Do you feel any pain?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Per ElmsäTer, Apr 17, 2003.

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  1. An interesting topic appeared in a nearby climbing thread and I figured it could be worth it's
    own thread.

    Do you feel any pain and where do you feel it?

    I've never felt any and have been wondering what others meant. I always thought it was some kind of
    symbolic pain they talked about. Then lately I've read that well trained pro bicyclists don't feel
    any pain but amateurs
    do.

    Well I'm not a pro and I'm 52 and still don't feel any pain. I'm in fairly good shape now but a year
    ago I wasn't and there was no pain then either. My muscles just get heavy and I have to use more and
    more willpower to keep going. If I continue I will go into a deep oxygen debt until I reach a point
    where I cannot breathe anymore. It's not that I can't inhale. It's more like I can't exhale so there
    is no sense in inhaling since my lungs are full of waste instead of empty. Sometimes I can feel pain
    in my windpipes at this point.

    If I've gone too far into oxygen debt I can barely move forward until I've caught up with my
    breathing again. It is definitely like slamming into a wall, especially since there is no real
    warning except my laboured breathing.

    How do you experience lactic acid?

    --
    Perre

    You have to be smarter than a robot to reply.
     
    Tags:


  2. Mike S.

    Mike S. Guest

    "Per Elmsäter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > An interesting topic appeared in a nearby climbing thread and I figured it could be worth it's
    > own thread.
    >
    > Do you feel any pain and where do you feel it?
    >
    > I've never felt any and have been wondering what others meant. I always thought it was some kind
    > of symbolic pain they talked about. Then lately I've read that well trained pro bicyclists don't
    > feel any pain but
    amateurs
    > do.
    >
    > Well I'm not a pro and I'm 52 and still don't feel any pain. I'm in fairly good shape now but a
    > year ago I wasn't and there was no pain then either.
    My
    > muscles just get heavy and I have to use more and more willpower to keep going. If I continue I
    > will go into a deep oxygen debt until I reach a
    point
    > where I cannot breathe anymore. It's not that I can't inhale. It's more
    like
    > I can't exhale so there is no sense in inhaling since my lungs are full of waste instead of empty.
    > Sometimes I can feel pain in my windpipes at this point.
    >
    > If I've gone too far into oxygen debt I can barely move forward until I've caught up with my
    > breathing again. It is definitely like slamming into a wall, especially since there is no real
    > warning except my laboured breathing.
    >
    > How do you experience lactic acid?
    >
    For me, it seems that the harder I do, the more there's a "burn" in the muscles of the leg. There is
    a point where the "burn" in the legs overrules the brain's desire to keep going at that intensity. I
    slow down till the burn goes away.

    Lately, I've been trying to just ride through the burn, but am having little success.

    That help?

    Mike
     
  3. Mattw

    Mattw Guest

    Mike S. wrote:

    >>Do you feel any pain and where do you feel it?
    >>

    Find a wall. Sit with your back against the wall and your knees bent at 90 degrees so your lower
    legs are straight and your upper legs are parallel to the floor. Nothing is supporting your body
    weight except your legs. (your ass is not sitting on anything)

    Stay there for 10 minutes.

    Write us back.
     
  4. MattW wrote:
    > Mike S. wrote:
    >
    > >>Do you feel any pain and where do you feel it?
    > >>
    >
    > Find a wall. Sit with your back against the wall and your knees bent at 90 degrees so your lower
    > legs are straight and your upper legs are parallel to the floor. Nothing is supporting your body
    > weight except your legs. (your ass is not sitting on anything)
    >
    > Stay there for 10 minutes.
    >
    > Write us back.

    Yes after a couple of minutes my upper leg started trembling and some time after that there was a
    slight warm burning sensation, just before I collapsed. Not really painful but felt more like a
    burn from my muscle getting warmer. I was already very fatigued at this point and was willing
    myself to go on.

    So why don't I feel this on the bike? Why is this connected to my breathing when on the bike and not
    when leaning against the wall ;)

    The logic then would be that if my aerobic capacity was better I'd get there when ridin my bike too.
    But that doesn't go with what everybody else is saying about the pain going away as you get fitter
    not the other way around.

    --
    Perre

    You have to be smarter than a robot to reply.
     
