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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 07-02-07, 02:57 PM   #1
Cosmoline
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Why am I STILL Sore?

I've been car free for over a year now, doing the same basic short (8 mile rt) commute every day for five days a week plus a longer trip for supplies on the weekend. I get about one day off the bike a week, but my routes are far from the most brutal. The commute has a canyon I have to go down and come up both directions, and that gets tiring. But what I can't understand is why no matter how much stronger I get I'm STILL sore just about all the time. I take basic supplements for the joints and vitamins and eat a high protein, high fruit diet. I don't think I'm wanting for anything in that respect. I've started doing a little more hatha yoga stretching and while that does help eliminate low back spasms and knee pain--along with any periodic sprains or strains--it doesn't seem to do anything to stop the general muscle soreness.

I'm at my wits end, and tired of being exhausted. Any and all suggestions, no matter how crazy, would be welcome. Thanks!
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Old 07-02-07, 03:02 PM   #2
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Your body needs some time off the bike. Friday bum a ride or take the bus and then
stay off the bike over the weekend. More likely you will need a week or perhaps longer to heal up, but take a few days off and see how it goes.

As part of the recovery phase eat a bunch of pineapple, papaya and/or kiwi
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Old 07-02-07, 08:54 PM   #3
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A few thoughts...

I don't know what you mean by high protein, but if you mean "low carb", that's not a diet that works well for cycling.

That's my first guess.

My second guess is that you are working harder than you should be.
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Old 07-02-07, 10:03 PM   #4
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That kind of distance is certainly not something where muscle-fatigue becomes a factor. What kind of gears are you using? Make sure it's easy spinning gears.

How are you measuring "how much stronger you get "? Are you doing that same ride in shorter and shorter times? Or are you simply "feeling" stronger?

I suspect that it's an overtraining effect from doing the same ride the same way over and over again. You should mix it up, have one ride where you do sprints to random way-points like trees or street-signs. Another where you do intervals stoplight-to-stoplight. Another might be tempo workout at LT. Mix it up, even though the course is the same, you can actually get in 6 different kinds of workouts.
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Old 07-03-07, 02:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmoline
I'm at my wits end, and tired of being exhausted. Any and all suggestions, no matter how crazy, would be welcome. Thanks!
How many hours a night do you sleep?
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Old 07-03-07, 02:22 AM   #6
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Does your bicycle fit properly? If not, get fitted at your LBS - it'll be money well spent.

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Old 07-03-07, 06:42 AM   #7
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Sleep disorder?
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Old 07-03-07, 12:39 PM   #8
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Not low carb! LOL I love carbs. I suspect a lack of sleep may be the core of the problem. I'm an attorney working for three firms, with work coming it at all hours. I do sit a lot but there must be something in sleep that heals muscle tissue and since I'm not sleeping enough I'm not healing enough. Sound possible?
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Old 07-03-07, 01:11 PM   #9
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sounds probable
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Old 07-03-07, 02:38 PM   #10
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What kind of soreness are you talking about anyway? Sore like you are stiff? Sore like cramps? Sore like after a weight workout?
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Old 07-03-07, 06:49 PM   #11
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General soreness and stiffness in the main leg and core muscles that never entirely goes away and gets worse during the initial stages of a workout. I tried improved hydration, which really helped me move faster but I'm still sore. Maybe I'm just getting old.
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Old 07-03-07, 08:28 PM   #12
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How many hours of sleep per night?
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Old 07-03-07, 10:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmoline
Not low carb! LOL I love carbs. I suspect a lack of sleep may be the core of the problem. I'm an attorney working for three firms, with work coming it at all hours. I do sit a lot but there must be something in sleep that heals muscle tissue and since I'm not sleeping enough I'm not healing enough. Sound possible?
Not enough sleep can compromise recovery significantly.

How long are your workouts, and are you doing anything for recovery nutrition.
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Old 07-04-07, 04:47 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmoline
General soreness and stiffness in the main leg and core muscles that never entirely goes away and gets worse during the initial stages of a workout. I tried improved hydration, which really helped me move faster but I'm still sore. Maybe I'm just getting old.
Sometimes I feel that way too at the start of the workout, although I wouldn't describe it as soreness. I'd describe it as more lethargy with discomfort. Happens after a day totally off.

Maybe you need a good massage.
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Old 07-04-07, 03:40 PM   #15
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I'm getting about 6-8 hours of sleep per night, with about 12 on weekends and days off.

Quote:
How long are your workouts, and are you doing anything for recovery nutrition.
No more than an hour a day most days, with much longer rides sometimes on the weekends. I've been eating a lot of lean meat (mostly fish) and fruits this season, plus my usual supplements (E, D, Minerals, joint stuff, cod liver oil, green algae pills, and a mild dose of C). But I'm not sure what recovery nutrition is.
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Old 07-04-07, 03:52 PM   #16
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That kind of distance won't require any kind of recovery nutrition really. Although if you are concerned with it, go for a high-GI drink with 4:1 carb-protein ratio. This is most effective at replenising muscle-glycogen quickly to ward off muscle-catabolism. However, you certainly are NOT depleting muscle-glycogen to the point where this is a concern anyway.

What kind of speeds are you hitting and what kind of gears/RPMs are you using?
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Old 07-04-07, 04:03 PM   #17
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Are you, or attempting to, lose weight? Long-term caloric deficits can become tiring. Try eating more for a week and see how you feel.
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Old 07-04-07, 08:18 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmoline
there must be something in sleep that heals muscle tissue and since I'm not sleeping enough I'm not healing enough. Sound possible?
Maybe try taking a glutamine supplement before going to bed. It helps prevent your muscles from breaking down, also known as catabolism. This happens when you're sleeping and unable to feed the muscles.
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Old 07-04-07, 08:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmoline
I'm getting about 6-8 hours of sleep per night, with about 12 on weekends and days off.
You might do better to even out the sleep. You're obviously running a sleep deficit during the week, if you need 12 to catch up on the weekend, and I'd bet you aren't as productive on Friday as you are earlier on.
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Old 07-05-07, 12:46 AM   #20
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Try adding 60g whey protein/day, broken into 4 ea. 15g servings with meals. The soreness during the early part of the workout is a clue.
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