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Tired legs - cycle or drive?

DWM1980DWM1980 Posts: 27
edited November 2018 in Commuting general
Morning all

Sorry in advance if this is a daft question.

Due to the nature of my job I can't cycle to work every day - on average I manage to cycle once or twice a week. This week has been quiet at work so I've been able to cycle in every day (roughly 11 miles each way between Bristol and Bath). My legs (particularly my quads) are now really tired and cycling is hard work. I took it easy this morning and it wasn't too bad, although any hill was a bit painful and slow. Cycling home is usually a bit harder due to the almost constant head wind. If I don't cycle and I can drive. What should I do?

Basically I'm asking if I risk doing any damage by carrying on? I won't be cycling over the weekend, or next Monday or Tuesday.

Cheers

Dave
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Posts

  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I would cycle on whilst you can.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 9,429
    Just ease of a bit and factor in the odd rest day.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    By carrying on you're just delaying recovery - and slightly increasing your risk of injury - but mostly just delaying recovery.

    Don't push it - if you've got a GPS or display on the bars - turn it off or turn it to another page so you can't see your speed.

    Look around & enjoy the views.

    If you're time constrained then drive - if not, ride - you can always rest tomorrow ;)
  • Ricky hRicky h Posts: 119
    Not a daft question at all. Going from 22 miles to over 100 miles in one week is a big step up and the fatigue you feel is your muscles asking for a break so they can repair and strengthen. A day off would be a good idea (due to the step up) but lots of people regularly cycle that sort of distance on a daily basis after they have got used to it.
    Do you stretch after a ride ? Worth doing so if not doing any at the moment.
    Also incorporate a recovery ride day here. If you have a HRM and gps, keep your hert rate below 120bpm. If not, cycle imagining you have glass pedals that can not cope with any force. Under no circumstances engage in any commuting racing in a rest day or else you aren't giving the body reovery time and that is what you are lacking bat the moment.
  • DWM1980DWM1980 Posts: 27
    Thanks for the comments.

    After another sore ride last night I decided to drive this morning (such a shame on a lovely morning like this!).

    I do try and stretch and have a foam roller which I use every now and then (when I can handle the pain!). Hopefully a few days off the bike will sort me out.

    Cheers

    Dave
  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    It's perfectly normal that you'll be sore, but really, 22 miles a day for a week is perfectly doable for a regular cyclist.

    Zoe Ball did a lot more than that on a couple of months training!

    So yeah, your legs will ache, take it easy, after a few days recovery you'll be absolutely flying.

    If you are really suffering you might want to check your bike fit.
  • You need to rest periodically or you risk injuries. If your legs feel tired it’s time to rest. The length of time you need to rest is dependant on the efforts you made whilst riding.
  • Not every ride has to be done at record pace, especially during the first few months of significantly increasing your cycling distance.
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  • bigmitch41bigmitch41 Posts: 684
    I always find an easy spin helps recovery, I'd choose to cycle but go with an easy pace.
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  • Broono83Broono83 Posts: 75
    I’ve always wondered about these 120bpm recovery rides. I do between 40 and 100 miles a week alongside other sports and would say I’m reasonably fit, resting heart rate is 50.

    However even light pedaling on the flat will have me at 130, I can’t even imagine the pace I’d need to attempt any incline to remain below 120bpm. Genuinely don’t think I’d have low enough gears.

    I take a day off either when I’m knackered or I factor them in based on weather and other exercise.
  • two things:

    - protein
    - rest

    Sounds like you need to give your legs a chance to recover, so maybe cycling to work every other day would be better for you.

    Maybe in 3 - 6 months, you can build yourself up to making those long trips almost everyday.

    The same can be said for any sport or exercise - if your body is soar, take a break and recover. If you don't, expect an injury!
  • gbsahne001gbsahne001 Posts: 1,967
    I usually cycle around 30 miles a day, 5 days a week (used to be closer to 50 per day) and even after a few weeks off (just back from holiday) it takes a few weeks to build back up to this mileage; currently week 2 after being back and I'm on 22 -25 miles per day but last week I started at 10miles each way and just built up to it.

