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  1. #1
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    Building up to riding consecutive days?

    I am sure this topic has been covered before, but I have no idea how to search for it in the archives.

    So, I see all these posts along the lines of "You need to have at least one rest day, active or otherwise each week!", but even riding three days consecutively beats me down so bad that the idea of going a week without a rest day seems impossible to me.

    I have been riding pretty regularly since last May, excluding winter, and have racked up probably 3k-4k miles in that time. But, in spite of the fact that I feel I have improved a good deal in that time, I still find riding consecutive days really hard. After riding three consecutive days last week, I was dead and ended up sleeping 10-11 hours that night. I normally need no more than 7 hours a night, so that was a rather extreme increase for me.

    Should I just keep trying it, and let my body adapt to it, or is there some type of training I should be focusing on?

    I guess I should mention that usually riding for me means two rides per day of 13-20 miles each.
    When I smile and wave, don't be afriad, it's just the southerner in me.

  2. #2
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    Focus on proper recovery foods. You'll see a difference in no time.

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    I have to agree with Norm, look to your diet for an answer. You don't say your age or what kind of shape you are in, but a ride of 13-20 miles shouldn't be that hard to recover from. Make sure your regular diet includes enough carbs to fuel your rides and then replenish what you've used up after a ride.
    I always make sure I have something like oatmeal for breakfast before a ride and when I get back I have a protein shake for recovery.

  4. #4
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    Well, I'm 29 and in above average physical shape, but could obviously improve.

    Also, while each ride is 13-20 miles, I end up doing two a day, so I tend to average about 34 miles a day.

    I start the day with a double serving of cereal with a banana about 30 minutes prior to my ride, and yogurt about 30 minutes after the ride is done. I think I'm getting enough carbs, as my diet is heavy on fruit, rice, bread etc. I try to eat a spinach salad daily, and I think my protein intake is reasonable with a turkey sandwhich at lunch, chicken or rice&bean based dishes for dinner, and a whey protein shake and bagel for recovery at the end of my second ride.

    Is there something in there that seems particularly off?
    When I smile and wave, don't be afriad, it's just the southerner in me.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Please describe your rides, those two per day rides. Are you really pushing it a lot? Do you use those rides as a base build up? Do you ride solo? After the 3rd consecutive day, any muscle soreness? That its, on the morning after the 3rd day, can you climb up some stairs and feel the quads aching?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by fryth
    ...and yogurt about 30 minutes after the ride is done.

    Is there something in there that seems particularly off?
    That's it? Yogurt? A low GI food which doesn't come close to replacing your lost glycogen stores. Bagel is good, but not enough. Simple carbs, 1g/lb body weight, within the 2 hour window after the ride. Everything else seems fine. Yogurt after 2 hours.

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    Quote Originally Posted by normZurawski
    That's it? Yogurt? A low GI food which doesn't come close to replacing your lost glycogen stores. Bagel is good, but not enough. Simple carbs, 1g/lb body weight, within the 2 hour window after the ride. Everything else seems fine. Yogurt after 2 hours.
    +1. You need something right after you finish riding. I use endurox, and I notice a difference in how well I do if I drink it immediately or wait until after I shower.

    Doing that has had a big improvement in how well I recover.
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  8. #8
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    Like Fryth, I struggle with recovery after multiple days of riding my bike or MotoX. While I know that I need more rest and find this to be the best recovery tool, I also find that increasing Protein in my diet to be helpful. I find that a little good old fashion protein from some red meat to help me, 4-8oz of red meat and the next day I feel much better.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Jashue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericgu
    I use endurox, and I notice a difference in how well I do if I drink it immediately or wait until after I shower.
    I gotta concur about the use of Endurox. I've always figured that supplements were for the most part a waste of money, but The Endurox seems to have made a difference to me.

    FYI-- I average about 35 miles per day as well, with longer rides of 40-70 miles with the club if I can manage to get up early enough (I work evenings). At this point, I don't think a person can do what we do without some sort of supplement.

  10. #10
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    OTOH, my grandfather did a hell of a lot more exercise every day on the farm and he didn't have supplements! And the only good indication of whether you're eating enough food over time is your body weight. If it's normal and stable, you're eating the right amount of food. So it's the timing that's important. My grandfather ate a huge breakfast and a big midday dinner, then a smaller supper in the evening. I don't think he ate many snacks.

    I agree that fryth should eat more after his first ride, but the problem is that he ate a big breakfast just before the ride. Maybe eat one bowl of cereal and fruit before the AM ride, and save the second bowl for after. And maybe eat a couple eggs with that second breakfast, or some cottage cheese. Right after exercise is a good time for protein.

    But somehow I doubt that diet is the main problem. A healthy young person should be able to do a lot on any diet. You're probably pushing yourself too hard for your current level of fitness. Maybe try backing off quite a bit for one week, then add about 5% or so more volume each week until you're where you want to be.

