Let’s Talk Sore Legs

Our “Let’s Talk” series of posts looks to have caught on and it’s great to hear people’s comments and tips on the subjects we bring up in these posts.  Once again, today’s post is all about you and we’re wanting you to add your comments below in the comment field as a way of filling the content on this subject.

So here it is, check out this video where I quickly explain what I do for sore legs (I mention a post about stretches and the roller, click those links to check out the posts), now it’s your turn to let us know what you do when your legs are aching from putting on the big miles.  I apologize in advance for my fast talking Canadian accent.

Let’s Talk…….

  • Chris Bradley

    I’ve done a few things that help. first thing is make a Protein shake with 3o minutes of a long hard ride. i use Vega Chocolate flavor. Goes down easy and tastes great. Easy on stomach. i also follow a Vegan diet and have for 20 years and Vega is completely vegan. One thing that Vega also has in it is L Glutamine. this is key to muscle recovery and getting through the soreness in far less time. If you use a recovery protein that does not contain L Glutamine, you can get a powdered form of it. it has no taste or odor at all and you can mix up and drink with a glass of water and you’d almost not know its there. 2nd thing is that I use Foam roller pretty much every day. I ride about 4-5 days a week on average with about 150-200 miles and use it everyday weather ring or not. 3rd thing is that before I use roller I throw my legs up 90 degrees on a wall for 5-10 minutes and drain out the blood, helps keep everything fresh. Bananas seem to help a bit, i think because of the potassium. I have also noticed that when i eat gluten I get more sore, i saw that on some other posts. My massage therapist and Chiropractor say do not do the hot bath thing it makes it worse, feels great initially but only lengthens the inflammation time. Ice i always better, ben though its uncomfortable and sucks to deal with…those are the sacrifices we make to get out there and ride comfortable and strong the next day…right? haha. hope i added something here of use.

  • http://ultimatefitnessbreakthrough.com/redeem/pasadena-boot-camp/ pasadena boot camp

    This is such a nice article which is so instructive and teaching the people what they have to do for their wellness, And one more thing that the fitness is not only about the Upper Body. 

  • Ian Redmond

    take a cold bath!!

  • http://twitter.com/BicycleLab Victor Jimenez

    I find that ice baths are the best as are after ride compression tights.  Of course massage and all of the rollers (self Torture) are great but Ice is the best for me.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      The Guru has spoken, folks.  Guess I need to bite the bullet and give that ice bath a try.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=798365437 Robert Jagitsch

    I have found that strength/power training will help reduce the chance of sore legs after cycling.  Squats, single leg squats, split squats, lunges, burpees, etc.  However, these probably will cause sore legs after the strength training! :) But you want some of that, as it means the muscles are reacting to the training and will get bigger/stronger (make sure to eat enough protein to build the muscles.) The soreness rarely lasts more than a day unless you really go overboard, and as your legs get stronger you’ll have fewer and fewer days on the bike where your legs get sore, even on long rides. That’s my experience. :) 

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Good advice Robert.  I used to train my legs in the gym all the time, but now I use cycling as my strength training and conditioning.

  • Mac

    I’ve tried the roller and ice bath, but am still looking for something that works better.  Good suggestions and I’ll try out the hand held roller and also the compression socks.  Thanks.

  • Sarah on a bike

    The answers people have provided are really helpful.  This seems like a topic that there should be a lot of information on, but I haven’t been able to find something with as many good ideas as this one.  Thank you for putting this up today.

  • Vitaly Gashpar

    I use the roller, but I have the roller stick instead of the foam roller. Another thing that really helps is compression tights. After a tough ride, I wear them overnight and feel much better the next day. 

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Thanks for your feedback on the compression socks….good information to know.

      • Vitaly Gashpar

        No, no, not socks. Tights, like all the way up with a string that ties around my waistline :).  But frankly, I haven’t tried just the socks by themselves, so they might serve just as good of a purpose. 

        • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

          Sorry Vitaly, I read tights but was thinking socks.  I guess that would help a lot better with your thighs.  I personally don’t find my calves tighten up so the tights are probably a better choice.

  • TheGreatLakes

    Not sure why my username came up as dear stay gold. Anyways, you can build youir own stick roller for less than 5 bux from a home depot. Get a piece of long white pvc hose tube, cut to about a foot and a half or 2 feet. And buy a handfull, about 20, small plastic pipe rings an inch wide to put the long tube through. Foam at the end for handles and your done. They are amazing for the tight hard to reach areas and you can control the strength yourself! Highly recommend one for everyone training every day.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      I’m not sure why it came up as that either.  Someone else might have been logged into your computer with that account I guess.  Thanks for your tip and explaining how to put this together.  Very Nice.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Thanks again for sharing your tip and how to create this.  People should know that your twitter ID is @TheGreatLakes.   I’ve also included the picture of your roller stick that you put up on Twitter today.

  • http://www.wet-works.net Heather H

    Great topic! Interested to see if others have new ideas for me to try!

