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Sore legs, any miracle potions?

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Sore legs, any miracle potions?

Old 05-17-19, 08:27 AM
  #1  
big chainring 
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Sore legs, any miracle potions?

Its almost Spring in the midwest. Getting out on the bike more frequently, but still have layoffs of a week sometimes two weeks between rides. And I do physical labor for a job, painting contractor. Its killer going out for a ride on Sunday, followed up with heavy work days monday thru friday, then back to the bike on weekends. Any supplements recommended?

The bad....sore legs
The good....feel great on the bike.
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Old 05-17-19, 08:34 AM
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In for the advice. Last night the leg cramps were waking me up. I'm thinking taking too many days off from riding did it this time.

Usually, I try and ride 4 times a week and feel pretty good, even if my knees start out with some pain.

This past week, I was in another city for a machine repair job Sunday night and didn't make it back home until 11pm Wednesday night. Yesterday was another day of field repairs locally, but I had to mow the yard before sunset instead of riding the bike.

So no riding since early Sunday morning and last night the leg cramps arrived, which I haven't had in a while.

Last edited by FiftySix; 05-17-19 at 08:50 AM. Reason: typo #1 - may be more
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Old 05-17-19, 08:43 AM
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Old 05-17-19, 10:25 AM
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ride more, seriously. the pain will go away
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Old 05-17-19, 10:36 AM
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For some, compression socks or compression tights help quiet a bit. Runners frequently use them as well as myself. Since diabetics often use compression socks, I surmise the discomfort is related to poor circulation.
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Old 05-17-19, 10:43 AM
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Incorporate recovery rides when you legs are sore. This is zone 1 power, you are basically spinning at a higher cadence (not mashing) with not much effort at all on the pedals. It will clear the lactic acid out of your legs faster than just waiting for it to go away on it's own.
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Old 05-17-19, 10:45 AM
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About 1/4 cup pickle juice, 1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper, water to fill a regular size glass and ice. Makes a refreshing after ride drink and is said to prevent cramps.
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Old 05-17-19, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
Its almost Spring in the midwest. Getting out on the bike more frequently, but still have layoffs of a week sometimes two weeks between rides. And I do physical labor for a job, painting contractor. Its killer going out for a ride on Sunday, followed up with heavy work days monday thru friday, then back to the bike on weekends. Any supplements recommended?

The bad....sore legs
The good....feel great on the bike.
Painting contractor? It's spending an entire shift on stepladders that does me in. Guaranteed leg cramps that night. I have to force myself to go for a ride that evening, even if short distance or on the indoor machine. It helps me a great deal to relax the tight leg muscles. Magnesium supplements or gel before bed, and pickle juice for actual attacks.
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Old 05-17-19, 11:18 AM
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Well, I don't know if my experience will apply to your situation. The problem I have is that my legs burn and feel fatigued before I think they should. It feels like what used to be referred to as a build up of lactic acid in the muscle tissue, though I think current thinking on what is actually happening has changed a bit. Because of it, I had to back off on a climb or ease up from a harder pace because that burning sensation forced me to give up before I felt I'd given it all I could, before I felt my legs should really be tired. What has helped me is Sportlegs capsules. They aren't a miracle drug-they don't make me feel strong if I'm not in shape, but they help hold off the lactic acid burn sensation that I've felt was holding me back these past couple years.
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Old 05-17-19, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
Incorporate recovery rides when you legs are sore. This is zone 1 power, you are basically spinning at a higher cadence (not mashing) with not much effort at all on the pedals. It will clear the lactic acid out of your legs faster than just waiting for it to go away on it's own.
+1
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Old 05-17-19, 02:37 PM
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tiny does of magnesium & hot soaks in epsom baths w/ massage, using foaming bath soap of choice. 20 minute minimum. 1/2 glass of red wine helps too. I've soaked long enough for the water to cool. there's no danger of using too much epsom salt or soaking too long. I prefer the cheap epsom salt from Walmart & Dr Teal's Eucalyptus and Spearmint Foaming Bath
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Old 05-17-19, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by 5teve View Post
Well, I don't know if my experience will apply to your situation. The problem I have is that my legs burn and feel fatigued before I think they should. It feels like what used to be referred to as a build up of lactic acid in the muscle tissue, though I think current thinking on what is actually happening has changed a bit. Because of it, I had to back off on a climb or ease up from a harder pace because that burning sensation forced me to give up before I felt I'd given it all I could, before I felt my legs should really be tired. What has helped me is Sportlegs capsules. They aren't a miracle drug-they don't make me feel strong if I'm not in shape, but they help hold off the lactic acid burn sensation that I've felt was holding me back these past couple years.
I mentioned "lactic acid" as causing muscle soreness, in another thread, and someone jumped all over me for it. I think they were saying the soreness was not caused by lactic acid at all, lactic acid is in muscles only during exercise.

