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  1. #1
    Senior Member volosong's Avatar
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    How to speed up recovery as I (we) get older???

    I tend to "push it" when I go for a ride. Pretty much ride solo. The past few years, most of my "average moving speeds" have been between 15 mph and 16 mph, (unless a century ride or a particularly hilly route). This year, I wanted to up that to between 17-18 mph. So far, so good. On really windy days or when there is a lot of climbing, I miss my goal. Otherwise, not too bad.

    But ... my legs are really sore for several hours afterward and it takes me a day or two to fully recover, depending on how long I ride. I used to stretch in high school when I ran hurdles, (had to be really flexible for those stupid hurdles - still have scars on my kneecaps), but no real stretching since then. Have always been active in either competitive skating and tennis, or recreational kayaking and cycling; but have never been injured from any physical activity, (only exception was a separated shoulder due to an awkward fall while chasing a foul ball in a softball game - missed it too, off the tip of my glove). Just lately I've been sore from cycling.

    Am I just getting old, (60), and have to accept this soreness ... or is there something I should be doing, like stretching before and afterward? I'm rarely sick and almost never injured ... just getting tired of my legs aching when walking up flights of stairs here at work. Diet is fairly healthy, but as with all of us, it could probably be better.

    Do any of you get sore after riding? And if so, what do you do about it?
    Last edited by volosong; 01-23-12 at 03:39 PM. Reason: grammar
    Deut 6:5

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    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    Stretching later in the day helps my post ride soreness some. As does self-massage with "the stick". But having sore legs some of the time is just part of the deal.

    You'll improve faster if you don't "push it" on every ride, and forget about average speed. Try doing some hard rides or intervals some days, and slower endurance rides other days.

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    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Massage and 12 to 16 ounces of chocolate milk get rid of most of my leg soreness and seem to speed recovery. (Personally, I think massage is better if someone else does it for you. You can relax more.)
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  4. #4
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    Stretching later in the day helps my post ride soreness some. As does self-massage with "the stick". But having sore legs some of the time is just part of the deal.

    You'll improve faster if you don't "push it" on every ride, and forget about average speed. Try doing some hard rides or intervals some days, and slower endurance rides other days.
    +1,

    I also used to run track, and hurdles was one of the events I did. I know about the skinned knees and ankles. I even used to tape a table spoon over the bump on my ankle on my trail leg to avoid skinning that bone. back then we stretched a lot both before and after practice which in hindsight I wouldn't do nowadays. When I coached HS track and field we used warm-up drills to loosen the athletes up after some minimal stretching. I will do some limited stretching before doing my core and resistance exersizes.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  5. #5
    I am the Snail~! Peter_C's Avatar
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    Personally, I think you're (as am I) just getting old. It'll happen to all of us, just at different ages. Scrapes and bruises heal slower, and a sore back from snow in the driveway takes longer than a day to recover from. Same idea here I think.
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    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Yep - I have noticeably slowed down the last couple of years, and much more aches and pains.

    I guess it comes with the territory. I started back on Celebrex the last few days. It helps some.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  7. #7
    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by volosong View Post
    Am I just getting old, (60), and have to accept this soreness ... or is there something I should be doing, like stretching before and afterward?Do any of you get sore after riding? And if so, what do you do about it?
    Well volosong,

    I'm 61 and I do push it pretty hard on most rides but still don't get sore legs. Not sure why other than I've been an active cyclist for 44 years now with no other sports thrown in to disrupt things. Plus, I do a lot of climbing rides, usually averaging 1,000 ft. of climbing for every 10 miles, so maybe that helps. Thankfully we have a lot of mountains in SoCal, so you should be able to get in lots of climbing too.

    I don't do any stretching, but I do occasionally drink chocolate milk (as recommended above!). One thing I do a bit more than most folks my age is sleep. I get 9 or 10 hours per night, so maybe that helps.

    Now for sure, after a double century I do feel tired, but my legs aren't sore and if I get some extra sleep on the day after the double, I'm usually riding again on the day after that. I also agree (as above) that recovery rides are essential to get you back to riding your potential speed/endurance as quickly as possible.

    Rick / OCRR

  8. #8
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Another vote for the Stick. There are several models, and they really help you maintain the intensity without significant soreness.

    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  9. #9
    Senior Member volosong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick@OCRR View Post
    ...One thing I do a bit more than most folks my age is sleep. I get 9 or 10 hours per night, so maybe that helps...
    This might be part of the "problem". Because of having to get up at 4:30 every morning to get ready for work and not going to bed at 10 or 11, midnight when I teach; I know I don't get as much sleep as I should. I don't see this changing until I retire, which if my satellite is still flying, won't be until 2017 or 2018 when it runs out of maneuvering fuel.

