Just Started Training Again...Need Help

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by yanksfan77, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. yanksfan77

    yanksfan77 New Member

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    I have gotten back into cycling after several years away from it. I have do two outdoor rides in the past month without a problem. However I have also been riding almost daily on my trainer. Recently I upped the resistance on the trainer and have now started to have some pain/discomfort in my right knee just above the knee cap and to the inside of it. This didn't happen on any of my outdoor rides or trainer sessions, until I upped the resistance. Should I lower the resistance or check foot position when clipped into my pedals? Any thoughts would be helpful!
     
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  2. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    I note more stiffeness and cramping on the trainer and have for years. I credit this to the fact that I don't coast, change positions or load near as much on the trainer. There is no change in gravity shift to my body so I am a lot more static on the trainer. Try standing up and stretching once in a while, start out with lower resistance and up the load as you warm up.
    If needed get off stretch and get back on for another round.
     
  3. Reezcycle

    Reezcycle New Member

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    Well, many common cycling injuries are due to poor bike positioning. Time spent on an indoor trainer can be a useful way to fine-tune your bike position and potentially avoid early season injuries.

    Knee and hip pain are the most common cycling injuries, especially in the early season. The most common cause of knee and hip pain in cyclists is iliotibial band (IT band) syndrome. The IT band is a thick fibrous band of tissue, which runs on the outside of the leg from the hip to the knee. Pain is caused when the band becomes tight and rubs over the bony prominences of the hip (greater trochanter) and/or the knee (lateral epicondyle). Tight inflexible lower extremity muscles may worsen the condition. Pain may also be caused by inappropriate seat position, saddle position, cleat alignment, or by individual cyclist anatomy.

    A simple seat height adjustment may ease the forces placed on the knee. If the seat is too low, too much stress is placed on the knee from the patellar and quadriceps tendons. If the seat is too high, pain may develop behind the knee. Therefore, proper seat height is essential.

    There are several different ways to determine proper seat height. The easiest way to do this is to allow one pedal to drop to the 6 o'clock position and observe the angle of flexion in the knee joint. There should be a 25-30 degree flexion in the knee when the pedal is at the bottom most point. Another method is to measure your inseam (in centimeters) and multiply this measurement by 0.883. This should be your distance from the top of the seat to the center of the bottom bracket. Your hips should not rock back and forth when you pedal - that means your legs have to stretch to far to reach the bottom of the pedal stroke. If your hips rock when pedaling, lower your saddle until you achieve a smooth pedal stroke.

    Seat fore/aft position and cleat position may also contribute to knee pain. Saddles that are too far back cause the cyclist to reach for the pedal and stretch the IT band with resultant knee pain. Saddle position can be evaluated with the "plumb bob technique". Seated with the pedal in the 3 o'clock position, a "plumb" hung from the most forward portion of the knee, should intersect the ball of the foot and the axle of the pedal.

    Cleats that are too far internally rotated may cause increased stress to the IT band as it crosses the outside of the knee. Cleats should be positioned fore/aft so that the ball of your foot is directly over the axle of the pedal. Rotational cleat position can be evaluated by use of a commercial/bike shop "fit kit" or rotational adjustment device - this is more important for cleats with less than 5 degrees of float. Most newer road cleats allow greater degrees of float to protect your knees.

    Finally, individual cyclist anatomy may contribute to knee and hip pain. Cyclists with leg length discrepancies may develop knee pain as only one side is correctly fitted to the bicycle. This leads to increased stress inside the knee and hip joints on the improperly fitted side. Cyclists with flat feet may be more prone to excessive pronation (internal rotation) of the lower extremity causing greater stress on the IT band at the knee. Orthotics (anatomic shoe inserts crafted by podiatrists) may correct the alignment of the knee and decrease or prevent medial or lateral rotational stress on the connective tissue of the ankle, knee or hip, thus reducing the pain.

    In order to minimize knee and hip pain in the early season, take it easy for the first few weeks. Pedal with low resistance and a cadence of 80-90rpm allowing your body to adjust again to road riding, and possibly a slightly new bike position. Also, try to minimize hard riding or hill work for the first few weeks. Stretching exercises of your lower extremities, especially for the gluteus and IT band will also help transition you into early season form. Remember, any changes to your bike geometry or training plan, should be done in small increments to allow your body to adapt to the new settings.

    Good luck for injury free riding.:D
     
  4. yanksfan77

    yanksfan77 New Member

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    I did move my seat shortly before this started, I will try and move it back. The only problem I have is that the knee hurts even when not on the bike. It will hurt when I am sitting at dinner or at work. Not sure if that makes any difference, but this all started after I started riding.
     
  5. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Basic rule of thumb in any over use injuries is to heal first away from the activity that created the problem then deal with the root cause. IOW, stay off the bike until you're pain free, then take the advice above or go see a good bike fitter to find the root cause of your problem.

    Trying to ride your way back to normal health when riding caused the pain isn't a great idea and even a correct position probably won't feel good if you're in pain at the dinner table or while sitting at work.

    -Dave
     
  6. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    You could have some arthiritis in that knee even if you are not old.
     
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