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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, I'm glad I found this forum, it sounds like it's going to be the perfect place for questions and such. I'm 6' and 280 lbs give or take a few, and I'm trying to get back into biking after about 12 years off (I'm 31). It's amazing to me how out of shape I have become, not that I've ever been much of an athlete.

Anyways, the other day I went on a short 20 minute ride of about 2-3 Km (~2 miles), and my legs were really worn out at the end of it. I felt ok the next day at work, so I figured I'd be ok to give it another go after work again, but when I got on the bike, my legs instantly turned to jelly, like I had just done the ride that I did yesterday. I didn't get very far, and the crazy head wind I had to deal with wasn't helping either.

Now should I be trying to ride every day, since there doesn't seem to be any other indicators on how my legs feel, or should I be taking a day or two off between rides? Should I be trying to get in 20-30 mins a day, and work through the jelly legs?

Thanks,
Argentis
 

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I would suggest starting out 3-4 days per week. I would not ride everyday as you need to give your body time to heal. As you ride you are breaking down the muscles in your legs (the burn) and if you do not give yourself proper recovery time then you could cause injury (torn ligaments, strained muscles, etc...). You really want to ease yourself back into riding plus this will prevent your from getting burned out. On the off days try doing some pushups, situps, long walks, etc. to utilize some other muscle groups. You will notice that in a short period of time you will be able to ride longer, further and then you could move up to 4-5 days per week and 45-60 minute rides. Keep it up and congrats on getting back into Mountain Biking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the advice and encouragement. I've been getting pretty frustrated with my lack of apparent progress when I've tried to do weight training. I need to be doing something fun, or something that'll make the fun stuff better/easier. Hopefully cycling will be the key for me. I used to live on my bike in the summer time as a kid, and hopefully I can get headed back in that direction.
 

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local trails rider
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Believe what your body is telling you.

You need to "push it" but don't push too much. Some light exercise on the easy days is good for recovery too: just a walk will get some blood flowing through your muscles to flush the gunk out of your system.
 

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Cross-training, walking, weights, is good advice. Core strenght is important for protecting you back so sit ups are a must. Ease back in.

Not sure where you live, but down here in Atlanta, the heat can make my legs feel like noodles even when I've been rested. Hot summer days can be difficult, be sure to hydrate.
 

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It takes time and patience, my friend. Your plan for now should be to ride, stop, recuperate, and continue riding again.... repeat this for at least an hour. Don't go all balls-out in the beginning. Just put it in an easy gear and spin. Just ride to enjoy the experience. When you feel tired stop, recuperate, drink water, and continue, but don't wait until your legs feel like jelly to stop. Ride for at least an hour, including the rest stops - as many as you need. Do this 3 times a week, and do light stretching AFTER your rides. Take a day off in between your rides..... maybe two days off at first (depending on how your leg muscles feel). You'll have sore legs, and a sore ass for a week or two. You'll need to up your intake of water, eat nutrient rich foods, and get plenty of sleep. Within a months, time you'll be going faster, with longer spans in between breaks. You'll get stronger and stronger, lighter and lighter, and biking will get more and more fun... you just have to stick with it.

On your days off the bike, try to incorporate a few push ups, sit ups, and light weights into your routine. Do these at a pace that gets your heart rate up. The more muscle groups you can exercise the faster your fitness will increase, and the faster you'll lose weight. Biking is great for cardio, and leg work, but it is not a total body workout. If you're serious about getting into shape, you need to be doing some form of exercise 5 - 6 days a week (but not all on the bike). It only takes an hour a day .... I know, easier said than done.

The absolute most important things are to keep it a fun and enjoyable (yet challenging), don't get down on yourself, and get into / stick with a weekly routine. Sticking with a routine will be your key to success.

But hey, really, doing any exercise is better than doing nothing.... right. The harder you work, the faster you'll see the results.

Like they say - the journey of a lifetime, starts with the first crank of the pedals.

