Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    A God Without A Name
    Reputation: Agwan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    1,011

    Hill Climbs. Legs Feel Fine... Heart/Lungs are killing me?

    Just how it goes... I was a bike commuter ONLY till I was 22 and bought a car. I put about as much thought into it as any driver does. I wanted to go somewhere I hoped on the bike and went, hills... distance... whatever, no bigs

    Fast forward 3 years. I get the bike out after driving all that time. tune her up and start getting ready to be a commuter again (selling the car)

    And my legs while only being an echo of their former glory are still alright... the pain is in the category of manageable and quickly forgettable.

    But Uphills. the points where I used to relish the burn..., my heart rate sky rockets, I cant breathe... and I feel I'm about to pass out... so I have to get off the bike and WALK for several minutes while my heart rate drops.

    I've done an 11 mile ride the last 4 days, and a 14 mile ride today. my body is ache free and not a single muscle is sore.

    How then am I supposed to lose weight and get healthier?

    Why is my chest killing me but not my body?

    I want my hill climbs back... I want my breathing to keep up with my legs so I can feel that glorious burn in them again.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    361
    If you're just getting into fitness, or getting back into fitness after a hiaitus, you'll find that for a while your cardioresperatory and muskuloskeletal systems will take turns being the weaker team member.
    For a few weeks you'll be dying for breath and your legs won't even burn, then youlll fond your lungs have caught up and even though you're hardly breathing, your legs are on fire.
    After a few months they'll reach equilibrium and improve together.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    582
    body just finding its new groove.....keep at it...DONT PUSH IT TOO MUCH..if u gotta get off and walk, absolutely get off and walk, you have nothing to prove to anyone and you don't want the trouble and expense of going to the emergency room if you take it too far, I know a guy that got so light-headed that he fainted..imagine that happening to you while you are gasping and heaving for breath and your heart is going a mile a minute... One day (surprisingly sooner than you'd think) you'll simply find you were able to get all the way up that hill and you'll say "wow"! Then not so long after that you'll look forward to that hill as its pretty decent at "warming you up" before your ride really gets intense..

  4. #4
    A God Without A Name
    Reputation: Agwan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    1,011
    Any tips on getting my cardio healthier, faster?

    I can deal with ache in my legs.. but the heart rate thing is something I'm not sure i wanna push!

  5. #5
    psycho cyclo addict
    Reputation: edubfromktown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    1,932
    Slow your pace a bit so your body learns to recover while you are pedaling. If you haven't been cycling as much, definitely walk more until your body ramps up to a higher level of fitness before pushing too hard. Once you are there, think like a train engineer - don't push it past ~85% and choo choo lasts longer

    For me, the worst thing I can do is stop (from going all out) exhausted, recover and start again. It is much easier if I shift into an easier gear and pedal through the 150+ heartbeat per minute climbs (on trails- my commute to work is 15 minutes on a bike) and then slow down when I've reached the top of the hill to recover a bit before continuing on.

    HTH

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BrianMc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    3,552
    Well, you now know what 100%+ heart rate/exertion feels like. There are three ways you can build into this.

    One is miles. Roadies recommended that you build weekly miles and maximum ride length about 10% from whatever you are comfortable starting with. That may mean you build your stamina and fitness riding shorter rides in your neighborhoods before the longer commute. Or stop at a coffee shop both directions. I rode a trainer before my first road miles after years off the bike. I did this wrong with the first ride, so I looked it up..

    The other is effort. It is good for gaining fitness and losing weight to average in the 60-70% output range and maybe 85% peaks on hills. Our gut estimate of our effort matchs pulsimeter readings well enough. Hills taller/longer than 85%? Fit lower gears or walk. Pushing only makes this take longer.

    Rest days. A day off deos wonders. You gain more by NOT riding.

    A technique that helps the amount of conditioning per ride is to ride in the 60-65% level for 10 minutes on either end of the ride letting all systems warm up before pushing to 85%. In my case, I have two climbs to get home so I put the 10 minutes in before or after I do them. Sometimes I ride past my drive to get another half mile to drop heart rate.

