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  1. #1
    Senior Member shumacher's Avatar
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    Post-ride aches and pains

    I've done quite a few ~10 mile rides. Yesterday, I decided to see what I could manage. I rode a little over 26 miles. Near the end, my neck, back, and arms were all pretty sore. About two hours later, I had a nasty headache that lasted till mid morning the next day. Most of the muscle pain in my arms and legs went away just an hour or so after getting off the bike. The odd thing is that almost 24 hours after getting off the bike, my legs started aching, followed by my arms. Compared to the aches I had right after the ride, this is deeper and less sharp. While it started in my legs, it's now stronger in my arms than in my legs. Has anyone else had muscle pain go away, only to come back so long after a ride? I suppressed an urge to go for a twenty minute spin around the block. Would that have helped? Maybe a specific stretching or cool-off regimen?

  2. #2
    cycling n00b Black Shuck's Avatar
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    Do a bit of stretching, and just general "softening-up" moves a short while after getting off the bike, don't overdo it though.

  3. #3
    Steel is Real. markw's Avatar
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    Are you staying well hydrated? I get headaches if I get dehydrated. As for aches and pains, I switched to a Bacchetta Corsa recumbent 2 years ago and haven't looked back. I've got a bum shoulder from too many aerial dismounts on bmx/mtb's. Used to get a good ache going on anything north of 50 miles on my paramount or LHT.

  4. #4
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by shumacher
    I've done quite a few ~10 mile rides. Yesterday, I decided to see what I could manage. I rode a little over 26 miles. Near the end, my neck, back, and arms were all pretty sore. About two hours later, I had a nasty headache that lasted till mid morning the next day. Most of the muscle pain in my arms and legs went away just an hour or so after getting off the bike. The odd thing is that almost 24 hours after getting off the bike, my legs started aching, followed by my arms. Compared to the aches I had right after the ride, this is deeper and less sharp. While it started in my legs, it's now stronger in my arms than in my legs. Has anyone else had muscle pain go away, only to come back so long after a ride? I suppressed an urge to go for a twenty minute spin around the block. Would that have helped? Maybe a specific stretching or cool-off regimen?
    Muscle fatigue often shows up the next day as a dull ache. You may be experiencing it more in your arms than legs because your arms aren't used to what you put them through. Your legs probably tolerate it more because they are used to hard work - they carry you around all day, after all.

    Stretching is always a good idea, but it doesn't prevent you from overworking muscles. I've been advised a light recovery ride is in order the day following a hard ride. Your 20 minutes is fine, and may make you feel better as it will aid blood circulation to the damaged muscles.

  5. #5
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Usually the achiest part are the bottoms of my feet. Otherwise the usual malidie is sometimes just total fatique. Sometimes it goes away after just a 30 minute nap on the floor. Other days, I feel fatiqued for the entire day.

  6. #6
    Senior Member shumacher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markw
    Are you staying well hydrated? I get headaches if I get dehydrated. As for aches and pains, I switched to a Bacchetta Corsa recumbent 2 years ago and haven't looked back. I've got a bum shoulder from too many aerial dismounts on bmx/mtb's. Used to get a good ache going on anything north of 50 miles on my paramount or LHT.
    That is a good question. I was drinking quite a bit of water, but I was only just holding off the nausea. I hear nausea comes with hydration problems. I think I downed four and a half bottles. It was pretty hot though.

  7. #7
    Senior Member shumacher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclezealot
    Usually the achiest part are the bottoms of my feet. Otherwise the usual malidie is sometimes just total fatique. Sometimes it goes away after just a 30 minute nap on the floor. Other days, I feel fatiqued for the entire day.
    I didn't get that. A few years ago I had that problem regularly. I think it was wearing street shoes in the clips.

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    Personally the best thing is to let the muscles rest for a bit, but not more than a day or two. They need conditioned so that they think that kind of activity is normal. They will adapt. I remember a weight training class I took in high school. I hadn't lifted before and for the first day or two my arms and legs would be stiff and a bit sore right after class from the workout, but it wasn't until I awoke the next day when all my limbs felt like dead weight and moving them was uncomfortable, not painful just uncomfortable. By the end of the semester, I still would feel sore the day after I really pushed myself during lifting, but not nearly as much as at the beginning of the semster.

  9. #9
    Senior Member JumboRider's Avatar
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    I am not much for sports drinks, but it sounds like you could have used some. I have also read that a product called xtend does a very good job in preventing muscle soreness especially when there is lactic acid buildup.

  10. #10
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    Do they make Diet Gatorade? If I'm going to put unwanted calories in my system, I'm going to dang well chew them....

