I'm not a doctor but…
Cycling injury, recovery and health issues.
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I completed the Sydney Tough Mudder on Saturday last weekend. Ran the whole course and completed in 3h20m. This was a little different than my usual exercise routine of riding, walking and gym work. I ate well after the event and the follow days. I managed to get a light to moderate walk in on Sunday and Monday morning. By Tuesday my legs were still sore and fatigued. I went out for a ride on Wednesday morning and up the hills I had no power at all.
I am surprised that 4 days after the event I am still fatigued in the legs. I have completed the 100k Highland Fling before and did not need as long to recover.
Can anyone provide me with some tips on recovery? Are there certain changes to my diet that may help the days after a big event? Or is it more a case of just resting and letting my body recover on its own?
One of the most important things you can do is to get some carbs and protein into you immediately after the event. As a guide - you should replace 80% of the calories used within an event within an hour. Chocolate milk is often touted as a good recovery drink with a good mix of carbs and protein.
Otherwise eat healthily in the days following, drink lots of water and do some low impact, low intensity exercise, swimming is good.
Diet advice helps the glycogen levels return, but do little for Mark's problem.
Best to stretch/massage (you can self massage your thighs and calves) very soon after the event, then apply cold to the areas you normally get swelling (soreness) in. Yep, the unfortunately short hot shower should be followed up with sitting in a cold bath, swimming or compresses.
The next day, you need to exercise again. Get everything moving. It doesn't have to be of any intensity, it's recovery. Footy players do this the morning after a game.
The cheat's way? Nurofen.
Completely disagree Clackers
Proper nutrition in the first hour after exercise is very important for general recovery - not just replenishing glycogen.
Read this from the AIS - in particular the part about Muscle Repair and Building.
http://www.ausport.gov.au/ais/nutrition ... _nutrition
But in general
Recent research has shown that early intake after exercise (within the first hour) of essential amino acids from good quality protein foods helps to promote the increase in protein rebuilding. Consuming food sources of protein in meals and snacks after this “window of opportunity” will further promote protein synthesis, though rate at which it occurs is less.
You're thinking of the wrong kind of recovery, Sparx.
In tearing the muscle tissue, you have to take on more protein to repair and then add onto it, as any weightbuilder using whey powder knows.
But sore and fatigued for the days after the activity as Mark describes? That's not protein deficiency, it's inflammation.
Athletes need more than to be given an Iced Coffee Big M on the way out the changeroom door these days with a "See you at training on Tuesday!".
A footy team may be required to walk out the lactic acid immediately after the game, hit the massage tables, perhaps into ice baths, then a dip at dawn in the bay the next day ... bit tough on the lifestyle of a 20 year old!
At least they're being paid for it. Someone who runs the Tough Mudder might still be required by their wife to do the gardening the next day, and be right for work without hobbling on Monday.
The wrong kind of recovery?? How many kinds are there?
Muscle breakdown happens in aerobic exercise too, not just lifting weights.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delayed_on ... e_soreness
I didn't say ice baths etc are not effective. OP asked for some nutritional advice. I gave some that is supported by research at the AIS.
I also didn't suggest just have a choccie milkshake.
Plenty, including rehydration and glycogen levels!
He wanted ideas. I thought the others you gave were better related to inflammation and pain.
From a sports medicine site:
Last edited by clackers on Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
From the article you linked
Eat Properly. After depleting your energy stores with exercise, you need to refuel if you expect your body to recover, repair tissues, get stronger and be ready for the next challenge. This is even more important if you are performing endurance exercise day after day or trying to build muscle. Ideally, you should try to eat within 60 minutes of the end of your workout and make sure you include some high-quality protein and complex carbohydrate.
Edited to say - I didn't profess to say eating was the only or even most important aspect of recovery.
I'll accept that ... it's just that out of the cards in your hand, it was the one you led with.
Thanks folks for all the good ideas. I will certainly be looking to use them after my next big event.
Turns out this time around the fatigue was a precursor to a cold and chest infection. Looks like ill be talking it easy and off the bike for a few more days yet.
Getting sick can be a symptom of inadequate post-effort recovery nutrition. Big efforts like yours deplete the immune system and leave you exposed. My reading of the literature indicates that adequate post-event nutrition (including the protein+carbs immediately after finishing as advised above) helps reduce the risk. Protein helps repair, carbs go direct to the muscles within this time window to refuel the muscle glycogen stores, and are supposed have a side effect of helping to support the immune system
I also take vitamin C and echinacea as a preventative if I've really buried myself in a race. A nap after you've eaten a proper meal within an hour or two is useful as well.
When all else fails, persistence prevails -- Lew Hollander
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