The tortoise....can go the distance but I'm slow!!!

MissBint37
MissBint37 Posts: 1,503
OK so, I am getting really frustrated with my fitness on rides.

Can I keep up, hells no!!! My legs just won't work that fast no matter what I do! Half way up hills they often give up all together and I have to have a rest, although only a mini one, like 10 seconds maximum.

When I get to the top of a mahoooooosive hill I am not out of breath or tired, but I get there after everyone else. Yet I can make it round an epic ride without being knackered, in fact, if I've done 50 miles, I could easily do 50 more!

But, I need to be able to keep up......because I think I will start making everyone mad having to wait for me!!!

Any training tips to help me out?
Ride it like you stole it!
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Comments

  • welshkev
    welshkev Posts: 9,690
    interval training may help?

    short sharp sprints up a nice hill then roll back down to the start as a rest, will boost your speed and stamina :D
  • MissBint37
    MissBint37 Posts: 1,503
    Is there such a thing as a nice hill? :lol:
    Could I do this on the road you reckon?
    Ride it like you stole it!
  • stubs
    stubs Posts: 5,001
    I dont have any hills near me but I do have a loooong flat straight boring road I ride along. It has telephone poles along the side and what I do is sprint like mad as hard as I possibly can in as high a gear as I can pull for 2 tele poles then cruise for 4 poles then flat out again for 2 poles. Each time I sprint I try to go faster than the last time. By the time I have done 3 miles of this I am cream crackered but it has certainly improved my burst speed. I even beat my mate recently on a short sprint and that has never happened before.
    Fig rolls: proof that god loves cyclists and that she wants us to do another lap
  • weeksy59
    weeksy59 Posts: 2,606
    MissBint37 wrote:
    Is there such a thing as a nice hill? :lol:

    MAybe this is part of the issue ?

    Enjoying the hill is almost as important as the strength required i rekon
  • miss notax
    miss notax Posts: 2,572
    Hiya :D

    At the risk of sounding like a bit of a loony here, I reckon you need to push yourself harder on the hills to improve your speed :shock:

    I speak with some experience here having been in the same situation myself! I think it's quite easy to reach a plateau and not push yourself any further (not intentionally), which was certainly true in my case and sounds like it is in yours - especially as you say that you're not out of breath and it's not a stamina issue. I have trained for various events over the past year and made a definite decision to push myself harder up hills (so that I WAS out of breath!) and the result? I am now a hell of a lot faster and can clear stuff that I couldn't ride a year ago.

    Obviously, when you're out of breath and knackered after the first hill, feel free to swear at me :wink::lol:
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

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  • MissBint37
    MissBint37 Posts: 1,503
    My legs just stop working and won't pedal any more, it's weird. They give up before I get out of breath which is the problem.

    More than happy to make the effort to do whatever I need to to get better, just wasn't sure where to begin!
    Ride it like you stole it!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    MissBint37 wrote:
    My legs just stop working and won't pedal any more, it's weird. They give up before I get out of breath which is the problem.

    More than happy to make the effort to do whatever I need to to get better, just wasn't sure where to begin!
    Living in a ba**ard hilly place, I've found that a few things make a huge difference. In no particular order... (well, from easiest to hardest, I guess)

    Find a bloody big hill, stand on the pedals, and slowly slowly make your way up it. Choose a gear that has just a little resistance, and slowly slowly slowly turn the cranks. You shouldn't be pushing so hard that you run out of breath or straining, or sweating, just casually, and very slowly making your way up the hill. Imagine someone was walking slowly next to you, try and keep at that kind of pace.
    It seems to help build strength and control in the same way that doing slow reps with freeweights does - it relies on your legs doing the work, not on momentum helping you.

    Secondly, ride everywhere standing up for a week or two - again, you don't need to go fast. Just don't sit down at all. You don't need to pedal constantly, just cruise along, freewheeling and putting in a few pedal turns occasionally.

    thirdly, just ride up hills, a lot. Choose one that's your nemesis, and keep riding up it, then ride back down, then ride up it again. Fight it, make it your business to utterly destroy it, unleash the beast on it.

    and RUN. Running seems to make an immense difference. But if you really don't like it - sod it, don't run. No point doing something you hate.

