Weak Legs or Poor Cardio Fitness?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by DancenMacabre, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. DancenMacabre

    DancenMacabre New Member

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    Like a lot of total beginners, I want to go faster on my bike without killing myself :D

    I know my cardio fitness is still pretty low but I am working on it, I swear :)

    While riding, and I always ride in the flats as hills are too hard now, I can almost never get into the biggest chain ring.

    TYpical situation: riding along at maybe 15mph in the middle chain ring, then switch up to big chain ring. I feel like I really struggle to push the gear. It doesnt feel like I am running out of breath as much as it feels like I were on a weight machine and wasn't strong enough to lift the load.

    I notice the same problem when I try to speed up very quickly by going into the big gear (sprinting I guess) to beat a light or change lanes or turn in traffic. Kind of similar to when I have to ride up a short hill and it is a similar sensation.

    What is the deal? Does this change with time? Is this because I am a newbie bike rider in super poor cardio shape? Or do I have weak legs?
     
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  2. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, It changes with time. Keep riding hard and it'll get better. Without the 'going harder' you don't get to go faster, there's no shortcuts so you either suck it up and deal with the sore legs or you stick to riding and getting passed by the paperboy while he's delivering papers...

    Yes and yes to the last two. :D
     
  3. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    I recommend that you start climbing and also find someone that is better than you to train with. Both things will force you to get better.
    You are probably better than you know, you just haven't realized it as yet.
    Other than that persistence and patience.
     
  4. DancenMacabre

    DancenMacabre New Member

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    Ok, ok, definitely keep working at it and it should improve.

    Believe me though I am trying my darn, um hardest :)

    The problem is more of the captain says more power and the engineering room (legs) says, what do you mean more power, this is as fast as we can go!:(
     
  5. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    Sometimes the mental barrier is the hardest one to get past.
     
  6. Piotr

    Piotr New Member

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    If you're not running out of breath, your legs are lying to you. Also, you're probably simply trying to push too big a gear when you switch to the big chainring. I'm not sure if that's the case, but if you're only spinning 70 RPM's, then you have no business switching to a harder gear. Try accelerating in the middle ring first (higher cadence) before switching up. Or stand up off the saddle. Unless you're already sprinting, you should always be able to accelerate (especially if you're not out of breath). Just like in your car, it's easier to accelerate at a higher cadence (lower torque).
     
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