Do your legs ever get so fatigued that your performance sucks?

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Replies

  • SingingSingleTracker
    SingingSingleTracker Posts: 1,866 Member
    edited February 2016
    Francl27 wrote: »
    My exercise routine has pretty much been the following for a few months...

    4 days stationary bike for 45-90 minutes (15mph)
    2 days gym - 15/20 minutes of rowing, 20 minutes weights (I do upper body to give my legs a break), 60 minutes walking at a 11%+ incline, 3.3 mph (which is relatively fast for me, I'm 5'5")
    I try to alternate as much as possible, and take a rest day once a week.

    Unfortunately it's been pretty bad lately. My legs have just been so fatigued, I can feel them just going up the stairs, and it's a good day when I can reach 15mph on the bike again (usually hover around 14mph)... I used to do 15.7mph! I used to do 14% incline on the treadmill (was working up to 15%) but now my legs can typically not do more than 11%, and that's on a good day... I had to go down to 9% two days ago... and it was just after a rest day too...

    I'm so bummed. I don't understand why this is happening. 2 years ago I was walking every day, sometimes 6 miles a day, and didn't even need rest days (granted, I wasn't walking at an incline, but still). Rest days seem to be doing absolutely nothing... I do take the time to stretch after workouts.

    Does it happen to you and what do you do about it? I exercise quite a bit because I just get bored otherwise, and I like eating, so it pretty much works out. I don't do lower body strength because my legs already do a lot obviously, and I like the way they look anyway (and yeah I hate it, I just do it to get my upper body muscles working too).

    I eat a ton of protein (I'm 135 lbs right now, rarely eat under 135g of protein). Tons of veggies, lots of water...

    Help?

    Are you currently cutting weight on top of that exercise routine?

    As to the 4 days of 45-90 minutes on the stationary bike....are any of those days a simple recovery ride with your heart rate down in the recovery zone or zone 1 area? Or are you up in Zones 3, 4 and 5?

    Forget about speed - that means zero on a stationary bike. It's all about heart rate, cadence, and the wattage (power) you are producing. The computer on the stationary bike should have a wattage read out, HR read out, cadence read out, etc. Your legs should be able to handle 2 of those 4 days per week that include intervals/intensity, or working HR zones in the 2+ to 3 and 4 range. While the other two days should be down in the recovery to Zone 2 area (all of which you can bounce back from in 24-48 hours).

    You should seriously consider every third or fourth week dialing the volume and duration back of everything you are doing. Those are called "rest weeks" which allows the body to adapt to the training stress/load you have been placing on it during the two or three weeks in between them. That doesn't mean you don't exercise, you just dial everything back a notch - especially in terms of volume and duration. Example: cut your rides on the bike back from 45-90 to 30-60. Cut your walks down from an hour to 30 minutes, etc. Then you will be recovered and built back up to hit the next two or three weeks of training stress.
  • runner475
    runner475 Posts: 1,236 Member
    Francl27 wrote: »
    Thanks all. To answer a few random questions - no it's been going on for months, not just the last couple weeks, and I do get a physical every year with bloodwork, and I had one in September (it was already happening then).

    I've taken a few 3/4 days break because I got sick a few times since though. I haven't been sick in 2 months now so maybe that's why it's worse?

    And I don't really have goals... I like eating, so I'm just trying to burn calories... lol. I've actually gained a couple pounds since November so I'm definitely eating enough (although I've been back at a deficit for the last 4 weeks, but probably just enough to lose 1 or 2 pounds.. not sure yet, TOM just started).

    Swimming is pretty much out because my form sucks and it's actually doing more damage than good, and I can't be in water 2 weeks a month anyway because.. female issues (I know some women still find ways, but I've tried and it's a big nope).

    So... just take it easy for a few days (can't really take it easier on the bike as I'm already at low intensity)? Or just take a few days off? I did some treadmill yesterday but only at 8% (which is really not a strain for me at this point).

