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3 Days of rest = Bad for legs?

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3 Days of rest = Bad for legs?

Old 11-05-07, 04:28 PM
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3 Days of rest = Bad for legs?

I don't get it. When I get a weekend off of riding my body tells me that I haven't rested enough. Now that I got a 3 day weekend without any riding, my legs were telling me this morning that I had too much rest and they decided to punish me with some aches and pains while commuting in to work this morning.

Anyone else experience this, where you get too much rest and you feel worse than not having any rest at all? What can be done to prevent this? I did stretches during the days off but my legs still felt stiff and weak this morning.
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Old 11-05-07, 05:55 PM
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Do a little ridding even on the days off. Just something to get the blood flowing and wake up your muscles. And stretch.
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Old 11-05-07, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by JoebikerLa View Post
And stretch.
+1

(and dat's not stretching da truth!)

:-)
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Old 11-05-07, 08:07 PM
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I don't know what to tell you. Over the last two weeks I have ridden a few times and my legs were wonderful this morning when I finally started commuting again.
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Old 11-05-07, 08:29 PM
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I think I've realized what happened. I stretched but I did not massage my legs like I usually do on the weekends. Oh well, lesson learned.
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Old 11-05-07, 08:35 PM
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I haven't been doing anything. But stick with what works for you.
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Old 11-05-07, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnwalker View Post
Anyone else experience this, where you get too much rest and you feel worse than not having any rest at all? What can be done to prevent this? I did stretches during the days off but my legs still felt stiff and weak this morning.
Exercise damages your muscle fibers. Rest makes them stronger than before. But if you don't let them rest, they will not recover enough to be stronger. If you stretch them when they're trying to recover, they might not be recovered enough ("rebuilt enough") for the next ride.

A weekend rest never hurt your muscles. But using them too much before they've recovered can weaken them.
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Old 11-05-07, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnwalker View Post
I don't get it. When I get a weekend off of riding my body tells me that I haven't rested enough. Now that I got a 3 day weekend without any riding, my legs were telling me this morning that I had too much rest and they decided to punish me with some aches and pains while commuting in to work this morning.

Anyone else experience this, where you get too much rest and you feel worse than not having any rest at all? What can be done to prevent this? I did stretches during the days off but my legs still felt stiff and weak this morning.
Hmmm...what kinds of aches and pains are we talking about? Slightly pulled muscles? Lactic acid buildup? Stress on joints, tendons? Stiffness?

Could be a matter of needing some stretching, could be minor injury. But 3 days off should certainly not be enough to lose general conditioning. I usually feel fantastic with a little extra rest (then promptly screw myself for the week by hauling ass on Monday).
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Old 11-05-07, 09:10 PM
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Yeah, I don't know. A lot depends on where you stand with your commute. When I first started doing my present commute (only 7.5 miles one way) I used to feel myself wear down over the week and look forward to resting up on the weekends ("I don't ride on the weekends as I get plenty in during the week").

Times have changed. Now I look forward to doing longer rides on the weekends and usually rely on bad weather on the weekends or something in my schedule during the week to get me off the bike. Tomorrow, because of a meeting downtown, is going to be my first day off the bike in 9 straight days. My longest streak this year was 21 straight days of riding in August.

Beyond where you are in relation to your commute, though, as Mr. U suggests, is how hard you ride. I don't care how good a shape you're in, if you try to haul ass every single day, you are going to wear down.

My advice as long as you are experiencing just muscle fatigue or soreness: keep riding. If you are having acutal pain, then something else may be going on.
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Old 11-05-07, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by newbojeff View Post
"My advice as long as you are experiencing just muscle fatigue or soreness: keep riding. If you are having acute pain, then something else may be going on."
Very few people are chronically overtrained.
If it's just general soreness and discomfort...just work through it and keep the pedals turning. If genuinely tired, just take the bike out for a gentle spin to stay loose. You'll be fine. Keep up the great work.

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Old 11-05-07, 10:18 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. I definitely felt better before when I was doing some easy spinning on the weekends as part of my recovery. My guess is its the lactic acid build up and the complete lack of any form of exercise whatsoever the past 3 days to keep the old legs warm.

Also, I forgot to mention I had a 10 pound backpack on my back this morning. I've start to bring 5 days worth of clothes, food snacks and stuff on Mondays to give me 4 days of weight free commuting. And I recently changed my commute 3 weeks ago from a flat 22 mile RT to a rolling hill 28 mile RT. When I left work this afternoon my legs felt a whole lot better. Could be because of the lack of any weight on my back or because I already had my ride in the morning. Or it could be the combination of both.
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Old 11-06-07, 03:33 PM
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See! The answer to almost any problem: RIDE MORE!
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Old 11-07-07, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by mtnwalker View Post
Also, I forgot to mention I had a 10 pound backpack on my back this morning. I've start to bring 5 days worth of clothes..
Yuck, ten pounds sitting on your back is a bummer. I find that makes me sprint more slowly because I have that load pushing down on me when I stand and even if I'm in the saddle just cruising down the road, that pack traps lots of body heat. It's all bad.

Why not use a trunk and/or panniers?
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Old 11-07-07, 10:47 AM
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I was off the bike for 2 weeks recently due to an unscheduled trip to NY for 5 days and then the fires here in SoCal kept me off the bike for another week due to poor air quality. I felt a little sluggish when I rode in last week and my muscles were a tad sore that evening but I feel fine this week.
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Old 11-07-07, 10:54 AM
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Every once in a while my schedule will keep me off the bike for up to a week. but on my first few rides afterwards, I notice that I am faster than before with the same level of effort (perceived). I have a 10 day stint coming up, I wonder how that will affect me after some brutal rides last weekend?? Maybe i can get my commute avg from 18 to 20 after vacation
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Old 11-07-07, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnwalker View Post
Anyone else experience this, where you get too much rest and you feel worse than not having any rest at all? What can be done to prevent this? I did stretches during the days off but my legs still felt stiff and weak this morning.
You aren't the first to notice this, I have the same problem everytime I take a day off the bike. I think it's more than just muscular, your rhythm and technique probably suffered a little from the break. Sometimes they take a little recovering too.
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Old 11-08-07, 12:48 AM
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Yep, been there...done that..

I try to at least run out for milk & bread if I'm off the bike for awhile just to keep my muscles 'in tune', otherwise they get confused and rebel :0

3 days isn't a great deal of time though, after a few miles they'll be back to normal.

Cheers!
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Old 11-08-07, 11:13 AM
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For me pretty much all bike issues get resolved by more stretching, more drinking water, and more spinning low gears. Except for that time I kept losing climbing strength and that turned out to be pneumonia, which was resolved by more antibiotics.
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