my poor moosles
Ok so i know that i'm a girl and i'm not going to build muscle quite like a guy, but i'm starting to notice something lately. First of all, i've been riding 4 seasons, with this being my 5th. I've sort of become a fanatic where i ride pretty much every day. i've done two weeks straight before, though, it usually averages 6 days a week. Basically i dont give myself recovery days very much. i guess assume since i have a desk job, that i'm recovering, but it takes 48 hours, right?
so all week, i ride anywhere from 8-15 miles a night (MTB) then weekends are even bigger rides. Many riders i go with are quite good, so it's often a push to keep up.
so i'm noticing that i'm just getting a bit haggard. For instance, i ride with people who ride only half as much as me, on some days, it seems we have the same muscle power. i feel i can "last a long time" so my riding is paying off, but something about my leg strength just doesn't feel right. i dont feel like i'm building enough muscle. i dont know if it's genetic, or lacking recovery days.
one girl who only rides every other day told me i should slow down and take days off because i'm only hurting my legs. I dont know, it's starting to depress me, all this time i put in and seems like my legs are just giving out. Am i just hurting my legs by not taking enough days off? what happens to muscles that dont have sufficient recovery time? do they break down, or do they just plateau? i dont know these things! (btw, i dont think protein intake is an issue. i know how to destroy a burger).
I'm gona borrow this advice taken from a similar thread about a week ago.
Originally Posted by Stripes
like i said the other night, I think youre just overdoing it. we can take some recovery time, but biking is fun so i tend to just keep riding.
EDIT: in case you want to take a look, Heres a link to the thread i pulled the quote from: Frustrated w fitness level...
Originally Posted by Optimus
Disclaimer: I am far from an expert
Do you feel that you're getting slower, or are you just not satisfied with your progress? Lots of long rides at moderate intensity will build a good fitness base, but if you want to get fast I'd suggest doing some shorter high-intensity interval workouts and take some days off. ie. Train hard, recover hard.
I think our bodies adapt to the stresses we apply, but no more than that. So I would not be surprised to plateau after a long period of the same stimulus. Experiment, try changing things up in any way that you can just to see how you feel.
That's good advice. most of our rides fall into the first category, long trail rides at a moderate pace. (and lots of breaks waiting up for people and such) stepping up the pace and then taking a day off might do the trick.
Originally Posted by spsoon
Originally Posted by Optimus
i just think i should be getting bigger leg muscles than i have. i feel like a noodle. i dont like the idea of only riding 3 days a week (at any intensity). i seem to be addicted to nearly every day.
btw, what might be considered mild-moderate to the BETTER riders in my group (ahem, Dirtdawg) feels harder for me. I'm not maxing out my output, but i most certainly feel the burn on hills. However, i mostly DONT get soreness after rides. Only the destination weekend rides will render me slightly sore. Maybe i'm just not tearing my muscles enough.
lungs and cardio feel good. i can ride for over 20 miles. i never really feel like i have trouble breathing and the rest of my body feels good. Just something bout the legs. something feeling weak.
I don't think muscle size/strength is very strongly correlated with riding fitness, outside of sprints. There's lots of really successful racers around who look like bean poles.
If you hang around the XC racing forum at all, the common advice for noobs is simply "ride more". Well it sounds like you've got that part covered so if you want to take it to the next level, you might have to start doing some structured training, but you have to decide if that fits with your personal goals.
It really just sounds to me like you're tired all the time. Make sure you eat some carbs immediately at the end of your rides; that will help you recover for the next day. Sleep lots. Maybe take a day off if all else fails
What kind of exercises are you doing off the bike? If your training plan only involves riding, and you aren't brand new to biking, you aren't going to get the type of results you are looking for.
Cholla cactus=nature's guard rail.
i think it's a matter of how much work i put in, and the feeling that i'm weakening. I remember putting in a huge weekend of 100 miles, and after that weekend, i was like 20 percent faster. i felt great. Now i just feel a gradual weakening again. Some of the more casual riders who maybe put in half the miles/hours i do, have the same leg strength. i sometimes wonder if something is genetically weak in me, and other people can just have huge legs after one season (those are mainly men though. i guess i shouldnt compare myself to men).
Endurance riding doesn't build muscle really. It makes your body better at endurance, which usually makes smaller muscles. If you're looking to add some "snap" to your legs, then you need to add some short, high intensity workouts with recovery days after. Your choice of:
- Ride a single speed
- Squats/dead lifts
My strongest year ever came from a winter of dedicated dead lifts followed by a spring of riding SS. I had no endurance past 45 minutes, but could sprint a hill like mad.
dead lifts? is that when you lift weights during a squat and your anus prolapses?
i guess ya'll are right. i'm more of a cardio queen i guess, the way i do things.
You have reached a spot where a typical ride for you taxes your muscles very little, then you are allowing no recovery time.
If you want to get stronger/bigger, then you have to push your limits and recover properly. Try tiding 5 days a week, with two of them being training rides with a day off afterwards. Or replace the training ride with a gym session.
Uuuhhhhmmmmm..... I'm not a certified personal trainer, but I'm almost positive that means you're doing it wrong
Originally Posted by NicoleB
The body adapts pretty efficiently to how you stress it. As I mentioned, that season I was a (short!) hill climbing monster. I spent the next year after that focusing solely on endurance. I can easily do two hour rides now, but at best I'm half as fast at hill sprints. Complete jello legs compared to before when trying to stand and sprint. I'm planning to build the SS back up and try for a good mixture of the two now.
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