  11. #11
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shumacher
    That is a good question. I was drinking quite a bit of water, but I was only just holding off the nausea. I hear nausea comes with hydration problems. I think I downed four and a half bottles. It was pretty hot though.
    Try adding in Gatorade or another sport drink at 1 bottle /2 of water. It also sounds like Low blood sugar/electrolyte depletion, as these can cause a terrible headache as well!
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  12. #12
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solveg
    Do they make Diet Gatorade? If I'm going to put unwanted calories in my system, I'm going to dang well chew them....
    In this case, they aren't unwanted calories, instead, they are calories to support blood sugars. Under intense effort, you deplete your muscle glycogen and blood glucose.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  13. #13
    I Design Stuff rickyaustin's Avatar
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    If you're concerned with Gatorade calories — try Propel fitness water by Gatorade. I'm addicted to the stuff. I find it more refreshing and think it just tastes better too. Not overpoweringly sweet, just enough. Only 30 calories per bottle.

    Try the Berry!

  14. #14
    Senior Member JumboRider's Avatar
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    I love the Propel stuff. Grape...yum.

  15. #15
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    I'll try it. It replenishes electolytes, right?

    See, I just don't like to drink calories... If I can drink Propel instead of Gatorade, then I can actually eat* something to replenish calories.

    Is it better to do a lot of small commuting trips during the day than 1 giant ride?

  16. #16
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Just for aomething nobody ever seems to mention...I love putting Lipton iced tea with lemon in my bottles for rides under 100k. Less calories than gatorade, more needed minerals than water, tastes better warm than both. For longer rides I use gatorade lemonade, with some ice to dilute. Whenever I carry two bottles, one is plain water...because in many emergency situations that can arise it is much more suitable than some drink. I stay away from Gu and other 'energy' boosters because what goes up, must come down.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

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    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solveg
    Is it better to do a lot of small commuting trips during the day than 1 giant ride?
    Better for what purpose?
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  18. #18
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    For burning fat without running too much of a calorie deficit... If you run into your body cannibalizing your muscles and good stuff, does it make more sense to bike for an hour in the morning and bike for an hour in the evening so that you don't have to eat calories not to bonk? Or run small errands on a bike all day... does that burn your fat stores more than one big ride?

  19. #19
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    It's not how far you ride, the key factor is how hard you ride. Keep your heart rate down (below 80% of max I believe, someone will correct me if I am wrong) and you will burn fat and be able to go a good distance with minimal additional nutrition. I think an hour a day twice a day will do you just fine as long as you don't start hammering away or tackling huge climbs and will also help get you conditioned for any longer rides you might want to do. Take it easy and enjoy the rides...you are not training to race.

    To put this whole bonking thing in perspective: My daily commute is roughly 25 miles each way. My average speed is always between 16-17+mph in the summer. On the morning ride I have a couple sips from the bottle, tops and eat nothing until I get to work. I eat a decent lunch, then on the ride home I may drink a full bottle, tops if it's really hot and humid, and eat nothing until I get home. No bonks. The key is riding a steady pace that keeps your heart rate an an acceptable level below max and having a full energy/hydration tank when you start.
    Last edited by chipcom; 06-19-07 at 07:06 PM.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  20. #20
    Senior Member shumacher's Avatar
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    I always thought the sports drinks were for people more gonzo than I. I'll give them a try. I'm not completely against sugar in a drink, but I've been trying to cut out the high fructose corn syrup. I'll probably try the Propel first. Thanks all for the advice there. I might also pack a granola bar or something, as I was starting to get hungry too. The muscle ache is pretty much gone at this point.

  21. #21
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    You have sore arms, shoulders, neck, and back? Try tipping the nose of the saddle up a little. Just remember to wear bike shorts to stow your parts up and out of the way.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  22. #22
    Senior Member shumacher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan
    You have sore arms, shoulders, neck, and back? Try tipping the nose of the saddle up a little. Just remember to wear bike shorts to stow your parts up and out of the way.
    Funny you should say that. During the ride, I noticed that the nose was slightly up, and I was planning on moving it down. Also, the ride was my first ever in bike shorts. I think my saddle was about half an inch too high. If the rain lets up a little, I'll have to go out and play with the saddle a bit.

  23. #23
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shumacher
    Funny you should say that. During the ride, I noticed that the nose was slightly up, and I was planning on moving it down. Also, the ride was my first ever in bike shorts. I think my saddle was about half an inch too high. If the rain lets up a little, I'll have to go out and play with the saddle a bit.
    Were your hips rocking as you pedalled?

    Also, re: the pain in your neck and shoulders...what kind of bars are you running?
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  24. #24
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    as for diet drinks, I used to get the gatorade powder unsweetened and then sweeten it to taste with half sugar/half substitute. I also drank it half strength or less, it's easier to drink warm that way.

    I like the tea and lemon idea.

  25. #25
    Senior Member shumacher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    Were your hips rocking as you pedalled?

    Also, re: the pain in your neck and shoulders...what kind of bars are you running?
    I don't remember hip rocking, but I suppose it would have been possible if I got sloppy. The saddle isn't crazy high, but I feel like it's a little higher than it should be. I'm running drop bars. They're marked "Sakae Custom Modolo Anatomic bend". I spent most of the time on the tops and on the hoods.

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