What have I done to my legs and how do i fix them

I've just gotten back into cycling after more than 10 years away.
On monday I went for a ride on a different bike, my brothers abandoned halfords full suspension thing. The frame seemed a bit small but i stuck the saddle up a bit and off I went. After a long climb I got a fierce cramp in my left leg, I stretched it out and carried on for a bit. I decided maybe the saddle was too low but I was standing for the rest of the climbs anyway.
All grand
Next day, usual out on the road bike, pushed myself a bit but nothing to strenous. kept getting a cramping pain though in the front of my tigh when pushing the pedals. When I relaxed the muscle it was fine though.
Then Wednesday I took the mtb out again, put the saddle up a bit more and off I went long hard climb involved again but I wasnt in any pain or anything. Until I started cycling home and my legs had no strength whatsoever. Even slight inclines were tough out. In first gear my legs just struggled to push on the pedals and now I cant even walk up the stairs without my tighs getting tired at the top.
I've rested them today, no cycling at all with liberal doses of Deep Heat.
So can anyone tell me, what I have done to my poor wee legs and how do I fix them? I'm going to go mad if I spend to much time not cycling and I have no idea how to pace myself on a bicycle.


  • Poitr
    Poitr Posts: 35
    I think your thighs are teaching you to pace yourself. Although you might need to do some stretching. The different position on the mountain bike may have pointed out a lack of flexibility if you tend to ride the same bike all the time.
  • kickaxe
    kickaxe Posts: 446
    I don't want to be rude, but are you honestly fit enough to do what you have done? Last fall I was unfit (injury so no cycling), and wasn't able to do what I wanted to. After a small ride once a week for about a month I was at I point where I could get up almost anywhere again.

    Taking small breaks on the way up could work for you (interval training), but make sure to not rest too long because then the blood flow will have calmed down and you will have to warm up again.
    -Cube Acid 29" 2013
    -A new Giant Trance 3 2015!
  • LeeDa
    LeeDa Posts: 82
    Possibly a couple of thing at play here.

    If it is cramp then you just need to back off the intensity and focus on steadier riding. Cramp usually happens to the fittest of people when over extending efforts. The more familiar the body is to the distance and intensity being ridden the less likely that is to happen. I found high 5 zero tablets reduced the likelihood of cramping when I was relativley new to cycling.

    Be sure to take 15-20 mins to ease into the intensity of the ride. Prossibly even more important if your ligaments and muscles are not used to the efforts.

    Also be aware of switching between bikes and doing long or intense rides in an unfamiliar position = injury.

    If you cramped and rode through it then you could have torn the muscle though probably only small or you would be in quite a bit of pain off the bike. Muscle tear or not try foam rollering the area or use a massage stick - probably will be uncomfortable at first.

    Be aware a very fresh tear (3 days I think they say) shouldn't receive deep massage as it can create more bleeding, more bruising.

    And the last ride you mention sounds like a classic case of bonking. Was it a long ride? Was it fuelled sufficiently? How would you score the overall intensity of the ride? If you are hammering it so burning up lots of glycogen (probably more so as you are likely not an efficient fat burner yet) then that's going to leave you feeling empty.

    Your sentence about not bearing to be off the bike is a typical one of a new rider - you can't get enough of it and makes me think you could be overtraining. Don't ride around everywhere in Z3/Z4/Z5 - you'll become stale and won't reap the full training benefit. If having no power / energy on & off the bike becomes a regular feeling then you probably need to back off. To shake the fatigue just lock the bike up and have a full week off and get lots of sleep. You'll probably be faster when you get back on it.
  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    Some good info above, also have a google of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).