Muscle Aches

richtea78

New Member
I started cycling a few weeks ago and got some very good advice on here and I am hoping to get some more now.

I started cycling 3 weeks ago after 15 years of neglect and lazyness resulting in me ending up at almost 20 stone. I have literally done no exercise for 15 years really, since i left college.

I am enjoying the cycling even though I only do 3-5 miles most days.

At the moment I do 1 day of 3 miles, 1 of 5 miles then 2 of 3 miles and then 1 day off and repeat this. I do not find too much trouble whilst Im actually cycling but my legs do get tired very easily. I am reasonably confident my bike is set up correctly as the people in Evans were very helpful and Ive also watched a couple of youtube videos and tried it out with a friend helping. I am fairly sure that its just down to over using muscles that arent used to it at all.

Whilst I dont mind the aching as it means Ive worked hard, is there any way I can something to recover faster? Id like to step it up to doing 5 miles a day soon and I think I need to get some sort of stretching routine sorted maybe?

I realise it might sound stupid to talk about stretching for 5 miles as Im sure a lot of people would consider that a cake walk but given my overall physical condition its a lot for me at the moment.

Any comments would be greatly appreciated

Thanks
 

DavieB

MIA
Location
Glasgow
Stretching after cycling is important. I have just started cycling in the last few weeks only having 1 day a week off I had to take 2 off this week as the aches were catching up. apparently its the day after, the day after the exercise that it hurts most. I feel better tonight after 2 days rest, I hve been doing 15 mile a day and done one 28 mile trip (think thats the one that needed the rest after it).

My mate has a degree in sports science it was him that told me to stretch post cycling due to certain muscles being left out and being hunched in the same position for hours at a time. He said a recovery drink might help too, just look for a low fat one.
 

Hacienda71

Mancunian in self imposed exile in leafy Cheshire
Warm up and warm down afterwards. i.e. slow down gently, don't just jump off the bike and vegitate and don't try to go flat out at the start of a ride. You may find having a couple of days off is better than just the one, it gives your body that little bit of extra time to recover it might even give you a bit of extra energy to increase the length of your rides.
Good Luck.
 

Cycle power

New Member
Hi After Your ride stretch your muscles leg muscles in particular just stretch don't bounce this will help relese the lactive acid. It will not stop you from aches altogether but will help and then drink a pint or two of water to hydrate your body.

It's is in a strange way to feel good that you ache after training as you say it lets you know you have had a good work out. Oh and try to set off at a slower pace gradualy increasing as you go along. Don't start off at the speed you are going at near the end of your ride. Your muscles have to warm up rather like a car engine has to.

Regards.
C.P
 

Steve H

Large Member
Hi Richtea - really good to hear you've stuck at it and are still wanting to do more!

I'd echo the stretching comments. Personally I don't stretch beforehand, I simply start off very gently and then slowly build up the effort levels. I then do try to gently stretch afterwards. It only takes a few minutes, but can make a big difference.

I'd also think about your pedalling speed. Working really hard to turn the pedals slowly in a big gear is very hard work on the legs. Pedalling faster in an easier gear is often a lot kinder on your legs. Some people pedal around 90 - 100 times per minute. Personally I try and just keep it above 80. This feels counter-intuitive at first. I'm a pretty big guy as well, and my brain tells me that pedalling quickly is more tiring than pedalling slowly, but once you get used to it, it does work.

In my opinion doing less effort on a bike, but over a longer period of time is better for beginners and also better for us larger chaps who want to get our bodies into a position where we want it to burn fat over the long term rather than just carbohydrates over the short term.
 

Chamfus Flange

Well-Known Member
Location
Woking, Surrey
I would agree with ease yourself into the exercise and ease youself out. As to stretching, I've never really thought did any good (or for that matter, harm). If I find I'm hot after exercise I do have a cold shower until I'm just cold.
 

jimboalee

New Member
Location
Solihull
Warm up and warm down afterwards. i.e. slow down gently, don't just jump off the bike and vegitate and don't try to go flat out at the start of a ride. You may find having a couple of days off is better than just the one, it gives your body that little bit of extra time to recover it might even give you a bit of extra energy to increase the length of your rides.
Good Luck.

