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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 06-30-12, 01:08 PM   #1
moppeddler
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How do you know if you're overtraining?

Seems like my quads stay sore all the time, no matter what. Even if I take 3-4 days off, they still feel tight. I stretch, massage etc. but they never feel right. My biggest rides are only 40 miles in the city where it's relatively flat. Where I live, it's very hilly and my rides a usually a little less than 20 miles but feel harder. I usually do a couple short leisurely 10 mile recovery rides too. Typically skip at least a day between rides unless it's a short recovery ride where I don't push myself at all.

Why are my quads so sore all the time? I'd like to ride more, but it makes it hard. Should I just ride through it? Is this normal for someone who's 50 and only been cycling for about 6 months?
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Old 06-30-12, 01:34 PM   #2
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On the mileages you describe, you certainly aren't overtraining. Overtraining takes a long period of time, and repeated instances of riding hard without allowing proper recovery.

I'd say it's just that your muscles have not adapted to the unaccustomed load. Try pushing a bit less hard, and pedal at a higher cadence in an easier gear.
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Old 06-30-12, 04:44 PM   #3
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I think it just takes a while to get used to riding a lot. When I started back at the age of 48 I recall my legs were continuously sore. I was always massaging with rolling pins and various devices. Now, 4 yrs later, it is much more difficult to get my legs sore. Unless I foolishly decide to hike up and down the local fitness climb (800m elev in 1.8km). I did the hike on Wed and my legs are still sore.
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Old 06-30-12, 04:59 PM   #4
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Yeah, that cross training can really get you. I was fine until I did a good hike the day after a particularly hard 100k. Now I am overtrained. MRHR just won't go down and I'm scheduled to lead a pass climb tomorrow that I can't get out of. I'm screwed. It's hell being 67 and it's only going to get worse. Aging is not for sissies, as they say. Thinking of doing it on my CAAD9 climbing bike and not the tandem. That'll cut the climbing time - 2000'/hr instead of 1200'. Stoker can use the recovery, too, so maybe I'll take the bullet for the team.
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Old 06-30-12, 06:50 PM   #5
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Sounds like you need some recovery time. When my legs are constantly throbbing that is just the ticket. It may take a bit of time if you have dug yourself into a bit of a hole.
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Old 06-30-12, 09:29 PM   #6
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On the mileages you describe, you certainly aren't overtraining. Overtraining takes a long period of time, and repeated instances of riding hard without allowing proper recovery.
Err, you are forgetting to take into account the most important aspect - the actual person doing the training.

Sure, 40 miles for you may not seem like much. But take a morbidly obese couch potato-man, make him ride 40 miles just once, and I guarantee he wont be able to walk for the next week.

Now I am not saying the OP is overweight or in bad shape, if anything 6 months of riding should put you in just the right shape for the amount of riding you are doing. Your age is the only thing at strikes me as possible culprit (not that you CANT ride this much, but maybe it takes longer to adjust at this age)? But I wouldnt know, I'm a complete youngling at only half your age
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Old 07-01-12, 06:48 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by moppeddler View Post
Seems like my quads stay sore all the time, no matter what. Even if I take 3-4 days off, they still feel tight. I stretch, massage etc. but they never feel right. My biggest rides are only 40 miles in the city where it's relatively flat. Where I live, it's very hilly and my rides a usually a little less than 20 miles but feel harder. I usually do a couple short leisurely 10 mile recovery rides too. Typically skip at least a day between rides unless it's a short recovery ride where I don't push myself at all.

Why are my quads so sore all the time? I'd like to ride more, but it makes it hard. Should I just ride through it? Is this normal for someone who's 50 and only been cycling for about 6 months?

How easy are your "recovery rides"? You really should have only 3 "hard rides" per week and the rest should be endurance or under. If you're going to ride 7 day weeks, 3 should be super ez spinning - easy as in walking around - ie. the most minimal effort possible to keep bike moving on flat ground.

If you're legs are sore try to take 2-3 days off and see if it goes away. Also another symptom of overdoing it is chronic tiredness (even if you're getting enough sleep).
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Old 07-01-12, 08:15 AM   #8
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Make sure that your seat is not to low because a low seat will cause the quads to have to work hard.

I think that it just takes time for the body to adjust to exercise. You are probably growing new capillaries and blood vessels in the legs to bring in more nutrients and take away the waste products. I am thinking that in six more months that the soreness will be gone. During this time make sure that you don't over stress and injure the muscles.

If you are really concerned you could have a checkup to see if you have any circulation problems. Check and see if you feel a good pulse in the top of your foot.
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Old 07-01-12, 08:27 AM   #9
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Make sure that your seat is not to low because a low seat will cause the quads to have to work hard.

I think that it just takes time for the body to adjust to exercise. You are probably growing new capillaries and blood vessels in the legs to bring in more nutrients and take away the waste products. I am thinking that in six more months that the soreness will be gone. During this time make sure that you don't over stress and injure the muscles.

If you are really concerned you could have a checkup to see if you have any circulation problems. Check and see if you feel a good pulse in the top of your foot.
Overtraining is a function of your over all life. Your rides would have me hobbling around too right now. I am working 10- 12 hours a day of physical labor outside in 100 plus heat. Doing a renovation on a ranch house 4 days a week whiled Managing a farmers market crop & stand another 4 days week. Looking for the 9[SUP]th[/SUP] day to recover but every thing keeps starting over on Monday.

Take a full week off and follow that with 3 30-45 minute rides evenly spaced threw the week. Sometimes your body just needs to rest and muscle repair and build when they are resting. The load and demand riding (and life) breaks them down and says hey dude we need more protein and a nap.
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Old 07-01-12, 01:58 PM   #10
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I wouldn't focus simply on mileage in relations to overtraining as intensity is a big part.
When I wake up in the morning and my legs positively throb then I back off. Each week in a training plan has recovery days. Even then training fatigue continues to build through a cycle. Eventually you need a rest week or two. Listen to what your body is saying and react accordingly.
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Old 07-02-12, 08:07 AM   #11
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How good is your post ride stretch? are you drinking enough water? Got enough protein and carbs in your diet?
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Old 07-02-12, 07:11 PM   #12
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I also would be interested to know what the OP's cadence is. That is my bet, but then again, I don't know sh*t!
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Old 07-02-12, 07:59 PM   #13
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The load and demand riding (and life) breaks them down and says hey dude we need more protein and a nap.
My body tells me this every dang day!
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Old 07-03-12, 12:32 PM   #14
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If you wonder if you're overtraining, you're overtraining.

If you're having too much fun riding, walking, running, swimming, etc., then you need to train harder.

:/
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Old 07-03-12, 12:55 PM   #15
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You should always have fun.
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