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Recovery from rides?

tudjtudj Posts: 254
edited April 2013 in Health, fitness & training
Like anyone here I like to be out on rides as much as possible, for the last 4-5 weeks I've done quite a lot of riding compared to my normal level. I've had 3 weekends away which all included full days of riding and a few other rides scattered between. Whilst on rides I never feel like I'm running out of energy, I tend to top up on longer rides (20-30 miles), flapjack or energy bars usually.

This week I'm feeling really drained and struggling to catch up on sleep, I'm not having particularly late nights and my diet is quite good. Although my I'd say my diet is good in that I don't eat much censored food, I don't eat anything specific related to my riding, my diet would be the same if I wasn't riding. My overall fitness is reasonable. Could I be underweight? I'm 6'3 and 12 Stone / 75Kg.

Is there anything I should be doing to help recover from big weekends away/multiple long rides per week? I plan to keep at the level of riding I'm doing over the summer, I'm guessing that I'm not eating the correct types of food but could be wrong! Average food per day is toast/fresh juice for breakfast, chicken/turkey salad sandwich (granary) for lunch then chicken/fish + pasta or chips (:O) for dinner with fruit, nuts and/or a cereal bar (decent ones) scattered throughout the day.

I've cut out most of the censored I used to eat, don't touch chocolate or crisps much at all, don't drink much alcohol or sugary drinks (other than 1, sometimes 2 glasses of fresh juice a day).

I'm doing the Crud C2C in september so need to nail this so I can carry on with training for that.

Any help or advice is appreciated :)

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  • .blitz.blitz Posts: 6,588
    This week I'm feeling really drained and struggling to catch up on sleep
    There's always the possibility that you are doing too much. r'n'r is just as important as riding.

    On the other hand it sounds as though you are eating reasonably well but if you want to raise the bar you will have to make some changes. A low GI diet will give you more energy or looking at it another way you will be able to ride as you are now with less effort and hence less tiredness. Basically you can eat unlimited vegetables, unlimited beans/chickpeas/butter beans and unlimited lean meat but no white carbs such as bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, no cereal and no dairy or fruit. Don't drink anything with calories in it but water/red wine/black tea/coffee or green tea are all OK. One day a week you can eat as much of whatever you want to. I've been doing this since May 2010 and feel great most of the time.

    To help recovery I find For Goodness shakes http://www.forgoodnessshakes.com/ are pretty good. For back-to-back rides they're very effective at reducing soreness the next day. You could probably make your own they're basically two different kinds of protein but without the fat/calories in 'normal' food.

    A cold water shower on your legs can also be quite effective at reducing soreness (the muscle fibres are all slightly torn after exercising and the cold water reduces inflammation and helps them knit back together). The fibres need protein to rebuild themselves which is where the recovery drink comes in.

    Try it out for a month/six weeks see how you feel - I noticed a difference in less than a couple of weeks.

    And good luck with the C2C
  • tudjtudj Posts: 254
    .blitz wrote:
    There's always the possibility that you are doing too much. r'n'r is just as important as riding.

    Possibly but in the past I've riden more in a shorter period and not felt as exhausted. I've had at least 3-4 days between most rides over the last month or so other than the weekends when I've done 2,3 or 4 days consecutive riding.
    .blitz wrote:
    On the other hand it sounds as though you are eating reasonably well but if you want to raise the bar you will have to make some changes. A low GI diet will give you more energy or looking at it another way you will be able to ride as you are now with less effort and hence less tiredness. Basically you can eat unlimited vegetables, unlimited beans/chickpeas/butter beans and unlimited lean meat but no white carbs such as bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, no cereal and no dairy or fruit. Don't drink anything with calories in it but water/red wine/black tea/coffee or green tea are all OK. One day a week you can eat as much of whatever you want to. I've been doing this since May 2010 and feel great most of the time.

    This is something I'll look at, would it still work if I'm not 100% strict or do these things need to be cut completely?
    .blitz wrote:
    To help recovery I find For Goodness shakes http://www.forgoodnessshakes.com/ are pretty good. For back-to-back rides they're very effective at reducing soreness the next day. You could probably make your own they're basically two different kinds of protein but without the fat/calories in 'normal' food.

    A cold water shower on your legs can also be quite effective at reducing soreness (the muscle fibres are all slightly torn after exercising and the cold water reduces inflammation and helps them knit back together). The fibres need protein to rebuild themselves which is where the recovery drink comes in.

    This is one area I don't really have many problems with, I've played various sports over the years and have come up with my own rituals for preventing DOMS/aches, my favourite so far is a pint of semi-skimmed milk after a ride, it seems to work wonders. I have been considering shakes though, I will give them a go.
    .blitz wrote:
    Try it out for a month/six weeks see how you feel - I noticed a difference in less than a couple of weeks.

    And good luck with the C2C

    Thanks for the info, I'll see how I get on! :D
  • .blitz.blitz Posts: 6,588
    tudj wrote:
    This is something I'll look at, would it still work if I'm not 100% strict or do these things need to be cut completely?
    you may know that the idea behind a low GI diet is to fuel yourself with slow-release energy so that you avoid the highs and lows associated with processed food. There are other issues related to re-educating our sense of taste and our thirst reflex and its easy to get obsessive about this sort of thing but if you want to take it easy or already feel in reasonably good shape try it one day on one day off for a week or two. If you dont notice any change or feel worse its probably not for you but if you do see an improvement try two days on one day off and so on.
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