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So, my legs are like overcooked spaghetti.

Went out Sunday and could barely turn the pedals. I'm so tired my legs groan whenever I stand up! I began writing a blog (as you do) about overtraining and then realised I had no idea exactly how I was supposed to rest. What advice do you have? From the scientific to the superstitious! All I have is raise your feet above your knees (sounds like bad science to me!) and have a beer to help ease the pain!  4

11 comments

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TheHatter [770 posts] 3 years ago
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I believe the pro's say:
don't walk if you can stand
don't stand if you can sit
don't sit if you can lay down
and don't just lay down if you can sleep

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notfastenough [3719 posts] 3 years ago
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Sounds like you need some proper rest, by which I mean in the order of two weeks off. Protein-rich diet, early nights, GENTLE stretching. A good quality multi-vitamin won't do any harm either.

I've not got to the point you have, but I'm not as strong even after a couple of days rest, so I'll probably not use the bike for over a week now. Always works for me, and I feel strong when I start back.

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sm [398 posts] 3 years ago
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Thanks not fast enough - I think (know!) you're right about some long-term rest. I commute by bike and hate public transport with a passion so I need to learn to spin lightly and let people overtake me without snarling.

Anyone tried those massage sticks I'm beginning to see all over the place? Do they work are they just, well, a stick!

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arfa [845 posts] 3 years ago
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How about a foam roller incorporated with some stretching ? I commute too and probably ride 6 days out of 7 (which is pushing my middle aged frame) and find it helps along with varying ride intensity (I find strava useful to ensure I am not pushing it). If I take 2 weeks off on holiday I definitely come back alot slower....

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Shanefutcher [98 posts] 3 years ago
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Man up and get back on the bike.i commute every day then on days off go for few hours on bike.

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Simon E [2993 posts] 3 years ago
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"I began writing a blog (as you do) about overtraining and then realised I had no idea exactly how I was supposed to rest. "

Writing about it when you have no idea what to do?  39 I'll file that under fiction, then.

+1 for TheHatter's advice, apart from the multivitamin, which IMHO is a waste of money. If you want vitamins eat more fresh food.

And go easy on the beer, it's empty calories and will slow any recovery/repair to your muscles and organs.

Foam rollers won't help with fatigue.

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jason.timothy.jones [293 posts] 3 years ago
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Overtraining is a bad thing, but to say what is over training for one person is different for another. Either way, its a bad thing and you need to allow your body to recover, muscles to repair......etcettera....everything thats already beed said.

However you need to be even more careful with "scientific" advice also, for example, my friend and I were in the pub have some beers, we are both scientists, after 5 or so pints, we say "i feel so much better after my 100 miles today"... we then both said...Scientists agree that 5 pints of beer are best for recovery. Ok a silly example, but how many contradicting studies have you heard of.

For me, you need to be training at a rate, and recovering at a rate that does not hurt what ever it is you are training for...just as an example, so if your training for a 100 mile event, your training needs to be such that you can ride 4 days a week, rest (xtrain) for 3... if you rode so hard that it takes you 2 days to recover, you went to hard, if you can get out the next day with no problems at all, you went to easy....then you go into all the tapering phase, this is more of a psychological rest than anything else because if you are training correctly, after you day of rest you should be ready to go again and nail the 100 miler.

Most importantly, training is about getting better incrementally, or once at the goal you are training for, maintaining that level, if you go out hard all the time and bust your balls, you will just end up with an injury

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sm [398 posts] 3 years ago
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Simon E wrote:

Writing about it when you have no idea what to do?  39 I'll file that under fiction, then.

Ha! Crowdsourcing my blogs - the lazy man's approach to writing!

Seriously, thank you all for your tips, some great advice, especially jason.timothy.jones for this:

jason.timothy.jones wrote:

For me, you need to be training at a rate, and recovering at a rate that does not hurt what ever it is you are training for.

I don't think there is any magic bullet or tablet. As with all things it comes to down to moderation (including the beer!) and viewing resting and training in a a broader context.

Resting is not separate to training, it is training. Sitting down on the couch is just one small element of resting, just as important are those moments when you're on the bike and maintaining a level of effort you can reasonably sustain throughout the year.

There's also the mental aspect. I took a month off the bike last year which did my fitness levels little but certainly had me raring to go again upon my return.

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abudhabiChris [691 posts] 3 years ago
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Since I've been following a structured training programme I've been quite surprised at the amount of rest and recovery which is scheduled in. Much more than I ever did for myself.

Generally in a week I would have three days which are either no riding at all or recovery rides which are so gentle that if I had done them before I would have said it was a waste of time even getting in the saddle. For example an hour where my heart rate will barely go out of double figures.

So apart from making sure you have lighter days regularly also try to refuel properly. You have 30 minutes from the end of your ride to get in what you need to replace all the glycogen in the muscles which you have used up.

What exactly you need will depend on your training and what you're trying to do but a balance of carbohydrates and protein will not go far wrong. It doesn't have to be formula or stuff from a packet. Boiled egg on toast, peanut butter sandwich, chocolate milk, porridge or cereal with soy milk, fruit and yoghurt are all good.

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Simon E [2993 posts] 3 years ago
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sm wrote:

There's also the mental aspect. I took a month off the bike last year which did my fitness levels little but certainly had me raring to go again upon my return.

I agree. I think a little time away from the bike is absolutely necessary if you're training regularly all year round.

It doesn't have to be a whole month, of course. I had planned to do some mileage over christmas last year but I hardly rode at all, was off the bike for nearly 2 weeks. However, I think I felt better riding through the next couple of (dark, cold) months as a result.

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sm [398 posts] 3 years ago
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Overtraining syndrome - do you suffer from it? Spaghetti legs and sh*t for brains
http://humancyclist.wordpress.com/2013/11/09/overtraining/

Thank you all above for the advice. I finally got around to writing the blog post this topic was meant to inspire  37