I had not heard about this previously, not sure if it's actual science or not, I think it's a somewhat recent discovery.

Don?t blame lactic acid for sore muscles | ScienceNordic

Ask your average amateur athlete what causes stiff muscles after a hard workout and more likely than not you’ll hear “lactic acid” as the answer.

When you train hard or at high intensity, your body has to turn to a kind of spare engine to produce enough energy. This “engine” is called anaerobic metabolism. When your body produces energy this way, your muscles can continue to work hard, but not for very long. Eventually your legs begin to tire and stiffen, and you can’t run as fast as before.

The conventional wisdom has been to blame this on lactic acid, a by-product of anaerobic metabolism. And because the amount of lactic acid tends to increase while your legs are in the process of stiffening up, people concluded that lactic acid is what makes your legs stiff and sore.

But it turns out that this is almost certainly not true.
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Old 05-17-19, 03:12 PM
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I have had good results with Better than Blue sold by Swanson's for muscle soreness and arthritis.

https://www.swansonvitamins.com/swan...l-cream-SW1450

Of course it helps that my g/f is a massage therapist.
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Old 05-17-19, 04:15 PM
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Miracle potions may be a minor aid, but it's already been said, the real solution is to ride more and to make sure you mix in hard and easy (recovery) rides. If you ride only on the weekends, it ain't going to happen. 4-5 rides a week, with about half being easy ones, is how you train your legs.
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Old 05-17-19, 04:27 PM
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try laying on your back, butt against the wall, legs straight up..



The oil that makes a massage go so well, is ineffective without the physical effort
of the masseur doing the work..






...

Last edited by fietsbob; 06-18-19 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 05-17-19, 04:30 PM
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Old 05-17-19, 05:10 PM
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Lactic acid isn't even what causes the burn. Technically it's lactate. In any case yes, lactate dissipates completely from the muscles in about an hour, maybe less for the well-trained. The lactate burn happens because your muscles aren't yet good at either using it for fuel or removing it from the muscle. The traditional method of lactate conditioning is to get in a long hill and go over your lactate threshold, get a good burn going - you'll be panting - then back it off to your upper aerobic zone - you'll be breathing deeply - then take it back up again and repeat until you can't anymore. Not the most fun anyone had, but it works. It's just a matter of conditioning.

Even more technically, it's now believed that it's not actually lactate that's making the muscles burn, but whatever it is, it's created at the same time as lactate, so might as well blame it on lactate because it's in the language now.

Muscle pain the next day or more usually, on the second day, is called DOMS, delayed onset muscle soreness. It's from microtears within the muscle. They take time to repair. In general one can hit it hard maybe 2 days in a row, then one needs a day or two of recovery or easier rides to allow the microtears to heal. If you keep hitting them before they heal, you get weaker, not stronger.

OTOH, sore legs aren't necessarily from DOMS, at least in my experience. Sometimes they're just sore. If I get on the bike and pedal and they still hurt after 1/2 hour, I give it up and pedal easy back home or just get off the rollers. In general, if sore legs on the bike are a consistent problem, you're not getting enough protein to heal them up. More usually they loosen up and feel OK after 1/2 hour of fighting the urge to give up and go home.

I ran a crew doing very hard but intermittent skilled manual labor. I found that going to the gym and working out really hard a couple times a week made a huge difference. Focus on the muscles which get sore. Beat the crap out of them.