No. Jump off the bike into a cold bath.

You are experiencing DOMS, Delayed Onset of Muscular Soreness. Everyone gets it after doing exercise over and above what has been done before.

Do the stretching IN the cold bath or freezing cold shower. ( killing two birds with one stone, or 'shrivelling two balls with one shower'... ) Stretching and shrinking the muscle fibres will help evacuate cellular fluids. Muscle fibre bundles which contain fluids delay hypertrophy ( muscle growth ).

DON'T ride hard if you have DOMS. You may cause more damage to already weakened muscle fibres.
 

Chrisc

Über Member
Location
Huddersfield
No. Jump off the bike into a cold bath.

You are experiencing DOMS, Delayed Onset of Muscular Soreness. Everyone gets it after doing exercise over and above what has been done before.

Do the stretching IN the cold bath or freezing cold shower. ( killing two birds with one stone, or 'shrivelling two balls with one shower'... ) Stretching and shrinking the muscle fibres will help evacuate cellular fluids. Muscle fibre bundles which contain fluids delay hypertrophy ( muscle growth ).

DON'T ride hard if you have DOMS. You may cause more damage to already weakened muscle fibres.
+1 After big efforts on the bike I've found the cold bath works wonders. No soreness at all after that. Not as bad as it sounds once you're in!
 

Fab Foodie

hanging-on in quiet desperation ...
Hi Richtea - really good to hear you've stuck at it and are still wanting to do more!

I'd echo the stretching comments. Personally I don't stretch beforehand, I simply start off very gently and then slowly build up the effort levels. I then do try to gently stretch afterwards. It only takes a few minutes, but can make a big difference.

I'd also think about your pedalling speed. Working really hard to turn the pedals slowly in a big gear is very hard work on the legs. Pedalling faster in an easier gear is often a lot kinder on your legs. Some people pedal around 90 - 100 times per minute. Personally I try and just keep it above 80. This feels counter-intuitive at first. I'm a pretty big guy as well, and my brain tells me that pedalling quickly is more tiring than pedalling slowly, but once you get used to it, it does work.

In my opinion doing less effort on a bike, but over a longer period of time is better for beginners and also better for us larger chaps who want to get our bodies into a position where we want it to burn fat over the long term rather than just carbohydrates over the short term.
Agreed. Warm-up slowly, spin a lower gear gently, warm down. Gentle stretches.
 

Telemark

Cycling is fun ...
Location
Edinburgh
Hi Richtea, glad you are still cycling - I wondered where you'd gone over the last week or so!

As others have said, don't feel you need to make do with one rest day, take another one - you need to learn to listen to your body. I f your muscles ache the day after exercise (or 2 days after), it is because the tiny muscle fibers have actually been "injured" - don't worry, this is perfectly normal. They need a little time to repair themselves and get stronger (hence the advice for rest days). That's the way the body works. I wonder whether you are going out too hard & fast (possibly in too big a gear?), if you are still experiencing DOMS (see Jimbo's reply above for the long name) after a few weeks of not really upping your distance? It's more often something you get when you are doing something a lot harder/faster than your body has been doing for a while, and you have been cycling for a few weeks already.
As an example, at the start of the cross country skiing season (when the snow arrives :tongue:), I switch from the bike to skiis. After the first day, I normally wake up with DOMS in shoulders and arms, which are not used to the hard work they suddenly have to do. A couple of days later, that ache is gone, and I do some more skiing, gradually building up the skiing fitness... and the ache doesn't normally come back, unless I go extra hard/fast or a very long distance ...

You don't need to go as fast as you can possibly manage on every ride, and more distance comes easier if you "jog" rather than "sprint" - to use a running analogy. It's much easier on your body if you do your longer rides a wee bit more slowly (that applies to improving cyclists such as yourself just as much as to those doing 100 miles regularly. ;)

Hope this helps, and happy cycling :biggrin:

T

P.S. +1 on the advice for starting off gently to warm up rather than haring off from the start - unless you are in a race ;) (and the racers generally warm up before the start of any races). Gentle stretches after a ride also help, as (allegedly) do ice (or simple cold) baths, lots of elite sports people swear by them, but I would say try extra rest days/slow starts/streching after a ride/take it easier during the rides first, unless you really fancy this :whistle: .
 
