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How do you speed up recovery?

ohlala!ohlala! Posts: 121
Hi folks,

Usually after a day of riding I need 48 hours of rest to recover, but most of the time I need to ride again the next day due to work. My thighs are aching and I feel that they don't produce the normal amount of power and I feel as though I can't ride as far as I can normally ride.

My questions are:

1. how do you speed up recovery period?

2. are the aches on my thighs just lactic acid?
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Posts

  • richaricha Posts: 2,020
    try...
    Recovery drink
    Ice bath
    Massage
  • brownboshbrownbosh Posts: 602
    For goodness shakes after every ride and 24 hour hydration!
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    - While riding - make sure you warm-up/cool-off enough, don't just go mental within the first 20 minutes.
    - Proper Nutrition
    - Proper Hydration
    - Stretching (longer the better)
    - Massage
    - Ice Baths (in/out every 3-5 minutes)
    - Enough Sleep

    I'm sure there's more, just can't think...
  • maverick75maverick75 Posts: 8
    I used to suffer with painful thigh muscles after a ride that put me off riding the next day. I came across an article somewhere on the net suggesting this was due to cleat position. This article (sorry I don't have the reference :( ) suggested setting cleats behind the 'centre line' usually recommended by about 5-10mm (8mm for size 8 shoe). The theory is that this position utilises a greater range of muscles - spreads the load. A bit of absolute power is lost but it allows a higher average. So unless you are serious racer it is of benefit.
    I tried it and it works for me - it doesn't matter how hard I ride I don't end up with sore thighs. I haven't feared descending stairs since :D
    Try it, it may work for you.
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    ohlala! wrote:
    Hi folks,

    Usually after a day of riding I need 48 hours of rest to recover, but most of the time I need to ride again the next day due to work. My thighs are aching and I feel that they don't produce the normal amount of power and I feel as though I can't ride as far as I can normally ride.

    My questions are:

    1. how do you speed up recovery period?

    2. are the aches on my thighs just lactic acid?

    At the moment I'm doing a very hard weekend of rides, I'm then pretty wiped out for Monday but like you have to ride to work. I'm usually ok(ish) by Wednesday.

    I don't know the answer to the question (I wish I did) so I've just resigned myself to treating the Monday and Tuesday as very easy days and just accept the fact power/speed will be down.

    I get annoyed by the fact that Mon/Tue turn into junk mile days but I suppose (since I have no choice) that there must be some benefit in ridding every day, be it weight management, mental strength, doing my bit for the environment.
  • wemacwemac Posts: 91
    As well as the advice above, get some recovery tights e.g. skins / 2xu and wear them after the ride as much as possible - even to bed if you can!

    You could also wear some compression clothing while riding - some brands like 2xu make half tights with pad built in (although they're not cheap). This can help to prevent / reduce the lactic acid build up and reduce the amount of microscopic tears in the muscle which cause the soreness

    Prepare a recovery drink before you go riding (you're more likely to drink one if it's sitting waiting for you, and it tastes nicer chilled) and drink it within 15 minutes of finishing your ride - e.g. SiS Rego. This provides fuel for the muscle to rebuild / repair during the 'golden hour'.

    You can also use a different recovery drink before going to bed e.g. SiS Nocte. This will fuel the muscles all through the night, rather than fasting when the muscles needs the fuel most.

    Spend as much time as possible stretching - especially the quads, calves, hip flexors, adductors / abductors, glutes. If possible spend as much as 10% of the time you ride stretching afterwards.

    Hope this helps
    Trek Fuel EX8 09
  • superruss01superruss01 Posts: 12
    Recovery drinks like SiS Rego are brilliant for getting your legs to feel a little fresher after a ride. Maybe also a whey protein drink could be of help to repair the muscles.
    If your fairly new to cycling your muscles have got to strengthen up and only by doing it more and more can you get used to it. The rest periods are good to do otherwise you may overload your legs and end up with a long lasting injury.
    Also getting your saddle height/set back checked could save a lot of pain. I had my set an inch too low due to a bad cyclefit and my quads took such a hammering but i was constantly tired, raised the saddle and it solved the problem.Thats works both ways.
    Just a couple of bits that could be of help.
  • nolfnolf Posts: 2,016
    if you've just had a heavy weekend of riding, it's not hugely surprising if you're tired by Monday!

