How do you STOP yourself from riding?



Feanor

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Jul 21, 2003
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An odd subject line I realize, but I've run into a little bit of a dilemna. I think I am basically addicted to road cycling!

Now mind you I'm not talking about centuries every other day interspersed by hours and hours of training time. I fancy myself as turning into a moderate cyclist, about 100-150 miles a week and climbing (literally)

I say "literally" because my favorite pastime these days is an interval of a 4 and a half mile climb to the "water tower" a pretty hefty climb for someone as relatively new to cycling as me... I just recently got to the point where I made it to the top without stopping once or zig zagging on the road, and that made me so ecstatic that now my goal is to do it twice, three times, four times one after the other without stopping and I'm working very hard to that goal...

The wife finds it amusing because no sooner am I thru the door after work that I'm not shedding my clothes to get into my cycling shorts and t-shirt...

It just feels so good to get out there and keep plugging away... but here is my trouble... I always warm up a bit before the climbs and also do lots of pre riding stretching, but just a few weeks ago I started to develop some pain in the knees...

The pain goes away a few minutes into riding or climbing but then returns a little worse than before during the night...

I made adjustments to my pedals and made a conscious effort to maintain good form while pedalling and this helped a little, but the pain kept getting worse and so I skipped a day to rest, but getting back on after the rest day the pain returned... so now I'm on the second rest day and its funy how irritating it is that I can;t ride... I've serviced my bike several times already and the thing is spotless and in perfect mechanical order, but that almost makes the time off more irritating...

What do all of you do in terms of training and letting knees recover when you can;t ride at all?

*frustrated*

Feanor
 

Metalleg

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Aug 25, 2003
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Feanor,
I have really bad knees, in fact 5 years ago this October they replaced my Left one with an artificial one. All Stainless Steel and Plastic.

I too have knee pain from riding.

Here is what I do, and it helps me, maybe it will help you.

First as you said make sure your bike is adjusted properly.
Second, after your ride do your normal post ride stretcing, then take a hot shower. Next is the most important thing.

ICE down your knee!!!!! As my doctor say's "Ice is your Friend".
For my knee and back, it is my best friend.

I have been busy or rushed in the past and not done the above and have paid for it dearly, I now ice down every time, even if it means cutting the ride a little short to make time.

I do not know how expensive they are, but I have a thing called a "Cryo-Cuff" it looks like an air splint only blue. It is held on with velcro straps and has a hose quick connect on it. The jug is about a 1 gal. water jug that the maker installed a hose fitting on and an air release.

Before I shower I fill it to the line inside with ice and then fill it with the water to the proper line. As I shower the water gets really cold. afterwards I put it on and you hold the jug up and it fills with the cold water, (the pressure helps too), then you disconnect it. When it gets warm(the water) you simple reconnect the hose and set the jug on the floor, the water drains out and gets cold again. Repeat as needed.

I always ice down at least twice with a 20 min break between. It also takes about 20 mins for the water to get warm on your leg, so it works out good. 20 on, 20 off, 20 on, etc.

I will see if I can find where to get it if anyone is interested, Insurance paid for mine when I had my surgeries. I also have one for the shoulder and I know they make them for the ankle as well. My shoulder one will lay out flat and works good on your back as well. I am sure they make ones for other body parts as well.

Hope this helps...

Metalleg
 

Metalleg

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Aug 25, 2003
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I dug up the website and a picture of the knee cuff I mentioned above.

11Bsm.jpg

Not sure how to post an image Direct into the post, sorry

Cryo-Cuff

Looks like they make one for almost everything.
 

Feanor

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Jul 21, 2003
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Metalleg and JT,

Thanks for the great information and links! JT, it took me quite a while to plow thru all the crank information in that thread! :) but there was some very interesting and useful data in their that I can use in my ongoing investigation...

and Metalleg, I'm sorry to here about your knee condition and the operation :( That couldn't have been and probably still isn't a very pleasant experience... Its funny, because there is just something about knees that people seem to be universally sensitive about... I used to watch this show on the Discovery channel called "The Operation" and I used to pride myself and baffle my family at how I could watch each and every episode without batting an eyelash; open heart surgery, brain surgery, kidney transplants... None of them bothered me EXCEPT one, and that was reconstructive knee surgery... I just couldn't watch it and I have no idea why... but when they made that first incision, and peeled the skin back to reveal the knee joint and the connecting tendons and cartilaginous tissue, I just had to leave the room... Days later I spoke to some friends at the office and they related similar inability to watch it! They were all athletic and my suspicion is that the operation focused on the possibility of being immobile, and this to someone athletic is more horrific than watching someone getting their chest cranked open for a heart translplant...

