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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've been training for my first MTB race ever and making good progress. Been attending a spin cycle class two times a week and doing some weights which has made a big difference. I was just about to start spin cycle class last Monday at the gym and I noticed I forgot my water bottle so I started to jog out to my car but as soon as I got out the door I got a sharp pain at the bottom and just below my calf that dropped me, it was sudden and painful. I thought it was a cramp and stopped right away but it never went away. I hobbled out to my car and went home and have been doing ice and heat since then with noticeable improvement. Today is Wednesday and it now feels like a bruised muscle, no more sharp pain. MTB race is next Tuesday evening and I have put too much into this to forget about it. I'm going to give it one more day and then Thursday evening go out for an easy ride and ramp up Friday and Sunday. Just looking for any suggestions about how to recover before next Tuesday. All I know is to alternate ice and heat for the next few days. No coloration so I don't think I tore anything. BTW I am 64 and ride hard at least 4 times a week and pay attention to my hydration and other important stuff. I just want to get thru this race without further damage.
 

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If you are 64, you shouldn’t be riding hard four days a week.

That, or it’s not actually “hard”.

I’m half your age, been a pro XC racer for a bit, and only ride “hard” two, maybe three days a week.

Re: injury. I’d try a light massage or Rossiter technique.


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you are 64, you shouldn't be riding hard four days a week.

That, or it's not actually "hard".

I'm half your age, been a pro XC racer for a bit, and only ride "hard" two, maybe three days a week.

Re: injury. I'd try a light massage or Rossiter technique.

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Why should I not ride hard 4 times a week? Is that too much stress on my body or on my heart? My conditioning is still improving and when I make improvements measured by personal bests it gives me a great feeling of satisfaction. I monitor my heart rate as I ride and it's usually between 80% and 90%, sometimes lower and most rides I top out at least once.

I looked up the Rossiter method, it looks good. Looks like a long term process.
 

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Because if you are going “hard” four times a week, none of those workouts are truly hard. And, not only are you not maximizing your hard days, but you aren’t getting enough recovery, which is where you’ll get your actual improvements.

That said, if it’s fun, keep doing it.


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Cool you’re racing at 64. Rest up and stretch between now and then. But don’t stretch that calf to pain. When the race is over, work some calf stretches in. Check out Joe Friels book Fast Over Fifty. Staying fit and fast at 64 is very different than folks racing in their primes. The fact that you’re riding four times a week is awesome. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Cool you're racing at 64. Rest up and stretch between now and then. But don't stretch that calf to pain. When the race is over, work some calf stretches in. Check out Joe Friels book Fast Over Fifty. Staying fit and fast at 64 is very different than folks racing in their primes. The fact that you're riding four times a week is awesome. Good luck!
Joel Friels book looks interesting, I ordered it one day shipping from Amazon. Thanks for that tip. I read somewhere that a major tear can take 6 weeks but if I have a minor muscle strain it may be better in 3 days so I have been taking it very easy and applying ice and heat hoping to go on a test ride today but it still feels sore so I'm taking it one day at a time. I'm just going to be really bummed to miss my first race after I put so much effort into getting in shape and I've already paid my entry fee. My recovery seems to be about three days after a good hard ride so I think I should be ok if I put 50% or 60% into a ride.
 

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Do some research on how to taper prior to a race. And do less than that to allow your injury to heal.

Do you prefer to show up at the start line injured, or start the race then have the injury progress. Too much riding now and one of those 2 will happen.

If you allow a week of rest you'll lose some fitness. But also I think you have a better chance of covering more distance than if you don't recover.

Which will you regret most:
1) not starting the race
2) not going as fast as you anticipated (because you can make it through but have a week of healing.

There can always be a 1st race, even if it's not this coming Tuesday. If Tuesday is your first race, there will always be a 2nd race. With more racing we become faster (typically) on subsequent races.

If you drive a race car with a rod knock, would you change the oil and go race it or would you get the rod knock fixed then race it? One of the two has a better outcome than the other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Do some research on how to taper prior to a race. And do less than that to allow your injury to heal.

Do you prefer to show up at the start line injured, or start the race then have the injury progress. Too much riding now and one of those 2 will happen.

If you allow a week of rest you'll lose some fitness. But also I think you have a better chance of covering more distance than if you don't recover.

Which will you regret most:
1) not starting the race
2) not going as fast as you anticipated (because you can make it through but have a week of healing.

There can always be a 1st race, even if it's not this coming Tuesday. If Tuesday is your first race, there will always be a 2nd race. With more racing we become faster (typically) on subsequent races.

