It happens to all of us. No matter how often you train, how well you rest, how much recovery drink you suck down…eventually you have a tough day on the bike due to the dreaded Dead Legs Syndrome. Often due to some issue unbeknownst to you such as illness, overtraining, stress, bad sushi…Anyhow your body just doesn’t have it. And worse your legs feel almost numb. They don’t respond when the brain says go or more importantly when the race says go. So you suffer. Except instead of suffering like usual (tongue hanging out, eyes bleeding, lactic acid dripping out of your mouth), you suffer the silent torture of not even being able to push your body to the level of true suffering. This the worst of all the pains felt on a bike.
What can you do about it? Well you could read the completely useless article on Livestrong.com = Cycling and Tired Legs. (I know…I am way too harsh) Or you could turn around and go home. But if you are like me and an eternal optimist, you put your head down and hope they come around. And sometimes they do. Although, other times your legs just never accept the task at hand.
Of course, this is familiar to me since I just experienced this on the Gateway ride last Saturday. I held on though and fought it out for a few hours in the 25 mph wind. But they never really came around and I suffered to hold onto the group and take my meager pulls when I should/could. There was no attacking that day, no bridging up to the break, no sprint. No there was only silent suffering and hope.