fear of cycling

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fear of cycling

Postby caldina98 » Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:11 pm

This is more of a mental issue than physical. I do apologise in advanced if this is the wrong section.

I have been riding my road bike off and on for a year now and want to continue riding for longer periods. My cycling is fairly steedy with little exhaustion. My biggest ride is 30km. I was absolutely knacked.

I am afraid of exerting to much energy. I want to bring up my heart rate but I am afraid I'll gas myself and simply fall over. Is that even possible? I believe my underlying issue here is falling over and hurting myself.

How did you guys overcome this fear or any fear?

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Re: fear of cycling

Postby Derny Driver » Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:21 pm

You don't need to worry, it wont happen. I have had my heart rate on 100% maximum many times before and nothing bad happens. I see guys who race do it on a daily basis ...your heart simply gets to a point where it wont beat any faster. You end up getting tired and slowing down, but you certainly wont pass out or fall over.
In any case, I doubt you would even be able to reach your maximum just going for bike rides. I could never do it out training no matter how hard I pushed myself. It can only be done with the assistance of adrenaline and a massive mental effort, such as a sprint finish in a bike race or trying desperately to hold on to the bunch up a steep climb.
Trust me, you have nothing to worry about.

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fear of cycling

Postby RonK » Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:38 pm

You don't look for answers on the internet.

You talk to your GP about having an exercise stress test so your heart function can be monitored under load to determine if you do have any risk.
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Re: fear of cycling

Postby eeksll » Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:25 pm

increase your rides gradually.

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Re: fear of cycling

Postby silentC » Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:35 am

caldina98 wrote:I want to bring up my heart rate but I am afraid I'll gas myself and simply fall over. Is that even possible?

In my experience, unless you have an underlying condition, your body will be screaming at you looooong before anything like that happened. Definitely if you are concerned, discuss it with your GP.

I did have a concern about this myself because I sometimes have premature ventricular contractions (basically an ineffective extra beat thrown in every now and then, usually when at rest). So I went to the GP and was referred for an ultrasound. She told me I had the heart of a young man, so I said please don't tell him, he may want it back :)
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Re: fear of cycling

Postby bychosis » Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:46 am

Over coming the fear usually involves facing it. As for fear of utter exhaustion causing a fall, as stated above it seems pretty unlikely. Your body will let you know when it has had enough (Check with your GP too), you should be able to judge early enough that you can stop and rest before falling off. Recognising the symptoms in yourself sholdnt be too hard. I have pushed myself in a number of endurance MTB races and got to a point of cramping up severely, so I pulled up, rested and then continued on after a bit. I just had to keep at it though. 8hrs on a bike when you are used to not much more than 3hr is a big change. Before starting these longer events I was aware of a couple of shorter alternatives if the worst happened. THere was also plenty of support on the course too if necessary.

If your fear is of not getting home after running out of steam that is probably more valid and here are a few solutions.
1. Arrange for someone to be able to come and pick you up from wherever, carry a phone and when you tire call for support and wait.
2. Leave heaps of time for your return so you can rest up and also ride back slowly. Carry additional water/food for this and also notify your support crew you have been delayed but will make it back.
3. Do lots of loops/laps close to home so you arent' far from base when you run out of puff.
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Re: fear of cycling

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:06 am

As previously mentioned, if you're worried, get the clearance from your doctor. Cycling, and other aerobic activity, improves your heart health. My resting heart rate is in the low 40s and my max heart rate has improved over the past years. It's up 4 bpm when measured in stress tests compared to last year.

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Re: fear of cycling

Postby g-boaf » Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:25 pm

You just won't get to the point of being so dead that you fall off the bike, unless there is some medical condition.

You'll just get tired and go slower.

My biggest fear used to be cramping up, it was really bad. I learned what caused it at how to get around that and I think I've gradually done enough riding that I'm better adjusted. If it does threaten to happen now - I know what to do to keep it away and I can usually get back home at an easier speed.

Apart from that, riding bikes is something that keeps at bay the other fear.

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Re: fear of cycling

Postby Downhill » Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:52 pm

The quickest way to squash any fears is to check with your GP. It's amazing how quickly any concerns dissipate when your GP tells you to keep up the good work. I know plenty of riders with heart conditions who regularly do two or three rides of 50 km or more per week, and one or two who wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the cycling. Otherwise the best advice is to listen to your body and ride for the enjoyment.

Riding with a group or joining a club has it's benefits too. For a start, there will always be someone slower or faster than you. You can pick up a lot of tips and tricks that you save you a heap of energy. Plus you find out where the best bike routes, bike shops and coffee shops are!

Good work on the 30 km ride by the way. 30 km is a bit of a milestone. It gets easier after that - all you have do is pedal a little bit longer!
Today's effort = Tomorrows reward.
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Re: fear of cycling

Postby Storm Boy » Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:26 pm

I began riding a little over a year ago to lose weight, and was not fussed about big rides early on, but more concerned with consistency. I began with a daily trainer ride of literally 5 minutes for the first few days. A 15 km ride was an achievement. As you gradually improve you will find longer rides more and more comfortable.
I now ride around 170-180km a week, and did a 120 km ride last Saturday and could have gone 150 (I turn 40 this year).
A HR monitor is a good way of assessing your effort on the ride and making sure it stays within your preferred limits.



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