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  1. #1
    Rawwrrrrrrrrr! wolfpack's Avatar
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    leg/quad soreness

    hi all - last week i rode only once due to the rain here in eastern NC and then had my usual saturday club ride (42mi) and sunday morning ride (30mi). the club ride was pretty much flat with some small rollers and i felt extremely good (had 1st half avg of 18, which is extremely good for me). next morning, legs were slightly sore, but i did a ride around jordan lake which included a few good hills and i went up them like a mtn goat! i just really had 2 great days of riding! i think i had 2 good days because i took 4 days off prior to the club ride.

    anyway, took monday off and then rode in the spin cycle firecracker 50k today. my legs are really sore now as this was a fairly hillly route. i've got a 4hr ride planned for saturday and then on july 16, a 100k with some really hard hills. so, my question is what can i do to alleviate the leg soreness so that i ride well again saturday and then again the following weekend?

    my legs seem to be the limiting factor in my rides lately. after weekend riding of somewhere between 50-70mi, and then riding 3 more times during the week (50mi), the next weekend, the legs just aren't fresh and it just gets compounded with weekly riding. this coming saturday's ride will most likely be around 60-65miles in length then a 20-30 mile recovery ride on sunday.

    should i do some light rides of mostly spinning for about 45-60 minutes tomorrow and the next day or take 2 days off and do easy spinning friday? i just want to figure out how to be able to feel good on the weekend rides. i'm doing around 100-120mi/wk, i'm F, 41, and have about 30# to lose, i've been riding since april. since july 1 i've got 105mi in 3 rides.

    thanks - karen.

  2. #2
    Seńor Member SimiCyclist's Avatar
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    Take a day or two off until the soreness is gone. Your muscles will have a chance to heal. Actually, this is the process that increases your muscle strength and performance. Sounds like you're on the right track.
    "We just don't recognize the most significant moments in our lives while they're happening. You say to yourself, 'there will be other days'. Then you realize it was the only day".

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  3. #3
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    I don't really get any soreness from doing hills, but I SPIN SPIN SPIN and use my gluts/hamstrings by pulling up and back on the pedals. Frankly, I use hills to rest my quads. Do you mash or spin up the hills?

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowandsteady
    I don't really get any soreness from doing hills, but I SPIN SPIN SPIN and use my gluts/hamstrings by pulling up and back on the pedals. Frankly, I use hills to rest my quads. Do you mash or spin up the hills?
    Maybe something in between. To build strength without much soreness, I pick a gear that feels moderately resistant to my leg muscles. As I get stronger, I can gradually increase the gear ratio, while keeping perceived resistance (how it feels to my legs) about the same. For me, gradual progression is always the key principle of training without pain or injury.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  5. #5
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    It may be better to do intervals or hill repeats to increase your strength, rather than chosing a harder gear.

  6. #6
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowandsteady
    It may be better to do intervals or hill repeats to increase your strength, rather than chosing a harder gear.
    True if you don't have to ride every day like I do. Intervals and hills call for a recovery day, at least if you're an older rider like me.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  7. #7
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    Recovery can mean an easy ride, not just sitting watching the TV. Although I do take some days off, I do recovery rides with my significant other. We average about 9 mph and it is very relaxing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfpack
    =
    anyway, took monday off and then rode in the spin cycle firecracker 50k today. my legs are really sore now as this was a fairly hillly route. i've got a 4hr ride planned for saturday and then on july 16, a 100k with some really hard hills. so, my question is what can i do to alleviate the leg soreness so that i ride well again saturday and then again the following weekend?
    =thanks - karen.
    What's your nutrition during and after the ride? Replacing the glycogen you used very soon after the ride - along with a little protein - can do a lot to get rid of leg soreness. As can getting the right nutrients during the ride.

    I use accelerade during the ride and endurox afterwards, and my leg soreness is considerably less. There are other ones that others use.
    Eric

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  9. #9
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    maybe book an appointment with a sports massage therapist.

  10. #10
    Rawwrrrrrrrrr! wolfpack's Avatar
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    Eric - I bought some Accelerade packets at REI and used one bottle of that, one bottle of of CytoSport (which I thought was nasty) and a Camelbak with 70oz H2O. Breakfast was 2 Kellogg's blueberry waffles with honey and 16oz diluted 25% Gatorade. During the ride, PBJ sandwich as well as PowerGel and CarbBoom gel. Rode 58miles, 3:45 ride time, 4hr total time. I felt good the whole ride, 'cept for the last 45min-60min when my lower back really started hurting. I could definitely tell a difference in drinking the Accelerade during the ride and will have to get a tub of that.

