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Loss of power after big rides...

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Loss of power after big rides...

Old 08-13-12, 12:37 AM
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hillcrawler
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Loss of power after big rides...

In the next day after your big ride, even though you don't feel tired you can't push enough. I mean you push as always but the bike won't go. It feels like you have a flat or the brake pads touching the rim. You feel like all the oil on your chain has vaporized and your hubs are stuck. Something was forcing me to stop. Maybe it was wind but it should not be a big factor because it wasn't blowing at all when i was climbing that hill but i had to look back to see if the chain is on the largest sprocket as always. Do you experience such a thing after your big rides? Maybe i didn't consume the things i should. What should i drink and eat to revitalize my legs?

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Old 08-13-12, 12:56 AM
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I get this towards the end of longer rides...

It's just conditioning...I too feel like the wind swung around just as I start to turn around and head towards home..."I had a headwind the whole way" I say when I get home!
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Old 08-13-12, 06:20 AM
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I recently experienced the "second day blues" as described by the OP. After 105 solo miles on Saturday, I did not feel strong on Sunday. 25 miles in though, a stop at a gas station for a giant cookie and a gel had me feeling better.

So I guess my answer to your question is a gas station giant cookie and a gel. The cookie had M&M's in it in case you were wondering.
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Old 08-13-12, 06:46 AM
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How long have you been riding? It sounds like you need to build your base, which will enable you to ride the day after a hard ride.
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Old 08-13-12, 06:52 AM
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What should i drink and eat to revitalize my legs?
Food and drink won't "revitalize" your legs. If you're that tired the day after a hard ride, take it easy! Find a route with little to no climbing and ride slowly enough to feel guilty for about 45-60 minutes. If other cyclists go tearing by you at speed, resist the urge to chase. This is known as a "recovery ride", and it's an integral part of improving your fitness.

What this slow ride does is get your blood flowing through your body, which helps your system flush out waste and helps rebuild muscle tissue. If your legs are tight, it'll loosen them up. It gives your body a chance to recover from the training stress you put on it the day before. If you don't let your body rebuild, you're not going to get stronger, just more tired.

You don't have to overdo this...if you know you're going to flog yourself over the weekend, just plan on doing the recovery ride Monday. If you really push yourself Saturday, do it on Sunday. It ain't rocket science.

If you have friends who insist that you always have to go as hard as you can, be aware that that's their testosterone talking, not their brains.
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Old 08-13-12, 07:01 AM
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You should ALTERNATE easy/hard days so your body can recover.

search/google "recovery ride."
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Old 08-13-12, 07:03 AM
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1) agree with the comments about base.

2) eating and drinking enough after the big effort will have an effect on how you ride the next day.


Also, this situation is another example of where having a power meter is nice. Not unusual after a big training effort to feel shot the next day. However, lots of times, you may feel lousy, but still be putting out power, in which case you suck it up and push through.

Conversely, you may feel lousy, and not be able to hit your power zones, even giving it a full effort. On those occassions, it's usually best to shut it down and recover.
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Old 08-13-12, 08:24 AM
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Long story short:

You have a limited amount of readily available fuel in your body and bloodstream. On a longer ride, you burn through most of it, especially if you go anaerobic.

If you use up too much during the ride itself, you will bonk. If, as Merlin points out, you do not replenish properly after the ride, you'll basically have almost no energy the next day. In addition, the older and more out-of-shape you are, the longer it takes you to recover.

In addition to post-ride nutrition, a major purpose of training is to improve your body's ability to recover. Basic interval training -- a rest day, several moderate-effort days, and one day with a big effort -- is a simple way to work on that, and the basis of all the "get ready for a century!" schedules. If you get more involved in the sport, you may want to get into more sophisticated training schedules.
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Old 08-13-12, 08:26 AM
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That is what rest days and recovery rides are for. You can't go hard every single day. The body doesn't work like that. I did a 5 hour ride yesterday. Today my legs get tired walking up the steps. It is normal. I won't be riding today.
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Old 08-13-12, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Also, this situation is another example of where having a power meter is nice. Not unusual after a big training effort to feel shot the next day. However, lots of times, you may feel lousy, but still be putting out power, in which case you suck it up and push through.

