycemic index foods (less processing, more fibre and vitamins).
Instead of white potatoe choose yam,
white rice -> brown rice
white pasta -> whole grain
white bread -> whole grain or multigrain.
If not just to lose weight but to prevent diabetes. It is the insulin not the carbs that makes you fatter.

Oh and during and right after exercise you have a licence to eat high GI foods.
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Old 11-04-05, 07:13 AM
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Thank you all very much with all of the great advice.

I had been thinking I need to modify my diet as I read more and more about cycling. I have to give this change of eating credit where credit is due. It changed my eating from LOTS of sugar and junk to at least looking at what I eat and about 35lbs weight loss in 4 months. I am hoping that riding takes me to that next level.

I do tend to eat carbs before a long ride and I also bring something to eat during. I figure I earned it after 3 hours on the bike. I guess the key is not low carb \ high fat, more like low GI.

The important part is I am thinking about the food that I am eating.

DannoXYZ
Thanks for the explanation, I have actually been hitting the hills instead of the flat route to try and build things up. What you said makes perfect sence.

BIGPAKO
Your correct, I asked a question and wanted an honest answer, I would be a fool not to take the advice.
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Old 11-04-05, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by HWS
One thing the others didn't mention about carbs is to make sure you're getting good carbs, not just any carbs.

Broccoli carbs are a lot different than Twinkie carbs.
I didn't mention good carbs vs. bad carbs 'cause I thought it would be obvious, since a lot of us ride for health benefits as well as for fun, but I guess it's not that obvious. Just use good judgement it's pretty easy: donut or bagel? chinese joint fried rice or steamed rice? wonder bread or orowheat? instant mash potatos or baked potato? fish n chips or lemon grilled salmon? you get it right? tiramisu or NY style cheese cake? (OK that was a trick question).

Oh and on a side note, Trader Joe's carries whole wheat pasta in many varieties, good stuff.

Stay safe and eat really well!
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Old 11-04-05, 12:39 PM
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I can stay away from fatty stuff but I can't stand whole wheat stuff and grainy things....just doesn't work for me....I have to draw the line there.


But am I hearing correctly that hills don't work your legs as well as flats?? Doesn't feel that way for me....I'm confused....
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Old 11-04-05, 12:49 PM
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It depends upon the build of your body and gearing that you choose. At their fastest speed up a hill, big stocky guys will end up working their heart & lungs more on hills, while tall thin guys tend to work their legs muscles. It also based upon the gearing you select as well. Big gears tend to work muscles more while smaller gears makes it easier on the muscles and work the lungs.

Last edited by DannoXYZ; 11-04-05 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 11-04-05, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
It depends upon the build of your body and gearing that you choose. At their fastest speed up a hill, big stocky guys will end up working their heart & lungs more on hills, while tall thin guys tend to work their legs muscles. It also based upon the gearing you select as well. Big gears tend to work muscles more while smaller gears makes it easier on the muscles and work the lungs.


That makes sense and I've experienced the same thing. I've always tried to do hills on the smallest gear as my legs got stronger......and boy do my legs burn
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Old 11-04-05, 02:21 PM
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davesplace80
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I kinda didn't understand the hill thing at first also. Then I thought about it, if I am running out of heart rate because I am spinning a lot, slow the spinning down and work my legs more then my heart. I guess I need to find the ballance.

Now the thing is to get out and test the new theory. :-) right after I replace the tire that I just sliced last night! :-) Should be out tomorrow AM.

Thanks again for the helpfull advice!
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Old 11-04-05, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Enthalpic
Instead of white potatoe choose yam,

Are all white potatoes bad? Or just the 'bigger is better' Idaho spud? We're usually into baby reds, yukon gold & other varieties.
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Old 11-05-05, 05:22 PM
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Atkins was a kook.

