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Stuck at 3 days

girv73girv73 Posts: 842
edited March 2009 in Commuting chat
Coming from doing no cycling for about 10 years until last summer, I'm now doing an 18-20 mile round trip commute 3 days a week plus semi regular Sunday runs. I'd really like to go to 4 days commuting, but I'm finding my legs are just too tired.

I wonder, am I expecting too much of my 35yo body or am I just pushing too hard on the commuting days?
Today is a good day to ride

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  • Greg TGreg T Posts: 3,266
    girv73 wrote:
    Coming from doing no cycling for about 10 years until last summer, I'm now doing an 18-20 mile round trip commute 3 days a week plus semi regular Sunday runs. I'd really like to go to 4 days commuting, but I'm finding my legs are just too tired.

    I wonder, am I expecting too much of my 35yo body or am I just pushing too hard on the commuting days?

    Building up your endurance takes time.

    Why not do two days, have wed off and then Thur Fri?

    Then do three and a break - do friday

    Then do four take friday off.

    Or just quit your moaning - you blokes used to rivet ships with your teeth for fecks sake.

    Your grandad would have biked route that carrying a girder - and nipped home for lunch.
    Fixed gear for wet weather / hairy roadie for posing in the sun.

    What would Thora Hurd do?
  • jongingejonginge Posts: 5,945
    girv73 wrote:
    Coming from doing no cycling for about 10 years until last summer, I'm now doing an 18-20 mile round trip commute 3 days a week plus semi regular Sunday runs. I'd really like to go to 4 days commuting, but I'm finding my legs are just too tired.

    I wonder, am I expecting too much of my 35yo body or am I just pushing too hard on the commuting days?
    Keep at it and the fitness will come, it just takes a bit longer at our age. Grand old age of 36 me.
    I only commute 4 days a week so I feel fresh enough (mentally as well as physically) for some weekend riding. Even so by thursday each week I'm pretty knackered (actually by tuesday this week as i've got another cold). I tend to make sure I rehydrate and eat some carbs and protein as soon as I can after a ride to kickstart the recovery process.
    FCN 2-4 "Shut up legs", Jens Voigt
    Planet-x Scott
    Rides
  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 10,052
    one day = weds
    two days = tues thurs
    three days = mon weds fri
    four days = mon tues thurs fri

    five days i'll let you work out :-)
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • rhextrhext Posts: 1,639
    42 in two weeks time and doing a 25-30 mile round-trip commute with about 500m elevation gain. I usually manage 4-5 times a week, and I started about 2 years ago. It takes a while to work up to it, and you have to pay attention to eating and drinking correctly. If you skip lunch or don't drink enough you'll suffer. When I say 'lunch' I'm not talking about a lettuce sandwich (thankfully), but when I say 'drink' I'm not talking about beer (unfortunately).

    Keep at it.
  • I'm doing 23 miles round trip 5 days a week. I don't touch my bike other than for commuting or to buy wine.

    You need to make sure you don't overdo it. I have resolved to take rest days when I just don't feel up to it for whatever reason. I think that you could quite easily manage 4 days + your Sunday ride but you may need to build up to it. Some people say they ride 6 days a week, plus go jogging, swimming etc. It's all down to fitness.

    Your age is not really a factor, maybe your fitness is but if so try taking it easy on the 4th day of the week until you build up your fitness.
  • R_T_AR_T_A Posts: 488
    Keep it going Girv - I'm doing the same mileage (both distance & age!). I started commuting in August, and have only regularly started doing 5 days a week at the beginning of March. And this is on a HT with slicks doing ~15mph.

    I had to adjust my style by reducing the gear and upping the cadence, but I've just got back to the same gear before I started.

    Keep us posted as to how you get on :wink:
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    Giant Escape R1
    FCN 8
    "Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
    - Terry Pratchett.
  • FyPunKFyPunK Posts: 160
    It will come, I started Oct 07 ( age 42) having not cycled since my teens and was doing a 13 mile round trip (5 days) on an old mtb tank. I am now doing around 65 to 100 miles a week and I am 44 on Monday coming, I use my bike all the time now and on the odd times I use the car I have to spend 5 mins finding out where the horn, indicators etc are. My legs do ache, some days worse than others but my energy levels are always pretty good, even with these damn winds that are blowing at the moment.
    www.justgiving.com/aidyneal Cycling Manchester to Blackpool. Look out for number 1691
  • chuckcorkchuckcork Posts: 1,471
    Just keep it going and it will happen.