OP
R

richtea78

New Member
thank you to everyone for the advice, it seems that I have been going about it the wrong way. I have been trying to go as fast as possible to get the speed up as I thought that this would be the quickest way to gain. I think I do need to warm up more as I get on the bike and then go as fast as possible, I had made a little route and had been trying to beat my time each day, somedays were good and others it just hurt too much.

I think now I will try and do it much slower but go for longer. I will also take a rest for today and tomorrow as it was going to be hard to fit the cycling in anyway so it wont be that bigger hardship.

As to stretches what should I be doing to stretch? I havent done any exercise for so long that I cant really remember what to do - its not really since I played rugby at college. I havnt been jumping off the bike and vegetating, its more falling off it and collapsing, too tired to jump. I will try the cold shower though and see if that helps!

I looked at the protein shakes but I am cycling to lose weight and am worried that these will just undo the exercise that I do. I have lost 5 lbs in 2 weeks, Ive not been dieting religously but trying to eat healthily and avoiding too many snacks. Im not the kind of personality that can cut them out completely but I at least try healthier snacks now rather than chocolates and crisps! Would the protein shakes add calories or are they purely protein? Also I have crohns disease so have to be particularly careful what I eat as it can cause real problems. I dont want to sound like a drama queen but I am a little wary of trying a drink i brought off the internet if that makes sense sorry.

Thanks again
 

Chrisc

Über Member
Location
Huddersfield
My physio recommended hamstring, calf and quad stretches plus core stability exercise in the form of bridging and the plank. Nothing strenuous, gently does it.
Re-cold shower. I start off normal temperature to get washed and gradually reduce it and just cool the legs off for about ten mins once it's on fully cold. If you can stand it the cold bath is more effective tho.

Wouldn't bother with protien shakes yet. Just do what you're doing, a little more each time. 5 lb in two weeks is fast weight loss anyway.
 

amnesia

Free-wheeling into oblivion...
I looked at the protein shakes but I am cycling to lose weight and am worried that these will just undo the exercise that I do. I have lost 5 lbs in 2 weeks,
Congratulations
thumbsup.png


I am also cycling to lose weight and have lost 15.5 lbs in the last few weeks through a daily commute and a good (sensible) diet.
If you don't want a protein shake after a ride, make sure that AT THE VERY LEAST you drink a pint of water to rehydrate.
If I ache from over-doing it the previous day then I simply take a day off and go for a walk or something at lunchtime instead.


Good luck & stick with it - it will get better
wink.gif


Daniel.
 

Crankarm

Legendary Member
Location
Nr Cambridge
Yes go for a walk after your ride. The fact that you are 20 stone and haven't exercised at all for 15 years suggests you need to master the most basic energetic activities. Don't bother with energy drinks or trying to stretch muscles you are not sure exist or you didn't even realise you had a this stage. Have you tried swimming? I suggest other activities as it is probably the case that your general fitness is so low. Buy yourself a pair of trainers and start brisk walking or running. You could even join a local exercise club at a gym if you think this would be your thing. You need to get seriously motivated to want to lose weight and become a much fitter person. You don't mention how tall you are? As for cycling spin easily and don't push heavy gears. Drink water and stay hydrated. I would have thought your main aim would be to first dramatically improve your general fitness by gentle to moderate exercise and eating a healthy diet cuttting out the crap - crisps, chips, chocolates, pizzas, ready meals, burgers, twizzlers, cakes, buns, coke, beer and fags.

If you feel sore after exercise a gentle/frim massage will do you the world of good. I wouldn't do too much stretching at this stage as your muscles aren't used to exercise let alone being stretched and your may tear something. Massage is far better. Once you are a bit fitter then start the stretching.

Building your fitness will not be easy. There are no short cuts. Even triathletes and 62kg cyclists have to work hard to maintain their fitness. Cut down the size of your meals and intake of sugar. As you have Crones I would consult your GP just to make sure you are not putting yourself at risk by adopting a certain eating or exercise regime.

Now shift ass!

Btw a job as a bin man would soon see you lose weight!
 
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