My muscles stay sore for days...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    My muscles stay sore for days...

    What should I be doing to help me recover faster? If I do training rides Wed and Fri, I'm still sore for my main Sunday ride. I feel tired and slow.

  2. #2
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    We don't have much information to go on...it would help to know your fitness level/age/ weight/ other types of excerise/activity during the week/ what muscles are sore (legs, back, arms etc?) ? etc.

    A general reponse : Sore muscles indicate that you've pushed your muscles farther than what they're used, and breaking them down. Every time you workout, you create micro tears in your muscles that, when repaired, make you stronger. Soreness is not an indication of progress.


    If you really want to do something I find a light recovery spin or if you run an easy run, just to get the legs moving is a great active recovery workout, but use it just as that, recovery. Don't go for KOM's and sh!t on your recovery ride, you'll just have to wait longer to rest and screw everything up.

    But since you posted in a nutrition forum; magnesium is a good supplement to take or blackstrap molasses (which is also a great source of calcium and potassium), even an Epsom salt bath is beneficial too.
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  3. #3
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    How long have you been riding?
    If you have been riding only a few weeks then just keep going and it will right itself with a bit more time as you build muscles associated with riding.
    If you have been riding a while but recovery is still slow I would suggest ensuring you get protein within 30 minutes of your ride, be sure to take it easy on your recovery days and if it doesn't go away you might want to ask a doctor.

    All that being said I am assuming it's just because you are a newer rider. Good luck!

  4. #4
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    I'm not a new rider. 35 years old. I have lost about 30 lbs over the last year to 155 lbs by cutting my dinnertime portions. The weight loss has helped me considerably. But I have just recently been having trouble with soreness. I do training rides in the evening so my pre ride meal is very minimal. Wheat bread, almond butter/peanut butter and bananas. I put gatorade powder in my ride drink. No post ride meal. I take a multivitamin on Sundays only.

  5. #5
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    Ok then, no offence intended. Strange you would have muscle soreness for days like that. Too young for it to be due to age. Are you just sore all the time or just during the Sunday ride?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by brainhulk View Post
    ... No post ride meal...
    That could be it.

    Immediately post ride (within half hour or so at the latest) drink a carb beverage with a small amount of protein. Skim milk is good. Choco skim milk is said to be better. Or eat a PB&J sandwich on whole grain bread, or some fruit and yogurt. Commercial recovery drinks also work, but off-the-shelf real food works just as good, or better. Follow up with a protein snack in an hour or so.
    After a hard ride your body needs to replenish the glycogen it used. After the glycogen is restored, the body begins rebuilding muscle. If it does not have the amino acid pool in the bloodstream to rebuild muscle the muscles really never have a chance to adequately rebuild in the golden anabolic window post ride.

    Do you taper down at the end of your ride? Or push the last mile or two real hard as a final kick and then just jump off your bike at the end, followed by a collapse on the couch? Try your last few blocks as a cool down -- easy cadence in a low gear. Think of horse racing -- the horses are given a slow walk around the track at the end of the race.

    Your pre-ride meal sounds OK. Your during ride drink with gatorade sounds OK, too, but do a little math and make sure you are not exceeding a 8% or so glucose solution. There is a tendency to make the powder mix stronger than the label says, on the theory that if a little is good, then more is better. That is false. Research show a glucose solute greater than ~8% actually takes longer to absorb than less than 8%.
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  7. #7
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    Agree on lack of post-ride meal. You absolutely need it, if pushing hard. I ride in a fasted state and has no problems with energy level. Plus, my powers of concentration and mental clarity is thru the roof when running on Ketones. After the ride is the best part...eating!

    I lost so much fat, my abs has reappeared...after a 33-year absence.
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  8. #8
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    Buy a stairmaster or stepper. About 30 minutes a day will rid you of the back and leg pain
    Cheap people buy things twice

  9. #9
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    Eat, ride, sleep, repeat...

    + stretch ;-)

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave54 View Post
    push the last mile or two real hard as a final kick and then just jump off your bike at the end, followed by a collapse on the couch? .
    This is what i've been doing recently, just to make sure I don't leave anything else on the table and make the most of my workout

    I may have to try eating afterwards too

  11. #11
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    That information sheds light on things. Eating after your ride is as important as before it. I agree and disagree with dave54. Good carbs to get your glycogen back up but I don't think" a little protein " is better than a lot of protein. I have had 2 eggs and a glass of chocolate milk after a ride more times than I can count. All of this is normal exercise regimen.
    It is also possible that you have over trained. Consider a week off of riding to get your muscles fully recovered before working them again.

