Hamstring tightness\soreness while riding

Discussion in 'Triathlon' started by Topdog, Apr 5, 2003.

  1. Topdog

    Topdog Guest

    Once again today, when I was riding I noticed a lot of tightness and soreness in my hamstrings.
    This is fairly unusual for me - this never used to happen. However, now that I have started
    running, I have increasingly noticed this problem. It could be due to the running, or it could be
    something else.

    Any ideas on what I can do to make this either stop or be better?
     
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  2. topdog wrote:
    >
    > Once again today, when I was riding I noticed a lot of tightness and soreness in my hamstrings.
    > This is fairly unusual for me - this never used to happen. However, now that I have started
    > running, I have increasingly noticed this problem. It could be due to the running, or it could be
    > something else.
    >
    > Any ideas on what I can do to make this either stop or be better?

    Runners have notoriously tight hamstrings so your theory makes sense.

    First, do the obvious and try to stretch your hamstrings. I highly recommend the book, "Relax Into
    Stretch" by Pavel Tsatsouline if you're into learning about stretching in general. If you want to
    find it on the publisher's web site, you can use the links in my site below. Disclaimer: If you buy
    it through those links I will make a small commission. Truth: A year and a half ago I couldn't touch
    my toes and now I can punch the floor with my fists while standing with my knees locked and I'm a
    few inches away from a full side split. The book gives excellent advice and it's all about learning
    to master muscle tension and not trying to stretch the tissues in your body which weren't meant to
    stretch in the first place. It is the most safe and most effective approach to stretching I've ever
    tried and these are the best results I've ever gotten.

    Second, many people who both run and bicycle prefer a more forward position on the bicycle - I know
    I do. You might experiment with moving your saddle a bit further forward on the rails and seeing if
    that helps you. Of course, once you make more than a little change you'll also need to think about
    saddle height, reach to the bars, etc., but it can be well worth the time it takes to experiment
    with this. The reasoning I've heard for this is that having your saddle further back places
    relatively more of the load on your quads while moving it forward shifts some of the load to the
    hamstrings. Since runners tend to have stronger hamstrings, it makes sense that the most comfortable
    position on a bike for them will allow more hamstring involvement. For some folks switching to a
    no-offset seatpost is required to get the right saddle fore/aft position - it's either that or a
    slightly steeper seat tube angle. I'm not talking about a tri-specific, hands on the aerobars kind
    of position here, just a normal road riding position on a normal road bike. For myself I've learned
    that many mid-sides road bikes have a 73 degree seat tube angle and, for that angle, I need a
    no-offset post. I had a frame custom-built for me with a 74-degree seat tube angle and can use a
    standard offset seat post.

    Hope that helps you some.

    -S-
    --
    http://www.kbnj.com for information on kettlebells
     
  3. Topdog

    Topdog Guest

    Steve Freides <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > topdog wrote:
    > >
    > > Once again today, when I was riding I noticed a lot of tightness and soreness in my hamstrings.
    > > This is fairly unusual for me - this never used to happen. However, now that I have started
    > > running, I have increasingly noticed this problem. It could be due to the running, or it could
    > > be something else.
    > >
    > > Any ideas on what I can do to make this either stop or be better?
    >
    > Runners have notoriously tight hamstrings so your theory makes sense.
    >
    > First, do the obvious and try to stretch your hamstrings. I highly recommend the book, "Relax Into
    > Stretch" by Pavel Tsatsouline if you're into learning about stretching in general. If you want to
    > find it on the publisher's web site, you can use the links in my site below. Disclaimer: If you
    > buy it through those links I will make a small commission. Truth: A year and a half ago I couldn't
    > touch my toes and now I can punch the floor with my fists while standing with my knees locked and
    > I'm a few inches away from a full side split. The book gives excellent advice and it's all about
    > learning to master muscle tension and not trying to stretch the tissues in your body which weren't
    > meant to stretch in the first place. It is the most safe and most effective approach to stretching
    > I've ever tried and these are the best results I've ever gotten.
    >
    > Second, many people who both run and bicycle prefer a more forward position on the bicycle - I
    > know I do. You might experiment with moving your saddle a bit further forward on the rails and
    > seeing if that helps you. Of course, once you make more than a little change you'll also need to
    > think about saddle height, reach to the bars, etc., but it can be well worth the time it takes to
    > experiment with this. The reasoning I've heard for this is that having your saddle further back
    > places relatively more of the load on your quads while moving it forward shifts some of the load
    > to the hamstrings. Since runners tend to have stronger hamstrings, it makes sense that the most
    > comfortable position on a bike for them will allow more hamstring involvement. For some folks
    > switching to a no-offset seatpost is required to get the right saddle fore/aft position - it's
    > either that or a slightly steeper seat tube angle. I'm not talking about a tri-specific, hands on
    > the aerobars kind of position here, just a normal road riding position on a normal road bike. For
    > myself I've learned that many mid-sides road bikes have a 73 degree seat tube angle and, for that
    > angle, I need a no-offset post. I had a frame custom-built for me with a 74-degree seat tube angle
    > and can use a standard offset seat post.
    >
    > Hope that helps you some.
    >
    > -S-

