Should my legs hurt?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by jpwkeeper, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. jpwkeeper

    jpwkeeper Member

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    I debated this thread title for quite a while, because it is deceptive. It's not that my legs are hurting and I'm worried about it.

    Actually it's the opposite. My legs aren't hurting when I ride, and I'm not so much worried about it as thinking I could be getting more from my rides.

    So I think it was Jens Voigt who invented the "Shut Up Legs" meme. This implies that there is pain in his legs that he's trying to ignore.

    I also have heard of Time Trials described as "X Minutes of Blinding Pain".

    To be clear, I'm not saying anything about cadence. I'm a Clyde MAMIL with a bad back (only started riding in my 40s), so grinding is not going to happen. I spin at around 90 RPMs. My back is also why I never, ever, get out of the saddle.

    I mainly feel my rides in my lungs. I get winded when I push, like going up a rise or into a hard wind (or both). If I keep pushing, I do notice a "heaviness" in my legs, but they never really hurt. This effect was exacerbated when I switched from a Hybrid bike to a Road bike last year.

    So, am I just doing it wrong? Or is it just a by-product of having legs that are farther ahead in their fitness than my cardio?
     
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  2. JibberJim

    JibberJim Member

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    My legs almost never hurt either, and I don't think ever in the way other people talk about it - if I'm completely undergeared and struggling up a steep climb then there's a sort of pain to them, but in normal cycling they pretty much never do, my back is fine. But I also rarely get out of the saddle, not because I don't like it, but it just doesn't feel "right" until I'm at about my 20second power.

    People are different...
     
  3. L.Bruce

    L.Bruce New Member

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    It could be that your legs are far ahead in all honesty. Should they be, there's no doubt they will have a rather larger threshold and thus you're prone to get more fatigue faster on your cardio than your legs. That's what I think you shouldn't worry. It all could reside in having different limits.
     
  4. gavinfree

    gavinfree Member

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    I wouldn't worry about it too much. My legs usually don't hurt that much, unless I've somehow injured one of them. I'd say that your legs are in great shape, and that's probably a good sign that you're not feeling regular pain in them. You're still more than likely getting a great workout during cycling, so it's not something that I would personally be concerned about. It beats having your legs feel like they're on fire five minutes into a cycling ride. :]
     
  5. jpwkeeper

    jpwkeeper Member

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    I definitely appreciate the feedback guys. It sounds like, as usual, I'm just over-thinking things.
     
  6. BrockJohn

    BrockJohn New Member

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    I don't think your legs should necessarily hurt, as long as you feel healthy, and that your performance is on top and you don't feel too uncomfortable (I think learning the difference between uncomfortable and strained is very important) then you're good to go. Your body is the best tool you will ever learn how to use, and part of that learning curve is learning to listen, listen to your body closely, and if you feel good, everything is as it should be. If you feel pain (and I mean actual pain, not the kind of strain or muscle exhaustion that I imagine people are talking about here) then I think you to atleast do yourself the favour of having a physician look at it
     
  7. chopsticksavage

    chopsticksavage New Member

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    I think you've hit the nail on the head with your leg vs. cardiovascular fitness. I imagine it more of a sudden fatigueing that really causes that typical pain in the muscles. If you suddenly started climbing a really steep hill, really fast, out of the saddle, then you would feel pain in your legs. Otherwise your legs aren't really running out of fuel fast enough for that pain to kick in. At least that's how I think it might work!
     
  8. blur92

    blur92 New Member

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    Your legs probably have more muscle to them. When I first started cycling I experienced some soreness, but after awhile it never hit me anymore. The only times it does is if I have not ridden for months. Still, I never get as sore as when I first started riding.
     
  9. thepieeatingjay

    thepieeatingjay New Member

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    My legs never hurt anymore from riding anymore. And they haven't for years. There's nothing wrong with that at all. In fact, it's a great thing because it means you've built up leg power.