    And I do think that one total rest day a week (or just a nice walk to let your legs bear some weight) is OK, if you can handle it. Or try another fitness activity to replace a little bit of the cycling. Do upper body stuff for 20 minutes a day, or for one day a week--swimming, rowing and/or weights.


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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by normZurawski
    That's it? Yogurt? A low GI food which doesn't come close to replacing your lost glycogen stores. Bagel is good, but not enough. Simple carbs, 1g/lb body weight, within the 2 hour window after the ride. Everything else seems fine. Yogurt after 2 hours.
    Well actually one new york style bagel (about the only kind available any more) is 5-6 ounces, or the equivalent of 5-6 slices of bread. I think that should be enough for a recovery "snack"! This guy is getting a good workout, but he isn't climbing Alpes.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    Well actually one new york style bagel (about the only kind available any more) is 5-6 ounces, or the equivalent of 5-6 slices of bread. I think that should be enough for a recovery "snack"! This guy is getting a good workout, but he isn't climbing Alpes.
    Could be. Though if you work out for 90 minutes you've basically run through the glycogen stores in your muscles. Personally I find that I need to eat more carbs to be able to work out on consecutive days. But some people don't need as much. YMMV, of course. But it's something to experiment with for the original poster.

  13. #13
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    Thanks to everyone for all the great replies. I have been too busy to visit the forums the last week or so, but I did want to answer some of the questions posed.

    First, I wanted to clarify what my rides are like. I ride into work at about 7 in the morning. Here is my route. In the evenings, I ride the reverse route home. The ride in takes me about 45-55 minutes depending on how badly I get caught by the lights. The ride home is usually around 55 minutes.

    From some stuff I have read recently, I would guess that I spend a lot of my time around my LT. Someone said that if you are panting you are probably operating at or above LT, and a fair amount of my rides could be classified that way. Recently, in response to some of the comments here, I have tried to back off a bit and just spin at a comfortable level. I'm only on my second consecutive day so far, so I don't know if it is helping or not yet.

    As for soreness when climbing stairs, yeah, on the third day I notice that my legs start burning faster than usual when it comes to climbing stairs.

    I am working to incorporate some of the ideas people have suggested here, for instance, I am now eating a serving of eggs and a banana as my recovery food for my first ride. I'm also trying to carry gatorade rather than just plain water with me during my rides.

    Also, I wasn't clear when describing my recovery after my second ride. While the snack is usually just a bagel and a protein shake, it is followed by actual dinner within an hour or two.

    Anyway, thanks to all for the replies. I am really trying to break out of this plateau I have hit. I'm hoping that switching up the rides I do while focusing a bit more on nutrition will do the trick.
    When I smile and wave, don't be afriad, it's just the southerner in me.

  14. #14
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    My secret (not really a secret) is to eat about 20-30 minutes before and then eat after. Fortunately for me, my rides are after work, so after the ride, I drink a bunch and eat a lite snack, then shower, head off to supper (I live in hotels). Also, I eat during the ride. for a 20-30 mile ride, I will eat a few granola bars and drink some gatorade and water. I think that for me, 30 miles in one stint is the max, as I am not equipped to bring more food or bring more than 24 oz of liquid.

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    If you're going for weight loss, is it good to use enurox, or something else which has a mildly high carb, fat content?

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    Fryth,

    RouteSlip.com - cool site! Thanks for the links. That's very useful.

  17. #17
    Pat
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    Fryth,

    I thought the problem might be a) too few carbs in the diet or b) you are riding really hard on the days you ride. Riding hard is fine. But it does beat up the body. If you are going to ride the next day, you have to back off some and recover. In facts, I recall training tables that suggested intervals on one day, a short easy ride, a hard short ride, a long easy ride, a long hard ride, rest, and intervals or something along those lines. Just don't expect to go out and kill yourself day after day and be able to keep riding.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by normZurawski
    Fryth,

    RouteSlip.com - cool site! Thanks for the links. That's very useful.
    Yeah, I found it recently, and really like it. The climbing tracking is really cool, and the training log ain't bad. Also, the developer is very responsive to requests, so it will only get better.
    When I smile and wave, don't be afriad, it's just the southerner in me.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat
    Fryth,

    I thought the problem might be a) too few carbs in the diet or b) you are riding really hard on the days you ride. ... Just don't expect to go out and kill yourself day after day and be able to keep riding.
    So, I was thinking it might be riding too hard. The problem being that I, clearly, have no idea what I am doing. I have no idea what is riding hard versus not. I mean, I would classify my rides as moderate intensity, but maybe my perception is just skewed. So, I just broke down and bought an HRM. Along with trying to improve my diet, I will try to use the HRM along with advice from a good training book to see if I can break out of my plateau.

    Again, thanks to everyone for the input.
    When I smile and wave, don't be afriad, it's just the southerner in me.

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