Leg strength and heart rate

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by gr033y, Aug 5, 2006.

  1. gr033y

    gr033y New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2006
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi all. I'm new here and thought i'd introduce myself and ask a question also.
    I'm trying to get fit and am running, cycling and doing some gym work. I have noticed that when i run i can get my heart rate into the 70% - 90% area easily, however whilst cycling my heart rate stays below this and my legs feel absolutly drained, they are the part of me that gives in first. Its frustrating because i feel like my rides are not benefitting me as much as my running. Last ride lasted 40 min and after 15 my legs had had it even though i felt quite strong heart wise. I'm new to all of this so any tips would be great.
     
    Tags:


  2. FrankBattle

    FrankBattle New Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    0
    what gear(s) do you typically ride in?
     
  3. gr033y

    gr033y New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2006
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi, thanks for the reply. I try to ride in a gear that lets me spin at about 90rpm so i dont hink i'm in to high a gear?
     
  4. FrankBattle

    FrankBattle New Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    0
    Because you spin at 90 rpms doesn't mean you are not in too high a gear. So, you are on the big ring up front and your cassette is where ..?

    Anyway, my point was to suggest that you may be in too high a gear. If you can't spin the gear for most of your ride, then it is maybe too high for your leg strength ..

    Imagine doing leg presses with really heavy weights. You may be able to push out 10, but then your legs feel like lead afterwards. Same thing happens when you push big gears. You may start off okay, but you will tire quicker from lactic acid build up. And if your body isn't trained enough to burn up the acid in quick enough time .. you get the sensation you described.

    For example, I try to do most rides (solo) in the 39/14. I can spin that combination all day; I won't win any land speed records but my overall ride average may actually be higher because I can maintain the cadence for the entire ride (typically a 40 miler). I have done the same ride keeping the combination at 53/15 (/17/19 or /14). I saw higher speeds, but was never able to maintain. I fatigued quicker and ended up slowing down from exhaustion. Some days are better then others. Some days I have the no chain feeling even in the higher gearing. But by and large, I feel fresher at the end of the same ride in a lower gear.

    Give it a whirl. Otherwise, you just may not have enough miles in the legs ..
     
  5. gr033y

    gr033y New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2006
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    So its a lack of strength in my leg muscle's probably then. Will any gym work help this and whats the best way to cycle to help?
     
  6. FrankBattle

    FrankBattle New Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    0
    At the risk of sounding trite, riding more is the single most effective way. Others (racers, coaches etc) may chime in here and spell out specific routines for you, but I will say, practice high cadence in lower gears on, perhaps, alternating days (low gear, higher cadence day, then a higher gear, high cadence day, then a recovery, low gear low cadence day, then repeat the sequence). Throw in a rest day off the bike every now and then. All in all, find out what works best for you. The recovery days are just as important as that's when your muscles recover/heal and actually get stronger.

    You know this already, but it's worth repeating here that most people push huge gears in search of higher and higher speeds. This tends to be counter-productive as your legs tire, your muscles hurt, you don't recover enough, then you repeat .. it's much better to spin more at a lower gear. you still get the work out, and maybe even the same speed, and you exercise your cardio system more at the same time.

    Now you didn't specify whether or not your goals are to race or just ride for fitness. If you are planning on racing, I can't help you and these suggestion may indeed be B.S.. But for fitness, start with these suggestions and tailor to suit your needs. It's worked very well for me.
     
  7. dm69

    dm69 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    Messages:
    533
    Likes Received:
    0
    in theory what the OP sounds correct. My legs hurt so they need to be stronger. Dont worry I thought this once a upon a time not so long ago aswell :p . Its your cardio not being able to provide enough energy to your legs not the leg strength. You will probably find the more you ride the weaker everything gets. It is another issue entirely if your legs are pushing to much torque (slower caednce) then you need to gear down and spin or do strength endurance training. No doubt you need to learn to push a 53-12 on the flats if you want to race and thats only possible with more riding and strength endurance. I am an under17 racer and I cant use anything harder than a 39-13, I still manage to pedal at over 50km/h downhill or on the flat comfortably (a big ring would make things easier though:p )

    To summarise: it isn't the leg strength its the cardio even if you feel it in your legs. You say you feel fine "heart wise" well you shouldn't be feeling any pain in your heart no matter how hard its working. IF you can feel anything with your heart you need to ring 000 or 911 or whatever the emergency number is in your town.

    You just aren't fit enough on the bike. I couldn't run 10metres but I can ride all day
     
  8. Albert 50

    Albert 50 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,088
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have given this Q some thought b4. It is obviously more involved than my simple answer; if indeed my thoughts are somewhere near correct. Running & riding use some different muscles. When running your leg muscles, which I assume are the same ones we use for walking, & we all walk, work over a short time span without a big range of motion. The muscles used for pedaling however use a greater range of motion with each contraction working over a longer time span.

    So running being similar to walking is easier to adapt to. Riding is new to those muscles & fatigue would occur very easily until they are "trained"

    Tri athletes would probably have a better explanation than my attempt
     
  9. wiredued

    wiredued New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Messages:
    1,300
    Likes Received:
    0
    Your quads get used alot more in cycling back off a little if you're just starting out. When they adapt to cycling you should find it easier to control your heart rate through cycling because the quads are the biggest muscles you have.
     
Loading...
Loading...