Stick with it, and RIDE ON BROTHER.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the replies. I guess the irritating thing for me about weight training is that I never seem to see any results. As opposed to a bike where you can finally get up that hill that just kicked your butt the first time you tried it. Well, one more night of recovery, and then out on my bike tomorrow.

Thanks,
Argentis
 

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for the weight training bit... seeing results has a lot to do with commitment... and doing the RIGHT thing... both in what exercises you are doing (or not) and doing them properly and frequently enough along with the right diet... take a look at
http://bodyforlife.com/

i'm a fatty myself (hovering right around 300# down from 335# just a few months back).. so not talking down to you or anything like that :)...

as far as ride frequency... as often as your body (and wife) will allow is the answer :)... trashed muscles need time to recover (along with the proper neutriton (SP?)

when it comes to fitness i point people to http://www.johnstonefitness.com/ body for life is simple... if you want a bit deeper JSF is a great place to read... good luck man
mark
 

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you can ride everyday but hard one day and easy ride the next....just do what your body tells you.....

starting back in gonna be tough to you work legs into shape
 

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Ok, Something I would recommend and its only from experience over the last few years. When I would go to the gym I could do a workout and be sore or....... I would mix pure creatine powder with apple juice and drink it within 30 min of my exercise and afterwards(next day) I would be fine. Maybe its just me or I wasn't eating enough meats so that I got enough of it from natural sources, but this worked for me. I HATE those pre-made mixes. They taste horrible to me. It might be worth a try, all creatine does is help out your body unless you WAY over do it. I also don't load up like I am supposed to, I just take a single dose before the exercise. I probably don't get the full benefit but I know I at least don't get sore now.(I just started working out again a week or so ago a few times a week on the bike,)
 

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oh another thing that i'm FINALY doing... streching before a ride... especaly before riding off road... some simple basic streching seems to help a lot... with post ride soreness... (honestly it's something i should have known better about...
 

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I feel your pain. I am a fatty. I used to ride my mountain bike on the trails and the 32 mile round trip bike path here in the area, but just recently after 5 years away from biking, gotten back into it. I currently weigh 280 (down from 295 lbs in just a month). I have a busy schedule with medical school and not the most amount of willpower in the world so working out is more like a chore than fun, but I've changed a few things that have been easy to do.

1. I stopped drinking pop altogether. No diet pop, no regular pop, no juice. I drink water (sometimes flavored water if I want something sweet) or unsweetened ice tea with lemon.

2. I now park in the farthest parking spot at school and walk to the building at a brisk pace. I figure this way I am getting an extra mile or 1.5 miles of walking in each week or so that I normally wouldn't get.

3. I take the stairs in the hospital, all 6 flights of them, everyday. You will be amazed how much 6 flights of stairs at a decent pace will sap your energy when you first do it. I still get sore legs, but am no longer out breath afterwards.

4. Changed from white bread to wheat bread whenever I want bread. I eat a whole wheat english muffin for breakfast with a little bit of peanut butter on it and usually a light yogurt cup for a follow up or a piece of fruit like an apple, banana, or orange.

5. Lunch I've been eating the healthy choice or lean cuisine meals, a cup of light yogurt, or some carrot sticks.

6. Dinners - this is the tough part for me because after a long day of classes, clinic, or work I do not feel like cooking. So I picked up a weight watchers cook book and make quick easy meals that you throw in the crockpot the night before.

Just doing this for a month with only about a weekly 12 mile bike ride has made me lose 15 lbs already. I could physically ride more, but the time sink is my problem. I wish I lived closer to the bike path so I didn't have to load my bike up on my jeep, drive to the trail, unload, ride, and repeat. I also bought a pair of 25 lb dumb bells and some pushup bars (because my wrists suck at life), some weight lifting gloves that have wrist wraps (again my weak wrists) and now do a set of 50 straight curls each day, 50 pushups, 50 situps, and usually 30 dumb bell lifts per arm. It's working and the weight I am losing is being returned with muscle. I believe this is why I've lost only 15 lbs, but my clothes all fit baggier and I feel better.

