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Riding with sore muscles

Old 06-01-20, 06:30 PM
  #1  
Solo_rider
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Riding with sore muscles

Do you guys ride your bikes if your leg muscles are sore from the previous day ? You see, I live here on the WET Coast/Canada and sunny days are more like a rare thing sometimes even in the middle of summer -I'm sure those in WA-US know what it's like. The problem is I hate the rain and I hate doing anything when it's raining, which means no cycling. So, when we get a few sunny days in a row I take advantage of that and try to ride my bike on each of these days and I try to push myself harder. What happens is I often feel some soreness in my leg muscles because it's almost impossible to ride on a regular basis and keep your muscles stimulated enough not get sore. I know you should let your muscles rest for a day or 2 if they're sore but I hate to let even one sunny day go by without going out and enjoying a ride on my bike especially that the weather can suddenly turn and we might get nothing but rain for several days in a row.

Of course I'm not talking about very sore to the point where it's so painful to move but it's more like dull pain (probably 2-4 out of 10 on the pain scale).
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Old 06-01-20, 06:44 PM
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Soak in a ice bath 50F for twenty minutes. Wear compression tights overnight after hard rides. Stay hydrated. Deep tissue massage also helped me.
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Old 06-01-20, 06:55 PM
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You're wrong, you should not skip exercising when your muscles are sore, in fact that's counterproductive if you're trying to get fitter.

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Old 06-01-20, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Solo_rider View Post
Do you guys ride your bikes if your leg muscles are sore from the previous day ? You see, I live here on the WET Coast/Canada and sunny days are more like a rare thing sometimes even in the middle of summer -I'm sure those in WA-US know what it's like. The problem is I hate the rain and I hate doing anything when it's raining, which means no cycling. So, when we get a few sunny days in a row I take advantage of that and try to ride my bike on each of these days and I try to push myself harder. What happens is I often feel some soreness in my leg muscles because it's almost impossible to ride on a regular basis and keep your muscles stimulated enough not get sore. I know you should let your muscles rest for a day or 2 if they're sore but I hate to let even one sunny day go by without going out and enjoying a ride on my bike especially that the weather can suddenly turn and we might get nothing but rain for several days in a row.

Of course I'm not talking about very sore to the point where it's so painful to move but it's more like dull pain (probably 2-4 out of 10 on the pain scale).
the hardest thing about riding with sore muscles is summoning the activation energy to get out there. Once your 10-15 mins in, your muscles will have a loosened up
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Old 06-01-20, 07:33 PM
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Litespud is on the money. Recovery ride.
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Old 06-01-20, 08:18 PM
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you need a rain bike with fenders. Ride more and the soreness will go away
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Old 06-01-20, 08:22 PM
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Soreness can be 100% ignored, it will not ruin your muscles to use them with sore or else every athlete would long since have died.
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Old 06-01-20, 10:51 PM
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Thanks for the replies, guys. I definitely lose whatever soreness/pain I have after riding for a few minutes, while not riding (the next day) makes me feel more soreness/pain. But you know, they always say give your muscles time to heal after a workout or you might cause damage. I know cycling isn't like weight lifting but just wanted to see if other people ignore the pain and keep riding with no negative effects. So, it's OK to cycle every day without worrying about rest time at all (obviously there's 24 hours between rides).

Flip flop, the problem isn't the bike. The problem is that I hate the rain and I don't want to see it especially when it rains forever.
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Old 06-01-20, 11:16 PM
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Long time WA resident here.

Unfortunately other than moving south, you’ll have to learn to deal with the rain if you live here. Fenders, the right routes, and proper clothing will go a long way in making rainy weather cycling enjoyable.

As far as muscle soreness - not sure who “they” are that you mention say to rest once you get sore muscles, but cycling is a typically non-high impact, aerobic sport - so definitely go do a recovery spin after, work out the lactic acidosis, do some self massage, make sure you sleep properly, and you’ll recover much faster than before.
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Old 06-02-20, 12:15 AM
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A light recovery ride, walking or leg exercises at home or the gym will help.

A recovery ride should be at your level, not someone else's. There's a weekly recovery ride hosted by a local shop and club, but a recovery ride for those 20-30something y/o guys is my tempo pace at age 62. I ride with them for a workout, not for recovery. I do recovery rides solo or with a friend at a genuinely casual pace, using my heart rate and perceived effort as a rough guide.

And I usually roll out my legs after a hard ride, using a heavy marble rolling pin. Swiped it from my kitchen (yeah, I wiped off the flour). Much easier to use than foam rollers. Works great. Takes only five minutes for both legs to make a difference the next day, but I'll try to go for 10-15 minutes while watching TV. Next best thing to a soigneur.

