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Question
Posted by: Teri | 2010/06/09

Rest &  recovery for cyclists

Hi, I train (cycling) 4x a week which often adds up to 350km+/week. All''s fine, however I did a race two weeks ago and after that felt really drained and my muscles were almost constantly stiff. My friends said I''m probably overtraining and should probably have a rest following the Kremetart (175km stage race this past weekend). So now I''m resting, but I''m scared of too much rest...when is it enough and should I be doing absolutely nothing or can I do other exercise e.g. gym classes?? How long should I rest? I have another race coming up 4th July, don''t want to lose fitness. I''m taking magnesium to help the stiffness (which is strangely a lot better following the Kremetart). PLEASE HELP. Thanks

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi Teri

It sounds likely. When people who are fit and who have been doing a lot of training suddenly find that their muscles are sore, it's often a sign of overdoing it. It means you're recovering poorly.

Rest is the only solution, but knowing when you're recovered is a lot more difficult than suddenly waking up and feeling like a million bucks! Unfortunately, we don't have a 'fuel gauge' that tells us if we're empty!

So I'd say if you feel flat and drained, rest for a week. Then train again, but you must realise that you can't simply go in at the same level as before, because then the cycle will just continue and you'll be back where you are in a month. So you have to change the training. Make it a little lower in volume (20km a week off is not going to affect you too much) or otherwise look at the balance of the training - perhaps you are doing too much high intensity work, perhaps it's too much on the hills. I don't know, but the solution is to assess the training and drop the level down by 10 to 15% and then go back up later.

Good luck

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Our users say:
Posted by: fitnessdoc | 2010/06/13

Hi Teri

It sounds likely. When people who are fit and who have been doing a lot of training suddenly find that their muscles are sore, it's often a sign of overdoing it. It means you're recovering poorly.

Rest is the only solution, but knowing when you're recovered is a lot more difficult than suddenly waking up and feeling like a million bucks! Unfortunately, we don't have a 'fuel gauge' that tells us if we're empty!

So I'd say if you feel flat and drained, rest for a week. Then train again, but you must realise that you can't simply go in at the same level as before, because then the cycle will just continue and you'll be back where you are in a month. So you have to change the training. Make it a little lower in volume (20km a week off is not going to affect you too much) or otherwise look at the balance of the training - perhaps you are doing too much high intensity work, perhaps it's too much on the hills. I don't know, but the solution is to assess the training and drop the level down by 10 to 15% and then go back up later.

Good luck

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