    If I've had a hard day or two then I like to trea the day after as a rest day. Even pros have rest days so you certainly need them! E.g I did the Richmond cyclo sportive yesterday, today I'm quite tired. Did a 45 minute recovery ride earlier. And will do another one with a sprint or two this evening. Early night, loads of food and tomorrow I'll be pretty much fine.

    Recovery rides, and easy rides which allow the muscles to recover, are definitely not junk miles, but a very important part of your training schedule. Use Monday as a very easy recovery ride, then rest lots and get an early night, Tuesday takei t easyish again then maybe do a harder effort Wednesday/thursday.
    "I hold it true, what'er befall;
    I feel it, when I sorrow most;
    'Tis better to have loved and lost;
    Than never to have loved at all."

    Alfred Tennyson
  • Marko1962Marko1962 Posts: 320
    I used to be really whacked out after a long ride and needed to take a couple of days to recover because imo I did not pay enough attention to a post ride drink but now I always have a recovery drink asap after my ride. Usually it consists of 1/2 pint of milk, 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein, 1 banana, a handful of frozen blueberries, glass then topped up with water to make a pint, blend, drink, delicious, burp...

    I still get tired but the next day I feel I can go out and do another ride, I recover quickly now compared to the time when I didn't bother too much with a drink...
  • antflyantfly Posts: 3,448
    Cheese and very light stretching.
    Smarter than the average bear.
  • ohlala!ohlala! Posts: 121
    Thank you for the replies guys,

    I've always thought that protein shakes will make one fatter later on, and energy drinks are just water and glucose or fructose anyway. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    Stretching seem to have reduce the aches but on my commute to work today I still can't push hard. I will give protein shakes a try and I'll definately update you guys on the progress.
  • drumsmasherdrumsmasher Posts: 241
    Get protein down you throughout the day as well. Your body can only use about 20 g at a time so dont go mad. I had exactly the same problem as you, where it seemed to take me ages to recover. Now i add a spoonful of protein to my porridge and have some later in the day...but i take a recovery drink sachet with me and wherever i finish the ride i bang it down with water straight away. It worked for me!!!
    Another tree...another cracked rib!!
  • GirevikGirevik Posts: 4
    ohlala! wrote:
    Thank you for the replies guys,

    I've always thought that protein shakes will make one fatter later on, and energy drinks are just water and glucose or fructose anyway. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    Protein shakes are simply Whey, they will NOT make you fatter. You get fat by having a calorie excess and/or eating the wrong foods at the wrong times
  • GirevikGirevik Posts: 4
    Get protein down you throughout the day as well. Your body can only use about 20 g at a time so dont go mad.

    'Fraid that is bullshit mate :)
  • DomProDomPro Posts: 321
    I take a protein recovery drink asap after a hard ride. I tried a cold bath for my legs a couple times, using the dog's paddling pool in the garden (they didn't seem to mind). It was bloody freezing at first. The coldness defintely helps the legs to recover quickly.
    Shazam !!
  • Alex_Simmons/RSTAlex_Simmons/RST Posts: 4,161
    ohlala! wrote:
    Hi folks,

    Usually after a day of riding I need 48 hours of rest to recover, but most of the time I need to ride again the next day due to work. My thighs are aching and I feel that they don't produce the normal amount of power and I feel as though I can't ride as far as I can normally ride.

    My questions are:

    1. how do you speed up recovery period?

    2. are the aches on my thighs just lactic acid?
    1. See here:
    http://www.cyclecoach.com/index.php?opt ... Itemid=111

    2. No.
    Google "the lactic acid myth" if you want to know more.
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    I understand all the tips given but in reality, do any of them, really speed up the recovery process? I mean, I've just done a hard weekend including a 50 mile tt and a 90 mile very hard training ride and my legs are in bits. I under took most of the tips after both days, but still my legs will be in bits in the morning and probably worse on Tuesday (why is that by the way, why is the pain always worse two days later, or is that just me?)

    It just seems to me that the only cure is time.
  • Alex_Simmons/RSTAlex_Simmons/RST Posts: 4,161
    chrisw12 wrote:
    It just seems to me that the only cure is time.
    and fitness, the fitter you are, the faster you recover.
  • drumsmasherdrumsmasher Posts: 241
    Girevik wrote:
    Get protein down you throughout the day as well. Your body can only use about 20 g at a time so dont go mad.