Eat low-glycemic carbs, lean protein and good fats and not only will you lose weight, but you won't kill your kidneys with ketones.
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Old 11-15-05, 07:32 AM
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I wanted to thank you guys for the advice. I kinda dropped the Low-Carb thinking and I can really feel a difference. I still have a long way to go in learning a better way of eating but I already can tell it is a better way to go.

My goal is to get into the 180's by spring time. Even if it is 189 :-)
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Old 11-15-05, 10:03 AM
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Sorry, but I'm a descenting vote on this matter, due to the information found here:

http://home.hia.no/~stephens/ventphys.htm

...by Dr. Stephen Seiler, PhD

In summary, he writes:

In general the lungs are wonderfully equipped for doing their job. Training does improve the ventilatory system in some ways, but it is not the weak link in healthy athletes. In recent years, there have been a handful of studies published where the impact of inspiratory muscle training on various aspects of pulmonary and endurance performance have been investigated. This involves essentially weight training for the breathing muscles, where resistance is generated by using some kind of device that reduces airflow during inspiration and forces the inspiratory muscles to work harder against greater resistance. Neither peak pulmonary function nor maximal oxygen consumption have been shown to change with this form of training. However, a couple of studies have shown modest increases in either time to exhaustion or time trial performance during cycling, using placebo controlled designs. How does this work? Perhaps stronger inspiratory muscles allow high ventilation to be achieved at lower breathing frequencies. This would decrease the oxygen cost of breathing and free up some blood flow for the working muscles. Perhaps.

If there is another area where we can benefit from attention to breathing, it would be the issue of entrainment. Good athletes develop breathing “rhythms” that tune in to the rhythms of their movements. This probably promotes efficiency. When you feel yourself performing at your physiological redline, your breathing may be a place to turn your attention. If you are a runner or cyclist, focus on the diaphragm and the abdominal muscles for moving the air in and out, instead of the intercostals attached to the chest. Heaving the chest more than necessary costs extra energy. “Belly breathing” makes sense. If you are a rower “belly breathing” doesn’t work too well. We just have to learn how to breathe between the strokes.
So, diet doesn't have much of an impact unless your weight is higher than optimal and normal lungs have more than enough capacity to handle the ventilatory requirements of exercise. The bottle neck is getting the oxygen and fuel to the exercising muscle. This is dependent on the items specified on the 'Endurance Training' side of the attached figure.
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Old 11-15-05, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by BIGPAKO
...you get it right? tiramisu or NY style cheese cake? (OK that was a trick question).
Tiramisu over cheese cake any day.

Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
It depends upon the build of your body and gearing that you choose. At their fastest speed up a hill, big stocky guys will end up working their heart & lungs more on hills, while tall thin guys tend to work their legs muscles. It also based upon the gearing you select as well. Big gears tend to work muscles more while smaller gears makes it easier on the muscles and work the lungs.
Are you talking about cadence? That’s a complicated topic.

I think that the cadence on a climb is independent of the build but rather the type of fatigue that riders experience.

There are two types of fatigue : aerobic fatigue (higher HR) and neuromuscular fatigue (leg burn). Each fatigue results from different type of riding. At a low cadence and higher gear, neuromuscular fatigue is greater because fast twitch muscle fibres are solicited and the price to pay is that muscle glycogen and electrolytes are depleted at a faster rate than high cadence and lower gear. For aerobic fatigue, slow twitch muscle fibres are solicited. It is important to note that as the power output gets higher (typically on climbs) more and more fast twitch muscle fibres are solicited where the only source of energy is glycogen stored in the muscle.

So there is no really separation of big guy / small guy. The big guy should spin as much as possible just like the small guy to diminish muscle glycogen usage and use more aerobic power.

Last edited by plin; 11-15-05 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 11-15-05, 08:37 PM
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Noracer-I think you need to do some more research before you take that info to be absolute, much more complicated than that.
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Old 11-16-05, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by oldspark
Noracer-I think you need to do some more research before you take that info to be absolute, much more complicated than that.
I don't take anything as absolute, but I also do not subscribe to the "we're all different" view. We are all -not- that different.
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