If you drive a race car with a rod knock, would you change the oil and go race it or would you get the rod knock fixed then race it? One of the two has a better outcome than the other.
It's hard to ask for advice and get good advice different than what you wanted to hear. ;). The two regrets you listed gave me something to think about and you're right, there will always be a first race. That said, I read that a strained muscle can heal in 3 days but a major pull or tear can take much longer so I went out for an easy 6 mile ride on a local trail to see how it felt. Happy to report I didn't feel even a slight amount of pain or the feeling of my calf muscle giving out even on climbing. I can still feel it but it's more like a bruise when I massage it. I'm going for an easy but longer ride today. Still haven't decided if I will attend the race but I have 4 days to decide, including today.
 

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Now give it a day of rest. What feels good today may be painful tomorrow. The typical "feel it the next day" stuff.

I had a very painful injury number of years ago during run training. I was cruising right along at a fast clip, running a tempo run a little harder than tempo pace. Tempo is considered comfortably hard.

Five miles into the 6 mile loop, one step and my calf/Achilles was done. I nearly fell over. I could barely walk, but had to walk back the mile to the parking area. Pretty painful.

It took days to get better. It's been probably 6 years, or 5, since that injury so details are a bit vague. But I'd been mildly injured enough to understand what recovery means. And to know that recovery is part of training.

I'm glad you didn't have too much pain. But still, wait a day and see how it feels. You're too close now to have it flare up again and still have recovery time before the event.

I used internet guidance for structure training programs and ultimately built my own plan for each race I'd enter. I had easy days and hard days on the plan.
As I became faster and stronger I'd tell myself "train today for tomorrows workout", meaning although today is meant to be a workout day, I can't blow myself up to where tomorrow I cant have a quality run. The old plan was one giant workout when you actually think about it. Within that plan were rest days, breaks. Once beaten down the quality of workout diminishes. Taking a rest period allows the body to heal so we can hit it hard again.
Most important too is the taper period. I find my taper is different than others, which I'm sure is typical. I require more rest before an event than others. I don't lose fitness as fast as I'd suffer had I run those extra miles days before an event. That is something that comes from experience though, as to how much rest we require as we are all different.

Good luck at your race. Make sure to follow up with us as to how it went. Results aren't important -but hearing of your feelings will be nice. Kind of like the immediate reaction you have after the event, then a day later.
Sometimes I've finished an event hating life because I sucked so bad, then a day later I have reflected on how hard the course was relative to my training then become happy with my performance.

For your first race, a goal of finishing is a great goal. Anything more than that is a bonus and will keep you motivated for the next one to improve upon!
 

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At 65, I've noticed that the new rule is, "feel it TWO days later". I'm just feeling Thursdays' workout today.

Back in the day, when I was taking creatine, I never felt sore even after a really tough workout, but I just kept getting bigger and stronger. It felt strange to me, like un-natural.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Now give it a day of rest. What feels good today may be painful tomorrow. The typical "feel it the next day" stuff.

I had a very painful injury number of years ago during run training. I was cruising right along at a fast clip, running a tempo run a little harder than tempo pace. Tempo is considered comfortably hard.

Five miles into the 6 mile loop, one step and my calf/Achilles was done. I nearly fell over. I could barely walk, but had to walk back the mile to the parking area. Pretty painful.

It took days to get better. It's been probably 6 years, or 5, since that injury so details are a bit vague. But I'd been mildly injured enough to understand what recovery means. And to know that recovery is part of training......
Wow, that is scary. You really have a good understanding of yourself and your response to training. Something good to shoot for. I have always pushed myself hard during the 70's and 80's when I was competing in MX and a few mini tri's. Too hard now that I know more. So I really like the part about training today for tomorrow's workout and making it all one workout. Looking forward to incorporating that and what I learn in my new book by Joel Friel. Still haven't decided to race Tuesday but have to admit I really want to. I'll let you all know how it goes. Thanks for the input.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Monday night 5/13, reporting on last weeks MTB race Tuesday 5/7. I wasn't sure if I would make it or not due to my injury but after reading posts here and some other sources I did the ice/heat for a few days and also used a massage thingy set on high. All this really made my calf feel much better and Friday I took an easy ride and another on Sunday. No real pain and I kept up the therapy. Tuesday evening I showed up and pre-rode the course which took a little more effort than I expected but at least I got to see what I was getting into so happy about that.

Race time, two laps about 6 miles each lap. I was having a hard time adjusting my derailleur to shift smoothly and my chain came off three times on the first lap so basically my day was over but I trudged along and about a quarter way into the second lap my master link broke. I'm sure it was bad and waiting to go because it was giving me problems on my earlier rides too. I guess when they say don't reuse your ML it's for good reason. :eekster: I turned around and walked back the shorter way with my chain over my shoulders. Long, lonely 2 mile walk back literally into the sunset.

I walked through the party that was going on and packed up. So it was pretty disappointing and embarrassing and I wasn't very motivated until today when I visited the web site and signed up again for tomorrow. I actually had a moderate ride today which I wouldn't have normally done before a race but felt good. Nobody will recognize me anyway. :cool::cool:
 
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