Losing energy in my legs, before losing my breath - what to do?

Discussion in 'Training, Fitness and Health' started by Boris Bike, 20 Aug 2012.

  1. Boris Bike

    Boris Bike Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't consider myself super-fit by any means, but I've been cycling to work an average of 3 times a week for the last month (17 miles round trip) and I've got to the stage where my legs start to get tired before I start to run out of breath.

    Anything I can do? Eat more carbs? Some weight training on the legs? Attach a motor to the bike?

    When I'm at the stage where I'm out of breath before my legs hurt, then I'll start thinking about giving up smoking :smile:
  2. Train yourself to ride longer by going on longer rides. Weight training will be pointless - you already have all the leg strength you need...
  3. Eat more protein after each ride, it'll help your muscles recover and grow.

    And, as mentioned, ride more.
  4. marinyork

    marinyork Resting in suspended Animation

    It may not be pointless, leg strength might be the problem too? People aren't necessarily born with the thighs of Chris Hoy. I had exactly this problem when I started riding a bike, but I didn't realise it at the time. Agreed that it's not necessarily that likely to be the problem for everybody and endurance is definitely something new people have to work for, but once you achieve it the benefits are huge.
  5. MattHB

    MattHB Proud Daddy

    Smoking will cause less oxygen to get to muscles than someone with healthy lungs.. This will make your legs hurt and you'll loose power.

    With a rubbish respiratory system it's pointless to look at anything else until you've started to fix it.

    Give up smoking.
    fossyant likes this.
  6. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    It's only a month. Takes a fair while.
    marinyork likes this.
  7. MrJamie

    MrJamie Oaf on a Bike

    You could also try just breathing more heavily to make sure the muscles are getting plenty of oxygen, its very easy to feel like you dont need to breathe that hard and go anaerobic in my limited experience ;)
  8. OP
    Boris Bike

    Boris Bike Well-Known Member

    Thanks all. I've got a 52 mile ride coming up next month so I'll be going on some longer rides. I'll get some protein in too. Maybe not the shakes, but I'll take a look at the bars to replace the cereal bars I have at work for breakfast :smile:
  9. Drago

    Drago Guru

    As a powerlifter-cum-cyclist I would recommend some infrequent weight training. You can equally increase your endurance as well as your strength, depending on the weight/rep cycle you do. That, plenty of sleep, some complex carbs, and a nice pint of Guinness occasionally.

    Be triple certain you have your bike set up to the optimum fit as well. Been fiddling with the set up on my commuter for a few weeks, and a half inch/5 degree adjustment to the saddle has made a phenomenal difference to the time the fatique sets in.
  10. As long as you are capable of climbing a set of stairs, or getting up out of a chair from a seated position, then the problem is not leg strength, I promise you. You already have all the leg strength you need to cycle. What the guy probably lacks is the ability to repeatedly apply that strength over a sustained period. Your ability to do that depends on your aerobic capacity - not your leg strength.
  11. annaspanna

    annaspanna Active Member

    Try chocolate milk (nesquik).. Supposed to be great just before bed to help muscle repair (plus it tastes good ;-))
  12. I missed the reference to smoking, but your legs muscles may be getting tired due to lack of oxygen due to your smoking. You may have to quit earlier than you planned.
    MattHB likes this.
  13. MattHB

    MattHB Proud Daddy

    IMHO until you fix that, it's totally pointless worrying about anything else
  14. I saw the smoking reference, but assumed he was joking(?). As others have said, give up the fags.
    MattHB likes this.
  15. wheres_my_beard

    wheres_my_beard Über Member

    Warm up. Get your heart rate up before going all out, so your leg muscles are well oxygenated before setting off. I get this on my commute, where it takes a while for my legs, lungs and heart rate to get up to speed, and by the time I feel really pumped, I'm at work! I have a short commute though.

    Give up the fags too, or cut out the morning ones before work, or close to riding home, maybe try patches to replace these ones.
    Drago likes this.
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