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Old 05-11-12, 10:14 PM   #1
Koobazaur
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Ugh, my thighs went from awesome strong to useless over a weekend....

I got my bike 2.5 months ago and been slowly increasing the amount I bike and the intensity, with my muscles adjusting and growing accordingly. I've had weeks where I'd be biking like an hour around hilly terrain almost every day, pushing and sweating, and ready to take on even harder hills after a weekend break. But this week, after a relaxing bike-free 3-day weekend, and just two half-hour rides, my legs are just completely shot; as soon as I hit any resistance, my thighs turn into a wad of burning PAIN! Completely unbearable, had to drop gears down (for the first time) to even get home. Question is... what happened?


Have I just reached a natural plateau where I am just pushing too hard? Do I need to take more break days (I had far more intense weeks as I said tho). Is me drinking more soymilk in light of regular milk and having slightly less meat in the past week or so (I think, not sure) led to temporary insufficient protein for muscle recovery (I do eat tons of greek yogurt/cottage cheese/eggs/beans and my diet is really healthy overall)? Or am I simply not eating enough, regardless what it is I eat (since I started biking, my weight stayed more or less the same, but my leg strength increased)? Or maybe it is the one night of heavy drinking over that weekend that messed up my recovery for this week (but it's not the first, and drinking has never been an issue before)? Perhaps the toe clips I got recently changed my biking style and put extra strain that wasn't there before?


I guess I am wondering if there's something particular that I did the past 1-2 weeks that led to this, or if it's an overarching problem, since the change is so sudden. What weirds me out is that.... the exact same thing happened to me two years ago, at exactly the same time since picking up biking (~2.5 months). Things are great, muscles getting stronger, I feel like I can take on the world, and suddenly over a week, my strength runs out and is replaced with total pain when the muscle is at all challenged. It nearly killed my interest in biking last time, so I dont want a repeat of that.


So planning no-biking this weekend (except maybe lowest gear to the store) and plenty of foods that will hopefully recover me for next week. Still... such a sudden change and such severe pain in the specific muscle, following the same pattern as in the past :|

EDIT: Also, a health check + blood work I got done some month ago indicated that I am in great health, everything's tip-top.

Last edited by Koobazaur; 05-11-12 at 10:38 PM.
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Old 05-11-12, 10:57 PM   #2
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What do you eat before and after a ride? Your diet has to change as you ride more or at least how and when you eat. After a ride within the first 30 minutes you need a recovery drink or meal. High protein to rebuild the mussels. You need high energy food before a ride, like a large order of oatmeal and fruit. But you problem sounds like a hydration problem. The Mantra for cyclists is eat before you are hungry and drink before you are thirsty. Something like shot blocks works but so does apple slices and bananas. I use electrolytes in my water bottle but some people can get by with just water. And learn to have a easy recovery ride after a hard ride. You need to work the latic acid out of your legs and that takes light spinning for at least three miles and better if you can get in five. I don't normally reccommend Bicycling Magazine but June 2012 has some good information on what to eat and when. Just take it easy for a day or two and you will get back to where you were.
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Old 05-11-12, 11:17 PM   #3
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Food is an important part of both performance, strength-building, and recovery. You need more than simple protein, you also need iron to increase your red blood cells. The easiest source of both is red meat, as it seems the most easy to digest. Green leafy vegetables are another source of iron, and there are alternative sources of protein.

Proper feeding leading up to your ride is important. My magic formula was simply a quart of pork fried rice eaten over the previous afternoon and evening. I kid you not, this really helped keep my energy level high during long rides.

You must eat immediately after your ride. I begin boiling pasta before I get in the shower after a ride. I add chicken and spinach, and some olive oil, along with a lot of salt (which I lose a lot of in the hot and humid summers).

Stretching before and after rides helps. I usually stretch for ten minutes or so before a ride, and I stretch in the shower afterward.
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Old 05-11-12, 11:19 PM   #4
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I think the problem will soon go away - for awhile. You will also have days when the old two wheeler will fairly fly.

If the problem persists, make sure there is air in the tires and the brakes only touch the wheels when you squeeze the levers.
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Old 05-12-12, 09:06 AM   #5
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I think the problem will soon go away - for awhile. You will also have days when the old two wheeler will fairly fly.

If the problem persists, make sure there is air in the tires and the brakes only touch the wheels when you squeeze the levers.
Heh heh

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Old 05-12-12, 11:54 AM   #6
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This is a classic symptom of chronic self-abuse.

How is your vision?

Any hair growing on the palm of your hand?
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Old 05-12-12, 03:17 PM   #7
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Mobile and Sangetsu - I spoke with my friend who has been a personal trainer for a few years and he said it's not really food related but most likely, after a long weekend break I pushed myself too hard when my muscles were still in "relaxed" mode and thus over-exerted them and trying to bike through the pain just made it worse. However, I have been concerned this may be diet-related.

See, I have been overweight most of my life and in the past 3 years literally lost over 1/3 of my body weight. I was on and off dieting/exercise for three years; after such a long time it becomes a habit and it's hard to readjust to normal eating again, so I have been concerned with under-eating.

I don't really coorindate my eating and biking that much; my schedule is pretty flexible so I just eat/bike when I feel like, but I definitely agree and see a connection between the two so have been trying to account for that. For example, I noticed that if I have like an apple/soda right before or during a ride I end up much more energized. Having some well balanced big meal (I see your pork rice, Sangetsu, and raise you chicken yakiudon yum yum!) a bit before the ride also gives me way more energy. Conversly, biking in the morning on empty stomach (if I am meeting someone somewhere for brunch) is hard as hell, so I tend to avoid that. I do tend to eat right after I get done biking since its usually dinner time by then and I am starving.

Eitherway, I have been fine all this time and saw definite strength growth in the past 2.5months so assumed I was doing things right, up until this week. Could it be just improper nutrition the past week? Or overall long-term under-nutrition that finally caught up with me?

I guess there are just so many variables and it could be any combination of them really...

EDIT: also to clarfiy, this is NOT a standard post-workout soreness (I know how that feels). I am not sore at all and can move around/walk/squat/whatever just fine. Only when I bike and hit like a hill, after some 30 seconds my thighs give out and just start burning with intense pain.

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This is a classic symptom of chronic self-abuse.

How is your vision?

Any hair growing on the palm of your hand?


Not sure I get it, but it appears you are inquiring about my masturbatory habits

Last edited by Koobazaur; 05-12-12 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 05-12-12, 03:37 PM   #8
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Not sure I get it, but it appears you are inquiring about my masturbatory habits
And I'm JUST kidding.
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