  5. Mike S.

    Mike S. Guest

    "Per Elmsäter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:p[email protected]...
    > MattW wrote:
    > > Mike S. wrote:
    > >
    > > >>Do you feel any pain and where do you feel it?
    > > >>
    > >
    > > Find a wall. Sit with your back against the wall and your knees bent at 90 degrees so your lower
    > > legs are straight and your upper legs are parallel to the floor. Nothing is supporting your body
    > > weight except your legs. (your ass is not sitting on anything)
    > >
    > > Stay there for 10 minutes.
    > >
    > > Write us back.
    >
    > Yes after a couple of minutes my upper leg started trembling and some time after that there was a
    > slight warm burning sensation, just before I collapsed. Not really painful but felt more like a
    > burn from my muscle getting warmer. I was already very fatigued at this point and was willing
    > myself to go on.
    >
    > So why don't I feel this on the bike? Why is this connected to my
    breathing
    > when on the bike and not when leaning against the wall ;)
    >
    > The logic then would be that if my aerobic capacity was better I'd get
    there
    > when ridin my bike too. But that doesn't go with what everybody else is saying about the pain
    > going away as you get fitter not the other way
    around.
    >
    The pain doesn't go away, it just gets further into the "red zone." Once you're going harder than
    your Lactate Threshold, the pain'll come. If you ride consistently below where your lactic acid
    stops being removed and builds up in your legs, you won't have the burn.

    Mike
     
  6. Raptor

    Raptor Guest

    Per Elmsäter wrote:
    > An interesting topic appeared in a nearby climbing thread and I figured it could be worth it's
    > own thread.
    >
    > Do you feel any pain and where do you feel it?
    >
    > I've never felt any and have been wondering what others meant. I always thought it was some kind
    > of symbolic pain they talked about. Then lately I've read that well trained pro bicyclists don't
    > feel any pain but amateurs
    > do.
    >
    > Well I'm not a pro and I'm 52 and still don't feel any pain. I'm in fairly good shape now but a
    > year ago I wasn't and there was no pain then either. My muscles just get heavy and I have to use
    > more and more willpower to keep going. If I continue I will go into a deep oxygen debt until I
    > reach a point where I cannot breathe anymore. It's not that I can't inhale. It's more like I can't
    > exhale so there is no sense in inhaling since my lungs are full of waste instead of empty.
    > Sometimes I can feel pain in my windpipes at this point.
    >
    > If I've gone too far into oxygen debt I can barely move forward until I've caught up with my
    > breathing again. It is definitely like slamming into a wall, especially since there is no real
    > warning except my laboured breathing.
    >
    > How do you experience lactic acid?
    >
    > --
    > Perre

    I responded in kind to that other thread, but I erred.

    Besides the pain of cramping and occasionally (from tackling an effort that's way too big, way too
    quickly) getting the burning throat/lungs, I can ride hard enough to feel the burning pain from
    lactic acid in my muscles. It's a very transitory thing, easily shaken by backing off a bit for a
    bit. But after that point, the muscles aren't as strong until I fully recover.

    I'm finding that this pain, as well as cramping, seems to be more accessible in an indoor spin
    class. I suspect the relative heat has something to do with it. There's no cooling breeze in a spin
    class, except for a fan which is inadequate.

    However, I can't ride through this pain. My muscles are pretty much done when they start burning and
    the only solution is to back off on the effort.

    I can also reach a point of muscular failure without the burn of lactic acid buildup. In fact, it's
    more common than the burning failure.

    --
    --
    Lynn Wallace http://www.xmission.com/~lawall "Let me tell you what else I'm worried about. I'm
    worried about an opponent who uses nation building and the military in the same sentence. See, our
    view of the military is for the military to be properly prepared to fight and win war and therefore,
    prevent war from happening in the first place." George Bush, Nov. 6, 2000
     
  7. Jeff Jones

    Jeff Jones Guest

    "Per Elmsäter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > An interesting topic appeared in a nearby climbing thread and I figured it could be worth it's
    > own thread.
    >
    > Do you feel any pain and where do you feel it?
    >
    hmm, it depends.

    If I'm fresh then I usually don't - it's the lungs that hurt more. If I've been going for a three
    hours and am in the middle of hill intervals, then the legs start to ache. Also, if I've trained
    hard the day(s) before then they hurt. When I was younger, I found that the legs were the limiting
    factor rather than the lungs.

    Jeff
     
  8. Wayne

    Wayne Guest

    > Mike Said, "If you ride consistently below where your lactic acid stops being removed and builds
    > up in your legs, you won't have the burn.

