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Very unfit and out of shape

I came out the army in 2010 and was diagnosed with ptsd and anxiety and stress, been a battle ever since, not worked for last 4 years and very unfit and out of shape could do with loosing a stone in weight and my mental health doctor told me to take up a sport and exercise so I got a second hand specialized allez elite and took up cycling but I'm not sure how far I should be cycling at first and feel really deflated at how unfit I am as I used to be so fit and active I could run 5 miles no problem not even out of breath, but I'm struggling on the bike my legs burn and my censored hurts is this because I'm new to cycling and not used to it

Posts

  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 14,155
    If your legs are burning try spinning faster in an easier gear.
    Start with small distances and build up from there.
    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.
  • gethincerigethinceri Posts: 1,124
    I'm also an ex-serviceman, likewise I took up (rediscovered) cycling to improve my mental and physical fitness.
    1. Well done.
    2. 10 miles per ride max until you're ready for further.
    3. as pblakeney suggests regarding gearing.
    4. enjoy.
  • N0bodyOfTheGoatN0bodyOfTheGoat Posts: 4,362
    edited 19 February
    Writing from personal experience, when starting to cycle for fitness, it's very easy to be guilty of riding too frequently involving hard efforts. You can end up "overtraining" and have sore legs that feel very weak when you get on the bike.

    It's certainly possible to ride 5+ days a week, but the key is making a vast majority of those days keeping you in your easy power/heart zones.

    Being able to judge your effort by using a heart rate monitor and a device you can see your heart rate in real time will make things much easier while you get a good feel for your overall typical effort range.
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • elbowlohelbowloh Posts: 4,046

    I came out the army in 2010 and was diagnosed with ptsd and anxiety and stress, been a battle ever since, not worked for last 4 years and very unfit and out of shape could do with loosing a stone in weight and my mental health doctor told me to take up a sport and exercise so I got a second hand specialized allez elite and took up cycling but I'm not sure how far I should be cycling at first and feel really deflated at how unfit I am as I used to be so fit and active I could run 5 miles no problem not even out of breath, but I'm struggling on the bike my legs burn and my censored hurts is this because I'm new to cycling and not used to it

    Just try and enjoy being out and about and don't worry too much at the moment about distance. Try and pick some places to actually go to, so you have a destination in mind (a local beauty spot or something). Cycle there, sit down, admire the view, have a drink and then cycle home.

    See if you've got any mates who fancy a ride, it's always easier with a buddy,
    Felt F1 2014
    Felt Z6 2012
    Red Arthur Caygill steel frame ??
    Tall....
  • Amazing to hear you have the courage to start getting back in shape, that's the biggest milestone! Everything is going to suck when you start out, the faster you come to terms with that the better. Set low expectations and keep working at it. Consitency is king, and if you just compound a little bit over a long time it will add up
  • If you haven't already , make sure you have adjusted your bike to fit as much as possible, can often make a big difference to your legs!
    Also padded shorts if you haven't got them!
  • brundonbianchibrundonbianchi Posts: 654
    edited 19 February
    You’ll be using muscles that you wouldn’t normally be using so much, or in the way you are when you ride a bike. Get the bike set up professionally to start with ( when it’s possible again ). That’s a big part of it sorted. Then make sure you have a decent pair of padded bibs / shorts / whatever, to take the blows, and some decent minty censored cream ( otherwise known as chamois creme) to help with any chafing. Make sure your saddle is the right size and shape and composition for your preferences ( a lot of decent bike shops will allow you to try a few different ones / give you a decent saddle fitting ). Then make sure your gearing is suitable for the riding you do. Then it’s pretty much a case of conditioning yourself, by riding about. There’s no hard and fast rules, but start with low distances, and don’t push yourself too hard, then do the same distances, but with more effort, then increase the distances and chuck in some terrain. Then repeat the cycle, increasing distance, then the effort. Allow yourself a bit of recovery time after the rides, and you’ll soon get ‘bike fit’. Fair play to you for getting out there and going for it, good luck. If you want a bit of structure look on the British cycling ‘let’s ride’ website. www.Letsride.co.uk.
    They have a lot of superb routes, led by fantastic ( and very very handsome) trained and qualified, experienced ride leaders, at various levels. Choose your level, join the rides, you’ll be getting the riding in, and hardly notice the effort.
  • Thanks for everyone's advice, think I expect to much to soon, as I was super fit in the army wouldn't have thought twice about banging out 2or3 5 mile runs in a week as well as all the other training. It just gets me a bit down that I have let myself get this much out of shape,spent the last 3 years a couch potato couldn't leave the house with my anxiety and ptsd plus all the meds I was on was making me put weight on I was 15st 5 and I've got down to 13.4 by not taking meds and dieting and exercise I feel better off the meds then on them they make you feel sluggish and not want to do anything but I must remember that I'm not 21 anymore and it takes time to get in shape again
    Thanks again for your time and help 😀
  • Thanks for everyone's advice, think I expect to much to soon, as I was super fit in the army wouldn't have thought twice about banging out 2or3 5 mile runs in a week as well as all the other training. It just gets me a bit down that I have let myself get this much out of shape,spent the last 3 years a couch potato couldn't leave the house with my anxiety and ptsd plus all the meds I was on was making me put weight on I was 15st 5 and I've got down to 13.4 by not taking meds and dieting and exercise I feel better off the meds then on them they make you feel sluggish and not want to do anything but I must remember that I'm not 21 anymore and it takes time to get in shape again
    Thanks again for your time and help 😀

    Positive mental attitude counts for a lot. The feel good factor you’ll get from the endorphins and dopamine released naturally when you exercise will help as well. Keep at it, take it steady, you’ll get your fitness back before you know it.
  • motogullmotogull Posts: 319
    It'll come fella, be patient.