    After the ride, I had a bottle of chocolate milk and some pretzels. I know, not the best, but at that time, it was all I could get. Later in the evening, about 4hr after riding, I had 1.5c rice with hibachi chiken and steak.

    For a 4hr ride, would you use 2-24oz bottles of Accelerade and the same amount water? I do have PowerBar Recovery drink, but haven't been using it. I guess I'm concerned about the almost 300cal in 24oz when I'm trying to lose weight. Probably shouldn't worry about that though, should I?

    I'm really still trying to learn about nutrition/hydration, what to use and in what amounts for when I do rides of longer than 3hr. I'm still learning about riding and training, as I've only been riding since April and already have 1500miles...

    This week, I rode 15 Tue with more than usual hills; Today will be around 35miles flat to rolling, then Sat is 3hr+ of rolling terrain and finally, Sun will be a 100k with 3 really hard climbs, ranging from 7/8% to 12%. Hope I'm prepared!

  11. #11
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    you can massage your muscles. you can spin lightly for 20-30 mintues the night before a big ride. you should always be stretching, hydrating, and eating well. i find endurox does help as a post-ride recovery drink.

    a lot of times sore legs do in fact wake up during a ride. i've had many instances where i've gotten out of bed and my legs were like lead but they quickly came alive after 10 miles. make sure you always warm up slowly as well. all these little things should help you.

  12. #12
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfpack
    I'm still learning about riding and training, as I've only been riding since April and already have 1500miles...
    ah, i just re-read this. no wonder you're suffering from sore legs! that's a pretty heavy riding schedule for someone who has only been riding for 3 months.

    next season, start off slowly and build a base by stepping up mileage in a systematic way. such as:

    week 1: 5 hours
    week 2: 6.5 hours
    week 3: 8 hours
    week 4: 5 hours (rest and recover week)

    week 5: 6 hours
    week 6: 7.5 hours
    week 7: 9 hours
    week 8: 5 hours (rest and recover week)

    etc.

    that way your body will adapt to increased mileage and you'll have regular blocks of recovery time.

  13. #13
    Rawwrrrrrrrrr! wolfpack's Avatar
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    i know i started off and am still doing a lot of riding, but i fell completely in love with riding and just want to ride all the time. next year, all the training stuff i've been reading about will probably make a lot more sense to me than it does right now. i do recognize that i'm probably not getting enough R&R, but right now it seems reallly hard to do....guess you have to make yourself do it. K

  14. #14
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    i hear ya. as long as you're having fun, that's the most important part. after a while, though, even the best riders experience burn out. regular R&R is good physically as well as mentally. you'll figure out what works for you in time. have fun out there....cycling is addicting.

  15. #15
    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
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    I believe that your leg soreness has more to do with your recovery and what you are doing off the bike than on it. If you are doing that kind of milage, then the summer heat and everyday life stresses add up quicker and your fluids (off the bike), stretching and flushing and rest is more to blame. My 0.02
    I have enough words to get me into trouble, but not enough to get me out of trouble.

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    For a 4hr ride, would you use 2-24oz bottles of Accelerade and the same amount water? I do have PowerBar Recovery drink, but haven't been using it. I guess I'm concerned about the almost 300cal in 24oz when I'm trying to lose weight. Probably shouldn't worry about that though, should I?

    Even when loosing weight you need to fuel on the rides. Weight loss is best done by reducing calories throughout your other meals. You may burn around 500-700 calories an hour riding so if you replace 300 an hour you still have a several hundred calorie deficit. Refueling during rides is very important for muscle recovery. Also If you can ride every day. Spin, keeping heart rate at less than 65%. Do this 4 out of 7 days a week. The other three are for your hard training/racing rides. Keeps the legs fresh and now your training to improve as opposed to riding to fatigue.

  17. #17
    Rawwrrrrrrrrr! wolfpack's Avatar
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    rounder -
    you suggest riding every day. if i were to do that, would you also suggest that, say, mon/tue and thu/fri be the easy spin days, and then wednesday, sat/sun hard (or maybe sun be a recovery ride for sat) and if i added those 4 "easy" days, for what length of time should i ride? 1hr? i don't want to do too much (timewise on mon/fri as they are currently my off days and don't want to upset the balance at home too much), as i have a few spousal issues about my riding as it is. there are no young children at home to worry about though. my youngest is 15yo.

    i am also very aware of calories in vs calories out in order to lose weight, but can a person really lose 5-700 cal/hr riding?

    as far as fluids off the bike: i try really hard to get in 60-80 oz of H2O per day and will also have at least 1 diet mt. dew. i'm guessing that's not enough?? and, i don't do any kind of stretching before or after riding. just hop on the bike and go and then when i get home, hop off, take a shower and have a 12-16oz glass of H2O (during the weekly rides), plop down on the couch and watch The Tour; also, during my tu/wed/th rides, i've been drinking 2-24oz H2O, as i'm only gone for maybe 1.5-2hr.

    keep the suggestions/advice coming, as i really do appreciate it. thanks, karen.