Conversely, you may feel lousy, and not be able to hit your power zones, even giving it a full effort. On those occassions, it's usually best to shut it down and recover.
Agree 100%. I had a hard ride two Saturdays ago, going on an extended breakaway with another rider after a long uphill grind. The next day my legs felt like lead and it was an effort to keep up with the group. Got home, checked the power data and my Sunday power output was nearly identical (0.5% higher) but my heart rate was significantly down from Saturday with a higher RPE. Sometimes you feel like you don't have it but you really do, and vice versa.
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Old 08-13-12, 11:02 AM
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Glad the other guys brought up post-ride nutrition - +1 on their remarks.
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Old 08-13-12, 11:25 AM
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Getting into shape and riding faster is not only accomplished on the bike but off the bike. I would look at my post ride recovery nutrition and look for holes...
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Old 08-13-12, 01:51 PM
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Would riding on a trainer accomplish the same thing as a recovery ride if you take it easy and have the roller set with a lighter resistance?
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Old 08-13-12, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by choclabman View Post
Would riding on a trainer accomplish the same thing as a recovery ride if you take it easy and have the roller set with a lighter resistance?
Yes. The idea of a recovery ride is to spin the legs and get the blood flowing. It doesn't matter if your on a trainer, rollers, the road or even a spin bike at the gym.
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Old 08-13-12, 02:04 PM
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Do a Google search for Alberto Salazar. He was probably the top US long distance runner of the late 70s and early 80s. He literally ran himself into the ground with ultra-high mileage training---like 175 to 200+ miles a week.

Even world class athletes have to work recovery sessions into their routines.
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Old 08-13-12, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by thump55 View Post
So I guess my answer to your question is a gas station giant cookie and a gel. The cookie had M&M's in it in case you were wondering.
I find the M&M cookies w/the ice cream in between them are best for feeling better, and just my general happiness overall.
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Old 08-13-12, 02:19 PM
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Of course you will have lower power the day after a big effort. That's called fatigue.

You mention you don't feel tired, this is because power and perceived exertion measure different things!
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Old 08-13-12, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by hillcrawler View Post
Maybe i didn't consume the things i should. What should i drink and eat to revitalize my legs?
This is mostly a fitness issue and is common amongst those who have relatively more time to ride on weekends. After your long ride you need to get adequate protein to allow your muscles to repair themselves and sufficient carbs to replenish your glycogen stores. Regardless of how well you eat after the ride, if you're doing significantly longer distances than you're used to you will have some dropoff the next day. If you want to do back to back long rides try going easier.

Short answer: ride more.
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Old 08-13-12, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by revchuck View Post
If you're that tired the day after a hard ride, take it easy! Find a route with little to no climbing and ride slowly enough to feel guilty for about 45-60 minutes. If other cyclists go tearing by you at speed, resist the urge to chase.
Then a guy on a hybrid passes you and posts about it here the next day
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Old 08-13-12, 02:57 PM
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Sounds pretty normal
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Old 08-13-12, 03:14 PM
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Totally normal. In fact, if you ride to the point that your legs are pretty toasted and you feel like even going recovery pace is pretty hard due to 'dead legs', you're doing something right.

If you're feeling like a million bucks on your bike rides, you're not training hard enough improve, period. Heck, if you feel 'pretty strong' on your training rides, you're likely not doing enough volume to improve as much or as fast as you could.

Eating and drinking won't help this at all. Training, regularly, and with enough volume, is what fixes this.

This is a normal phenomena for me in all my buildups in prior years. The first 4-6 weeks of serious training where I ramp up bike (or run) volume have horrendously slow average speeds since my legs feel pretty wiped most of the time. Weeks 6-10 I start adding the speedwork right when they start coming back - so they still feel pretty wiped. It's not until 2 weeks before race day taper that I allow my legs to feel normal, at least while I'm in a buildup phase. I'm pretty much riding on fatigued legs continuously for 14-18 weeks until taper.

Note that this also isn't overtraining. Overtraining is when you overdo it to a point where even if you're training well, you're actually getting worse or not making any gains. This usually takes weeks of overdoing it. As long as you're still getting better, the vast majority of the time you're not overtrained.
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Old 08-13-12, 06:13 PM
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That's what amazes me most about the pros. Not how hard they can go on a given day, but the fact that they can get up the next morning and do it again. And again. And again.
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Old 08-13-12, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by rkwaki View Post
Getting into shape and riding faster is not only accomplished on the bike but off the bike. I would look at my post ride recovery nutrition and look for holes...

I fill those holes with PIE
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Old 08-13-12, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by SCochiller View Post
That's what amazes me most about the pros. Not how hard they can go on a given day, but the fact that they can get up the next morning and do it again. And again. And again.
this is done by building a huge base early in the year. every base km is a km in the bank when it counts.
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Old 08-14-12, 02:27 AM
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The training only tears your body down; it's the resting recovery (all the hours you're not riding) that you get afterwards that builds you up faster and stronger. If you do more training (intensity and/or distance) than you can recover from properly, then you start digging yourself a hole instead of improving. Then you crash or everyday just feels like dead legs.

Modulating your training in the form of hard then easy/recovery gives your body a chance to rebuild itself stronger but without giving up the training benefit on recovery days as an easy recovery day is still better stimulus to improve over taking a day off doing nothing. However, if you are a rider without much mileage under your belt at the moment, sometimes a day off can be more beneficial than an easy day, simply because your body is too far behind the curve to benefit from an easy recovery ride. Good luck and enjoy it!
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