As I say, supplements are a feather. Training is the hammer. If you're weak, train. That said, try electrolytes before bed and pickle juice for cramps. Not too much magnesium! My wife likes potassium. But that's for cramps, not sore legs.
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Old 05-17-19, 05:17 PM
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Extremely informative, thanks!
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Old 05-17-19, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
try laying on your back, butt against the wall, legs straight up..
I think that accomplishes the same thing I was going to suggest - massaging the legs, pushing up toward the heart, starting at the bottom. If I do this after a big long ride, I notice a difference the next day.

Of course, now that I type that out, it really just sounds like an old wive's tale (or folk wisdom, I guess, if it works).
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Old 05-17-19, 06:47 PM
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All of the above, plus massage. Really seems to help my sore, stiff legs.

I use a massively heavy marble rolling pin to massage my legs. The weight makes it easy, other than doing my calves and hamstrings, which feel like bicep curls.

And foam rollers for the back, neck, etc.

I used to think the various topical analgesics I used were helping, but it was mostly the massage that goes with applying topical ointments. I get more relief from spending more time using the rolling pin on the legs and less worrying about the latest magical topical analgesic. Stopain roll-on works well enough, doesn't cost much and relieves some pain for about 20-30 minutes, mostly by fooling the nerves just under the skin for awhile with mint, wintergreen oil and MSM.

Anti-inflammatories might help but theories differ, especially about whether NSAIDs interfere with natural prostaglandins and whether we're trading some immediate relief for long term healing. I dunno. I take a prescription anti-inflammatory (oral diclofenac), bromelain (pineapple enzyme, supposedly a good non-NSAID anti-inflammatory and digestive enzyme), and CBD. I was skeptical about CBD claims for a year, until I found some that really works. No idea whether it's really an anti-inflammatory or just an analgesic. Either way, it works without the side effects of my prescription paid meds so I rarely take those anymore.
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Old 05-17-19, 08:31 PM
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A recovery ride has nothing to do with "spinning at high cadence."

What most people call recovery are really aerobic workouts - done at too high of an intensity and too long to be recovery.

Recovery rides are very short, low intensity rides. 45 minutes just breaking a sweat is enough. All you want to do is stimulate blood flow, bring fresh, oxygenated blood to the muscles to help aid recovery.

Sleep is the number one way to recover. Take a nap.

Take two Advil for sore legs.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness WebMD


-Tim-
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Old 05-18-19, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Miracle potions may be a minor aid, but it's already been said, the real solution is to ride more and to make sure you mix in hard and easy (recovery) rides. If you ride only on the weekends, it ain't going to happen. 4-5 rides a week, with about half being easy ones, is how you train your legs.
Quoted for truth.
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Old 05-18-19, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
A recovery ride has nothing to do with "spinning at high cadence."

What most people call recovery are really aerobic workouts - done at too high of an intensity and too long to be recovery.

Recovery rides are very short, low intensity rides. 45 minutes just breaking a sweat is enough. All you want to do is stimulate blood flow, bring fresh, oxygenated blood to the muscles to help aid recovery.

Sleep is the number one way to recover. Take a nap.

Take two Advil for sore legs.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness WebMD


-Tim-
Also, good info.
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Old 05-18-19, 07:28 AM
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Best "potions" I've found for sore muscles have been, generally speaking: long soaks in hot water; massage, kneading the muscles, along with "out with the bad blood / in with the good"; stretching the affected areas; and, of course, lightly exercising the strained areas to help them loosen up, get blood and nutrients to the area to aid repair.

Of course, as we age, the amount of good that comes from continuing to exercise an area can be less and less as the years go on. But, still, stretching + heat + massage + exercise + nutrition ... or, as the docs say it: diet and exercise ... I haven't found anything better in nearly 50yrs of athletic activity. The "magic elixir" of life, I suppose one might call it.
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Old 05-18-19, 07:59 AM
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Getting old(er) is not for the faint of heart, or legs.

“Those who wait upon the Lord shall have their strength renewed, they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint...” Isaiah 40:31

From one of my favorite scenes in Chariots of Fire...and from the Bible, of course
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