Advice from a professional

Having ridden 13 miles on Easter Monday I was pretty sure I wouldn't ride to work on Tuesday as my muscles always seriously ache for a day or two after a long ride. Tuesday morning came and my leg muscles didn't seem too bad so I decided to ride the usual 1.2 miles in. Pretty much as soon as I started riding though, my legs really weren't up to it. I got to work quite slowly but my legs really complained about the effort required.

One of my colleagues is a professional triathlete and has been more than willing to offer advice to any new cyclists at work. Up to now it's not even crossed my mind to ask him advice regarding the muscle pain I've been getting but I thought I would. He gave me plenty of useful advice regarding stretching, massage, rest, warm ups, cadence and more. A very knowledgeable athlete. He explained that the pain in the muscles is a build up of lactic acid and massage or rest is the only way to get rid of it. I'm pushing my muscles far too much in such a short time period.

On the ride home Tuesday evening I took his advice on cadence and selected several lower gears than normal. At first it felt strange as the pedaling was was far too easy and the speed was slower than normal but the riding was tolerable. By the time I got to the hill, I wasn't tired like normal and my legs weren't even hurting! Having got up the hill and back to my car I didn't feel as tired as normal. His advice was spot on.

I've not ridden today as I had to look after my kids and the weather wasn't good enough for us all to go out for a ride but tomorrow I will put another piece of his advice to the test. He pointed out that my ride in to work is just too short. I need a warm up, ride and cool down. The warm up needs to be at least 10 minutes long and I need to reduce my cadence once warmed up. Tomorrow I'll be going for a 3.1 mile ride in and back. This should give me a longer ride in and a proper warm up.

Of course, I'll let you know how I get on.


  1. That's a handy resource mate. I'd be picking his brains and making like the proverbial sponge!

  2. Yup, I would be doing exactly the same thing!

  3. Another good tip is to get your position on the bike checked.

    I've never seen anyone stretching at a race/time trial (That doesn't mean it's not a good thing) however nearly everyone warms up by riding steadily before starting racing. Likewise afterwards they will spent just 2-3 mins riding slowly to cool down after.

    Increasing the mileage is a good thing in general but so long as you avoid starting out flat out or finishing the ride flat out then you needn't start adding in extra miles.

  4. I've been learning more from him today. Will be posting about it later.

    My local bike shop offer a full geometry fitting service that is computerised to help set your bike up. The price is £50 though.

  5. I ride with my seat too low down (as Red will probably agree)and it doesn't help in the slightest, infact it probably hinders me greatly - so red has a point about position.


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