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Commuting Recovery

MrSwearyMrSweary Posts: 1,699
edited November 2012 in Commuting general
Since moving to Twickenham from East London my commute into the city has expanded quite a bit (obviously). This is great. I love the cycle and have the bug again. I’m losing weight (about 4kg so far) and my fitness is coming on leaps and bounds. I’m using Strava and seeing my speed increasing steadily so everything is great.

I just wanted to ask if anyone has any tips for recovery. I’m doing around 25-26 mile per day 3-4 days per week and at a good lick where possible, trying to push myself. However, I do find that I get quite tired after two consecutive days on the bike and that fatigue builds up. Does anyone have any tips for recovery (apart from red eggs!)? I’ve tried asking the wife to do a bit soigneuring but for some reason she has declined! My wife and I are mostly veggie with some fish thrown in and occasionally some chicken. We eat pretty healthily and neither of us drink much. Could it just be that I’m late 30s and not the spring chicken I once was? Might any supplements help?

Could it be that I simply need to MTFU?!!
Kinesis Racelite 4s disc
Kona Paddy Wagon
Canyon Roadlite Al 7.0 - reborn as single speed!
Felt Z85 - mangled by taxi.

Posts

  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Always make sure you are properly hydrated, and refuel after the ride. Milkshakes make great post ride drinks.
  • rhextrhext Posts: 1,639
    I do a similar distance 4-5 times a week. You need to eat more and make sure you drink plenty...if I don't drink I suffer twice - more fatigue and occasionally the most appalling headaches. I still get tired though....
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    You probably just need to build up to it. I ride up between 60 and 160 miles per week depending on whether I do a club run at the weekend, also go to the gym 3 times per week to do upper body weights and every other week run 6 miles to work and I'm going to be 40 in a couple of months so I don't think you're too old. As for diet, I'm almost veggie myself, well I eat meat but my OH is veggie which means I don't very often get the opportunity, although the OH does eat fish occasionally...
    Do not write below this line. Office use only.
  • JamesB5446JamesB5446 Posts: 471
    edited October 2012
    MrSweary wrote:
    Might any supplements help?
    No.
    Eat more, sleep more.
    MrSweary wrote:
    Could it be that I simply need to MTFU?!!
    Maybe.
  • MrSwearyMrSweary Posts: 1,699
    Cheers for the replies folks. I already hydrate well but eating more may be the answer. More sleep is always welcome of course!

    Also will MTFU :D
    Kinesis Racelite 4s disc
    Kona Paddy Wagon
    Canyon Roadlite Al 7.0 - reborn as single speed!
    Felt Z85 - mangled by taxi.
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    MrSweary wrote:
    Cheers for the replies folks. I already hydrate well but eating more may be the answer. More sleep is always welcome of course!

    Also will MTFU :D

    the good thing is the extra stuff you eat can all be sugary and tasty :) its all in the name of energy anyway!!
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • AzharAzhar Posts: 247
    Hello Mr Sweary. I commute a similar-ish distance, 32 miles round trip 3 times a week, sometimes 4. What normally helps me is that I slow down roughly 3 miles out from destination, to cool down, and then do all my stretches once I get work/house. Obviously the eating more and sleeping more is a must but maybe the slowing down before you get to work/home may speed up recovery enough for you to do it everyday. :)
  • zx6manzx6man Posts: 1,092
    drink milk for recovery, and once a week just go much slower :-)
  • paolo73paolo73 Posts: 27
    180 miles per week commuting for me, and I rely on a few supplements to keep me injury free, and plenty of red wine at night to keep me from getting TOO fit...
    L Glutamine and Omega 3 do me proud, nothing too fancy just tried and tested repair and lubrication
  • YIManYIMan Posts: 576
    Ride two days hard and take the other two days easy?
  • don't push yourself on every ride. Have hard days and easy days. Don't always push hard for the whole route, play with speed, intensity and length of hard efforts. :D
  • Paul EPaul E Posts: 2,052
    I do a very similar amount over the same sort of days, if I don't eat enough I feel awful, achey legs, tiredness etc etc, I was scared that I might be eating too much and it is a fine line between eating enough to keep fuelled and over doing it but it gets easier, I try and get enough sleep too especially if I am doing 4 days in a row.

    I just drink choc milk when I get home and I do find that helps a lot to reduce that achey feeling, keeping my legs warm on the commute helps too. Also as someone has said just do one of the days easy, today is mine.
  • mtb-idlemtb-idle Posts: 2,179
    There's lots of things that can impact recovery and most of them have been covered above already.

    FWIW my commute is 36 miles a day. Started in 2009 and would manage three days a week, usually Monday, Tuesday and Friday. For months I would always be wasted when I got into work and would be taking energy drinks every day. A bottle each way.

    But guess what, I got fitter and after a few months realised I could survive on water alone and although I hydrate enough one bottle of water was enough for a day.

    After around a year I found I wasn't tired on the Thursday so I cranked it up to four days a week, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

    Didn't need to increase water intake but breakfast cereal in the morning and a banana in the evening before leaving was a must. Wednesday's I felt shattered but had always recovered by Thursday morning.

    Another year'ish went by and I wasn't feeling tired on Wednesday's so I dialled it up once more to 5 days a week. I can do this for 3 or 4 weeks on the trot and then usually need a rest day on Wednesday's for a couple of week's before pushing it back up to five days a week again.

    This has also resulted in my distance covered increasing rapidly. My annual target was 8,000km in 2010 and just achieved it on 31st December. 2011 was 10,000km and smashed it and this year's target is 12,000km and I'm at 11,200 already so no probs hitting that.

