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Depressed about getting out of shape....(9 posts)

Depressed about getting out of shape....MadSelf
Feb 9, 2002 12:49 PM
I had committed to staying in shape over the winter. Due to personal and other issues, I have not been on my bike at all in 2 months. My legs are hairy and Im getting a gut. I know my legs are as weak as a schoolgirls'.

Question: Have I lost every bit of fitness I gained last year (1st year of riding). Will I be starting over from scratch?

I'll be getting back on my road bike in the next week or so, and the Mtn Bike sooner. Any suggestions?
Yeh, get out and ride!theBreeze
Feb 9, 2002 1:52 PM
and if it's the weather holding you back, check these guys out...
Feb 9, 2002 2:21 PM
Those guys are bare kneed!

Just take it slow and easy. Ride a little. Rest. Ride a little more. Rest. You'll be back up to speed in no time. Those extra pounds will melt away like the winter snows, and you don't have to kill yourself to make it happen!

Review previous threads on getting in "base miles," spinning easy gears, and getting your leg speed up. You'll not only burn off fat, but condition the cardiovascular system for the more intense riding to come in the Spring.

You are not alone!
Think of it this way...Lone Gunman
Feb 9, 2002 2:59 PM
Muscle memory. Last season I put in more miles than I ever had. This past winter was sort of soft on training, inconsistent and probably did not ride at all in the month of December. I have gotten out on the road a few times and although I don't have the speed and stamina I ended the season with, I can still do 25 miles at a respectable pace, but that is not what this time of year is about for me, these are supposed to be LSD rides and just enjoy getting out of the house.

Did you lose the fitness from last year? Yes. When you get started again this year it will be easier because you already know what to expect and so do your cycle muscles, muscle memory at work.
tell me about itDog
Feb 9, 2002 3:42 PM
I've done the same thing, if on a little bit different scale. It sucks.

Here is what's most important. Build gradually again. Don't punish yourself by hammering away like you could at your peak last year. During the build period, just get used to being on the bike again, and if it hurts, slow down. If you go too hard too soon, you'll either injure yourself or burn out. Count on taking several months to build back up.

even more so if you watch the olympic speedskaters nmsecourir
Feb 9, 2002 4:00 PM
re: Depressed about getting out of shape....Me Dot Org
Feb 10, 2002 10:20 PM
This weekend we had some really beautiful weather and I did a very hilly 65 mile route which I hadn't ridden since summer.

I felt a lot of trepidation, but what the previous poster said about 'muscle memory is true'. The more you ride, the more you know about conserving your energy, and I believe that knowledge stays with you even after you haven't ridden for a while.

Bottom line: I wasn't that fast, but I finished the route and felt a little pooped, but otherwise fine when I got home.

So go out fast and short, or out slow and long, but GO OUT! There is very rarely a time you feel worse than better after riding a bicycle. Cut yourself a little slack. Forgive yourself for not riding. What's done is done. You'll be suprised how quickly you can bounce back into shape.
Muscle memory...seems like a good way of putting it.Leisure
Feb 10, 2002 10:24 PM
I've used "metabolic baseline" to describe the same thing. When I was in college I got my bench press up to 365 (I weighed about 175). I was up there long enough that when I fell out of my routine I could stay at about 300 working out only once a week. Even now I haven't worked out in over a year, but if I were to jump in I bet I'd be back up there in a month or two. That's a lot better than if I had never lifted before. I don't think my cardiovascular accomplishments have been as grand, but I feel the benefits at the beginning of each season regardless. Last year it took only a few weeks for my resting HR to drop below 60, while the first year that happened it took all season. So even if you have lost much of that early conditioning, you can expect to get it back a lot more quickly.
It's okayfishwheel
Feb 11, 2002 9:39 AM
My answer to your question, have you lost everything you gained last year, is probably no. It may feel like starting over the first few rides but you're not. Try and remember what your very first few rides were like. If you truly made gains last year your body will respond pretty quickly as you return to riding. Don't make the mistake of pushing too hard becuse you feel your way behind. Do some rides, set some goals, and the season will progress.

I keep commuting by bike through the winter to keep in some sort of shape, and step up my weight training. Around february I feel fat and slow. My first year of cycling and taking fitness seriously I kept pretty good records, so I could look back and see that I am in a much better position this year than last year.