    Your answer here in bold why you are not seeing same or better performance. You have an extra weight to carry for every exercise you are doing. If you are comparing your "best #s" to when you were tinnier than you are now it makes sense.
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,373 Member
    Francl27 wrote: »
    My exercise routine has pretty much been the following for a few months...

    4 days stationary bike for 45-90 minutes (15mph)
    2 days gym - 15/20 minutes of rowing, 20 minutes weights (I do upper body to give my legs a break), 60 minutes walking at a 11%+ incline, 3.3 mph (which is relatively fast for me, I'm 5'5")
    I try to alternate as much as possible, and take a rest day once a week.

    Unfortunately it's been pretty bad lately. My legs have just been so fatigued, I can feel them just going up the stairs, and it's a good day when I can reach 15mph on the bike again (usually hover around 14mph)... I used to do 15.7mph! I used to do 14% incline on the treadmill (was working up to 15%) but now my legs can typically not do more than 11%, and that's on a good day... I had to go down to 9% two days ago... and it was just after a rest day too...

    I'm so bummed. I don't understand why this is happening. 2 years ago I was walking every day, sometimes 6 miles a day, and didn't even need rest days (granted, I wasn't walking at an incline, but still). Rest days seem to be doing absolutely nothing... I do take the time to stretch after workouts.

    Does it happen to you and what do you do about it? I exercise quite a bit because I just get bored otherwise, and I like eating, so it pretty much works out. I don't do lower body strength because my legs already do a lot obviously, and I like the way they look anyway (and yeah I hate it, I just do it to get my upper body muscles working too).

    I eat a ton of protein (I'm 135 lbs right now, rarely eat under 135g of protein). Tons of veggies, lots of water...

    Help?

    Are you currently cutting weight on top of that exercise routine?

    As to the 4 days of 45-90 minutes on the stationary bike....are any of those days a simple recovery ride with your heart rate down in the recovery zone or zone 1 area? Or are you up in Zones 3, 4 and 5?

    Forget about speed - that means zero on a stationary bike. It's all about heart rate, cadence, and the wattage (power) you are producing. The computer on the stationary bike should have a wattage read out, HR read out, cadence read out, etc. Your legs should be able to handle 2 of those 4 days per week that include intervals/intensity, or working HR zones in the 2+ to 3 and 4 range. While the other two days should be down in the recovery to Zone 2 area (all of which you can bounce back from in 24-48 hours).

    Yeah I've been cutting for 3 weeks again, but not by much (maybe enough to lose one pound).

    I'm honestly not sure about how my stationary bike works, it gives very minimal information (but it was a $150 bike, so there's that).
  • KANGOOJUMPS
    KANGOOJUMPS Posts: 6,479 Member
    sure, its like that pain is pleasure thing.
  • RoxieDawn
    RoxieDawn Posts: 15,491 Member
    OP I completely understand about wanting to eat more therefore need to burn those calories to do so.

    I wanted to point out a couple of things and make some general statements.

    Have you considered laying of the bike and actually cross training your legs. Even endurance athletes have to lay off perhaps seasonally or choose to give their body a break. Cross training is great for being able to keep exercising.

    Such as strength training them at the gym. This will help you immensely work your muscles where that the bike is not reaching and just using those muscles over and over and over gain. Perhaps even use the elliptical or treadmill to alternate something different in your training.

    I have a recumbent bike and while it is good for certain aspects in my training, if I do not do something different in my actual running training, you are talking about a total melt down of my legs over a period of time.

    If cross training is not an option have tried to do recovery cycling? Go lighter on days and heavier on others days.

    I have cannot stress how strength training your legs will help you out. But since you are already in fatigue and I predict your are over trained, you need to nurse yourself back out of this over training before you need to adjust if you choose to do something different.
  • jofjltncb6
    jofjltncb6 Posts: 34,421 Member
    msf74 wrote: »
    rabbitjb wrote: »
    cos blood?

    actually I think she just forgot the name - I'm sitting here thinking moonpig but that's an online card company

    I'm glad I got my wife's Valentines present from Moonpig.com rather than Mooncup.com.