    When I started riding after many years, I decided that my goal was to beat the toughest hill on my manor. I went out every weekend noting where I made it to before stopping the week before and making sure I went past it by 10m each time. Sounds weedy now, but when I made it, I was well chuffed.
  • Be easy on yourself. I remember my first 40km ride this summer and my quads were sore and I couldn't move. I only started riding during the lockdown and ended up doing 2000 miles in 2020. Riding has been much more low impact than running ever was and I've been out and about and putting the miles in during ice, cold and cold weather.

    I used to love cycling as a kid and that love is back after all these years. Sure you can compare against what others are doing but run your own race and let others run their own. If you want it to be a long term happiness then don't think about the short term. Keep at it and take it day by day. You used to be very fit and you know that it takes slow and steady steps to achieve that consistency so give yourself that time. There's plenty people who'll help you along the way so enjoy it every time you can and ask for help when you need.

    Fitness will come back but be happy within yourself first. Not many will have lived a life that you've already laid to rest so get on your bike and keep telling us each time you push yourself a little further.
  • I'm 41 and was 40 when I started riding again. You'll get there fella and it'll hurt before it gets easy - but I bet you already know that.
  • Thanks for everyone's advice, think I expect to much to soon, as I was super fit in the army wouldn't have thought twice about banging out 2or3 5 mile runs in a week as well as all the other training. It just gets me a bit down that I have let myself get this much out of shape,spent the last 3 years a couch potato couldn't leave the house with my anxiety and ptsd plus all the meds I was on was making me put weight on I was 15st 5 and I've got down to 13.4 by not taking meds and dieting and exercise I feel better off the meds then on them they make you feel sluggish and not want to do anything but I must remember that I'm not 21 anymore and it takes time to get in shape again
    Thanks again for your time and help 😀

    Man it's great that you wanna start getting better, nobody expects you to come out like superman after that ordeal. Makes me feel bad about my excuses and complaints
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 52,615 Lives Here

    I came out the army in 2010 and was diagnosed with ptsd and anxiety and stress, been a battle ever since, not worked for last 4 years and very unfit and out of shape could do with loosing a stone in weight and my mental health doctor told me to take up a sport and exercise so I got a second hand specialized allez elite and took up cycling but I'm not sure how far I should be cycling at first and feel really deflated at how unfit I am as I used to be so fit and active I could run 5 miles no problem not even out of breath, but I'm struggling on the bike my legs burn and my censored hurts is this because I'm new to cycling and not used to it

    Hi mate,

    Not quite sure what's happened with the thread but, and I know everyone says it, keep your head down and just keep doing it, and you will get there.

    For what it's worth, I've found my fitness tends to go up in steps - it will stay at a certain level and then suddenly I'll be a bit better.

    I found that helps pushing through the plateaus - thinking that the next fitness step is just around the corner.

    You will eventually find that, as you get fitter, it becomes more fun as you have more fitness to play with to do things on the bike.

    I ended up having two years off for boring reasons and in lockdown I just tried to do a bit on the turbo every day. It wasn't particularly fun but it was short enough that I could bare it and it was every day. I would feel better having done it in the evening and after a month I went from being properly knackered after very little riding to being able to smash it twice a day and do the same again.

    Basically, chin up, keep at it. We all started at some point.
  • mpattsmpatts Posts: 1,002
    Back on topic...

    Well done, great start. Just have a ride around, fitness will come. Enjoy the wind in your hair. Look over the hedges.

    I'm a decent cyclist now, but the first ride out I had (10 years ago) I almost didn't make it to 10 miles. I was dead. Just keep pedaling, enjoy the process.

    Well done.
    Insert bike here:
  • pinnopinno Posts: 40,163
    edited 26 February
    @neilhoughton2020



    Like someone said, cycling uses different muscle groups to running and it will take time.
    Mix it up, cycle to a pub (when they're open) or a café, be a tourist. Don't worry about the guy who hammers past you at silly speed - he's been doing it for a while and he sped up when he saw you just to assert himself.

    Get lost in the sticks (it takes you to a different place) and pedal at a good cadence (pedal speed). Don't worry about anything else. Aim for 70 - 75 rpm.
    Most of all, don't make it a chore - have fun. I'm a kid again every time I get on the bike.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • oli_admin*oli_admin* Posts: 111
    edited 25 February
    Keep it on topic please guys.

    Thank you.
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