Aching Thighs!!



I'm finding that if I take two days or more off during my training, I get a bad ache in my thighs. (Predominantly Quads). If I don't take any time off, I don't get any aches. Does anyone have any ideas what the reason is for this and any methods for relief. ???
Remember that each time you put your muscles through strenous exercise, you actually damage them! Fortunately, they recover and come back even stronger. When exercise becomes too strenous, lactic acid is produced (the burning sensation you feel when you climb, for example). This is the body's protection system coming into action.
I suggest you give your legs a good rub down after training or competition (or get someone else to do it for you, perfect excuse for a nice massage ;D). Most cyclists don't know the value of proper massage.
I try and take a nice easy pedal the day after a heavy ride, just to get rid of any dormant lactic acid. Nothing hectic, just a nice slow pedal. It works for me. I've also acquired one of those electric pulse generators (the APS model). After a heavy ride, I take a hot bath and then use 'the machine' on my legs. The day after, pain is almost non-exsistant.
On the other side, I kinda like the feeling of slightly sore muscles ;D
You have to remember to stretch your muscles after training. It takes me a good 30 minutes to stretch properly after a 3 hour cycle or race.

Always start with the hamstrings. Then the quads, butt, inner thigh (adductors), calves, back, neck and shoulders.
Each muscle group twice for 20 seconds.

The hammies are the most important because cycling tends to shorten them significantly. stretching them and making them supple will increase their power.
Yip, stretching is a VERY important routine, before AND after a ride.
Only light stretching and range of motion exercises before a ride because you are breaking down a muscle slightly when you stretch it. I do very hard stretching after though. It helps the muscles rebuild and reduces lactic build up.

My biokineticist almost stretches me into the splits when stretching the hip flexors and hamstrings. It takes at least a day for the muscles to recover.
Dear Acid,

Try a 15 minute gradual warm down at the end of the ride and then correct nutrition when you arrive home as this will aid recovery.

Stretching before exercise can result in neuromuscular fatigue, so don't do anything other than light mobility exercises prior to cycling (particularly sprinting). Instead stretch to increase range of movement around a joint after training or as a seperate training session after a short warm up.

Some tips, don't stretch hard or bounce when you stretch as it will do some damage. Slow and easy is best. If you can, get a physiotherapist to show you how to do 'Active' stretching and 'PNF' stretching as these are the most effective techniques.
Thanks for the advice,

I'm just returning to cycling after a three month break so I'm gonna be taking it very easy.

I've started doing a little Yoga and I'm finding that my hips are extremely tight so hopefully the Yoga will help.

See you on the road!!

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