    That's all I'm saying.

    That could have been awkward.

    Or maybe not.

    Does your wife like to swim?
  • AmandaDanceMore
    AmandaDanceMore Posts: 298 Member
    While I'm not nearly as dedicated as the OP, my general lifestyle is very leg-centric. I walk a lot, I ride horses, ballroom dance, cycle (more in the nicer months...try to pedal on the trainer in the winter but I hate it), and have a job that keeps me on my feet and moving. When I get that heavy leg feeling, a few things help. I make doubly sure I sleep well (I'm not a great sleeper in general, so I have to work to get it). I back off on some things- I may not ride my bike for a couple of days, I won't necessarily not ride my horse but I may take it easy and do less hard work for both of us, I may walk a little less. I rarely skip a dance day unless I am completely cooked. I also make sure I am drinking LOTS of water. I drink a lot, anyway, but I find that when I get tired legs, I'm usually missing some water somewhere. I also find if I load up on more fresh food, particularly fruit, I start to perk up. And stretching can make a big difference.

    Like I said, I'm not super intense about "working out." I try to keep moving, throw in a few "work out" type things a few days a week. But I am on my feet/working my legs A LOT. Usually if they are tired it means I am tired and need a rest. A couple of lazy days can help a lot.
  • Jacwhite22
    Jacwhite22 Posts: 7,015 Member
    My wife has never complained about my performance no matter how tired my legs are (random question by the way).
  • _Waffle_
    _Waffle_ Posts: 13,051 Member
    Francl27 wrote: »
    My exercise routine has pretty much been the following for a few months...

    4 days stationary bike for 45-90 minutes (15mph)
    2 days gym - 15/20 minutes of rowing, 20 minutes weights (I do upper body to give my legs a break), 60 minutes walking at a 11%+ incline, 3.3 mph (which is relatively fast for me, I'm 5'5")
    I try to alternate as much as possible, and take a rest day once a week.
    .......
    Help?

    Cut back for a week and take it easy. Walk on a flat surface. Skip the bike for a few days. Sit down and catch up on Netflix shows you're missing.

  • cafeaulait7
    cafeaulait7 Posts: 2,459 Member
    edited February 2016
    If your period is that bad (I do understand), ask your doc about iron deficiency anemia. I had low hemoglobin because of my stupid period.

    It does make you fatigue much earlier than usual. I'd shown up as iron-deficient for months and months and didn't know it. My doctor only did something about it when my hemoglobin itself went low. I looked at my test results online and found out that I probably should have been told earlier to eat more iron-rich foods. He had other things to discuss with me, but still. So your doc may be similar. Look at the results yourself.

    ETA: I had to take Rx iron, btw. Food wouldn't have been quick enough to build my stores back up.
  • Machka9
    Machka9 Posts: 21,114 Member
    Francl27 wrote: »
    I can't be in water 2 weeks a month anyway because.. female issues (I know some women still find ways, but I've tried and it's a big nope).
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    So swim the two weeks that you aren't having female issues.... And seriously, two weeks? You can't get in a pool for two weeks? Women fight in wars, compete in the Olympics, work strenuous jobs, etc. Do you think they take two weeks off every month because of woman time holding them back? No. They use an appropriate feminine hygiene product and they suck it up. If you enjoy swimming, or any activity for that matter, your menstruation should not be a reason not to participate. This is the 21st century and being held back from doing something because of your period seems a little silly...

    ...or else it's an excuse. :)

    Two weeks out of every four? Seriously? There might be a day or maybe two in there where heavy menstrual flow *might* be an issue, but 14 days? Every single month? Yikes!