Rest days are very individual. You have to find what works for you. I usually ride about 4 days a week and take a rest day between each. If I'm doing an HIIT session, tempo or sweet spot effort for longer than an hour, I might take two days off from riding, but I'll still walk and do calisthenics and stretching at home. Find what works for your age, fitness and goals. I'm just trying not to be the slowest 60something, not the fastest anything.
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Old 06-02-20, 04:02 AM
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The trick to reducing muscle soreness is whey protein and creatine.
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Old 06-02-20, 04:38 AM
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You can learn how to do a self-massage on your legs. Also mustard often helps to relieve soreness. I believe it's as little as a teaspoon full although I might be wrong and it's a table spoon full. Three teaspoons to a tablespoon. You take the mustard internally not rub it on the sore area.

Another thing that can help on the days you don't want to ride in the rain, is to get a wind trainer and use that to help recover from outdoor riding and also to keep muscles relaxed more. You can often get an excellent deal on a wind trainer on either Craigslist or Kijiji.

Plus as another poster mentioned, stay hydrated when riding. Even riding in the rain you're losing moisture from the body.

Decent waterproof rain gear can make riding in the rain (even without fenders) quite enjoyable.

And finally. Eddy Merckx take on riding: "Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride. ..."

Cheers
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Old 06-02-20, 09:26 AM
  #13  
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Start out slow and easy, use lower gears than normal. At some point five or ten minutes in, you forget and start riding normally. Unless you're cramping; then head for home and take the day off.
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Old 06-02-20, 09:29 AM
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I was always told that muscle soreness was your body in the act of building new muscle tissue. Remember-No Pain, No Gain. Or like I would tell any of my friends- SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP!
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Old 06-02-20, 02:10 PM
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Thanks again for the replies.

It's common knowledge that when you work out or stress your muscles you cause micro tears in the muscle fibers which causes some inflammation/pain and you need to allow your muscles to recover. Again, I know cycling isn't a high impact workout like bodybuilding but I thought maybe it's the same principle - when muscles hurt allow them to recover. Also, my own experience as I have a job that requires a lot of squatting, if I don't work for a while and then go back to work, the next day my leg muscles are so sore I can barely walk but because I have no choice but to finish my work I go to work the next day and the next... which makes the pain worse and makes it linger for much longer than the 2-3 days you usually need if you let your muscles recover (rest). It happens every time. Luckily, I've never had the same pain intensity after cycling even if I push myself, and I'm happy about that. So, I guess when it comes to cycling it's safe to just continue to ride even if you have a little bit of soreness.

Bigbus, yes. Soreness means your muscles are repairing themselves and growing but in order for them to do that they need to rest (muscles actually repair themselves and grow during your resting time/sleep, not during the workout itself). But anyway, cycling -at least for the average guy- isn't so much about growing leg muscles. I guess I don't have to worry too much about the same rules that apply to bodybuilding.

As for the rain part, I know there are these bike trainers that I can use but they're boring and I don't think I'd be able to use it for a few minutes before I get bored and stop. I usually bike for 2-3 hours when it's sunny outside and part of the ride is to enjoy the nice sunny weather and nature. On dark rainy days I just don't want to go outside. It's S.A.D (Seasonal Affective Disorder)/Winter Depression. Unfortunately, "moving south" isn't an option here since I'm almost at the southernmost part of Canada.

Thanks again for the replies.
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Old 06-02-20, 02:35 PM
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A recovery ride is not like another weightlifting session while your muscles are sore. It simply means you don't stress about riding as fast as you can, as far as you can. Your bike probably has a bunch of low gears; when you come to a hill, get acquainted with the low gears. Keep the legs spinning easily, don't push.
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Old 06-02-20, 03:58 PM
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The best way to deal with DOMS is to keep moving and keep active by doing some low intensity physical activity. The worst thing to do is to take pain killers and do nothing.
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Old 06-02-20, 06:53 PM
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DOMS is a little different than being stiff/sore the day after a ride or run, especially a longer than usual ride.

DOMS is when you’ve exceeded your maximum capacity during your workout, typically associated with weightlifting and HIIT.
The heavy, dead ‘morning after’ legs is usually as a result of insufficient cool-down after the previous day’s ride , where you’ve been at a moderate level of exertion for an extended period of time. That’s why you see pro riders spinning away on the turbo trainers both before and after a race, to extend the transition time from ‘active’ mode to resting.

I am bad about warm-ups, especially when I’m at the start of a season, I’m too eager get into the workout / event, and the first few minutes/ miles are always harder than I know they should be.
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Old 06-03-20, 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Solo_rider View Post
Thanks for the replies, guys. I definitely lose whatever soreness/pain I have after riding for a few minutes, while not riding (the next day) makes me feel more soreness/pain. But you know, they always say give your muscles time to heal after a workout or you might cause damage. I know cycling isn't like weight lifting but just wanted to see if other people ignore the pain and keep riding with no negative effects. So, it's OK to cycle every day without worrying about rest time at all (obviously there's 24 hours between rides).

