Burning legs – recovery

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ft_critical
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Burning legs – recovery

Postby ft_critical » Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:04 am

Hello all,

After training for period of time, circa 6 days, experience post-exercise burning legs. I find this a very pleasant experience. I find it build up through the week then around the 5th or 6th day the burning starts in the evening (hours after a training) and carries on for half a day or so. I use it as a sign to take a day off and enjoy the sensations.


1. My questions are, what is going on?
I assume that it is the repair process in action.
2. Should I do anything about it?
I have a pretty solid recovery process I think.
3. Do other people experience this, do they take it as a positive sign or try to manage it?
I see it as part of the progression process – so positive.


Relevant background
Cycling: 6 days a week, 3 x intense to super intense rides (ideally races), 3x quality recovery rides; 225 to 350k pw. 3weeks on 1 week lower intensity – but do overtrain periodically.
Recovery: after a race of greater than an hour or race plus transit of greater than 100k I take a Recovery drink. Stretch nearly every day. Recovery rides are controlled intensity and duration on the trainer.
Diet: no alcohol, fair balance (too much sugar), no protein supplements beyond recovery drinks, mix of fruit and vegetables, no specific antioxidant use. Drink lots of water.
Physical: no injuries, BMI 22, fitted to my bike. Cross train on weights and core twice a week, walking 4x per week.

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Re: Burning legs – recovery

Postby Baalzamon » Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:59 pm

Just a thought you may be overtraining yourself? Or it could be DOMS (Delayed onset muscle soreness).
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Re: Burning legs – recovery

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:07 am

ft_critical wrote:Hello all,

After training for period of time, circa 6 days, experience post-exercise burning legs. I find this a very pleasant experience. I find it build up through the week then around the 5th or 6th day the burning starts in the evening (hours after a training) and carries on for half a day or so. I use it as a sign to take a day off and enjoy the sensations...


Is there any sensation of numbness during the burning leg episodes ?
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Re: Burning legs – recovery

Postby mikesbytes » Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:08 am

Explanation of DOM's: https://patch.com/iowa/ankeny/bp--why-do-my-muscles-burn-after-i-work-out

When exactly are you getting the burning sensation? Is it as soon as you stop heavy exercise? Ie before warmdown and stretch
If the R-1 rule is broken, what happens to N+1?

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Re: Burning legs – recovery

Postby ft_critical » Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:31 am

10speedsemiracer wrote:Is there any sensation of numbness during the burning leg episodes ?


No numbness at all. I think it is muscular and in the quads, the ones I use during cycling.

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Re: Burning legs – recovery

Postby ft_critical » Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:33 am

mikesbytes wrote:Explanation of DOM's: https://patch.com/iowa/ankeny/bp--why-do-my-muscles-burn-after-i-work-out

When exactly are you getting the burning sensation? Is it as soon as you stop heavy exercise? Ie before warmdown and stretch


Hi Mike. Burning is isolated to the quads. It comes on probably about 2 hours or so after training, lasts for about 12 hours, gradually fading over that time - AND it is only once a week. The muscles aren't particularly sore, not like you experience after a smashing, long ride where you can only just hobble down the stairs. There is no functional impairment. I will check out the link shortly, thanks.

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Re: Burning legs – recovery

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:28 pm

Would still get along to your GP just in case there's a neuro element to this. ..
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Re: Burning legs – recovery

Postby BugsBunny » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:35 pm

By burning legs, I assume its that tired/"burning" feeling when walking up stairs. I get that too after heavy training.

Try this - I dunno the full science behind it, but it works for me. I go to a Chinese doctor and he says (and I translate here) its due to inflammation of the muscles from the intense training.

Dip your feet up to just above your ankle in a shallow bucket with a big block of ice (or two blocks) and water. Just freeze one of those plastic containers you get from Chinese takeaway. Don't use ice cubes as thats way too cold and melts too fast. It should be really really cold but not painful. Dip for about 10 minutes.

I think current sports science also has something similar by way of ice baths. He also recommends that but its too cold for me and impractical. So daily ankle dips he says is good enough.

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Re: Burning legs – recovery

Postby mikesbytes » Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:55 am

Did you do some research on DOM's?

Why does it happen once a week and not all the time? Is once a week at the same point in your routine, ie the same day of week?
If the R-1 rule is broken, what happens to N+1?

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Re: Burning legs – recovery

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:34 am

BugsBunny wrote:By burning legs, I assume its that tired/"burning" feeling when walking up stairs. I get that too after heavy training.

Try this - I dunno the full science behind it, but it works for me. I go to a Chinese doctor and he says (and I translate here) its due to inflammation of the muscles from the intense training.

Dip your feet up to just above your ankle in a shallow bucket with a big block of ice (or two blocks) and water. Just freeze one of those plastic containers you get from Chinese takeaway. Don't use ice cubes as thats way too cold and melts too fast. It should be really really cold but not painful. Dip for about 10 minutes.

I think current sports science also has something similar by way of ice baths. He also recommends that but its too cold for me and impractical. So daily ankle dips he says is good enough.

The science on the recovery benefits of ice baths isn't exactly strongly supportive of its use.

Contrast temperature therapy has perhaps a little more evidence in support but it's not super strong.

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Re: Burning legs – recovery

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:40 am

ft_critical wrote:My questions are,

If your performance is not degrading and you are improving/achieving your athletic aims/goals, then I would not be overly concerned. Best forms of recovery are rest, sleep and eating well (with appropriate macronutrient mix).

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Re: Burning legs – recovery

Postby BugsBunny » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:19 pm

Thanks AlexS. Good to learn from your experience.

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Re: Burning legs – recovery

Postby ft_critical » Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:11 pm

mikesbytes wrote:Did you do some research on DOM's?

Why does it happen once a week and not all the time? Is once a week at the same point in your routine, ie the same day of week?


Hi Mike, pretty much the same time. Usually after my mid week recovery ride.

I did look up DOMs and it seems relevant, but my legs aren't particularly sore. I honestly thing it is all the micro tears repairing.

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Re: Burning legs – recovery

Postby ft_critical » Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:15 pm

BugsBunny; I ice my legs - quads mainly - by shoving ice-packs up the legs of my Knicks after long hard rides. I can't attest to any benefit, but I continue to do it.

Alex, thanks. I am not at all worried, I like the feeling and take it as my body getting stronger - more just curious. Probably the main changes in my routine have been more racing and in particular more controlled, active recovery.

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Re: Burning legs – recovery

Postby Jawa » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:18 am

FWIW this use to happen to me all the time after trainer sessions. Whether it was DOMS etc not sure but as I do all my sessions in the evening, if I was pushing a big gear/max resistance I knew the next morning was going to be a SOB getting out of bed

What though has been working for me in recent times though is two things 1) be diligent and do a proper warm down rather than completely stop after a hard session. And 2) a protein shake to feed the muscles straight after the ride. Are these purely the cause of no longer having sore legs or simply just getting fitter, who know. It is though working for me so I’m sticking to it for the time being.

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Re: Burning legs – recovery

Postby ft_critical » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:22 pm

Jawa wrote:FWIW this use to happen to me all the time after trainer sessions. Whether it was DOMS etc not sure but as I do all my sessions in the evening, if I was pushing a big gear/max resistance I knew the next morning was going to be a SOB getting out of bed

What though has been working for me in recent times though is two things 1) be diligent and do a proper warm down rather than completely stop after a hard session. And 2) a protein shake to feed the muscles straight after the ride. Are these purely the cause of no longer having sore legs or simply just getting fitter, who know. It is though working for me so I’m sticking to it for the time being.


Thanks Jawa, actually that is one of the things I was wondering; whether I should be taking protein straight after the workouts where it occurs most frequently. I do a recovery drink after my weekend race, but I will try a protein shake after some of the midweek sessions. Interesting you mention timing... I was previously a morning rider, but have switched the majority of my rides to the evenings.

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