    What's this "stick" thing?
    Deut 6:5

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    "Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is 'never get involved in a land war in Asia'".
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  10. #10
    Senior Member bigbadwullf's Avatar
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    You are building up lactic acid. Only way to get it out is for the body to do it or go out for a ride and hope to "pump" it out. I'd take a slow, easy couple miles at the end of your ride to help pump out the lactic acid.

    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...S/exercise.png

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  11. #11
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    A slow easy short "recovery ride" the next day helps. I haven't noticed any improvement from taking it easy the last few miles of a hard ride but a cool down can't hurt. BTW, it's not lactic acid that causes DOMS. That was the old theory, now considered incorrect.

    Sleep helps recovery too. I like to take a nap after a hard ride. But my legs will tighten up while I'm not moving. That also happens when driving back from a race. I try to get out of the car and walk around every so often.

    Proper nutrition intake helps recovery in that you can build your glygogen stores back up for tomorrow's hard ride. But I don't think there's much that it can do for sore muscles other than getting some protein so there's plenty of raw material for the healing process.

    The stick is a massage tool. It's a fiberglass rod with handles, with small plastic rollers in the middle. You use it to massage the muscles (towards the heart was what I was told). I have the 'travel' model: http://www.thestick.com/cgi-bin/comm...ion&key=G-1750

  12. #12
    Senior Member bigbadwullf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    A slow easy short "recovery ride" the next day helps. I haven't noticed any improvement from taking it easy the last few miles of a hard ride but a cool down can't hurt. BTW, it's not lactic acid that causes DOMS. That was the old theory, now considered incorrect.
    And i bet you think the world isn't flat too... Thanks, will check that out. Old thoughts die hard.

    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...S/exercise.png

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  13. #13
    Century bound Phil85207's Avatar
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    I think it has to do with getting older. I know the older I get the longer it takes to recover. I am thinking the stick may be a good idea, as I have seen it used a lot at tri's.
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  14. #14
    Pedals, Paddles and Poles Daspydyr's Avatar
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    Hot and cold packs help me after rides. Blood flow refeshes the muscles.
    I think its disgusting and terrible how people treat Lance Armstrong, especially after winning 7 Tour de France Titles while on drugs!

    I can't even find my bike when I'm on drugs. -Willie N.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    The prolonged leg muscle soreness I think is because of the longer distances at high levels of effort. If you go 20 miles at 18 mph average, then you get sore afterwards. But if you go 10 miles at 18 mph, the soreness goes away quicker. Its really what you want to do.

    What can't people just grow old gracefully?

  16. #16
    wreckrider
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    i think the key is the "push" u r attempting. my old wrestling coach used to shout out "no pain - no gain" as he hit us repeatedly with a wiffel ball (plastic) bat during practice. over my last few years of cycling i started out with experiencing sore legs after only a half hour ride at 13 mph; and now i average 15 - 18 mph and don't get sore legs until i hit 85 miles or so after a ride. at first i tried to minimize the soreness by stretching too much before, during & after the ride. overstretching caused problems. i learned that by spinning lightly at the beginning and with a small amount of stretching during & afterwards i did reduce alot of the soreness. but the bottom line is "no pain - no gain ". the thing is to decide how much u can do & where & when to plateau. i'm 60 now & if i can ride and maintain at this level i'm more than satisfied. the reverse "no gain - no pain" is also true.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    I don't really have the same post ride symptoms you noted but overall the one thing that has seemed to replenish me has been chocolate milk. My rides are usually either 30-40 mi. at a 15+ mph pace or 15 mi. at 17+ mph. Oh, I'm 65 until next June.

  18. #18
    Pedals, Paddles and Poles Daspydyr's Avatar
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    On long rides I stop and eat a Toll House Ice Cream Sandwich. Good immediate fuel and gives me a boost. I just turned 58.

    I heard this year that if you haven't grown up by age 50 then you don't have too! That has been a real emotional help.
    I think its disgusting and terrible how people treat Lance Armstrong, especially after winning 7 Tour de France Titles while on drugs!

    I can't even find my bike when I'm on drugs. -Willie N.

  19. #19
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
    The prolonged leg muscle soreness I think is because of the longer distances at high levels of effort. If you go 20 miles at 18 mph average, then you get sore afterwards. But if you go 10 miles at 18 mph, the soreness goes away quicker. Its really what you want to do.

