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BobbyT

A ? or two about cycling

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BobbyT

I just recently started riding a few weeks ago and find myself clueless about getting myself in shape for this sport. First a little background. I'm 52 was dx'd end of june and have went from a 44 to a 36 waist since then. I usually walk about 4 miles a day at a good clip(around 50 minutes) and have started doing some weight training.

My problem is after being inactive for so long, I have no endurance at all on the bike. My ride starts out at the base of steep hill and is pretty much all out or coasting the whole way. I do about 4-5 miles and my legs have such a burn that it's hard to continue.

 

I notice on the days that I ride and don't walk afterwards that I have a lot of pain in my legs and feet, could this be from the lactic acid from the ride? I don't notice it near as much if I walk a few miles after the bike ride.

 

Do I build up my endurance for longer rides by just pushing as much as I can and hopefully my fitness level will improve over time?

 

Sorry for what seems like simple questions but ther's so much info out there that I usually end up overloaded and still in the dark.:s:

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BriOnH

A 12 minute mile is pretty darn good. 8 inches off your waist is really darn good.

 

High and low sugar both can cause muscle cramping. I don't think it's related but just fyi.

 

I think you just need some positive encouragment :).

 

YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:)

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BobbyT
A 12 minute mile is pretty darn good. 8 inches off your waist is really darn good.

 

High and low sugar both can cause muscle cramping. I don't think it's related but just fyi.

 

I think you just need some positive encouragment :).

 

YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:)

 

Thanks for the encouragement, that's always helpful. It's not really cramping , more like a throbbing pain that gets pretty intense sometimes. I've been testing about 6 times a day and haven't had a reading over 135 so far so I don't think it's low/high bg that's causing it. Hopefully the more I can endure on the bike the better it will get. I get no pains at all from the daily walks or the weight training(other than the normal soreness the next day).

 

YOU CAN DO IT!!!!

 

I always think about the guy in "The Waterboy" when I hear that. :laugh:

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Roy Gardiner

You will improve very quickly on the bike.

 

Virginia; I don't know what your winters are like, but cycling gets pretty miserable when it goes below zero celcius, unless you are properly kitted out. Icy roads are dangerous, too.

 

You don't say what kind of bike you are using; for road use you need multiple gears, and correct 'click-in' pedals with specialist shoes are a great advantage as well.

 

Take it easy on that initial climb, you don't want to be going hard until you are warmed up. Change to an easier gear!

 

On the flat, you want to be pedalling at 90 leg revs per minute. As you get better, you'll pedal faster. A faster rhythm reduces muscle force required, but is still good aerobic exercise.

 

The muscle burn after the ride can almost certainly be alleviated by stretching exercises. Google may help with those, but why not try finding your local cycling club? On this page http://www.vacycling.org/2004/bar/bar-results.html for instance are two names of cyclists from Faber, Virginia. Cyclists tend to be a fairly friendly bunch and will want to help; your local specialist bike shop will have contacts, too.

 

HTH.

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caryj

If you feel like you have lactic acid building up in your legs, the best thing I could recommend is more stretching. For every 1 hour I spend training, I also do about 10-15 minutes of stretching. Stretching is almost as important as the training itself--without stretching your body will sieze up on you (I know, it happened to me once during highschool track and ended up pulling my groin by accident).

 

Another thing I reccommend is a heart rate monitor. You can very easily figure out your anerobic and aerobic points and how your body (and breathing) feels during these stages.

 

Cadence (the speed of spinning your legs on your bike): Keep it fast, consistent and easy on your legs. The whole idea is to let you ride for a long distance/period of time while spinning your legs really fast and not burn out.

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Gordonm

I started out road cycling this spring with my wife. We started out at about 10 miles. Both of us are in good shape. We rode at a pace of about 15 mph.We were wiped out after a ride. No pain just tired. We now go out and do 40 miles at a pace of 18 to 19 mph with no problem This is after riding 1600+ miles this summer. I try to ride at least 3 times a week for 20+ miles when time permits and a longer weekend ride. You will build up endurance pretty fast if you keep at it. We both have had a lot of fun together and it is very good for you. No impact on your joints. You can get some good stuff over at the http://www.bikeforums.net/ They will answer any of your questions about cycling.

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BobbyT
Virginia; I don't know what your winters are like, but cycling gets pretty miserable when it goes below zero celcius, unless you are properly kitted out. Icy roads are dangerous, too.

 

You don't say what kind of bike you are using; for road use you need multiple gears, and correct 'click-in' pedals with specialist shoes are a great advantage as well.

 

Winters are not too bad here on average but sometimes we'll have some pretty nasty stuff. I have a tunturi ergometer that I will use when the weather is too bad to go out.

The bike is a specialized "hard rock" 21 speed mtb I picked up at a flea market from a lady for $10 because it didn't have a kickstand:whistling

 

I'm in a pretty rural setting and about half of my route is gravel road and the rest is rough pavement. I'm not really into speed so much right now as I am just trying to get a good workout and building my stamina.

 

I'll definitely work on the stretching and getting my cadence

up to par and see how it goes.

 

Thanks everybody:)

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spike
My ride starts out at the base of steep hill and is pretty much all out or coasting the whole way. I do about 4-5 miles and my legs have such a burn that it's hard to continue.

 

I notice on the days that I ride and don't walk afterwards that I have a lot of pain in my legs and feet, could this be from the lactic acid from the ride? I don't notice it near as much if I walk a few miles after the bike ride.