  18. #18
    going downhill fast maximusvt's Avatar
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    A few weekends ago I rode a good 100+miles in two or three days, plus a lot of beach volleyball, soccer and that stuff in between. Spent the next few days feeling catatonic. It seriously felt like my leg muscles had a painful toxin flowing through them. I realized that I hardly did any stretching and so I took a glance in the "complete idiot's guide to healthy stretching" by Chris Verna. He has a short piece about cyclists:

    "Cycling requires incredible rotational movement from an unnatural position. The hip joint really has to be free in order to move efficiently, propelling you along. The tendency to have tight quads and hip flexor muscles sometimes creates flexibility problems that can worsen without healthy stretching. Knee injuries can be a result of hip joint inflexibility."

    It's okay if I post that here, right? I'll delete it if not. Anyway, elsewhere in the book he described a few stretches to do in bed before you go to sleep and after you wake up. When I'm running out of the house to ride to work I never make time to stretch, but it's easy to find an excuse to stay in bed a little longer. After I do those I'm stretched out for a good portion of the day, and the ride in the morning isn't a shock to my legs. Stretching before and after you excercise is also a really important part of building up muscle so I try to stretch out real well before a long ride.

    pm me if you want me to send you some excerpts from that book

    I also drink water constantly, even when I'm off the bike, 3 or 4 liters a day sometimes. (Not entirely sure if that is an accurate figure because the label has fallen off of the bottle I'm drinking it from). You should try it, it's awesome.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfpack
    Eric - I bought some Accelerade packets at REI and used one bottle of that, one bottle of of CytoSport (which I thought was nasty) and a Camelbak with 70oz H2O. Breakfast was 2 Kellogg's blueberry waffles with honey and 16oz diluted 25% Gatorade. During the ride, PBJ sandwich as well as PowerGel and CarbBoom gel. Rode 58miles, 3:45 ride time, 4hr total time. I felt good the whole ride, 'cept for the last 45min-60min when my lower back really started hurting. I could definitely tell a difference in drinking the Accelerade during the ride and will have to get a tub of that.

    After the ride, I had a bottle of chocolate milk and some pretzels. I know, not the best, but at that time, it was all I could get. Later in the evening, about 4hr after riding, I had 1.5c rice with hibachi chiken and steak.

    For a 4hr ride, would you use 2-24oz bottles of Accelerade and the same amount water? I do have PowerBar Recovery drink, but haven't been using it. I guess I'm concerned about the almost 300cal in 24oz when I'm trying to lose weight. Probably shouldn't worry about that though, should I?

    I'm really still trying to learn about nutrition/hydration, what to use and in what amounts for when I do rides of longer than 3hr. I'm still learning about riding and training, as I've only been riding since April and already have 1500miles...

    This week, I rode 15 Tue with more than usual hills; Today will be around 35miles flat to rolling, then Sat is 3hr+ of rolling terrain and finally, Sun will be a 100k with 3 really hard climbs, ranging from 7/8% to 12%. Hope I'm prepared!
    Chocolate milk is actually a pretty good recovery drink if you tolerate lactose well. For a 4 hour ride, I'd use at least 2-24oz bottles. I might double that, I go with 24 oz per hour. I drink water based on how hot it is and how much other food I'm eating. I think the last century I did I drank about 5 24oz bottles over the 5:45 it took.

    When trying to lose weight, even blood sugar is your friend. It's much better to take in 250-350 cal/hour when riding (assuming you're riding fast enough to be using 500 cal/hour or more - sounds like you are) and have a constant blood sugar, because you won't be hungry at the end. If you build up a big calorie deficit, you're more likely to overeat when you're done.

    Or, to put it another way, if you replace the carbs you burn as you ride, you don't eat more, and therefore don't replace the fat that you burnt.

    It's a bit weird to get used to because a lot of simple carbs are the last thing you want if you aren't exercising.
    Eric

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    199x Lemond Tourmalet, Yellow with fenders (Beast)

    Read my cycling blog at http://riderx.info/blogs/riderx
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