    I was in a situation similar to that ... I didn't dare swim at all because I could start, and start heavy at any given moment at any time during a month, several times a month.

    I thought it was just perimenopause, but then I discovered it was a serious medical issue which has been dealt with (mostly) but may still be a problem for the next 3-5 years.

    Oh and strenuous exercise has always triggered my periods to start. There I am in the middle of a 400 km randonnee ... and there it is. Even if I'm mid-cycle.
  • Machka9
    Machka9 Posts: 21,114 Member
    edited February 2016
    Francl27 wrote: »

    I'm honestly not sure about how my stationary bike works, it gives very minimal information (but it was a $150 bike, so there's that).

    And that might be part of the problem right there.

    1) Do you have the stat bike set up correctly? This doesn't seem to occur to a surprising number of people.

    2) What kind of saddle is on the stat bike? Is it a wide tractor seat?

    3) What exactly do your stat bike workouts look like? What do you do?

  • SingingSingleTracker
    SingingSingleTracker Posts: 1,866 Member
    edited February 2016
    Francl27 wrote: »
    Francl27 wrote: »
    My exercise routine has pretty much been the following for a few months...

    4 days stationary bike for 45-90 minutes (15mph)
    2 days gym - 15/20 minutes of rowing, 20 minutes weights (I do upper body to give my legs a break), 60 minutes walking at a 11%+ incline, 3.3 mph (which is relatively fast for me, I'm 5'5")
    I try to alternate as much as possible, and take a rest day once a week.

    Unfortunately it's been pretty bad lately. My legs have just been so fatigued, I can feel them just going up the stairs, and it's a good day when I can reach 15mph on the bike again (usually hover around 14mph)... I used to do 15.7mph! I used to do 14% incline on the treadmill (was working up to 15%) but now my legs can typically not do more than 11%, and that's on a good day... I had to go down to 9% two days ago... and it was just after a rest day too...

    I'm so bummed. I don't understand why this is happening. 2 years ago I was walking every day, sometimes 6 miles a day, and didn't even need rest days (granted, I wasn't walking at an incline, but still). Rest days seem to be doing absolutely nothing... I do take the time to stretch after workouts.

    Does it happen to you and what do you do about it? I exercise quite a bit because I just get bored otherwise, and I like eating, so it pretty much works out. I don't do lower body strength because my legs already do a lot obviously, and I like the way they look anyway (and yeah I hate it, I just do it to get my upper body muscles working too).

    I eat a ton of protein (I'm 135 lbs right now, rarely eat under 135g of protein). Tons of veggies, lots of water...

    Help?

    Are you currently cutting weight on top of that exercise routine?

    As to the 4 days of 45-90 minutes on the stationary bike....are any of those days a simple recovery ride with your heart rate down in the recovery zone or zone 1 area? Or are you up in Zones 3, 4 and 5?

    Forget about speed - that means zero on a stationary bike. It's all about heart rate, cadence, and the wattage (power) you are producing. The computer on the stationary bike should have a wattage read out, HR read out, cadence read out, etc. Your legs should be able to handle 2 of those 4 days per week that include intervals/intensity, or working HR zones in the 2+ to 3 and 4 range. While the other two days should be down in the recovery to Zone 2 area (all of which you can bounce back from in 24-48 hours).

    Yeah I've been cutting for 3 weeks again, but not by much (maybe enough to lose one pound).

    I'm honestly not sure about how my stationary bike works, it gives very minimal information (but it was a $150 bike, so there's that).

    I notice a degradation in performance and leg fatigue as well during cutting (been in that mode since December 2nd since I typically yo-yo weight wise 6-9% body weight between the off bike riding season and the riding season).

    I try to mitigate it with having my legs fresh as can be on Tuesday and Thursday for my interval work on the bike so I can make my power zones. Some of this might be what you are feeling in a slight deficit, and perhaps needing to tweak the recovery and intensity portions to meet that balance of "train hard, recover harder".

