Take a step back on intensity. Remember, Intensity, Duration, and Frequency. Use cycling in a HR that is comfortable and learn to use the muscles and coordinate. Get on some base miles that build confidence. Try riding with one leg, ILT's or isolated leg training. Can you do more that 30 strokes with each leg or do you get stuck on the top with a burning sensation after about 25? Each leg can turn 360 degrees, x2 for 2 legs you have a possible 720 degrees of power stroke. Subtract a little on the top and bottom because nobody turns perfect circles and you might have 600 degrees of power stroke. If you only use your squat or lunge muscles that will be reduced to about 160 degrees with each let or 320 degrees, so about 50% efficient.
If you have a hard time climbing, it could be the gearing, form or efficiency. I'll send some info on climbing.
What is your max HR? The percentage is important. I train at 60% or 75% max HR, average of about 125 HR or 70% or 90% plus for speed work, climbing, and intervals. My 80% to 85% zone I try to avoid in training so it's either below 145 or over 160. On a long ride or group ride I'll use that 80-85% zone to match speed and I can do that all day long, Therefore, too much training time in that 80-85 zone and you get stuck, many never go hard enough to improve or easy enough to recover. Every day is the same. As the season goes on you get more endurance but get slower and the muscles break down. You lose that snap or burst of speed keep a wheel or bridge a gap. At 57 I can still get to 187-193 at times, chasing young studs up hills.
There is something to be said for an efficient pedal stroke and using RPM's vs big gears. I always work on this, at my age and physical issues that limit me, it's the efficiency that keeps me able to hang in there.
Stress + Rest = Adaptation If you are stressing your muscles you have part of the equation. Rest/recover and have at it again.
I'm just starting out too. In the same boat as you. Muscle fatigue instead of cardio fatigue. I can't do hills to save my life, but I can do a ton of lunges and squats. Still, I will continue to work at it. My HR usually stays in the 140s while cycling to work. I have to REALLY push it to get it to 150s. Oh well. Good luck to you and know you're not alone!
The body knows intensity, duration, and frequency.
Only 1 week! I won't go out of the little chain ring until I have a good 6 weeks of base miles and a few months of strength work and stretching under my belt.
"Just curious, what do you guys seem to encounter more of as a cyclist: muscle fatigue or cardio fatigue?"
Get a HR monitor and record how hard you are working.
"In particular, it's -really- fatiguing my leg muscles."
Then I guess you are working. Did you have the bike, shoes, or position fitted to you? It takes time to adapt to the cycling position. Road shock is a big factor, if the upper body is tight you will hurt. How tight are you gripping the bars.
"Cycling actually feels more like a strength training session than a cardio session to me!"
How many RPM's are you turning? Shoot for 90.
You need to learn about cycling. I've been doing cycling since the 60's on a high level and the beginning of every year is a work in process. Right now you are working you butt off, efficiency will come. Then you find your form and it feels effortless. Some days you feel like someone pounded the end of a 2x4 up your backside, hit your quads with a hammer, and gave you a Thai caning. Other days you go along at 25 mph + for 40 miles with the young guys and think you have wings (until your 48 hour post ride pain starts to set in). I few days of rest or easy riding and you do it again.
current weight: 192.0
Fitness Minutes: (11,441) Posts: 488 10/1/11 11:53 A
Just curious, what do you guys seem to encounter more of as a cyclist: muscle fatigue or cardio fatigue? I know both are going on at once, but do your muscles tend to outlast your lungs?
I just started cycling a week or so ago. I'm in fairly good shape, but it's kicking my ass. In particular, it's -really- fatiguing my leg muscles. Cycling actually feels more like a strength training session than a cardio session to me! And this occurs even when I play with my gears to reduce resistance.
It's odd because my legs are unusually strong. I know cycling is hitting new muscles and that's likely why I have so much muscle fatigue. Still, I had hoped for more muscular transition from lifting, skating, and jogging...
Were you like me as a beginning cyclist? Are there things I should be doing pre- and post-cycling to reduce muscle pain? Any particular lifts that assist cycling performance?
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