    What I don't like about your situation is that you are not "new" to riding and that being the case you should not have any "new" rider issues or just changes in your body unless you have drastically changed your riding habits. If the post workout meal doesn't help I would still see a Doctor.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by brainhulk View Post
    This is what i've been doing recently, just to make sure I don't leave anything else on the table and make the most of my workout

    I may have to try eating afterwards too
    This comment makes me think maybe he's kidding?

    If you aren't and you're totally serious, you defintely need to eat post ride. As at least Terranaut has said (there may be others too, I just skimmed the thread), you need to replenish your glycogen stores after a ride.

    I have Hammer Nutrition Recoverite that I mix up and slam right after the ride. Tastes really good and almost makes you want to mix up another bottle of it. What the Hammer recoverite does though is get the first input of replenishment to your muscles, like while your scouring the fridge and or making a meal. You've basically got about two hours to start feeding yourself called the 'glycegen window', where recovery is going to best and soreness will be kept to a respective minimum.

    I drink the Recoverite right away, eat, and then in a couple hours, mix up and drink another Recoverite.

    Also, Gatorade is pretty much trash. As is Powerade or any of those soda corporation corn juices. Try Hammer Heed.

  13. #13
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    When your tired ride slow, when your fresh, RIP THEM DANG TRAILS!

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terranaut View Post
    ... Good carbs to get your glycogen back up but I don't think" a little protein " is better than a lot of protein. I have had 2 eggs and a glass of chocolate milk after a ride more times than I can count. All of this is normal exercise regimen...
    Research on the optimum post workout carb/protein ratio varies a lot. Peer reviewed and publish studies range from 2:1 to 5:1. In reality, it probably varies with the individual fitness level, how hard of a workout, what kind of workout, individual genetics, and other factors not yet identified. The key take away point is carbs are more important than protein initially. So just keep a journal and see what works best for you. Personalized genetic nutrition is an emerging field still in its infancy, with European Universities way ahead of the U.S in the research. I can see the day when a nutritionist takes a DNA sample before developing a diet plan for an athlete.

    I should also add try some static stretching post ride, with dynamic stretching before the ride. Some research has shown static stretching before a workout actually increases injury risk and may delay recovery. Static stretching post workout is part of the cool down process that helps flush metabolic wastes from your muscles and could hasten anabolic recovery.
    Do not take anything I post seriously. I don't.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave54 View Post
    Research on the optimum post workout carb/protein ratio varies a lot. Peer reviewed and publish studies range from 2:1 to 5:1. In reality, it probably varies with the individual fitness level, how hard of a workout, what kind of workout, individual genetics, and other factors not yet identified. The key take away point is carbs are more important than protein initially. So just keep a journal and see what works best for you. Personalized genetic nutrition is an emerging field still in its infancy, with European Universities way ahead of the U.S in the research. I can see the day when a nutritionist takes a DNA sample before developing a diet plan for an athlete.

    I should also add try some static stretching post ride, with dynamic stretching before the ride. Some research has shown static stretching before a workout actually increases injury risk and may delay recovery. Static stretching post workout is part of the cool down process that helps flush metabolic wastes from your muscles and could hasten anabolic recovery.
    I am going to try this. thank you. I never knew about dynamic stretching and have been static stretching before my rides.

  16. #16
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    Adequate hydration along with post ride nutrition. Easy, spinny rides on the days after the hard ones. Massage can really help recovery through increased blood flow in the muscles. Foam rollers. Stretching post ride.

  17. #17
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    Eat some steak. Congrats on the weight loss but you've forgotten that food is fuel for the body. When you exercise hard you create little mico-tears in your muscle tissue and it takes protein to build it back stronger. Again...eat some steak!

  18. #18
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    use one of these ALL THE TIME

    when getting back form a ride
    and
    before bed

    https://www.google.com/search?q=mass...ZuEAL4QsAQI1wE

  19. #19
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    Here is a short (3 min) video that is a quick summary of the basics of nutrition. From the UK so it uses British pronunciations and spelling. This is a very simplified version of what would normally be a 2 or more semester course in college requiring previous coursework in chemistry and anatomy.

    https://view.vzaar.com/8253684/video
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  20. #20
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    Overdoing it

    Quote Originally Posted by brainhulk View Post
    This is what i've been doing recently, just to make sure I don't leave anything else on the table and make the most of my workout

    I may have to try eating afterwards too
    I assume you were looking for a nutrition answer and the advice of post ride food is good, however based on what you have told us, I doubt that is the main source of your soreness. If you added intensity to the end of your rides and you started getting sore than you are over doing it, plain and simple.

