I have been biking for about a month and really enjoy it. However my legs just give out on me. I run 6 miles two days a week then bike 6-8 3 to 4 days a week. Any suggestions on how I can improve would be great. Oh, not sure if this matters but I'm not a big eater in the mornings before I go biking. I eat a protein bar and have water to drink.

  • In cycling circles, this phenomena is known as "The Bonk" or "bonking." I would get it really bad as a bike commuter while dieting headed up the hills on my way home. Nov 6, 2013 at 15:12

2 Answers 2


It sounds like your legs might need some rest. While running and biking make use of different muscles in the leg, there is still some overlap between both activities.

My suggestion would be to take at least two full rest days before you go biking again. Then after that ride take another day of rest before you do another activity (running or biking). Try to focus on rest days: Four days of rest, three days of activity.
While your current activity levels might be OK for you, obviously you can't improve at this level. Adding rest days should enable you to push yourself further. After some weeks high in rest days, you can add more active days. However, the fewer rest days you allow yourself, the harder it will be to improve. You need to find out for yourself how many days you can spend riding and running, how much you want and can improve on your activity level and up to which point you want to improve.

Before your ride you should consume carbohydrates (a mixture of simple and complex carbs) instead of protein to supply your muscles with energy. I personally would prefer something normal to eat, eg bread or pasta, as energy bars are quite expensive in the long term.
You should eat protein after your tour. Again, I'd prefer to just eat some meal high in protein. Even protein shakes should be cheaper than protein bars.

  • Thank you! I actually took this weekend off. Not because I wanted to lol only because I had too. I biked Friday 8 miles and the hills whooped me. It's like my legs had no power. So this weekend I had other things to do and didn't get to run or bike or lift. However this morning (Monday) my legs we hammered!!! Sore sore sore. Mondays are my biking days so I was determined to bike, well it was raining so I used the bike at the gym. I am going to try and rotate though because I do think I need rest and recovery. I just try more cause I don't want to slack :). Thank you!!!
    – Kimmy
    Oct 8, 2013 at 1:01

You've only been biking for about a month; it takes time to build up cycling-specific muscles.

How fast you spin your legs is known as "cadence". You should aim for a cadence of approximately 90 RPM; you can get cyclecomputers that measure it directly or estimate it using a watch. Novices generally ride at a cadence that is too slow; that requires much more strength and can easily burn your legs out. Shift down so that you ride at a reasonable cadence and don't have to push very hard.

  • I'm honestly not sure on my cadence :/. Sorry. But I did the bike at the gym today and it said I was 70-80. Sometimes I would drop to 65. I have only been biking a month :). I just want to be good at it and maybe to fast in a short time. Thank you!!!
    – Kimmy
    Oct 8, 2013 at 1:04

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