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Time for a rest?

Old 12-14-14, 07:15 AM
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jlstrat
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Time for a rest?

I've been averaging around 5500 miles for the last 6 years. This week I'll hit 5000. I've been tired and my legs are sore, and I'm sure part of that comes from changing to winter tires, but I think it's time for a rest. I did a ride in North Carolina this summer, of which 35 miles was into the strongest headwind I ever encountered. My hips were sore, and I think I should have taken a week to recuperate, but I rode again that week. Anyway, I'm sore, tired and ready to take a couple of weeks. I talked to a younger rider who said I should stick with my yearly goal, and I may feel like a slacker if I take a break, but it seems to be justified. Comments?
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Old 12-14-14, 07:19 AM
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Sounds as if you do not have a good fit to your bike.
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Old 12-14-14, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by jlstrat View Post
I've been averaging around 5500 miles for the last 6 years. This week I'll hit 5000. I've been tired and my legs are sore, and I'm sure part of that comes from changing to winter tires, but I think it's time for a rest. I did a ride in North Carolina this summer, of which 35 miles was into the strongest headwind I ever encountered. My hips were sore, and I think I should have taken a week to recuperate, but I rode again that week. Anyway, I'm sore, tired and ready to take a couple of weeks. I talked to a younger rider who said I should stick with my yearly goal, and I may feel like a slacker if I take a break, but it seems to be justified. Comments?
I guess you're the only one that can decide that. Are you riding for the miles or are you riding for the enjoyment of riding? When it's not fun anymore maybe it is time to take a little break.
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Old 12-14-14, 07:22 AM
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Goals are good motivators, but you should listen to your body.
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Old 12-14-14, 08:15 AM
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Go for the 5500 as long as you don't push too hard injuring yourself, and then take a little break for the new year.

After returning to the LBS upon completion of yesterday's 32 mile ride, I asked 66yo Tom if he made his goal for the year. He happily grabbed the computer off the bike and showed the 15,020 miles he had since January 1. Just 13 days ago he was doubting that he might not make it since he was a little tired, but his stubbornness prevailed and now all additional mileage is like icing on the cake.
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Old 12-14-14, 08:49 AM
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Do what your body tells you unless you think you have a chance to be picked up by a TdF team for '15.
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Old 12-14-14, 08:55 AM
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So are you thinking you might make 500 miles in the last two weeks of the month for your 5,500?

I wouldn't worry about it a whole lot one way or the other. If you take a break off cycling, do something different and fun, don't just sit around the house eating Cheetos.

On leg soreness, if I do a long hard ride, my legs will be sore the next day. If I don't do anything, they'll stay sore for a couple more days. If I go ride, they'll be okay.
Three years ago, I did a 1,200k ride. When I got done, my feet were swollen. I took a couple of days off, they were still swollen. Then I got to reading on the internet, and one of the things you do for swollen feet is keep 'em moving, not sitting around. So a couple of days of walking the dog and they were okay.
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Old 12-14-14, 09:26 AM
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Nothing wrong with taking a break if you feel if it will help. 5500 is an average for you so presumably there will have been years where you have been above and below that. Do 6000 next year to keep up your average.
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Old 12-14-14, 10:12 AM
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300 miles a week! Man.
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Old 12-14-14, 10:26 AM
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I vote and suggest taking a break. Let both the mental and physical juices recharge. You'll be better for it in the long run. It's terrific to have goals but they are just that. A goal with a higher priority is to enjoy and get the most out of the rides. That's what I've found works best for me. If you get back down in to NC for some riding let me know and maybe we can hook up.
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Old 12-14-14, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
Go for the 5500 as long as you don't push too hard injuring yourself, and then take a little break for the new year.

After returning to the LBS upon completion of yesterday's 32 mile ride, I asked 66yo Tom if he made his goal for the year. He happily grabbed the computer off the bike and showed the 15,020 miles he had since January 1. Just 13 days ago he was doubting that he might not make it since he was a little tired, but his stubbornness prevailed and now all additional mileage is like icing on the cake.
I mess up my response below...but 300 miles a week seems like a lot.
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Old 12-15-14, 05:45 AM
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I don't set a goal, that way I am satisfied or surprised at my mileage. No pressure to get mileage, if it rains I don't ride, I don't do the trainer. Ride for the enjoyment, that is its own reward!
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Old 12-15-14, 06:20 AM
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Taking a break shouldn't badly effect your fitness level, unless it becomes a fairly long one. Even the professionals stand down from their training and competition this time of the year. Some quality time with family and friends can recharge the batteries and you'll feel fresh and ready to hit the roads, or even the trainer, on your return. Do some maintenance items, if needed, I like to schedule things like greasing the bearings in the BB and wheels for this time of year.