    My sore legs remedies are self massage, trigger point rolling, ice baths, warm epsom salt baths (weird, but hot or cold both seem to work well for me), compression socks, stretching and walking around after long workouts, avoid wheat in the diet, extra protein in the diet, making sure I get my recovery drink in right after long workouts, add extra blueberries, cherry juice, fish oil etc. to my diet for anti inflammatory properties.

    On a somewhat related note, I get sore/tired legs for no reason every time I’m about to get sick. So now, when my legs get sore for no apparent reason I ramp up the vitamin C, avoid sugar, get extra rest, etc to try to get over the illness faster.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Thanks for your input, Heather…..I was hoping to get some of your pro feedback.  I think my diet helps a lot as mine don’t usually get overly sore, and when they do I kind of like the feeling.  Yeah, I’m one of those pain freaks.  I’ve never tried and ice bath or compression socks before….do they help a lot?

      • http://www.wet-works.net Heather H

        I’ve been using compression socks for about 3 years now. and for me, they make a bigger difference in recovery than just about anything else! Ice baths help too, but I hate to be cold, so they’re torture!

  • dearstaygold

    Ice bath usually after very hard efforts. I use a hand held roller called the stick. I use it after every ride acctually, to simulate the benefits of massage. Ill put my legs up, usually on a wall at an angle to let the blood drain, for about 5-10 min, and then roll out the muscles, hard, and afterwords they feel brand new!

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      I’ve always been scared to try an ice bath.  I know it must work because I hear about pro athletes using it….I’m just too much of a wimp when it comes to the coldness.

  • Ron in Montreal, QC, Canada

    I always stop for a latte before my legs get sore. The technique is called Slow Cycling! ;0)

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Good idea….hahahahaha.  Thanks for sharing.

  • http://twitter.com/StevieDexter Stevie Dexter

    What an apt day to post this question Boss! I’ve just finished hauling myself by my fingernails along the hallway of my house after a 4hr ride which appeared to have 360* headwinds! How does it do that!

    My first tip would be a long hot bath, maybe with some scented fragrances to relax the mind too (I know I’m a sarcastic SOB most of the time but I’m serious, bath salts are my guilty pleasure!) Obviously a bath isn’t a safe or spacious enough place to do any stretching but I like to work the ankles around in the hot water and have a bit of a quad massage. I’ll often have on a little Billy Joel in the background, or maybe Joni Mitchell if it’s been a particularly hard ride.

    For some time now I’ve used the stretching and foam roller techniques as Darryl described in the above links. Unfortunately I’m not able to use my roller any more as it got damaged in some drunken tomfoolery,,, where Tom won! But if you can’t get your hands on a roller, a tennis ball, or a baseball are equally good, if not a little more tricky to get in the right parts of your muscles. All I’d say is be careful if you use a ball, they don’t have as much ‘give’ as a foam roller so don’t go too deep and cause any injury.

    Stretching really makes a difference, without a doubt. I don’t tend to worry too mush about how quickly I do the stretching after I get in. Sometimes I even leave it until that evening but usually within a few hours. One thing that any decent athlete (I’m not one of these) will tell you is that it is your ability to improve your RECOVERY that makes you stronger, not powering on through all weathers smashing out the miles blindly. Learn the best way to recover that suits you, your body and your time constraints.

    Finally a bit of light massage when I have the inclination. I don’t always do this but if I have a heavy week and know that my guns are going to take a pounding I’ll usually do a couple of self-massage sessions (stop sniggering, you know what I mean!) over the week. I’ve tried to train Mrs D in the art of soigneuring but she is more interested in Coronation Street and Facebook’s Bejeweled so I just put a towel on the floor, get some nice oils (these are my favourite, from La Clinica a Mano – http://www.laclinicaamano.com/p/about-our-oils.html) and rub away!

    If others could now post some tips on tired fingers I’d be most appreciative. I’m off to hibernate now… chapeau

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Hahahaha, I was just going to say that it looks like your fingers are going to need a massage now.  Thanks for a great comment to this “let’s talk” question.

      I need to become “Pro” enough to get my own personal masseuse.  I could totally go for a nice hour long massage every single day.

    • Jackson

      I tried a tennis ball once, but couldn’t take the pain.  A foam roller is a much better way to go.

  • http://www.weiland.net/ Weiland

    My biggest change to combat sore legs has to do with nutrition. Since going gluten free I don’t get sore legs like I use to.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      That’s really interesting.  It must be just one of the secrets that makes you the cycling monster that you are.  Nice.

    • http://www.wet-works.net Heather H

      I’ve found the same thing. and when I’m “bad” and eat bread or beer my legs are more likely to get sore. Thought I was crazy, so it’s good to know I’m not the only one!

      • http://www.weiland.net/ Weiland

        Basically the why is because gluten is an inflammatory, so when you eat gluten your body is fighting the inflammation that it induces and isn’t helping your body recover.

  • J.D. Kimple

    What do I do? I get off the bike and rest for a bit!