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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 04-03-14, 12:43 PM   #1
corwin1968
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Ride or Rest

As I've posted here before, I'm a super-clyde at approximately 400lbs. Since the weather has warmed up I've been easing back into riding and last night I went pretty hard (maybe too hard) on my 30+ lb mountainbike in 35mph wind...plus some dirt. Today, my legs are tight (not sore) and I kept feeling like they were going to cramp when I had to walk about 100 yards.

Based on your experiences.......will I be better off to get out and ride again tonight or should I rest my legs for a night and jump right back in tomorrow?
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Old 04-03-14, 12:46 PM   #2
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Your body will tell you... If you feel like you can get on the bike and slowly warm up- do so. I am often sore from the day before when I hop on- 5 minutes later it was exactly what I needed to work the pain out!
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Old 04-03-14, 12:53 PM   #3
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First hydrate and make sure you are getting the mix of electrolytes you need. Go for a ride but gear back to an easy spin at higher cadence, at least that combination has worked for me. You may be different. This assumes you can ride the flats and avoid hills.
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Old 04-03-14, 12:53 PM   #4
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How long did you ride (time)?

If you are fresh back into riding, a day off the bike is probably a good idea. If you less fresh, active recovery is often just the ticket, as mentioned by the verizon fan above me. Stick it into a super easy gear and go ride for 30 minutes around a very easy course.
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Old 04-03-14, 01:01 PM   #5
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I'd bring more water, ingest more protein either shakes or meats. The protein will help the muscle repair faster. Rest one day then get back on the bike w/ a solid slow warm up
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Old 04-03-14, 01:42 PM   #6
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I would say rest because you are just at the beginning of your recovery journey; an overuse injury now could really affect your motivation and commitment.

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Old 04-03-14, 01:43 PM   #7
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First hydrate and make sure you are getting the mix of electrolytes you need. Go for a ride but gear back to an easy spin at higher cadence, at least that combination has worked for me. You may be different. This assumes you can ride the flats and avoid hills.
I suggest this. Active recovery can be good.
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Old 04-03-14, 01:56 PM   #8
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I'm going to take this opportunity to explain why I say go ride. We need to exercise, our bodies are built for it. Our Sedentary life is slowly killing us. We as a species used to walk or run everywhere we went. We for the most part do so no longer. For most of us exercising daily puts our bodies back on the natural course. Rest days are for those that are training. Training with intense effort requires rest for our muscles to build and recover. For cyclists that are in the base miles stage of cycling if you need rest days you are over doing it. Slow down and let you body get accustomed to moving before adding intensity, meanwhile build duration. Just like a big change in diet the first two weeks are tough. Hydration, nutrition and post ride stretching will not only get you through it but allow you to build your strength. A couple years ago there were folks that expressed a contrary view to this claiming that riding every day leads to burn out. That may be the case for some, I'm still here and still riding every chance I get and still enjoying it. YMMV I'm not trying to change the focus of this thread but only explaining to the OP why I think he should keep riding.
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Old 04-03-14, 02:32 PM   #9
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I would go do an easy level recovery ride. 30-45 minutes, low intensity, easy effort. For the future, keep three things in mind.

1) Stretch after your rides, it will reduce the next day soreness and make it easier to tolerate.
2) Hydrate well before, during and after your ride. If you get dehydrated or your electrolytes are out of whack from not rehydrating and/or fueling well on a longer ride, it can lead to cramps and more soreness.
3) Recover after hard efforts. If you do a long hard ride, don't sit and do nothing for the next 2 days...it will hurt! Get back on the bike, go for a walk, or do something to flush out and gently work the muscles. Also, if you do a hard effort late in the day, give your body some protein and a few carbs afterwards to rebuild with. It doesn't have to be a huge amount or a high calorie smoothie. it can be something simple like some jerky or some yogurt. Fasting after a hard effort may help some with weight loss, but it will impede recovery and your ability to go hard in subsequent days.
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Old 04-03-14, 05:14 PM   #10
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I think I will go with a very easy ride and just let my body tell me how long and how far. The stiffness comes and goes and is probably related to long stretches of inactivity at my desk job. I also struggle with hydration and electrolyte issues and keep a case or two of V8 juice on hand. I'll spend a couple of hours drinking water and one or two V8's before I go out this evening.
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Old 04-03-14, 05:39 PM   #11
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I think I will go with a very easy ride and just let my body tell me how long and how far. The stiffness comes and goes and is probably related to long stretches of inactivity at my desk job. I also struggle with hydration and electrolyte issues and keep a case or two of V8 juice on hand. I'll spend a couple of hours drinking water and one or two V8's before I go out this evening.
I like your thinking, listen to your body, it's telling you to rest, a slow no torque ride isn't going to hurt, not knowing your age is problematic, if you're 28 recovery will be instantaneous, if you're 58, rest will be 4 days
Peaceful Mountain Arnica Plus -- 3.5 oz - Vitacost
I like this stuff before exercising, loosens the muscles (tendons and ligaments) up and requires vigorous massage to apply, a win, win, and it's not bad for sore muscles(afterwards).
If you overdue it and it's easy to do, recovery is going to be another extensive time off.
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Old 04-03-14, 06:38 PM   #12
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I like your thinking, listen to your body, it's telling you to rest, a slow no torque ride isn't going to hurt, not knowing your age is problematic, if you're 28 recovery will be instantaneous, if you're 58, rest will be 4 days
Peaceful Mountain Arnica Plus -- 3.5 oz - Vitacost
I like this stuff before exercising, loosens the muscles (tendons and ligaments) up and requires vigorous massage to apply, a win, win, and it's not bad for sore muscles(afterwards).
If you overdue it and it's easy to do, recovery is going to be another extensive time off.
Turned 46 last week.

Well, I went out for a ride and not only has the wind picked up considerably (even over last night's ride) but it was COLD! I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt! All of my rides are short but this one was even shorter.....maybe 1-2 miles. I rode my Devil this time, which is a 25lb bike with 32mm Vittoria Hyper tires. Pretty sporty and a really fun ride once the wind was at my back.

My legs felt stiff when I got off the bike but while I was riding...they were great. I think it's just being old, out of shape and the musles tightening up when I sit for several hours. Tomorrow I plan to get up and walk around about once an hour or so. See if I can work some of the stiffness out.

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Old 04-03-14, 09:38 PM   #13
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One other tip, if it is cold cover those legs. Cold muscles is an invitation to injury.
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Old 04-04-14, 08:57 AM   #14
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I suggest this. Active recovery can be good.
This!
Unless it's "bad" pain, it's better to move then not.

Stretching helps, and easy ride...

Hot epsom salt bath can do wonders.

I'll even take naproxem or such to facilitate moving so they don't tighten further.
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Old 04-04-14, 01:15 PM   #15
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Whenever I'm asking myself the question, ride or rest, the right answer is almost always rest. In your case that might not be right, though, it sounded like you might benefit from getting out and seeing how it feels. Since it was yesterday that you posted it I guess by now you either did it or didn't.
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