    Doing any of them seems to make big differences to climbing, but stick all four together, and you'll very very soon start noticing a huge increase in leg strength and stamina. The first two, even though they sound hard, are actually quit easy even, you'll barely notice you're working out.
  • MissBint37
    MissBint37 Posts: 1,503
    I can't run because I have problems with my hips and knees, but the other things I shall try, thank you for the tips. I wish I could still bike to work!!! This would help the cause!!!
    Ride it like you stole it!
  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    stubs wrote:
    I dont have any hills near me but I do have a loooong flat straight boring road I ride along. It has telephone poles along the side and what I do is sprint like mad as hard as I possibly can in as high a gear as I can pull for 2 tele poles then cruise for 4 poles then flat out again for 2 poles. Each time I sprint I try to go faster than the last time. By the time I have done 3 miles of this I am cream crackered but it has certainly improved my burst speed. I even beat my mate recently on a short sprint and that has never happened before.
    Whilst that is a great idea, there's two problems with it as it applies to climbing.
    Burst speed is great for short steep climbs, but useless for longer ones.
    And your typical MTB gearing means you'll be spinning out long before you get any real resistance. Intervals can be devastatingly effective up a hill though, or on a road bike where the gears are high enough to offer resistance when sprinting.
  • Barteos
    Barteos Posts: 657
    MissBint37 wrote:
    My legs just stop working and won't pedal any more, it's weird. They give up before I get out of breath which is the problem.

    I'm just guessing here but It sounds like your problem may be caused by inadequate fueling and hydration before and during the ride.

    It's very strange that you can't force your muscles to work hard and to elevate your heart rate. The only explanation would be running low on glycogen (near-bonk) or general fatique / overtraining.
  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    If the muscles are underdeveloped though, will lactic acid build up set in before you get out of breath?

    I often get pain too, but is a side effect of my beta blockers.
  • does this happen at the start of rides? I find it takes me 20-30mins to get into a ride, especially with hills near the start, so if the lads that I ride with speed off up the early climbs I'm toast, but if I can get started a little earlier (minutes) and ride at my own pace until I warm up properly I can keep going, and stay with them on the later climbs.
  • MissBint37
    MissBint37 Posts: 1,503
    No pain in the legs (well other than my dodgy knees) during or after the ride or the next day. They just run out of power before I run out if breath!

    As for eating I'm taking on a healthy but carb loaded meal as my last main meal before the ride and a snack an hour ir so before and taking on plenty if water.

    The problem is exactly the same at the start, middle and end of the ride.
    Ride it like you stole it!
  • Wallace1492
    Wallace1492 Posts: 3,707
    Hills are your friend... seek them out, then do again, again and again. Do them till you squeal with pain and/or are almost sick. Then have a small rest and do again.

    Go back next night and repeat......

    This will eventually aide you climbing. It will not be quick or easy, but you will improve, you legs will grow muscle and the hills will become easier*

    *not strictly true, - but you will be able to go up fater!
    "Encyclopaedia is a fetish for very small bicycles"
  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    No pain in the legs

    If you are not feeling any lactic acid at all, or burning, then you are simply not pushing hard enough. It could be that you are not using the gears in a way that suits you when climbing.
  • cooldad
    cooldad Posts: 32,599
    MissBint37 wrote:
    As for eating I'm taking on a healthy but carb loaded meal as my last main meal before the ride and a snack an hour ir so before and taking on plenty if water.
    When is your last 'main meal' before a ride? Earlier in the day, the night before?


    The other option is tight lycra and just let the guys be happy to ride behind you.
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  • MissBint37
    MissBint37 Posts: 1,503
    Last meal depends on when the ride is!

    Morning ride I have a carb loaded meal the night before and have porridge banana and water ir juice the morning of the ride.

    Afternoon ride same breakfast and lunch of maybe cous cous or quinoa with veg.