    Your bike may not have all the bells and whistles, so just make sure that on some of those rides the resistance is set to a really easy level where you are spinning and the heart rate stays low (for me a true recovery ride would be at a heart rate of 108 or lower which feels like nothing, but is oh so beneficial).

    If you are not using a HR monitor, and your stationary bike doesn't have any read outs, then you have to go PE (perceived effort). In that case, rather than heart rate, watts, etc., your riding zones narrow down to this...

    1. Old lady pace
    2. Chatty pace
    3. Feel good hard
    4. Feel bad hard
    5. I am going to die
    6. Flat out

    So in your 4 days of riding 45-90 minutes, how would you describe your perceived effort using that 1-6 scale? Are they all the same - as in do you have the resistance set on the same level and you power through at the same intensity and speed each time - only adjusting the duration?

    If so, I am simply suggesting two of those rides are more in the Zone 1 (old lady pace, don't break a sweat) or Zone 2 (easily able to still carry on a conversation, even though you should now be sweating).
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,373 Member
    I ride easy! It's on the lowest resistance. I can easily talk while I do it too (but I guess it was harder when I could go up to 15.7mph)... basically my legs get tired before everything else. I'm not sure what my HR is when I do it, but I compared my HRM to the machine calories once and it was right on spot so I stopped bothering after that.
    Machka9 wrote: »
    Francl27 wrote: »

    I'm honestly not sure about how my stationary bike works, it gives very minimal information (but it was a $150 bike, so there's that).

    And that might be part of the problem right there.

    1) Do you have the stat bike set up correctly? This doesn't seem to occur to a surprising number of people.

    2) What kind of saddle is on the stat bike? Is it a wide tractor seat?

    3) What exactly do your stat bike workouts look like? What do you do?

    I changed the seat height a while ago so my legs had the proper extension (they are still a bit bent at max extension). The seat is the same as a regular bike.

    My workouts are just plain cycling, nothing fancy, lol.
  • Machka9
    Machka9 Posts: 21,114 Member
    Francl27 wrote: »
    I ride easy! It's on the lowest resistance. I can easily talk while I do it too (but I guess it was harder when I could go up to 15.7mph)... basically my legs get tired before everything else. I'm not sure what my HR is when I do it, but I compared my HRM to the machine calories once and it was right on spot so I stopped bothering after that.
    Machka9 wrote: »
    Francl27 wrote: »

    I'm honestly not sure about how my stationary bike works, it gives very minimal information (but it was a $150 bike, so there's that).

    And that might be part of the problem right there.

    1) Do you have the stat bike set up correctly? This doesn't seem to occur to a surprising number of people.

    2) What kind of saddle is on the stat bike? Is it a wide tractor seat?

    3) What exactly do your stat bike workouts look like? What do you do?

    I changed the seat height a while ago so my legs had the proper extension (they are still a bit bent at max extension). The seat is the same as a regular bike.

    My workouts are just plain cycling, nothing fancy, lol.

    OK, regarding the setup, get on the bicycle and pedal a few times to settle in. Then when your right foot is in the 6:00 position (bottom of the pedal stroke, put your heel on the pedal. You should have just a hint of a bend in your knee. Check the left side as well.


    The seat is the same as a regular bike?

    Like this ... that's what's on just about all my bicycles. I, and many long distance cyclists, like these.

    BK-B17-K-ANGLE.jpg?resize=500px:500px&output-quality=85


    Or like this ... lots of cyclists seem to like saddles like that.

    YS-AR3-TDF-ANGLE.jpg?resize=500px:500px&output-quality=85

    The thing is, the saddle should be narrow. Wide enough so that your sitbones are planted firmly on the saddle, but narrow enough so that you can pedal straight up and down. Most stat bikes I've encountered have saddles that are way too wide. Spin bikes are a bit better.


    As for your cycling, it might be time to vary it.