    'Fraid that is bullshit mate :)

    Well it worked for me and rather than just say its bullshit.....please explain why...perhaps we can all learn from a master!! :twisted:
    Another tree...another cracked rib!!
  • GirevikGirevik Posts: 4
    Girevik wrote:
    Get protein down you throughout the day as well. Your body can only use about 20 g at a time so dont go mad.

    'Fraid that is bullshit mate :)

    Well it worked for me and rather than just come out with censored like that.....please explain why...perhaps we can all learn from a master!! :twisted:

    20g of protein is nothing, especially PWO. I think most people (who exercise) need around 1g per 1lb of LBM. So a 170lb man will need 170lb of protein, divided between 5 of so meals a day.

    Personally post workout (whether that be cycle, weight training or running etc) I think having at least 30-40g would not be a waste. You body needs protein (and carbs) post workout tho repair the muscles. The more you eat the better you will recover, the better you recover the you better perform next workout .
  • wemacwemac Posts: 91
    chrisw12 wrote:
    I understand all the tips given but in reality, do any of them, really speed up the recovery process?

    Not much point asking for tips advice etc if you're not gonna pay them any heed. Sorting the myths from the facts is sometimes difficult and what works for one person won't always work for another - sometimes it's just a case of trying a few different things.

    A lot of the advice given is sound and based mainly in fact and backed up by research.

    It sounds to me like you're basically overtraining - you could always just keep going and wait to see what goes POP first?

    The advice on rest days is definately one to heed.
    Trek Fuel EX8 09
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    chrisw12 wrote:
    why is that by the way, why is the pain always worse two days later, or is that just me?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delayed_on ... e_soreness
  • shockedsoshockedshockedsoshocked Posts: 3,958
    Eat plenty, sleep well.

    Your body will eventually adapt to riding every day. Perhaps don't leather it on your commute? If it's quite short you may not even be warmed up! Depending on how i'm feeling can take 15 mins to an hour for my legs to come round after a few days riding.
    "A cyclist has nothing to lose but his chain"

    PTP Runner Up 2015
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    wemac wrote:
    chrisw12 wrote:
    I understand all the tips given but in reality, do any of them, really speed up the recovery process?



    A lot of the advice given is sound and based mainly in fact and backed up by research.

    It sounds to me like you're basically overtraining - you could always just keep going and wait to see what goes POP first?

    The advice on rest days is definately one to heed.

    Is it? You seem to think so and I'm not going to get into an argument with you over the scientific merits of recovery drinks, compression clothing and the like. As you correctly state we all need to do our own experimenting.

    Please don't be too presumptuous to suggest problems with my training given the scant amount of information I've given in this thread.
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    chrisw12 wrote:
    It just seems to me that the only cure is time.
    and fitness, the fitter you are, the faster you recover.

    Yeah, but as you get fitter, you also push harder, no?

    I'm trying to understand your statement but it's hard to tell what you mean exactly...

    Obviously, I can understand that doing (say) 10 miles at an average of "X" Watts will be easier to recover from as you get fitter, but are you saying that if your fitness is doubled (hard to measure, I know) your ability to recover is more than doubled?
  • freehubfreehub Posts: 4,258
    When I get home from a long ride I just tend to fill my face, last night I had a tin of beans and 4 slices of toast, I could not eat it all though as I must have pushed too hard, or perhaps sunburn did some harm as I felt like I had a hangover and straight to bed.

    A pan of pasta with red sauce is good too I think. I tried these recovery bars once and tbh I found no difference.
  • antflyantfly Posts: 3,448
    That`s mostly carbohydrates,what you want to eat before you ride,afterwards you want protein foods to build your muscles.I can`t really be bothered myself,I just ride for fun.
    Smarter than the average bear.
  • freehubfreehub Posts: 4,258
    What is very high in protein? The protein recovery bars I had made no difference for me.
  • antflyantfly Posts: 3,448
    edited May 2009
    It would be difficult to tell if it was making a difference in the short term,I suppose .Meat and fish have a lot of protein.Dairy products and eggs next,beans are ok and nuts and seeds.
    http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/whattoeat/a/highproteinfood.htm
    Smarter than the average bear.
  • GirevikGirevik Posts: 4
    freehub wrote:
    What is very high in protein? The protein recovery bars I had made no difference for me.

    Post workout you want to limit you fats, as it slows the absorption of protein. Which you need asap after training

    Whey protein (protein shake) is gram for gram the cheapest form of protein. A single chicken breast is an easy and tastier way to get you protein. Or if you are in a rush (as a last resort) A pink of milk.
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