    Lactic acid never stops being removed. It's either taken up by muscle fibres within the working
    muscle that are working below their oxidative capacity and oxidized or it's released into the
    general circulation to be used by the heart or reformed into glucose in the liver. When lactic acid
    levels increase in the muscle it's simply that the production of it from high rates of glycolysis
    are outstripping the ability to use it not that your body has stopped removing it.

    I'd also be somewhat hesistant to ascribe the exercise "burn" entirely to lactic acid. In
    weightlifting and the example of the "wall sit" the high forces (and continuous nature of the
    latter) being produced are probably occluding blood flow to the muscle which in itself is
    uncomfortable. Additionally there are people with McArdle's disease that lack one of the enzymes
    necessary for energy production via glycolysis. Yet they experience "burning" and show extreme
    intolerance to endurance exercise despite lacking the ability to produce lactic acid.
     
  9. Kyle Legate

    Kyle Legate Guest

    Wayne wrote:
    >
    > I'd also be somewhat hesistant to ascribe the exercise "burn" entirely to lactic acid. In
    > weightlifting and the example of the "wall sit" the high forces (and continuous nature of the
    > latter) being produced are probably occluding blood flow to the muscle which in itself is
    > uncomfortable. Additionally there are people with McArdle's disease that lack one of the enzymes
    > necessary for energy production via glycolysis. Yet they experience "burning" and show extreme
    > intolerance to endurance exercise despite lacking the ability to produce lactic acid.
    >
    McArdle's disease is a deficiency in the ability for muscles to break down glycogen. The muscles can
    still use glucose from the blood for energy, as well as some amino acids, which can be converted
    into pyruvate. The assertion that the muscles cannot produce lactic acid is false.
     
  10. Mike S.

    Mike S. Guest

    "Wayne" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > Mike Said, "If you ride consistently below where your lactic acid stops being removed and builds
    > > up in your legs, you won't have the burn.
    >
    > Lactic acid never stops being removed. It's either taken up by muscle fibres within the working
    > muscle that are working below their oxidative capacity and oxidized or it's released into the
    > general circulation to be used by the heart or reformed into glucose in the liver. When lactic
    > acid levels increase in the muscle it's simply that the production of it from high rates of
    > glycolysis are outstripping the ability to use it not that your body has stopped removing it.
    >
    > I'd also be somewhat hesistant to ascribe the exercise "burn" entirely to lactic acid. In
    > weightlifting and the example of the "wall sit" the high forces (and continuous nature of the
    > latter) being produced are probably occluding blood flow to the muscle which in itself is
    > uncomfortable. Additionally there are people with McArdle's disease that lack one of the enzymes
    > necessary for energy production via glycolysis. Yet they experience "burning" and show extreme
    > intolerance to endurance exercise despite lacking the ability to produce lactic acid.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, never once said I was an MD. The simplified version works well for us glycogen
    depleted cyclists...

    Mike
     
  11. Warren

    Warren Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Jeff Jones
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > "Per Elmsäter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > An interesting topic appeared in a nearby climbing thread and I figured it could be worth it's
    > > own thread.
    > >
    > > Do you feel any pain and where do you feel it?
    > >
    > hmm, it depends.
    >
    > If I'm fresh then I usually don't - it's the lungs that hurt more. If I've been going for a three
    > hours and am in the middle of hill intervals, then the legs start to ache. Also, if I've trained
    > hard the day(s) before then they hurt. When I was younger, I found that the legs were the limiting
    > factor rather than the lungs.

    This is why my coach has given me two groups of HR zones, one based on LT and the other based
    on VO2max. On days I'm feeling rested I use the second group of zones and some slightly
    higher cadences.

    -WG
     
  12. Wayne

    Wayne Guest

    "> McArdle's disease is a deficiency in the ability for muscles to break down
    > glycogen. The muscles can still use glucose from the blood for energy, as well as some amino
    > acids, which can be converted into pyruvate. The assertion that the muscles cannot produce lactic
    > acid is false.

    Yes, I should have been more specific. But my point is still valid. From what I've read glycolysis
    using glucose alone is not sufficient to produce lactic acid accumulation in person's with McArdle's
    disease. Makes sense since in normal folks, muscle glycogen supplies roughly 80% of the substrate
    for glycolysis. So while they still may be able to produce a limited about of lactic acid, it
    doesn't accumulate and yet they still ge the "burn".
     