    18 months ago i decided that I really did want to ride to work, a 28 mile round trip, and started doing so by building up to it from about August, one day a week then building on that, over winter only doing it when conditions were good enough (i.e. not life threatening, I did have a few near dark mornings though) but even then most days.

    By the start of March I was doing every day and did so until the end of September and redundancy stopped me, I was doing then 28 miles each day Mon-Fri and maybe 40-60 miles each Sunday as well.

    I was taking some supplements (could easily be the subject of a seperate, contentious thread so i won't say more than that) but I was quickly finding it not a problem as long as I listened to my body and when tired just took it easy, most days though I was fine and flying.

    Taking a few days off the ride in for a sportive, and then with the strength I'd developed I was really flying!

    So just keep it up and your body will adapt, just don't expect to be able to do average 20mph runs each way every day.
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • tailwindhometailwindhome Posts: 15,490
    @OP

    I think for the benefit of the Non Belfast commuters (Ie everyone) I should point out that Girvs commute home is 9-10 mile, virtually all of it uphill

    3 commutes a week and a long (40mile) run on a Sunday sounds enough to me

    Possibly a shorter run on a Sat morning would increase the mileage and be less taxing than an extra commute
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  • rhext wrote:
    42 in two weeks time and doing a 25-30 mile round-trip commute with about 500m elevation gain. I usually manage 4-5 times a week, and I started about 2 years ago. It takes a while to work up to it, and you have to pay attention to eating and drinking correctly. If you skip lunch or don't drink enough you'll suffer. When I say 'lunch' I'm not talking about a lettuce sandwich (thankfully), but when I say 'drink' I'm not talking about beer (unfortunately).

    Keep at it.
    I do something similar as well as a Sunday run usually (when allowed) and swim training tuesday night and saturday morning, and play hurling on Saturday lunchtime. The more you do it, the easier it gets, but if you don't fancy it, then drive or take the train. (Be prepared for feelings of guilt and worthlessness though.) Try to find as traffic and stress free a route as possible, it makes a huge difference. Oddly it's easier on a fixie when you don't have to worry about gears. Don't know why. People say I am stupid (probably right) but it unwinds me, an hour of peace and quiet in a frenetic day.
    Dan
  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    @OP

    I still take Saturday off from cycling. When I was on the hybrid a week was all I could muster a road bike made it easier to do a full week, still felt it in the legs on Thurs or Friday.

    If you move up to 4 days commuting take Wedesday off. Allow more time, so you can have a slow ride, keep at it don't give up, endurance is hard to build up.
    Food Chain number = 4

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  • jimmypippajimmypippa Posts: 1,712
    one day = weds
    two days = tues thurs
    three days = mon weds fri
    four days = mon tues thurs fri

    five days i'll let you work out :-)

    That's what I did, rexcept that as Friday is an early finish, that was the day I always cycled...

    My commute must be fairly compatible 25-mile round trip 1100' ascent and 400' descent on the route home.

    It'll come...

    Though I do take it fairly easy most days except Friday, for the "knackered tomorrow" reason
  • steve-msteve-m Posts: 106
    Noone has yet mentioned fuel, when are you eating? Could be key
    Fixed, commute: Langster 08, FCN6
    Road : Aravis (byercycles) Shimano 105 triple
    Hybrid: Trek 7.2 FX, unused / unloved
  • R_T_AR_T_A Posts: 488
    steve-m wrote:
    Noone has yet mentioned fuel, when are you eating? Could be key

    For me, I haven't really changed that much. Apart from needing more good food (e.g. wholemeal pasta/rice). Oh, and home made flapjacks that are so dense they have their own gravity :lol:

    I do need to drink a lot of water (first thing; during the day; at home), otherwise I feel like I have the mother of all hangovers by about Wednesday. It's still better than being in a car though. I used to drive 100 miles a day and it was slowly stressing me to an early grave.
    Giant Escape R1
    FCN 8
    "Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
    - Terry Pratchett.
  • 37 Year-old, 21 mile round trip 6 days a week. Knackered by saturday, but on the plus side you can eat like a horse :D
  • SteveyWSteveyW Posts: 19
    Girv...I'm in the same boat as you.

    Started cycling between 70-90 miles a week after having many years off from cycling.

