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Sore & Stiff(9 posts)

Sore & Stiffkyvdh
Jun 12, 2001 7:13 PM
I've been riding on the road for about a year now and trying to get my speed up to where I can avg 20mph for 25+ miles. I haven't gotten there yet but keep trying. My observation is that my legs never stop being sore or at least stiff as I ride and train. I typically ride 12 miles 3-4 times during the week at lunch, then 35 miles on Saturday and 20 or so miles on Sunday. Sometimes I'll also do some other ride in place of or in addition to the lunch rides. Obviously not huge miles but still the soreness never seems to pass. I'm 42, 182 lbs. I don't intend to race but I do like to try and beat previous times when I ride so I tend to ride pretty hard even though my speed is not great. I ride a mountain bike with road tires most of the time. Also have an old Motobecane Super Mirage on my trainer in the basement. Anyone else experience similar soreness or am I just pushing myself to hard day after day? Opinions welcome.
lots of possibilities....C-40
Jun 12, 2001 7:30 PM
Read up on fit at, or Be sure you have the bike set up with the knee-over-pedal relation and saddle height set-up for a cadence in the 90-100 range. If the saddle is too far back, or you're selecting too large a gear, low cadence & low power may be the result.

Mashing away at 60-70 rpm may make you sore. A good spinning cadence shouldn't.

Be sure to eat properly for recovery. Nutritional supplements may help. See

Rest is also important, but 12 miles is short enough to do every day. I never ride less than 1-1/2 hours or 30 miles at a time, but I also rarely ride two days in a row. I hit it hard when I go out, and usually rest the next day.
lots of possibilities....kyvdh
Jun 12, 2001 8:13 PM
I appreciate the input. I may not have been clear. The soreness is muscle, not joint. It's like how I used to feel if I went out and played basketball far longer than I should. It all loosens up as I ride and I feel good right after a ride but then it starts all over. It may not be a problem but just wondered if others experienced similar stiffness. Maybe just a bad combination of exercise and a desk job. Not something that will keep me off the road. Just out of curiousity, with your every-other-day routine, do you find yourself getting faster or just maintaining?
Jun 13, 2001 8:06 PM
I just notice that many folks don't understand how improper saddle fore-aft position can result in low cadence and pushing big gears, which over-stresses the muscles. Low cadence & big gear riding can be used as a type of muscle-building interval training, but some riders never learn to spin up to 120 rpm or more, which is a valuable skill.

The hydration suggestion also sounds wise. I often find that I've lost up to 2 pounds after a 30-40 mile ride, particularly if I don't finish my second water bottle.
re: Sore & Stiffgromit
Jun 13, 2001 1:38 AM
Could be worth checking with your doctor that you don't have a deficiency in e.g. iron or calcium. I used to have chronic muscle soreness after exercise. It was one symptom of an underlying problem that is now fixed.
re: Sore & StiffLLSmith
Jun 13, 2001 4:07 AM
Simple as it may sound stretching before and after a ride has helped me. I mean 5 minutes or so of deep 20+ second stretching. You need to give your muscles time to get the blood out after a ride.
hydration and post-ride ritualsHaiku d'état
Jun 13, 2001 7:06 AM
hydration--all day every day. if i ride and don't carefully maintain my hydration, i get and stay sore, too!

sleep--8 hours is good, more is gooder (sic)


stretch (don't bounce, hold each position for 30 seconds, shouldn't push 'til it hurts, but just short of it)

eat (i like 1/2 a powerbar protein bar after 60-90 minute rides, a whole one after longer rides)

drink (16 oz after short rides, 1 liter after longer rides)

take a day off between rides; are you riding 35/20 sat/sun, then monday? can you schedule monday off? space your recovery days carefully! and...if all else fails, take a few days in a row off!

good luck!
From what I've read, going all out every time is counter-bill
Jun 13, 2001 9:15 AM
productive. Going long and going hard accomplish different things, so, just because you go short and hard doesn't mean you are getting the benefits of going long or are getting enough recovery to be able to go hard the way you might with a little rest.
I'm still grappling with the concept myself, but, according to the experts, the least efficient training is hard every time. You have to vary what you are trying to accomplish (the full course meal, including endurance and strength as well, as opposed to the single course of fast) and you have to rest, or you'll never improve.
re: Sore & StiffLone Gunman
Jun 13, 2001 1:03 PM
Periodization. Read up from "The Cyclist Training Bible" on what it is and how it works. Riding pretty hard alot probably IS the problem. You need to learn to go slow before you learn to go fast. Periodization will teach you how to do this. Stretching is important also. Might try some of the new supplements that are out like Endurox R4 as a recovery drink. The ideal spin cadence is 90 to 100 rpm, you may be pushing too large a gear for your fitness level and this is also taught in periodization. Alot of riders won't go to the big chain ring until they have 1000 miles under their legs.