Rest. A few weeks ago when I planned to ride Saturdays TT event I had envisaged this week to be a nice, easy, calming and relaxing affair with a couple of 'recovery/maintenance' rides just to keep loose and to keep my legs reminded of how to pedal. Stretching has helped my muscles immensly and try to do 20-30 mins a day, a session at work and one when I get home. My muscles used to get really tight after a hard ride and could take 3-4 days to recover. It's taken about 2 months of stretching to feel the benefits as I was extremely sceptical but stuck with it as a trial.
This week my legs have been aching ( due to numerous sprints up hills on Sun) as I previously said but movement has been unrestricted. Once a quick 5min warmup has been accomplished Im firing on all cyclinders and the aches disappear.
What else I think has helped is the height of seatpost. Theres normally alot of discussion on forums over pictures people send in where other peeps have said saddle too low when I think its about right. The pros seem to have their saddles at an extreme height which us mortals try to emmulate. Having it too high can overstretch the muscles which causes them to do more unnecessary work when you come to contract them and from experience took me longer to recover. I beleive I have read that some pros do extended stretch sessions of 30mins to 1hr just holding one position for that time which is why they are able to have such a high position in comparison to the leg extension. I could be totally wrong though.
I started off by adjusting saddle using the heel to pedal method, which does feel low but has worked for me. Got less tired and recovered quicker with a negligible loss in speed ( Could possibly be due to the excess of food Ive been consuming). I have been able to gradually up the height week by week, milllimetres at a time, without ill effect possibly due to the stretching so that I get more aero. Used to get all sorts of odd tingling sensations as if the circualtion is bad which have gone.
Tuesdays commute saw winds of 25km/h and 'in'accuweather had gusts of 65km/h. Westerly with less fierce Northerly too. Down Victoria Av with the 'tail wind' I reached 24mph, not for long. Pantani said he managed 31mph which, theorectically, should have been easy for me too. Average slightly lower due to a climb I put in at the beginning and the Garmin kept on counting for extended periods once stopped. All the riding had to be done sat down because standing instantly lost a few mph.
Going home at 2am there was a Southerly 7 km/h. A section where I head North I can do 21mph with a head wind with this 'tail wind' I managed 19mph. The air felt like it was gusting at me as fast as earlier on, in reality there was only a slight breeze.... the dreaded cold dense air. My fingers and toes were numb after 10miles ugh. Average only good because the legs were in good condition and was able to get speed up using energy zapping standing efforts, or did that slow me down.
To Work Distance 20miles Av Sp 18.3mph
To Home Distance 20miles Av Sp 19.3mph