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  1. #1
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    Strained/drained legs

    So went for a ride last weekend first in a while actually. But it always seemed after hill climbs my legs had no more go at all, even sitting or standing. I didn't know if it maybe a nurtrition problem. Maybe low sugar? Just figured I would ask didn't know if there was a snack to carry to help or anything.
    Peace, J.

  2. #2
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    I'll weigh in and say I think the key words were "...first in a while actually".

    I do believe there is some merit to refueling, but I wouldn't expect a snack to recharge your legs after a climb. For me, its all about time in the saddle. When I am spending a lot of time in the saddle, my recovery after a climb is within a minute, I'd say.

    Keep on pedaling!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by huffster View Post
    I'll weigh in and say I think the key words were "...first in a while actually".

    I do believe there is some merit to refueling, but I wouldn't expect a snack to recharge your legs after a climb. For me, its all about time in the saddle. When I am spending a lot of time in the saddle, my recovery after a climb is within a minute, I'd say.

    Keep on pedaling!
    Agreed.

    I'll add that you need time in the saddle specifically dealing with climbing. I recently changed trails to one with lots of mild climbing and it's exhausting. I went from ridding 10-16 miles on a relatively flat trail with few climbs/drops to being lucky to ride 3.0 miles on this new trail that is almost completely low grade climbs. My body, my legs simply isn't used to it. So it's going to take some time in the saddle building up my legs and endurance. Nutrition also helps, I started added electrolytes to my water and keeping gel packs on hand.

    Anyhow, just stick with it. One of these days you're going to look back on this day and think wow, I couldn't barely make this when I first started and now I'm shredding hills like nothing!

  4. #4
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    Try eating a banana and making sure you are well hydrated on ride days (should be all the time really). I like to eat my banana an hour before I ride.

    I don't know what it is in those magic yellow finger fruits but they always make me feel awsome on a ride. I can climb hills for days.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 50calray View Post
    Agreed.

    I'll add that you need time in the saddle specifically dealing with climbing. I recently changed trails to one with lots of mild climbing and it's exhausting. I went from ridding 10-16 miles on a relatively flat trail with few climbs/drops to being lucky to ride 3.0 miles on this new trail that is almost completely low grade climbs. My body, my legs simply isn't used to it. So it's going to take some time in the saddle building up my legs and endurance. Nutrition also helps, I started added electrolytes to my water and keeping gel packs on hand.

    Anyhow, just stick with it. One of these days you're going to look back on this day and think wow, I couldn't barely make this when I first started and now I'm shredding hills like nothing!
    Agreed by a long shot. I used to take a road ride through my neighborhood that was about as hilly as I could manage. It was a 12 mile loop and I was gassed afterwards but I had the best endurance I've ever had when I rode that route. Unfortunately that ride got too congested with traffic and I don't feel safe doing it any longer. Need to find another hilly ride to get my endurance back up.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshM View Post
    I don't know what it is in those magic yellow finger fruits but they always make me feel awsome on a ride. I can climb hills for days.
    Dat potassium.

    I dunno, my legs always feel crappy. It takes me like a half hour to get limber enough so I don't feel useless. I just try my best to ignore it.

  7. #7
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    Not knowing you riding frequency and many other things having to do with fitness and nutrition, it's hard to say. There are a ton of variables. You said it was your first ride in a while, so that's a great thing to tune into for yourself. I agree with others who've suggested upping your time in the saddle as the best way to get through this feeling. Long rides with hills will make you better on hills. If you're into it, do some hill repeats, rest, repeat, etc. Intervals will make you stronger. As for nutrition, know that the muscles use glycogen stores and if you're riding hard for over an hour, these can become depleted and lactic acid can build to levels that impinge upon contraction, so your legs may feel "heavy" or may begin to cramp. If that happens, back off on the level of effort, breathe better, keep hydrating well and your legs will recover.

    As for hydrating, nutrition on the bike means taking on a combination of water, carbs (sugars) and electrolytes that feed the muscles. On a ride, you will never be able to "top off" the glycogen in muscles and will always be "behind" even with the best nutrition protocols during hard exercise. Having said that, it's important to know that a great way to roll is understanding that the body is seeking balance in operation. For balance I use Tailwind Nutrition because it's a steady supply of carbs, electrolytes and water. No sugar spikes from gels. No missing or dropping my salt tabs. It's all in the bottle and it's all dosing at a rate my body can ingest and use for hours on end. And, full disclosure, I write on forums for Tailwind and as a riding coach because I believe it works.

    But, it's just one part of the riding equation. Seat time is a huge component. Training well is also important for being confident and happy on our rides. Anyway, to get better at climbing, warm up well for 15 minutes, try some intervals, learn how your body responds to that, honor it, and teach it how to go harder and recover faster. I'd talk about that more, but this is getting long. Cheers!

    Rich Fletcher
    SoloArts Cycling
    Tailwind Nutrition

  8. #8
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    Try a tablespoon of L glutamine powder before bed every day, its the amino acid most used to repair worn out muscles. I noticed a difference after a few days myself.

  9. #9
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    strained drained legs

    Quote Originally Posted by enfyre View Post
    Try a tablespoon of L glutamine powder before bed every day, its the amino acid most used to repair worn out muscles. I noticed a difference after a few days myself.
    As with any supplementation, be mindful. You can find many sources of information on glutamine, an amino acid and basic building block, and its role in the body on the interweb. You'll also find that there can be serious side effects to taking, or dosing glutamine (L glutamine). In addition, what works for one of us may not work equally for all.

    Cheers,
    Rich
    SoloArts Cycling
    Tailwind Nutrition

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