    So take it easy, build up to the mileage perhaps by cycling in every other day for a couple of weeks; Mon, Wed & Fri then put a rest day in on Wed for a week or 2 and then skip this altogether and just ride in - enjoy the Autumn colours.
  • I realize this is a bit on the old side now, but I hope no one will mind if I cast a "vote". First, you ultimately need to decide whether to push it or to stop for yourself. You're the only one who can feel what's going on in your body, so consider others' advice but trust your own judgment. That being said, my experience is that there is a rather long gap between "I feel pretty sore" and "I pushed it too far, this was dangerous/harmful". I find that when I get the willpower to push myself to ride (or hike, or whatever) another day in a row when I didn't really feel like doing it, I usually end up feeling better, physically and mentally, at the end of the day rather than worse. BUT I also recently had an experience backpacking where I DID push it too far and ended up in camp shivering from exhaustion and puking from lactic acid build-up. I don't think my life was ever in danger, but I definitely should have listened more closely to my body and cut the miles a little shorter for that day (If you're wondering, I was at much higher elevation than I'm acclimated to and that lead me to overestimate what I could do in a day). But that experience is one bad time out of many, many times when I felt better after pushing myself, so that's why my vote is to push it, using resonable caution and listening to yourself first.
  • Not every ride has to be done at record pace, especially during the first few months of significantly increasing your cycling distance.

    This is quite a good point. If you're not too tight on time, then take it easy. Take in some of the views along the way and enjoy yourself. I appreciate you probably can't do this every day, but I think it'd be wise to take it easier on some days than others.

    Having said that, rest is also important too and it is key to staying healthy and minimising injury. All told - I'd say cycle as much as you can, whenever you can, as long as you allow time for rest and also don't arrive too late for work!
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Broono83 wrote:
    I’ve always wondered about these 120bpm recovery rides. I do between 40 and 100 miles a week alongside other sports and would say I’m reasonably fit, resting heart rate is 50.

    However even light pedaling on the flat will have me at 130, I can’t even imagine the pace I’d need to attempt any incline to remain below 120bpm. .
    This tells me a lot, on a road ride you should be maintaining a constant effort (torque and rpm) it SHOULDN'T be any higher climbing a hill, in addition I find stiff quads come from generating the power through torque and not rpm, gear down and spin faster (what's your typical cadance) and your much less likely to get sore muscles.
  • The Rookie wrote:
    Broono83 wrote:
    I’ve always wondered about these 120bpm recovery rides. I do between 40 and 100 miles a week alongside other sports and would say I’m reasonably fit, resting heart rate is 50.

    However even light pedaling on the flat will have me at 130, I can’t even imagine the pace I’d need to attempt any incline to remain below 120bpm. .
    This tells me a lot, on a road ride you should be maintaining a constant effort (torque and rpm) it SHOULDN'T be any higher climbing a hill, in addition I find stiff quads come from generating the power through torque and not rpm, gear down and spin faster (what's your typical cadance) and your much less likely to get sore muscles.

    Not sure if you think I’m the OP as I wasn’t?

    Thanks for the reply anyway. My average cadence is about 80-85 over the 12 mile commute, dragged down slightly due to coasting.

    I’ve definitely stated spinning more on hills over time but my thought was this pushed the effort from legs to lungs, either way I can’t keep my hr that low. Average 155 on a general commute.
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    you'll get used to it. Its quite normal to feel a bit sore after cycling 100miles in a week if your only used to doing 20 to 40. I do over 200 miles a week and the last two mornings I have peddaled like I'm weak. The the next time you ride take it easy. By riding frequently you recovery times start to improve. It does take time and you will feel rubbish though for a bit. You can't do your self damage unless you get an injury which means your position is not right.

    Again spinning may be right for some but not all. If you ride at a low cadence for long enough you adapt and can ride at low cadence all day long and it will feel fine. I tried spinning for two hours this morning. Avg cadence was a 77 rpm (thats really spinny for me) but my heart and breathing rate were higher to. Riding home at 60 rpm felt much more comfortable.

    Hense ride at what ever cadence feels normal and comfortable to you. There's no right and wrong no whatever anyone says on this. If my heart rate was 155 bpm I'd be racing. Everyone is different.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.



  • There's no right and wrong no whatever anyone says on this

    .

    Except actual experts who know what they’re talking about, who will tell you higher cadences ( about 90 rpms ) are more efficient than lower cadences ( unless you’re making sub 100 Watts at that cadence ), when you’ll find the effort of moving your legs around that quickly is actually mostly a wasted effort. The effect will show itself with a simple enough experiment. Work on your fitness until you can produce well over 100 Watts at 90 rpm. Then ride for as long as you can at a given power, at ( for example 60 rpms), then see how long you can go at the same power, but producing it at 90 rpms. Keep as much as you can the same about the route, your kit, and the weather conditions.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,277

    Except actual experts who know what they’re talking about, who will tell you higher cadences ( about 90 rpms ) are more efficient than lower cadences ( unless you’re making sub 100 Watts at that cadence ), when you’ll find the effort of moving your legs around that quickly is actually mostly a wasted effort. The effect will show itself with a simple enough experiment. Work on your fitness until you can produce well over 100 Watts at 90 rpm. Then ride for as long as you can at a given power, at ( for example 60 rpms), then see how long you can go at the same power, but producing it at 90 rpms. Keep as much as you can the same about the route, your kit, and the weather conditions.