    Thanks - will have to check it out. I have been trying to stretch a lot more, but I've never done it
    before riding. I will have to check that out next time out. I am just unaccustomed to hamstring
    tightness. Then again, I am unaccustomed to the way I felt IN ENTIRETY yesterday - a 50 mi ride
    (normal for me) felt like a century, and my legs felt like rubber the whole way! :-( I will be
    trying to adjust my training schedule and diet, and that may help some, though I suspect that I will
    never have the same power in my legs as long as I am running. (I'm also trying to lose some weight,
    which I'm sure doesn't help make one feel rested and powerful!)

    I'm not sure if the post position will help, due to both the distance I'm riding and the terrain
    that I am in. I usually go for long rides on rather hilly terrain, so power is very important to me.
    Plus, I have the quads - that's my strength, pardon the pun.

    Once again, thanks for the insight. This is all quite new to me.
     
  4. topdog wrote:

    -snip earlier stuff-

    > I have been trying to stretch a lot more, but I've never done it before riding. I will have to
    > check that out next time out.

    I didn't mean to suggest you should stretch specifically before you ride but a little wouldn't hurt.
    I try to do most of my stretching at the end of the day. Stretching properly is about learning to
    relax your muscles and that's easiest to do when the day is almost done for me. I do try to do a
    little hamstring stretching before I ride, usually just putting my heel up on a chair and relaxing
    my hamstring. Waiting instead of forcing it helps - apply a little, very gentle pressure by way of
    the height of your leg then leaning forward a little, but just wait out the tension. 30 to 60
    seconds ought to work.

    > I am just unaccustomed to hamstring tightness. Then again, I am unaccustomed to the way I felt IN
    > ENTIRETY yesterday - a 50 mi ride (normal for me) felt like a century, and my legs felt like
    > rubber the whole way! :-( I will be trying to adjust my training schedule and diet, and that may
    > help some, though I suspect that I will never have the same power in my legs as long as I am
    > running. (I'm also trying to lose some weight, which I'm sure doesn't help make one feel rested
    > and powerful!)

    You've hit on several potential points here. Losing weight usually means a loss of energy because
    you've reduced total calories. I'd be careful about trying to add something new to your exercise
    schedule while you're also trying to lose weight.

    Realize also that you should expect it to take at least two or three weeks for your legs to adapt to
    the combination of running and cycling, and maybe longer than that. Going very easily for the first
    few miles on the bike might help.

    > I'm not sure if the post position will help, due to both the distance I'm riding and the terrain
    > that I am in. I usually go for long rides on rather hilly terrain, so power is very important to
    > me. Plus, I have the quads - that's my strength, pardon the pun.

    Different strokes for different folks. You may find you don't lose any appreciable power with a
    slightly more forward position. You may also find a flatter saddle lets you change positions more. I
    ride the venerable Flite and it's flat, so I scoot back on the saddle when it's time to do seated
    climbing, and scoot forward if I'm spinning really fast.

    > Once again, thanks for the insight. This is all quite new to me.

    Best of luck to you.

    -S-
     
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