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Recovering from intense exercise?

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Updated October 28, 2014 at 4:13 AM
Created June 02, 2014 at 8:00 AM

I love mountain biking. The last two weekends I have been out on my bike, for about four hours (with a few breaks) each time. It's quite intense exercise, but I feel capable and fine at the time. Afterwards, I get very hungry and eat a superhuman amount of food (including much more carbs than I would normally eat).

The following days, however, I have no energy. I sleep very badly, and feel much more stressed out. This can last from 1 to 3 days.

Is a four hour mountain biking session just too much exercise? Or am I completely failing to recover from it for some other reason? I am generally active, but I certainly don't exercise to excess during a normal week.

Any thoughts, suggestions?

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5356 · June 02, 2014 at 12:05 PM

My personal N=1.

Sometimes, I don't completely heal after a few months at the gym. It's like a constant DOMS, not so bad that I can't continue, but just enough to let me know it's there. I find at about the 3 month mark, If I take a week (7 days) and just focus on sleeping, eating more carbs than normal (100-150) and do more stretching and light walking, at about day 4 I get a kind of sleep that basically, resets me. My energy level goes from "I better get to the gym" to "Nothing on this earth can stop me from going to the gym."

I'm not saying that's you, but maybe some rest is needed?

E3c72c87a5a02b96ed26b58894b60926
0 · June 02, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Thanks. I should have mentioned that I have been biking for several years. I go on a longish ride about once a fortnight through the summer. I also ride about 15 miles per week (not a huge amount, I know) on the road getting around. And I climb about once a week. I feel like I do a good amount of exercise, but these longer biking sessions just kick my ass! Why?

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3 Answers

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45 · June 02, 2014 at 12:01 PM

weekend warrior syndrome.

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5356 · June 02, 2014 at 11:14 AM

q- "Is a four hour mountain biking session just too much exercise?"

A - "The following days, however, I have no energy. I sleep very badly, and feel much more stressed out. This can last from 1 to 3 days."

It's too much exercise for you, currently.

It also sounds like you kind of weekend warriored this binge biking, and didn't allow yourself to build up to it. I would assume your cortisol shot up and you're taking in more carbs than you possibly needed?

Don't stop biking, it's great exercise and something you enjoy, just cut it back a bit until your conditioning has improved...I'd be concerned if you did this too often and hurt yourself more seriously, which may convince you to stop biking all together.

Good luck!

Truth.

E3c72c87a5a02b96ed26b58894b60926
0 · June 02, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Thanks. I should have mentioned that I have been biking for several years. I go on a longish ride about once a fortnight through the summer. I also ride about 15 miles per week (not a huge amount, I know) on the road getting around. And I climb about once a week. I feel like I do a good amount of exercise, but these longer biking sessions just kick my ass! Why?

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10184 · June 02, 2014 at 10:04 AM

I don't consider that an abnormal amount of exercise, but taken as random sessions it would leave me stiff and sore for a few days after.

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