Good luck with the weight loss and take small 1 hour rides of a few miles every other day and try for a longer ride on the weekends. Take a day off in between to allow you to relax your muscles and in no time you will feel more fit and it won't be so hard on your body.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the encouragement guys. I was out today for about half an hour, and my legs felt pretty good. Hopefully, my legs will keep improving at this rate for a couple of weeks, and then I should be able to do 10ish Km in an evening, and not be wiped out by it.
 

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Argentis said:
Thanks for the replies. I guess the irritating thing for me about weight training is that I never seem to see any results. As opposed to a bike where you can finally get up that hill that just kicked your butt the first time you tried it. Well, one more night of recovery, and then out on my bike tomorrow.

Thanks,
Argentis
Sounds like you have the right idea. Riding every other day, alternating easy/hard rides or short/long rides are all strategies that might work for you.

If you don't mind my asking, what type of weight training program are you currently following?
 

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good post doc... weekly pics and measurments realy show what kind of progress you are making... the JSF link i posted before has some good info on this... i wish i'd started doing it from the start of my weight loss... but at least my wife has noticed... along with fitting much better into clothes and such :) i've been keeping track of my body fat % with measurments and it's amazing at how much body fat % has dropped... i've been keeping track for about a month now and have dropped 15lbs of fat while gaining 6 1/2 lbs of lean body mass (muscle/bones ect)

muscle also has the advantage of burning significantly more calories while at rest then fat does so just sitting there behind the computer you'll burn more calories with additional muscle mass

i need to get back to doing resistance/weight training... in the past i saw GREAT results in a fairly short time... i just didn't keep up with it like i needed to to maintain the weight loss i'd seen... it did take 2 years to get back up there though...

oh one other thing for how your legs feel... make sure you're seat is properly adjusted... having the seat even a smidge to low can make you're legs do a lot more work...

well time to get out and get my post ride shower and get to bed (man i love being able to go out at 8pm and still getting a full hr + ride and still have sunlight to get home with :)...
 

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If you ride it, it will come! Keep pedaling and you'll feel better and better over time. I just starting riding semi-seriously 3 years ago and its changed my life. I had the same knee replaced 3 times and figured no more physical activity for me...and gained tons of weight... I was way wrong. I love my bike!
 

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Build up!

Hello, keep it aerobic for now. try to maintain zone 1-2 and smooth cadence 90-100 rpm.
Don't push big gears yet. Compensate with gears for climbs and head winds.
The most important factor about fitness is try to build up by increasing a bit each week and then take it easy for a few days on each 4th week to allow your body to recover.. At aerobic intensity your body primary sorce of energy is fat so your weight will start droping.
 

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Just give it time and ride as much as you feel your capable of. At one point I would need to rest for a couple days after doing a 2-3 mile ride. Last week I rode 6 days for a total of 153 miles.

The only thing I can recommend is watch your nutrition, if you are starving yourself it's going to take longer to recover or build up a base.
 

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Even now I feel in decent shape, but I can only ride every other day due to posterior pain. I usually ride 3-4 times a week, each one is a hard ride (aren't they all hard? ;) ).

Just bought a new saddle for my roadie and maybe that will help :)
 

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I've been riding for several years, but much more regularly during the past year. During the past year, I've been riding 2 to 3 times a week and steadily improving performance, but not as fast as I had hoped.

However, during the past two months, I've been riding 5 to 6 days a week on average, or basically everyday that I can possibly do it. My fitness during the past two months has improved incredibly (for me) during this time. Even though I have only gone from from "OMG, I can't believe anyone could be that effing slow" to merely "slow", it's nice not always being ready to croak anytime the trail starts to climb. Seeing the drastic improvement this has brought me compared to riding 2 to 3 times a week, is all the convincing I need. Riding basically every day will bring much quicker results.
 
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