    Instead of being concerned, you should be proud of it.
     
  10. Jojo83

    Jojo83 New Member

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    When you have been riding for a while, I think your legs just get used to the additional load: the pain just goes away by itself. I think that it's just a sign of physical fitness. When you're a begginner in cycling, your legs hurt all the time. But it goes away once you've become adjusted and your physical fitness has risen to a high level.
     
  11. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    I think an answer needs to be based on your goals.

    I have always been able to make my legs hurt. But a lot of my training/riding does not involve pain.
     
  12. lordrenly

    lordrenly New Member

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    On the first few days, your legs should be hurting because they are not used to that intense cycling motion that you do when you ride your bike. However, after a while, your body will get used to it and you should be able to ride your bike without any pains. Those pains will return if you decided to bike intensely after a long period of break.

    If you feel that the pain persists for longer than a month, then maybe you need to start adjusting your seat, posture, etc. I also had the same problem of having a pain in my butt when I ride my bike, which might be caused by bad postures.
     
  13. OGRICHBOI

    OGRICHBOI New Member

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    After some workouts, my legs tend to hurt, but only for a while. Icing them does not sound like a bad idea, if you are feeling pain. However, if you are feeling extreme pain and or frequent cramps, I suggest taking it easy for a few days. If we are talking even more extreme, go see your doctor.
     
  14. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    Perhaps you should explain to Jens Voigt and many other riders that they need to adjust their position.

    Leg pain is caused by a combination of 3 chemicals produced during exercise. It is normal. It is what stops us from exercising to death. (Blocking the pain which is not difficult will allow you to exercise until you collapse in a heap. Have a doctor around if you want to try.)
     
  15. wander_n_wonder

    wander_n_wonder New Member

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    Your legs do not necessarily have to hurt. It only means that you have developed a good level of endurance so far, especially if you have actually been cycling for a long time. Also, I notice that if I warm up properly, I never feel any form of discomfort as I bike and even after that. It's really important how you engage yourself in these types of physical activities. The more careful you are and the more you plan your activities, the more that your body will react positively to these activities.
     
  16. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

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    Some of the comments about the lack of leg pain being any indication of fitness are just insanely funny. Having spent 10k miles+ year training and racing at high levels on both the road, xc MTB, and endurance MTB, I can assure you that no matter how fit you are or how much you ride, it still hurts if your going hard enough.

    Hasn't anyone hear Greg Lemonds famous quote "it never gets any easier, you just go faster"?
     
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  17. lordrenly

    lordrenly New Member

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    Sorry, I just realized that on that part, I didn't make it clear that I wanted to talk about his back on that prevents him from increasing the resistance. I thought when you spin, unless you took a long break and started biking again, then it was normal for your leg to to not feel any pain as your body got used to the routine.

    I also did not overgeneralize that it is always true for all people. Of course if you go hard enough, you will reach that point where your leg hurts but I thought it is normal for you get tired before your leg starts to hurt in this case.
     
  18. jbepp

    jbepp New Member

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    My legs don't hurt while cycling either. I don't really know why but they almost never hurt. My legs usually hurt after a workout, and even that is not pain, it's more like they feel sluggish and weak. They used to hurt the day after a workout but not anymore.
     
  19. Gelsemium

    Gelsemium Member

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    My legs and my behind did hurt especially the days after I ride, but not anymore. Now I know that I can take supplements that give my body what it needs to avoid pains, magnesium is our friend. :)
     
  20. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    I'm with bgoetz on this one. Actually, my primary barometer for a training ride or race is how my legs feel. I ignore my breathing and lungs and heart rate, because I'm not going to have to shut it down because of my breathing or lungs or heart rate. When I do max performance tests, I almost always do them at X watts to exhaustion and when I have to call it quits it is always due to my legs not being able to continue the intensity rather than anything else. If I return from a training ride and don't feel some discomfort in my quads during or after the ride, I didn't go hard enough.
     
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