Flip flop, the problem isn't the bike. The problem is that I hate the rain and I don't want to see it especially when it rains forever.
Gotcha man. I myself avoid rain at pretty much all times as well. But fenders allow you to ride immediately after a rain, no waiting on the road to dry. And yes, continue riding daily, it's low impact and get's your heart rate up
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Old 06-04-20, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Flip Flop Rider View Post
But fenders allow you to ride immediately after a rain, no waiting on the road to dry.
I almost laughed, flip flop. "after a rain". In this part of the world after a rain can take days, and sometimes in winter even weeks, to come. Literally. I mean it can rain NON-STOP for days or even weeks some times and I mean like 24/7. Similar to Seattle area. I know I know. How miserable can that be especially if you hate the damn rain ? But anyway, the takeaway is that it's safe to ride with a little bit of soreness without having to worry about negative effects and without needing a 48 hr rest between rides -even intense rides- like in weight lifting.
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Old 10-05-21, 02:17 AM
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Riding the bike at a professional level can affect your leg muscles.
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Old 10-05-21, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Solo_rider View Post
As for the rain part, I know there are these bike trainers that I can use but they're boring and I don't think I'd be able to use it for a few minutes before I get bored and stop. I usually bike for 2-3 hours when it's sunny outside and part of the ride is to enjoy the nice sunny weather and nature. On dark rainy days I just don't want to go outside. It's S.A.D (Seasonal Affective Disorder)/Winter Depression. Unfortunately, "moving south" isn't an option here since I'm almost at the southernmost part of Canada.
Zwift.
I always see lots of Canadians all winter long there.
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Old 10-05-21, 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by gaharit View Post
Riding the bike at a professional level can affect your leg muscles.
Ya think?
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Old 10-05-21, 07:03 AM
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Shocking amount of wisdom here. (Shocking considering it is BF .... )

I used to lift, and ride, and there are degrees of soreness one comes to understand. Mostly, minor soreness can be worked out most quickly with a recovery ride .... as I understand it, you flush out the dead cell membranes, and open the capillaries, so more nutrients can reach the muscle cells.

More important is flushing the legs after a ride .... which is why you see pros jump on trainers for high-speed spinning after a hard stage in a stage race. Spin quickly in a very low gear to get fresh blood to the muscles, to flush out waste and dead cell membranes, is what some people tell me, ... the lactic acid, if it stays in your capillaries, will kill them and erode them, so you get a buildup of dead-cell membranes and cell fluid. The membranes block even more capillaries, the fluid builds up and creates inflammation ....

If you lift hard, or after a really hard ride, you might get that "Someone has beaten my muscles with a ball-peen hammer" feeling. In That case, I recommend walking or just resting.

But .... I don't know squat about anything. Take your chances.
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Old 10-05-21, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Shocking amount of wisdom here. (Shocking considering it is BF .... )

I used to lift, and ride, and there are degrees of soreness one comes to understand. Mostly, minor soreness can be worked out most quickly with a recovery ride .... as I understand it, you flush out the dead cell membranes, and open the capillaries, so more nutrients can reach the muscle cells.

More important is flushing the legs after a ride .... which is why you see pros jump on trainers for high-speed spinning after a hard stage in a stage race. Spin quickly in a very low gear to get fresh blood to the muscles, to flush out waste and dead cell membranes, is what some people tell me, ... the lactic acid, if it stays in your capillaries, will kill them and erode them, so you get a buildup of dead-cell membranes and cell fluid. The membranes block even more capillaries, the fluid builds up and creates inflammation ....

If you lift hard, or after a really hard ride, you might get that "Someone has beaten my muscles with a ball-peen hammer" feeling. In That case, I recommend walking or just resting.

But .... I don't know squat about anything. Take your chances.

Actually, no one knows what is causing post-workout pain. The lactic acid theory has been thoroughly disproven as your liver flushes that very quickly (within an hour if I recall correctly).

Do whatever makes you feel better. No one is actually going to be able to tell you why it does or doesn't work because they still haven't figured out why we have the pain in the first place other than it's directly related to exertion. Pros jump on trainers after the rides because it makes them feel better for some reason, the "scientific" explanation is, at best, a guess.

I've been doing a 100 miles on Saturday, 50 on Sunday routine for several weeks now, and I'm pretty sore Sunday morning. I lose that soreness within the first couple miles of Sunday's ride and don't need to take it easy on that ride. I definitely feel it Monday morning, so I just go to work that day and don't ride afterwards. I'm fine by Tuesday. I do feel a need to "flush", and I end up drinking a ridiculous amount of water over the 24 hours after a century, I have no idea whether that has anything to do with recovery, but I just feel very thirsty for a while.

Last edited by livedarklions; 10-05-21 at 07:21 AM.
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