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I took a break for a day and I feel faster!

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

I took a break for a day and I feel faster!

Old 05-10-12, 08:34 PM
  #1  
AlphaDogg
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I took a break for a day and I feel faster!

I didn't ride yesterday because I was tired. I came home from school today and almost immediately undressed and put on my cycling attire. I inflated my tires and went out the door. The time came to cross the busy street right next to my house. I waited for a break in traffic and then sprinted onto the street. Normally I'll go about 20-25mph here, but today I felt like I was accelerating faster than normal. I hit 30mph, but had to rapidly slow down to make my turn. A ~15 mile route that normally takes me 45-50 minutes took me 35 minutes today. This route is slightly downhill, so it's always easier to go from my house to the destination than to do the opposite. It took me about 20 minutes less than usual to return. From my house to the destination I normally average 17mph, but did 21mph today. On the way back I normally average 14mph, but today I was able to maintain between 17-19mph. Any insight into whether or not this is related to my break and if so, why?

Thanks
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Old 05-10-12, 08:35 PM
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Tailwind.
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Old 05-10-12, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by kiloRH View Post
Tailwind.
There's no way that I had a tailwind going north, south, east, and west. The wind doesn't change directions that quickly.

Also, today was pretty windless. Other Coloradoans can vouch for me. There may have been a little bit of wind, but not enough to count for that 4mph difference going both directions.

Last edited by AlphaDogg; 05-10-12 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 05-10-12, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by AlphaDogg View Post
Also, today was pretty windless.
days where theres little wind tend to help me fly....its nice overall and the fact you dont have to deal with a headwind doesn't demoralize you mid ride...
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Old 05-10-12, 09:34 PM
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I took nearly a week off recently (not by choice), and my ride today was full of personal bests and fresh top 10s on Strava, but no 4mph gains!
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Old 05-10-12, 09:51 PM
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I've noticed that effect, it's obvious that full recovery has benefits on your performance. I tend to set my best times on the segments and routes I keep track of when I've had 2 or 3 days off, assuming I didn't spend those 2 or 3 days eating and drinking garbage and getting no sleep.
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Old 05-10-12, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Chickenstrip View Post
I took nearly a week off recently (not by choice), and my ride today was full of personal bests and fresh top 10s on Strava, but no 4mph gains!
same here, except I had a really bad headwind returning...I did make a few personal bests still and climbed to 2nd on strava KOM on this route...thats 15 seconds down from first that belongs to a cat2 racer.
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Old 05-10-12, 10:05 PM
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You are benefiting from the proximity of CarlJohnson

/thread
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Old 05-10-12, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
You are benefiting from the proximity of CarlJohnson

/thread
Oh boy. What a treat it will be if he shows his face in this thread...
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Old 05-10-12, 10:51 PM
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Yes, it was related. You had a recovery day and you came back stronger. To ride faster, you must often ride slower, or not at all.
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Old 05-10-12, 10:53 PM
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Does the soreness in my legs that I was feeling all morning have anything to do with this? Maybe my muscles repairing themselves?
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Old 05-10-12, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by AlphaDogg View Post
Does the soreness in my legs that I was feeling all morning have anything to do with this? Maybe my muscles repairing themselves?
I get the same sensations before having a really strong ride.

My understanding of it is that your muscles are fully loaded with glycogen which is only possible if you've had the chance to recover and replenish and that 'itchy', 'sore' feeling is the result (unless we're talking STDs).

There is about a 72 hour lag between the damage you do while training (all training is stress/damage to cells) and full recovery - which means cells repaired, replaced and added to. This process can produce 'soreness' but, if you are deep in the recovery process you'll most often not ride a strong as when you are fully recovered.

This is the cliff notes version but do some reading on peaking (not the drug experience - the athletic one) and that should flesh out the point I am making for you.
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Old 05-10-12, 11:13 PM
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I dont know, but I get depressed looking at where I stand in Strava segments in my "usual" routes.

Either they're cheating or they're just beasts. I'm sure I could do better because of the times I do my rides but those in the top 10 might have mechanical legs.
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Old 05-11-12, 12:21 AM
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If they're doing 45 mph up a hill then yes - they're cheating. I think I've figured out how to do that without a car, not that there's any benefit to it.

Otherwise, they're just that much faster than you.
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Old 05-11-12, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by AlphaDogg View Post
There's no way that I had a tailwind going north, south, east, and west. The wind doesn't change directions that quickly.

Also, today was pretty windless. Other Coloradoans can vouch for me. There may have been a little bit of wind, but not enough to count for that 4mph difference going both directions.
You must be an impostor!

The wind changes direction depending on the direction you are riding in this state. I have had wind cross coming from my right, and when I turn to a supposed tailwind, I am in a headwind. It is brutal. This is the only place I know where the wind can blow from all directions without it being a tornado.

This is Colorado, Dogg.

The rest likely did you good.
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Old 05-11-12, 07:29 AM
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placebo. I'm pretty sure you just destroyed your season.
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Old 05-11-12, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by alphadogg View Post
other coloradoans can vouch for me.
VOUCHED. Great day for grilling.
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Old 05-11-12, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
I get the same sensations before having a really strong ride.

My understanding of it is that your muscles are fully loaded with glycogen which is only possible if you've had the chance to recover and replenish and that 'itchy', 'sore' feeling is the result (unless we're talking STDs).

There is about a 72 hour lag between the damage you do while training (all training is stress/damage to cells) and full recovery - which means cells repaired, replaced and added to. This process can produce 'soreness' but, if you are deep in the recovery process you'll most often not ride a strong as when you are fully recovered.

This is the cliff notes version but do some reading on peaking (not the drug experience - the athletic one) and that should flesh out the point I am making for you.
I know that feeling. For me it's sort of a wound up, twitchy, springy sensation. When the desire to get out and mental state match the legs the result is a good day on the bike.

It's been a while though...
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Old 05-11-12, 09:21 AM
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Of course. Just don't do it too often.
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Old 05-11-12, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by DropDeadFred View Post
same here, except I had a really bad headwind returning...I did make a few personal bests still and climbed to 2nd on strava KOM on this route...thats 15 seconds down from first that belongs to a cat2 racer.
You should post this in more threads so we know how awesome you are.
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Old 05-11-12, 09:29 AM
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It's great that you improved.
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Old 05-11-12, 09:39 AM
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I'm pretty sure the break did help.
You are letting your body repair and rest to 100% rather than constantly working at 80%.
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Old 05-11-12, 10:25 AM
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Your break did help.

Check here for wind info: https://hint.fm/wind/
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Old 05-11-12, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by AlphaDogg View Post
I didn't ride yesterday because I was tired. I came home from school today and almost immediately undressed and put on my cycling attire. I inflated my tires and went out the door. The time came to cross the busy street right next to my house. I waited for a break in traffic and then sprinted onto the street. Normally I'll go about 20-25mph here, but today I felt like I was accelerating faster than normal. I hit 30mph, but had to rapidly slow down to make my turn. A ~15 mile route that normally takes me 45-50 minutes took me 35 minutes today. This route is slightly downhill, so it's always easier to go from my house to the destination than to do the opposite. It took me about 20 minutes less than usual to return. From my house to the destination I normally average 17mph, but did 21mph today. On the way back I normally average 14mph, but today I was able to maintain between 17-19mph. Any insight into whether or not this is related to my break and if so, why?

Thanks
If this is such a rare occurrence that you felt obliged to include it in the story, I think I may have an idea of why you were faster that day.
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Old 05-11-12, 12:24 PM
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A 3-4mph bump in speed instantly from a single day off is pretty much bogus, unfortunately.
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