I'm going to try the standard blue ice packs on my knees for the next few rides and if that really works for me than I'll definitely pick up one of those cryo units! Its not cheap but then again, how much are good knees worth? :)

Thanks again!

Feanor
 

Memphmann

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Jul 6, 2003
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Pain is there for a reason. Do not ignore it. Take it from someone that knows. Been off bike for 6 years and 5 knee operations. The road racing in the mountains of British Columbia did me in.

Try riding flats for awhile til you develop more muscle and a better spin. Are you heavy? If so, then this hurts the knees also when you climb. I understand what you are going thru. Why hurt yourself unless you are training to race in the hills. If you are an average cyclists that enjoys to ride. Then why go thru all of this. If you continue up this hill, either you shall be on your back on an operating table. Or enjoying your rides less because of pain and stopping them all together.

Just a thought from someone that went thru this. Good Luck......

Memph
 

ohiojeff

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Sep 10, 2003
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one thing with all exercise that most people overlook is that rest and recovery are every bit as important as the training. all things working well, it takes 36-48 hours for muscle fibers to repair after being worked, but they begin to atrophy by 72 hours. that leaves a very small window to hit them again. that repair period is where the biggest gains come. as children and teens we are conditioned to work hard, but no one ever adresses rest. allowing yourself time to recover with very passive workouts or complete rest is very important. you cannot go and go and go without actually working against your progress. i suggest listening to your body, the sore knees are telling you something. you need those passive rides where you gear down, spin and smell the flowers mixed with the climbing you enjoy on other days. you cannot kill yourself on every ride and improve like you should.
 

Snarl

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Jul 22, 2003
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I'm sitting here reading this with an Ice Pack on each Knee :)

I would however offer the following advise, Ice right after the rides, hot water or heat is not a good thing. The first thing you want to do is reduce swelling and or muscle damage, ice does this by reducing swelling, also try to ice for 10-15 Minutes right after your rides and then perhaps another 3-4 times over the course of the day for at least 10-15 Min intervals (Don't leave the ice on to long that you freeze your knee).

Best of Luck
 

Memphmann

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Jul 6, 2003
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Originally posted by ohiojeff
one thing with all exercise that most people overlook is that rest and recovery are every bit as important as the training. all things working well, it takes 36-48 hours for muscle fibers to repair after being worked, but they begin to atrophy by 72 hours. that leaves a very small window to hit them again. that repair period is where the biggest gains come. as children and teens we are conditioned to work hard, but no one ever adresses rest. allowing yourself time to recover with very passive workouts or complete rest is very important. you cannot go and go and go without actually working against your progress. i suggest listening to your body, the sore knees are telling you something. you need those passive rides where you gear down, spin and smell the flowers mixed with the climbing you enjoy on other days. you cannot kill yourself on every ride and improve like you should.

Rest is great if you do not mind gaining weight. Sure muscles need time to rest and recover. Just work different muscles every other day as you ride. One day hills, next flats and spinning, next sprints. This keeps the HR up, exercises different muscle groups and kills the weight.......

Memph
 

ohiojeff

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Sep 10, 2003
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memphman, i believe we are saying somewhat the same thing. note i said to use passive rides mixed with harder efforts. there is more than one way to fight weight. propper diet will go a long way to doing that. the problem with Americans is we want to eat all kinds of garbage, and expect our bodies to surive the rigors of cycling or any sport for that matter. as you age, exercise alone is not a healthy means of controlling weight. it might work when you're young and your metabalism will help you, but that soon fails. As Jackie Joyner said in an interview later in her carreer, she had to learn she couldnt continue to eat the hotdogs and still perform like she wanted.

sure the pros ride their brains out, but despite what is publicly admitted to, the higher you go in cycling, the more rampant steroid use becomes. they override thier body's natural rest and recovery with drugs. plus, cycling is all they do. they dont have a job and everyday lives to deal with. they are fed, clothed, trained and driven everywhere. sure there is somewhat a matter of natural ability, but behind the scenes that isnt all that is going on. this is why when the team physician screws up, suddenly the team has a major scandel on thier hands.

coming from that world, when i returned to racing after being badly hurt in a wreck, i went full bore. it took sometime for me to learn that active rest (light,easy rides) and actual rest days were very important to riding and training. there is a fine line between trained and over-trained.
 

