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I always had trouble distinguishing between, being mentally tired and being physically tired and I can't tell if a workout will reenergize me or run me down. Subsequently, I’ve over trained last summer and missed weeks of ideal riding weather. I now try to live by advice I read in another post, when in doubt rest.

A good meal and a night on the couch won’t kill ya.
 

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try this stuff

Try gentle stretching after riding, including lying on your back with your heels up on the wall for 5-10 minutes. This allows for return of blood with waste products from your legs to your trunk and stretches your hamstrings. Also try sitting or standing in cool water for 10-15 min. After workouts and races track athletes (and also football players during summer daily doubles) will get into large plastic garbage cans or whirlpools filled with water at about 60 or 70 degrees to cool their legs and hasten recovery.
 

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pdxtim said:
Try gentle stretching after riding, including lying on your back with your heels up on the wall for 5-10 minutes. This allows for return of blood with waste products from your legs to your trunk and stretches your hamstrings. Also try sitting or standing in cool water for 10-15 min. After workouts and races track athletes (and also football players during summer daily doubles) will get into large plastic garbage cans or whirlpools filled with water at about 60 or 70 degrees to cool their legs and hasten recovery.
Stretching? See:
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/health/2002208437_stretch16.html
 

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try it AFTER riding

wipeout said:
I agree, there's lots of controversy surrounding stretching. Stretching prior to exercise, as many of us learned as kids, doesn't seem to be a good idea. Stretching after riding (as noted in the article) may be helpful however.

And like a lot of things, it works for some but not for all. It would be worth trying if it's something you're not currently doing, IMHO.
 

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Right away...
-cool down laps
-Eat, get the protein
-rehydrate
-stretch

Later on...
-massage
-leg inversion
-more stretching
-staying hydrated

Next day...
-recovery ride (active recovery)
-more stretching
-maintain hydrated

(make sure you are getting in proper rest blocks) Recommend one week per month of rides that are only active recovery. Comuting by bike is great for this.
 

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If you are going to do active recovery remember to ride so slowly that you feel silly. You just want to move your legs not do more work. (I can't do this, but then again I dont train hard enough to need it)
 
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I'm going ask something here simply because I do not know. Should hills be included in a recovery ride? I personally say no, but others I talk to say yes and that one should just not push themselves up or after the hill if they are on a recovery ride.

Your input is appreciated.
 

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probably not

Participating in low level/intesity activity is a very good way to recover from strenuous exercise, as some have advocated earlier in this post. One of the theories is that the waste products that result from high intensity workouts are flushed out through the increase in circulation that occurs during low level activity. IMHO hills generally would not be a good idea, unless you can climb them pretty easily.

Something that hasn't been mentioned in this post is the use of a heart rate monitor, which would allow you to insure that you don't work too hard during your recovery rides.
 
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pdxtim said:
Participating in low level/intesity activity is a very good way to recover from strenuous exercise, as some have advocated earlier in this post. One of the theories is that the waste products that result from high intensity workouts are flushed out through the increase in circulation that occurs during low level activity. IMHO hills generally would not be a good idea, unless you can climb them pretty easily.
Something that hasn't been mentioned in this post is the use of a heart rate monitor, which would allow you to insure that you don't work too hard during your recovery rides.
So would you suggest keeping ones HR in something like zone 3 or zone 2 for a recovery ride ?
 

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Camps

sprtbiker said:
What is a way to prevent cramping? My legs start cramping usually near the end of my rides. Any suggestions?
VeloNews, July 1, 2003, Monique Ryan. Cramp causes are a mystery but most likely are due to muscular exhaustion, low fuel, bio mechanical problems, fluid losses, and mineral deficiencies. Sodium losses per liter of sweat have been measured from 115 to 2300 mg. Studies on football players have shown that players who lost more Na were more likely to cramp (3 gm/hr vs 1 gm/hr). Drink 16-32 oz one hour before the ride, and then 8-16 oz 20-30 minutes before the ride. Add 1/2 tsp salt per large bottle for Na supplementation during a ride - that's 1200 mg of sodium.

Adventure Cyclist Sept/Oct. 2001 Muscle Cramps comments by Nancy Clark. 5 theories (none proven, as science does not know the cause of cramps, and cannot cause cramps predictably): 1) hydration, 2) lack of calcium (doubted by nutritionists), 3) lack of sodium, 4) lack of potassium (not likely since the body has so much) 5) lack of pickle juice (lots of ions). Note, musicians get hand cramps, even though they are not likely experiencing any of 1-5.

My own experience has been that electrolytes and hydration are the keys. Taking a TUMS or two at the break in a long ride seems to help in the home stretch. For long rides, I also add both table salt and salt substitute (potassium chloride) to my feed bag (fig bars) to insure adequate electrolyte intake. Keeping a high cadence is always helpful. Your check for hydration can be either weighing yourself as you leave and when you get back (retrospective), having to pee every 2 hours or so during the ride (concurrent), or keeping track of past rides and how much you drank and drinking more this time (prospective). It never hurts to down a glass of water just before you get on the bike . NOTE: if you're short on electrolytes, you'll be peeing like a race horse and the water will just go right through you.

www.roadbikerider.com/cramps.htm
 
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