Even just backing the intensity or distance can allow you to get refreshed and recharged, its all up to your needs and how you feel, overall. Best of luck on the rest time, if you decide to stand down, and have a great holiday season, Merry Christmas, a bit early, to you and yours.

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Old 12-15-14, 05:08 PM
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Averaged 10,000+ miles a year since moving to AZ in the late '70s . . . our best/worst was just over 13,000 miles.
Now at age 82 been averaging 5,000 a year.
I ride for the 'health' of it!
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Old 12-15-14, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
I wouldn't worry about it a whole lot one way or the other. If you take a break off cycling, do something different and fun, don't just sit around the house eating Cheetos.
There comes a time for every bicyclist to sit on the couch and eat Cheetos. What is the root cause of this anti-Cheeto prejudice?

Personally I only have a bike computer on my touring bike, so I'll know how far I've gone and how long I've pedaled, for lunch and navigation planning. On the road I've found fighting a headwind for 40 miles more tiring than 60 with a tailwind. The 5000 miles could have had a higher percentage of headwind miles than previous years. My vote is to rest a few days, not too long, then resume moderate rides to work out the stiffness.
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Old 12-15-14, 07:07 PM
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It's not a problem to sit around the house eating Cheetos if you can get stopped, but it can turn into a 20 year gig if you let it!
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Old 12-15-14, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
It's not a problem to sit around the house eating Cheetos if you can get stopped, but it can turn into a 20 year gig if you let it!
Boy, it's a good thing I don't like Cheetos.

I'm a vote in favor of taking a bit of time off the bike. Not so much for the physical recovery aspects as for the mental side. Get off, enjoy other things and then come back with perhaps lower performance for a while as you get back fitness, but with improved enthusiasm for riding.

I practice what I preach. I tend to ride 10-17k miles each year, but I almost always take six weeks towards the end of the year and just do utility riding, which works out to 50-100 miles per week. At the end of that lay-off, I'm a much slower rider with lousy endurance and I climb hills like a three-legged cow, but I'm enthused to put in the miles and effort to get in shape. Then again, round's a shape.
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Old 12-15-14, 11:22 PM
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Dayum, y'all's gots too much time on yo hayunds...
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Old 12-15-14, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
Goals are good motivators, but you should listen to your body.
Bingo - the reduced motivation could be a sign of a problem or illness. You certainly aren't lacking in basic ability and up-training.
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Old 12-16-14, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by jlstrat View Post
I mess up my response below...but 300 miles a week seems like a lot.
It is, but I believe it. From 2009 through 2013, my s/o's yearly totals have ranged from a low of 11,414 to a high of 17,344. (Having a 24-mile one-way work commute certainly has an effect!)

And, yeah, he's 50+ (very soon to be 57). He eased off a bit on the mileage this year, and is taking a serious break over the winter. As others have said, listen to your body -- and your mind. You don't want bicycling to start feeling like a job (unless, of course, someone is paying you to do it! )
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Old 12-16-14, 11:17 AM
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Mileage goals are arbitrary and in the final analysis don't really mean much to anyone but ourselves. So I wouldn't ride simply to meet a mileage marker, unless I wanted to ride regardless.

After 5,000 miles I wouldn't be too worried about a medical condition demotivating me to ride 5500. I had about 7000 last year, maybe 4300 this year - it's how much I felt like riding, nothing else.
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Old 12-16-14, 11:20 AM
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Don't take a break, but give up on the mileage goals thing. There's no point to that. Try different goals. Meanwhile, keep riding, but ride easy and only every other day for at least a couple of weeks. Slow down with those winter tires. Give up on pushing for nothing. Ride so that you only breath deep and slow, including on hills.

If you quit altogether, you'll regret the loss in fitness. If you keep riding but cut back on power, you'll probably gain fitness.
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Old 12-16-14, 11:39 AM
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Pro athletes of all types, not just cyclists, seem to train in blocks with periods of hard work and periods of easy work. Taking it easy for a while and riding the bike to smell the roses for a recovery period is likely a good idea. I've just gone for several weeks of easy riding to a week of no riding. When I got on the bike yesterday the legs felt good and I really wanted to ride.
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Old 12-16-14, 01:00 PM
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I've never been a "must ride every day/week" sort of cyclist. In a typical year I'll have up to 12-15 weeks when I don't ride, not even indoors, and not always due to weather or injury.

After a few days I don't miss it as there's always other things I enjoy doing, but I must admit to a fresh burst of enjoyment when I start again. A change is as good as a rest is certainly true with my cycling.

Probably means I'll never reach my potential best, but I won't lose any sleep over it.
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Old 12-16-14, 05:10 PM
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Get enough sleep. Rest when it seems necessary. Ride to enjoy, not to meet goals.

I've been doing abo0ut 200 miles per week since April. (FWIW, I turned 66 last month.) There was one stretch this year when my legs and body just felt tired. A week or so of more rest, less pushing made all the difference.
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