    This is just shameless and brazen bullshiit. Can you link to where an ‘expert’ has actually said this? Higher cadences are- by definition - not more efficient than lower. You keep trotting out this nonsense with all of your other forum IDs, but it is still fundamentally indefensible.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Higher cadences are less efficient, you need more energy input to achieve the same power. However the body fatigues slower and that is why it’s beneficial. Plenty of data if you search.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,277
    The Rookie wrote:
    Higher cadences are less efficient, you need more energy input to achieve the same power. However the body fatigues slower and that is why it’s beneficial. Plenty of data if you search.

    Sorry but that’s contradictory. Higher cadences carry a higher metabolic demand, that’s true, but a higher metabolic demand is going to promote fatigue, not reduce it. Cycleclinic pretty much nailed it previously and it should have been left at that.
  • pinnopinno Posts: 41,973
    edited November 2018
    Post deleted.
    That'll teach me for skim reading.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,027
    I'd really try and persist in doing the commute - your once or twice a week.
    I know it can feel like a mountain to climb to get a commute habit going but try to remember that decision makers assume that the future is still the car in its various guises and really do we want to end up with gridlock after gridlock for decades to come?
    Urban commuting is total sh ite but keep at it.
    No, 40 or so miles a week is not going to damage you.
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,027
    Or have you thought about e bike?
    Despite my other e bikes potential hazard thread due to being chipped and too powerful and thus a potential danger on shared paths - I am a fan of them , if it means less car use and they are ridden sensibly on those shared paths.
  • photonic69photonic69 Posts: 1,174
    I had a week off commuting last week as I was feeling tired and sub-par. Think I was suffering from a low level virus and spent Thurs and Friday at home just sleeping. Cycled in again yesterday as was feeling a bit better but in the back of my mind I though I should drive. Cycled anyway. Now today I'm feeling censored again so had to drive. Probably drive the rest of the week now. I know I'd much rather cycle as it is less stressful.

    Listen to your body. If you are feeling unusually tired then you are probably ailing from something. Rest is usually what is needed.
  • Tetragrammaton1Tetragrammaton1 Posts: 72
    edited November 2018
    The Rookie wrote:
    Higher cadences are less efficient, you need more energy input to achieve the same power. However the body fatigues slower and that is why it’s beneficial. Plenty of data if you search.

    Higher cadences are not less efficient. As long as you’re making sufficient power to not render it a futile exercise ( at relatively low powers you’re expending more energy moving your legs around at higher cadences than it’s worth ) then higher cadences have been proved, by actual experts, to be a more efficient way of pedalling than lower cadences. Your fitness needs to be sufficient to allow you to make the required power at the higher Cadence for it to be worthwhile. Obviously there are limits, and the higher efficiency ‘band’ is thought to be 80 - 100 rpms as long as your power is over about 150 Watts at that cadence band, too much above that cadence band and the efficiency drops off again.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,277
    The Rookie wrote:
    Higher cadences are less efficient, you need more energy input to achieve the same power. However the body fatigues slower and that is why it’s beneficial. Plenty of data if you search.

    Higher cadences are not less efficient. As long as you’re making sufficient power to not render it a futile exercise ( at relatively low powers you’re expending more energy moving your legs around at higher cadences than it’s worth ) then higher cadences have been proved, by actual experts, to be a more efficient way of pedalling than lower cadences. Your fitness needs to be sufficient to allow you to make the required power at the higher Cadence for it to be worthwhile.

    Bloody hell, Nick - please give this bullshit a rest....or link to one of these 'experts', as you have been repeatedly asked to do when you were called Milemuncher, Killerclown and the rest.

    Either validate your claim - or STFU about it.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Hang on - I thought he rode everywhere at 40rpm ?
  • cld531ccld531c Posts: 517
    edited November 2018
    Fenix wrote:
    Hang on - I thought he rode everywhere at 40rpm ?

    Think the talk of high cadence is part of the disguise! Unfortunately, I suspect we all recognise the writing style all too well so that any attempt to retain anonymity will be futile.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,277
    edited November 2018
    Fenix wrote:
    Hang on - I thought he rode everywhere at 40rpm ?

    He seems to have gone from advocating 40rpm as Milemuncher, to now advocating 90rpm in his other guises. And his tedious repetition of unsupported claims like the one above is either evidence of committed and deliberate trolling, or mental illness. He would be a psychologist's dream subject, if only he would book an appointment...
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