Training & Nutrition - Losing strength in the legs... Any advice?
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06-15-10, 07:49 AM
OK heres the scoop... Sorry for the length!
I ve really been training hard since Jan 1. I'll hit 1,400 mi this week. I've been avg 100-130 mi per week in the last 2 months. Haven't had any problems. Ive been doing 60- 85 milers on Sat for the last 6 weeks and I'm tired when I get home, but not too bad. I have had to do some home repairs since Memorial Day and was able to ride but since then it seems that my legs just don't have the power that I had prior. My thighs seem to be tight (not crampy) and not able to expand during a pedal stroke. No pain at all, but no real power there. I feels like Im dragging a trailer behind me. I can hit the 20-22 cruising speed but I cannot maintain it and any length of time. Never really needed a sort of "recovery drinks" just drank water and showered and went along my day. The next morning after a ride the legs were a bit sore, but nothing out of the ordinary. The weather has recently gotten hotter... imagine that in Florida! Im pushing the water, Gatorade, and bananas on the longer rides, but on the weekday rides 25-30 mi I'll just drink water.
Ive been eating oatmeal w/ a bit of nutella, coffee and a multi grain english muffin before the Sat am ride and that has been keeping me going. The last (2) Sat rides I haven't been able to go farther than 20 mi before I have to turn around and now I am wiped out when I get home. My evening rides are just that ... no power. Im trying to eat more carbs and and Im drinking more beer Mich Ultra ... hey its summertime and its medicinal. Ive have dropped 50 lbs 248 down to 198 and feeling great.
I don't know really what to do I would really hate to lose the fitness that I have developed this year, especially coming of getting tagged by a car and having knee surgery. Ive heard of "peaking too early" don't really know what thats all about. Should I cut back on the riding and "heal up" for a while and then get back to my routine?
Any advice would greatly appreciated!
Sounds like you may be overtraining. Rest days or recovery days will help. Yoga will help the tight legs. http://www.bicycling.com/yoga/home.html
06-15-10, 09:17 AM
Maybe overtraining, but it doesn't sound like a tough enough schedule. So also possible it's not using a recovery drink after hard riding, possibly also not getting enough timely protein. You could start by purchasing a container of a standard recovery potion, like Hammer's Recoverite and seeing if that helps. You could also try taking a little whey protein every day for a week, just before meals, and see if that helps. Or do both.
06-17-10, 03:49 PM
I had this same problem. You really do need to watch what you eat and try to get some protein in your diet after your ride. Chicken, pork, beef or beans are good. I only use recovery drink when I come back and I feel more tired than usual. Be sure to take days off during the week. I found that after a long ride I need between 1-2 days to recover to a point where I have my full power back. Make sure to take days off because if you are like me then a recovery ride turns into you pushing hard for portions of it when you were just supposed to take it easy. I've solved that by just making myself take days off. Just my two cents.
06-18-10, 10:57 AM
You may have lost too much weight too fast and are feeling the lethargic consequences of it. How long did it take you to lose 50 lbs?
You might also be dehydrated. How much are you drinking in hot weather? One 24 ounce bottle per hour would be about right for 198 lbs. Pre-ride hydration is important and starts immediately after the previous ride.
If you're riding the same or similar flat routes over and over, you might just be plateauing and/or getting bored.
Lastly, you may have lost muscle with those 50 lbs you lost. Prevent muscle loss by eating more protein and slowing down the weight loss (if applicable).
06-18-10, 11:49 AM
I'm going through a similar situation, although not as drastic.
I lost about 25 lbs in about 6 months, and I certainly feel weaker. My climbing abilities have improved, but I find it harder to pull the big gears on the flats.
06-18-10, 01:48 PM
Thanks for all the input... It took me @ 18 months to drop the weight slowly. I went to a nutritionist (who was a racer) and she put me on a diet that wasn't really that difficult. Lots of fiber and walking, and after that more walking and when I was through walking, I started walking. I start feeling crappy about 3-4 miles into the ride. I ride the same route during the week I really look forward to getting out to a more rural ride. Its probably more of a dehydration and protein deficiency (sp?). I haven't ridden much this week due the rains in N FL. I'll look into the recovery drinks and gels, etc on the road.
06-19-10, 02:08 AM
50 lbs over 75 weeks isn't that bad. Anything around a pound a week is sensible and sustainable. People who try to loose a ridiculous amount of weight like 3 lbs a week can run into trouble.
Easy to way to check if you're hydrating properly is to weigh yourself before and after a ride. You should weigh the same, if not more.
Take a few days off (completely off, zero exercise) and see what happens.
If you're not feeling good just a few minutes into the ride, drinks and gels won't help. After a couple REAL rest days, go easy build a new training plan. Your body may respond better to harder, shorter workouts.
To cut right to the point, you are not eating enough of the right food at the right time!
Every ones diet will be different. You have to experiment and figure out what to eat and when.
I commute five days a week for a total of 200 miles, and the two things I can tell you, if you are hungry eat! And always go to bed on a full stomach of slow digesting protein. I take 50 grams of Casein protein every night before bed.
I also start my morning with 30 grams of whey protein and a Banana!
I am 220 lbs. I take in 220 grams of protein and 320 grams of carbs, plus 50 grams of good fats everyday. I have been commuting for four straight weeks, and I have lost 20lbs of fat, and feel stronger everyday that I ride.
There is a calculator on the web you can use to determine how many calories you burn everyday...Like most people with your claims, I would bet you will find you are burning a lot more then you take in!
06-29-10, 01:12 PM
anyone suggest rest?
06-30-10, 06:27 AM
I'd recommend buying The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook. Simply the best £12 I've ever spent. I was in the same situation as you. Last year. Too much biking for my level of fitness. I lost power and got cramps. I couldn't climb stairs or walk up a hill without my quads aching, and to top it off I had pain in both the knees, and just general aches and pains throughout the body. Physio's stretching and strengthening program just made me worse, and I ended up in more pain. It was a tough winter, doing all that physio, all those stretches, and getting nowhere. But since adopting a different approach in the spring I've pretty much eliminated all pain. All it involves is working out tender spots in the muscles. They're easy to find once you know where to look, and working on them once a day will improve your condition rapidly. It's simple and effective and I wonder why the medical community are so slow to catch on. All those doctor and physio appointments I had, all to no avail, and then to find such a cheap, easy cure months down the line. I could go on about it but I'll just say please buy it.. you won't regret it.
07-01-10, 10:39 AM
Really, enfilade? You're getting better? Riding again?
07-02-10, 06:46 AM
Hey Carbonfiberboy. Yeah I have been better recently, just over the past fortnight even I've made a big improvement. As for the cycling I haven't done any long rides yet. Been sticking to shorter, more frequent rides, but I'm ready to increase the mileage now and will do very soon :)
07-18-10, 08:45 PM
I would only lose strength & more importantly power, if I stopped lifting weights, particularly on the flats pushing big gears. Its why I lift year round. This is what you see with the likes of Fabian Cancellara, Tony Martin etc in the TT's. Big guys, strong as hell, able to push the big gears & bring in good times on the flats.
A loss in bodyweight is universally regarded as a loss in strength.
If your losing strength in the legs & all your doing is cycling?, What does this tell you about cycling & increasing ones strength?.
07-18-10, 08:59 PM
I try to eat well, but have found that a recovery smoothie helps. My recipe, @15 grams Whey protein, banana, cup of low fat yogurt, glucosamine, 2 cups of cranberry juice and some blueberries. I drink it in the morning instead of coffee. I have ridden about the same number of miles this year, 2/3s on dirt. I experience some weakness when I skip.
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