  13. Andy Coggan

    Andy Coggan Guest

    "Mike S." <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "Wayne" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > > Mike Said, "If you ride consistently below where your lactic acid stops being removed and
    > > > builds up in your legs, you won't have the burn.
    > >
    > > Lactic acid never stops being removed. It's either taken up by muscle fibres within the working
    > > muscle that are working below their oxidative capacity and oxidized or it's released into the
    > > general circulation to be used by the heart or reformed into glucose in the liver. When lactic
    > > acid levels increase in the muscle it's simply that the production of it from high rates of
    > > glycolysis are outstripping the ability to use it not that your body has stopped removing it.
    > >
    > > I'd also be somewhat hesistant to ascribe the exercise "burn" entirely to lactic acid. In
    > > weightlifting and the example of the "wall sit" the high forces (and continuous nature of the
    > > latter) being produced are probably occluding blood flow to the muscle which in itself is
    > > uncomfortable. Additionally there are people with McArdle's disease that lack one of the enzymes
    > > necessary for energy production via glycolysis. Yet they experience "burning" and show extreme
    > > intolerance to endurance exercise despite lacking the ability to produce lactic acid.
    >
    > Yeah, yeah, yeah, never once said I was an MD. The simplified version
    works
    > well for us glycogen depleted cyclists...

    At the risk of offending many physicians, whatever makes you think an MD would understand
    such stuff?

    Your "glycogen depleted" joke is an apt one, since this is a perfect example of a situation in which
    lactate production/accumulation and muscle pain are dissociated.

    Andy Coggan
     
  14. Kyle Legate

    Kyle Legate Guest

    Wayne wrote:
    >
    > Yes, I should have been more specific. But my point is still valid. From what I've read glycolysis
    > using glucose alone is not sufficient to produce lactic acid accumulation in person's with
    > McArdle's disease. Makes sense since in normal folks, muscle glycogen supplies roughly 80% of the
    > substrate for glycolysis. So while they still may be able to produce a limited about of lactic
    > acid, it doesn't accumulate and yet they still ge the "burn".
    >
    Low pH can cause the burn. There are more determinants of low pH than lactate.
     
  15. Andy Coggan

    Andy Coggan Guest

    "Kyle Legate" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Wayne wrote:
    > >
    > > Yes, I should have been more specific. But my point is still valid. From what I've read
    > > glycolysis using glucose alone is not sufficient to produce lactic acid accumulation in person's
    > > with McArdle's disease. Makes sense since in normal folks, muscle glycogen supplies roughly 80%
    > > of the substrate for glycolysis. So while they still may be able to produce a limited about of
    > > lactic acid, it doesn't accumulate and yet they still ge the "burn".
    > >
    > Low pH can cause the burn. There are more determinants of low pH than lactate.

    Such as?

    FWIW, McArdle's patients actually become alkalotic during intense (for them, anyway - most of us
    wouldn't consider 10-50 W very intense) exercise.

    Andy Coggan
     
  16. Bosaci

    Bosaci Guest

    "Per Elmsäter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:p[email protected]...
    > MattW wrote:
    > > Mike S. wrote:
    > >
    > > >>Do you feel any pain and where do you feel it?
    > > >>
    > >
    > > Find a wall. Sit with your back against the wall and your knees bent at 90 degrees so your lower
    > > legs are straight and your upper legs are parallel to the floor. Nothing is supporting your body
    > > weight except your legs. (your ass is not sitting on anything)
    > >
    > > Stay there for 10 minutes.
    > >
    > > Write us back.
    >
    > Yes after a couple of minutes my upper leg started trembling and some time after that there was a
    > slight warm burning sensation, just before I collapsed. Not really painful but felt more like a
    > burn from my muscle getting warmer. I was already very fatigued at this point and was willing
    > myself to go on.
    >
    > So why don't I feel this on the bike? Why is this connected to my
    breathing
    > when on the bike and not when leaning against the wall ;)
    >
    > The logic then would be that if my aerobic capacity was better I'd get
    there
    > when ridin my bike too. But that doesn't go with what everybody else is saying about the pain
    > going away as you get fitter not the other way
    around.

    If you really want to experience pain, find a long steep hill and attempt to climb it in a high gear
    while maintaining a fast cadence. If your lungs/heart give out before your legs hurt then you may
    have a cardio/respiratory problem and should probably see a doctor and get tested. Or it could mean
    that you need more cardio/respiratory work.
     
