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Cycling with a physically demanding job

Thanks to Mr Covid I lost my job and am now delivering packets for the post office. I‘ve been doing it now for 2 months but my muscles (especially legs) are aching every day and I haven’t ridden my bike since starting as I use my days off to recover. I really miss riding my bike (from which I only get aching legs if I have an extremely hard ride) but find the job very hard and my 48 year-old legs need a day off. Any suggestions as to how I can enjoy anything more than a gentle spin on my days off? And no, it has nothing to do with “MTFU” 😉

Posts

  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 14,204
    Yes, cycle in lower gears. Go slow if necessary. It doesn’t have to be full gas every time.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • neilo23neilo23 Posts: 783
    I‘d like to do more than a gentle spin and go into the hills but every day feels like the day after leg day in the gym :/
  • You should be physically starting to get used to the job by now, get cracking with at least two 20min intensive sessions a week, ideally after work for improved adpation. Flog yourself to your limit up small hills and recover on the way to the next hill base. Give yourself a day of no cycling or very easy spinning between each session.
    ================
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  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 14,204
    neilo23 said:

    I‘d like to do more than a gentle spin and go into the hills but every day feels like the day after leg day in the gym :/

    My thinking was that you can only do what you can do and it sounds like your legs need a break from strenuous effort, not more.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • neilo23neilo23 Posts: 783

    You should be physically starting to get used to the job by now

    That’s what I thought. My last job was also physically demanding but I very rarely had any aches and pains the next day. I did, however, spend March - October doing very little physically except for riding my bike. I’m wondering if my legs became too used to cycling and “forgot” how to walk.


  • neilo23 said:

    You should be physically starting to get used to the job by now

    That’s what I thought. My last job was also physically demanding but I very rarely had any aches and pains the next day. I did, however, spend March - October doing very little physically except for riding my bike. I’m wondering if my legs became too used to cycling and “forgot” how to walk.


    Could well be an issue since walking and cycling use different leg muscles.
  • CargobikeCargobike Posts: 746
    I had 6 months as a postman in Sheffield about a 10-12 years ago, so when I was about 40 and it was inredibly physically demanding up and down Walkley Bank 5/6 days a week. Depending on all sorts of factors, two months isn't really a huge amount of time for your body to adapt, especially at your age, I hate to tell you, but you aren't a young whippersnapper anymore.

    If you've come from a background of regular cycling and gym sessions as you've alluded to, followed by a prolonged period of relative inactivity, bar cycling during the first wave of the pandemic, it's hardly suprising that your body is failing to adapt at the rate you imagine it should.

    There probably is a degree of MTFU to consider. As already noted your cycling muscles aren't all the same as your walking muscles, so it is possible to spin the wheels and work a different set of muscles, but it will require you to shut out the psychological pain from your already aching legs from your new day work.

    I cycle courier for a living at the ripe old age of 52, although I spend half my week sat at a desk managing the business. It's taken me far longer than 2 months to adapt to the demands placed on my body, even though I've cycled for pleasure most of my life and cycle couriered on and off for the past 20 years.

    Personally, I think you will find that a lot of your discomfort is in your head, The brain tells the body to shut down when it's a long way from reaching it's potential. It could even be that cycling is therapeutic to your already aching body, but you just need to go out and actually do it.
  • ^^^ A lot of good advice already above. It can be quite therapeutic spinning on the bike after walking/standing for hours. Don’t forget to fuel for your ride. Start with a little/short ride, much shorter than you’re used to. Build up over time. Have a soak in a hot tub afterwards to help your poor old muscles recover. They will recover and grow stronger with time, but it will take a bit of time
  • Beryl Burton worked on a rhubarb farm, for Nim Carline ( also a big name) .Lots more as well, but maybe less well known today. Many famous riders had physical jobs, at least until they got a decent professional contract. Sean Kelly was on a farm, the Plankaerts farmed. Chantelle Blaak who was recently world pro women’s champion grew up with farm chores in the morning before cycling to school.
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