Do you find your legs sore, tight, and achy when you get done with a race or the weekday hammer fest with your bike club? There are a few things you can do to reduce the amount of soreness or junk in your legs. Try some of the following on your next ride or race.
Start your training ride slow and finish slower. What I mean is warm up before you begin to hammer and when you finish your ride or race go right back out and ride for 10-15 minutes at your Zone 1 Heart Rate. Starting slow gives your legs/body a chance to warmup. Riding out after a race or ride allows your body to flush out built up lactic acid that contributes to sore muscles.
Stretching before a race or training ride is not recommended! Do not stretch cold muscles you will get hurt eventually. Instead as soon as you complete a cool down take 5-15 minutes to stretch. make sure to use stretches that work your quadriceps, ham strings, calves, lower back, abs, shoulders and neck.
You can also limit soreness by supplementing your in-ride nutrition. You can by sports drinks now that have protein or you can add Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) and Glutamine to your sports bottle. Also I have found that using a Calcium supplement can decrease the burn in my legs during a hard ride or race.
All of this will help you recover faster and get you back into the race!