Originally Posted by Kitohe
Is this an issue of over-training or should I just take like 3 days off from riding and lay on my sofa when I get home?
Well, it does sound like it could be overtraining - kind of like the feeling of moving through mud and even the simplest exertion feels really difficult? I've only experienced overtraining as a runner, but it's the same for every sport - you increased your training, however, you haven't given your body adequate rest to repair, and haven't eaten enough carbohyrates in order to restore the glycogen levels in your muscles. Also, if you have muscle soreness that persists for a few days, you could be breaking down protein to compensate for your depleated glycogen stores. This is what I do: rest for 2 or 3 days, eat a lot of protein for dinner the first night, (steak and eggs, for example) and eat a lot of carbs (whole wheat pasta, fruit, etc.) for the second night. Make sure you take in enough calories for your body to repair itself. By the third day or fourth day, you should feel like a million bucks (and you may even get stronger!)
Now, there's another way that you can figure out if you are overtraining the next time around- that is, when you wake up each morning, before you get up or move, take your pulse for one minute. Take this each morning for week, average it, and get your baseline resting pulse rate. If you suspect that you are overtraining, your pulse rate when you first wake up will be rather elevated. You'll know to take it easy until you get back to your baseline.
As for the sofa, I agree with the person who suggested the massage and gentle stretching - to prevent stiffness when you get back on the bike.