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Burning yourself out (physically, not mentally) with riding

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Burning yourself out (physically, not mentally) with riding

Old 02-26-11, 08:28 AM
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radial1999
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Burning yourself out (physically, not mentally) with riding

Is it typical for those that ride a lot to feel stiffness/soreness in your quads, after taking 2 days off after a lighter 45 minute ride? Is it best to completely stop riding for 1-2 weeks if the leg muscles are that worn out, or is it typical for them to feel very sore/stiff for the first 10-20 minutes of a ride until you warm up/stretch out?
I'm trying to decide if I am overdoing it or if I just need to work through the fact that my legs have seemed less able to recover lately, even with 2 days off after a ride, ever since I pushed a 90 minute ride at a hard pace about 2 weeks ago (basically I was working hard enough that I had nothing left after 90 minutes).
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Old 02-26-11, 08:41 AM
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How fast you recover depends on how fit you are. For mortals not hopped up on dope, some recovery is never a bad thing.

To your question, is it typical? Yes. But I wouldn't completely stop riding for 1-2 weeks. There are about eleventy billion posts, sites, magazine articles on how to train through muscle fatigue due to hard efforts. The initial soreness when you first start just means those muscles have not healed from the last time you beat them up.

Again, how fast this happens is all fitness. The more you ride, the more fit you become, the faster you recover.

Massages post rides, helps. As does any number of stretching exercises .. and ibuprofen. But I am no professional, so YMMV.
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Old 02-26-11, 09:00 AM
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Increase your cadence.

Developing riders often spin the pedals too slowly. This will tire the legs quickly. I like to select gears that help me keep a 85 to 105 rpm cadence. Spinning faster will reduce fatigue in the muscles, stress on the knees and improve the pace.

Michael
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Old 02-26-11, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by radial1999 View Post
Is it typical for those that ride a lot to feel stiffness/soreness in your quads, after taking 2 days off after a lighter 45 minute ride? Is it best to completely stop riding for 1-2 weeks if the leg muscles are that worn out, or is it typical for them to feel very sore/stiff for the first 10-20 minutes of a ride until you warm up/stretch out?
I'm trying to decide if I am overdoing it or if I just need to work through the fact that my legs have seemed less able to recover lately, even with 2 days off after a ride, ever since I pushed a 90 minute ride at a hard pace about 2 weeks ago (basically I was working hard enough that I had nothing left after 90 minutes).
No, you'll just get more out of shape ...... unless you have an actual injury requiring recovery.
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Old 02-26-11, 10:47 AM
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That likely means you haven't used your quads much before. Your 45 minute rides are now working them and the soreness is due to minute tears in the muscle tissue. The good news is they repair and become stringer after recovery (as long as 48 hours). So try an easier spin type ride for 15-30 minutes a day or two after the 45 minute ride. As you get stronger, alternate hard/easy, long.short days with some rest days thrown in.
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Old 02-26-11, 11:01 AM
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Are you getting plenty of sleep? Eating right for rides and between them? Drinking plenty of water?
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Old 02-26-11, 11:16 AM
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That's a normal part of improvement. 1-2 days of rest, or even better, light riding will do the trick. THe next time you do the same ride a week later, you won't feel a thing.

Soreness is a necessary part of improvement. When I was training seriously, I was probably sore nearly every day - at that point though, overtraining becomes an issue. You won't ever come close to overtraining in your first year of riding since you'll be limited by your ability.
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Old 02-26-11, 11:18 AM
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Ride easy, take a few days spinning with less resistance keeping your heart rate down. Keep the miles but with less resistance. Take a day off now and then but 2 weeks is way too long.
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Old 02-26-11, 11:23 AM
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radial1999
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Originally Posted by kenji666 View Post
Are you getting plenty of sleep? Eating right for rides and between them? Drinking plenty of water?
I always get enough sleep, and I drink plenty of water throughout the day (very little coffee or soda). My diet isn't perfect but not bad either.
The thing that seems odd to me is the first 2 months, I had no problems recovering. Once I decided to focus more on higher cadence and going easier on my legs, that's when I started feeling like my legs couldn't fully recover as easily.
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Old 02-26-11, 12:48 PM
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90 minutes is not a long ride (90 hours is) so you shouldn't be thrashed unless you are going way over your present limit for the whole ride.

Take Joe Friel's advice and get enough rest. You'll see more adaptation if you incorporate intervals and enough rest off the bike and/or easy recovery rides.

