Fatigue on way home

Rosie 5678

Regular
Hi,
I'm just wondering if other people suffer with weak legs and the feeling of fatigue on their journey home from work. Although the journey home is more uphill I feel at times as if there isn't enough strength in my legs to keep peddling and I end up in the easiest of gears even on the flat. I thought at first it could be due to using the gears incorrectly on the way to work but I've dropped down the gears. I've started wearing my heart rate monitor and according to that I don't really get out of zone 2. I don't feel out of breath and I never feel a burn in my legs. I'm not sure if this is a problem to do with energy although I do try to eat before I set off or if this is something all new commuters experience. Sorry if this has gone on a bit but just thought I would give as much detail as possible thanks again :smile:
 

Milzy

Veteran
It’s probably because you’re new & have yet to develop strength. It might also be a combination of been under carbed also. If you’re fit & established you can get away with the latter. I usually have a banana as I’m leaving work just to drive the car home.
 

Ian H

I am an ancient randonneur, & I stop often for tea
Location
East Devon
I suspect it might be similar to what riders feel towards the end of a long ride: fatigue and the feeling you couldn't go much further. Strange thing is, you can double the distance (or halve it) and the feeling is the same towards the end.
After all, you've also completed a day's work.
 

YukonBoy

The Monch
Location
Inside my skull
How close to riding home are you eating? It take time to digest food and you may still be trying to digest it whilst riding home. Are you drinking enough at work or feel dehydrated when you get home?

If you are new to the commute it can take a few weeks for your body to get used to the stress of the commute on the body as well as the stress of work.
 

SkipdiverJohn

Über Member
Location
London
What about insufficient sleep? I don't ride to work, but if I work a long day and didn't get a good sleep the night before I can feel knackered at the end of the day. I don't notice during the day when I'm busy doing stuff, but later on I feel lacking in energy when it catches up with me.
 

roubaixtuesday

Über Member
You say you're new, but not how new, or how long your commute is? Knowing might help you get better advice.

What you experience is pretty normal for a new activity I think. My suggestion would be to go slower on the way in too and save energy, often people unwittingly end up time trialling when they first start. It's a commute, not a race (unless you enjoy doing that of course).
 

MontyVeda

a short-tempered ill-controlled small-minded troll
I recon it's pretty normal... my very short commute is a lot easier before I've done a day's work than after, just like the first five miles of a big leisure ride is easier than the last five miles. :smile:
 
If you are eating correctly, and you feel exhausted it's simply because your body is not accustomed to the demands you are placing on it.

I advanced from being practically inactive, riding 2-3 miles to start with just to get used to being on a bike again, gradually increasing to 10 miles loops around my village. My commute at the time was 7 miles each way. Once I was confident I could make it back from work, I started commuting. I think I did 3 days a week to start with. Then gradually increased to 5 days, that whole process took less than 3 months. Your mileage may vary.

Now I can cycle my newer 20 mile round commute without breaking fast from last night's supper until lunch time with no feelings of fatigue or low energy. But I won't be breaking any guiness records for fastest commute, and I wouldn't recommend it for beginners, but it's certainly possible to make it to and from work on an empty stomach if you are pacing it right, once you are used to your new routine.

Eating a light carbohydrate snack some 30-45 minutes before your return journey will help reduce your feeling of being sapped, anything else is just likely due to you pushing your limits. Give it a few months, it will gradually improve if you are consistent.
 
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rugby bloke

Veteran
Location
Northamptonshire
I have just started cycling to and from the station and I'm certainly feeling it on the way back. Its not a long way - 11 miles with 300 ft of climbing, however after a day in the office and a 50 min train ride the energy levels are certainly low. I'm putting it down to my body have to adjust to work hard at that time of day, when I'm normally sat in the car.
My advise would be to ride nice and easily and slowly build up your strength as your body adjusts. There was some good advise on avoiding time trailing - I still think I should be completing sections in the same time as when I'm out on a normal ride, which is not going to happen.
 

nickAKA

Senior Member
Location
Manchester
Hi,
I'm just wondering if other people suffer with weak legs and the feeling of fatigue on their journey home from work. Although the journey home is more uphill I feel at times as if there isn't enough strength in my legs to keep peddling and I end up in the easiest of gears even on the flat. I thought at first it could be due to using the gears incorrectly on the way to work but I've dropped down the gears. I've started wearing my heart rate monitor and according to that I don't really get out of zone 2. I don't feel out of breath and I never feel a burn in my legs. I'm not sure if this is a problem to do with energy although I do try to eat before I set off or if this is something all new commuters experience. Sorry if this has gone on a bit but just thought I would give as much detail as possible thanks again :smile:
  1. It's quite normal to feel tired after a day at work, don't worry about it.
  2. Try to fuel up for the ride home 1-2 hours before you leave - get some 'decent' carbs in, a bit of protein, and if you're flagging significantly before you set off try having a gel - I find it helps give a short-term energy boost, hopefully just enough to get you home.
  3. I've been having the same problem getting my heart rate up to where I think it should be - it's due to a lack of conditioning & fitness (a couple of lazy months) - but the more you do the better it will get.
  4. it doesn't matter which gear you're turning, it's not the TdF - just get home safe & sound.
 

ren531

Senior Member
Location
Lancaster uk
Be doing my comute for 12 years now the journey in is always a joy, going home after a working day requires a different approach and mindset i leant early on eat as others have said 1hour or so before, avoid sugary food you run out half way home , it will be easier in time, good on you for trying keep it up
 

ianrauk

Tattooed Beat Messiah
Be doing my comute for 12 years now the journey in is always a joy, going home after a working day requires a different approach and mindset
Have to agree with this.
I have been commuting longer still. My daily commute is always longer in the mornings (why rush to work) then the evenings. By the end of the working day I just want to get home.
 
OP
R

Rosie 5678

Regular
Hi, thank you so much for your replies, to be honest I wasn't expecting any so thank you again. So I cycle 9 miles each way. I try to eat about 2 hours before I finish. I do work nights however, when I get home I'm out for a 10 mile run and I don't have anything else to eat or experience the same feelings in my legs. I guess it's that my legs are just not used to cycling. I have been cycling on and off for a few years but I've not been consistent. I'm determined to stick with it this year and improve
 

boydj

Guru
Location
Paisley
In terms of energy use, a 10-mile run is the equivalent of something like a 30-mile cycle. I would guess that you are occasionally over-depleting your energy resources. I suggest keeping a log of all you training efforts alongside your food and drink intake and the quality of your sleep and rest to see if there is a pattern to when your performance is poor.
 
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