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After the race my legs hurt so much I couldn't....(8 posts)

After the race my legs hurt so much I couldn't....Bruno S
Mar 2, 2002 5:38 PM
get into the car! Isn't the body supposed to let you know when you are hurting yourself? Has anyone experience something like this after a race. I was afraid to drive because I felt that at any moment I could get a cramp and not be able to break. I had to stop after the finish for about three minutes. Then I rode for about 5-7 minutes but I was feeling my legs starting to hurt so I went to the car. I must have standing next to it for about 25 minutes because with any slight bent of the legs they would hurt like crazy. Taking the shoes off was a nightmare.
re: After the race my legs hurt so much I couldn't....Travis
Mar 2, 2002 10:48 PM
I haven't had the same experience you are talking about after a bike race (I haven't done that many) but I ran my first two marathons in the space of 8 days a couple of years ago. I ran the first in 3:15, the 2d in 3:18. Totally stupid, I excuse! But I qualified for Boston. I was fine after the first marathon, but felt the way you describe at the end of the 2d marathon. My legs were totally seized up, I pissed blood, etc. Brutal. It took me a couple of weeks to recover. I am sure there is a medical/scientific explaination, but I basically put it down to exceeding my body's limits, but still driving on. That must be what you did.
did youWoof the dog
Mar 3, 2002 1:09 AM
drink enough sports drinks? I have heard that cramping could be caused by the lack of electrolytes. Your experience sounds more severe than I had.

Hope it gets better as the season goes on


Woof the electro-dog.
did youBruno S
Mar 3, 2002 4:54 PM
No problems there, I had been drinking gatorade. The race was only 30 miles. I checked my weight before and after and there was not a significat amount of weight lost. Today I did 50 miles without any problems or pain. What I belive happened was that after the sprint I just came to a complete stop with my legs extended that lasted about 3 minutes. Maybe a lot of lactic acid just stayed there and somehow burned the muscles.
post race leg painbrutus
Mar 3, 2002 5:15 PM
I've had the same thing happen after a 40 Km time trial. Legs felt fine throughout the time trial but when finished severe pain in the gluts. To the point where I could barely drive home and had to phone my wife from the driveway to help get me out of the car.

I think its just because of lactate buildup in the muscles. Would recommend a long cool down ride 5 to 10 km to flush alot of the lactate out of your leg muscles. If that doesn't work then you likely are not drinking enough or taking enough electrolytes in with your fluids. That is more apt to give you cramping and likely you would have noticed it more during the race.

Hope this helps.
Magnesium helpsJames Curry
Mar 5, 2002 1:45 PM
One electroloyte many sports drinks don't have is magnesium. They have plenty of Potassium and Sodium and carbs, but no magnesium. One thing I used to do is mix in two tablets of magnesium with a bottle of water, add 2 teaspoons of brown sugar. But if your legs are drained one thing I can tell you not to do is eat anything remotely resembling chocolate! I had something like what you're describing happen to me coming home one day from a strenuous ride. I cramped up on the James Island Connector coming back into town worse than ever. every muscle in both legs was flexed beyond beleif and the most excruciating pain! I fell over and just laid there on the road for like two minutes. Stood up and BAM!!! they came right back! Yeah, I'd bonked hard and thought a milky way would carry me home! No No! Don't do this. Try the magnesium. And as soon as you get home, chug some milk!
In addition to all the food notes...shirt
Mar 5, 2002 3:35 PM
Take a 20 minute walk after your race. Helps get the toxins out.
Same experience...Wayne
Mar 6, 2002 6:49 AM
I have only done a couple of time trials, plenty of road races/crits. I did a 40k last year, was really motivated, really hard effort on totally flat course (so no variation in muscle use). The moment I crossed the finish line and started (trying) to spin to the parking lot (a several mile ride). My legs/glutes became immensely painful and became more so over the next hour and then it started to subside and by later on that day and the next it was like the normal post race soreness. Like you, it kind of felt like cramp from dehydration but not really, and I never actually cramped. It just hurt like hell to move or touch my muscles in anyway. I attributed it to making my muscles work in positions they weren't use to (I had only done a couple of rides in the TT position and no real hard efforts). I remember reading that Chris Boardman couldn't sit down from the pain for some time after his last world hour record attempt. This was totally different than any other pain I've experienced from exercising. Certainly wasn't Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) like you get from weight-lifting or in your quads from running, which typically takes some time to come on and then persists for several days. Wasn't like the burn you get from a really hard effort (so i kind of doubt it was metabolic build-up of some kind or at least not the typical cast of characters like lactic acid or inorganic phosphate). Interesting phenomenon, I've never seen it described in exercise literature and probably would be very hard to reproduce in the lab. I've talked to several cycling buddies and most say they've never experienced anything like that.