    The summary if you cant be bothered reading all this? Keep on riding regularly and you will get fitter meaning you can ride longer and harder and recover quicker. Food and water are important.
    FCN = 4
  • godders1godders1 Posts: 750
    Just to reinforce the point about food I got a bit slack last week and just had a bowl of soup with a couple of bits of bread in the evening. Cos I've been doing 16 miles e/w every day for quite a while now I thought I'd be ok but I was absolutely wrecked the next day.
  • alidafalidaf Posts: 147
    I was going to ask the exact same question before finding this thread. I managed my first 100 mile sportive and used a Zipvit night time recovery drink and was out and about the next day. I've avoided the expensive stuff while commuting, instead relying on a reasonable diet and increased from 2 days a week to three or four (15 miles each way) and boy, was I absolutely knackered last week, after 3 weeks of upping the cycle days. I ended up taking nearly a week to recover. I have porridge when I get into work and my normal supper when I get home. I snack on nuts all day but my legs were absolute agony. I think I just pushed a little hard and the advice to have a few easy days will, I expect, help enormously. Unfortunately the urge to just get home after a miserable day at the office drives me. The ride home is a bit more challenging than the ride in (a series of shorter, but much steeper climbs (>15%)), but I always get home in much better time. Its going to be difficult holding back! Thanks for the tips.
  • MrGrumpyMrGrumpy Posts: 288
    your doing similar distances to me except I do up to 5 days a week. As for recovery, sore legs etc it does get easier as long as you are not trying to best the latest strava KOM :p . My legs do get sore but nowhere near as bad , i ride fixed which I think has made my legs stronger over the last 4 yrs of commuting. However If my body tells me to rest I rest, very important! Oh and milk shake in the morning after my commute in helps with recovery :D
  • jimmypippajimmypippa Posts: 1,712
    I'd agree with most of what has been said in this thread.

    My commute is 25-miles round trip and 1100 ft ascent.

    Started out as others Fridays, then Mon, Wed, Fri, and have now been cycling every day for about 4-years.

    Decent food (lots of pasta for me) and good sleep make a huge difference to my comfort. I probably need 7-8 hours a night, and will sometimes crash for more like 10-11.
  • jotkojotko Posts: 457
    I have a similar commute - 25 flatish miles per day, was doing this every day before clocks changed (not a good commute in the dark unfortunately)

    I used to have no problem with recovery etc until I started using cyclemeter/strava regularly :lol:

    As someone said above - if you TT to work every day it is gonna hurt.

    I now turn off the GPS stuff a couple of days a week and concentrate on something other than raw speed (eg I have been trying to up my cadence).
  • MrSwearyMrSweary Posts: 1,699
    Thanks for all the advice folks and sorry I haven't been on to reply - I've been soaking up the sun in Valencia for the past week and I can thoroughly recommend it!

    As many have suggested I am indeed tt-ing it to work (as much as one can in London traffic). I always plan to switch to 2 days cruising and 2 days going at a good pace but there is always one more little challenge! Must be more chilled... Actually since I've started the longer commute I've lost the belly and feel much much fitter so I think easing off and maintaining should be easier to do - I'm not after Cancellara thighs after all.

    As for the supplements I'm actually not a fan of such things - a healthy diet should be enough right?

    Anyway - hopefully picking up the new bike this week so, aside from being unnaturally excited for a 37 year old, going slow may not be an option for a few days :D
    Kinesis Racelite 4s disc
    Kona Paddy Wagon
    Canyon Roadlite Al 7.0 - reborn as single speed!
    Felt Z85 - mangled by taxi.
  • Totally agree with the above. My commute into the City is 28 miles in total which I've been doing for 7 or 8 weeks now. It was the first time I had ridden a bike since I was at school some 18 years ago. I now manage 4 days a week and really want to push it to 5 but to put it bluntly, I'm just knackered. I tell myself it's not a race and I don't need to get in work/home in under an hour, but no matter how many times I say this, almost as soon as I sit on the bike all thought of restraint is gone and I just want to push myself harder.
  • Eat and sleep more as per the other posters. Since I upped my commuting mileage I have become aneamic and have been struck off giving blood so I failed quite spectacularly with the iron test, however, it may be coincidence, but I am now on iron supplements and drinking more red wine and encouraging Mrs CR not to boil veg to a pulp. Apparently aneamia causes tiredness, breathlessness and headaches.

    I always prefer proper food to supplements, which explains lack of weight loss.
    --
    Saw a sign on a restaurant that said Breakfast, any time -- so I ordered French Toast in the Renaissance.
  • MrSwearyMrSweary Posts: 1,699
    I eat loads of spinach (I mean an unnatural amount :shock: ) and fresh veg so I don't think the iron will be a problem.. :D
    Kinesis Racelite 4s disc
    Kona Paddy Wagon
    Canyon Roadlite Al 7.0 - reborn as single speed!
    Felt Z85 - mangled by taxi.
  • MrSweary wrote:
    I eat loads of spinach (I mean an unnatural amount :shock: ) and fresh veg so I don't think the iron will be a problem.. :D
    Change your username to MrFarty :-)
    --
    Saw a sign on a restaurant that said Breakfast, any time -- so I ordered French Toast in the Renaissance.
  • MrSwearyMrSweary Posts: 1,699
    It's the beans and pulses that are the real problem, other veggies are fine. Anyway probably too much information!
    Kinesis Racelite 4s disc
    Kona Paddy Wagon
    Canyon Roadlite Al 7.0 - reborn as single speed!
    Felt Z85 - mangled by taxi.
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