    Eating a balances diet and sleeping well, help. If you don't get much dairy, Ca and Mg supplements aid the heart. Mg was my limiting element.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    376
    When I first started biking around Jan this year after years hiatus, I was looking at a 8.5 mi commute each way. For the morning I threw my bike on the bus and only rode about 2 mi. I rode home in the evening and the steepest climb was 70 ft climb over 0.3 mi and it was kicking my butt. I was huffing and puffing at the top! One time I was about 0.7 mi from home and I seized the lane so I could make a left at the 4-way stop. When my turn came up, I had the left crank at the 11 o'clock position, pushed down to take off and get myself into the seat, and by the time got the crank into the 6 o'clock position, my calf cramped and hurt BAD! I nearly fell over. I had to get off the crank and duck walk the bike in between my legs to the curb while my leg was still cramping up. I sat against a light pole to stretch and rest for almost 15 minutes before I resumed. Now that there was embarrassing and could have turned out much worse.

    Now, fast forward 3 months, I'm climbing much steeper inclines! My typical morning commute is now around 3 mi, but ends with a 300 ft climb over 0.5 mi in the morning. Initially I had to stop about halfway up and rest for about 1-2 minutes, but now I can climb to the top without stopping.

    IMO, there's no shame in resting if you think you need it. Everyone has to start somewhere.

  8. #8
    A God Without A Name
    Reputation: Agwan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    1,011
    Thanks to all of you! I really am gonna need this advice.

    I just feel bad, because I had those legs of youth... Rode a bike countless miles every day since I was 7. rode HARD in high school... just HAD that fitness, those muscles. it wasn't something I was working towards. it just was.

    and now... while my strength is still great... all that... easiness is just GONE.

    I feel like I lost a part of me.

    One way or another. I AM GETTING IT BACK!

    thanks again guys!

  9. #9
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: mtbxplorer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    5,473
    As you have found there is no fast or easy way to get back in shape, but you will get there. This is one of the reasons I am loving the year-round bikecommuting - no more major suffering every spring starting riding again. Yes, there are still hard hills and hard days when you don't feel as strong, but it feels much better, and is much healthier I'm sure.

  10. #10
    A God Without A Name
    Reputation: Agwan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    1,011
    Just felt like posting. that I do indeed have it back. great big hills are a joy to me.

    not saying I don't get that lovely burn on the hills. but I can climb just about any hill I see.

    I've never used my 32t sprocket. or the two below it. and never actually ridden any distance in any other chainring than 44t.

    feelin' badass...

    * MACHO MAN GRUNTS*

  11. #11
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    13,534
    I'm going to refrain from saying anything about gear ratios, 26" wheels with slicks, or 700C wheels, 39t rings, and close-ratio cassettes.

    Really. I'm not going to say anything about any of those things.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    538
    Strong work! Glad you got your legs back. I used to commute to work but people in Texas don't have any respect for cyclists. Even in Plano where Lance Armstrong is from. I am currently looking for employment elsewhere just so I can ride my bike.
    "Your opinion may vary, but it's stupid." -Rich Dillen

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    60
    Yep. In my experience, the lungs are the weakest link initially. Then they catch up and then it's muscular. What's cool is that it really doesn't seem to take that long for the lungs to get working again and big gains can be seen in just weeks.

    Thumb up!

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Boise Jim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    73
    Agwan-
    Don't worry- you'll get there. Lots of good advice here. Just keep at it.
    I'm 45, and I've never been stronger on a bike, and that includes my days in my twenties spending countless hours on a road bike.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    114
    Quote Originally Posted by Agwan View Post
    Just how it goes... I was a bike commuter ONLY till I was 22 and bought a car. I put about as much thought into it as any driver does. I wanted to go somewhere I hoped on the bike and went, hills... distance... whatever, no bigs

    Fast forward 3 years. I get the bike out after driving all that time. tune her up and start getting ready to be a commuter again (selling the car)

    And my legs while only being an echo of their former glory are still alright... the pain is in the category of manageable and quickly forgettable.

    But Uphills. the points where I used to relish the burn..., my heart rate sky rockets, I cant breathe... and I feel I'm about to pass out... so I have to get off the bike and WALK for several minutes while my heart rate drops.

    I've done an 11 mile ride the last 4 days, and a 14 mile ride today. my body is ache free and not a single muscle is sore.

    How then am I supposed to lose weight and get healthier?

    Why is my chest killing me but not my body?

    I want my hill climbs back... I want my breathing to keep up with my legs so I can feel that glorious burn in them again.
    I think you should consult with the physician concerning such matter.

    Beware. Some healthy person could've been killed by heart attack. take care your heart.
    Last edited by cassava; 12-20-2011 at 07:10 PM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •