I'm not a doctor but…
Cycling injury, recovery and health issues.
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19 posts • Page 1 of 1
I went to the gym on Monday and did a 20 minute interval session on the bike and a few upper body weights. I was fine immediately afterwards but the next day I was aching in my quads, arms and shoulders (which I figure is probably DOMS). I figure that's pretty normal since I haven't lifted weights or done much intense cycling for a while. I probably over-exerted a little with the weights but the leg soreness is pretty normal. I also may not have have stretched post exercise as thoroughly as I should have.
I was planning on doing another workout tonight, the legs are still a little sore and I can barely lift my arms. I was planning on skipping the weights and intervals and just doing a light spin on the bike and perhaps a few slow laps of the pool.
Would it be better to wait until the pain subsides before working out again ? I've heard that light exercise can alleviate soreness and maybe relieve some of the stiffness.
Pretty much as you suggest yourself (and I come from a lifetime of riding, running and weights). Light or normal exercise at least.
As far as stretching is concerned the benefits of it before, during or after are not as clear as many think. Doesn't hurt though (assuming you know how to stretch).
This is all general of course as we on the forum have no way of determining if you have any actual injury.
Unchain yourself-Ride a unicycle
Whenever my legs, shoulders, neck etc fell a bit stiff or sore I usually go for an easy 10km ride to loosen everything up and I usually feel so much better for it....then the following day I'm often back to normal.
If its painful, dont push it.
2012 Felt F75 | 105 | ProLite Braccianos | GP4000S
Aching muscles are prime candidates for tears. Having said that, getting them moving again ( gently ) will aid recovery.
Weaknesses in one part of your body may be overcompensated for by another.
Light spin...... go for it! Just don't hammer the same muscles and warm up properly ( build up - don't explode ).
Well my "light spin" turned into a 40 minute semi-interval session. I started at level 4 (no idea what that means in terms of gearing and gradient), ramped it up in 5 minute intervals to level 6, started at 60rpm for 5 minutes before sitting at 80rpm for the majority of the 40 minutes, with a few 1 minute 100rpm spins. Rounded it out with 10x 25m slow laps of the pool.
My legs don't feel MORE sore than they did, in fact for quite a while afterwards they felt pretty good. Starting to get sore now. I guess I'll find out tomorrow what (if any) damage I did
My 2C, in regards to RPM, would be to aim at keeping that consistent around 80 or more, and change the resistance while holding the same RPM. I have never used a spin bike for any length of time, however my cadence(RPM) is defiantly consistent on my road bike, on all gradients, and seems to be giving me success not that i actually concentrate on keep it high any more it just is that way nowadays.
Yeah I'm still figuring out what to do with cadence. On my road bike I tend to grind instead of spin, at around 60rpm. I'd like to be able to average 80rpm but I have to get my legs used to moving that fast before adding load. Hence the low resistance high RPM training. I have no idea whether its the right way to go about it, but until I speak to a personal trainer I'm just kind of making it up as I go along.
Pretty much what i did, only my experience was "Got to have high cadence, Got to have high Cadence!... Oh wait I'm not going any faster with my new high cadence,, should probably work on applying some force along with my spinning legs"
Yeah, I figure I can increase the resistance and get more force gradually, when my twitch muscles get some conditioning.
From my experience, you should only do easy spin rides, when you have sore muscles.
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
That could be taken two ways:
1. The only time you should do easy spin rides is when you have sore muscles.
2. When you have sore muscles the only thing you should do is easy spin rides.
Which is it ?
No you should not work the same muscles that are sore the next day, I am a weight lifter and when your muscles are sore the next day dont work them again you will only do more harm, If you want to know why quote me and i will tell everone
If you race back to back days in stage races etc then you are going to have to start consecutive days with sore muscles... 2 or 3 days in a row. I have been doing a bit of hard training back to back to try and replicate the feelings... not very often but I will be doing a couple of blocks like this in coming weeks.
Cycling and weightlifting is probably a bit different?... the forces quoted in even hard efforts in cycling are less than walking up stairs... just repeated many 1000's of times so the difference in the ways the muscles are damaged is probably different.
Anyway I am off to practice what I preach ... tired and sore today but going to hit the hills, only at endurance levels though .
My (probably imperfect) understanding is that there are 2 main causes of post exercise pain / fatigue
1. accumulation of lactic acid - which light exercise will probably help to clear
2. microtearing of muscle fibres especially if you have been doing anything that builds muscle (ie weights), pushing this process too far is likely to result in overuse injuries - actual tears, plus damage to other supportive structures if you start altering your technique or posture to avoid pain
If you're experiencing no. 1 you will probably find that you hurt as you start out, but as the blood starts flowing you will feel a bit better, but then generally fatigue faster than normal,
if no. 2 the pain will worsen as you exercise and you should stop or at least lower the intensity.
And definitely make sure that your hydration is good and probably warm up a bit before pushing it hard.
Writing within the bounds of the above, something I tell my patients is to gradually build up their strength and stamina. As others have said, it is vital to ensure that you have adequate nutrition, sleep, hydration, etc. But one thing I find with cyclists is that they sometimes have a tendency to become overactive (ie do more than their bodies can handle at a particular point in times ). This can lead to DOMS.
I tell them it is important to recognise that if the cause of their DOMS is overactivity, they should find out what their baseline is and then gradually increase to their target over a few weeks. While it is possible to just push through to the point that your body will eventually catch up, you'd be putting yourself at risk. Gradually pacing up your activity levels allows you to keep increase your fitness/tolerance/stamina/etc without getting DOMS. If you do have DOMS, don't just rest either - as this might lead to slight deconditioning. But as others have said try to still exercise/be active but just take it a little easier for a couple of days and rethink your baseline.
If in doubt, by all means see your doctor, but I would also recommend seeing an exercise physiologist (preferably a good one ).
general rule is if the pain subsides during the start of the exercise, you can keep going, if it gets worst or is generally unpleasent thoughout, I wouldnt push it and stop.
If you can't explain it simply, then you don't understand it well enough.
If I felt pain I wouldn't even bother... Aches and sore muscles from hard training are different from pains from injured muscles.
I did 2500 m climbing yesterday on tired sore muscles with zero issues... Today they are just tired but it is a day off anyway . Tomorrow I will be fine to race ( although not an important race, if it was I would have tapered )... Stress stress stress till overload, recover and recommence stronger!.
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