    Evening ride normal yoghurt and museli breakfast carb loaded lunch then a ore ride snack maybe a banana or a flapjack ,
    Ride it like you stole it!
  • nozzac
    nozzac Posts: 408
    I tried Yeehaa's riding around without sitting for a last two days. Crikey I found that tough on the old legs. Surprisingly how those constant little saddle rests keep the burning at bay. Take them away and it hurts!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Two days riding non stop would kill my legs anyway. I'm usually spent after a few hours :lol:
  • nozzac
    nozzac Posts: 408
    Two days riding non stop would kill my legs anyway. I'm usually spent after a few hours :lol:

    It's been OK but sleeping and showering with the bike has proven quite challenging.
  • Frodo1095
    Frodo1095 Posts: 252
    I am useless on hills, always hold my mates up :(

    In order to get better;
    1 - I deliberately put hills into my riding, not massive ones, but more hills than I would do normally.
    2 - I didnt rest at the top, kept my legs going and would try to go up one gear when I hit the top.
    3 - Would stand up in a harder gear than I could push sitting down (usually 2 gears higher) and pedal up. Depending on the hill and how I felt I would sometimes do this slow and other times set myself a target on the hill and go like a lunatic until I hit that point then keep going for a 5 - 10 count.
    If I wasnt at the top of the hill I would then drop to my very lowest gear and keep spinning to the top. Its actually quite hard to keep spinning when your legs are burning.

    Most of my mates are still quicker than me but I am getting faster and they have noticed I am getting quicker, so they arent just going slower and waiting for me :D
  • kathg
    kathg Posts: 142
    I used to have exactly the same problem.. but since entering a race and putting myself in the position of absolutely having to train or face the possibility of being used as a 'speed-bump' in said race, I changed my approach to riding :oops: . Sooo, do your usual rides but as the others have suggested, on the hills you usually spin up in low gear, make a concious decision to move in to a higher gear and then attack that hill, pedal like hell, don't give up, stand on the pedals, really go for it. I quickly realised I just wasn't trying hard enough before!!
    The other key thing that helped me has been riding alone. If you are with mates, you will stop and chat, if you are riding on your own you won't. You need to make a pact with yourself that you will not stop all the way round. By doing this, I have cut my best times on my usual rides by pretty big margins and am now doing the trail centre rides in at or under minimum recommended time (a miracle for me)!! :D .
    Good luck.

    kathg
  • tony620
    tony620 Posts: 194
    sounds to me like its in your head if your legs are giving up but your feeling no pain? find a competitor someone to beat up said hill.

    follow his wheel up the hill and try your very best not to get dropped. this is how i started and now i love a good hill to make my mucles burn :lol:
  • suzyb
    suzyb Posts: 3,449
    Hills are your friend... seek them out, then do again, again and again. Do them till you squeal with pain and/or are almost sick. Then have a small rest and do again.
    Or just go out on a ride with Wallace and he'll seek out the hills for you and make you go up them until you are almost sick :wink:
  • Thewaylander
    Thewaylander Posts: 8,594
    Ok i can't see the most important question here...

    How often do you actually ride your bike?
  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,388
    You may not like this answer but I found Spinnning classes really useful for this. It isolates all other factors and just lets you push hard - will probably help transfer your fitness into power (probably help your snowboarding for the same reason too)

    Plus there is no way you ll let the fat old lady next to you beat you!
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    - @ddraver
  • Thewaylander
    Thewaylander Posts: 8,594
    Simple thing is how often do you ride?

    If it isn't more that 2 times a week your going to platue fairly fast, I ride 2 times a min not to lose level, and try and do min of 3 a week while improving my fitness.

    More riding is always the way :)
  • njee20
    njee20 Posts: 9,613
    sounds to me like its in your head if your legs are giving up but your feeling no pain?

    This.

    If you're not out of breath and your legs aren't tired then it's psychological and you just need to push harder. Perhaps you're trying too tall a gear to be able to push the pedals, but unless there's some very odd medical phenomenon here you just need to dig a little deeper.
  • Wobblehead
    Wobblehead Posts: 264
    MissBint37 wrote:
    Last meal depends on when the ride is!

    Morning ride I have a carb loaded meal the night before and have porridge banana and water ir juice the morning of the ride.

    Afternoon ride same breakfast and lunch of maybe cous cous or quinoa with veg.

    Evening ride normal yoghurt and museli breakfast carb loaded lunch then a ore ride snack maybe a banana or a flapjack ,

    Are you getting enough protein??