    For long term progression the "leave nothing on the table" is a bad training strategy. You should train no more than you can recover from. No exceptions. Least risky way to do this, is to always finish rides with gas in the tank and be patient about getting faster (ie don't try to get "fast" over a period of weeks or even months - it takes years of consistent/smart training). If you don't do any medium/high intensity rides during the week, then MAYBE end rides with a spirited finish once a week but if your Sunday rides are typical group rides, in that they are pretty tough, then you don't need any serious intensity in you training rides.

  21. #21
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    I do not agree you should not put intensity into the ride. Instead of a hard sprint at the end you can add sprints within the ride (fartleks, intervals, or whichever term you use.) 30 seconds of full intensity all-you-can every 5 minutes or so, with your heart rate returning to your normal training rate between intervals. This has been shown to stimulate production of mitochondria in your muscle cells. Muscle biopsies of world class cyclists and marathoners show their leg muscles are packed full, almost bulging, of mitochondria.
    I avoid sprints the first 5 minutes of my training rides, as a warm up, and avoid them the last 5 minutes of the ride, as a cool down. If I do the middle portion of my ride right, I no longer have a sprint in me the final 5 minutes anyway.
    The majority of your ride should be in the 60-70% or less max HR range. The adage is to get faster train slower.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by brainhulk View Post
    I'm not a new rider. 35 years old. I have lost about 30 lbs over the last year to 155 lbs by cutting my dinnertime portions. The weight loss has helped me considerably. But I have just recently been having trouble with soreness. I do training rides in the evening so my pre ride meal is very minimal. Wheat bread, almond butter/peanut butter and bananas. I put gatorade powder in my ride drink. No post ride meal. I take a multivitamin on Sundays only.
    There is a fine line between loosing fat, and recovery. How much more are you looking to lose? Riding shorter rides fasted can help, you still lose fat. But you aren't recovering. I would use either EAAs or whey with gatoraide right after the ride, that a decent meal for dinner.

    If you ride in the eve eat light during the day.

  23. #23
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    Go with post ride stuff, but even in high school when we went skiing we were sore after. The preventative measure for me eventually has always been complex carbs/protein before the activity if 4 hours or less. More hours means also added food during the activity. Hydration is necessary during also.
    I make up a bean/rice/pea/quinoa/barley/wild rice and all the different varieties add up to maybe 14 different things with some fat like olive oil or butter maybe some peanut butter. Make a large amount of the grains every couple months(beans boil 1hr, peas and rice 1/2hr, quinoa and barley 15 minutes all in one 16qt. pot) and freeze it in separate containers with one in the frig. 60 seconds in the micro and you have a good basic muscle feeding meal with no time loss. I'm tired but never have sore muscles. You don't have to eat right after either.
    It's just logic to have slow release available for your muscles as they need it not after.

  24. #24
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    Get the nutrition thing squared away for sure. Replenish glycogen stores then move on to a Protein recovery shake. I use Cytosport 100% Whey Protein w/Amino Acids, et al., mixed with fresh frozen pineapple, raspberry, blueberries, and almond milk in my Nutribullet.

    Then, follow this yoga video after your rides.

    15-Minute Post-Ride Yoga Routine Video - Pinkbike

    You can search "Abi Carver" over at pinkbike.com for more of her excellent bike-related yoga help.

    Also, like 127.0.0.1 suggested, get a Trigger Point roller and roll out your muscles. I use a gnarly 5" diameter Rumble Roller first, than move on to a 5" Trigger Point semi-smooth roller. Makes a HUGE difference in how you feel!

  25. #25
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    Active stretching pre-ride
    Wear compression shorts (2XU) during ride
    Stretch/roller post-ride
    Recovery drink
    Epsom salt bath
    Recovery compression (2XU) long pants and ice quads/hamstrings

    It may seem like a lot of effort, but I've significantly reduced soreness and stiffness and felt great the next day. I know there is mixed research on compression gear but I find that it makes a big difference for me.

  26. #26
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    Just a quick update. I started drinking protein shakes after my rides and eating more meat in general. It took a couple of weeks of eating, but now I feel so much better and feel energized when riding. I haven't tried the massage yet, but I feel I don't need to. I still forget about not doing hard sprints toward the end, I still have to work on that.

    It's a chore for me to get myself to eat more, but i feel much better while riding and my muscle recovers in about a day. I guess i got too caught up with trying to lose weight.

    Placebo effect? Idk...lol

    Thanks for the help everyone

  27. #27
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    Perfectly stated by Dave54 on all aspects! Post ride instructions are spot on!

    The only things I would add to this are increased anti-oxidant consumption. So really hitting some colorful fruits and vegetables. Vit A, E, C, and purple. I don't think supplementing them is necessary. But these nutrients can definitely help with recovery.