    I fall asleep on the sofa at about 9 every night and my legs are goosed.

    When i do 4 days I normally take Wednesday off as a recovery day.

    This week due to being a wuss and a few other things that I needed to do in the car I have not cycled and my legs are still a bit achey even with 5 days off the bike. I guess at the age of 40 things (like legs) need a bit more rest time until you are up to full speed 5 days a week.

    However all I want to do now is get back on my bike and ride it...anywhere :)
    FCN = 12 (er.......is that bad ?)
  • Greg TGreg T Posts: 3,266
    steve-m wrote:
    Noone has yet mentioned fuel, when are you eating? Could be key

    There is truth in this....

    There have been nights when I've had to stop at the petrol station at the end of the embankment as I'm on my chinstrap and ploughing in....

    Filthy chocolate (ram your handful of nuts) and can of coke

    There was one night when I stopped there and had to stop at the Putney garage as well for a pack of fig rolls and a pint of milk.
    Fixed gear for wet weather / hairy roadie for posing in the sun.

    What would Thora Hurd do?
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    I'm 36 yrs old and do 60-130 miles a week (12 mile round trip commute x 5 then up to 70 mile weekend rides) and I sometimes run 6-12 miles as well and go to the gym to do weights 3 x per week. Fitness comes eventually, you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone to attain it.
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  • Greg T wrote:
    There was one night when I stopped there and had to stop at the Putney garage as well for a pack of fig rolls and a pint of milk.

    NEVER drink milk before cycling, makes you slobber something horrific.
  • Greg TGreg T Posts: 3,266
    Greg T wrote:
    There was one night when I stopped there and had to stop at the Putney garage as well for a pack of fig rolls and a pint of milk.

    NEVER drink milk before cycling, makes you slobber something horrific.

    I drink it from the bottle / glass, not the dog bowl.
    Fixed gear for wet weather / hairy roadie for posing in the sun.

    What would Thora Hurd do?
  • It's not the vessel that creates the slobber, it's the lactose
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    Greg T wrote:
    There was one night when I stopped there and had to stop at the Putney garage as well for a pack of fig rolls and a pint of milk.

    NEVER drink milk before cycling, makes you slobber something horrific.

    Also causes increased lactic acid build up in the muscles. Definitely a no-no.
    Do not write below this line. Office use only.
  • rhextrhext Posts: 1,639
    One other suggestion: set yourself a goal. If you're training for something, it tends to focus the mind a bit and motivate you onto the bike on those days when your legs feel a little tired and the weather a little damp. A long-distance cycle trail, a cycle/camp holiday, a MTB Marathon etc Pick something you'll enjoy, but which you know will be thoroughly miserable if you've not trained!
  • girv73girv73 Posts: 842
    Alright some good advice there, I'll answer some of the general questions now.

    Currently I take Saturdays off and the Sunday runs are only semi regular. Usually I'll do Mon/Wed/Fri commutes.

    Depending on route, my commute is 8-10 miles each way with either a 500ft or a 400ft climb to do on the way home. I'm riding a MTB with slicks, but after some of the comments here I suspect I'm pushing too hard as I'll sit at 20mph+ on the flat and ride most of it as sprintervals. Some days I arrive bloody knackered!

    I think I fuel well enough, with porridge & nuts for breakfast ASAP after the ride in, a decent lunch of man sized meat sandwiches, fruit and yoghurt, then a half pint of milk + fig rolls + dinner when I get home. On Sunday rides I'll take a carb drink out with me and have a recovery shake thing immediately afterwards. I was thinking of looking into protein supplements as well, not to build muscle size but as a further recovery aid. Recommendations welcome.

    I'm intrigued by the comments about milk and lactic acid. Is that true? Should I not be drinking it for recovery? At all? I do loves me pints of milk.

    Take it easier and switch to Mon/Tue/Thu/Fri pattern?
    Greg T wrote:
    Or just quit your moaning - you blokes used to rivet ships with your teeth for fecks sake. Your grandad would have biked route that carrying a girder - and nipped home for lunch.

    He did, as it happens :lol: He was a riveter in the shipyards!
    rhext wrote:
    One other suggestion: set yourself a goal.

    I've entered a 60 mile sportive in June and will enter a 90 mile in September when the entries open. There's a 50k charity ride I'll probably do too :)
    Today is a good day to ride
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