Exhausted legs after riding?

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by HatTrickhero11, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. HatTrickhero11

    HatTrickhero11 New Member

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    I have two hurt knees that don't allow me to be active. I have been doing physical therapy for a year and a half. I finally got my physical therapist to OK me riding a bike. I went on a two mile bike ride, and came back and my legs were exhausted. I literally couldn't feel them, and I had to force myself to walk. I am 20 years old, 6 foot 1, and 135 pounds. (Pretty skinny I know). Is this just a sign of my body not being used to riding and that the more I do it, the less it will hurt after?
     
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  2. el gato

    el gato New Member

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    The more you ride, the stronger your legs will get and not feel like dead weight when you're done. When I first started riding, 3 miles would make my legs feel like boat anchors. If you have bad knees (I know I do) then make sure your bike is set up properly. Pick an easy gear and spin fast to gradually build the muscle around the knee to take the stress off the joint. BTW, I'm 5'11" and 142lbs and the guys I ride with call me "the beast". I hope they mean that in a good way.
     
  3. HatTrickhero11

    HatTrickhero11 New Member

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    So you think that since I haven't ridden for a while, that's why I have a dead weight in my legs? The more I ride the better off I will be? The first mile is up hill, and I turn around, and I come back down. It is like a 1% grade. So it isn't strenuous by all means unless you haven't been active for almost two years.

    Would you recommend putting my bike on a stand somehow, and just riding freely and get my body used to it?
     
  4. el gato

    el gato New Member

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    The muscles in your legs that get used during cycling have weakened or atrophied during the long layoff from riding. At your age, it shouldn't take long to get back into shape. Your idea of putting the bike on a stand is a good one. Going to a gym and spinning on a stationary bike is another idea. Riding your bike on the road is the best bet. Keep riding that 2 miles and gradually increase the mileage. Remember to spin an easy gear. The hill you're riding doesn't seem that steep. Maybe find a flat road to ride. Never give up.
     
  5. HatTrickhero11

    HatTrickhero11 New Member

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    I guess that is true. I will ride again tomorrow and see how my legs feel. I haven't done the two miles for like 5 months. I will see what happens. How often do you rest in between the rides you go on? Obviously my situation is different and I am sure you ride a lot farther than me. You know of any trick to make the pain less noticeable? Maybe a cold shower or hot shower afterwards?
     
  6. HatTrickhero11

    HatTrickhero11 New Member

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    So from what you and El Gato are saying, I should do my daily ride, maybe with a days rest in between each ride, and just ride slow and in gears 1-3? Keep it slow and simple?
     
  7. schristie11

    schristie11 New Member

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    I recently started riding again after several years of being home-bound due to back surgeries.
    I went through the same dead leg symptoms at first, and the best thing is to take a day or two between rides for at least a few weeks until your muscles and cardio systems get back into the swing of things.

    If you over do it your will feel worse and worse, if your pace yourself and take a good break in between you should not have issues after a few rides.

    The cardio is the most important part to train in the beginning.
    Therefore I highly recommend you use an elyptical for a week or two before riding much.
    I did the elyptical every day for 20 minutes and after 20 days I ran a half marathon!
    I've never ran more then a mile or two before running out of breath, even when I rode my bike daily.
    This trained my cardio like it had never been before and I am so grateful for the results.

    I found that there are a hundred or more like new elypticals on craigslist that people are selling as low as $50 just so they don't have to look at it anymore. lol

    If you use a bike stand at home to peddle resistance free at home it may have a similar effect as the elyptical did for me.
    However, the key to why it works is the heart rate zone training technique.
    The idea is to work out for 20-30 minutes with your heart rate in the "aerobic" zone which is about 100bpm-120bpm but not faster.
    If you get over 120bpm for more than an instant the workout looses it's goal of training your cardio system to be able to work harder with less effort (building up efficiency).
    As your increase your cardio system's ability, you will be able to climb hills and stay at 120bpm instead of spiking up to180bpm where your body becomes starved for oxygen etc.
     
  8. HatTrickhero11

    HatTrickhero11 New Member

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    This sounds exactly like my situation. I was never the person to ride bikes when I was healthy and not hurt. I was a soccer player all my life, played basketball once a week for 3 hours on the side. I then hurt my knee, and I am physically unable to play the sports I did. I can barely walk for 20 minutes straight before my legs are wiped out and my knees hurt. I finally tested riding a bike to see if I could manage that and to my surprise I could. So I went on a ride, and my legs were dead once I stepped off the bike. I also felt like my heart didn't want to slow down. I assumed it was my cardio since it was about a year and a half since I was physically active. I haven't been on the two mile bike ride for about 5 months. So I need to get on my bike again since its the only thing I can do.

    I do actually have an elliptical in my garage. I have special tape that allows my knees to function a lot more normally, so I will have to tape my knees and get on the elliptical and get my cardio going again. Then I will start on the two mile bike ride, and progress from there.

    Thanks for the help, I think it will work because it sounds exactly like my situation.
     
  9. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    Voice your concerns with your Physical Therapist.
     
  10. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    That's the winning answer.
     
  11. HatTrickhero11

    HatTrickhero11 New Member

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    Haha good point. I talked with him last night, he said it was due to lack of exercise for so long, and that the two miles was probably too much for my body at that time. I asked him about the eliptical, he said go on it for about 15 to 30 minutes, with random spurts of fast paced walking and then go back to normal walking. I will do this for about a week to two weeks and then get back on the bike again. Thanks for the help everyone. Much appreciated
     
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