 

Do I build up my endurance for longer rides by just pushing as much as I can and hopefully my fitness level will improve over time?

 

Sorry for what seems like simple questions but ther's so much info out there that I usually end up overloaded and still in the dark.:s:

 

Can you find a level place to ride? My wife and I ride 10-30 miles 2-3 times a week, when I'm not injured <g>. I don't do any heavy exercise such as weight training (bad for my neck). Our exercise is either from walking or biking. We aren't into high impact stuff. Each spring we have to work up to riding our bikes, after the winter layoff. It takes me about 4 rides to start enjoying the ride without me legs gettting crampy feeling. They don't hurt once I stop riding, though, which leads me to think you are over doing it.

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Clint

also, try to stretch your legs during your ride, I used to do it on downhills... I did this when I did triathlons when I was a kid. something I used to do also is when I was getting close the end of a ride, I would change gears so that I would pedal faster and I would do this a few minutes before the end of the ride..

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Ritehsedad

You will build up your endurance, trust me I know. I now commute to work everyday (16 miles round trip), year around (in Maine).

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BriOnH

 

 

 

I always think about the guy in "The Waterboy" when I hear that. :laugh:

lol, totally. That's how I said it too :)

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Phranky

Hahahaha - this is hilarious....I've been right into bike riding for the past summer. Hadn't been on a bike in 30 years, wife got herself one and went out with the kids riding.

 

It looked like fun so I went and got a new bike, was hard to find a 23" frame and also got the re-enforced rear tire, but now I love it.

 

We go about 2-3 times a week, but I'm starting to go on my own, I just love the freedom of it. You can power along the bike trail, then just coast and look around, go fast, go slow, just enjoy!

 

Did a little experiment last Sunday, we all went out for our usual 2-3 hour ride, and I ate 3 pices of leftover pizza, we came back after aabout 2 hours, tested my bg and I was 5.0!

 

I find it makes a huge difference in your circulation, your BS, and just overall makes you feel great....I almost don't like going to Karate anymore....

 

Cheers!

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BobbyT
It looked like fun so I went and got a new bike, was hard to find a 23" frame and also got the re-enforced rear tire, but now I love it.

 

It's a ton of fun but I think I'll end up buying another bike that fits me a little better. I'm only 5'11" and the bike has a 22" frame. Needless to say I have no standover room at all and I'm not too fond of singing soprano.:argh:

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Ronin

Hi BobbyT!

 

Welcome to the wonderful world of bicycling. Reading through the postings I have a few thoughts to add to the discussion.

 

Hills/climbs can make the thighs burn. Starting out climbing a hill doesn't make it easy either. However, I have to wonder about your gear selection. What gear combination are you using to climb the hills/grades? I know a lot of beginning riders that try to avoid using the small chainring (largely because some riders call it "granny gear"). Don't avoid that gear -- they put it there for a reason -- to make climbing hills and grades easier.

 

The next thing is cadence. Try to get your feet pedaling at 80 rpm or higher, even when you are climbing. While lower cadences (usually around 60 rpm) feel like they are more powerful, they cause the burn you mention. Of course, to do that kind of riding you need some kind of attachment system for the shoe to the pedal -- either clips or cleats otherwise your feet spin off the pedals.

 

Next vary your pace. You cannot go all-out every ride all the time. Pace yourself and vary the pace within the ride as well as one day to the next. Some days are to be challenging, others are to be less challenging.

 

Finally, make sure you drink some water while riding. Rule of thumb is about a cup of water for every 30 minutes of riding. Getting dehydrated is another way to cramp up big time. If, at the end of about an hour or so on the bicycle, you don't need to pee -- you are already dehydrated and your legs are going to feel it big time.

 

In addition, be gentle on yourself. All of us who ride regularly and for long distances started out on short rides that left us feeling like cooked spagetti. Over time you will build endurance, strength, and find something inside yourself that you never knew you had. When my wife an I started tandeming, 12 miles left us like limp dishrags -- today 12 miles is a short fast ride (usually trying to outrun a rainstorm) that doesn't tire us out at all. We even finished an English Century (100 miles) a few years ago and were not dead tired at the end.

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MJM

Hi Bobby T,

When you start exercising I think you should start on the bottom rung, so to speak, and gradually build up your stamina. For instance if you start out doing 15mins on the first day, stay on 15mins the next day and continue doing that until you find it doesn't hurt anymore. Then add say 5-10mins each session and you will find in a relatively short time you will be able to cycle an hour without any problem. Whatever you decide to do, do it on a gradual basis. Don't however exercise when your BG is high, as that is when the Lactic Acid kicks in. Also always warm up before you start. All the best.

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Phranky

Huh?

 

Don't excercise when you're blood sugar is high?

 

Unless I'm missing something here, that is why you excercise, and it is how you lower high BS.

 

My routine is breakfast in the am, which naturally raises my BS, then I hop out on the bike for my quick 8km ride, get ready, and off to work.

 

If I have more of a meal then I should, test and am high, or just feel like my BS are a bit high, I'll pop out even for a 30 minute walk.

 

Excercise is one of the *BEST* tools we have to maintain BS levels. Anything that actively burns off glucose is a good thing.

 

Having said that, unless I've missed out on something, I understand the link between high BS and DKA, but I don't understand you're link between high BS, excercise, and DKA.

 

Seems completely counter-intuitive to me....

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