  17. Raptor wrote:
    > I'm finding that this pain, as well as cramping, seems to be more accessible in an indoor spin
    > class. I suspect the relative heat has something to do with it. There's no cooling breeze in a
    > spin class, except for a fan which is inadequate.
    >
    > However, I can't ride through this pain. My muscles are pretty much done when they start burning
    > and the only solution is to back off on the effort.
    >
    > I can also reach a point of muscular failure without the burn of lactic acid buildup. In fact,
    > it's more common than the burning failure.
    >

    Looks like there might be hope for me then ;)

    --
    Perre

    You have to be smarter than a robot to reply.
     
  18. bosaci wrote:
    > "Per Elmsäter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:p[email protected]... If you really want to experience pain, find a long
    > steep hill and attempt to climb it in a high gear while maintaining a fast cadence. If your
    > lungs/heart give out before your legs hurt then you may have a cardio/respiratory problem and
    > should probably see a doctor and get tested. Or it could mean that you need more
    > cardio/respiratory work.

    But this is exactly what started this thread. I don't feel any pain or burn going up a long hill.
    Several others in the climbing thread say the same and I figured it would be interesting to dig
    deeper into this. Actually I was very aware of this climbing hills today and at one point I thought
    I detected the beginning of a burning sensation. But *no* it faded away before it begun ;(

    I'm 52 today and there are many people that outclimb me in our club, but I also outclimb a lot of
    others. It was the same when I was 20 and I did definitely not have a cardio/respiratory problem
    then. Placing well in cross country running and obstacle courses for instance. So for me it has been
    the same whether I've been fit or not. Although I have plenty other signals and symptoms that keep
    me from going and going and going. If I don't run out of breath my muscles will just get too heavy
    to move at a certain point.

    --
    Perre

    You have to be smarter than a robot to reply.
     
  19. Wayne

    Wayne Guest

    "Kyle Legate" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Wayne wrote:
    > >
    > > Yes, I should have been more specific. But my point is still valid. From what I've read
    > > glycolysis using glucose alone is not sufficient to produce lactic acid accumulation in person's
    > > with McArdle's disease. Makes sense since in normal folks, muscle glycogen supplies roughly 80%
    > > of the substrate for glycolysis. So while they still may be able to produce a limited about of
    > > lactic acid, it doesn't accumulate and yet they still ge the "burn".
    > >
    > Low pH can cause the burn. There are more determinants of low pH than lactate.

    So, it sounds like we agree with one another that the "burn" or muscle pain from exercise that is
    almost universally attributed to lactic acid may have (and probably does) have other causes.

    Wayne
     
  20. "Per Elmsäter" <[email protected]> writes:
    > But this is exactly what started this thread. I don't feel any pain or burn going up a long hill.
    > Several others in the climbing thread say the same and I figured it would be interesting to dig
    > deeper into this. Actually I was very aware of this climbing hills today and at one point I
    > thought I detected the beginning of a burning sensation. But *no* it faded away before it begun ;(

    What happens if you shift to a higher gear and try to maintain the same cadence? And again one more
    gear? Raise your intensity until it's a very difficult choice to continue working at that level
    versus easing up. I think that's the "pain" people are talking about in this thread.

    It is - or seems - always humanly possible to go harder than you are going, at any given point in
    time, on a bike. What makes you choose to not go harder is "pain". "If my life depended on it, I
    could have been first up the hill, but it wasn't worth it to me today." The story goes that a
    soldier ran 26 miles to Athens from the battle of Marathon, delivered his message and then he died.
    I bet he felt pain during that run.

    I've been thinking about this thread a lot, the last few rides I've done. When I first read the
    thread I thought "Sure there's pain!". Then I did the rides with the intensities that cause me
    "pain" and it's not really pain but significant discomfort. In my memory it's pain, but when I'm on
    the bike it's just very uncomfortable. I can go harder, but my heart, lungs and legs provide lots of
    feedback that they are suffering, and it's this feedback that's uncomfortable. If I cross the line
    (anaerobic threshhold) where I'm going too hard for my legs to recover (lactic acid build-up) my
    legs will burn, but it's still not the same kind of pain as bodily harm. If I push it as hard as I
    can up the top of a steep climb that gets steeper at the top, I will be at the limit at the top, but
    it's discomfort, not pain.

    What's interesting to me is that the discomfort on the bike is pain only in my memory.

    The most "painful" rides I know of:

    40k time trial intense climbs up long, steep hills (Mt. Diablo, the Death Ride passes) intervals
    anything with a bonk at the end

    If you're not feeling intense discomfort, ride harder.

    Morgan
     
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