Help - I ache!!

markiegrim Posts: 136
edited October 2013 in Road beginners
Only been road riding a month. 15, 20, 25 miles is no problem, but once I get past 30 my legs get very tired and ache for the rest of the day

Does this just improve with time? I'm wanting to do 60-ish mile sportives, but cant see that happening as things stand!!

Any thoughts/experiences? Am I expecting too much too soon?

Its pretty hilly where I am - Chilterns (which I actually enjoy), I'm 45, reasonably fit, not overweight... but have fairly thin legs :(

Otherwise, having a blast


  • diamonddog
    diamonddog Posts: 3,426
    It will get better, try doing a 'warm down' after your ride ie when you get home pedal around the block for a few minutes in an easy gear. It won't be long before you're up to your target just don't rush it.:)
  • elderone
    elderone Posts: 1,410
    I found my legs ached when upping the milage,but the 30 miler that ached soon becomes like the 25 and 20 etc.
    Just don,t do to much to quick and it will be fine.
    As diamond dog says,have a warm down,it does help a lot.
    Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori
  • cattytown
    cattytown Posts: 647
    Just don't push the miles too far too quickly. Also make sure you are drinking enough while out.

    Giant Defy 2
    Large bloke getting smaller :-)
  • supermurph09
    supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    Ensure that you drink and eat regularly and be aware of your pacing. If you go too hard too fast (resist the Strava segments) you will suffer later on. Have a look back at your rides and if you're using a HRM look at how hard you're riding. You'll improve quite quickly.
  • unixnerd
    unixnerd Posts: 2,864
    What kind of shoes and pedal as you using? It's possible your bike setup is wrong and you're straining muscles that needn't be strained as much. Things like saddle height, cleat position and saddle fore-aft adjustment may cause your problem.

    What are you eating and drinking before a ride? Ideally you want something like toast and jam an hour before a ride. If you find cramp is an issue try eating a banana before a ride as it's high in potassium.

    Don't let distance be your only goal. Often it's good do do a 20 mile course at a very high pace, this helps build power. If you only do distance work at a lower tempo you won't increase your speed much. Short, very fast runs have their place and are handy if the weather's bad or you're pushed for time. - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • When I get back I from my ride I have a glass of milk, I have found this is very good at preventing muscle aches.
  • wardieboy
    wardieboy Posts: 230
    Isn't the whole point of training to make your legs ache? Telling the OP to take it easy isn't going to get him anywhere fast. I'd say man up, get as many miles in as possible and you will see your distances increase. The aches never go away, you just ride further and faster.
  • Excellent advice. Thanks all. Some comments and a Q.

    Yes, there is one strava section at start of my rides that I always push hard on. So guess not too clever, UNLESS it is one of my 1 hour faster rides (i agree that distance is not always the goal)

    I don't eat during a 35 mile road. I assumed to short to be necessary. Is that wrong?

    Always have milk on return

    I'm just using the flats that came with bike. Will get clip less and shoes in a few months

    I'll ask LBS about set up, but think more Likely aches are down to need to build stamina and like I said, legs aren't to muscular....would that make a massive difference?
  • diamonddog
    diamonddog Posts: 3,426
    Not having muscular legs isn't causing the aches, as you say you have only been riding a month which is no time at all for someone new to cycling, just keep going out and don't do too much too soon. No feeding on a 35 mile run is fine if you don't need it, just take enough to drink.

    As stated do a warm down on your return, pedal an easy gear around the block a for a few minutes when you get back, watch the interviews with the pros after the tour stages etc they are usually warming down on the turbo as they do it.
  • supermurph09
    supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    Everyone is different but I'd say as a beginner you may need something to eat after an hour on a 35 mile ride,I did. Try it? A banana maybe or an energy bar. And as you mentioned above, hold off the segment attacks until you've warmed up.
  • Gadge
    Gadge Posts: 135
    "15, 20, 25 miles is no problem, but once I get past 30 my legs get very tired and ache for the rest of the day

    Does this just improve with time?nly been road riding a month. 15, 20, 25 miles is no problem, but once I get past 30 my legs get very tired and ache for the rest of the day

    Does this just improve with time?"

    Nah... after only a few more years mate, they will ache for a whole week ;-)

    Actually, I think you are doing really well after only a month at your age.
    Eat more, slow up a bit and don't be so hard on yourself.
    You will be knocking out centuries in the next year or so and you legs will strengthen and get bigger.
    I'm a man of simple needs. Expensive but still simple.
  • You're already going very well for only a month in, just keep doing what you are doing and your fitness will improve quickly. As you've discovered endurance riding puts very different demands on your body than riding fast for a short distance.
  • I'm in a similar position but have convinced myself it's the fault of my bike.

    A top end carbon is bound to solve all my problems. 8)

    I just need to convince my wife now. :roll:
  • navrig
    navrig Posts: 1,352
    Patience and perseverance.