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Prolonged recovery question

Old 10-04-09, 05:34 AM
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Prolonged recovery question

It is now 2 weeks since my charity event ride that I had trained for, the first 3 day back-to-back long ride that I had done. It was a bit over 120 miles with rolling hills, total. I fared very well, having trained as best I could over 4 months. Prior to this year I had not done longer rides, and only due to an invite from an old friend did I embark on this cycling quest.

My question is about my recovery. I felt fine in a way but had reduced exercise tolerance for a 2 week period. Complicating factors include a very hectic work schedule with a moonlighting job. I went to the gym after 1 week, and was very sore for a prolonged period of time (4 days) in the legs after doing some squats at about 75 lbs (had done them fine before). I ran (in preparation for a 5 k race) and had a heavy, weak feeling during the run.

My last run was yesterday and I had a workout the night before. I can feel things are getting back to normal now. I just wondered if a prolonged recovery period after an event like this is very common. I'm nearly 50 yrs old now and this sport is somewhat new to me. My plan is to do this event annually, but not do much cycling in the off season but rather do running and swimming and gym workouts. Any suggestions?
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Old 10-04-09, 05:46 AM
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Not saying you did it- but I Used to do a ride that put me well over the top of what I should have done. And I am talking about 12 hours of offroad riding with plenty of steep hills.

After that ride- I did not ride for a week but did force myself out the following day for a short 10 mile ride on the flat just turning the legs. To get over that ride used to take a long time- but it was pushing myself to my limits.
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Old 10-04-09, 06:13 AM
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It could be so many different reasons but the most common are undertraining, improper nourishment pre, during and post ride and inadequate stretching regime post ride.

If you fit into one of those categories then yes, a slower recovery is normal.
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Old 10-04-09, 07:35 AM
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Was the training regime for the 3 day cycling trip? Was it cycling based or a of running and weight lifting? What were the lengths of the cycling routes each of the 3 days?
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Old 10-05-09, 08:59 AM
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My training was rides of lengths from 25 to 50 miles. My best training ride was about 10 days before the event 45 miles on a loop with 2 good hills (repeated for 20 laps). Therefore the event ride was the longest ride I had ever done. It went very well, but I agree I probably undertrained as far as putting in the miles. Nutritionally I am near good as one can be. I think the sag stops, the bananas, nutrition bars, hydration, electrolytes, was was kept me going as well as I did.

Next year I think I'll train a little more frequently, intensively, and longer rides. Thanks for the good feedback. I am planning to be primarily a fitness / running / weight training guy with cycling as a seasonal thing during the summertime.
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Old 10-05-09, 10:46 AM
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I've always thought that recovery was directly related to the amount of one's reserves that one taps into during an event. All other things being equal (such as proper nutrition pre, during and post ride, etc.), if you tap into the reserves too deeply, the recovery will take longer. It might be a simple case of the reserves not being as strong as you thought they were. Cross training during the off season should help build stronger reserves.
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Old 10-05-09, 11:26 AM
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Two weeks seems long to recover from a ride but you had complicating matters. As far as training, did you do some rides that were three days in a row? Consecutive days take a toll and stress the body in a different way than doing a 50 mile ride or hill repeats and then taking a day off. I have found that training must closely match the event in duration and intensity.
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Old 10-05-09, 05:07 PM
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No I didn't do any consecutive rides, you have a good point. That was something I was apprehensive about frankly. day #1 was 75 mi, #2 36 mi, #3 25 mi. The trip was actually cut a bit short from what was planned due to rain threats. Despite my complaint of prolonged recovery time, I really don't look or feel any different at this point in time, than I would have otherwise. Just a weird experience after the event when I tried to exercise again (after waiting 1 week).

It was one of the most unique and enjoyable events, and good training process, that I've experienced, so I'm signing up again next year. I can't hack a stationary bike, so I'll probably do some Winter biking and really up the miles in the early Spring.
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Old 10-06-09, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by ironhorse3 View Post
It was one of the most unique and enjoyable events, and good training process, that I've experienced, so I'm signing up again next year. I can't hack a stationary bike, so I'll probably do some Winter biking and really up the miles in the early Spring.
For my hard ride each year in June- I used to ride all year round. From February I used to get down the gym. Start gently but work up so that by the middle of May I was fit- and I do mean fit. Then it was down to evening rides done hard and long weekend ones. Only 4 rides a week but 30 miles in the evenings and 60 to 70 at weekends.

Gym work does supplement riding. It works other muscles that you don't normally use and if done right will improve cardio vascular and muscle strength. Just don't forget the bike though.
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