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  1. #1
    Senior Member Street Pedaler's Avatar
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    Post Rest Day "Blahs"

    I was off the bike between the end of November and the beginning of March due to a non-cycling related back situation ( I have a messed up screw in my spine). Since I started back in March, I've been fighting something pretty weird.

    First off, I KNOW that I'm not taking as many rest days as I should. I've always tried to take one every fourth day or so but, since I've been back up, I've been taking one every 7-14 days. I'm not killing myself on the bike but I have been averaging between 150-200 miles/ week. Most recently, I rode 9 straight days and put in 51 miles Monday morning before taking Tuesday off. I got on the bike this morning and it was all I could do to pedal. I fought out 25 EASY (intensity wise) miles and was just dead at the end of the ride.

    So, that's my problem. It seems that I feel worse after a rest day than I do if I just keep riding but lessen distance/intensity for a day or two when I start to feel tired. If I take a day completely off the bike, I feel like hell for the first day or two after. This situation is new to me. Anybody else deal with anything like this?

    Thoughts are welcome. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    What you are experiencing is very commonly described by pro cyclists. After a rest day in a stage race their legs feel heavy, they don't feel as good on the bike as they do when they have been riding the day before. As a result, none of them actually "rest" on the rest days during a Grand Tour. Instead, they go out for two or three hours, just spinning along gently to keep their legs in order.

    And I've experienced it myself on long tours. After, say, six successive days on the bike, and feeling great, I take a rest day, and the day after that seems tough. It takes a couple of days to get back into it.

    So, nothing to worry about, it's perfectly normal - though I confess I have no idea what the physiological explanation is. But you are probably magnifying the effect by going so many days without a break - after 10 or 14 days on the bike you may just need more than a day to recover. So if I were you I'd go back to your previous practice of taking a couple of days off per week. Remember, during a stage race the pros make staying competitive, rather than recovering properly, a priority - and as a result they lose quite a lot of muscle mass during the Tour de France, for example, which they have to make good afterwards. Your priorities should be different, in order to get fitter you have to rest.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Street Pedaler's Avatar
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    Wow, this may be the closest I EVER come to being "Pro", lolol. What you say makes sense. I don't recall feeling like this when I was more diligent about the rest days. I need to make myself take more. Thanks!

  4. #4
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    Last season I rode myself into the ground. By August I was riding because I was supposed to and going slower as each week past. Not going to happen this year. Rest is very important.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Street Pedaler's Avatar
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    Jethro, I hear ya. My problem, though, isn't the rest days, themselves. It's the day or two following the rest days. I actually feel better if I just keep riding but lessen the work load. As Chasm described, when I come back from a rest day my legs just feel dead. If I skip the rest days, I'll get tired and start getting sore, but I never "lose" my legs like I do after resting. It's weird.

  6. #6
    gbg
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    That's pretty common with me. I will put in 5-10 days straight and take a day off. The
    next day I can really feel sluggish, but the day after that I am good to go.
    I think it may be I just did too much and 1 day isn't a long enough recovery to get back on the bike.
    But I am just used to it and expect that it can happen.

    I generally don't hydrate as much as I should and I think that may be part of it as well. I hate drinking from a bottle
    but I got a few camelbaks and they help a lot. I can still empty one on a hard ride and dehydrate a little at the end though.

  7. #7
    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    What if anything special are you doing for recovery fueling?

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Then just ride. I would if my job allowed it, those days with a gentle pace are known as active recovery days and are actually really good for you.
    Best thing about cycling is when I'm at work I'm thinking of cycling, when I'm cycling I'm thinking about cycling.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Street Pedaler's Avatar
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    GBG- Hydration is a big challenge down here as the heat and humidity begin to climb over the coming weeks/ months. July and August are just brutal. I've become a huge fan of Endurolytes while I'm riding to help replace sodium, potassium, etc. My blood sodium level is usually a bit low to begin with so I really have to stay on top of that. Especially the way I sweat.

    Vesteroid- It depends on what kind of ride I just finished and what kind I plan on doing next. Lots of veggies and protein and, if I've been on the saddle for 2 hours or more, I use Endurox R40. Good stuff. Whey Protein is also a regular re-fueler.

    Youcoming- I'm beginning to think that may be my best course of action. At least while I have the time available to do so. Besides, any excuse to ride!

    Thanks, y'all!

  10. #10
    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    since you already use hammer products, you may want to try their recovery drink. Not saying its better, but if you buy hammer products through their online program (some minimum amount you need to order every quarter) you get a sizable discount.

    I know I never have any issues hitting the minimum and they give me tons of "free" stuff each quarter. I have gotten two shirts, one pair of shorts, one hat, and tons of product samples over the last year, and I think a water bottle.

    AND I pay less than retail with free shipping and no tax.

    Works for me anyway.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Street Pedaler's Avatar
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    I need to start ordering directly from them. I get all of my stuff from my LBS but they just don't stock everything. Besides, I'm all about the occasional free swag!

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