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Thread: How Long to Get My Legs Back? page

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    How Long to Get My Legs Back?

    Primal Fuel
    I started PB week, and I'm still adjusting. The problem is that I am a mountain bike and cyclocross racer, and for the time being, plan to stick with a pretty conventional training plan for such. (I do plan on starting to do the five essential moves bodyweight exercises on my days off the bike.)

    The problem is that I got completely drained during my workouts last week, which is bad because I didn't go 100%. I think Friday's ride should have been easy if I were at normal strength, but since I was weaker than normal, trying to keep up with the group required full glycogen-burning effort. I woke up Saturday morning feeling like I had a hangover, and have basically just been resting and experimenting various levels of sweet potatoes and fruit trying to get the weak, empty feeling out of my legs.

    How long does it take to feel normal again for an athlete? I'm not sure if it's a not-enough-carbs problem or just an adjustment problem. I don't want to eat too many carbs, because I'm hoping for that satisfied, don't need to eat every two hours feeling that I keep hearing about. As it is, I'm still hungry every two hours and my muscles are weak. Advice?

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    doghead's Avatar
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    In my experience, it seems to depend on how drastic your change is. I went cold turkey, and as a Rugby player, I started feeling back to normal within a week or so. Once your body adjusts, everything will work better than before. Then after that you can start getting into enough carb/not enough carbs arguements with your body. Your body is always right, its just a matter of listening to it.

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    Donk's Avatar
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    You wont be able to ride at peak vo2 max in a glycogen deficient state so stop trying to demonise yourself! Get rid of that sram red and get a power lift rack. Look at all the pro riders dropping dead like flies from heart attack..all from consistant cardio training. Pantani, Tanner etc.

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    Catherine's Avatar
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    i don't know about Tanner but didn't Pantani OD on coke?

    my husband & I cycle & we just cut out grains 3 wks ago. Both of us felt kinda blah for 1 or 2 wks, but already now we feel better on the longer (2+ hr) rides, no bonking at all.

    I'm taking a break from racing (mental) but physically I think I could handle it. At the moment, we're both eating probably too much fruit right now (b/c I didn't want to bonk) & need to cut back on it. Maybe you should just temporarily eat more fruit?

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    Donk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catherine View Post
    i don't know about Tanner but didn't Pantani OD on coke?

    my husband & I cycle & we just cut out grains 3 wks ago. Both of us felt kinda blah for 1 or 2 wks, but already now we feel better on the longer (2+ hr) rides, no bonking at all.

    I'm taking a break from racing (mental) but physically I think I could handle it. At the moment, we're both eating probably too much fruit right now (b/c I didn't want to bonk) & need to cut back on it. Maybe you should just temporarily eat more fruit?
    Its all the cardio Pantani did. Those guys dont take drugs cos they test all the time. Even Lance has never tested positive. He got cancer from all the rice and pasta and bananas you have to eat to ride that fast. Id rather not ride at all than have cancer.

    Watch the fructose in fruit, it will rot your teeth out and give you syndrome x aka obesity in about a year or 2.

    I had a cannondale super 6 with SRM and full super record 11 spd on it and sold it the next day when I read Primal Blueprint and how bad cardio is. Im lucky I found out before it was too late. My Dad had just bought it for me but I sold it and bought a big stash of natural supplements instead. Way better investment IMHO.
    Last edited by Donk; 09-05-2010 at 10:33 PM.

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    It took me about 3 weeks to get my energy back. I found an article talking about two different explorers that spent >12 months each with Inuits back in the 1800's (with no carbs). Their journals indicated 2-3 weeks to make the transition.

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    Interesting that the trolls prompted a few more responses to the thread even if they didn't have anything useful to say themselves. Yesterday was day 22 of PB, and it was the worst I felt post-ride since week one. I'm still feeling kind of bad from it even today.

    I made through the worst of the low carb flu stuff by the end of the second week, and I feel pretty normal again in my day to day life. I still feel pretty weak on the bike, however, even when I eat gel or bananas immediately before or during the ride. So immediate carb intake doesn't seem to do much.

    I'm wondering if I'm depleted in potassium or magnesium or something, rather than suffering from lack of glycogen. My calves have been semi-cramping when I wake up in the morning, but luckily no full-on charlie horse. My general baseline of aches and pains (neck, lower back, hips) has actually increased even though my amount of physical activity is has be cut in half due to lack of energy. That's a bit disturbing since I should have fewer pains on zero grains (lame rhyme).

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    Chairdr's Avatar
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    muscle memory is an amazing thing
    "Don't dream it, be it"

    -Dr. Frank-N-Furter

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chairdr View Post
    muscle memory is an amazing thing
    Are you saying that as a good thing or bad thing in this case?

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    Prior to going PB I ran 20 miles a week, all short (3.5) fast runs. I switched to PB because despite my activity level I was about 20 lbs overweight. In my first month I lost a ton of weight and I had the same problems you did - lack of endurance, leg cramps, general fatigue. Instead of increasing carbs I just stopped all exercise other than long slow walks with the dog . Eventually my body adjusted but in retrospect it probably took 2 months to feel completely normal. Honestly, I still get calf cramps if I'm going VLC and not pounding water. Avocados are supposed to have a lot of potassium and I eat tons of those...can't help if they help with the leg cramps.

    You sound a lot more active than I ever was and it doesn't sound like you're trying to lose any weight. If I were you I would check out Robb Wolf's podcasts where he talks about eating for a performance bias (versus weight loss bias or health/longevity bias). I would imagine he would say to aim for 150 to 200 grams of carbs per day - sweet potato, yams, berries, papaya, bananas. For someone as active as you are dipping below 100 gms of carbs per day would be tough.

    That said, if you're willing to take a month off of biking I would imagine you could really get a handle on your food if you did what I did and teach your body to run off fat, deal with the adjustment period, and then add good carbs and biking back in.

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