    What can't people just grow old gracefully?
    Some of us choose to delay the decay brought about by aging for as long as possible. We want to be healthy and fit right up to the end. What's graceful about losing your fitness and health earlier than you absolutely have to? It's far more graceful to maintain athletic ability than it is to hobble around with a walker, wondering how you will handle your next ailment. IMO, "Aging gracefully" sounds like an excuse to not exercise strenuously enough.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  20. #20
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
    12 to 16 ounces of chocolate milk
    Truth.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  21. #21
    Senior Member volosong's Avatar
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    Thanks all for the advice. Most helpful. I think it is, for me, a combination of the weather, (shorter days = next to no riding during the week), pushing too hard for the two times a week that I can ride, and lack of sleep. In summary ... at least during this winter ... I'm out of shape. Hopefully when daylight savings time kicks in, I'll be able to do several, shortish recovery rides during the work week. Then I can push it on the weekends without being so sore.

    What's with this chocolate milk thing? Several people have mentioned this. Does sugar-free Swiss Miss work okay, or does one need the sugar, (being a diet controlled diabetic, I have to minimize/eliminate sugar in my diet).

    And I agree with AzTallRider. "Aging gracefully" is maintaining health and fitness. I'll take it easy, slow down, and rest when I'm six-feet under. Too much to see, do and experience until then.
    Deut 6:5

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  22. #22
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    Some of us choose to delay the decay brought about by aging for as long as possible. We want to be healthy and fit right up to the end. What's graceful about losing your fitness and health earlier than you absolutely have to? It's far more graceful to maintain athletic ability than it is to hobble around with a walker, wondering how you will handle your next ailment. IMO, "Aging gracefully" sounds like an excuse to not exercise strenuously enough.
    You can do both but realize the body doesn't work like it did 40 years ago. I remember a comment Charles Barkley made on TV about playing back to back on away games. He said something like when you're 35, the big difference is recovery time after a big effort the game before.

    So I say to myself, if I want to go 20 mph for one hour, good luck the next day. Better to adjust speed or distance and get another day of riding in.
    Last edited by Garfield Cat; 01-25-12 at 04:25 PM.

  23. #23
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
    So I say to myself, if I want to go 20 mph for one hour, good luck the next day. Better to adjust speed or distance and get another day of riding in.
    Each to their own. I've chosen to workout hard/often enough such that the efforts you describe, while they would have required significant recovery not that long ago, no longer do. My morning commute is about what you describe. My point is that you don't have to accept nearly as much decay as you think you do.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  24. #24
    Icantre Member stonefree's Avatar
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    The aging denial is fine, just don't make a mistake, slip, fall and break something like a hip, because then....poof, it all goes out the window and you might be in a new set of wheels.
    "If we don't change direction, we will end up exactly where we are headed."

  25. #25
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by volosong View Post
    I tend to "push it" when I go for a ride. Pretty much ride solo. The past few years, most of my "average moving speeds" have been between 15 mph and 16 mph, (unless a century ride or a particularly hilly route). This year, I wanted to up that to between 17-18 mph. So far, so good. On really windy days or when there is a lot of climbing, I miss my goal. Otherwise, not too bad.

    But ... my legs are really sore for several hours afterward and it takes me a day or two to fully recover, depending on how long I ride. I used to stretch in high school when I ran hurdles, (had to be really flexible for those stupid hurdles - still have scars on my kneecaps), but no real stretching since then. Have always been active in either competitive skating and tennis, or recreational kayaking and cycling; but have never been injured from any physical activity, (only exception was a separated shoulder due to an awkward fall while chasing a foul ball in a softball game - missed it too, off the tip of my glove). Just lately I've been sore from cycling.

    Am I just getting old, (60), and have to accept this soreness ... or is there something I should be doing, like stretching before and afterward? I'm rarely sick and almost never injured ... just getting tired of my legs aching when walking up flights of stairs here at work. Diet is fairly healthy, but as with all of us, it could probably be better.

    Do any of you get sore after riding? And if so, what do you do about it?
    I used to get sore when I first started riding and before I knew how to train. Today, it takes something extraordinary to make my legs sore. For example, the first time I did a sprint tournament I did 4 match sprints against competition and the next day my legs were very sore to the touch. Last year, at Masters Track Nationals, I had the race of my life in the 500 meters and made the podium. The next day my legs were sore and I did not do well in the pursuit. But I was so happy from the previous day, I did not care.

    The best way I know of to control soreness and fatigue is to not load up your legs which is what most riders do. What that means is one has to spin faster and develop the neuromuscular and cardiovascular systems.

    When riders try to ride faster they typically shift into a bigger gear to increase speed. This loads up the muscles and requires them to produce more force and hence the soreness. And the heart is beating slower so there is not as much recirculation of blood.

    My advice is to learn to spin faster and advance your speed once your cadence increases. You will find your heart rate will be higher and it will be more difficult but over time the HR will come down and you will be riding at higher speed.

    As far as recovery, I use compression tights, foam rollers, steam room and stretching. I like to stretch since I want to improve my time trial position.

    I get a massage once per week with focus on my IT bands, hip flexors, low back and quads and glutes.

    An ice bath is a great way to recover from a hard workout.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

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