After doing my century on Friday I was sore the rest of the day, especially going down stairs. This persisted through Saturday. I felt a lot better by Sunday. I just did a really easy recovery spin on Saturday, then on Sunday I walked with hand weights for 20 minutes, then did an easy ride on the recumbent for 40, which felt great, nice and relaxing. On Monday I felt up to doing a upper body hard day plus some more walking with hand weights. Tuesday I did my usual group ride, 2 and a half hours on my upright. But I kept the pace easy by making it a social ride and hanging out more towards the back of the group.
After an easy hour ride today, I have my first hard ride scheduled Thursday. But it will be much shorter than my rides leading up to the Century have been. There are two local challenges I’ve decided to focus on, the first is improving my time climbing East Dunne Avenue, currently 13 minutes. The second is beating my time uphill walking the very steep Barnard road, for which my current record is 11:43 minutes. That will also motivate me to do more uphill walking and hiking in training. I’d like to get back into hiking, which I had neglected quite a bit during the pandemic.
The recovery from a hard century ride noted above is in sharp contrast to my experience recovering from marathons. In running there is an eccentric contraction with each step as a natural part of the stride. This leads to muscle damage during long hard efforts like marathons. I would be very sore for well over a week, including the difficulty going down stairs. And it would often take me almost three weeks before I could run again. Contrast this to just a couple of days of soreness after a hard century ride. There must be some muscle damage, judging by still having soreness going down stairs. But it must be much more minor since it resolves itself so quickly.