terrible quad pain early in ride

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by tourdelivermore, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. tourdelivermore

    tourdelivermore New Member

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    On Saturday I was just beginning a century ride when about two miles into the ride I suffered severe pain in both quads, top and bottom. It felt like my legs were going to explode – at only mile 2 of 100! This has been a tough year for me as many of the 10 century rides have begun with early pain. I end up spending the rest of the ride trying to reduce the pain by spinning at low resistance just to suffer through the ride. Over the 100 miles the pain decreases to the point where I can complete the ride, but, performance is not an option…I just survive.

    A little about me…I’m 44, 5 ft 10 in, 180 lbs, 13 % body fat, max heart rate of 194. I typically ride 5,000 to 6,000 miles per year and train about 400 hours per year. Other physical activity include spinning classes, walking and running (little between April and September) and strength training in the winter months.

    I’m at a loss. Given my level of fitness and preparation, why do I suffer? Why has this year been so painful as opposed to other years?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
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  2. biker-linz

    biker-linz New Member

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    Is the pain in the middle of the quads or towards the outside of the leg and down into the outside of the knee?
     
  3. tourdelivermore

    tourdelivermore New Member

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    The most severe pain is down the back of each quad, with less severe on the tops. I don't recall the pain reaching the knee.
     
  4. biker-linz

    biker-linz New Member

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    When you say 'back', do you mean deep inside the muscle?
     
  5. tourdelivermore

    tourdelivermore New Member

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    Thanks for your questions...it's really making me think.

    On the back of the quad, but, on the surface (if that makes sense). It extends into the glutes.

    On the top of the quad, it feels deep in the muscle.
     
  6. tanggoman

    tanggoman New Member

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    Try doing light stretches esp on the legs before, during and after your rides.

    If pain still persists, few questions always come to mind ---

    Are you correctly fitted on your bike? Cleat position? Saddle height?
     
  7. tourdelivermore

    tourdelivermore New Member

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    I've had regular fittings at my LBS, about twice a year. I assume it's correct...how would I know otherwise?
     
  8. HenryLaRoy

    HenryLaRoy New Member

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    If this pain is recurrent, I would see a doctor about it. However, I am going to go out on a limb and wonder if it is entirely physical. Take all this with a grain of salt. I'm new to cycling, so maybe I don't know enough to help. Still, I have a lot of sympathy for what you've been going through and have found myself thinking about it. :(

    It sounds like you are in great shape, do tons of training miles (without pain, evidently), etc. I don't see why you couldn't hop on a bike and do a century any time the notion crossed your mind. And yet as soon as you cross the starting gates, your legs cramp up? That's odd. If you had some flaw in technique or problem in your muscularture, the problem would prevent you from do those impressive base miles. I would look for things you do differently on "game day" than on training day. Do you eat differently? Take a sleep aid the night before a century? Do you warm up differently? Do you alter your training in the days before the century? How do you feel about doing century rides... that is, are you nervous or very excited? Do you ride alone on your training rides and with a friend for the centuries? Do you ride faster at the start of the century than in your training rides?

    Whatever you find, good luck with your next century!
     
  9. tanggoman

    tanggoman New Member

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    Sometimes, even with properly fitted you still get some sores during or after riding but that can easily be remedied by stretching and in my case, doing some yoga afterwards. But in your case, if the pain persists, you should see a doctor.
     
  10. biker-linz

    biker-linz New Member

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    OK, I just wanted to factor out a tight ITB (ilio-tibial band). It might be best if you speak to a physiotherapist or a sports doctor.

    Sorry I couldn't be more help.

    L.
     
  11. wiredued

    wiredued New Member

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    The last time my quads hurt I raised my seat a little and I never had a problem since then.
     
  12. tourdelivermore

    tourdelivermore New Member

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    Thanks everyone.

    Update: Over the last two weeks I have focused on stretching every way I can around the quads, glutes, lower back etc. at least twice a day, also before and after riding.

    Today I rode and felt as loose as I have ever felt (or as long as I can recall).

    I'm no doctor, but, the cycling engine is a system of bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments. I believe that each of these elements in the system change, respond and improve at different rates. After 3 years of cycling, my tendons and ligaments have stiffened, or, have not responded along with the muscles. I am guessing that age (44) probably is a factor.

    Anyway, I'll keep stretching and hoping that this is the solution.

    I love this sport and would like to enjoy it for many years.
     
  13. Adam-from-SLO

    Adam-from-SLO New Member

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    Sounds like you were talking about your "hamstrings" here , NOT Quads (am I right.. or wrong ?? :confused: ). *On the back of the quad ..... extends to the glutes*. Well, the Hamy's are on the side where your glutes are :)

    Yes, streaching AFTER every ride is recommended(not before a ride).

    Sorry I did not see this post posted before.....
     
  14. wiredued

    wiredued New Member

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    I am 40 and for tight hamstrings I use 50mg hyaluronic acid it is a water holding molecule that you make less of as you get older and if you train hard it makes a huge difference.
    http://www.puritan.com/pages/file.asp?xs=234CCC91ADED4510A8D3496E36109C71&PID=5191&CPID=8040&np=1


     
  15. Adam-from-SLO

    Adam-from-SLO New Member

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