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  1. #1
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    How sore should I be?

    Can/should Delayed Onset Muscular Soreness (DOMS) be used as an indication that you're doing to much?

    Here's the deal. I was reading an interview w/Tyler Hamilton somewhere, maybe the current issue of VeloNews, and he said something to the effect of 'my legs are sore now, and I have a workout today.' Which got me wondering. Whenever there's a discussion of overtraining, it's always about increased resting heart rate, being cranky, inability to reach desired HR during intervals, etc. No mention of muscular fatigue or soreness. From Tyler's comments, and other things I've read, heard, and experienced, some degree of DOMS is pretty much a fact of life for someone who someone who trains to be in top shape. So, how much is too much? Wincing when I see a set of stairs on Monday morning is pretty normal for me. But to let up enough for the soreness to completely go away, I'd be doing recovery rides 'til Thursday.

    What are your thoughts or experience?

  2. #2
    . . . rosebud . . . Diggy18's Avatar
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    I don't know about riding specifically, but when I was a teenager I did a lot of martial arts and my muscles were almost always sore. So I think being sore like that would be a fact of life for an atheletic person.

    However, I do worry a little sometimes that nowadays (in my 30s) I could hurt myself by continuing to ride when sore. It's a good question.

  3. #3
    What's this bit do, then?
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    I'm dealing with the same thing, roadbuzz, being currently rather fat and horribly out of shape and doing some serious mileage-pushing. Having done some research on DOMS it seams to be a pretty normal muscular reaction to unaccustomed exercise. A couple of researchers that I read suggested vitamin C of ~250mg/day helps lessen the severity of DOMS. A few other things that seem to be helping are to do some serious stretching before and immediately after each ride, some aspirin or naproxen to ease the discomfort, and getting back on the bike for a slow and easy ~5-mile ride without hills to get the blood flowing through the affected areas. Here's one site that seems to explain what's happening pretty well.

    My current approach is to listen to the level of pain: If I'm a bit stiff and sore I'll ride but maybe not push as hard as I might otherwise and I usually find that as the muscles warm up I feel fine. If I'm really hurting it's time for a day off with lots of stretching and aspirin.

  4. #4
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    Good to get feedback...

    Sparrow, I'm not out of shape, although it does seem like it's high mileage, more than intensity, that bring it on. Interest link, thanks!

    I agree, Diggy. To some extent, it has to be an indication of muscular damage... so how do you know how much to recover? Maybe that's what the off-season is for.

  5. #5
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    If I'm so sore that I'm having to alter my day to day activities: walking, sitting, jumping. etc; then I'll take the day off. Usually, though, I get on the bike and give it 10-20 minutes to see how my legs react and feel. Almost always they warm up and I'm ready to go. It's actually good for muscles that are sore to exercise to help loosen them and speed healing. I'll even weight train on DOMS muscles, if I need to.
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  6. #6
    . . . rosebud . . . Diggy18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadbuzz
    Good to get feedback...

    Sparrow, I'm not out of shape, although it does seem like it's high mileage, more than intensity, that bring it on. Interest link, thanks!

    I agree, Diggy. To some extent, it has to be an indication of muscular damage... so how do you know how much to recover? Maybe that's what the off-season is for.
    Usually I will give it a try even with sore muscles, but I won't go as far and/or as fast. Then, if the muslces get even more sore I'll take the next day off. But if the soreness level stays about the same, then I don't worry about it - UNTIL and unless the "basic" level of soreness persists for about four days. Then I will take a day off.

    I also try to be very aware of whether it's a muscle that's sore, or tendons/bones/ligaments/internal organs etc. Now that I've hit 30 it seems those latter don't heal up so well, and they seem more liable to get injured. (For instance, I can never get away without stretcing before doing any exercise anymore, whereas 5/6 years ago I could.)

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