    2 days a week - stay off the bicycle. Rest or go for a casual walk.
    2 days a week do something like commercial intervals where you ride fairly slowly while watching your favourite show, then ride as hard as you can during the commercial. You might only want to do that for 30 min.
    3 days a week, just ride for an hour or whatever you're currently doing.





  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,373 Member
    I double checked, the height is just fine.

    This is the bike I have

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0090OKG38?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpagehttp://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0090OKG38?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage

    That's the thing though, I don't use it that much, as I have a rest day and spend 2 days at the gym, typically (where I do incline walking, which burns more calories anyway).

    I'm just resting for a couple days now and we'll see (well, going to do upper body weights at least).

  • Machka9
    Machka9 Posts: 21,114 Member
    Francl27 wrote: »
    I double checked, the height is just fine.

    This is the bike I have

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0090OKG38?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpagehttp://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0090OKG38?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage

    That's the thing though, I don't use it that much, as I have a rest day and spend 2 days at the gym, typically (where I do incline walking, which burns more calories anyway).

    I'm just resting for a couple days now and we'll see (well, going to do upper body weights at least).

    Yeah ... wide saddle, and the forward position of the pedals might present problems too. Normal bicycles (outside bicycles) have pedals almost directly below the saddle. My achilles tendons, hamstrings, and sitbones hurt just looking at that.

    Anyway, you might want to drop the incline a bit during your incline walking on days when you feel more fatigued than usual.
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,373 Member
    Machka9 wrote: »
    Francl27 wrote: »
    I double checked, the height is just fine.

    This is the bike I have

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0090OKG38?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpagehttp://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0090OKG38?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage

    That's the thing though, I don't use it that much, as I have a rest day and spend 2 days at the gym, typically (where I do incline walking, which burns more calories anyway).

    I'm just resting for a couple days now and we'll see (well, going to do upper body weights at least).

    Yeah ... wide saddle, and the forward position of the pedals might present problems too. Normal bicycles (outside bicycles) have pedals almost directly below the saddle. My achilles tendons, hamstrings, and sitbones hurt just looking at that.

    Anyway, you might want to drop the incline a bit during your incline walking on days when you feel more fatigued than usual.

    All those are fine actually, it's my quads, lol.
  • SuggaD
    SuggaD Posts: 1,369 Member
    If it isn't over-training, its the bike. Ouch!
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,621 Member
    Machka9 wrote: »
    Francl27 wrote: »
    I can't be in water 2 weeks a month anyway because.. female issues (I know some women still find ways, but I've tried and it's a big nope).
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    So swim the two weeks that you aren't having female issues.... And seriously, two weeks? You can't get in a pool for two weeks? Women fight in wars, compete in the Olympics, work strenuous jobs, etc. Do you think they take two weeks off every month because of woman time holding them back? No. They use an appropriate feminine hygiene product and they suck it up. If you enjoy swimming, or any activity for that matter, your menstruation should not be a reason not to participate. This is the 21st century and being held back from doing something because of your period seems a little silly...

    ...or else it's an excuse. :)

    Two weeks out of every four? Seriously? There might be a day or maybe two in there where heavy menstrual flow *might* be an issue, but 14 days? Every single month? Yikes!

    I was in a situation similar to that ... I didn't dare swim at all because I could start, and start heavy at any given moment at any time during a month, several times a month.

    I thought it was just perimenopause, but then I discovered it was a serious medical issue which has been dealt with (mostly) but may still be a problem for the next 3-5 years.

    Oh and strenuous exercise has always triggered my periods to start. There I am in the middle of a 400 km randonnee ... and there it is. Even if I'm mid-cycle.

    After my fibroid got so big, I started having break-through bleeding mid cycle. The moon cup has been fabulous for this - I just put it in before swimming or going on long walks. With tampons, if there's no flow, it's not a good idea to use them as they will dry things out. And it's a waste to use them if not needed. Neither of these problems occur with the moon cup.