Memphmann

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Jul 6, 2003
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Originally posted by ohiojeff
memphman, i believe we are saying somewhat the same thing. note i said to use passive rides mixed with harder efforts. there is more than one way to fight weight. propper diet will go a long way to doing that. the problem with Americans is we want to eat all kinds of garbage, and expect our bodies to surive the rigors of cycling or any sport for that matter. as you age, exercise alone is not a healthy means of controlling weight. it might work when you're young and your metabalism will help you, but that soon fails. As Jackie Joyner said in an interview later in her carreer, she had to learn she couldnt continue to eat the hotdogs and still perform like she wanted.

sure the pros ride their brains out, but despite what is publicly admitted to, the higher you go in cycling, the more rampant steroid use becomes. they override thier body's natural rest and recovery with drugs. plus, cycling is all they do. they dont have a job and everyday lives to deal with. they are fed, clothed, trained and driven everywhere. sure there is somewhat a matter of natural ability, but behind the scenes that isnt all that is going on. this is why when the team physician screws up, suddenly the team has a major scandel on thier hands.

coming from that world, when i returned to racing after being badly hurt in a wreck, i went full bore. it took sometime for me to learn that active rest (light,easy rides) and actual rest days were very important to riding and training. there is a fine line between trained and over-trained.

Yes we are basically saying the same thing. I, as a Canadian have to watch the garbage I eat. I finally jumped back on my bike July 7th, after all those years. That day, weight in at 208 lbs. Six weeks later, weight in at 186 lbs. No more garbage, fruits, veggies, fruit juice, and lots of water. Also helped that I was able to ride 4-5 hours daily. Now I am at 182 lbs and feel so strong.

Years ago when I use to race. Was as high as Cat 2. Noticed drug use there. So what if drugs are used. I believe in an Olypics where drug use should be legal. If an athlete desires to win bad enough, that they care so little about side effects. Let them, at least we shall know. Unlike that disgraceful Carl Lewis...

Memph
 

Feanor

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Jul 21, 2003
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Memph, Ohio, and Snarl,

Thanks for the replies!

Deep down I think I already knew that rest was important, but as was said, and as is the case particularly at work, how long you can go without any rest at all is almost like a badge of honor... When people say, "he did 4 16 hour days in a row!" this is seen as very high praise...

I think this view of the go go go world is in some part brought into sports and physical training, if indeed it didn;t begin their in the first place... "but I feel fine!" is something you seem to hear more and more right before the critical injury...

I've been pouring over the net looking at training regimens from various sources and every schedule from total newbie couch potatoe, to advanced racer, has full rest days included...

I think I will definitely defer to the more experienced in this regard :)

The ice does work wonders though! liberal application after a ride or climb and I don;t notice my knees at all! :) I say this because before that, walking around after a ride I definitely noticed them!

Thanks again, and good riding to you!

Feanor
 

jtfleming

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Aug 9, 2003
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I don't have any problems with pain, but I have had some things that have kept me from riding for 4 days once, a double ear infection that kept me off the bike for a week (I could hear it moaning in the shed), and this was the first day I rode since last Thursday because I am taking a few courses at the university and renovating a room that is just begging to be completed YESTERDAY!!!

Each time I have skipped for these longer periods, I have returned in better form than I was in prior to the break. My normal riding schedule is 27-45 miles a day, 4-5 days without a break, a one day break, then 3-4 days without a break, then sometimes I take 2 days at the end of that one. I do try to avoid prolonged breaks, and feel myself getting more tired toward the end of a week without my standard exercise, but I still find it doesn't have a strong negative impact on me.
 

gntlmn

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Jul 28, 2003
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When I have knee pain, and it is as you describe it, coming and going, it is invariably due to extreme tightness in my hamstrings. If I do a lot of riding without much stretching, my hamstrings tighten up for some reason. This means as I am standing and push my finger into the backs of my thighs, it feels like steel. Ordinary stretching, where you reach down and touch your toes or sit and bounce in hurdler's stretch doesn't do much for me. But I found something that does.

That something is Yoga. You really ought to try it. What this boils down to is a training of the mind to focus your relaxation to specific muscle groups so that they will stretch without pain and without much effort. I have done yoga for about a year about 12 years ago, and now that I pick it up again after developing knee pain from recently riding long distances again, it comes back very quickly. It seems that the mind remembers how to relax afterr a long layoff from yoga even though the body is habitually tight again. The first time I took up yoga, it took quite a while to develop the ability to relax, like about a year. When you learn how, you will know when you have acquired the skill. Have patience. Believe me, it is worth the effort. I don't need to take a class now that I know how, but you might want to if you are just starting. That way the instructor can tell you when you do the pose correctly. If you have heard of yoga but haven't seen it done, look at the following website for some poses, what they call "asanas". http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/index.cfm Good luck. By the way, my persistent knee pain lasting about one week disappeared within a few hours after I started doing yoga again. I haven't had any knee pain since. That was about two weeks ago.
 

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