Just kidding. Sort of.
In my last post, I mentioned some niggles that were bothering me so I was going to take some weeks off working the legs. Around this same time I had noticed that my speed on the bike was actually decreasing. No idea why but it was. Age? That hip thing? Didn't know.
So I took a few weeks off the weights but I did keep riding. Then something odd happened: my speed on the bike was ticking up. Noticeably. What the heck?
When the pain in my hip went away, I didn't start up with the legs right away. Soon, my speed on the bike was back to normal. I should mention here that I'm not very fast on the bike but I know how "fast" I should have been going. What was happening?
My theory is that it was the leg workouts. They were just too much overall so while my legs were getting stronger in the squat department, they couldn't recover enough for the bike rides, so my speed decreased.
So, what to do about my legs? Frankly, I knew my legs were strong from bike riding. Maybe not squat strong but my calves are bigger from bike riding than they ever were from weights. Same with my thighs. Did I even need to work my legs off the bike? Maybe not but I still wanted to. Why? Osteoporosis. See, riding the bike, while a great workout, doesn't put much stress on one's skeleton. Bones react the same way to stress (i.e. weights) the same way muscles do: they get stronger. Cyclists have been shown to be a bit weak in the bone density department. So, at the very least, I wanted to do some weight training for my legs that would help my bones out (i.e. squats).
What I came up with is that after a weekend where I do a very long ride (50 - 100 miles), I would do a leg workout. My legs would be pretty trashed anyway so the workout wouldn't mess me up anymore than that. Plus my bones would get the stress they needed. I would keep the reps higher than before (10 reps vs. 6), so that should keep me from getting weird injuries.
I have been doing this for several months and all is well. Speed is staying where it should be (or getting faster...sometimes). No new niggles.