    Another possible option is omega 3 supplementation. 2000mg a day can actually reduce inflammation quite a bit. If you don't want to supplement, then a hand full of walnuts a day will get you close to this.

    One more thing to think about is how quickly you progressed to 3 training rides/week. I assume by training rides you mean intervals of some sort, or targeting a specific training zone. If Sunday is your main ride, then try backing it down to 1 mid week training ride. Everything else should be easier paced rides until your muscles have made the adaptations to be killing it 3 days a week.
    Last edited by Choice Cut Nutrition; 11-13-2016 at 09:57 AM. Reason: Referencing the post of another person

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    Quote Originally Posted by Choice Cut Nutrition View Post
    Perfectly stated by Dave54 on all aspects! Post ride instructions are spot on!

    The only things I would add to this are increased anti-oxidant consumption. So really hitting some colorful fruits and vegetables. Vit A, E, C, and purple. I don't think supplementing them is necessary. But these nutrients can definitely help with recovery.

    Another possible option is omega 3 supplementation. 2000mg a day can actually reduce inflammation quite a bit. If you don't want to supplement, then a hand full of walnuts a day will get you close to this.

    One more thing to think about is how quickly you progressed to 3 training rides/week. I assume by training rides you mean intervals of some sort, or targeting a specific training zone. If Sunday is your main ride, then try backing it down to 1 mid week training ride. Everything else should be easier paced rides until your muscles have made the adaptations to be killing it 3 days a week.
    Thanks for the thumbs up.

    Veggies tend to be high in fiber, and high fiber foods do not sit well with me pre- and post- ride. I need a few hours separation between a high fiber meal and a hard workout. YMMV.

    Instead of just walnuts, I like mixed nuts (sans peanuts). They are high in calories, but still pack a variety of nutrients. I limit myself to one small handful per day. i take krill oil supplements anyway per dr orders, because of a family history of hyperlipidemia. Hard work and careful eating keeps it under control.

    We are heading into winter, so try and work in some other form of indoor cardio when the weather is bad. I treadmill on the stormy days. Cross training never hurt anybody.

    As mentioned in other threads track your food intake on any of the internet websites or phone apps. I use the USDA Supertracker and the printed reports detail the amounts and ratios of a variety of macro and micro nutrients. I adjust my eating patterns after looking at the reports. A hassle to use every day, so I do it for 1-2 weeks at a time every few months. Two or three days is not long enough to get an accurate snapshot of your daily eating.
    Do not take anything I post seriously. I don't.

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  30. #30
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    If you're sore for days you should consider things like foam rolling, ice baths, epsom salts soaks a few times a week. That will speed up recovery, you could also look into taking creatine on the days you ride.

  31. #31
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    Rule of thumb, ride hard when your fresh, ride slow when your not.

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  32. #32
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    That's fantastic information thank you for posting it.

  33. #33
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    Take COq10 for Mitochondria repair...

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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cayenne_Pepa View Post
    Take COq10 for Mitochondria repair...
    Thank you for waking me from my ideological stupor. When I think of sore muscles and "recovery," I immediately think of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) associated with short-duration, high-intensity exercise (I have a long of history of lifting weights and frequent-but-short bike rides). I'm tall and lanky, have always struggled to improve my power/strength, and so all my focus and study has been on improving it (and ignoring endurance). Q10 wasn't even on my radar except that my elderly father raves about it.

    I'm 45, so I'm taking the reduced version (ubiquinol). I started taking it a few weeks ago for receding gums, but am curious if it might improve my cycling/lifting or overall energy. I do feel more vigorous lately, but obviously that could be due to many things, or placebo effect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryder1 View Post
    Thank you for waking me from my ideological stupor. When I think of sore muscles and "recovery," I immediately think of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) associated with short-duration, high-intensity exercise (I have a long of history of lifting weights and frequent-but-short bike rides). I'm tall and lanky, have always struggled to improve my power/strength, and so all my focus and study has been on improving it (and ignoring endurance). Q10 wasn't even on my radar except that my elderly father raves about it.

    I'm 45, so I'm taking the reduced version (ubiquinol). I started taking it a few weeks ago for receding gums, but am curious if it might improve my cycling/lifting or overall energy. I do feel more vigorous lately, but obviously that could be due to many things, or placebo effect.
    I've been taking it for some time due to taking statins. The data is mixed. Some suggest it works, others, not so much. I'm 65 and have set several PR's this summer, but it could be that, homebrewed beer (brewer's yeast) or a zillion dollar bike....take your pick.

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