Don't try to thrash yourself into shape from a standstill, so to speak.
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Old 02-26-11, 01:06 PM
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You probably need to work in more rest. You need easy/rest days each week and also need a rest week every 3-4 weeks (per Friel). You don't get stronger on the days you are working hard, you get stronger when you give your body a chance to adapt (during rest).

I track my training load and progress with a power meter and my best numbers are always coming off a rest week. Rest weeks can be very hard, especially when the weather is nice and there are group rides. I'll still get out and ride, but keep the pace super easy (all small ring, can't be bothered when little old ladies pass you).
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Old 02-26-11, 01:08 PM
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Im no expert so ill tell you my experience not what you should do.

I ride everyday and am sore most days when i start off but after warming up I feel like i can go forever. I commute five days a week and excersize late everynight. I took three days off after a long ride for me through rolling hills and had zero soreness after the second day. Stretching also helps my sore muscles, a lot.
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Old 02-26-11, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by radial1999 View Post
Is it typical for those that ride a lot to feel stiffness/soreness in your quads, after taking 2 days off after a lighter 45 minute ride? Is it best to completely stop riding for 1-2 weeks if the leg muscles are that worn out, or is it typical for them to feel very sore/stiff for the first 10-20 minutes of a ride until you warm up/stretch out?
I'm trying to decide if I am overdoing it or if I just need to work through the fact that my legs have seemed less able to recover lately, even with 2 days off after a ride, ever since I pushed a 90 minute ride at a hard pace about 2 weeks ago (basically I was working hard enough that I had nothing left after 90 minutes).
Believe it or not, your opening premise that it's not mental is wrong. Your situation is >90% mental. Heed the advice already given and HTFU.

I'm not busting your balls, it's just important to understand the mental aspect.
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Old 02-26-11, 03:55 PM
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radial1999
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Originally Posted by rogerstg View Post
Believe it or not, your opening premise that it's not mental is wrong. Your situation is >90% mental. Heed the advice already given and HTFU.

I'm not busting your balls, it's just important to understand the mental aspect.
I get what you're saying, but my legs feel similar to after I pulled a muscle in my quad in high school playing soccer, and about 2 wks before I was allowed to start exercising again, I jogged about 20 feet during practice and it felt like my muscles were going to tear apart. My legs almost feel that burned out, even in a gear so easy my legs are practically just bouncing up and down with no resistence.
For about a week or two, once I was warmed up the soreness would go away, but now it's very painful the entire time and I'm going much easier than I have been since I started riding 3-6 times a week. It's definitely not mental. I'm just trying not to cause any serious damage and I'm not sure if most daily riders have their quads feel sore the entire time they're riding, even when in an easy gear with very high cadence, the entire ride.
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Old 02-26-11, 04:15 PM
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Are you eating enough? I work hard on my diet but I find I don't recover well if I don't eat enough sometimes. I stay sluggish and sore. Adding a few hundred calories for a couple days normally fixes me up. I won't give any sleep advice as I'm a terrible sleeper.

From you last post though it sounds like you tweaked something a little. I'd rest and stretch for a couple days maybe (don't over stretch a pulled muscle though) and see how you feel after an easy ride then
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Old 02-26-11, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by radial1999 View Post
I get what you're saying, but my legs feel similar to after I pulled a muscle in my quad in high school playing soccer
Then ... GO TO THE DOCTOR. Maybe you've pulled the muscle again
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Old 02-26-11, 06:31 PM
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I am a great believer that you recover based upon what you do off the bike for the other 22 or 23 hours in the day rather than the 'damage' you think you did in the 1 or 2 hours on the bike.

eat, water yourself, massage, cross-train.
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Old 02-26-11, 07:42 PM
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My first few years (Yes, YEARS) I spent much of the time with sore quads/hamstrings/calves after a hard workout. If I took it easy it wasn't bad, but after a hard (2+ hour) ride, I would almost always be walking funny the next couple days. Now, I spent the first couple years on a mtn bike, which is know for low-cadence "sprint" intervals when you are constantly climbing 10%+ grades of dirt. But even when I got into road biking, my muscles would still hurt after a spirited ride. I just took this to mean I was tearing down and rebuilding muscle. Now, after five years after seriously getting into cycling I can do an easy century without too much soreness the day or two afterwards. A long, hilly, killer ride, or back to back intense rides still put a little sting in the legs. It's just your body's way of saying you did too much.
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